All In to Reopen Our Schools
On the heels of preliminary guidance for the phased reopening of schools by Pennsylvania Secretary of Education Pedro Rivera, Pittsburgh Public Schools, Pittsburgh Federation of Teachers (PFT) and One Pa announce the launch of All In to Reopen Our Schools. The effort aims to bring the Pittsburgh community together to plan the safe and successful reopening of schools this fall.
“As a caregiver to tens of thousands of children, we see the plan for reopening our schools essential to the effective reopening of the City of Pittsburgh and Allegheny County, said Superintendent Anthony Hamlet, Ed.D. "Through our partnership with the PFT and One Pa, I am sure we can design a plan that considers all voices and will put Pittsburgh on the map as a true innovator in these unprecedented times."
The All In to Reopen Our Schools plan will be developed by 16 subcommittees, composed of a cross-section of stakeholders, within five categories:
- Academic Programming and Instructional Support
- Academic Personnel and Developing Capacity
- Family Support & Wellbeing
- School Operations for a Safe and Healthy Environment
- Communications, Outreach and Community Coordination
“The PFT has been eager to work with the Pittsburgh Public Schools on a plan that will bring our students and staff back to school safely,” said Nina Esposito Visgitis, President Pittsburgh Federation of Teachers. “Teachers have valiantly embraced our remote learning reality, but of course, they are eager to get back inside of the classroom, where teaching and learning flourish best.
The work of the subcommittees will be informed by guidance from the Pennsylvania Department of Education and parent feedback gathered through the District’s Remote Learning Parent Survey to accomplish three goals:
- Support students, their families, and our staff for the 2020-2021 school year and beyond, adapting as necessary to different learning environments (virtual & blended), due to the uncertainties created by COVID-19.
- Maximize all available resources, substantially reduced in light of the COVID-19 economic impact, to support the educational program and support services, determining a plan for the deployment of personnel, distribution of resources, and use of facilities best aligned to achieving the District's vision and adaptable to different learning environments (virtual & blended).
- Continue to Imagine PPS as a premier urban learning organization committed to every student graduating high school: college, career, and life ready. We must ensure that the short-term worlk requried to respond to COVID-19 stregthens the development of the Imagine PPS strategic plan.
"Our community and our children are heartbroken by the treatment of Black people in this country right now. It is critical that we work together, across diverse communities to design a safe plan to meet our children's needs,” said Angel Gober, One Pennsylvania, Western PA Organizing Director. “I believe in us.”
The work of the subcommittees will complement and strengthen the work already underway through Imagine PPS with the assistance of community champions. All In to Reopen Our Schools will ensure the short-term work required to respond to COVID-19 strengthens the development of the Imagine PPS strategic plan.
The All In to Reopen Our Schools plan is expected to be released to the public on July 22.