• 2021-2022 School Year FAQ

    Our FAQ was developed based on frequently asked questions from our community.

    As the number of Pennsylvanians vaccinated increases and COVID-19 restrictions decrease, Pittsburgh Public Schools looks forward to the safe return of all students for five days a week in-person instruction this Fall.  As we plan for the return to five days a week for the start of the 2021-2022 school year, we will continue to be guided by the recommendations of the CDC, state and local health departments and will be prepared to pivot and adapt as needed.

Health and Safety Plan

  • - Who do I contact within my child's school to access mental health services? **

  • - What is the plan should there be a positive COVID case in a school location?

  • - What safety measures will be in place during the 2021-2022 school year? **

  • -What will in-school social distancing look like?

  • -Will someone be doing temperature screenings at the door?

  • - Is Personal Protective Equipment available for students and staff?

  • -If a teacher or student tests positive, does the whole class quarantine?

  • -Will students and teachers be required to wear masks all day?

  • - What is the max number of students per classroom?**

  • - What will in-school social distancing look like?

  • - What is the distance between student desks?

  • - Will cafeterias & gym space be turned into classrooms to maintain social distancing?

  • -How much input/suggestions are you getting from medical professionals such as the Allegheny County Health Department or UPMC/Allegheny Health Network?


  • -Who is eligible for transportation from Pittsburgh Public Schools?

  • - Will the District continue to provide transportation to students that live in the City of Pittsburgh but attend private, parochial or charter schools?

  • - What is the District doing to address the school bus shortage?

  • - Will transportation be available for all students?

  • - Will students attending school on a PS-6 transfer receive transportation?

  • - Why did the District wait so long to announce the change to the calendar, knowing that there was a transportation issue?

  • - When will the Board vote on the new school start times?

  • - How will transportation to school be different?

  • - Will there be transportation to the Gifted Center?

  • - Will students riding yellow busses or vans be required to wear masks and social distance?

  • Release Your Seat:

  • - What can families do to help students who need transportation?

  • - If a family releases a seat, how long is the commitment?

  • -If my child attends a private, charter or parochial school, can I give up their seat?

  • -Will families be reimbursed if they release their seat?**

  • - What if I do not want to use Yellow Bus or Port Authority transportation?

  • Port Authority:

  • - Which students are moving from a yellow bus to Port Authority?

  • - Will the move of some middle school students to Port Authority remain in place beyond the 2021-22 SY?

  • - Will my child be required to wear a mask when riding Port Authority transportation?

  • - When will my child receive their student ID/Connect Card?

  • - Are there tools to help plan my child’s transportation on Port Authority?

  • - How will students who ride Port Authority receive a bus pass?

  • - Are there older students at my child’s school that can help my child navigate getting to and from school on Port Authority transportation?

  • - What COVID-19 health and safety precautions are in place with the Port Authority?

  • - Would children be able to catch a school bus rather than take Port Authority bus?

Food Service

  • - Are supply chain issues impacting school lunch?**

  • - How will breakfast and lunch be served to students when they return to school?

  • - Are students allowed to bring food for lunch?

  • - Where will students eat?

  • - Will the cafeteria be open?

Cleaning Procedures

  • - What will be the cleaning protocol for schools?

  • - What types of EPA products will the District use?

  • - How will the District’s schools and facilities be cleaned?

  • - What social distancing practices will be enforced?

  • - Will bus companies be required to follow a cleaning protocol?

  • - What is the District doing to improve ventilation?

Remote Instruction

  • - Is there a full-time remote option available?**

  • - Is the Pittsburgh Online Academy (POA) Asynchronous or Synchronous? **

  • -What is the deadline for applying to Pittsburgh Online Academy? **

  • - Will my student lose their magnet school status if they attend Pittsburgh Online Academy?**

  • -Can my student transition back to their neighborhood or magnet school at any time during the 2021-2022 school year? **

  • - How will my child participate in athletics or extracurricular activities? **

  • -Will my child be eligible to receive transportation when they transition back to their neighborhood or magnet school from POA?**

  • - Will my student lose their magnet status if I enroll my child at a NonPPS School? **

  • -How can I learn more about the Pittsburgh Online Academy?**

  • - I am undecided about what is best for my child. What do you advise?**

  • - What is the difference between synchronous and asynchronous learning?

Physical Education, Athletics, Student Activities and Recess

  • - Can schools utilize the pool and/or teach swimming in physical education this school year? **

  • - How will students participate in sports?

  • - What will physical education look like for students? **

  • -Will spectators be allowed at sporting events?

Supports for Students with Disabilities

  • - My child has special needs requiring more support. What will be offered in terms of additional support regardless of which school option is chosen?

  • - What are you going to do about kids that have sensory disorder outlined in their IEP and can’t wear a mask due to those issues?

  • - How will the District support students with social/emotional needs?

Early Childhood Education

  • - How are they doing Early Childhood Pre-K when there are 20 children who need to social distance?

  • - Are masks required in school for early head start and prekindergarten?

Supports for English Language Learners (EL)

  • - My child is an English Language Learner. How will their needs be met?

  • - Will the District continue using Talking Points to communicate with EL families?


  • What is the purpose of the Acceptable Use Policy form?**

  • What if I have not been able to return my child's district-issued device?**

  • - How will students get their device for the new school year?**

  • - Who is responsible for damages or broken equipment? **

  • - Are cameras enabled on student devices?

  • - What type of devices will each student receive?

  • - Who will help with technology challenges?

  • - Do iPads already have the programs needed installed onto them for the students, especially for Pre-k?

Parent Organizations and Volunteers

  • - Will PSCC meetings be held monthly?

Community Organizations

  • - Will students have access to before and aftercare at school?

  • - Will community partners be permitted in school?

Staff Focused

  • - How can I receive coverage for COVID-19 testing if I do not have health coverage?