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News Release: District to Begin Transition to PPS Remote Learning April 16

Remote Learning for All Students to Begin April 22


PITTSBURGH April 11, 2020 – PPS Remote Learning will kick off with a soft rolling launch on April 16 as the District transitions 23,000 students to remote learning. Following the distribution of laptops, all high school seniors will be ready to begin online instruction on April 16. Also, next week, teachers will start contacting all families to review what remote learning will look like for students, and special education teachers will reach out to families to discuss the remote learning plans for students with individualized education plans (IEPs). The District will additionally release information to families with instructions on how to participate in this new way of learning.  All families, who will be using a personal technological device for instruction, should log on beginning April 16 to ensure access and begin the use of online tools. Families without a device can pick up grade-specific instructional packets from April 16 through April 21, based on the grade-level schedule.  Remote learning for all students will fully launch on April 22.


“Remote learning is new for everyone, and we want to ensure students, families and staff have time to familiarize themselves with how to engage and be successful,” said Superintendent Anthony Hamlet, Ed.D., in a communication to families. “This includes making sure students have the materials they need, and those with technology at home can log in and access content.”


On Thursday, Governor Wolf announced the closure of schools across the Commonwealth for the remainder of the academic year. In anticipation of this long-term closure of schools, the District trained teachers to support online instruction, executed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Pittsburgh Federation of Teachers for this new way of work, invested in new technology to support online instruction, and began printing more than 20,000 instructional packets for distribution to students.  


Laptop Lending Program 

To date, the District has invested $1.5 million to purchase an additional 5,599 laptops to support a Laptop Lending Initiative for students and staff. As of Friday, more than 270 laptops have been distributed to teachers. An additional distribution for teachers will take place Tuesday, April 14 at the Greenway Professional Development.  School leaders are coordinating the delivery of laptops for high school seniors, which will take place Tuesday, April 14, and Wednesday, April 15. The distribution of technology for students in grades 9-11 will begin with 11th graders, as soon as more laptops become available.


Based on results of its Home Technology Survey the District anticipates an additional 7,500 devices are needed to meet the needs of families. To help meet this need, the District has established the PPS Remote Learning Fund. More information about the fund can be found at


Instructional Packet Distribution  

Grade-specific instructional packets for students in PreK-11, who do not have access to a technological device, will be distributed at more than 47 school sites and locations across the city, beginning on Thursday, April 16. The instructional packets include accommodations for students with IEPs, gifted IEPs, and English language learners. Families can pick up instructional packets at the school or location closest to their home. Parents with children over multiple grades are advised to pick up instructional packets on the distribution day for their student at the highest grade level. Students assigned to regional classrooms or assigned to special schools such as Pioneer and Conroy will have their instructional packets mailed to their homes.  Teachers will provide orientation for students and parents with instructions on how to log on to the online tools and access instructional materials.


A map, created in partnership with the Western Pennsylvania Regional Data Center allows families to search for the location nearest to their homes. The chart below details the rolling distribution of instructional packets. 


Grade Level

Distribution Day

Early Childhood Education (PreK & Early Head Start)


Thursday, April 16th



First Grade

2nd Grade

3rd Grade


Friday, April 17th


4th Grade

5th Grade

6th Grade


Monday, April 20th


7th Grade

8th Grade

9th Grade


Tuesday, April 21

10th Grade

11th Grade


District Grab and Go Sites Reopen Tuesday, April 14th                                                                     

Grab and Go distribution will resume at 32 sites across the city. For a full listing of locations and FAQs, visit