Home > Pittsburgh Public Schools Partners with Community Champions to Launch New City-wide Initiative Imagine PPS

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Pittsburgh Public Schools Partners with Community Champions to Launch New City-wide Initiative Imagine PPS




Leaders from Heinz Endowments, Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh, the Pittsburgh Federation of Teachers and CCAC joined Superintendent Anthony Hamlet, Ed.D., as he announced a new city-wide initiative to re-imagine how Pittsburgh Public Schools (PPS) delivers education.  Announced at this evening’s Board Education Committee Meeting, Imagine PPS seeks to ensure that all children have equal access to the knowledge, skills, and attributes needed to be successful in the 21st Century global economy and beyond.  Over the next six months, in close partnership with internal and external stakeholders, PPS will imagine what the District can be through a rigorous, thoughtful and deliberate planning process that will include multiple opportunities for parent and community input. 


“We know that the world is changing and so must public education if we are going to produce students who are personally prepared, civically engaged and ready for the jobs of the future,” said Superintendent Anthony Hamlet. “The successful implementation of foundational components of our Expect Great Things strategic plan, coupled with strategies outlined in our On Track to Equity and comprehensive state plans, have positioned us to take the next big step to change the future of PPS, our city, and most importantly our students. But, we cannot do this alone and are grateful for the community champions who have stepped up to provide the expertise, resources and financial support necessary to help us tackle our biggest challenges.”   


The Imagine PPS launch corresponds with the sunset of the District’s strategic plan but goes further to design an educational delivery model that aligns with the values of the District and its stakeholders. 


“The good news is that we are not starting from scratch,” said PPS Chief of Staff and Imagine PPS lead, Errika Fearbry Jones. “The groundwork to support our Imagine PPS process is already underway thanks to the efforts of our working group convened in partnership with the National Institute of School Leadership (NISL) and composed of staff, parents, and representatives from local universities, and the philanthropic community.”


Imagine PPS Process

The Imagine PPS process will build off of the efforts of the working group and center around the formation of 12 design teams – led by the District, in partnership with an external community champion and informed by a mix of PPS staff and community members. Design teams will develop recommendations for 12 focus areas within four categories: Student Pathways, School Design, Areas of Interest and School Improvement of Underperforming High Schools.  Drawing on the expertise of local team members and best practices from across the country, design teams will develop action plans.


Each design team will seek input from student groups, teachers, principals, parents, community leaders and partners.  While engagement will take place throughout the planning, targeted dates for engagement will occur in two phases – January 2020 and April 2020 based on proposal timelines. Simultaneously, the Superintendent, his Executive Cabinet and District staff will collect data and analyze the District’s facilities needs to develop strategies for system and structural improvements in four areas: Education Delivery Model, Feeder Patterns, Magnet Pathways and Technology Enhancements. 


Over the next few months, the District will be recruiting additional support from civic, corporate, and philanthropic leaders. The chart on the following page details the 12 focus areas, current Community Champions and District team lead.  The first stakeholder engagement meeting is scheduled to take place on January 2, 2020, at the District’s Parent Advisory Council Meeting held at Pittsburgh Science and Technology Academy beginning at 6:00 PM. Regular updates and a full schedule of engagement opportunities will be announced and posted on the District’s website at https://www.pghschools.org/imaginePPS.


“Imagine what the future holds for graduates of a transformed Pittsburgh Public Schools. A district designed to provide students the high-quality, equitable education they deserve and prepares them for the ever-growing demands of employers and community as a whole,” said Dr. Hamlet.   “We want to hear from everyone, because we know it will take all of us – parents, teachers, school administrators, district staff, Board Members, and the Pittsburgh community –  working together to ensure that all students are prepared to achieve academic excellence and strength of character so that they have the opportunity to succeed in all aspects of their lives.” 




Focus Area

Community Champion(s)

PPS Team Lead (s)

Engagement  Timeline




Student Pathways

Graduate Student Profile


National Institute for School Leadership (NISL)

Minika Jenkins, Chief Academic Officer

January 2020

Graduation Requirements

Pupil Progression Plan






Areas of Interest

Mental Health/Trauma Informed Care

UPMC Children’s Hospital

Dr. Alisha Johnson, Director Student Support Services - Social Work

January 2020



Dr. Kymberly Cruz, Senior Program Officer, Arts Education

January 2020


Pittsburgh Penguins Foundation

Karen Arnold, Director of Athletics

January 2020

 “Homemade” Healthy Food

Food Policy Council

Curtistine Walker, Director of Food Services


January 2020

Special Education Infrastructure


Ann Hermann, Executive Director, Program for Students with Exceptionalities  

January 2020




School Design

Birth-Age 8 Programing

Heinz Endowments/

Housing Authority of Pittsburgh/Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh

Carol  Barone Martin, Executive Director Early Childhood Education Career, Technical Education

April 2020

 Career Middle School

Economy League

Angela Mike, Executive Director

April 2020

Medical Careers High School



Jamie Griffin, Executive Director Mathematics K-12. Vincent Scotto, Coordinator STEAM

April 2020

School Improvement of Underperforming High Schools

Pittsburgh Milliones 6-12


Dr. Shemeca Crenshaw, Acting Principal/

Dr. Nina Sacco, Assistant Superintendent  

April 2020

Pittsburgh Perry High School

Buhl Foundation

Darrel Prioleau, Principal/ Dr. Nina Sacco, Assistant Superintendent

April 2020

Pittsburgh Westinghouse 6-12

Homewood Children’s Village

Stephan Sereda, Acting Principal /Dr. Rodney Necciai, Assistant Superintendent

April 2020



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