Superintendent's Parent and Family Update
Keeping PPS Families Engaged and Informed
Friday, March 26, 2021
A Message from Superintendent Hamlet
Dear PPS Families,

I am elated that after spring break we will have our first cohort of students in support category 4 returning to classrooms on Tuesday, April 6. Students in support category 3 will return on Monday, April 26, and students in support categories 1 and 2 will return on Monday, May 3.

To help prepare families and students on what to expect, I, along with members of District leadership held a virtual update on Tuesday, March 23. Families can watch the live recording or learn more below.

Please know that we will continue to follow the guidance of the Center for Disease Control and monitor the level of community spread in Allegheny County so that we ensure all of our students and staff are safe and healthy. Please monitor your child's health daily using our health screener and keep your child home if they have symptoms. If your home or cell phone number has changed or you have new emergency contacts, please let your child's school know.

All of us are looking forward to your child's return to the classroom or continuing to provide their education remotely. This year has been anything but easy and I appreciate everything you have done to support your child(ren) through these challenging times.

Yours in education,

Anthony D. Hamlet, Ed. D.
Superintendent of Schools
In case you missed it, on Tuesday, Dr. Anthony Hamlet and District leaders provided an update on the return to in-person learning. PPS stakeholders, including PPS parents and student leaders, joined the Zoom meeting to ask questions about reopening schools.
PPS Hybrid Learning Models
What will learning look like when students return?
Chief Academic Officer Minika Jenkins shared examples of the different hybrid learning models our teachers may be utilizing when students return. A full description of each model, visual examples and videos are available for viewing.
What is Station-Rotation?
Students in the station-rotation model move through stations in small groups. Learning begins with whole group instruction for all students. Then students visit one of two stations - asynchronous learning station, or teacher-led instruction based on student need. View a video demonstrating the station-rotation model here. 
What does the flex hybrid learning model look like?
Students receive live interaction (synchronous instruction) with the teacher with asynchronous learning activities. 
The teacher remains available, and students learn mostly synchronously except when working on independent assignments provided by the teacher. View a video demonstrating the flex hybrid learning model.
Support Categories
Pittsburgh Public Schools students are placed in student-support categories based on multiple data points, including attendance, performance data in math and English Language Arts and other factors including Social-Emotional Learning (SEL) Strengths, Individualized Education Plan (IEP), 504 plan or English language services. The criteria was established by the District to equitably identify students who are struggling most. Support categories are defined as follows:

Support Category 4: Student is not demonstrating progress or is in Kindergarten or PreK
Return Date: Tuesday, April 6, 2021 (4,786 students)

Support Category 3: Student demonstrating some progress in eLearning.
Return Date: Monday, April 26, 2021 (5,212 students)

Support Category 2: Student demonstrating progress in eLearning.
Return Date: Monday, May 3, 2021 (7,136 students)

Support Category 1: Student demonstrating positive progress in eLearning.
Return Date: Monday, May 3, 2021 (3,085 students) If you are unaware of your child's support category, please contact your child's school.
PPS Health & Wellness
Maintaining Healthy School Communities Together
In this video, Rae-Ann Green, Director of Health Services, outlines how we can work together to keep our school community healthy and safe by mitigating the spread of COVID-19/
PPS Technology
Tech Support Centers
Beginning on Tuesday, April 6, students and families can seek support for all technology-based issues at their child’s school. Schools have been equipped with extra supplies of laptops and/or iPads and will support families and students with technical issues or equipment damage. 

All Tech Support Centers will be closed over the spring break holiday including the Southside location on Saturday, March 27, and Saturday, April 3.
PPS Pupil Transportation
Yellow Bus and PAT Transportation Details
Families whose students are returning as a part of support category 4 and 3 and require transportation can expect to receive their transportation mailers beginning next week. To learn about health and safety procedures while riding a yellow bus and the expectations and tips for Port Authority riders, review the Transportation FAQ
Port Authority has launched a new tool on their website call Room2Ride. Passengers can use this tool for trip planning purposes to see on average if their trip experiences high passenger counts. It is recommended that families map out several different Port Authority routes for students to utilize. Tools to assist with this can be found on Port Authority’s Webpage: Room2Ride, Schedule Finder, TrueTime, and Plan your Time
PPS Good News
Pittsburgh Westinghouse Mayoral Forum
Student leaders at Pittsburgh Westinghouse led and moderated a mayoral forum with the four candidates running for Mayor of the City of Pittsburgh earlier today. Robyn Arrington and Duane Cooper, both student-athletes and Pittsburgh Promise scholars, joined mayoral candidates, incumbent Mayor William Peduto, State Representative Edward Gainey, Former Police Officer Tony Moreno, and Community Member Will Parker, for a healthy discussion about local issues.
PBT Benefits

The Wolf Administration received approval to issue Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer (P-EBT)benefits to PA families. P-EBT provides nutritional resources to families who have lost access to free or reduced-price school meals due to school closures and/or virtual learning models. Families will receive money on a new white or existing green EBT card to help fill the school meals gap. Pennsylvania will distribute benefits to eligible families in three phases, as follows:

The first round of benefits will be distributed in late April or early May to the families of children eligible for P-EBT during the period of September 1, 2020, through November 30, 2020. The second round of benefits will be distributed in early June to the families of children eligible for P-EBT during the period of December 1, 2020, to February 28, 2021. The third round of benefits will be distributed in mid-July to the families of children eligible for P-EBT during the period of March 1, 2021, through May 31, 2021.
As a friendly reminder, Spring Break is next week, Monday, March 29 through Monday, April 6. All schools, grab-and-go locations, and technology support centers will be closed beginning this Saturday, March 26, 2021.
For more information about reopening schools, please visit: