‘By the Book’ PGH K-12 Bulletins: County announces new head of Department of Children Initiatives

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Welcome to "By The Book: PGH K-12 Bulletins," which provides updates on emerging and ever changing news in the Pittsburgh K-12 education landscape. With more than 40 school districts across Allegheny County, the Bulletins will update you on the region's latest education news, including close coverage of the Pittsburgh Public Schools, other Allegheny County school districts, the Pennsylvania Department of Education and other important agencies, which serve thousands of Pittsburgh families. Please check back frequently and email tylisa@publicsource.org with questions, tips or Bulletin ideas. Follow along on Twitter with the hashtag #PGHed for news updates on Pittsburgh education.

5/25/21: Allegheny County names first director of Department of Children Initiatives

A new Allegheny County director is tasked with better preparing children for success, especially in communities in which preschool and after-school programs have long fallen short.

Rebecca Mercatoris will be the first director of the fledgling Department of Children Initiatives, and will promptly start bringing county, state, federal and private dollars to early childhood education and out-of-school-time programs.

“All of Allegheny County’s children and families deserve comprehensive, equitable and high-quality early learning and out-of-school-time services if we are to continue to build our county’s reputation as a great place to live, work and raise children,” Mercatoris said at a press conference in the County Courthouse. Read more at Develop PGH Bulletins.

5/14/21: All students, five days a week this fall, district leaders say

All Pittsburgh Public Schools [PPS] students will have the option to return to buildings five days a week for classes this fall, District Superintendent Anthony Hamlet said in a briefing on Friday afternoon.

“Even as recommendations for masking and social distancing decrease we will not be making changes to our classrooms or COVID-19 protocols for the end of this current school year,” Hamlet said. “This is our goal but we will always be ready to pivot for the health and safety of our students and staff should the CDC, state guidelines require it.”

The district is collaborating with UPMC and Giant Eagle to host additional student vaccination clinics ahead of the fall.

TyLisa C. Johnson covers education for PublicSource. She can be reached at tylisa@publicsource.org.

March recap:

3/24/21: By May 3, all PPS students will return, district leaders say
3/19/21: No changes for PPS based on CDC guidance and more news on students’ return to schools

January recap:

1/20/21: Another in-person instruction delay on the table for PPS
1/5/21: 5 takeaways from PPS’ first address of 2021

December recap:

12/16/20: Pittsburgh Public passes 2021 budget without a tax increase. Here are 3 key takeaways.
12/15/20: For the 2021 Pittsburgh Public budget, a property tax hike is on the table
12/11/20: Advocates call out a lack of state special ed funding in PA as costs skyrocket
12/10/20: Q&A: A chance to change - One PA advocate on what PPS should fund instead of school police in 2021 budget
TyLisa C. Johnson covers education for PublicSource. She can be reached at tylisa@publicsource.org.

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