Office of Mayor William Peduto
Statement by Mayor William Peduto on New Pittsburgh Public Schools Superintendent
Mayor welcomes Dr. Anthony Hamlet and looks forward to further collaboration with School District on behalf of Pittsburgh's children

PITTSBURGH, PA (May 18, 2016) Mayor William Peduto released the following statement today upon the Pittsburgh Public Schools announcement that Dr. Anthony Hamlet is its candidate as new Superintendent:

“I’m excited that Dr. Hamlet will be bringing his years of expertise, leadership and commitment to the lives of children to Pittsburgh’s schools, and the greater community as well. I look forward to working with him and the PPS Board to further build upon the partnerships we have forged to support children and families throughout the city.

On behalf of the city residents we serve together I want to thank Board members for their hard work in finding a new schools leader, and their proven commitment to reaching out to parents citywide in informing their decision.

And I join so many others in once again thanking outgoing Superintendent Linda Lane for her many years of public service to our schoolchildren, and our City. As I’ve said before, Dr. Lane has long been my guide and inspiration as we’ve worked together to break down the walls between the City’s government and its public schools, and as we’ve learned to adopt a single focus on the ways we can make life better for Pittsburgh’s children.

My administration looks forward to further collaborating with the District and its new leadership. After I took office we worked with the District and Dr. Lane to come together and issue an Education Task Force report, emphasizing the importance of afterschool time, the increased need for school-city public safety coordination, and the achievement of financial savings through the sharing of municipal and school services.

This year we increased collaboration with our Bureau of Police and the District’s Department of Transportation as we enhance the role of our crossing guards. Internal coordination has significantly improved, with new integrated training with police recruits and mentorship training across the board. We have been working collaboratively to improve route safety for all children and youth, and are re-emphasizing mentoring and pedestrian safety work by our crossing guards.

In addition to studying route safety the City and the District continue to explore strategies to improve how youth are spending their time after school. This summer, along with Allegheny County and dozens of other partners, we launched Summer 16, our regional effort to get 16,000 youth involved in a summer learning opportunity. We have developed one location online for parents and caregivers to learn about summer activities. By collaborating with such local partners as Allegheny Partners for Out of School Time, Allies for Children and others, more of our region’s kids will be connected to expanded learning time in the summer.  

In 2014, we also issued an Executive Order creating a blue ribbon panel on early childhood education. With the help of Pittsburgh Public Schools and the Pittsburgh Association for the Education of Young Children, we issued 11 recommendations that supported making high quality early education available for all our city’s children.

The Department of Parks and Recreation is collaborating with local elementary schools to offer free swimming lessons to second graders. Since last year, the program has been piloted at nearly 20 elementary schools and is helping to increase water safety among children in their early years.

Additionally, we are working with the District to support stronger pathways between education and careers, such as the new joint effort to develop an Emergency Response Technology Program at Westinghouse High School. Representatives from our Public Safety Bureaus -- Fire, EMS and Police -- are advising students on the appropriate pathways and skillsets needed to be successful for careers in public service. The City is using its role as an employer to ensure youth that have an interest, and by completing the program being offered through PPS, they will have employment opportunities to serve right here within the City of Pittsburgh.

I look forward to further bolstering our shared commitments to quality early learning, sufficient out of school time activities, healthy and safe neighborhoods, and increased post-secondary success for all Pittsburgh youth. We have had many great opportunities to collaborate with the District, and are excited to have many more with the announcement of its new Superintendent.”

 

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