Friday, January 2, 2009

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Annette Werner said...

According to Cate Reed, IB slots for both 6th and 9th grades are at capacity with 150 students each. As of December 19, there was a waitlist of at least 10 for each of these grades. Some general applications were also submitted after December 19.

The district will not be able to tell us the number of students who wrote in 9th grade IB as their first choice since that would require going back to the database and determining this information by hand. Similarly, no information will be available as to the number of students who wrote in 9th grade IB as their second or third choices.

Overall, looking at all grades and all programs, about 71% of applicants received their first choice, but the system does not calculate for example the percentage of applicants who put 9th grade sci tech as their first choice and received that choice through the lottery.

Anonymous said...
Found this on the PPS district web site when I went looking for a 2-hour delay. It would be nice to have ALL of the numbers. I like the 700 student number being thrown out there as the number of private school kids who are transferring to a magnet for next year. Of course, there is no mention of how many typically come into the system for high school from PUCS, Carlow, or from various Catholic schools that go to 8th grade. . . From the sounds of this article, the population in city schools will be going up. I will believe it when I see it in September.

Anonymous said...

WTAE's Sally Wiggins did a report last night on the PPS Title IX "self-audit." You can watch the video at this link:

What the story failed to address, is the fact that the majority of the PPS girls' teams are being coached by men who are coaching 1 or 2 other sports. The girls' sports give them extra money in their pocket for often times, minimal work. One can put all the money in the world into a sports program, but if you have an unqualified coach who doesn't have a vested interest in his/her team, the money is wasted. There is simply no accountability for coaches in the PPS. The 1.9 million spent on coaches is money wasted. Who loses? Our student-athletes, especially the girls, are the losers.

Anonymous said...

What is the role of the counseling office in a public city school?

I would guess that the counselors at most public schools are overworked, so how much help with college plans is reasonable to expect from the overworked counselors? In Pittsburgh, what is the role of the CAS facilitators in this process?

Kathy Fine said...

Anon 10:12, thought that you might find this interesting. This is the question that we asked regarding counseling and the PPS response:

Activity 1.6 (from PPS strategic plan):

Create a plan including activities and timelines for students and families to provide non-academic support form Promise readiness.

• Redefine the role and refocus work of counselors on Promise Readiness.
• Develop messaging on the Promise.
• Provide training to District school leaders and staff to serve as Promise messengers.
• Create Promise Monitoring Plans for students beginning Grade 6.

Question from PURE Reform on Activity 1.6:
How will this be done? Will there be more counselors hired? Will secretaries be hired to ease the counselors’ paperwork load?

The District is currently working to review and refine its current counselor model. At this time, the work is still in its early stages. It is too early to assess staff needs at this time.

The District is moving to an automated attendance system, which will considerably ease counselor duties so that more of their attention can be devoted to counseling students. In addition, the District is developing Pathways to the Promise—a system that will provide students with additional support and families with additional assurance their children’s progress is being reviewed and assistance provided.
Pathways to the Promise also will help counselors in connecting students to activities or interventions that can help them meet their individual goals and student achievement requirements.

The Pittsburgh Promise is a program designed to help students and families of the Pittsburgh Public Schools plan, prepare and pay for education beyond high school at an accredited post-secondary institution within the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. In test market surveys, the term Promise Ready had immediate brand recognition that linked The Pittsburgh Promise with the academic culture and
opportunities provided by the Pittsburgh Public Schools. The Pathways to the Promise is a district– wide commitment to build a culture and provide appropriate supports, intervention strategies and communications that will reinforce high expectations, promote aspirations for higher education, and ensure that students are Promise Ready and on track to be eligible for scholarships awarded through
The Pittsburgh Promise.

Pathways to the Promise is intended to help students prepare to meet the future and to dramatically change the educational trajectory of Pittsburgh Public School students. Our goal is to make sure all students are “Promise-Ready” and on course to graduate and take advantage of a Pittsburgh Promise scholarship. To support this goal, we are developing Pathways to the Promise, a program available at all schools to better monitor and communicate student progress at important learning transitions such as 3rd grade, 6th grade, and 9th grade:

􀂾 3rd Grade: We will do more to communicate reading progress and ways to provide support at home. This is a time when students should be transitioning from learning to read to reading to learn. It is essential for students to be able to read at grade level by the end of the 3rd grade so that they can read to learn in grades 4 and 5.
􀂾 6th Grade: This is a time when students are transitioning from concrete to abstract thinking and will benefit from more reminders about the importance of good behavior. We will share information about each student’s academic progress in reading and mathematics, as well as attendance and citizenship.

􀂾 9th Grade: We will do more to help students and families understand Grade Point Average (BPA) and attendance, both of which count towards Promise eligibility starting with the 9th grade year. 9th Grade Nation, a program that helps ease the transition between the middle grades and high school, will continue to expand and provide ways to keep students engaged and on course to graduate