December Message from Superintendent

December 20, 2016

Greetings Students, Staff, and Parents,

Happy holidays to all members of the Pine-Richland community! The end of one calendar year and beginning of the next year provides an opportunity to reflect on the past and set goals for the future. We are fortunate to live and work in a community that values education and the learning process. Public education works when everyone contributes to success…students, staff, parents, and community.

Although it was not a New Year’s resolution, I recently went through the process of cleaning out my closet. It was that semi-annual process (cleaning the closet) that led to the following picture:

T-Shirt Quilt

While your first thought may be…wow…that is a lot of t-shirts…a closer look reveals much about the Pine-Richland School District and community. We have PRIDE. The “D” stands for Diverse Opportunities and is reflected in this picture. Select examples include:

  • “As One We Run” for the High School Peer-to-Peer Color Run

  •   “Camp Invention” as a Summer Program for Elementary Students

  • “The Pieces Come Together” for Autism Awareness at EHUE

  • “Proud to be PR” from the Pine-Richland Opportunities Fund (PROF)

The list goes on and on. The Pine-Richland Mini-Thon raised money for pediatric cancer research through the Four Diamonds Fund. The Marching Band t-shirt from 2014 – 2015 was worn with pride by one of the best high school bands in Pennsylvania. We have a series of t-shirts for our athletic teams…teams that have earned recognition “on and off the field.” The U.S. Air Force JROTC t-shirt was available at a past drill competition where PRSD hosted many schools. This is just a sample of the diverse opportunities connected to our school district and the emphasis on service that happens throughout the entire community.

At this time of year, I would also like to celebrate several other examples of service and community spirit:

  • Wexford Elementary School Read-to-Feed Program - Students, under the direction of the PTO, were able to help 1,730 families enjoy a Thanksgiving Day meal in the annual read-a-thon, which benefits the KDKA Turkey Fund, by raising $12,986 which was matched by PNC Bank for a total of $25,972 given to the Greater Pittsburgh Food Bank.

  • Richland Elementary School Gift of Time Fundraiser - Staff and students helped the Richland Elementary PTO raise money through the Gift of Time fundraiser. Teachers and staff members volunteered their time to work with students before or after school on different activities from cooking to painting. Some sessions included Pizza & Apps with the Principal, Egg-cellent Engineers and Canvas & Cookies. Students were able to purchase raffle tickets to win one of many of these types of sessions with staff members. It was a great way for students and staff members to bond, build new connections and to learn more about a particular hobby, while raising money for the PTO. In all, $2,200 was raised. 

  • Stuff-a-Bus Toy Collection – Hance Elementary School, Eden Hall Upper Elementary School and Pine-Richland Middle School joined the other two elementary schools and Pine-Richland High School in the Stuff-A-Bus program. High school students and sponsors oversaw the project and were able to collect toys that were stuffed into six buses and delivered to organizers of the Toys for Tots annual fundraiser. Student Transportation of America, the district’s bus provider, generously donated the use of six buses.

  • The Pine-Richland Education Support Professionals Association wanted to thank the community for helping them collect cash donations prior to the football games for veterans with disabilities. PRESPA representatives indicated that the school employee group was able to collect $570 for the Disabled American Veterans organization.

As a final note for this winter season, I wanted to share a reminder of our process for monitoring weather that can impact the school schedule. While this information is available on our website, I wanted to share the thought process and factors that guide our decisions. For cold weather, we utilize the threshold of -10° to call a delay. We monitor the posted wind chill values to make this determination and usually wait until early morning to make a final decision since a few degrees can affect the choice. This temperature is also associated with wind chill advisories. When snow is forecasted or falling, we work directly with our transportation provider, PennDOT representatives, and members of the Northern Regional Police Department to evaluate road conditions and determine whether a delay or cancellation is warranted.

Thank you again for your support of the Pine-Richland School District. Happy Holidays to you and your families!  

Brian Miller
PRSD Superintendent