January Message from Superintendent

Message from Superintendent
January 31, 2018

Greetings to Pine-Richland Students, Parents and Community,

The start of 2018 has brought a number of challenges to our daily routine. Whether it was weather, school safety, and/or facility-related concerns, we had plenty of opportunity to demonstrate resiliency as a staff and school community. Resiliency is one of the PRIDE values that connects to our mission and vision. When these matters emerge, it is our goal to communicate in an accurate and timely manner with our students, staff, and families. We appreciate the teamwork and support of so many people. For example, the Sodexo food service staff was able to accommodate over 700 middle school students for lunch at the high school during the evacuation. Although the teamwork is valued, we look forward to getting back into a routine.

We are already beginning the third week of the second semester. At each quarter of the year, we provide an update of key strategic initiatives for 2017 - 2018. Beginning with our summer communications and kick-off meeting, these initiatives have the greatest potential impact on the delivery of educational programs at PR. Please visit the following PRSD website link to read a mid-year update.

We often receive questions about the school calendar and required make-up days. No decision has been made about the use of make-up days at this time. Since the state-required number of student days is 180, we will wait a bit longer before making a determination about the use of make-up days. If needed, those built-in days are identified as March 29th, April 2nd, and  April 27th. A future communication would identify the specific schedule for students and staff. That decision will be impacted by the potential need and/or timing of weather-related cancellations in the next few weeks/months. More recently, we have reached out to the Pennsylvania Department of Education regarding the middle school and high school closures. We will share more information when it is known.  

There continues to be a variety of school districts in Western Pennsylvania that are examining start times for their high schools. At Pine-Richland, a small committee comprised of district administrators, building administrators, and transportation company representatives was formed last fall. The group is currently conducting an evaluation of the option to shift all schedules later in the morning. The impact on bus routes and private/parochial transportation is being studied. The group is also evaluating the impact on afterschool activities and athletics. There is no timetable for this work. When the committee feels confident in the accuracy of the "shift all schedules later" option, an opportunity for input - via Town Hall or other feedback mechanism - will be determined. The information available via this link was shared at the last board meeting.

Thank you again for your commitment and support of the Pine-Richland School District.

Brian Miller