After A Year Of Challenges, Pittsburgh Public Schools Looks Forward To Return To Normal

The year was filled with ups and downs, especially for school districts with teachers and students balancing the constant changes from online learning to in-person. As the school year winds down, KDKA's Nicole Ford looks back on what Pittsburgh Public Schools has learned.

Video Transcript

- New at 5:00, the year was filled with ups and downs, especially for school districts, teachers, and students balancing the constant changes from online learning to in-person. As the school year winds down, Nicole Ford is looking back at what Pittsburgh Public has learned. Nicole.

NICOLE FORD: Kim, the last day of school for Pittsburgh Public students and staff is next Friday. That's just one more week before we can put the 2020, 2021 school year in the rearview mirror, but it's a year that will never be forgotten.

The last school year is best defined for most districts as a roller coaster.

ANTHONY HAMLET: Of course, there was no playbook on a pandemic, at least in the United States.

NICOLE FORD: But Pittsburgh Public School Superintendent Dr. Anthony Hamlet says, the district has learned a lot from this pandemic.

ANTHONY HAMLET: We learned that our community, our organization, Pittsburgh public schools, our students, our teachers, our faculty and staff, our personnel are highly resilient.

NICOLE FORD: Moving forward, he tells me the district is set up to provide more opportunities.

ANTHONY HAMLET: We're finding ways that now we can provide additional professional development to large numbers of staff based on what we've had to do over Zoom. And so bringing Zoom as a regular tool in the workplace.

NICOLE FORD: The biggest win, though, took time, but eventually, the district became one-to-one with Chromebooks.

ANTHONY HAMLET: Really bridging that digital divide, and even so now making sure that our faculty, and staff, and our students are actually trained to continue to use this technology that we provided.

NICOLE FORD: The year was complete with transportation challenges, changing start dates, and adaptions to new technology. Hamlet says, he's looking forward to the fall and new beginnings.

ANTHONY HAMLET: Best place for our students to learn is in school in front of our teachers, and we want to make sure that it happens.

NICOLE FORD: Once the school year is over, the district will turn its attention to summer programs and how they can best help those students during the off-months before gearing up for a return to full in-person classes five days a week in the fall. Reporting live on the South Side, Nicole Ford, KDKA News.