Developing a culture of literacy and improving literacy instruction and learning across the content areas must be our number one priority.  This culture of literacy is to permeate the district, our families and inclusively, the engagement of the community of Wilkinsburg.

In May 2012, Wilkinsburg School District was awarded $886,696 for the district’s KTO Comprehensive Literacy Initiative at the elementary and middle school levels. Forty percent (59) of the KTO applicants out of 146 were we invited to submit a full application. Fifty-nine (40%) of 146 proposals were awarded a grant; some districts’ requests were greatly were reduced. WSD was one of 18% of all districts receiving an award and one of 27% (39 districts) receiving full grant awards. WSD ranked 9th out of 44 district requests in it grant category of enrollments up to 5000 with a grant cap amount of $1M maximum placing us in the 81st percentile. WSD was the 14th highest in all grants, including those capped at $2M. Pittsburgh Public Schools received the largest amount: $1,983,014, placing WSD in the 77th percentile overall.

WSD’s Literacy Initiative aims for students to:
  1. Learn to Read by the end of grade 2
  2. Read in grade 3 and
  3. Read to learn in grades 4-8.

The grant will enable the district to introduce and grow a culture of literacy via transitions (especially listening and speaking), reading, discussing and writing about respect, leadership, learning behaviors, how to study and learn, choosing and doing the right thing and school spirit in the buildings. It will strengthen teachers’ instructional practices and deepen their content knowledge through intense professional development and engagement in professional learning communities. It will also increase their effective understanding and use of data to guide their instructional decisions and verbal and written feedback to each student.

The district will focus on building a data culture and aggressive intervention and progress-monitoring system that is articulated in and across all grades and facilitated by technology.  Reading intervention will be provided for struggling readers in Pre-K–2 via Fountas Pinnell and grades 3-6 via SpellRead and reading interventionist; and continuing reading intervention in the Middle School via Language! with the added support of the content area interventionist.  Grades 4-8 will focus on non-fiction and academic reading, comprehension, writing and speaking in science and social studies.

In the district’s process to improve students’ literacy learning and achievement, proficient and advanced readers will be challenged to broaden, deepen and apply their learnings from reading and discussing advanced selections across all content areas. As students advance through the initiative’s targets, they will be equipped to transition to the high school prepared to expand their knowledge and information base reading interesting, complex and advanced nonfiction selections in all genres across all content areas to develop their own theories of understanding through advanced research, writings and presentations to hone their higher-level thinking skills and craft personal and convincing deliveries.

Pre-K Students Embracing Holiday Spirit Make Cards for Woods Services

Responding to a request for Christmas cards, Ms. Kalo’s pre-kindergarten class at Kelly Elementary School made Christmas trees and cards for the great people at Woods Services in Philadelphia. Woods Services is a leading advocacy and service organization for people with exceptional challenges, disabilities, and complex needs, and strives to help these individuals achieve their […]

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New Coats for District K-2nd Graders from Pittsburgh Firefighters & Operation Warm

Before Thanksgiving break, Pittsburgh firefighters and Operation Warm gave free winter coats and scarves to all the kindergarten, 1st and 2nd grade students at Kelly and Turner Elementary Schools. The students love wearing their new winter gear and thank you for your generosity!

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Turner Elementary November Student of the Month Awardees

Congrats to the Turner Elementary students who earned the November Student of the Month distinction! These students were recognized by their teachers for outstanding attendance, academics and behavior.

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December/January Issue of the Wilkinsburg Sun

Check out the school district page in the December/January issue of the Wilkinsburg Sun. In a letter to the community, Superintendent Dr. Linda Iverson talks about 2017 PSSA scores. Assistant to the Superintendent Dr. Cathleen Cubelic also receives a well deserved shout out for the award she won from the Pennsylvania Association for Supervision and Curriculum […]

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Learning Walks for Pittsburgh Westinghouse Academy’s Transition Team

At the beginning of November, the transition team from Pittsburgh Westinghouse Academy visited Kelly and Turner Elementary for Learning Walks at each school, which were designed to open the doors to dialogue and early interaction. During this visit, we shared data from our standardized assessments and presented an overview of curriculum, including areas of focus, […]

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Kelly Elementary’s November Student of the Month Winners

Congrats to our November Student of the Month Winners!

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Photos from Turner’s “Adopt-A-School” Program Assembly

Earlier this month, our friends from The Education Partnership and Upper St. Clair Schools gave “Power Tools Homework Kits” to our students during the annual “Adopt-A-School” program assembly. Each kit was filled with school supplies for students to take home with them, including notebooks, pencils, crayons and glue. These kits equip our students with the tools […]

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Schoolwide Toy Drive Gives Back to Beverly’s Birthdays

As a way of saying thank you, students and parents from Kelly Elementary School donated toys to Beverly’s Birthdays to help other children in our community and surrounding areas. The toy drive ran from October 16 to November 20. Beverly’s Birthdays provides teachers from Kelly and Turner with many wonderful resources to celebrate our students’ birthdays. Each […]

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Using “Number Sense” Students Find Unique Ways to Solve Thanksgiving Themed Math Problem

Using “Number Sense,” fifth grade students collaborate with their classmates to determine how to evenly distribute the cost of Thanksgiving groceries between four friends. Students then drew pictures and wrote out explanations of their reasoning to show how they solved the problem. The variety of strategies the students used was fascinating!

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Grable Foundation & OnHand Schools Visit Kelly Elementary to See Kandoolu Program in Action

Today, trustees from the Grable Foundation and representatives from OnHand Schools joined Superintendent Dr. Linda Iverson and Assistant to the Superintendent Dr. Cathleen Cubelic in Ms. Polosky’s fifth grade classroom at Kelly Elementary School to see the Kandoolu program in action. Kandoolu, a real-time formative assessment tool that gives immediate feedback on student understanding and suggests resources […]

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