PPS Superintendent Announces Proposed School Year Modifications


Pittsburgh Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Wayne Walters. Photo Credit: 90.5 WESA

Pittsburgh Public Schools Superintendent, Dr. Wayne Walters, announced Friday to the students, families and staff that there would be proposed changes to the 2023-2024 academic schedule. Schools would have a 1-hour delay to classes on Wednesdays to allow for “weekly professional learning” for teachers and staff.

The superintendent’s letter says:

“Professional learning results in equitable and excellent outcomes for all students when educators are provided access to learning opportunities, engage in continuous improvement, and sustain a culture of support for all staff.”

Schools hold most professional development for staff after students leave on half days, according to the PPS calendar.

“Beginning the 2023-2024 school year, all Pittsburgh Public Schools will have a one-hour delayed start every Wednesday to allow time for teachers and staff to engage in weekly professional learning. This professional learning model has been used successfully at Pittsburgh Sci-Tech since 2009 to provide structures that support teacher collaboration, shared responsibility for improving the outcomes of all students, and professional learning that connects to each student’s opportunity to access rigorous learning,” the superintendent says.

Beatrice Kuhn, Allderdice Junior, says “I think having a later start time on Wednesdays would be a good refresher for students in the middle of the week. I also think having a 2-day spring break is upsetting but it may be worth it to get out earlier for summer.”

Eli Rosenberg, Allderdice Junior, says “I think keeping the half days would be better than switching to starting Wednesday a bit later because half days are pretty liked by most people. I think for the most part not many changes are needed.”

Kylie Roberts, Sci-Tech Sophomore, said that “the statement sent home for families, is not reflective of what SciTech does.  Every Wednesday, SciTech dismisses students an hour earlier than our normal dismissal time. We have shortened class periods and are dismissed at 1:15 PM rather than 2:15 PM.”

Sophia Hadi, Sophomore Class Vice President, says “I believe these changes when implemented will allow PPS students to have a better experience with their education.  I am looking forward to seeing these alterations be put in place.”

Bryce Lowden, an Allderdice Junior, says “as a student who doesn’t have access to school buses, I rely on my parents’ work schedules to align with school start times. The 1 hour delay change would make it difficult for my parents to drive me to school.”  He adds that he believes most of his teachers would not be “too thrilled” about professional development changes.  

He also told The Foreword, “I think spring break should remain 5 days.”

The District is seeking input from the public on two 2023-24 Spring Break options.  According to the PPS vote, they are asking the public to vote on:

  • “Option 1 includes a full five-day Spring Break Monday, March 25 – Friday, March 29, 2024. The last day of school is Wednesday, June 12, 2024. 
  • Option 2 includes a two-day modified Spring Break Friday, March 29-Monday, April 1, 2024. The last day of school is Friday, June 7, 2024.”

The PPS Board of Directors will convene on March 22 to vote on the Superintendent’s proposal during their monthly legislative meeting.


The Superintendent has since reversed his decision, making it public by letter on March 15.