Vaccinations for PPS staff, earlier start times for students on the horizon

by TyLisa C. Johnson, PublicSource

In a flurry of approvals on Wednesday, the Pittsburgh Public Schools board approved an agreement that will change school start and end times, and a resolution to require its staff to provide proof of vaccination or submit to weekly testing.

The board unanimously approved a resolution that directs the district solicitor and superintendent to enter talks with its bargaining units to push for mandatory staff vaccination. The approved resolution requires employees to provide proof of vaccination status “at a date to be determined” or submit to weekly testing. Masks will also be required for staff in district buildings.

The board also ratified a new collective bargaining agreement with the Pittsburgh Federation of Teacher that includes shifts to school start and end times, which the district claims will aid its ongoing transportation seat gap. Union members approved the tentative agreement on Monday. Nearly 88% of members who voted were in favor of the contract which will end June 30, 2024.

Parents have decried the push for earlier school start times in letters and statements to the school board, online petitions and in-person protests. District officials continued to push for the modifications because their student transportation plans to resume in-person learning five days a week relied on the changes.

Other notable board approvals:

The board approved changes to the feeder pattern for Pittsburgh Faison K-5 and Pittsburgh Lincoln PreK-5. The change expands the feeder pattern for Lincoln to include families who live closer to Lincoln but are currently part of Pittsburgh Faison.

TyLisa C. Johnson covers education for PublicSource. She can be reached at tylisa@publicsource.org or on Twitter at @tylisawrites.

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‘By the Book’ PGH K-12 Bulletins: Vaccinations for PPS staff, earlier start times for students on the horizon

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