Finding the best school district in or around Pittsburgh can result in information overload. Test scores, graduation rates, extracurriculars, school budgets and much more is all out there for analysis. But who has the time to research every district in Western Pennsylvania?
This article makes that process a lot easier. We set out to determine the best school district in Pittsburgh by asking the residents of the communities themselves. Who better, right?
Which District Is the Best?
We polled nearly 1,500 people from Greater Pittsburgh and asked superintendents from every school district in Allegheny County. Survey results are illustrated in the graphic and superintendent comments are available below it. Do you agree? Come back next year to cast your vote!
1. Hampton Township School District
Hampton Township School District benefits from a highly motivated and very involved community. Community service is a graduation requirement and numerous after-school clubs encourage additional types of involvement. The District is continuously looking at ways to maintain and improve its community-centered culture of learning given that its primary mission is to work collaboratively with the community in support of every child becoming creative and innovative problem-solvers and communicators. Our students’ success is evidenced by the Pittsburgh Business Times annual recognition of the School District as one of the top 10 districts in the Commonwealth of PA. The District maintains high expectations by furthering our Tradition of Excellence as our students develop the knowledge, character and integrity to impact the world.
2. Allegheny Valley School District
The Allegheny Valley School District is focused on innovative programs to personalize learning for 1,000 students led by a quality staff in partnership with parents, the community and beyond. Critical thinking skills, teamwork and project-based activities ground planning and instruction in desirable learning environments to challenge and prepare students for success. The District continues to achieve a higher ‘rank’ in the annual Pittsburgh Business Times study of regional school districts and is proud of the curricular/extra-curricular opportunities available for all students.
3. Pine-Richland School District
Pine-Richland School District is THE place to be. The district’s mission is to provide a strong academic foundation, which challenges students to realize their fullest potential and encourages them to become engaged, thoughtful citizens. Pine-Richland School District is a community where learning is challenging, people are inspiring and students are enriched by their experience. The district has an outstanding program with many offerings across the board – from its music and arts program to its strong academic program, which boasts a Science Technology Engineering, Arts & Mathematics initiative. Facilities include a recently renovated and expanded high school, an upper elementary building that is fairly new and outstanding athletic facilities. The district’s six schools are nestled among a rural-like setting. In addition, PR students participate in a variety of activities including service-oriented programs that capture the giving nature of the entire community.
4. Moon Area School District
Moon Area School District utilizes state-of-the-art technologies to foster student learning and support program development. The district’s staff members are committed to helping all students reach their full potential for success. Moon Area students consistently perform above state and national averages on standardized testing. Course offerings at each grade level reflect a broad scope of opportunities for students to attain a well-rounded education that focuses on critical thinking and problem-solving skills. The district recognizes that student interaction in activities during and after school hours teaches valuable lessons not available in the classroom, including a wide variety of academic, co-curricular and extra-curricular options in musical and athletic endeavors at all levels.
5. Bethel Park School District
The Bethel Park School district places a high value on each and every one of its students, making it a great place to educate children. Bethel Park is a community where generations of families return to raise their children. The District is dedicated to preparing students for their futures with outstanding opportunities in academics, arts, activities and athletics. The rigorous and diverse curriculum provides specialized opportunities to meet the needs of every 21st century learner through caring teachers and cutting-edge technologies, to support the dreams and goals of every child.
Are the Favorite Districts in Favorite Neighborhoods?
In October 2013, Heartland surveyed people from around the city to learn which suburb was best for families. Learn more by following the link above to see the survey results.
Meet the School Districts around Pittsburgh
The Avonworth School District has established a reputation for providing excellent educational opportunities for its students and ensuring their needs come first. We take a project-based learning approach to instruction, creating hands-on experiences for our students, putting theory into practice with the help of community partners. Our teachers and staff are dedicated and highly skilled professionals who work toward “unlocking the unique genius” of each student.
The Baldwin-Whitehall School District is located south of the city and serves Whitehall and Baldwin.
Brentwood Borough School District
The Brentwood Borough School District is a quaint district that serves Brentwood, south of Pittsburgh.
In partnership with community, the Carlynton School District cultivates a spirit of pride and excellence through academics and creativity. Small class sizes allow for a personal approach to instruction within a safe, secure environment. A challenging curriculum encourages all students to achieve and excel as independent thinkers and life-long learners, while offering each the support, motivation and confidence to do so with success.
Chartiers Valley School District
The Chartiers Valley School District serves Bridgeville, Collier and Scott Township.
Clairton City School District
Clairton School District serves the Clairton community south of Pittsburgh along the Monongahela River.
Cornell School District
Cornell School District is located along the Ohio River west of the city and serves Coraopolis.
The Deer Lakes School District is located north of Pittsburgh between 76, Route 28 and 8.
Duquesne City School District
The Duquesne City School District serves Duquesne, tucked in between West Mifflin and the Monongahela River.
The East Allegheny School District is located across the river from the Duquesne City School District and serves North Versailles Township.
Elizabeth Forward School District
The Elizabeth Forward School District serves, as you migh suspect, Elizabeth and Forward Township south of city.
Fort Cherry School District serves a large semi-rural community west of Pittsburgh.
Fox Chapel Area School District
Fox Chapel Area School District is located northeast of the city and serves Fox Chapel and Aspinwall.
The Gateway School District is located west of the city in Monroeville.
The Highlands School District serves about 3,000 students northeast of the city.
The Keystone Oaks School District is committed to providing all students with a well-rounded and relevant educational experience that will enable them to be successful in future endeavors. In 2013, US News & World Reports ranked Keystone Oaks High school amongst the top 10% of the high schools in the country, amongst the top 10% in Pennsylvania, and ninth in Allegheny County. At all levels throughout the District, a broad array of extra-curricular and athletic opportunities is provided to the students. The partnership that the District shares with the home and greater community in providing a safe, nurturing environment is vital to the success of all students. The District strives to remain current and competitive in every aspect in the changing and competitive local, national, and global marketplace. To do this, the District measures success by assuring that the community witnesses the District being managed based on sound, best-practice models, both operationally and educationally, so as to maximize every tax dollar.
The McKeesport Area School District serves McKeesport and several surrounding communities with six schools.
Montour School District
Montour has the highest PSSA scores out of surrounding school districts and the third lowest millage rate in Allegheny County. Montour’s mission is to provide an exemplary and comprehensive educational experience that enables each individual to achieve maximum potential, to respect themselves and others, and to become a responsible and productive citizen. The District maintains a tradition of providing students with a superior educational experience. Our students are consistently recognized for their academic, musical, and athletic achievements and our programs ensure that students receive the academic and social challenges necessary to succeed.
Mount Lebanon School District
Mt. Lebanon School District is a k-12 district that serves roughly 5,000 students.
North Allegheny School District is a large district north of the city that serves Marshall, McCandless and surrounding communities.
North Hills School District
The North Hills School District is, as the name suggests, north of Pittsburgh and serves residents of Ross Township.
Northgate School District
Northgate School District is situated along the Ohio River and serves Avalon and Bellevue.
The Penn Hills School District serves Penn Hills and surrounding communities.
Penn Trafford School District
The Penn-Trafford School District is on the boundary of Allegheny and Westmoreland County east of the city.
Pittsburgh Public Schools
Pittsburgh Public Schools is the largest district in Pittsburgh, serving the East End, North Side, South Side and portions of the South Hills.
Plum Borough School District
The Plum Borough School District has seven schools for Plum area residents.
The Quaker Valley School District is on the Ohio River west of the city and serves Sewickley and neighboring townships.
The Riverview School District is Oakmont‘s district, located northeast of downtown Pittsburgh.
Shaler Area School District is located north of downtown Pittsburgh, nestled between 279, Route 8 and 28.
South Allegheny School District
South Allegheny School District serves communities between the Monongahela and Youghiogheny River south of McKeesport..
South Fayette Township School District
The South Fayette Township School District has four schools in South Fayeet Township.
South Park School District
South Park School District has about 2,000 students in South Park, PA.
Steel Valley School District
Steel Valley School District serves Munhall and Homestead east of the city along the Monongahela River.
Sto-Rox School District
The Sto-Rox School District is located along the Ohio River west of the city, providing schooling to residents of Stowe Township and McKees Rocks. .
The Upper St. Clair School District has six schools in Upper St. Clair.
The West Allegheny School District has five schools and is located west of Pittsburgh (and Moon).
At West Jefferson Hills School District, we hold the success of our students above all other things. Our goals are the same for each and every student; to prepare them for their life beyond school. With a 14:1 student-to-teacher ratio, West Jefferson Hills School District prides itself on giving each student the focus he or she needs to succeed. This shows in the district’s testing scores, which are ranked as the 15th best in the region by the Pittsburgh Business Times. Furthermore, West Jefferson Hills School District promotes the values of communication between the district and families in order to maximize a child’s learning experience. Through the usage of the district’s website, Connect5, Twitter and Facebook, we aim to facilitate dialogue between administrators and parents. The above supports the board’s motto that students come first.”
West Mifflin Area School District
West Mifflin Area School District is a k-12 district with about 3,000 students in West Mifflin, PA.
Wilkinsburg Borough School District
The Wilkinsburg School District serves Wilkinsburg (just east of Pittsburgh city limits) with four schools.
Woodland Hills School District
Woodland Hills School District serves several communities east of the city, including Edgewood, Swissvale, Churchill and Braddock.