TO: Prospective Home Buyers
FROM: Dr. Gene Freeman, Superintendent
Welcome to Pittsburgh! I am certain that you will find the Pittsburgh area to be an attractive place in which to reside and raise a family. Among its many assets, Western Pennsylvania is fortunate to have fine school systems. For families with school-age children, this is an important consideration. As you examine the various communities in our area I encourage you to consider the Fox Chapel Area School District.
The enclosed information contains statistics about our educational programs and the achievement of our students and staff. Some facts are:
• The district is approximately a 20-minute drive from Oakland, Pittsburgh’s university and cultural center.
• The district is approximately a 25-minute drive from downtown Pittsburgh.
• The Regional Industrial Development Corporation (RIDC) Park is located in our district. Also nearby is the University of Pittsburgh Applied Research Center (U-PARC) which is an incubator for high-tech industries and adjoins our school district on its northeastern border.
• The school district real estate millage, which is now at 19.3429 mills, is among the lower millage rates in Allegheny County. The millage rate is the same for all six municipalities which comprise our district.
• A full range of pupil support personnel are available including school psychologists, school counselors, special education teachers, and teachers of the gifted.
• A total of 321 students graduated in the class of 2017, and 89.5 percent of the class is enrolled in some form of continuing education.
• Computer laboratories exist at all schools and computer-related activities are integrated at all grade levels (kindergarten-grade 12). Additionally, all students participate in a computer science curriculum which includes coding and programming. The district has also formed various educational technology and research partnerships with institutions of higher learning and local entrepreneurs and businesses.
• High school renovations were completed in 2016 and the building has a new swimming pool/natatorium and an upgraded library/media center, auditorium, cafeteria, and commons area. The high school includes state-of-the-art computer, science, digital art, technology, and music labs. The middle school is currently undergoing some renovations. Two of our elementary schools (Fairview and O’Hara) are slated for renovations over the next year and Kerr Elementary will be completely rebuilt, slated to open in the fall of 2019. The middle school and all four elementary schools also underwent major addition and renovation work in the 1990s.
• The Fox Chapel Area School District offers a great number of interscholastic athletic activities. Additionally, intramural athletics exist in the elementary schools, middle school, and high school and the community supports a wide range of youth sports activities.
• The district has received both national and state recognitions. The Pennsylvania and United States departments of education have recognized individual buildings and programs through their school recognition programs. All six of our schools have been named National Blue Ribbon Schools and two of our schools, Fox Chapel Area High School and Fairview Elementary School, received the designation twice. In 2016, the district was one of only 19 new school districts nationwide accepted into Digital Promise’s League of Innovative Schools. The district also consistently receives an “A+ Overall Niche Grade” on niche.com and is ranked among the top 50 school districts in the nation. The district was also named among the “Best Communities for Music Education” for the past several years. In 2017, the district was honored by the College Board with placement on the 7th Annual AP® District Honor Roll, a distinction for districts that show significant gains in student access and success on Advanced Placement courses and tests. The high school was recognized for Programs of Distinction in Visual Arts in 2015 and received Exemplary Educational Program Credentials in music and school counseling in 2012 from the Middle States Association Commissions on Elementary and Secondary Schools. Dorseyville Middle School was named a 2013 and a 2010 Pennsylvania Don Eichhorn Schools: Schools to Watch school. Additionally, Fox Chapel Area High School has been awarded Silver Medal rankings by U.S.News & World Report over the past decade and is consistently ranked among the nation’s top high schools by Newsweek. The high school is also ranked among the top 200 high schools in the nation and received an “A+ Overall Niche Grade” on niche.com. The school was also named among the 2017 Washington Post’s America’s Most Challenging High Schools. Other commendations have recognized district programs and individuals, including the 2017 Carson Scholars Fund Power of Excellence Award, the 2017 Carnegie Science Center’s Elementary Educator Award, the 2015 Pennsylvania Teacher of the Year, the 2013 Outstanding Superintendent Award from the Pennsylvania Music Educators Association (PMEA), the 2012 PMEA District 1 Citation of Excellence, the 2011 Assistant Principal of the Year, the Yale Distinguished Music Educator Award, a Disney Teacher Award, the Pennsylvania Elementary Teacher of the Year, the Pennsylvania Teacher of the Year, Outstanding Secondary Art Educator of the Year, the Environmental Education Teacher of the Year, the Pennsylvania Elementary Counselor of the Year, the Pennsylvania Outstanding Middle School Counselor of the Year, and finalists for the Pennsylvania Teacher of the Year Award.
If you have any further questions regarding our school, contact the school district at 412/967-2410. Good luck in your relocation effort!