Hiring a new school Superintendent and establishing the vision for public schools is the job of the Pittsburgh Board of Public Education. Carrick elects a board member to District 7.
The Superintendent implements the board’s vision for Pittsburgh Public Schools, which makes hiring a new Superintendent a crucial decision.
The board approves personnel, adopts a budget that decides what resources will be provided to which students, approves textbooks and what students will study, sets the school year calendar, negotiates contracts, and decides when schools will be built or closed.
Board decisions have to comply with state and federal laws. Their meetings are open to the public.
The Pittsburgh Board of Public Education consists of nine elected members. Each school board member represents a geographic region of the city.
The schools covered by District 7 include Pittsburgh Roosevelt PreK-5, Pittsburgh Concord K-5 and Pittsburgh Carrick High School, along with Pittsburgh Arlington PreK-8, Pittsburgh Phillips K-5 and Pittsburgh Online Academy.
Following the 2021 general election on November 2, a new board member will take the District 7 seat following the exit of board member Cynthia Falls, a retired teacher and vocational instructor who didn’t run for reelection. She is board’s representative to the Pennsylvania School Boards Association and is active with the Parent School Community Council.
Jamie Piotrowski, a social worker, is unopposed in the general election in District 7 after winning a primary election in the spring. “My biggest priority is still to ensure equity for our students,” Piotrowski told TribLive.
The U.S. Department of Education defines equity as equity of opportunity:
free, quality preschool; high, challenging standards and engaging teaching and leadership in a safe, supportive, and well-resourced school
The other school board district that includes South Pittsburgh is District 6, which includes Brookline, part of Overbrook, Beechview, Banksville, Duquesne Heights, Mt. Washington, Westwood and East Carnegie. Schools that Carrick children may attend that are located in District 6 include Pittsburgh South Brook 6-8 and the Pittsburgh Carmalt PreK-8 magnet school.
The Pittsburgh Board of Public Education also oversees the Pittsburgh-Mt. Oliver Intermediate Unit (IU). The IU provides programs to charter schools, non-public schools and private schools. It administers special education services. It acts as a liaison between Pittsburgh Public Schools and state and federal agencies.
Board Members are elected to four-year terms. They serve without pay. They set policies that affect school children.