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Duquesne City School District


January 12, 2018


Duquesne Elementary School

- an Excellent School


The most important aspect of quality education at Duquesne Elementary School is its caring, dedicated and skilled teachers and staff members. These committed people are involved with many good things that are going on at DES in regard to curriculum, instruction, programs, services and student achievement. All together, these good things make DES a truly excellent school. Read on!




-          Pre-kindergarten, kindergarten and grades 1 through 6

o   181 school days

o   Full day pre-k and kindergarten

-          Pennsylvania Core Standards

-          Pennsylvania Instructional Frameworks

-          Pennsylvania Standards Aligned System

-          Curricular materials

o   English Language Arts (ELA): Journeys

o   Mathematics: Go Math

o   Science, grades 3 through 6: Boiler Room, a science, technology, engineering, arts and math (STEAM) classroom

o   Science, pre-k through 2: Creation Station, a STEAM classroom

o   Social Studies: embedded in Journeys series

o   Social and Emotional: Second Step Early Learning

-          Special Education

o   Speech and Language

o   Learning Support

o   Emotional Support

o   Autistic Support

o   Life Skills

o   Transition to school age services

o   Transition to secondary school

o   Occupational therapy, physical therapy and adaptive physical education through the Allegheny Intermediate Unit (AIU)

-          Gifted and Talented Education

-          Related Arts

o   Music

o   Art

o   Library and Media

o   Physical Education

-          English as a Second Language instruction

-          Technology

o   21st century classrooms

§  A high definition projector and an interactive white board in every classroom

§  A student iPad for every student

§  A MAC Book and an iPad with Apple TV for every teacher

§  Kindle Fire tablets in pre-k, kindergarten and grade 1

o   One installed iMAC computer lab

o   Two 3-D printer-scanners

o   One classroom set of virtual reality devices

-          Duquesne Media Center (formerly known as the School Library)

o   Library and media instruction

o   Circulation of books with take home privileges

o   State of the art library software

o   iMac work station

o   Student gaming devices

o   Designated a Common Sense Media Library

o   Supplemented by a Carnegie Branch Library, on the school premises

-           Regular field trips

o   Educational and fun

o   Pre-k through sixth grade

o   Virtual field trips




-          Small class size

o   Average number of students per class

§  Pre-kindergarten: 15

§  Kindergarten: 15

§  Grade 1: 17

§  Grade 2: 16

§  Grade 3: 20

§  Grade 4: 20

§  Grade 5: 19

§  Grade 6: 23

§  All classes: 18

-          Instructional staffing

o   39 professional staff (which includes teachers, instructional coaches, guidance counselor, psychologist and school nurse)

§  All fully certified by the Pennsylvania Department of Education

§  All appropriately assigned in regard to certification

§  63% have advanced degrees

§  Student to teacher ratio: 9 to 1

o   18 para-educator staff members who assist classroom teachers

o   4 personal care assistants who help students with special needs

-          Planning for educational improvement

o   School Level Comprehensive Plan emphasizing:

§  Appropriate use of academic data

§  Standards aligned curriculum

§  Effective instruction

§  Instructional leadership

§  Safe school environment

o   School Level Improvement Plan, addresses federal programs and grants

o   Cyclical Monitoring for Continuous Improvement (CMCI) for special education

o   Special Education Plan, embedded in the District Level Comprehensive Plan

o   District Level Comprehensive Plan, which supports and coordinates the above educational plans

-          Collaborative implementation of plans by the Steering Committee

o   Leads and coordinates curriculum renewal

o   Assists and mentors teachers on curriculum and instruction

o   Contributes to professional development for teachers

o   Made up of four Instructional Coaches, Principal, Assistant Principal, Special Education Consultant and Superintendent

-          Ensuring accountability with the Pennsylvania Educator Effectiveness Evaluation process

o   Principal

o   Assistant Principal

o   All teachers

o   School Psychologist

o   School Counselor

o   School Nurse

-          Helping teachers build professional capacity

o   Professionally embedded learning

o   Four full time instructional coaches

o   External support

§  Special Education Consultant

§  Federal Programs Consultant

§  Academic Recovery Liaison

o   Allegheny Intermediate Unit (AIU)

§  Head Start

§  Professional development classes and resources

o   Pennsylvania Training and Technical Assistance Network (PaTTAN)

§  Professional development for faculty, staff and administrators

§  Special education resources

-          Rigorous and collaborative professional development (PD) for teachers

o   Daily 45 minute sessions scheduled to include:

§  ELA content specific sessions

§  Mathematics content specific sessions

§  Science and technology integration classes

§  Grade level meetings for analysis of student academic data

o   Five half day PD programs per year, on clerical days

o   Eight full day PD programs per year, on in-service days

o   Social and emotional class team training

o   Non-violent Crisis Intervention (NCI) training for faculty and staff

o   Other emergency training such as first aid and CPR

-          Tools to help teachers achieve better instruction

o   Multi-Tier System of Support

o   Daily Five reading instruction

o   Daily Three math instruction

o   Flex Time for remediation and enrichment to meet individual student’s educational needs




-          Extended Day Program (EDP)

o   Tutoring by certified professional teachers

o   Intramural sports

o   Art Club

o   Instrumental music instruction

o   STEAM activities

-          Special events

o   Black History Celebration

o   Holiday Concert

o   Spring Musical

o   Kindergarten graduation

o   Sixth Grade Promotion

o   Regular family movie nights

o   Fall and Spring Talent Shows (PTA)

o   Dances (PTA)

-          OLWEUS

o   Anti-bullying program

-          Be There Buddy

o   Attendance improvement and truancy reduction

o   Motivational

o   One-to-one adult to student parings

o   Supported by the United Way

-          Student Mentoring

o   One-to-one adult connections with students

o   Development of student leadership

o   In conjunction with the Mentoring Partnership of Pittsburgh

-          Character Building lessons

o   Focus on self-esteem, teamwork, coping, problem solving and self-advocacy

o   Kindergarten through sixth grade

-          Healthy Lifestyles

o   Fifth and sixth grades

o   Age appropriate instruction in hygiene, physical development, peer pressure, language and behavior

o   Classes grouped by age and gender

o   Parent permission required

-          Drug and Alcohol Awareness and Prevention

o   Fifth and sixth grades

o   Instruction about making good, healthy choices concerning tobacco, alcohol, prescription and non-prescription drugs, addiction and peer pressure

o   Supported by Allegheny County juvenile counselors

o   Parent permission required

-          Backpack Feeding Program

o   Limited distribution of food to students for weekends and holidays

-          Live Well Allegheny

o   Instruction on nutrition, exercise and healthy life styles

o   In conjunction with the Allegheny County Board of Health

-          Saturday basketball

o   Ages 5 through 13

o   In coordination with Boys and Girls Club and Dapper Dan Club

-          Kids Cook

o   Nutrition education aligned with Pennsylvania standards

o   Hands-on cooking for first graders

o   Conducted by Food Bank

-          Safety Patrol

o   Assist crossing guards

o   Help with student backpack security checks

o   Teaching safety awareness

-          Junior Constables

o   Opportunity for students to take responsibility

o   Teaching about service

o   Students perform duties at school

-          Duquesne Princesses Academy

o   For girls in grades 1 – 3

o   Character building

o   Teaching self-esteem and self-discipline

-          Duquesne Duchesses Academy

o   For girls in grades 4 - 6

o   Character building

o   Teaching self-esteem and self-discipline

-          Gentlemen’s Academy

o   For boys in grades 3 - 6

o   Character building

o   Teaching self-esteem and self-discipline

-          Parent and guardian engagement

o   DES Parent Advisory Council

o   Regular in-school events

o   Annual open house

o   Teacher conferences

-          Parent Teacher Association (PTA)




-          Full time staff to assist and support students

o   Principal

o   Assistant Principal

o   School Psychologist

o   School Nurse

o   Guidance Counselor

o   Student Services Coordinator

o   Attendance Improvement Coordinator

o   Behavior Support Specialist

o   Behavior Specialist Para-educator 

-          Communications

o   One Call automated telephone notification

o   Social media: Facebook and Twitter

o   Duquesne City School District (DCSD) website:

o   DCSD mobile app

o   DCSD Communications Plan

-          Free and appropriate public education (FAPE) for every student who has special needs

-          Duquesne Student Assistance Program (DSAP)

o   Professionally trained members from DES faculty and staff as well as community agency representatives

o   Evaluates and assists students to overcome behavioral and academic issues

o   Coordinates in-school and outside help 

o   Parent permission required

-          Getting to Duquesne Elementary School (DES)

o   A true neighborhood school, less than one mile from all homes in Duquesne City

o   Within one-half mile, many students walk

o   Local Duquesne bus routes

o   Transportation service for Pre-K students

-          Full food service

o   Breakfast

o   Lunch

o   Late afternoon nutritional snacks

o   Evening meal for Extended Day Program

o   Special holiday meals

o   Nutritionally sound and appealing menus

o   Free of charge for all students

-          Comprehensive safety and security

o   Permanent security staff

o   Crisis response planning, procedures and practice

o   Regular safety and security drills

o   Close proximity to Duquesne City Police and Fire Department, one block away

-          On the premises of the Duquesne Education Center

o   Carnegie Branch Library

o   Head Start

o   The Family Center pre-school services

-          Auberle

o   Counseling and screening services available at school


Student Achievement


-          Individual Learning Plan (ILP) or Individual Education Plan (IEP)

o   Every student has one or the other

o   Students identified with special needs have an IEP

o   Specific learning goals for each student, based on the student's needs

o   Objective progress monitoring

-          Objective, proven assessments of students

o   Developmental Reading Assessment (DRA)

§  Benchmarking and diagnosis

§  Reading

§  K through grade 2


§  Benchmarking and diagnostic

§  Mathematics

§  Pre-k through grade 2

o   Informal Reading Inventory (IRI)

§  Benchmarking and diagnostic

§  English Language Arts (ELA)

§  Grades 3 through 6

o   On Hand

§  Benchmarking

§  Mathematics and ELA

§  Grades 3 through 6

o   Pennsylvania System of School Assessment (PSSA)

§  Summative

§  Annual

§  ELA: grades 3 through 6

§  Mathematics: grades 3 through 6

§  Science: grade 4

§  Pennsylvania Alternative System of Assessment (PASA): available for some students identified with special needs

-          Pennsylvania Value Added Assessment System (PVAAS)

o   Measures growth of student learning over one year

o   Evidence of growth in learning met or exceeded the Pennsylvania standard for academic growth in 2016 for six out of seven grade level data categories (ELA and math in grades four, five and six, plus science in grade four).

o   In 2017, evidence of growth met or exceeded the standard in three of seven categories.

o   For the three year averages through 2017, evidence of growth met or exceeded the standard in five of seven categories.

o   In comparison to Pennsylvania elementary schools with similar portions of economically disadvantaged students and special education students, DES PVAAS scores are at or above the norm for both ELA and math.

300 Kennedy Ave | Duquesne, PA 15110 | (412) 466-9600