Ask any Mt. Lebanon parent why they moved here and there’s a good chance you’ll get a single answer: the school district. Home to nearly 5,400 students and 670 employees spread across 10 schools, the district has been repeatedly recognized as one of the very best in Pennsylvania.
In 2016, the Pittsburgh Business Times ranked Mt. Lebanon schools second in Allegheny County and fifth in the state in its Guide to Western Pennsylvania Schools. The district’s progressive use of technology earned it a place in the 11th Annual Digital School Districts Survey. (It was the only Pennsylvania school of its size awarded a spot.) The National Association of Music Merchants Foundation has declared it one of the top 100 communities for music education. The U.S. News and World Report has given Mt. Lebanon High School a silver medal in its Best High School rankings each of the last two years. And the list goes on and on. The cumulative result: If your kids go to school here, you can rest assured they are getting a world-class education.
Kids entering kindergarten are sorted geographically into one of seven elementary schools, which they will attend through fifth grade. Howe, Foster and Washington schools feed into Mellon Middle. Jefferson, Hoover, Lincoln and Markham feed into Jefferson Middle, with some Markham students possibly being eligible to go to Mellon. Students will attend those two schools from sixth through eighth grade before moving the district’s single high school, which is home to approximately 1,700 students. The high school recently underwent a major renovation and now offers state-of-the-art facilities across a number of disciplines, including science, art and athletics. A new center court area serves as student hub.
Overseeing all of the schools is a nine-member board of school directors, which acts as the governing body for the school district by setting policy, adopting a yearly budget and hiring staff members. The board meets twice a month in room D205 at the high school. Discussion sessions are held on the second Monday of each month, followed by a regular meeting on the third Monday. All meetings begin at 7:30 p.m. and are open to the public, who are invited to speak on agenda items before the meetings and non-agenda items afterward. If you want to appear on the agenda, all you need to do is call the superintendent’s office at 412-344-2007. All school board seats are at-large, with members elected to four-year terms. In the rare occurrence a vacancy is created mid-term, an appointment is made to the board.
Each school in the district also has a Parent-Teacher Association (PTA) which plans events, raises funds and supports the school in a variety of other ways. On top of that, there’s a Mt. Lebanon PTA Council that oversees all of the school PTAs. The PTA Council holds a regular meeting the first Wednesday of every month. The location rotates from school to school. Individual school PTAs meet regularly as well, and all meetings are listed on the school district calendar (found at www.mtlsd.org). Any parent can speak at a PTA meeting, but only PTA members can cast a vote on an issue brought before the group.
Contacting the school district is easy. Administrators and the school board can be emailed directly from the district’s website. The site’s “Contact Us” page also features a form you can fill out to resolve any problems or issues you or your children may have. The district has a Facebook page, along with Twitter and Instagram feeds. (Again, links to all can be found at www.mtlsd.org.) And each individual school also operates a Facebook page and/or Twitter feed. Although district officials say that if you have a school-related question, the best place to start is by calling your school’s office directly. Numbers for each school are listed at the district’s website.