January community meeting focuses on potential district-municipality collaborations

Board member Bill McLaughlin speaks while seated at the January 2023 community meeting

Steel Valley hosted its sixth community meeting of the school year on Wednesday, January 11 at Park Elementary. Meeting organizers and school board members Bill McLaughlin and JaQuay Carter extended invitations to officials from Homestead, Munhall and West Homestead, as the focus of the January meeting centered on collaborative efforts between the communities and the school district.

While the previous meetings centered on general discussion, Wednesday's meeting moved towards selecting a few possible ideas for further development and implementation.

One idea mentioned was to utilize future community meetings or other occasions to bring in specialists or uniquely skilled instructors from the community to teach skills to students.

A second idea noted the need for students to accumulate hours of community service in order to graduate from Steel Valley. That led to a discussion of developing a partnership between local borough councils and the Steel Valley Student Government to have a student representative to each council. Students would earn service hours and be able to report back and forth to the council and the school board.

A third idea centered on the concept of a large community event. While the municipalities have their own community days or community celebrations, a unified event featuring businesses, youth organizations, non-profits, school activities and clubs, and more from all three communities could help foster a sense of unity.

The session ended with a discussion about how to further support Barrett Elementary's Black History Month Living Museum, which will take place during the school day on February 23. Organizer Jonette Bost provided an update on the program and expressed a desire to potentially have an evening session with support from the community. The group agreed to discuss potential assistance further over the next couple of weeks.

The next community meeting will be in February, but a date, time and location will be announced at a later date.

Superintendent Edward Wehrer speaks during the January 2023 community meeting

DEI Coordinator Olando Dulin speaks during the January 2023 community meeting

Christine Schott speaks during the January 2023 community meeting