In December 2021, superintendent Edward Wehrer made a presentation to the Steel Valley School District Board of Directors and the community. The presentation detailed Mr. Wehrer's plan to position the district for the future by addressing the district’s primary needs and by emphasizing Steel Valley’s commitment to academics, health, equity and inclusion, and career readiness. 

The four strategic strands of Steel Valley Stronger do not exist in isolation. How well someone does academically depends on their health, their support system and the opportunities they are provided. Academics, health, careers and equity are intertwined in education. These elements have been significant components of the Steel Valley experience in the past. The goal through Steel Valley Stronger is to turn them into strategic focal points so that they become areas of even greater strength.

The primary method of enhancing the strategic strands of Steel Valley Stronger is through a series of multi-layered, interconnected systems of support. By connecting equity resources with career opportunities or by addressing mental health in order to improve academic performance, for example, Steel Valley can better position its students, staff and families to thrive.

Another way in which these core components can be supported is by enhancing existing partnerships and by developing new relationships with providers around the region. The district is fortunate to have local partners like the Best of the Batch Foundation and the Carnegie Library of Homestead and regional entities like UPMC Children’s Hospital. As the district grows through Steel Valley Stronger, those relationships will blossom and their impact on our community will grow.

Steel Valley elementary students listen to a story by a guest speaker while sitting on the floor at Barrett Elementary gymnasium

The Steel Valley School District is at an important crossroads as we look to define our future. The district has aging infrastructure and the COVID-19 pandemic reinforced the need for school districts to provide greater support to students and families. We have needs, but we also have an opportunity to address them and position the district to take significant steps forward. Federal funding through the American Rescue Plan has helped us purchase new curriculum, enhance academic supports, and provide programs to help combat learning loss.

Those funds must be used by September 2024. We must continue to find ways to provide the tools and resources for our students and staff once those funds are no longer available.

In the spring of 2022, the Steel Valley School District produced four videos explaining the initial steps it was taking to enhance the core strands of Steel Valley Stronger. The programs and policies are constantly being updated, but the videos provide a foundation for the district's quest to help our students and our families thrive.