Letters & Notifications to Parents, Students and Staff During Covid-19 Distance Learning Trimester.

A chronological listing of all important messages and downloads, as presented during Covid-19.

July 6th, 2020

Hello City High Students:

Happy Friday and last day of school!  Congratulations on your hard work and persistence to make it to this point.  I prepared a brief send-off video message for you as we head off to summer break.

As the day is not over, I also want to encourage those of you who still have assignments to submit.  Make sure you turn them in today!  In some cases, it can be the difference between a D or a C, or a higher grade overall.  You can do it!

We are grateful to have you as a part of our school community and we’re looking forward to being reunited in the fall.  Have a great Fourth of July weekend and a safe and enjoyable summer!  

Dr. Allen

June 19th, 2020

Today is a special day.

Hello City High Family:It’s Juneteenth and our last day for seniors. I want to first acknowledge Juneteenth in the midst of the moment we are living through. Juneteenth commemorates the final notification of the end of slavery to African Americans in Galveston, Texas on June 19, 1985, who were still enslaved two years after slavery had ended through the Emancipation Proclamation (13th Amendment).

To many in the Black community, Juneteenth is viewed as another Independence Day. While it is a call for celebration that is marked by community and family festivities, it is also a reminder of the lingering effects of racism that is institutionalized in many facets of American life. And, it is a call to action. The call is for all people to be allies in the pursuit of racial justice: “An injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere” (Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.). There is no one way to be an ally and I encourage you to reflect about your potential role. As I said in my video message to you a few weeks ago, we are looking to you and your generation to help inform us, make contributions, and help envision solutions to long-standing racial problems our country has faced.

I want to share a Juneeteenth opportunity that’s occurring today at 1:00 p.m. Also, I received a lovely Juneteenth message from my alma mater, Spelman College, and it included an announcement of a special concert by the Spelman College Glee Club in commemoration of Juneteenth called “Spelchella” at 5:00 p.m. on Instagram Live. I’ll be joining too and am not sure what it will be, but I’m anticipating it will be worth it, as I rarely miss an opportunity to hear the Spelman Glee Club during their national tour when they visit Pittsburgh.

Closer to home, today is our last day for seniors (Don’t forget to turn in your last assignments)!

Congratulations on your hard work to finish the year strong and to overcome unforeseen barriers that altered your senior year. You showed resilience and adaptability in the face of disappointment. And, you have now become a part of the historic graduating class of 2020! We hope that you take time to reflect on your tremendous accomplishments and stay inspired to make your mark on the future. We are grateful that we will be able to see you walk across the stage next month. Thank you for the contributions you have made to our school community and congratulations!!!

For the rest of us, keep pushing forward. We have a solid two weeks left and we need you to give it your best. Class of 2023, let our seniors be your inspiration to push a little harder to remain on track for graduation. Decisions today determine your path forward. Let us know what supports you still need before the school year ends! Have a good day everyone and take care!


Dr. Allen

June, 2020

Students and Families—Information on locker cleanout PICKUP

Wednesday, June 10, 2020 from 10am – 2pm.
Please note that this will be the ONLY date for pick-up.

Due to the mandated school closure from the COVID-19 pandemic, students were unable to clean out their lockers and Quiet Room cubicles before the cancellation of in person classes. Over the past couple of weeks, school staff worked diligently to get these items bagged for our students. Students are asked to come to school on Wednesday, June 10, 2020 from 10am – 2pm to pick up their items. Please note that this will be the ONLY date for pick-up.

Any item that is left at the school after the pick-up date will be discarded.

City High Will Be Following All CDC Guidelines During This Pick-Up Event!

1. Students should arrive at the school beginning at 10am and maintain social distancing.
2. Everyone MUST wear a mask. If you do not have a mask or face covering, YOU WILL NOT BE PERMITTED IN THE BUILDING.
3. ONLY 10 students will be permitted in the building at a time.
4. Students will enter through the front Auditorium door, pick up their marked bag and then immediately leave through the front entrance.
5. After exiting the building, students must leave the school exiting through Gateway Park.

**CDC Guidelines do not allow for students to congregate within or outside the school building. After picking up your items, you must leave the school zone.

Thanks in advance for your cooperation in helping us keep you and all of our students safe during the locker pick-up event.

Del Dougherty Jr, Director / SRO
City Charter High School
Office of School Safety & Security


Virtual Lunch with Me every Friday at Noon!

Hello City High Scholars,

I hope you are well and had a good Memorial Day weekend!  I am reaching out to invite you to Virtual Lunch with me on Fridays at Noon through the end of our trimester (shout-out to team 2023 who came up with the Virtual Lunch idea).  I miss you all and also want to provide an opportunity for you to have access to me, whether you just want to chat and/or if there are items you want to discuss or have questions I might be able to answer.

So, how does a Virtual Lunch go?  Well, you grab lunch, a snack, and/or a drink and hop onto my Google Meet link.  Or, you can just show up without anything to eat:).  We’re almost half-way through the trimester and already there for seniors!  I hope you’ve gotten into a rhythm for balancing school and home responsibilities.  Dig deep and do whatever you need to do to make it to the finish line knowing you gave it your best.

I hope to see many of you soon!

Dr. Allen
P.S.- In case you missed it, attached is another copy of my Trimester 3 message.


Creating a Space to Grapple with Turmoil in Our Nation Together

June 1st, 2020

I want to make you aware that I sent the following message to our students today.  I’ve also enclosed another video clip that I found compelling and instructive about how we as individuals can orient ourselves to truly see each other and recognize our humanity.

We value your children’s thoughts, perspectives, and leadership and see their generation’s contributions as critical to helping envision solutions to long-standing problems our country has faced.

As always, please continue to take care!



June 1, 2020

Creating a Space to Grapple with Turmoil in Our Nation Together

Hello City High Students:

I trust that this message finds you safe and as best as can be expected in the midst of the turmoil our country is facing.  In the short-term, I know that many of you are aware of the protests and riots that occurred downtown during the weekend.  Thankfully, our school did not suffer any damages.

Toward longer term healing, I want to let you know that we will be providing live Google Meet sessions (by grade level) during the week regarding the murder of George Floyd and the resulting protests and ensuing unrest gripping the country.  We see this as a community tragedy that is not only a current event but an issue that impacts our school community as a whole and more directly individual members of our school community.  The sessions are a space to acknowledge the significance of the event and pain that is exacerbated by the cumulative resurfacing of a longstanding problem in our country.  Attached are a couple of snapshots of names and pictures that unfortunately underscore the history of unarmed African Americans whose lives have been lost at the hands of racial violence.

I realize that this conversation requires a number of nuances as we don’t want to position law enforcement as the enemy.  The institution has a history of racial bias yet there are also many amazing police officers, who go above and beyond to protect and care for their constituents.

Attached is a video recording from me as an attempt to acknowledge the issue, let you know that we care, and that we will provide these optional restorative conversations for you (referenced above).  Please know that Ms. Ickes and Ms. Zuniga in Wellness are also available if you’d like to talk 1:1.  You can join your Principal’s Google Meet or mine later this week if you’d like to talk with us as well.  Additional resources that may be helpful will be shared later from your team.

Sending healing thoughts to each of you.  Please continue to stay safe and healthy…

Dr. Allen

May 9th, 2020:


For City High seniors (Class of 2020) who live in the city of Pittsburgh with any GPA, or current City High promise scholarship recipients (2020), and any current City High Alumni receiving promise funds are eligible to apply!

City Charter High School is an eligible charter under PPS, and any students living in the within the PPS School District and are a City High Class of 2020 Senior may apply for the Pittsburgh Promise COVID-19 STUDENT RELIEF FUND

April 27, 2020:

Hello Students and Families:

We’re in countdown mode to the start of our third trimester! Amidst the extraordinary circumstances, we have extraordinary students and staff so we are confident that we can do this! Our caring and competent school community are equipped to band together to make this transition. It will be different, but learning is all about adaptability.

As promised in our earlier notification this week, we’ve included the attached Infographic and a link to our Step-by-Step Third Trimester Guide Video. to help simplify distance learning expectations and to help students get acclimated for a successful start to our next trimester.

These resources will also be posted on our website. Also know that you should be receiving a hard copy of our April 27th letter and Infographic in the mail today or tomorrow.

Have a great weekend, rest up, and gear up for a strong start to our next trimester! As always, stay safe! Stay healthy!

Dr. Allen and Admin

Please watch the Step-by-Step Third Trimester Guide Video.

Read: Tri3 Notification to Families_4-27-20

Download: Tri3 Distance Learning Checklist



Tomorrow, FRIDAY May 1st, from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m.

We had a good response today of students coming to pick up educational items or to address technology needs.  We still have some items remaining so we are going to provide one last opportunity for students to come in.  It will be tomorrow from 9:00 to 11:00 a.m. on Friday, May 1st.  Regarding lockers and cubicles, please stay tuned for the clean-out day, which will occur later in the trimester.  Please reach out to your Grade-Level Principal if you have questions.  


Dear City High Students and Families:

We have not yet received the shipment of webcams that we were expecting.  As a result, you should not report to school tomorrow if you were only coming to pick up a webcam.  When the shipment arrives, we will be making arrangements to get them to those of you that we have on our webcam list based on Mr. Crist’s survey and our Learning Support team.  Everyone else should still report to pick up items/receive laptop repairs according to the grade-level notations outlined in Monday’s notification.

In determining whether you should come in for a technology need, Mr. Crist has provided the following guidelines to consider:


  • If your school laptop is NOT functional, please come in for repairs or to receive a spare laptop tomorrow.
  • If your school laptop should be repaired BUT currently it’s completely usable as is…please continue to use it for your daily classwork. It’s not a perfect solution, but is what will keep you engaged in schoolwork.


  • Again, while we expected to receive our shipment in time for tomorrow’s pick-up date, it has not yet been delivered.  You should not report to school tomorrow if you were only coming to pick up a webcam.  We will make arrangements once the shipment arrives.
  • If you are still wondering whether your City High laptop has an internal camera, please check your student email account for a prior email from Mr. Crist about how to determine if you have an internal camera that needs to be ‘enabled.’  His email will show you how to do this.


  • If your family has not yet completed the Technology Survey, PLEASE take 2 minutes to do so.  It will really help our efforts to support your online technology needs:  https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/3MBXQ63

All my best,

Dr Allen
CEO and Principal


We have NOT yet received the shipment of webcams that we were expecting.
As a result, you should not report to school tomorrow if YOU WERE ONLY coming to
pick up a webcam…


APRIL 27, 2020:

Dear Students and Families:

The new trimester is set to begin next week, and we wanted to let you know that we have reached a decision about third trimester beyond our initial plans to operate through May.  We are not going to return in person.  Previously, I shared that we’d be able to gage if we could return for the summer in part based on whether summer programming and youth employment were deemed permissible.  However, even if approved, there will still be uncertainty about ensuring a safe environment at school.   It will be imperative to have established protocols regarding social distancing and steps to follow in the event that someone exhibits symptoms, tests positive, or is exposed to someone who tests positive for COVID 19.  Such protocols are not yet established and will require more guidance and time to address appropriately.

Please read our complete 3 page outline for valuable students day-to-day expectations, upcoming plans and dates for prom and graduation, as well as the very important upcoming educational materials and technology pick-up schedule for each grade level on THURSDAY April 30th.

Trimester 3 Notification to Families_4-27-20 — For Important Class Instructions, Prom, Graduation, Technology & Repair Pickups Information



APRIL 20, 2020:

We care deeply about our City High student body as well as our teachers and staff that comprise our school community. Please download and read our COVID-19 Continuity of Education Plan for City Charter High School



APRIL 13, 2020:

Hello City High Parents and Families
As we look ahead to the start of trimester 3, we have made some decisions about how we will begin the next trimester in light of Governor Wolf’s recent announcement that mandated school closures are being extended through the end of the school year to help minimize the spread of COVID-19 and its impact on our respective communities. City High’s online delivery approach will be extended through the month of May. However, it will look differently than how we finished trimester 2:
Please download the entire letter for more details and City High’s new online structure.

Continue to stay safe and healthy!
Best, Dr. Allen

LETTER TO PARENTS—Moving Forward April 13, 2020



MARCH 27, 2020:

Hello City High Parents and Families, As promised, we included their Assignments document per grade and team for each of their courses.  We’ve attached the Assignments document below for every grade, which also includes teacher office hours.
Continue to stay safe and healthy!

Best, Dr. Allen

CH 9th Grade Assignments_3-30 to 4-3-20

CH 10th Grade Assignments_3-30 to 4-3-20

CH 11th Grade Assignments_3-30 to 4-3-20

CH 12th Grade Assignments_3-30 to 4-3-20

Hello Class of 2023, 2022, 2021, and 2020:

We hope that you are doing well and keeping yourself productively busy considering the circumstances.   Whether it’s listening to your favorite song/artist, reading, exercising, watching a favorite show/movie, and/or doing a kind deed for someone else, try to do something each day that that makes you smile.  Again, we miss you and will get through this one day at a time.

We have one week of school left in the trimester starting on Monday, March 30th.  As promised, attached are document that have compiled all of your assignments per class and per team as well as office hours for your teachers.  We will also post this document on our website.  I want to give your teachers a shout-out for the time they put into collaboratively developing assignments given the new parameters we’re working within of temporarily transitioning to online/remote facilitation of your classes.  Feel free to thank them too.

Have a good weekend and then let’s be ready to start Monday prepared to finish our last week of trimester two strong!

Best, Dr. Allen


School will be open today,
March 27th, from 8:00 a.m. to Noon,
for students to pick
their laptop and/or charger. 

Since Governor Wolf’s Stay-at-Home order, we received further guidance that allowing
students and staff to come on-site to pick up essential educational items is an allowable
emergency provision of the order. Students should practice social distancing
while on-site.  Please also note that this opportunity is not to gather other items or to clean out lockers. That opportunity will be provided at a later date.


MARCH 23, 2020:

Governor Wolf held a press conference today at 2:00 p.m. that Allegheny County will now be under a ‘Stay at Home’ order beginning at 8:00 p.m. tonight.  As a result, we are adjusting our plans for laptop/charger pick-up.  We will be opening school from 4:00 to 7:30 p.m. THIS EVENING on March 23rd to allow students and staff to pick up laptops and chargers if necessary.  

Please DOWNLOAD for information regarding our Google Classroom platform and tentative return to traditional classrooms!

Dr. Dara Ware Allen
CEO and Principal
City Charter High School



MARCH 16, 2020:

 Download City High School Closure Information

Governor Wolf Closes All Pennsylvania Schools for Two Weeks

Hello Everyone:
We were just alerted that Governor Wolf just issued a declaration closing all Pennsylvania schools for 10 days starting March 16, 2020

Do your best to stay healthy and care for your loved ones.

Dr. Dara Ware Allen
CEO and Principal
City Charter High School



MARCH 13, 2020:

Governor Wolf Closes All Pennsylvania Schools for Two Weeks
Hello Everyone:
We were just alerted that Governor Wolf just issued a declaration closing all Pennsylvania schools for 10 days starting March 16, 2020 (https://www.post-gazette.com/news/education/2020/03/13/Gov-Wolf-closes-all-K-12-schools-in-Pa-for-two-weeks/stories/202003130150).  Parents will be contacted with new information as it unfolds  through City High’s emergency school closing systems and emails, as well as the school website in the coming weeks.
Do your best to stay healthy and care for your loved ones.
Dara Ware Allen, Ph.D.
CEO and Principal
City Charter High School
201 Stanwix Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15222



School Closure Notification- COVID-19 Health Precaution

Media Release