State honors City Charter High School for student achievement gains

Named a Distinguished School for the second consecutive year

Each year, the Department honors schools that receive federal Title I funding and have used that funding to significantly increase student achievement. This marks the second consecutive year that City High has received this designation and will be recognized at an annual conference held by PDE next week in Pittsburgh.

“City High’s designation as a Distinguished School from the

Department validates what all our faculty, parents and students already know…although our program is rigorous, we ensure that all students excel no matter where they start. Through targeted interventions and support

we ensure that even those students who are well below grade level when they enroll at City High leave equipped to succeed in college and careers,” Ron Sofo, CEO and Principal of City Charter High School said.


City High is one of seven high schools that earned the honor of being called a Distinguished School from across the Commonwealth.

PAdepartmentEdCity High’s Title I resources fund a reading program to ensure students entering the school are provided assistance by content-area teaching associates, the reading specialist and classroom teachers to improve their reading skills to meet grade-level standards.

“Every class at City High is reading intense, so students have multiple authentic experiences with reading,” Jennifer Solak, Reading Specialist at City High, said. “The additional supports we offer under our Title I program allows us to provide extra help to struggling students at the moment they encounter issues as they are learning.”

Title I is a federal program administered by PDE with the goal of improving student achievement for low-income students. Specifically, to be eligible for the designation as a Distinguished School, City High had to earn the title of “Reward: High Achievement” or “Reward: High Progress.” As defined at the national level, “Reward: High Achievement” means a school must be among the highest 5 percent of Title I schools based on aggregate math and reading scores on the Pennsylvania System of School Assessment (PSSA) and/or Keystone Exams. Whereas, “Reward: High Progress” schools land in the top 5 percent of Title I schools based on aggregate progress in closing the achievement gap in math and reading.

City High earned the designation as a “Reward: High Achievement” school in the 2014-15 school year because of their student’s high performance on the Keystone Exams: 75.6 percent of their students demonstrate proficient or advanced skills on the Literature Keystone Exam and 53.7 percent of City High students scored proficient or advanced on the Algebra Keystone Exam.

Founded in 2002 by two former Pittsburgh Public School teachers, City Charter High School is an innovative, open enrollment, brick-and-mortar charter high school that serves a diverse student population from the City of Pittsburgh as well as surrounding communities including Wilkinsburg, Sto-Rox, Woodland Hills, and Penn Hills.

Media Contact: Ron Sofo – 412-260-7559


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