Sarah Schneider

Reporter

Sarah Schneider covers education for 90.5 WESA. That means looking at how people learn in Western Pennsylvania. Her reporting examines how local and national decisions impact access to education and policy. She loves being in classrooms talking to students and teachers.

She is also a local fill-in host for Morning Edition and All Things Considered.

Previously, Sarah was a reporting fellow at WESA for two years by way of an Americorps affiliated program, Pittsburgh Urban Leadership Service Experience (PULSE). She has interned with newspapers in Illinois, Idaho and Pennsylvania. 

Story ideas are always welcome at sschneider@wesa.fm.

Andrew Harnik / AP

Pittsburgh Federation of Teachers President Nina Esposito-Visgitis told a crowd of educators from across the country Friday that Pittsburgh teachers are committing to the union in the wake of a recent Supreme Court ruling.

Keith Srakocic / AP

Mike McGrenehan thought he was headed for a life in the suburbs.

Growing up in Northeast Philadelphia, not far from the city limits, McGrenehan always figured he’d marry, have kids, and ship off to the open spaces of suburbia. The “McMansion push,” he called it.

He moved to Montgomery County when he and his wife first married, but it never quite felt like home.

“When we left, we were out on an island,” he said.

After a few years, they moved back to Northeast Philly, had three kids, but reached another turning point when their oldest turned five.

Sarah Schneider / 90.5 WESA

Bill Strickland stepped down July 1 from his role as the CEO of Manchester Bidwell Corporation 50 years after he founded the craftsmen’s guild.

Sarah Schneider / 90.5 WESA

The annual report Kids Count shows the Commonwealth fares better than most by making gains in education, but continues to show poor numbers in economic well-being.

Sarah Schneider / 90.5 WESA

The Woodland Hills School District has ranked among the top 10 districts nationwide for elementary school suspensions. Two years ago, several district and school leaders were sued by former students for incidents of alleged abuse at the hands of a former school police officer and a former high school principal.

Sarah Schneider / 90.5 WESA

Emerson Botts is full energy in the morning. Skipping down the sidewalk on the three-block walk to her school, she tells her mom how sad she is that the school year is ending.

Sarah Kovash / 90.5 WESA

A group of local organizations is hoping to include a referendum on the ballot in November to increase property taxes in order to pay for early childhood education programs. 

Virginia Alvino Young / 90.5 WESA

A local immigrant inclusion initiative, All for All, is recruiting English as A Second Language teachers to participate in a year-long professional development program.

Sarah Schneider / 90.5 WESA

Members of a group working to address challenges faced by black girls told the Pittsburgh Public Schools Board of Education that sexual harassment is a pervasive issue within the district.

Sarah Schneider / 90.5 WESA

The local alternative weekly newspaper, the Pittsburgh City Paper, fired its editor-in-chief Charlie Deitch Tuesday.

Provided photo / Carnegie Mellon University

Beginning this fall, Carnegie Mellon University will offer an undergraduate degree in artificial intelligence, the first of its kind available in the U.S.

The expansion announced Thursday is an effort to meet the growing demand for AI experts.

Facebook recently announced it had hired two CMU professors to open a new AI lab in Pittsburgh. One of those professors will continue to teach while the other will spend most of his time with the social media company.

Sarah Schneider / 90.5 WESA

Mia Mitchell jumped out of her chair and waved her hands in the air pointing to her Lincoln University T-shirt when a Pittsburgh Public Schools administrator read the name of the school she will attend this fall.

The Pittsburgh Promise and PPS hosted the second Senior Signing Day in Oakland to celebrate the future plans of more than 1,000 students.

More than 150 institutions of higher learning were listed Thursday morning, each punctuated with student cheers.

Mitchell plans to study criminal justice.

Provided Photo / Literacy Pittsburgh

Next week, Nate Bashioum will make a long-awaited walk across a stage to receive his bachelor’s degree from Carlow University.

Sarah Schneider / 90.5 WESA

During the school week, Fox Chapel High School sophomore Ben Peterson is usually the first in his family to wake up. By 6:15 a.m., the 16-year-old is downstairs pouring a bowl of cereal. He sits in the dark at the breakfast nook checking soccer scores on his cellphone.

Sarah Schneider / 90.5 WESA

More than 100 Pittsburgh students marched out of their school Friday and stood in Market Square for 13 minutes in memory of the people who died 19 years ago in Colorado's Columbine High School Shooting.

Ryan Devlin / Submitted Photo

For a month last summer, U.S. teachers worked alongside their Ethiopian counterparts to create lesson plans, PowerPoints and videos to give students in the U.S. a more nuanced understanding of the people and customs of Ethiopia.

That curriculum, called Teach Africa, is now being piloted in classrooms across the region.

Sarah Schneider / 90.5 WESA

The Pittsburgh Public Schools board approved three employee contracts Wednesday night, more than a month after a planned teacher and support staff strike was averted.

Sarah Schneider / 90.5 WESA

A new contract for Pittsburgh Public Schools teachers was accepted by 90 percent of voting members Wednesday night.

Sarah Schneider / 90.5 WESA

Remake Learning began in Pittsburgh 10 years ago to help adults understand how the digital age has changed education and how to best prepare kids for the future.

Rob Long / Provided Photo

A Pittsburgh nonprofit known for its small grants to grassroots organizations will shut its doors in June.

The Sprout Fund will spend its last several weeks as an organization awarding small “legacy” grants similar to the small seed grants that were the basis of the organization.

The Sprout Fund found success by giving modest monetary awards to early-stage community projects. The idea was to close the gap between the grassroots idea and the complicated process of landing a grant from a large foundation.

Sarah Schneider / 90.5 WESA

After more than two decades of renting space in in other school buildings, a nonprofit that educates children with special needs is now building a permanent space to house its schools for children with autism and who are deaf.

Sarah Schneider / 90.5 WESA

Moon Area High School was one of more than a dozen local schools to receive a threat in the weeks following a school shooting that left 17 dead in Parkland, Fla

Google Maps / Provided Photo

The Catholic Diocese of Pittsburgh announced two elementary school mergers and one closure over the weekend.

Church leaders report enrollment has dropped by 50 percent since 2000. The district remains the fourth largest school system in Pennsylvania, serving about 17,000 students and employing nearly 1,500 teachers.

Nicholas Vaskov, a spokesperson for the Diocese, said the cost of tuition and fewer people identifying with religion could be factors.

Screenshot/Google Maps

Teachers in the South Butler County School District will not be in their classrooms Friday, according to union spokesperson Brooke Witt.

Duolingo / Provided Photo

One of the world’s most uncommonly mastered languages can now be introduced to learners in five minute daily increments.

Sarah Schneider / 90.5 WESA

Standing on a platform in front of hundreds of her peers who attend Allderdice High School in Squirrel Hill, freshman Sophia Levin said she didn’t want to be the next victim of gun violence.

Sarah Schneider / 90.5 WESA

Meals in schools changed about five years ago when the U.S. Department of Agriculture issued standards that said schools had to reduce sodium, saturated fat, and trans fats from meals in order to be reimbursed through the National School Lunch program.

Carnegie Mellon University / Provided Photo

Carnegie Mellon University’s Board of Trustees unanimously agreed to name Farnam Jahanian as the school's 10th president.

Jahanian, a nationally recognized computer scientist, was named interim president in June after the sudden resignation of former president Subra Suresh. Suresh led CMU for four years and is now the new president of Nanyang Technological University Singapore.

Sarah Schneider / 90.5 WESA

Another hospital expansion in the Pittsburgh region was announced Wednesday.

Allegheny Health Network will construct an $80 million, 90,000-square-foot cancer institute and academic center adjacent to the North Side Allegheny General Hospital. It is part of the $225 million investment the network has made in regional cancer centers.

“We have 15 major construction projects happening today simultaneously across the region. Many of those that relate to cancer,” said Highmark Health CEO David Holmberg.

Richard Drew / AP

Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto said Wednesday that Amazon leaders had not yet requested a formal visit to the city.

An Amazon spokesperson said Wednesday that the company is working with each of remaining 20 cities to “dive deeper on their proposals and share additional information about the company’s plans.”

The spokesperson confirmed that Amazon would visit each location.

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