• August 12th, 2018

    Dear parents and community members:

    We are less than two days away from the opening of the 2018-19 school year!  Our new campus has been open eight years now and we added a new building last year with thirty additional classrooms and science laboratories.  Our enrollment is projected to be 3,500 students.  Last year’s graduating class was approximately 753 students and we held our graduation at the Concord Pavilion for the first time and it was a great success!  We anticipate holding graduation this year at the Pavilion again.  Approximately 10,000 spectators attended graduation.  It was truly one of my proudest moments as the principal of Pittsburg High School!

    We are excited to announce the addition of various new course offerings including Creative Writing (12 grade), African America Literature (12th grade), Art/Sculpture, Mandarin (Level 1) and Human Body Systems (10th grade).  These courses are open to all students based on their grade level, space in their class schedule and required courses a student needs for graduation and to attend college.  If you are interested please contact one of our counselors.  The counseling office phone number is (925) 473-2390 ext. 7504.  We are excited to offer these new classes and will continue to add new classes every year!

    Our goal at Pittsburg High is to ensure every student graduates from high school with a goal and post high school educational plan.  This ranges from attending a four college, participating in an apprenticeship program to joining the military.  Our local community college, Los Medanos College (LMC) is approximately a mile from our school and over 250 students from last year’s graduating class will be attending LMC in the fall.  In addition, approximately eighty of our senior students will be attending LMC in the fall; they will be enrolled in four classes at Pittsburg High and two courses at LMC.  The LMC courses count as high school credit AND college credit.  This opportunity to take college courses at LMC is available for any student attending Pittsburg High and at a greatly reduced price of one dollar a college unit!  To learn more please contact your child’s counselor!

    Pittsburg High offers a variety of programs and pathways.  These include AVID (Advancement Via Individual Determination), Puente, Band, our engineering pathway (GEARS) and our biomedical pathway.  Many of our students also take at least one advance placement course during their four year at Pittsburg High.  These include Human Geography, English III, World History and Statistics.  We offer a total of seventeen advance placement courses and these are open to all students interested in being challenged by taking a course that is the equivalent to a first year college course.  Over four hundred students were enrolled in an advance placement course last year.   

    Many of our students need additional help with one or more of their academic classes.  As a result, we offer a robust after school tutorial program on Tuesdays and Thursdays immediately after school for an hour.  Among the subjects we offer tutoring in include; English, almost all math courses, history, various science courses and world languages (Spanish, French and Italian).  Unfortunately, many students who should attend the tutorial program often do not and we have decided to offer an additional thirty minute period during the school day, between 3rd and 4th periods, allowing students to receive additional assistance in each of their classes.  This will begin in mid-October at the beginning of second quarter.  More information regarding this program will be shared with you in the near future! 

    Pittsburg High is a closed campus.  Students must remain on campus throughout the school day and may only leave with parent permission.  We encourage you to schedule medical appointments in the afternoon, after the end of the school day, to minimize your child’s absences in their classes.  Students who are present in their classes every day will earn higher grades than those students who are regularly absent!  Improving student attendance is one of our goals this year because we know this is an area that we can make dramatic improvements in.  However, to do this we need your help by ensuring your child receives a good night’s sleep, eats breakfast in the morning (we offer a free breakfast at PHS) and arrives at school on time.  With 3,500 students walking, driving, taking public transportation and being driven to school by their parents or other community members I would highly recommend arriving at Pittsburg High by 7:30 am.  Our BART train system recently opened a station at the Railroad Avenue and Hwy 4  overpass and this will, over time, increase traffic and make parking more challenging!  My advice…leave early and arrive by 7:30 am! 

    All students at Pittsburg High have the opportunity to participate in a range of activities including eighteen different sports, over thirty five clubs and a variety of other programs such as Robotics, Theater and our terrific Marching Band program!  We strongly believe a student who is involved in at least one extra-curricular activity will earn better grades and, just as importantly, want to attend school because they feel a connection to others and pride in what they are doing.  Please encourage your child to participate in school life.  We have openings in our leadership classes, AVID program and many others.  I look forward to seeing you at Back To School Night on Thursday, August 23rd, to learn more about these great opportunities! 

    In closing I am grateful for the opportunity to work with your child.  I am entering my twelfth year as the principal of Pittsburg High School and I am very proud of the great teachers, support staff, parents and students who attend Pittsburg High.  We have a very diverse student body which is approximately 50% Hispanic, 25% African American, 15% Asian (including a variety of students from countries including Vietnam, the Philippines, South Korea and India) and 10% Caucasian and Polynesian.  Our students are very caring and considerate of one another; many of our students have parents, grandparents and other family members who attended Pittsburg High.  Pirate Pride is alive and well.  We look forward to another memorable school year.  Please don’t hesitate to email me at twhitmire@pittsburg.k12.ca.us or call me at (925) 250-1932 with any concerns or questions.