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PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – During the next couple of weeks, students all over the area will be heading back to school.

Today, Pittsburgh Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Anthony Hamlet welcomed back close to 4,000 district employees.

For the teachers and staff of Pittsburgh Public Schools, Wednesday’s back to school convocation was part pep rally and part instruction.

Dr. Hamlet used the convocation to discuss new systems and initiatives requirements for the new upcoming year.

“So we can have a strategic plan that will really guide you and give you what you need for you to be that champion educator that our children need for you to be in the classrooms every day,” he said.

Employees from all 54 of the district’s schools attended the convocation, which included speakers from Pittsburgh Promise and Gallup.

“I think it’s really great that we are all coming together to talk about how important it is that we are the supporters of our students and our communities and we are their number one cheerleaders and we give them a chance at having whatever future they are dreaming is possible for them,” Gifted and Talented teacher Jennifer Desiderio said.

“I’m excited that our students will be returning. We have some great things going on this year. Dr. Hamlet has brought in some new innovative things looking at our data and making sure we do the best we can for student achievement,” Pittsburgh Public Schools Dept. Supt. Anthony Anderson said.

Pittsburgh Public Schools Board President Dr. Regina Holley said it’s important to welcome the teachers back to school and help them understand the crucial role they play in the success of the school district.

“We’re really working hard on trying to better the district. The district was good before, but we want to be better,” Dr. Holley said.

Most Pittsburgh Public School students return to class Monday, Aug. 28.

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