PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – Pittsburgh Public Schools is continually working to take down barriers. On Monday, PPS released its annual report which provides a thorough look at achievement, student growth, school climate and much more.

Six schools were highlighted in that report: Schiller 6-8, Dilworth Traditional Academy, Allegheny Traditional Academy, Beechwood, Arsenal 6-8 and City Charter High School.

A+ Schools is Pittsburgh’s community advocate for equity and excellence in public education.

Monday’s presentation took a deeper look at the schools that consistently achieve better results with their students. Absentee rates have lowered, the suspension rate has dropped, reading at grade level has gone up, test scores have gone up and students who graduate ready for a college or a career has risen.

Some students explained how they’ve had success.

“I’ve gained a personal level bond with most of my teachers. That has helped me take a step further in my education and be more invested in bettering myself,” said City Charter High School Senior Morrison Young.

“I just wanted to highlight a positive for once and that was this idea that we can all take the same classes. We can all be together as one unified student body and that’s one of my favorite parts of being at Obama,” said Obama Senior Dominic Victoria.

A+ executive director, James Fogarty, says the most pressing issue right now is: “We need to figure out early grade literacy as sort of the foundation for how to make sure all kids are learning at grade level.”

“There are schools in the city that are getting third grade reading results that are better than the district average. Way better for all the kids and I think that model needs to be expanded across the city.”

A few parents also spoke to the crowd. One parent said how important it is to have transparency.

“We need to be upfront and honest about where we are. It’s the only way that we can make a difference and that it takes a village,” said high school parent Stacy Powell.