Deer Lakes

School District

About Deer Lakes

Deer Lakes School District Community

The Deer Lakes School District is nestled in the heart of the Alle-Kiski Valley in northeastern Allegheny County, approximately 25 miles outside of downtown Pittsburgh. The district covers an area of approximately 41 square miles and is coterminous with the political boundaries of the townships of East Deer, Frazer and West Deer. Due to its sheer geographic size, the district shares borders with seven other area school districts including: Pine-Richland and Hampton to the west, Fox Chapel and Allegheny Valley to the south, Highlands and New Kensington-Arnold (Westmoreland County) to the east and South Butler County to the north. This region of Allegheny County is characterized by suburban and semi-rural development, both residential and some commercial; and is still considered the lone remaining rural school district in the county.

Deer Lakes has a current enrollment of approximately 1,950 students housed in four schools including a primary center for students in grades kindergarten through second grade; an intermediate center for students in grades three through five; a middle school for students in sixth, seventh and eighth grades; and a high school for students in grades nine through twelve. In many ways, Deer Lakes is a community in transition as it blossoms from a rural town north of Pittsburgh into an exurban/suburban community that has maintained its small town roots with accessibility to modern amenities. From new housing communities to century old farmhouses, Deer Lakes holds a special appeal for just about everyone fortunate enough to experience it. With more than 14,000 residents, Deer Lakes offers a wide variety of recreational facilities and county parks that offer fishing, crew, picnicking, softball, tennis and suitable playgrounds. It has also received a superior rating as being a safe place in which to live. The entire Deer Lakes area is noted for its low crime rate.

The community has taken note of the sea of change. Last year, during a self-conducted school climate survey, the overwhelming percentage of parents who responded agreed that their child is safe in our schools and said they would recommend Deer Lakes’ schools to others. Additionally, the majority of parents surveyed feel very good about their school’s overall supportiveness, teacher communication, parent/teacher rapport and that the school is offering their children appropriate academic supports. The parents also feel that their children are treated fairly at school and are getting a good education. Additionally, roughly four-in-five parents say they feel welcomed in our schools. Parents reported that they selected Deer Lakes for its size, warm and caring environment and excellent academic reputation.

Deer Lakes School District Accomplishments

#1: Deer Lakes School District is a technology-focused schools district, which is evidenced by it being one of just 10 Google Certified school districts in Pennsylvania. As part of Deer Lakes’ one-to-one technology initiative, each Deer Lakes student at all grade levels has his or her own personal learning device. Deer Lakes is also a Common Sense Media school district and a member of the Future Ready collaborative.

#2: In its 2018 ratings of the top suburban schools in the region, the Pittsburgh Business Times awarded Deer Lakes a composite score of 2.6 out of a possible four. The rating – which was based on SAT scores, number of Advanced Placement courses offered, all-day kindergarten availability and school district tax rate – tied it with such well-regarded school districts as Upper St. Clair, Baldwin-Whitehall, Shaler Area and South Fayette. Deer Lakes was ranked ahead of school districts like Bethel Park (2.4), Elizabeth Forward (2.4) and West Jefferson Hills (2.2) amongst others.

#3: The performing arts department at Deer Lakes continues to outpace most of its competitors. In addition to claiming two Gene Kelly Awards in the past three years for its outstanding musicals, the district has also regularly sent students to the prestigious Pennsylvania Music Educators Association (PMEA) district and regional honors festivals. Also, for the past two years, the Deer Lakes High School marching band has taken home the top honors in its classification at the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Marching Band Association Championships (PIMBA).

#4: Thanks in part to an innovative scheduling philosophy that invites student collaboration on some of our course offerings, Deer Lakes has seen a nearly 500-percent increase in students taking AP tests since 2015. Deer Lakes also received a National Math and Science Initiative grant, enabling the high school to build upon its AP programs. In the 2020-2021 school year, Deer Lakes earned the U.S. News & World Report Best High Schools award.

#5: Deer Lakes has established itself as one of the most wellness-conscious school districts in the state. Through initiatives like Laps for Learning, Deer Lakes has been awarded more than $50,000 in various wellness grants that it has poured directly into student wellness initiatives like tower gardens in our schools, the introduction of a Kinesthetic Lab at its primary school, the planting of a fruit orchard outside our primary school and wellness rooms in all four district buildings. Deer Lakes was also featured in a 2018 Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture’s documentary short for its innovative farm-to-table lunch meal program.