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.

Deer Lakes School District Accomplishments

#1: Deer Lakes School District is a technology-focused schools district, which is evidenced by it being one of the first 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 2022 ratings of the top schools in the region, the Pittsburgh Business Times ranked Deer Lakes School District No. 37 out of 114 schools. The rating was based on three years of available test scores from 2018, 2019, and 2021. Deer Lakes has risen 24 spots in the rankings in the last six years. Deer Lakes also earned AASA Learning 2025 recognition for student-centered, equity-focused, and future-driven education.

#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 four 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. Deer Lakes had students qualify for PMEA state honors in band, orchestra and choir in 2022. Also, for two of the past four 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, and more than 60 percent of students take AP exams. Deer Lakes also received a National Math and Science Initiative grant, enabling the high school to build upon its AP programs. In the 2021-2022 school year, Deer Lakes earned the U.S. News & World Report Best High Schools award. Deer Lakes High School is ranked No. 32 in Western Pennsylvania.

Deer Lakes School District was recognized a second time in the summer of 2023 by AASA Learning 2025 as a Demonstration System to Watch. AASA's vision for Learning 2025 is that it achieves national adoption in the next four years for building a new system of leading, teaching, and learning. Learning 2025: Student-Centered, Equity-Focused Education is an AASA initiative that calls for holistic redesign of the public school system by 2025.