Deer Lakes

School District

Awards, Honors & Valued Partnerships

Deer Lakes Middle School was one of three exemplary Middle Schools in Pennsylvania to be newly recognized in 2022 as a PA Don Eichhorn Schools: “Schools to Watch,” which is part of a recognition program developed by the National Forum to Accelerate Middle-Grades Reform. Pennsylvania STW leaders selected each school for its Academic Excellence, Developmental Responsiveness, Social Equity and Organizational Structures and Processes. In addition, each school has strong leadership, teachers who work together to improve curriculum and instruction, and a commitment to assessment and accountability to bring about continuous improvement.

Curtisville Primary was named one of America’s Healthiest Schools by the Alliance for a Healthier Generation after earning high marks in every category judged by AHG. Curtisville Primary is one of only 11 schools across the country to earn the highest award possible in every category. The categories Curtisville Primary earned awards for include Family and Community Engagement, Nutrition and Food Access, Local Wellness Policy, Health Education, Physical Education & Activity, Social-Emotional Health and Learning, Staff Well-Being, Tobacco-Free Schools and School Health Services.
 Deer Lakes School District became the 10th school district in Pennsylvania and just the second in Allegheny County to earn status as a Google Reference School. The invitation-only program is extremely exclusive.  The district's shift to Google tools is part of its increasing emphasis on collaboration. Using G Suite, students and teachers create digital files of their work, instantly share them and give each other feedback.  These collaboration tools have changed the way students experience school. Rather than passively sitting in a classroom while their teacher delivers instruction, students are actively working together to learn course material.
 Common Sense Education supports K-12 schools with free, timely, and research-based resources for teaching in the digital age. We believe that learning digital life skills is essential for students to thrive in today’s world, and that all students should have access to learning these skills. That’s why we make our digital citizenship resources available for free, ready for any educator to plug into tomorrow’s lesson plan. Our core resources include a comprehensive K-12 Digital Citizenship Curriculum, all-inclusive reviews of the most popular and latest edtech tools, and expert advice on how to use those tools most effectively in the classroom. Over half a million educators in nearly half of K-12 U.S. schools use our resources to teach kids digital life skills. We’re excited to keep that number growing so that all of our kids can thrive in the digital age.

Common Sense is the leading independent nonprofit organization dedicated to helping kids thrive in a world of media and technology. Every day, Common Sense supports parents, teachers, and policymakers with unbiased information, innovative tools, and trusted advice to support kids' digital well-being. To see all of Common Sense Education’s resources, visit
 Deer Lakes School District was named a 2017-2018 Carnegie STEM Excellence Pathway Partner, a program collaborated through the Carnegie Science Center to provide professional development for teachers and learning opportunities for students. As a Pathway Partner, students at Deer Lakes will benefit from an educational assembly and receive online tools to augment STEM learning during the school.  Our STEM labs provide the ideal environment for students to imagine, create and learn.
  Deer Lakes High School has participated in the National Math and Science Initiative (NMSI) College Readiness Program since 2016-2017. The primary purpose of the three-year program has been to raise expectations of students by encouraging more students to take college-level courses and equipping them with the skills they need to be successful. The district will receive a three year $585,000 grant to implement the program.
 Remake Learning is an open group of interconnected, creative, and innovative people and organizations in the greater Pittsburgh region. Its purpose is to spark and share best practices and new ideas, make it easier for neighbors and colleagues to help each other, reduce duplicative efforts in the region, and leverage resources collectively for greater impact. No one organization alone can transform teaching and learning to better serve today’s young people, so Remake Learning helps bring them together.
  Over the past few years, Deer Lakes has received multiple Fuel Up to Play 60 grants totaling more than $20,000, which it has used to purchase breakfast carts and blenders to allow students greater access to healthy nutritional options.  The grant money has also allowed the district, through its wellness committee, to purchase physical education and recess equipment that continue to expose the staff and students to the concepts of the Fuel Up to Play 60 philosophy.  The program, which is sponsored locally by the Pittsburgh Steelers and the American Dairy Association North East, has also made it possible for Deer Lakes students have the opportunity to meet members of the Steelers at Heinz Field where they discussed wellness initiatives and opportunities as well as the value of healthy eating and exercise while reducing the amount of video game play.
  Rachel’s Challenge is based on the life and writings of Rachel Joy Scott, the first victim of the Columbine school shootings in 1999 and exists to equip and inspire individuals to replace acts of violence, bullying, and negativity with acts of respect, kindness, and compassion.  Superintendents, principals, teachers, parents, and students bring Rachel’s Challenge into their schools because of escalating problems such as: bullying, student isolation, teen suicide, discrimination, school violence, and increased disciplinary actions. Through powerful presentations, trainings, community events, and professional development, Rachel’s Challenge provides the sustainable solution.
  The Olweus Bullying Prevention Program (OBPP) is the most researched bullying prevention program available. The Deer Lakes School District adopted the whole-school program and it has proven to prevent or reduce bullying within the school setting. Olweus was implemented at the elementary and secondary level with the purpose of improving peer relations and making the school a safer and more positive place for students to learn and develop. The district has adopted the following anti-bullying rules: Rule 1: We will not bully others; Rule 2: We will help students who are bullied; Rule 3: We will include students who are left out; and Rule 4: If we know someone is being bullied, we will tell an adult at school and an adult at home.



Deer Lakes School District has been recognized for a fourth consecutive time in 2023 as an EVERFI Champion District.

The EVERFI Champion Seal is awarded annually to North American school districts who’ve made an exemplary commitment to whole-child education and acknowledges school districts' dedication to transformational change in the interest of equity and the well-being of all students. This honor is provided by EVERFI, a digital education organization focused on helping educators address the most challenging issues affecting society, including financial literacy, social-emotional learning, health and wellness, inclusion, and college and career readiness.

Fewer than 10 percent of districts across the nation to earn the EVERFI Student Impact Champion designation. 

AASA Learning 2025
Deer Lakes School District was recognized in the summer of 2022 and 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.