Wilkinsburg High School: Hope amid dysfunction and disorder

At low-achieving Wilkinsburg High School, where the Class of 2014 graduates tonight, the Post-Gazette’s reporter Mary Niederberger finds inspiring stories of success.

"Wilkinsburg High School rises four stories above Wallace Avenue like an aging brick and stone castle that was once impressive, but is now forgotten and forlorn...

The dismal appearance of the building reflects the achievements of the students who go there. Test scores are among the lowest in the state. The habitual truancy rate of 76.2 percent — those who have six or more unexcused absences — soars above the county and statewide averages of 8.18 percent and 7.52 percent, respectively.

On any given day, there are as many students out of class as are in class.

Those who show up frequently stroll in late or leave early, and while there, they often text and listen to music and videos on their cell phones.

But in the midst of dysfunction and disorder, success stories can be found.” 

Read those stories in our special online presentation with photographs from the PG’s Rebecca Droke and Julia Rendleman.

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