Duquesne Elementary School (DES) is transforming its school for students in grades PreK-6. We started by painting the walls different colors and allowing teachers to use flexible seating in their classrooms and in the common spaces of the building. Multiple grants from Donors Choose, the Grable Foundation, the Pittsburgh Penguins Foundation and PNC Bank have supported this work.
The Duquesne City School District (DCSD) is located in Duquesne, Pennsylvania which has a population of 5,534 residents in its 1.92 square miles (2016). The median household income for the residents of the Duquesne community is $21,495 as compared to $55,000 nationally and the median household value is $36,000 as compared to $184,000 nationally (2016). More than 40 percent of residents live in poverty. This is nearly three times the national average of 14 percent.
Despite these challenges, DES has continued to thrive, specifically in the areas of STEAM and maker learning. Over the past four years, DES has repurposed storage rooms, closets and older classrooms to create two maker spaces, a media center and a coding and robotics classroom .