PLC Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Pittsburgh Learning Collaborative?

Facilitated by A+ Schools, the PLC is a group of over 100+ organizations that have their focus set on battling chronic absenteeism. Member organization’s missions don’t just align with education but exist throughout the entire ecosystem of children, schools, and communities:

After School Programs  |  In School Programs  |  Childcare  |  Employment  |  Tutoring  |  Government  |  Family Engagement  |  Summer Programs  |  Housing & Healthcare  |  Transportation  |  Safe Streets  |  Literacy  |  School Systems  |  Policy & Advocacy

The idea is that we operate in abundance: we share resources, pathways funding, and collaboration opportunities to break silos and build connections so that we all are in “the know”. By doing so, we are working to create “Prepared Students”, “Schools Worth Going To” and “Connected Communities” to ensure that Every Kid gets to Every School, Every Day!

Why Chronic Absenteeism? 
Chronic absence (missing 10%+ days of school) has seen all-time highs across the country since students have been back in person. For Pittsburgh, in 2022 8,277 students missed 18 days or more of school (42% of enrollment) with 3,308 of those students missing 36 days of school. This is a 55% increase in chronic absence from 2019 when the overall rate was 27%. Chronically absent students are much less likely to be successful academically as the impact of lost learning time compounds, with one study showing only 17% of students that were chronically absent in K and 1st-grade reading at grade level by 3rd grade.

How does the PLC tackle chronic absenteeism?

With backbone support from A+ Schools, the PLC combats chronic absenteeism by working with and leveraging the relationships of existing community organizations, identifying issues and needs of families, coordinating community-based distribution of existing resources and information, identifying and applying local and national best practices, and working collaboratively to develop and implement new solutions where needed. In part due to this partnership with Pittsburgh Public Schools, overall chronic absence decreased seven percentage points (16% overall) in the 2022-23 school year with 1,5000 more students attending school regularly.

Most of all, we ask partners to shift their perspectives and not their practice around chronic absenteeism. Each partner has their niche in which they do their work. PLC members know  - regardless if their work is directly connected to education - that their work creates excuses for kids to go to school and supports the entire ecosystem.

What does being a member entail?

We meet members where they are - there is no cost and no baseline obligations for members to meet. With bi-monthly Full Team Meetings and Lunch & Learns, an Annual Summit, an OST Provider Meet Up, and continuous backbone supports that include communications, data, advocacy, funding,  networking, and tons of opportunities to get involved along the way - there are an array of pathways for folx to get involved in the PLC!

What does success look like for the PLC?

An essential piece of the success of the PLC is its ability to share data and learnings amongst the convening members. Through this documentation, individual members can literally see what other organizations are doing and find ways to collaborate and connect in order to better serve the families that they work with. But, that's not the only way. Success for the PLC also looks like:

  • Facilitating collaboration within and across Pittsburgh’s educational landscape and beyond
  • Providing resource and support sharing amongst PLC members and the community at large
  • Identifying relevant funding opportunities for organizations
  • Capitalizing on data sharing, comms support, and the Member Directory

Visit to see a complete list of the 100+ members and to learn more.