Education Pillar Highlight: A+ Schools and Perry High School


Perry High School located in Observatory Hill is experiencing a positive transformation.  Veteran Principal Molly O’Malley Argueta, in her second year, is building on the collective work of teachers, students, parents, community partners and One Northside Anchor Partner, A+ Schools to re-imagine Perry High School. 

Since 2018, A+ Schools has been providing hands-on monthly planning and implementation support to re-establish Perry High School as the high school of choice for Northside families. This collaborative work has solidified three (3) elective student pathways that complement a student’s basic coursework while providing exposure to college and career opportunities. The three pathways include:

The newly established STEAM pathway provides hands-on learning experiences that take learning beyond the traditional classroom and offers opportunities to access college courses and internships. The career and college pathways were created with Perry staff who also voted to put in a block schedule allowing more time for instruction. Students are gaining access to Northside institutions such as City of Asylum, Carnegie Science Center, the Moonshot Museum, and Manchester Craftsmen’s Guild (MCG) Youth.

James Fogarty, Executive Director of A+ Schools, shares that Perry students “have an opportunity to go explore the resources in those institutions and those institutions are now coming into the school, creating projects with the teachers, co-creating project-based learning and individualized instruction, so that students are engaged.”

“This school has the potential, again, to be the number one high school in the city of Pittsburgh and the state,” says Principal O’Malley.

According to MCG Youth Executive Director, Justin Mazzei, “the students that go to Perry have more opportunities to engage in the subject matter in creative expression.” MCG Youth collaborates with Perry teachers to establish connections between creative practice and academic subject areas like computer science, biology, chemistry, English and more.

Principal O’Malley encourages members of the Northside community and parents to contact the school and learn first-hand about the opportunities Perry has. “I want them to know that we’re inviting, and they can come up to see Perry High School at any time.”

“It’s really about spreading the word that things are changing at Perry,” says James Fogarty of A+ Schools. “If people started taking a second look, they’d start to understand that the students and faculty in that building are doing some pretty amazing things.”

Sign up to stay informed on the city-wide work of A+ Schools by visiting To join Perry’s Parent School Community Council (PSCC) or to learn more about the offerings available at Perry High School, contact the school directly at 412-323-3200 or visit

To support learning at Perry High School, visit the Perry Wish List