Cornell School District

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District Profile






Dr. Aaron Thomas, Superintendent

Dr. Doug Szokoly, High School Principal

Mrs. Abigail Longwell, Assistant High School Principal

Mr. Jeffrey Carter, Elementary School Principal

Mrs. Carla Antoniades, Special Education Supervisor

Dr. Kris Hupp, Director of Technology & Instructional Innovation

Mr. Robert Geletko, Business Manager






The Cornell School District, comprised of the communities of Coraopolis and Neville Island, is located approximately ten miles west of downtown Pittsburgh.  Situated along the Ohio River, near Interstate 79, and in close proximity to the Pittsburgh International Airport, the school district has an excellent transportation network via bus, rail, boat, and air transportation.


The population of the two communities is just over 9000 residents.  Coraopolis is mainly a residential community with a business district of family-owned stores and shops, plus newer businesses and small companies that take advantage of the excellent transportation network and low property tax rate.  Although once a heavy industrial-based township, Neville Island is increasingly made up of a variety of new business ventures and opportunities.  A low millage rate and excellent modes of transportation make the Cornell School District an attractive community for business and manufacturing development.


School District

Cornell School District Grades K-12 is located on one campus in Coraopolis with separate wings for elementary and secondary instruction.  The climate-controlled building includes a gymnasium, fitness center, auditorium, and pool.  A recent energy efficiency upgrade was completed resulting in replacement of heating and air conditioning units, installation of new lighting in gymnasium and pool area, installation of censor controlled lights in the classrooms, and additional items to help reduce our energy costs. The Cornell School District also has a media center that fulfills the different needs of elementary and secondary students. Both Cornell Elementary and Cornell High School conduct morning announcements each morning highlighting the latest happenings in the district. Both telecasts are looped throughout the day and displayed on our television sets located throughout the building. Also, both schools have a dedicated STEAM/Makerspace classroom that allows teachers to conduct hands-on, project-based learning activities. These spaces allow Cornell students to collaborate, think critically, and be creative.  


Approximately 675 students attend kindergarten through grade 12.  The professional staff has an average of 10.5 years teaching experience, and all are considered highly qualified. 56 percent of the teachers have advanced degrees.  With class sizes averaging about 20 students and a staff/pupil ratio of 14 to one, students who attend the Cornell School District find that they are never “lost in the crowd.”  They are offered numerous opportunities to learn and grow in an environment that promotes great expectations and high achievement.


Honors and Awards

Students participate in a variety of district, regional, state, and national academic, vocational, artistic, and athletic competitions and win numerous awards and championships annually.  Each year our students are considered for Global Travel Scholars opportunities through the World Affairs Council, are offered job co-ops and apprenticeships opportunities, participate in Gifted and Talented Enrichment activities, and engage with local community organizations to be involved with countless community initiatives.



Cornell School District


Mission Statement

Cornell School District will provide each student a challenging, relevant, and rigorous education that prepares them socially, emotionally, and academically to succeed at their maximum potential.


Vision Statement

The Cornell School District, while working in a collective and cooperative manner with all stakeholders, will create a positive, meaningful, and safe learning environment and culture that promotes the dignity of all individuals, development of responsible citizenship, and allows all students to be educated to their maximum potential.


Shared Values

We believe that…

  • Learning is a continual and lifelong process.
  • Education of our youth is vital and invaluable to our future. 
  • All students, in the classroom and through extra-curricular, will be held to high standards and high expectations.
  • Every individual is unique and an equally important component of our school culture, climate and success.
  • Technology is an important resource that should be incorporated in the learning environment when appropriate, and will be used to enhance learning through engagement and relevance.
  • Students and faculty will treat others with respect and integrity at all times.
  • Student achievement is multi-measurable but continuous growth and improvement will constantly be sought.
  • Student achievement data will inform decisions in and out of the classroom.
  • High level instruction will be conducted in every classroom each and every day.

The Cornell School District offers a comprehensive academic program that prepares students to succeed in the post-secondary arena. All courses and assessments are aligned to the newly established PA Core Standards, and a new curriculum mapping initiative is underway. Students are exposed to different career paths through career education presentations throughout their time at Cornell. Technology is also incorporated at all grade levels and subject areas in the district when appropriate.


Special curriculum offerings include the following:  University of Pittsburgh College in the High School Program, Robert Morris University College in the High School Program and LaRoche College Scholars Program.


Honors:  These are rigorous courses that demand a high level of analytical reading ability and challenge students at a very high level of cognitive thinking.   Students may also elect to take AP courses in English, Dual Enrollment courses in math, science, American Government, Spanish, French and Accounting.


In the elementary school we successfully implemented a School-wide Positive Behavior Support System, which emphasizes teaching expected behaviors in the same manner as any core curriculum subject. The technology curriculum has also been enhanced in grades K-6 with being taught at all grade levels as well as the introduction of our new Makerspace.


Vocational-Technical Training is provided to our senior high students in Grades 9-12 at Parkway West Career and Technical School. 


The Cornell Cyber Program services elementary and high schools students who have entered the cyber program for a variety of reasons. Each course is facilitated by a Cornell School District subject-specific certified teacher and grading and progress is monitored continually. Students are able to work online at any time during the day or night including weekends. Each course is individualized for each student and the cyber program allows for a non-traditional learning experience for students who may need a different avenue to achieve academic success.


Special Education  

The Cornell School District offers a full continuum of special education programs and services to all eligible for such services.  Special Education programs and services are available for all eligible students between the ages of three (3) and twenty-one (21).  The following types of services are offered by the Cornell School District either through the district, placements in the Allegheny Intermediate Unit, or in Approved Private SchoolsDevelopmental Delays (Preschool Only), Deaf or Hearing Impaired Support, Multiple Disabled Support, Autistic Support, Physical Support, Speech and Language Support, Life Skills, Blind or Visually Impaired Support, Neurologically Impaired Support, Learning Support, Emotional Support, Other Health Impaired Support.  Students in grades K-12 receive services via an inclusionary model.



Gifted education at the elementary program is provided via a pullout program and enrichment in the structured groups.  At the secondary level, the students’ GIEP goals are achieved through accelerated courses, AP courses, Dual Enrollment Programs, and enrichment activities.  All district GIEP students have the opportunity to participate in AIU and Western Pennsylvania academic competitions.

Grading System and Credits

Twenty-four credits are required for graduation from Cornell School High School. 

Grades in each subject area are based on the following symbols:


LETTER                                PERCENT                            GRADE

GRADE                                                                                  POINT

A                                             90-100                                     4

B                                              80-89                                       3

C                                              70-79                                       2

D                                             60-69                                       1

F                                              59-Below                                 0

Athletics and Activities

Our interscholastic athletic program provides high-level competition in both team and individual sports.  Interscholastic sports are those in which students compete against teams or individuals from other school districts.


Athletic activities are offered at the junior high school, 9th grade, junior varsity, and varsity levels.  Some sports do not offer competition in all four levels.


Our district currently offers the following interscholastic sports:


Boys: Baseball, Basketball, Cross-Country, Football, Golf, Swimming, Track, and Soccer.

Girls: Basketball, Cross-Country, Golf, Soccer, Softball, Swimming, Track, and Volleyball.


The Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association (P.I.A.A.) governs high school interscholastic sports programs in Pennsylvania. As a member district, we follow the policies and regulations formulated by the Association.  Additional information regarding the athletic program is available from the Athletic Director.  Students are offered a number of extracurricular experiences.  Students can participate in the band beginning in seventh grade.  The athletic program includes football, basketball, softball and baseball, swimming, and golf teams.  There are also intramural programs in both the junior and senior high school levels.  Other activities include a student newspaper, yearbook, Key Club, National Honor Society, junior high and high school student councils, and class plays.



Cornell School District Highlights

  • Cornell Elementary School received a National Blue Ribbon School Award (November 2010).
  • Cornell School District was ranked 8th in the PA Business Times out of 501 schools in Pennsylvania for overachievement.
  • Cornell School District has received four (4) consecutive STEAM grants through the AIU and Grable Foundation totaling $65,000.  
  • The Cornell School District is a Community Eligibility district which means all students, regardless of socioeconomic background will receive a free school breakfast and lunch each day.
  • Cornell School District offers district-wide after-school tutorial sessions.
  • Cornell School District partners with Robert Morris University, the University of Pittsburgh and LaRoche College to offer dual-enrollment programs for senior high students to acquire college credits. There are a total of 9 Dual Enrollment courses offered.
  • An elementary school School-wide Positive Behavior Support System was successfully implemented during the 2013-2014 school year. 
  • Cornell High School has had 5 students and 2 teachers selected as Global Scholar Travelers through the World Affairs Council of Pittsburgh.
  • 40 cameras have been installed on the interior and exterior of the building to ensure school safety.
  • Cornell Elementary is just the second school in the country to partner with Fed-Ex to bring the curriculum into the schools.
  • Cornell High School is almost 1 to 1 in terms of students per technological device.
  • Cornell Elementary recently purchased a new English and math series that is fully aligned to the PA Core Standards.
  • Cornell School District recently moved to a new student information system, PowerSchool, which allows better access for parents is a more user friendly platform for students, staff, and parents.
  • Cornell School District has partnered with Holy Family to allow for school-based therapy which allows for Cornell to be a satellite office.
  • Cornell Elementary and Cornell High School now have designated STEAM/Makerspaces that encourage student collaboration, creativity and problem-solving activities.
  • Cornell High School offers a state-of-the-art TV studio that allows for daily morning broadcasts which are posted to Youtube immediately after the showing. 
  • Cornell Elementary recently received 45 Kindle Fire tablets from the Pittsburgh Penguin Foundation that are used for a variety of reading and math activities in the classroom.