Allentown School District
|Allentown School District|
|Location of Allentown School District in Lehigh County, Pennsylvania|
|31 South Penn Street
Allentown, Pennsylvania, Lehigh, 18105
|Superintendent||C. Russell Mayo, Ed.D|
|Other||Enrollment projected to be 18,468 pupils in 2015|
The Allentown School District is a large urban public school district located in Lehigh County, Pennsylvania, in the United States. Serving most of the city of Allentown, it is the fourth largest school district in Pennsylvania, with 17,962 students, with 15.7% White, 17.4% Black, 64.4% Hispanic, 1.4% Asian, 0.17% Native American. The School District of the City of Allentown encompasses approximately 17 square miles. According to 2010 federal census data, the district serves a resident population of 118,032. In 2009, the per capita income was $16,282, while the median family income was $37,356. Per school district officials, during the 2010 school year, the Allentown School District provided basic educational services to 17,962 pupils through the employment of 1,456 teachers, 1,084 full-time and part-time support personnel, and 110 administrators.
- 1 Schools
- 2 Academic achievement
- 3 Graduation rate
- 4 Academic reforms
- 5 Special education
- 6 School safety
- 7 Budget
- 8 Extracurriculars
- 9 References
- 10 External links
- William Allen High School - declined to Corrective Action II 4th Year in 2010.
- Louis E. Dieruff High School - declined to Corrective Action II 3rd Year in 2010.
- Central Catholic High School - declined to Corrective Action II 2nd year in 2010.
- Francis D. Raub Middle School - declined to Corrective Action II 4th Year in 2010.
- Harrison-Morton Middle School - declined Corrective Action II 3rd Year in 2010.
- South Mountain Middle School - declined to School Improvement I in 2010.
- Trexler Middle School - declined to Corrective Action II 4th Year in 2010.
- Central Elementary School - declined to School Improvement II in 2010.
- Cleveland Elementary School - achieved AYP status in 2010.
- Hiram Dodd Elementary School - achieved AYP status in 2010.
- Jackson Elementary School - made AYP in 2009 & 2010. closed June 2010.
- Jefferson Elementary School - improved to achieved AYP status in 2010.
- Lehigh Parkway Elementary School - achieved AYP status in 2010.
- Luis A. Ramos Elementary School - opened June 2010 replacing Jackson ES
- McKinley Elementary School - declined to Warning AYP status in 2010.
- Mosser Elementary School - declined to School Improvement I in 2010.
- Muhlenberg Elementary School - achieved AYP in 2009 & 2010.
- Ritter Elementary School - achieved AYP in 2010.
- Roosevelt Elementary School - achieved AYP in 2009 & 2010.
- Sheridan Elementary School - in Making Progress: in Corrective Action II in 2010.
- Union Terrace Elementary School - in Making Progress: in School Improvement II in 2010 
- Washington Elementary School - declined to Warning AYP Status 2010 
Luis A. Ramos Elementary School was named in honor of a former Pennsylvania State Board of Education member. Ramos also chaired the Allentown School District's Empowerment Team in 2001.
Early childhood centers
- Lincoln Early Childhood Center
In its 2010 School Improvement Grants application to the federal government, the Pennsylvania Department of Education identified the following Allentown District Schools as Persistently Low Achieving Schools: Central Elementary School; Francis D Raub Middle School; Harrison-Morton Middle School; Jefferson Elementary School; Louis Dieruff High School; Sheridan Elementary School; Trexler Middle School; Union Terrace Elementary School; and William Allen High School. Central Elementary School was cited by the Pennsylvania Department of Education as one of the lowest 5% persistently lowest-achieving schools in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
The Allentown School District was ranked 483rd out of 498 Pennsylvania school districts, in 2011, by the Pittsburgh Business Times. The ranking was based on student academic achievement on five years of PSSA results in: reading, writing, mathematics and three years of science.
In 2010, the district was in Corrective Action II 3rd Year level in AYP status due to chronically low student achievement.
The "four-year cohort graduation rate" shows that 612 of 1,576 students who entered Allen and Dieruff high schools as freshmen in 2006-07 dropped out before getting a diploma in the 2009-10 school year.
In 2010, the Pennsylvania Department of Education issued a new, 4-year cohort graduation rate. Allentown School District's rate was 62.71% for 2010.
According to traditional graduation rate calculations:
In 2009, the academic achievement of the students of the Allentown School District was in the 2nd percentile among 500 Pennsylvania school districts. Scale (0-99; 100 is state best) 
The Allentown Area School Board has determined that a student must earn 22.5 credits to graduate, including: English 4 credits, Math 3 credits, Social Studies 3.5 credits, Science 3 credits, Arts and Humanities 2 credits, Physical Education 0.8 credits, Health .5 credits, Computer application .5 credits, graduation project .2 credits and electives 5 credits.
For the Graduating classes of 2012-2014, students must demonstrate PSSA (Pennsylvania System of School Assessment) proficiency in reading, mathematics, and writing. A student who does not attain proficiency on the 11th grade PSSA tests in reading, mathematics, and writing will graduate if he/she successfully completes one of the alternatives: pass the retest of the PSSAs; score at least 900 as a combined total of the verbal and mathematics sections on the SATs; obtain a senior year grade point average (GPA) of at least 2.0; or achieve the level of proficiency determined through their IEP process.
By law, all Pennsylvania secondary school students must complete a project as a part of their eligibility to graduate from high school. The type of project, its rigor and its expectations are set by the individual school district. At Allentown School District the requirements include a written paper to be completed by the first semester of the student’s senior year and an oral presentation to be given during his/her senior year.
By Pennsylvania State School Board regulations, for the graduating class of 2016, students must demonstrate successful completion of secondary level course work in Algebra I, Biology, English Composition, and Literature for which the Keystone Exams serve as the final course exams. Students’ Keystone Exam scores shall count for at least one-third of the final course grade.
According to a Pennsylvania Department of Education study released in January 2009, 48% of Allentown School District graduates required remediation in mathematics and or reading before they were prepared to take college level courses in the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education or community colleges. Less than 66% of Pennsylvania high school graduates, who enroll in a four-year college in Pennsylvania, will earn a bachelor's degree within six years. Among Pennsylvania high school graduates pursuing an associate degree, only one in three graduate in three years. Per the Pennsylvania Department of Education, one in three recent high school graduates who attend Pennsylvania's public universities and community colleges takes at least one remedial course in math, reading or English.
In 2010, the school board hired former Pennsylvania Secretary of Education, Dr. Gerald Zahorchak D.Ed., as Superintendent of Schools. In 2011, he proposed a wide ranging set of reforms called 2011-2012 Program of Studies and Related Curtailment Plan. After a contentious debate, within the district and with the community, the Allentown Board of School Directors approved the plan in March 2011. As a part of the plan a significant realignment of resources would be undertaken for the 2011-12 school year. This resulted in the reduction of professional staff through furlough, termination or demotion in the following areas: 84 elementary positions, 121 secondary positions and 42 student support positions were eliminated. Some position were not replacing retirements and some were furloughed. The cuts are based on seniority and certification area and amounted to 18% of the district's employees.
Under the plan, AP courses are taught, as dual enrollment courses, by local college professors. Some courses at the high schools were cut.
The District engages in identification procedures to ensure that eligible students receive an appropriate educational program consisting of special education and related services, individualized to meet student needs. At no cost to the parents, these services are provided in compliance with state and federal law; and are reasonably calculated to yield meaningful educational benefit and student progress. To identify students who may be eligible for special education, various screening activities are conducted on an ongoing basis. These screening activities include: review of group-based data (cumulative records, enrollment records, health records, report cards, ability and achievement test scores); hearing, vision, motor, and speech/language screening; and review by the Instructional Support Team or Student Assistance Team. When screening results suggest that the student may be eligible, the District seeks parental consent to conduct a multidisciplinary evaluation. Parents who suspect their child is eligible may verbally request a multidisciplinary evaluation from a professional employee of the District or contact the Special Education Department.
In 2010, the state of Pennsylvania provided $1,026,815,000 for Special Education services. The funds were distributed to districts based on a state policy which estimates that 16% of the district's pupils are receiving special education services. This funding is in addition to the state's basic education per pupil funding, as well as, all other state and federal funding.
Allentown School District received a $9,147,139 supplement for special education services in 2010.
The District Administration reported that 650 or 3.72% of its students were gifted in 2009. By law, the district must provide mentally gifted programs at all grade levels. The referral process for a gifted evaluation can be initiated by teachers or parents by contacting the student’s building principal and requesting an evaluation. All requests must be made in writing. To be eligible for mentally gifted programs in Pennsylvania, a student must have a cognitive ability of at least 130 as measured on a standardized ability test by a certified school psychologist. Other factors that indicate giftedness will also be considered for eligibility.
The Allentown School District administration reported there were 3,047 incidents related to school safety in the district in 2009. This resulted in 96 arrests. There were 4 sexual assaults and 6 indecent exposure events. Bullying was also significant, with 200 instances being reported district wide.
The Allentown School Board has provided the district's antibully policy online. Pupils are urged to report bullying to the build Principal. All Pennsylvania schools are required to have an anti-bullying policy incorporated into their Code of Student Conduct. The policy must identify disciplinary actions for bullying and designate a school staff person to receive complaints of bullying. The policy must be available on the school's website and posted in every classroom. All Pennsylvania public schools must provide a copy of its anti-bullying policy to the Office for Safe Schools every year, and shall review their policy every three years. Additionally, the district must conduct an annual review of that policy with students. The Center for Schools and Communities works in partnership with the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime & Delinquency and the Pennsylvania Department of Education to assist schools and communities as they research, select and implement bullying prevention programs and initiatives.
Education standards relating to student safety and antiharassment programs are described in the 10.3. Safety and Injury Prevention in the Pennsylvania Academic Standards for Health, Safety and Physical Education.
In 2009, the district reported employing 1,399 teachers with an average salary of $55,986 for 180 student instruction days. The highest salary was $156,832 while the starting salary was $41,206. In 2008 the union and school board agreed to a five-year contract which set annual raises at 4.5%. In addition the teachers receive: a defined benefit pension, health insurance, professional development reimbursement, several paid personal days, 10 paid sick days which accumulate, paid bereavement leave days and many other benefits. According to Rep. Glen Grell, a trustee of the Public School Employees’ Retirement System Board of Trustees, a 40-year educator can retire with a pension equal to 100 percent of their final salary.
In 2007, the Allentown City School District employed 897 teachers working 180 days pupil instruction. The average teacher salary in the district was $54,317. The average teacher salary in Pennsylvania was $49,596. As of 2007, Pennsylvania ranked in the top 10 states in average teacher salaries. When adjusted for cost of living Pennsylvania ranked fourth in the nation for teacher compensation.
In 2008, per pupil spending at Allentown City School District was ranked 475th in the state at $10,012 for each child.
In 2008, the Allentown City School District reported an unreserved designated fund balance of $1.8 million and an unreserved-undesignated fund balance of $3,112,620.
In December 2010, the Pennsylvania Auditor General conducted a performance audit on the district. Several serious findings were reported to the school board and administration.
The district is funded by a combination of: a local tax on income, a property tax, a real estate transfer tax 0.5%, coupled with substantial funding from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the federal government. Grants have provided an opportunity to supplement school funding without raising local taxes. In Pennsylvania, pension income and Social Security income are exempted from state personal income tax and local earned income tax, regardless of the level of wealth.
State basic education funding
In 2011-12, the district will receive $82,853,825 in state Basic Education Funding. Additionally, the district will receive $1,517,850 in Accountability Block Grant funding. The enacted Pennsylvania state Education budget includes $5,354,629,000 for the 2011-2012 Basic Education Funding appropriation. This amount is a $233,290,000 increase (4.6%) over the enacted State appropriation for 2010-2011.
In 2010, the district reported that 13,582 pupils received a free or reduced-price lunch due to their family meeting the federal poverty level.
For the 2010-11 budget year the Allentown City School District received a 2% increase in state basic education funding for a total of $86,617,733. In Lehigh County, the highest increase went to Whitehall-Coplay School District which received an 7.98% increase in state funding. One hundred fifty school districts in Pennsylvania received a 2% base increase for budget year 2010-11. The highest increase in the state was awarded to Kennett Consolidated School District of Chester County which was given a 23.65% increase in state basic education funding.
In the 2009-2010 budget year, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania provided a 13.47% increase in Basic Education funding for a total of $84,919,833. Two county school districts received increases of over 13% in Basic Education Funding in 2009-10. Whitehall-Coplay School District received an 15.17% increase. In Pennsylvania, 15 school districts received Basic Education Funding increases in excess of 10% in 2009. Muhlenberg School District in Berks County received the highest with a 22.31% increase in funding. The state's Basic Education Funding to the Allentown City School District in 2008-09 was $74,839,642.57. The amount of increase each school district receives is determined by the Governor and the Secretary of Education through the allocation set in the state budget proposal made in February each year.
In 2008, the district reported that 13,821 pupils received a free or reduced-price lunch due to their family meeting the federal poverty level.
Accountability Block Grant
The state provides additional education funding to schools in the form of Accountability Block Grants. The use of these funds is strictly focused on specific state approved uses designed to improve student academic achievement. Allentown City School District uses its $4,119,825 to fund extensive teacher training through using teacher coaches, to provide all-day kindergarten, to extend the instruction time and to provide teacher training. These annual funds are in addition to the state's basic education funding. Schools Districts apply each year for Accountability Block Grants. In 2009-10, the state provided $271.4 million in Accountability Block grants $199.5 million went to providing all-day kindergartens.
Classrooms for the Future grant
The Classroom for the Future state program provided districts with hundreds of thousands of extra state funding to buy laptop computers for each core curriculum high school class (English, Science, History, Math) and paid for teacher training to optimize the computers use. The program was funded from 2006-2009. Allentown City School District did not apply for funding in 2006-07. In 2007-08 the district received $1,753,891. For the 2008-09, school year the district received $320,008. Of the 501 public school districts in Pennsylvania, 447 of them received Classrooms for the Future grant awards. In May 2008, 30 Allen High School laptops were stolen for a loss of over $34,000.
School Improvement Grant
In the summer of 2011, the district applied for and was awarded over $3 million in School Improvement grants. Four of the district's schools were eligible for funding due to poor student achievement, including Mosser ES, Sheridan ES, and Union Terrace ES. The grant stipulates the funds be used for improving student achievement using one of four federally dictated strategies. The strategies are: transformation, turnaround, restart with new faculty and administration or closure of failing schools. Allentown School District schools received funding for transformation of South Middleton Middle School. Transformation calls for a change in faculty and administration evaluations, mandated training in proven teaching techniques and rigorous curriculum change that focuses on student achievement.
In 2010 the district received $15 million in federal School Improvement grants. The district removed several principals as required by the grants. They were given other jobs within the district.
Federal stimulus grant
The Allentown City School District received $10 million ARRA, as Federal stimulus money to be used in specific programs, like special education, and meeting the academic needs of low-income students.
The district offers a wide variety of clubs, activities and sports. Eligibility to participate is determined by the school board and the PIAA. Both Allentown School District public high schools, William Allen High School and Louis E. Dieruff High School, compete athletically in the Lehigh Valley Conference.
- Enrollment and Projections, Pennsylvania Department of Education, 2010
- Enrollment and Projections by LEA, Pennsylvania Department of Education, July 2010
- American Fact Finder, US Census Bureau, 2009
- Pennsylvania Department of Education (2010). "William Allen Senior High School AYP Overview".
- Pennsylvania Department of Education (2010). "Louis E Dieruff High Senior School AYP Overview".
- Pennsylvania Department of Education (2010). "Central Catholic High School AYP Overview".
- Pennsylvania Department of Education (2010). "Francis D. Raub Middle School School AYP Overview".
- Pennsylvania Department of Education (2010). "Harrison-Morton Middle School School AYP Overview".
- Pennsylvania Department of Education (2010). "South Mountain Middle School School AYP Overview".
- Pennsylvania Department of Education (2010). "Trexler Middle School School AYP Overview".
- Pennsylvania Department of Education (2010). "Central Elementary School School AYP Overview".
- Pennsylvania Department of Education (2010). "Cleveland Elementary School School AYP Overview".
- Pennsylvania Department of Education (2010). "Hiram Dodd Elementary School School AYP Overview".
- Pennsylvania Department of Education (2010). "Jackson Elementary School School AYP Overview".
- Pennsylvania Department of Education (2010). "Jefferson Elementary School School AYP Overview".
- Pennsylvania Department of Education (2010). "Lehigh Parkway Elementary School School AYP Overview".
- Pennsylvania Department of Education (2010). "McKinley Elementary School School AYP Overview".
- Pennsylvania Department of Education (2010). "Mosser Elementary School School AYP Overview".
- Pennsylvania Department of Education (2010). "Muhlenberg Elementary School School AYP Overview".
- Pennsylvania Department of Education (2010). "Ritter Elementary School School AYP Overview".
- Pennsylvania Department of Education (2010). "Roosevelt Elementary School School AYP Overview".
- Pennsylvania Department of Education (2010). "Sheridan Elementary School School AYP Overview".
- Pennsylvania Department of Education (2010). "Union Terrace Elementary School School AYP Overview".
- Pennsylvania Department of Education (2010). "Washington Elementary School School AYP Overview".
- Allentown MOrning Call (June 9, 2010). "About Luis Ramos".
- Pennsylvania Department of Education (2010). "School Improvement Grants application 2010".
- Pennsylvania Department of Education (January 11, 2011). "Pennsylvania Bottom 5% Persistently Low Achieving Schools".
- Pittsburgh Business Times (April 1, 2011). "Statewide Ranking Information 2011,".
- Pittsburgh Business Times (April 30, 2010). "Statewide Honor Roll Rankings 2010,".
- Honor Roll Rank - state public districts, Pittsburgh Business Times, June 2008
- Pittsburgh Business Times (May 23, 2007). "Three of the top Districts in state hail from Allegheny County.".
- Pennsylvania Department of Education (2010). "Allentown City School District Report Card 2010".
- Esack, Steve, (January 5, 2011). "Zahorchak: Allentown graduation rate 'shameful'". The Allentown Morning Cal.
- Pennsylvania Department of Education (March 15, 2011). "New 4-year Cohort Graduation Rate Calculation Now Being Implemented".
- Pennsylvania Department of Education (2010). "Allentown City School District Report Card data table".
- "Lehigh County School District Graduation Reate 2008,". The Times-Tribune. 2009.
- Pennsylvania Partnership for Children (2008). "High School Graduation Report".
- "2009 PSSA RESULTS Allentown City SD,". The Allentown Morning Call,. 2009.
- Allentown School Board (2011). Allentown School District Course Guide 2011-12 (Report).
- Allentown School District Course Guide 2011-12, Allentown School Board, 2011
- "Pennsylvania Code §4.24 (a) High school graduation requirements".
- Pennsylvania Department of Education (September 2011). "Pennsylvania Keystone Exams Overview".
- Allentown School District Administration (2011). "Keystone Exams".
- Pennsylvania Department of Education (January 2009). "Pennsylvania College Remediation Report".
- National Center for Education Statistics
- Allentown City Schools Administration (March 2011). "3-31-11 ASD Board of School Directors Approves 2011-2012 Program of Studies and Related Curtailment Plan".
- WFMZ-TV (May 26, 2011). "Board Passes Preliminary Budget;Nearly 250 Jobs On Chopping Block In Allentown".
- Steve Esack (June 1, 2011). "265 Allentown teachers get layoff notices". THE MORNING CALL.
- Pennsylvania Bureau of Special Education (January 31, 2011). "Allentown City School District Special Education Data Report LEA Performance on State Performance Plan (SPP) Targets School Year 2008-2009".
- Allentown School District Special Education Department (2010). "Allentown School District Special Education information".
- Pennsylvania Department of Education. "Pennsylvania Special Education Funding".
- Pennsylvania Department of Education (July 2010). "Special Education Funding from Pennsylvania State_2010-2011".
- Pennsylvania Department of Education (revised December 1, 2009 child count; collected July 2010). "Gifted Students as Percentage of Total Enrollment by School District/Charter School".
- Pennsylvania Department of Education and Pennsylvania School Board. "CHAPTER 16. Special Education For Gifted Students". Retrieved February 4, 2011.
- Pennsylvania Office of Safe Schools. "Allentown School District School Safety Annual Report 2008 - 2009". Retrieved February 8, 2011.
- "Pennsylvania Safe Schools Online Reports". February 2011.
- Allentown School District Administration (November 2010). "Allentown School District Bullying/Cyberbullying Policy 249".
- Will Lewis (March 17, 2011). "Working To Beat Bullying In Allentown Schools".
- "Regular Session 2007-2008 House Bill 1067, Act 61 Section 6 page 8".
- "Center for Safe Schools of Pennsylvania, Bullying Prevention advisory". Retrieved January 2011.
- Pennsylvania Department of Education. "Pennsylvania Academic Standards".
- Openpagov.com (2009). "Farrell Area School District Payroll report".
- Allentown City School Board, (2008). "Allentown City School District Teacher Union Employment Contract,".
- Legislature must act on educators' pension hole. The Patriot News. February 21, 2010
- Pennsylvania School Board Association. "School Pension Information".
- Fenton, Jacob,. "Average classroom teacher salaries in Lehigh County, 2006-07". The Morning Call. Retrieved March 2009.
- Teachers need to know enough is enough, PaDelcoTimes, April 20, 2010.
- "Per Pupil Spending in Pennsylvania Public Schools in 2008 Sort by Administrative Spending". 2008.
- Pennsylvania Department of Education Report 2008 (2008). "General Reserved Fund Balance by School District 1996-2008,".
- Pennsylvania Auditor General (December 2010). "Allentown City School District LEHIGH COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA PERFORMANCE AUDIT REPORT".
- Pennsylvania Department of Revenue, (2010). "Personal Income Tax Information,".
- Pennsylvania Department ofEducation (July 2011). "Pennsylvania 2011-2012 Estimated Basic Education Funding".
- PA Senate Appropriations Committee (June 28, 2011). "School District 2011-12 funding Report".
- Pennsylvania Department of Education (June 30, 2011). "Basic Education Funding 2011-2012 Fiscal Year".
- Pennsylvania House Appropriations Committee (June 2010). "PA Basic Education Funding-Printout2 2010-2011".
- Pennsylvania Department of Education (October 2009). "Basic Education Funding report".
- Office of Budget, (February 2010). "Governor's Budget Proposal 2010,".
- Pennsylvania Department of Education (2010). "ACCOUNTABILITY BLOCK GRANT Awards".
- PA-PACT Information
- Pennsylvania Department of Education (2010). "2009–2010 Accountability Block Grant Mid-year report".
- Pennsylvania Auditor General (2008-12-22). "Special Performance Audit Classrooms For the Future grants".
- Manuel Gamiz Jr., “30 Allen High laptops stolen,” The Morning Call, June 24, 2008
- Pennsylvania Department of Education (August 23, 2011). "Education Secretary Announces $66 Million Awarded to Reform Pennsylvania Lowest-Achieving Schools".
- Allentown City School District Press release (August 18, 2011). "ALLENTOWN SCHOOL DISTRICT AWARDED ANOTHER $1 MILLION IN SCHOOL IMPROVEMENT GRANT FUNDING—FOR SOUTH MOUNTAIN MIDDLE SCHOOL".
- Steve Esack (October 12, 2010). "ASD removing four principals to gain federal money". The Morning Call.
- Allentown School District Board (April 1999). "Co-Curricular Activities Policy 122".
- Allentown School District Board (June 2006). "Interscholastic Athletics Policy 123".