Bangor Area School District
|Bangor Area School District|
|Location of the Bangor Area School District in Northampton County, Pennsylvania.|
|123 Five Points Richmond Road
Bangor, Pennsylvania, Northampton, 18013
|Superintendent||Dr. Frank DeFelice (Acting) |
|Other||Enrollment projected to decline to 3066 pupils by 2020|
|Rival||Pen Argyl Area High School|
The Bangor Area School District is a midsized, public school district located in Northampton County in eastern Pennsylvania. It covers approximately 87 square miles (230 km2) serving the Boroughs of Bangor, East Bangor, Portland and Roseto and Upper Mount Bethel Township, Washington Township and most of Lower Mount Bethel Township in Northampton County, Pennsylvania. Bangor Area School District serves a resident population of 21,093. In 2009, the district residents' per capita income was $20,054, while the median family income: $51,347. Per school district officials, in school year 2007–08 the Bangor Area School District provided basic educational services to 3,595 pupils through the employment of 277 teachers, 202 full-time and part-time support personnel, and 24 administrators. The Bangor Area School District received more than $14.6 million in state funding in school year 2007–08.
- 1 Schools
- 2 Academic achievement
- 3 High school
- 4 Special education
- 5 Bullying policy school safety
- 6 Budget
- 6.1 State basic education funding
- 6.2 School Improvement Grant
- 6.3 Federal Stimulus grant
- 6.4 Common Cents state initiative
- 6.5 Real estate taxes
- 6.6 Extracurriculars
- 7 References
- 8 External links
- Bangor Area High School in School Improvement I
- Bangor Area Middle School in School Improvement I
- DeFranco Elementary School Making Progress: in Corrective Action II Report Card 2010 
- Five Points Elementary School Achieved AYP Report Card 2010 
- Washington Elementary School Achieved AYP Report Card 2010 
Bangor Area School District was ranked 371st out of 498 Pennsylvania school districts in 2011 by the Pittsburgh Business Times. The ranking was based on five years of student academic performance based on the PSSAs for: reading, writing, math and three years of science.
- 2010 – 372nd
- 2009 – 393rd
- 2008 – 373rd
- 2007 – 381st out of 501 Pennsylvania school districts.
In 2009, the academic achievement, of the students in the Bangor Area School District, was in the 24th percentile among all 500 Pennsylvania school districts Scale (0–99; 100 is state best)
In 2010, the Pennsylvania Department of Education issued a new, 4-year cohort graduation rate. Bangor Area School District's rate was 89% for 2010.
According to traditional graduation rate calculations:
Bangor Area School District School Board has determined that a student must earn 28 credits in order to graduate, including: English 4 credits, Math 4 credits, Social Studies 4 credits, Science 3 credits, Health/Physical Education 3 credits, and Elective Courses 10 credits. A significant change in the Program of study begins with the Class of 2014. Fewer electives are permitted while 4 credits are required for science, a new technology requirement is added.
By law, all Pennsylvania high 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.
By Pennsylvania State School Board regulations, for the graduating classes 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.
Bangor Area High School is in School Improvement I due to chronic low student achievement. In 2009, the school was in School Improvement I. The Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) requires schools not meeting AYP to complete and implement a school improvement plan which delineates strategic practices to raise the achievement levels of all students. The high school has developed a school improvement plan. The district is required to permit students to transfer to an achieving school within the district.
11th Grade Reading
- 2010 – 79% on grade level Boys – 67% / Girls-75% (15% below basic). In Pennsylvania, 66% of 11th graders are on grade level.
- 2009 – 60%, Boys – 52% / Girls-68% (21% below basic), State – 65%
- 2008 – 53%, Boys – 40%/Girls – 56% (31% below basic), State – 65%
- 2007 – 63%, Boys – 58%/Girls – 68% (19% below basic), State – 65%
11th Grade Math:
- 2010 – 67%, on grade level (20% below basic). In Pennsylvania, 59% of 11th graders are on grade level.
- 2009 – 52% (29% below basic). State – 56%.
- 2008 – 43% (38% below basic), State – 56%
- 2007 – 52% (24% below basic), State – 53%
11th Grade Science:
- 2010 – 37% on grade level (22% below basic). State – 39% of 11th graders were on grade level.
- 2009 – 35% (22% below basic). State – 40%
- 2008 – 28%, State – 39%
- College remediation
According to a Pennsylvania Department of Education study released in January 2009, 15% of Bangor Area High School 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.
The Bangor Area High School offers the Pennsylvania dual enrollment program. This state program permits high school students to take courses, at local higher education institutions, to earn college credits. Under the program, students have full access to all activities and programs at the high school. The college credits are offered at a deeply discounted rate. The state offers a small grant to assist students in costs for tuition, fees and books. Under the Pennsylvania Transfer and Articulation Agreement, many Pennsylvania colleges and universities accept these credits for students who transfer to their institutions. The Pennsylvania College Credit Transfer System reported in 2009, that students saved nearly $35.4 million by having their transferred credits count towards a degree under the new system.
In 2010, Bangor High School received a $5,713 to assist students with the cost of fees, books and tuition.
In 2010 and 2009, the middle school is in School Improvement Level I status due to chronically lagging student achievement. In 2010 the attendance rate was 95% wle in 2009 the attendance rate was 96%.
8th Grade Reading
- 2010 – 79% on grade level Boys – 72%/Girls-87% (10% below basic). In Pennsylvania, 81% of 8th graders on grade level.
- 2009 – 86% Boys – 81%/Girls-91% (8% below basic), State – 80%
- 2008 – 82% (9% below basic), State – 78%
- 2007 – 73% (12% below basic), State – 75%
8th Grade Math:
- 2010 – 68% on grade level, Boys – 66%/Girls-70% (11% below basic). In Pennsylvania, 75% of 8th graders are on grade level.
- 2009 – 61%, Boys – 62%/Girls-59% (19% below basic), State – 71%
- 2008 – 74% (10% below basic), State – 70%
- 2007 – 73% (13% below basic), State – 68%
8th Grade Science:
- 2010 – 56% on grade level Boys – 50%/Girls-63% (24% below basic). State – 57% of 8th graders were on grade level.
- 2009 – 55%, Boys – 57%/Girls-53% (21% below basic), State – 55%
- 2008 – 60%, State – 52%
7th Grade Reading
- 2010 – 69% on grade level Boys – 60%/Girls-79% (11% below basic). In Pennsylvania, 73% of 7th graders on grade level.
- 2009 – 69% Boys – 60%/Girls-78% (11% below basic), State – 71%
- 2008 – 67% (17% below basic), State – 70%
- 2007 – 79% (9% below basic), State – 67%
7th Grade Math:
- 2010 – 79% on grade level (8% below basic). In Pennsylvania, 77% of 7th graders are on grade level.
- 2009 – 62% (19% below basic), State – 75%
- 2008 – 63% (20% below basic), State – 71%
- 2007 – 66% (17% below basic), State – 67%
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.
Bangor Area School District provides programs for students with the following disabilities: learning disabled, autistic, deafness/hearing impairment, emotional disturbance, mental retardation, multiply disabled, orthopedic impairment, other health impaired, speech/language impaired, traumatic brain injured and visual impairment, including blindness. Related services are available to assist a student with a disability, including transportation, occupational therapy, physical therapy, orientation and mobility and psychological services.
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.
Bangor Area School District received a $1,832,368 supplement for special education services in 2010.
The District Administration reported that 99 or 2.96% of its students were identified as gifted in 2009. By law, the district must provide mentally gifted programs at all grade levels. The primary emphasis is on enrichment and acceleration of the regular education curriculum through a push in model with the gifted instructor in the classroom with the regular instructor. This approach permits such specialized instructional strategies as tiered assignments, curriculum compacting, flexible grouping, learning stations, independent projects and independent contracts. Students identified as gifted attending the High School have access to honors and advanced placement courses, and dual enrollment with local colleges. 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.
Bullying policy school safety
The Bangor Area School Board has provided the district's antibully policy online. 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 reports employing over 300 teachers with a starting salary of $37,000 for 180 days for pupil instruction. The average teacher salary was $51,879 while the maximum salary is $117,00. 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. Teacher work a 7 hour 30 minute day which includes a 30-minute paid lunch break. Teachers are provided a 30 -80 minute planning period each day. Additionally, Bangor Area School District teachers receive a defined benefit pension, health insurance, professional development reimbursement, 2 paid personal days, 1 paid emergency day, 11 sick days, disability insurance and other benefits. Wen a teacher has no absences for one year they receive $250 at the close of the school year. Teachers are paid extra if they are required to work outside of the regular school day According to State Rep. Glen Grell, a trustee of the Pennsylvania Public School Employees’ Retirement System Board, a 40-year educator can retire with a pension equal to 100 percent of their final salary.
In 2007, the district employed 245 teachers. The average teacher salary in the district was $47,777 for 180 school days worked.
Bangor Area School District administrative costs per pupil in 2008 was $727.52 per pupil. The district was ranked 278th out of 500 in Pennsylvania for administrative spending. The lowest administrative cost per pupil in Pennsylvania was $398 per pupil.
In 2008, Bangor Area School District reported spending $11,690 per pupil. This ranked 136th in the Commonwealth.
In 2009, the district reported $3,920,950 in an unreserved-undesignated fund balance. The designated fund balance was reported as zero.
In August 2009, the Pennsylvania Auditor General conducted a performance audit of the district. Findings were reported to the administration and school board.
The district is funded by a combination of: a local income tax, a property tax, a real estate transfer tax, coupled with substantial funding from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the federal government. Grants can provide an opportunity to supplement school funding without raising local taxes. In the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, pension and Social Security income are exempted from state personal income tax and local earned income tax regardless of the individual's wealth.
State basic education funding
In 2011–12, Bangor Area School District will receive $8,853,891 in state Basic Education Funding. Additionally, the district will receive $230,741 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. The highest increase in state basic education funding was awarded to Duquesne City School District, which got a 49% increase in state funding for 2011-12.
In 2010, the district reported that 1,091 pupils received a free or reduced-price lunch due to their family meeting the federal poverty level.
For 2010–11 the Bangor Area School District received a 2% increase in state Basic Education Funding resulting in a $9,681,918 payment. Bethlehem Area School District received a 13.44% increase, which was the highest increase in BEF in Northampton County. Kennett Consolidated School District in Chester County received the highest increase in the state at 23.65% increase in funding for the 2010–11 school year. One hundred fifty school districts received the base 2% increase in 2010–11. 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 the 2009–2010 budget year the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania provided a 7.21% increase in Basic Education funding for a total of $9,492,076. The state Basic Education funding to the district in 2008–09 was $8,853,890.60. The district also received supplemental funding for English language learners, Title 1 federal funding for low-income students, for district size, a poverty supplement from the commonwealth and more. Bethlehem Area School District received an 8.98% increase, the highest increase in Northampton County for the 2009–10 school year. Among the 500 school districts in Pennsylvania, Muhlenberg School District in Berks County received the highest with a 22.31% increase in funding.
Accountability Block Grants
Beginning in 2004–2005, the state launched the Accountability Block Grant school funding. This program has provided $1.5 billion to Pennsylvania’s school districts. The Accountability Block Grant program requires that its taxpayer dollars are focused on specific interventions that are most likely to increase student academic achievement. These interventions include: teacher training, all-day kindergarten, lower class size K-3rd grade, literacy and math coaching programs that provide teachers with individualized job-embedded professional development to improve their instruction, before or after school tutoring assistance to struggling students. For 2010–11 the Bangor Area School District applied for and received $626,289, in addition to all other state and federal funding. The district used the funding to provide full-day kindergarten for the 4th year, a taxpayer-funded preschool, and assistance for struggling students.
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 to 2009. Bangor Area School District was denied funding in 2006–07. In 2007–08 the district received $225,978. For the 2008–09, school year the district received $46,855 for a total of $272,833. Of the 501 public school districts in Pennsylvania, 447 of them received Classrooms for the Future grant awards.
Education Assistance grant
The state's Education Assistance Program funding provides for the continuing support of tutoring services and other programs to address the academic needs of eligible students. Funds are available to eligible school districts and full-time career and technology centers (CTC) in which one or more schools have failed to meet at least one academic performance target, as provided for in Section 1512-C of the Pennsylvania Public School Code. In 2010–11 the Bangor Area School District received $90,897.
School Improvement Grant
In the Spring of 2011, the district administration did not apply for School Improvement Grant funding, from the federal government (over $9.9 million available). The Bangor Area High School, the Bangor Area Middle School and DeFranco Elementary School was eligible for funding due to chronic, low student academic achievement. 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. The Pennsylvania Education Secretary awarded $66 Million to reform Pennsylvania's lowest-achieving schools in August 2011. The funding is for three years.
For the 2010–11 school year, Bangor Area School District administration did not apply for a School Improvement Grant. It was eligible for funding due to the chronic, low achievement at the High School, the middle school and DeFranco Elementary School.
In 2010, Pennsylvania received $141 million from the federal department of education, to turn around its worst-performing schools. The funds were disbursed via a competitive grant program. The Pennsylvania Department of Education has identified 200 Pennsylvania schools as "persistently lowest-achieving," making them eligible for this special funding. Pennsylvania required low performing schools to apply or provide documentation about why they had not applied. The funds must be used, by the district, to turn around schools in one of four ways: school closure, restart – close the school and reopen it as a charter school. The other two options involve removing the principal. One would require at least half the faculty in a chronically poor performing school be dismissed. The second involves intensive teacher training coupled with strong curriculum revision or a longer school day.
Federal Stimulus grant
The district received an extra $2,545,140 in ARRA – Federal Stimulus money to be used in specific programs like special education and meeting the academic needs of low-income students. The funding was for the 2009–10 and 2010–11 school years.
Race to the Top grant
School district officials applied for the Race to the Top federal grant which would have brought the district over one million additional federal dollars for improving student academic achievement. Participation required the administration, the school board and the local teachers' union to sign an agreement to prioritize improving student academic success. In Pennsylvania, 120 public school districts and 56 charter schools agreed to participate. Pennsylvania was not approved for the grant. The failure of districts to agree to participate was cited as one reason that Pennsylvania was not approved.
Common Cents state initiative
The Bangor Area School Board chose to not participate in the Pennsylvania Department of Education Common Cents program. The program called for the state to audit the district, at no cost to local taxpayers, to identify ways the district could save tax dollars. After the review of the information, the district was not required to implement the recommended cost savings changes.
Real estate taxes
The school board set property tax rates in 2010–2011 at 48.7200 mills. A mill is $1 of tax for every $1,000 of a property's assessed value. Irregular property reassessments have become a serious issue in the commonwealth as it creates a significant disparity in taxation within a community and across a region. Pennsylvania school district revenues are dominated by two main sources: 1) Property tax collections, which account for the vast majority (between 75–85%) of local revenues; and 2) Act 511 tax collections (Local Tax Enabling Act), which are around 15% of revenues for school districts.
- 2009–10 – 47.7700 mills.
- 2008–09 – 47.0700 mills.
- 2007–08 – 45.4500 mills
Act 1 Adjusted index
The Act 1 of 2006 Index regulates the rates at which each school district can raise property taxes in Pennsylvania. Districts are not authorized to raise taxes above that index unless they allow voters to vote by referendum, or they seek an exception from the state Department of Education. The base index for the 2011–2012 school year is 1.4 percent, but the Act 1 Index can be adjusted higher, depending on a number of factors, such as property values and the personal income of district residents. Act 1 included 10 exceptions, including: increasing pension costs, increases in special education costs, a catastrophe like a fire or flood, increase in health insurance costs for contracts in effect in 2006 or dwindling tax bases. The base index is the average of the percentage increase in the statewide average weekly wage, as determined by the PA Department of Labor and Industry, for the preceding calendar year and the percentage increase in the Employment Cost Index for Elementary and Secondary Schools, as determined by the Bureau of Labor Statistics in the U.S. Department of Labor, for the previous 12-month period ending June 30. For a school district with a market value/personal income aid ratio (MV/PI AR) greater than 0.4000, its index equals the base index multiplied by the sum of .75 and its MV/PI AR for the current year.
The School District Adjusted Index for the Bangor Area School District 2006–2007 through 2010–2011.
- 2006–07 – 5.3%, Base 3.9%
- 2007–08 – 4.6%, Base 3.4%
- 2008–09 – 5.9%, Base 4.4%
- 2009–10 – 5.5%, Base 4.1%
- 2010–11 – 3.9%, Base 2.9%
- 2011–12 – 1.8%, Base 1.4%
Bangor Area School Board applied for an exception to exceed the Act 1 Index limit in 2011–12 due to pension costs. The board did not apply for exceptions to exceed the Act 1 index for the budgets in 2009–10 or in 2010–11. In the Spring of 2010, 135 Pennsylvania school boards asked to exceed their adjusted index. Approval was granted to 133 of them and 128 sought an exception for pension costs increases.
In 2008, the Bangor Area School Board applied for an Act 1 index exception for pension costs.
Property tax relief
In 2009, the Homestead/Farmstead Property Tax Relief from gambling for the Bangor Area School District was $284 per approved permanent primary residence. In the district, 6,051 property owners applied for the tax relief. The tax relief was subtracted from the total annual school property on the individual's tax bill. Property owners apply for the relief through the county Treasurer's office. Farmers can qualify for a farmstead exemption on building used for agricultural purposes. The farm must be at least 10 contiguous acres and must be the primary residence of the owner. Farmers can qualify for both the homestead exemption and the farmstead exemption. The Pennsylvania Auditor General found that 72% of property owners applied for tax relief in Northampton County. In Northampton County, the highest property tax relief in 2009 was awarded to the approved property owners in Bangor Area School District. Pennsylvania awarded the highest property tax relief to residents of the Chester-Upland School District in Delaware County at $632 per homestead and farmstead in 2010. This was the second year Chester Upland School District was the top recipient.
Additionally, the Pennsylvania Property Tax/Rent Rebate program is provided for low income Pennsylvanians aged 65 and older; widows and widowers aged 50 and older; and people with disabilities age 18 and older. The income limit is $35,000 for homeowners. The maximum rebate for both homeowners and renters is $650. Applicants can exclude one-half (1/2) of their Social Security income, consequently individuals who have income substantially more than $35,000, may still qualify for a rebate. Individuals must apply annually for the rebate. This can be taken in addition to Homestead/Farmstead Property Tax Relief.
Property taxes in Pennsylvania are relatively high on a national scale. According to the Tax Foundation, Pennsylvania ranked 11th in the U.S. in 2008 in terms of property taxes paid as a percentage of home value (1.34%) and 12th in the country in terms of property taxes as a percentage of income (3.55%).
The district offers a variety of clubs, activities and sports. Eligibility to participate is determined in school board policy.
In June 2011, the school board restructured of the District’s current physical education programs to enable interscholastic sports that are already provided to fulfill the physical education requirements. Students receive physical education credits for interscholastic/extra-curricular participation, This new program eliminated one physical education teaching position from the high school.
By Pennsylvania law, all K-12 students in the district, including those who attend a private nonpublic school, cyber charter school, charter school and those homeschooled, are eligible to participate in the extracurricular programs, including all athletics. They must meet the same eligibility rules as the students enrolled in the district's schools.
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- Bangor Area School District School Board (2011). "Bangor Area School District athletic policies".
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