Bermudian Springs School District

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Bermudian Springs School District
Map of Adams County Pennsylvania School Districts.png
Address
7335 Carlisle Pike
York Springs, Pennsylvania, Adams County, 17372
United States
Information
Type Public
School board 9 locally elected board members
Superintendent Dr. Shane Hotchkiss, Ed.D renewed 5 year contract effective Dec. 2014[1] Salary $116,850 (2012),[2] (Contract 12/2011- 12/2014 salary $114,000)[3]
Administrator Dr Michele Hartzell - Assistant Superintendent salary $105,000 (2012)

Dr. Karen Jackson, Ed.D., Special Education Supervisor, $98,346 (2012)
Mr. Justin Peart - Business Manager
Steven R Brown, $100,240 (2012)
David Orwig, athletic director, $82,867
Susan Tassin, Health wellness coordinator $70,822
Judy Sterling, Food Service Director
Mitchell Nace, Guidance HS
Jacqui Null, Guidance HS

Principal High- Mr. Roger Stroup salary $102,191 2012[4]
Principal Middle - Dr. Wade Hunt $93,622 (2012)
Principal Elementary - Kathleen Myers $94,625
Vice principal High- Mr. Jon DeFoe $78,000
Vice principal Middle- Mr. Mark Fleming $78,976
Vice principal Elementary- Ms. Faithe Rotz
Staff 118 staff[5]
Faculty 131.85 in 2011, 136 in 2010
Grades K-12
Age 5 years old to 21 years for special education students
Pupils 2,010 pupils (2014),[6] 2,024 pupils (2013),[7] 2,084 pupils in 2011, 2049 pupils (2009–10)[8]
Kindergarten 150 (2012), 157 (2010)
Grade 1 162 (2012), 151
Grade 2 129 (2012), 158
Grade 3 160 (2012), 168
Grade 4 151 (2012), 142
Grade 5 154 (2012), 147
Grade 6 169 (2012), 171
Grade 7 159 (2012), 176
Grade 8 149 (2012), 150
Grade 9 167 (2012), 158
Grade 10 173 (2012), 157
Grade 11 145 (2012), 158
Grade 12 157 (2012), 156
Other Enrollment projected to be 1,811 pupils by 2020[9]
Medium of language English
Color(s) Steel and Cherry
Athletics York-Adams Interscholastic Athletic Association (YAIAA)Div 2–3
Athletics conference PIAA
Mascot Eagles
Budget $25,875,579 (2014-15)[10]

$24,590,668 (2013-14)[11]
$24,755,316 (2012-13)[12]
$24,720,615 (2010-11)

per pupil spending $10,099 in 2008
Per pupil spending $10,581.60 in 2010
Website

The Bermudian Springs School District is a small, rural, public school district created in 1970. Bermudian Springs School District encompasses approximately 75 square miles (190 km2). The District includes: the Boroughs of East Berlin and York Springs, as well as, the village of Idaville, Huntington Township, Latimore Township, Reading Township and a small part of Hamilton Township. The 1990 U.S. census totals showed these communities have over 11,500 inhabitants. According to 2007 local census data, it served a resident population of 13,077. By 2010, the District's population had risen to 13,115 people.[13] The educational attainment levels for the Bermudian Springs School District population (25 years old and over) were 83.9% high school graduates and 16.2% college graduates.[14]

According to the Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center, 32.4% of the District’s pupils lived at 185% or below the Federal Poverty level as shown by their eligibility for the federal free or reduced price school meal programs in 2012.[15] In 2009, Bermudian Springs School District residents' per capita income was $16,811 a year, while the median family income was $40,063.[16] In the Commonwealth, the median family income was $49,501 [17] and the United States median family income was $49,445, in 2010.[18] In Adams County, the median household income was $56,529.[19] By 2013, the median household income in the United States rose to $52,100.[20]

According to District officials, in school year 2007–2008, the Bermudian Springs School District provided basic educational services to 2,132 pupils through the employment of 137 teachers, 106 full-time and part-time support personnel, and 10 administrators. The Bermudian Springs School District received more than $9.3 million in state funding in school year 2007–2008. The District provided basic educational services to 2,044 pupils in 2011-2012. It employed: 142 teachers, 79 full-time and part-time support personnel, and fifteen (15) administrators during the 2011-2012 school year. The District received $9.9 million in state funding in the 2011-2012 school year.

Bermudian Springs School District is located along Pennsylvania Route 94 (Carlisle Pike) outside of York Springs. The District operates: Bermudian Springs High School, Bermudian Springs Middle School and Bermudian Springs Elementary School. Prior to the construction of the current elementary school, the District oversaw elementary schools in the Boroughs of East Berlin and York Springs. Bermudian Springs High School underwent a major renovation project that was completed in March 2008.

Bermudian Springs School District is served by the Lincoln Intermediate Unit 12 which offers a variety of services, including curriculum development assistance, shared services, a group purchasing program and a wide variety of special education and special needs services.[21]

Governance[edit]

Bermudian Springs School District is governed by 9 individually elected board members (serve four-year terms) with over 743 employees, the Pennsylvania State Board of Education, the Pennsylvania Department of Education and the Pennsylvania General Assembly.[22] The federal government controls programs it funds like Title I funding for low-income children in the Elementary and Secondary Education Act and the No Child Left Behind Act, which mandates the district focus resources on student success in acquiring reading and math skills.

The Commonwealth Foundation for Public Policy Alternatives Sunshine Review gave the school board and district administration a "F" for transparency based on a review of "What information can people find on their school district's website". It examined the school district's website for information regarding; taxes, the current budget, meetings, school board members names and terms, contracts, audits, public records information and more.[23]

Academic achievement[edit]

In 2014, Bermudian Springs School District ranked 336th out of 496 Pennsylvania public school districts, by the Pittsburgh Business Times. [24] The ranking is based on the last 3 years of student academic achievement as demonstrated by PSSAs results in: reading, writing, math and science and the three Keystone Exams (literature, Algebra 1, Biology I) in high school.[25] Three school districts were excluded because they do not operate high schools (Saint Clair Area School District, Midland Borough School District, Duquesne City School District). The PSSAs are given to all children in grades 3rd through 8th. Adapted PSSA examinations are given to children in the special education programs. Writing exams were given to children in 5th and 8th grades.

  • 2013 - 374th[26]
  • 2012 - 350th[27]
  • 2011 - 300th [28]
  • 2010 - 289th [29]
  • 2009 - 280th
  • 2008 - 298th
  • 2007 - 289th of 501 school districts by the Pittsburgh Business Times.[30]
Overachievers Ranking

In 2013, the Pittsburgh Business Times also reported an Overachievers Ranking for 498 Pennsylvania school districts. Bermudian Springs School District ranked 481st. [31] The editor describes the ranking as: "a ranking answers the question - which school districts do better than expectations based upon economics? This rank takes the Honor Roll rank and adds the percentage of students in the district eligible for free and reduced-price lunch into the formula. A district finishing high on this rank is smashing expectations, and any district above the median point is exceeding expectations."[32]

  • 2012 - 475th[33]
  • 2011 - 463rd

District AYP Status[edit]

In 2012, Bermudian Springs School District declined to Warning status under the federal No Child Left Behind Act.[34] In 2004 through 2011, Bermudian Springs School District achieved AYP status.[35] In 2003, Bermudian Springs School District was in Warning AYP Status. In 2011, 94 percent of the 500 Pennsylvania Public School Districts achieved the No Child Left Behind Act progress level of 72% of students reading on grade level and 67% of students demonstrating on grade level math. In 2011, 46.9 percent of Pennsylvania school districts achieved Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) based on student performance. An additional 37.8 percent of school districts made AYP based on a calculated method called safe harbor, 8.2 percent on the growth model and 0.8 percent on a two-year average performance.

Graduation rate[edit]

In 2014, Bermudian Springs School District's graduation rate was 89%.[36]

  • 2013 - 90%[37]
  • 2012 - 91%[38]
  • 2011 - 96%[39]
  • 2010 - 95% The Pennsylvania Department of Education issued a new, 4-year cohort graduation rate.[40]

According to traditional graduation rate calculations:

  • 2010 – 93%[41]
  • 2009 – 85%[42]
  • 2008 – 90%
  • 2007 – 90%[43]

High school[edit]

Bermudian Springs High School is located at 7335 Carlisle Pike, York Springs. In 2013, the school's enrollment was 642 pupils with 21% coming from a low income home. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, in 2010, the school reported an enrollment of 624 pupils in grades 9th through 12th, with 104 pupils eligible for a federal free or reduced-price lunch. The school employed 44 teachers, yielding a student–teacher ratio of 14:1.[44] According to a report by the Pennsylvania Department of Education, 6 teachers were rated "Non‐Highly Qualified" under No Child Left Behind.[45]

2014 School Performance Profile

Bermudian Springs High School achieved 77.1 out of 100. Reflects on grade level reading, mathematics and science achievement. In reading/literature - 85% were on grade level. In Algebra 1, 72.7% showed on grade level skills. In Biology, 65% showed on grade level science understanding.[46][47] According to the Pennsylvania Department of Education, 2,134 of 2,947 Pennsylvania public schools (72 percent of Pennsylvania public schools), achieved an academic score of 70 or higher.[48] Fifty-three percent of schools statewide received lower SPP scores compared with last year's, while 46 percent improved. A handful were unchanged.[49][50]

2013 School Performance Profile

Bermudian Springs High School achieved 84.2 out of 100. Reflects on grade level reading, mathematics and science achievement. In reading/literature - 83% were on grade level. In Algebra 1, 70% showed on grade level skills. In Biology, 45.7% showed on grade level science understanding.[51] According to the Pennsylvania Department of Education, 2,181 public schools (less than 73 percent of Pennsylvania public schools), achieved an academic score of 70 or higher. Pennsylvania 11th grade students no longer take the PSSAs. Instead, they now take the Keystone Exams at the end of the associated course.

AYP Status

In 2012, Bermudian Springs High School declined to School Improvement I Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) status due to missing all academic metrics measured.[52] In 2011, Bermudian Springs High School declined in Warning AYP status due to declining student achievement in mathematics and the low reading achievement.[53] In 2010, Bermudian Springs High School achieved AYP status.

PSSA Results
11th Grade Reading:
  • 2012 - 58% on grade level, (22% below basic). State - 67% of 11th graders are on grade level.
  • 2011 - 62.1% (17% below basic). State - 69.1% [54]
  • 2010 – 58% (21% below basic). State - 67%
  • 2009 – 64%, State – 65%
  • 2008 – 67%, State – 65%[55]
  • 2007 – 69%, State – 65%[56]
11th Grade Math:
  • 2012 - 50% on grade level (27% below basic). In Pennsylvania, 59% of 11th graders are on grade level.[57]
  • 2011 - 53.6%, (27% below basic). State - 60.3%
  • 2010 – 57% (22% below basic). State - 59% [58]
  • 2009 – 52%, State – 56%[59]
  • 2008 – 62%, State – 56%[60]
  • 2007 – 60%, State – 53%
11th Grade Science:
  • 2012 - 26% on grade level (15% below basic). State - 42% of 11th graders were on grade level.
  • 2011 - 32.5%, (18% below basic). State - 40%
  • 2010 – 39% (16% below basic). State – 39%
  • 2009 – 39%, State – 40%
  • 2008 – 36%, State – 39%

Science in Motion Bermudian Springs High School did not take advantage of a state program called Science in Motion which brought college professors and sophisticated science equipment to the school to raise science awareness and to provide inquiry-based experiences for the students. The Science in Motion program was funded by a state appropriation and cost the school nothing to participate.[61] Gettysburg College provided the science enrichment experiences to schools in the region.

College remediation[edit]

According to a Pennsylvania Department of Education study released in January 2009, 32% of Bermudian Springs 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.[62] 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.[63] 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.

Dual enrollment – The Bermudian Springs High School does not offer the Pennsylvania dual enrollment program which permits students to earn deeply discounted college credits with the assistance of a state grant. Over 400 school districts in Pennsylvania offer their high school juniors and seniors the dual enrollment program.

AP Courses[edit]

In 2013, Bermudian Springs High School offered 2 Advanced Placement (AP) courses at a higher cost than regular courses. Students have the option of taking College Board approved courses and then taking the College Board's examination in the Spring. Students, who achieve a 3 or better on the exam, may be awarded college credits at US universities and colleges. Each higher education institution sets its own standards about what level of credits are awarded to a student based on their AP exam score. Most higher education give credits for scores of 4 or 5. Some schools also give credits for scores of 3. High schools give credits towards graduation to students who take the school's AP class. At Bermudian Springs High School less than 10 students who took an AP course earned a 3 or better on the exam.[64]

In 2014, Bermudian Springs School District reported no students were registered in AP Courses.[65]

SAT scores[edit]

In 2014, Bermudian Springs School District students took the SAT exams. The District's Verbal Average Score was 510. The Math average score was 521. The Writing average score was 491.[66] Statewide in Pennsylvania, Verbal Average Score was 497. The Math average score was 504. The Writing average score was 480. The College Board also reported that nationwide scores were: 497 in reading, 513 in math and 487 in writing.[67]

In 2013, Bermudian Springs School District students took the SAT exams. The District's Verbal Average Score was 480. The Math average score was 507. The Writing average score was 472. The College Board reported that statewide scores were: 494 in reading, 504 in math and 482 in writing. The nation-wide SAT results were the same as in 2012.[68]

In 2012, Bermudian Spring School District students took the SAT exams. The District's Verbal Average Score was 469. The Math average score was 493. The Writing average score was 456. The statewide Verbal SAT exams results were: Verbal 491, Math 501, Writing 480. In the USA, 1.65 million students took the exams achieving scores: Verbal 496, Math 514, Writing 488. According to the College Board the maximum score on each section was 800, and 360 students nationwide scored a perfect 2,400.

In 2011, 81 Bermudian Springs students took the SAT exams. The district's Verbal Average Score was 492. The Math average score was 499. The Writing average score was 484.[69] Pennsylvania ranked 40th among state with SAT scores: Verbal - 493, Math - 501, Writing - 479.[70] In the United States 1.65 million students took the exam in 2011. They averaged 497 (out of 800) verbal, 514 math and 489 in writing.[71]

Drop Out intervention[edit]

The district offers students who have expressed an interest in dropping out of school an alternative placement. Students who meet the entrance criteria for the York County High School are able to enroll and complete their High School education.[72]

Graduation requirements[edit]

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.[73]

Bermudian Springs School Board course requirements for graduation – 27 Credits. English – 4 credits, Math – 3 credits, Science – 3 credits, Social Studies – 4 credits, Health – 1 credit (grades 9 & 11), Physical Education – 2 credits (grades 9, 10, 11, & 12), Computer – 1/2 credit (grade 9), Driver Theory – 1/2 credit (grade 10), Electives – 9 credits, NOTES: Two (2) of the elective credits must be in the Arts and/or Humanities.[74]

By Pennsylvania 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 will count for at least one-third of the final course grade.[75]

Middle school[edit]

Bermudian Springs Middle School is located at 7335 Carlisle Pike, York Springs. In 2013, enrollment was 631 pupils in grades 5th through 8th, with 37% of pupils eligible for a free lunch due to family poverty. Additionally, 8.5% of pupils received special education services, while 6% of pupils were identified as gifted.[76] According to a 2013 report by the Pennsylvania Department of Education, 100% of its teachers were rated "Highly Qualified" under No Child Left Behind.[77]

According to the National Center for Education Statistics, in 2010, the school reported an enrollment of 665 pupils in grades 5th through 8th, with 194 pupils receiving a federal free or reduced-price lunch due to family poverty. The school employed 43 teachers, yielding a student–teacher ratio of 15:1.[78] According to a report by the Pennsylvania Department of Education, 100% of its teachers were rated "Highly Qualified" under No Child Left Behind.[79]

2014 School Performance Profile

Bermudian Springs Middle School achieved 84 out of 100. Reflects on grade level reading, mathematics and science achievement. In reading/literature - 74% were on grade level. In Algebra 1/Math, 77.5% showed on grade level mathematics skills. In Science, 70% of 8th graders showed on grade level science understanding. In writing, 71% of the 5th and 8th grade students demonstrated on grade level writing skills.[80]

2013 School Performance Profile

Bermudian Springs Middle School achieved 82.9 out of 100. Reflects on grade level reading, writing, mathematics and science achievement. In reading, just 70% of the students were on grade level. In Mathematics, only 73% of the students showed on grade level skills. In Science, just 64% of the 8th graders demonstrated on grade level understanding. In writing, 67% of the 5th and 8th grade students were on grade level.[81]

AYP history

In 2012, the Bermudian Springs Middle School declined to School Improvement I status due to continuing low student achievement. In 2011, the Bermudian Springs Middle School is in Warning status due to declining student achievement in reading.[82] In 2010, the school achieved AYP status. In 2012, in accordance with No Child Left Behind requirements, Bermudian Springs Middle School was required to notify parents of the inadequate student achievement and to offer the opportunity for district funded tutoring and a transfer to a better performing school within the district.[83]

PSSA Results

Pennsylvania System of School Assessments, commonly called PSSAs are NCLB related examinations given in the Spring of each school year. Fifth graders are tested in reading and math as well as writing. Sixth and seventh grades are tested in reading and mathematics since 2006. Eighth graders are tested in: reading, writing, mathematics and Science. Beginning in the Spring of 2013, eighth graders, who are enrolled in Algebra I take the Keystone Exam for Algebra I at the end of the course. The testing of 8th grade in reading and mathematics began in 1999. Testing in science began in 2007. The goal is for 100% of students to be on grade level or better in reading and mathematics, by the Spring of 2014. The tests focus on the state's Academic Standards for reading, writing, mathematics and science. The standards were first published in 1998 and are mandated by the Pennsylvania State Board of Education.[84]

8th Grade Science:
  • 2012 - 64% on grade level (17% below basic). State – 59% of 8th graders were on grade level.[90]
  • 2011 - 59.5% (22.6% below basic). State – 58.3%
  • 2010 – 63% (19% below basic). State – 57% [91]
  • 2009 – 57%, State – 55% [92]
  • 2008 – 49%, State – 52%[93]

In 2010, Bermudian Springs administration conducted a midpoint review of the district's strategic plan for improving student achievement.[101]

Elementary School[edit]

Bermudian Springs Elementary School is located at 7335 Carlisle Pike, York Springs. In 2013, the school's enrollment was 751 pupils with 34% of pupils receiving a federal free or reduced price meals due to family poverty. Additionally, 9.5% of pupils received special education services, while 0.9% were identified as gifted. According to a report by the Pennsylvania Department of Education, 100% of the teachers were rated highly qualified under No Child Left Behind. The school provides full day kindergarten.[102] The school is a Title I school.

According to the National Center for Education Statistics, in 2010, the school reported an enrollment of 782 pupils in grades kindergarten through 4th, with 253 pupils receiving a federal free or reduced-price lunch due to family poverty. The school employed 49 teachers, yielding a student–teacher ratio of 16:1.[103] According to a report by the Pennsylvania Department of Education, 100% of its teachers were rated "Highly Qualified" under No Child Left Behind.[104] The school offered full day kindergarten since 2003.[105]

2014 School Performance Profile

Bermudian Springs Elementary School achieved a score of 77.4 out of 100. The score reflects on grade level: reading, science, writing and mathematics achievement. In 2013-14, only 70% of the students were reading on grade level in grades 3rd through 5th. In 3rd grade, 71.6% of the pupils were reading on grade level. In math, 79% were on grade level (3rd-5th grades). In 4th grade science, 83% of the pupils demonstrated on grade level understanding.[106]

2013 School Performance Profile

Bermudian Springs Elementary School achieved a score of 78.9 out of 100. The score reflects on grade level: reading, science and mathematics achievement. In 2012-13, only 73% of the students were reading on grade level in grades 3rd and 4th. In 3rd grade, just 78% of the pupils were reading on grade level. In math, 81% were on grade level (3rd and 4th grades). In 4th grade science, just 79% of the pupils demonstrated on grade level understanding.[107]

AYP history

In 2010 through 2012, Bermudian Springs Elementary School achieved Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) status.[108] The attendance rate was 95% in 2010 and 2011.[109] In 2010, the school provides half-day kindergarten.[110]

PSSA Results

The PSSAs in reading and mathematics are given to third and fourth graders in the spring of each year. Fourth graders also take a PSSA in science.

4th Grade Science
  • 2012 - 82% (4% below basic), State – 82%
  • 2011 - 82% (5% below basic), State – 82.9%
  • 2010 - 83% (6% below basic), State - 81%
  • 2009 - 88% (2% below basic), State - 83%

Special education[edit]

In December 2013, Bermudian Springs School District administration reported that 189 pupils or 9.3% of the District's pupils received Special Education services, with 49% of the identified students having a specific learning disability. In December 2011, the District administration reported that 168 pupils or 8% of the district's pupils received Special Education services, with 46.4% of the identified students having a specific learning disability. In 2010, Bermudian Springs School District administration reported that 171 pupils or 6% of the district's pupils received Special Education services with 52% of the identified students having a specific learning disability. In December 2009, the district administration reported that 187 pupils or 9% of the district's pupils received Special Education services.[117]

In 2007, Pennsylvania Secretary of Education Gerald Zahorchak testified before the Pennsylvania House Education Committee regarding full day kindergarten. He claimed that districts which offered these programs would see a significant decrease in special education students due to early identification and early intervention. He asserted the high cost of full day kindergarten would be recouped by Districts in lower special education costs.[118] Bermudian Springs School District has seen an increase in the percentage of special education students it serves, yielding no savings.

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 Supervisor.[119]

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.[120] The Pennsylvania Special Education funding system assumes that 16% of the district’s students receive special education services. It also assumes that each student’s needs accrue the same level of costs.[121] The state requires each district to have a three year special education plan to meet the unique needs of its special education students.[122] Overidentification of students, in order to increase state funding, has been an issue in the Commonwealth. Some districts have more than 20% of its students receiving special education services while others have 10% supported through special education.[123] The state requires each public school district and charter school to have a three-year special education plan to meet the unique needs of its special education students.[124] In 2012, the Obama Administration's US Department of Education issued a directive requiring schools include students with disabilities in extracurricular activities, including sports.[125]

Bermudian Springs School District received a $1,048,624 supplement for special education services in 2010.[126] For the 2013-2014, 2012–2013 and 2011–2012 school years, all Pennsylvania public school districts received the same level of funding for special education that they received in 2010–11. This level funding is provided regardless of changes in the number of pupils who need special education services and regardless of the level of services the respective students required.[127] In 2014-2015, Bermudian Springs School District will receive $1,063,914 for special education costs.

LRE monitoring In 2009, Bermudian Springs School District was identified by the Pennsylvania Department of Education for Least Restrictive Environment monitoring. One hundred ninety six schools districts were selected in 2008-2009. The district received an alert letter from the PDE - Bureau of Special Education.[128] School districts were placed in one of three categories: Tier 1, Tier 2 or Tier 3. Bermudian Springs School District was placed in Tier 3 due to students spending more than 60% of the school day, outside of regular education. The monitoring is a product of the PDE addressing its voluntary settlement in Gaskin V. Pennsylvania which ordered that special education students spend most of their school day (80%) in regular education classrooms with supplementary aids and services to assist funded by the taxpayers.[129][130][131] In 2010, the district was assigned to the Tier 3 monitoring list, due to students spending less than 40% of their day in a regular education classroom. The district received a letter of “Warning” letter from the Pennsylvania Department of Education.[132]

Gifted education[edit]

Bermudian Springs School District Administration reported that 51 of its students or 2.46% were gifted in 2009.[133] 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. 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.[134]

Bullying and school safety[edit]

In December 2013, the Administration suspended a teacher and coach under accusations of sexual contact with students. Nathan Stock was later charged with: providing drugs to students, institutional sexual assault, corruption of minors and unlawful contact with a minor, as well as misdemeanor charges of corruption of minors and indecent assault.[135][136]

The Bermudian Springs School District administration reported there were zero incidents of bullying in the District in 2012. Additionally, there were two incidents of harassment and no sexual incidents involving students. The local law enforcement was involved in six incidents at the schools, with no arrests.[137][138] Each year the school safety data is reported by the district to the Safe School Center which then publishes the compiled reports online.

The Bermudian Springs School Administration reported there were no incidents of bullying occurring in the schools in 2009. Additionally, two students were assaulted and seven incidents of harassment occurred at the schools.[139]

Bermudian Springs School Board has provided the district's antibully policy online.[140] 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.[141] District administration are required to annually provide the following information with the district's Safe School Report: the board’s bullying policy, a report of bullying incidents in the school district, and information on the development and implementation of any bullying prevention, intervention or education programs. 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.[142]

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.[143]

Safe School grant[edit]

In 2013, Bermudian Springs School District was awarded $25,000 in a state Safe Schools Targeted Grant. The maximum of $25,000 grants were awarded through a competitive application process.[144] The funds must be used for research based interventions, like: peer mediation, staff training in managing behavioral issues and creating a positive school climate.

Teacher Evaluation program[edit]

By law, Pennsylvania’s public school teachers are evaluated achieving one of two ratings, satisfactory or unsatisfactory. The evaluation provides no meaningful feedback in areas where an educator could improve.

In June 2012, the Pennsylvania General Assembly established the new evaluation method, is to be implemented in the 2013-14 school year, will include multiple measures of student achievement, such as the Pennsylvania System of School Assessment, the Pennsylvania Value Added Assessment System, graduation and promotion rates, as well as other elective data to be determined at the local level.

Bermudian Springs School District did not volunteer to participate in the state's pilot project with the Pennsylvania Department of Education to develop statewide policy, tools and processes to evaluate teachers and principals in which student achievement is a significant factor affecting performance ratings. Secretary of Education Ron Tomalis announced that 104 K-12 entities, including nine career and technical centers, nine charter schools and nine intermediate units, signed-up to participate in the new teacher and principal evaluation pilot program.[145] The initiative is funded by a Gates Momentum grant. During the 2011-12 school year, more than 120 school districts, charter schools, intermediate units, and career and technology centers participated in the second implementation phase of the new teacher evaluation tool. This included more than 650 supervisors and nearly 5,000 teachers in 366 school buildings participating in the pilot project.

The final phase of the updated public education professionals evaluation system will be implemented during the 2012-13 school year with 264 local education agencies, consisting of 1,387 school buildings, 1,892 principals/supervisors and more than 31,600 teachers included In advocating for the new evaluation system, Secretary of Education Ronald Tomalis reported that research demonstrated that the performance of an educator has a direct impact on the future success of students. The new evaluation system will become effective for teachers and principals in the 2014-15 school year. Pennsylvania will join at least 22 states in using student achievement to evaluate educators.

Budget[edit]

Pennsylvania public school districts budget and expend funds according to procedures mandated by the General Assembly and the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE). An annual operating budget is prepared by school district administrative officials. A uniform form is furnished by the PDE and submitted to the board of school directors for approval prior to the beginning of each fiscal year on July 1.

Under Pennsylvania’s Taxpayer Relief Act, Act 1 of the Special Session of 2006, all school districts of the first class A, second class, third class and fourth class must adopt a preliminary budget proposal. The proposal must include estimated revenues and expenditures and the proposed tax rates. This proposed budget must be considered by the Board no later than 90 days prior to the date of the election immediately preceding the fiscal year. The preliminary budget proposal must also be printed and made available for public inspection at least 20 days prior to its adoption. The board of school directors may hold a public hearing on the budget, but are not required to do so. The board must give at least 10 days’ public notice of its intent to adopt the final budget according to Act 1 of 2006.[146]

In 2013, the average teacher salary in Bermudian Springs School District was $55,873 a year, while the cost of the benefits teachers received was $23,604 per employee, for a total annual average teacher compensation of $79,477.[147] The District employed 204 teachers and administrators, with a top salary of $116,850.[148]

In 2012, the average teacher salary in Bermudian Springs School District was $54,916 a year, while the cost of the benefits teachers received rose to $20,733 per employee, for a total annual average teacher compensation of $75,649.03.[149] The costs of the benefits package was in the top 20% of Pennsylvania public schools in 2012. The District employed 204 teachers and administrators.[150]

In 2011, Bermudian Springs School District reported employing 158 teachers and administrators with a median salary of $57,353 and a top salary of $126,198.[151] The teacher’s work day is 7 hours 30 minutes (includes a preparation period and 30 minute duty-free lunch) with 188 days in the contract year. Additionally, the teachers receive a defined benefit pension, health insurance, professional development reimbursement, paid personal days, 10 paid sick days, and other benefits, including a $10,000 retirement bonus.[152] In 2011, the average teacher salary in BSSD was $52,805.13 a year, while the cost of the benefits teachers receive was $18,787.21 per employee, for a total annual average teacher compensation of $71,572.[153] According to a study conducted at the American Enterprise Institute, in 2011, public school teachers’ total compensation is roughly 50 percent higher than they would likely receive in the private sector. The study found that the most generous benefits that teachers receive are not accounted for in many studies of compensation, including: pension, retiree health benefits and job security.[154]

For the 2009 school year, Bermudian Springs School District reported employing over 150 teachers with a salary range of $38,000 to $195,500 for 188 days a year (180 pupil instruction days).[155] Additionally, teachers receive a benefits package that includes: health insurance (employee pays 5%, $60/month), life insurance, paid 10 sick days which accumulate, 2 paid personal days, paid bereavement leave, reimbursement for college courses, a $10,000 retirement incentive bonus, teachers who retire before age 65 years, receive full taxpayer funded, health insurance benefit until they reach age 65, and many other benefits. Teachers are paid for unused sick days upon retirement. Teachers working for the district for at least 10 years may take a sabbatical leave every 7 years where they receive full benefits and one-half their regular salary during the leave. Members of the local teachers' union are granted 4 days with pay to conduct union business, including attending the union's convention. The union pays for a substitute teacher.[156]

In 2007, the District employed 130 teachers. The average teacher salary in the district was $49,962 for 180 days worked.[157] 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.[158]

Reserve balances In 2008, Bermudian Springs School District reported $873,981.00 in an unreserved-undesignated fund balance.[159] In 2010, the District's unreserved-undesignated fund balance was reported as $2,592,600. By 2013, the District's reserves had grown to $3,903,772. Pennsylvania public school district reserve funds are divided into two categories – designated and undesignated. The undesignated funds are not committed to any planned project. Designated funds and any other funds, such as capital reserves, are allocated to specific projects. School districts are required by state law to keep 5 percent of their annual spending in the undesignated reserve funds to preserve bond ratings. By law the state limits the total unreserved-undesignated fund balance at 8% of the annual budget for school districts that have budgets over $19 million a year. According to the Pennsylvania Department of Education, from 2003 to 2010, as a whole, Pennsylvania school districts amassed nearly $3 billion in reserved funds.[160] In 2013, the District reported reserves of $4,434,288.[161]

Audit In October 2009, the Pennsylvania Auditor General released a Performance Audit of the school district.[162] It found that the district had several serious findings, including an issue involving a conflict of interest violation that was reported to the State Ethics Commission. Several board members had failed to file an annual Statement of Financial Interest. The report of the audit were reported to the school board and the administration.

Per pupil spending In 2008, per pupil spending at Bermudian Springs School District was $10,099 for each child. This ranked 471st among Pennsylvania's 500 school districts.[163] By 2010, Bermudian Springs School District's per pupil spending had increased to $10,581.60. In 2013, Bermudian Springs Per pupil spending was $11,237.51.[164] n 2011, Pennsylvania’s per pupil spending was $13,467, ranking 6th in the United States.[165] In 2007, the Pennsylvania per pupil total expenditures was reported as $12,759.[166]

The U.S. Census Bureau reported that Pennsylvania spent $8,191 per pupil in school year 2000-01.[167] In 2007, the Pennsylvania per pupil total expenditures was reported as $12,759.[166] Among the fifty states, Pennsylvania’s total per pupil revenue (including all sources) ranked 11th at $15,023 per student, in 2008-09.[168] Pennsylvania’s total revenue per pupil rose to $16,186 ranking 9th in the nation in 2011.[169]

Administration costs Bermudian Springs School District's administrative costs per pupil in 2008 was $828.72 per pupil. This spending ranked 160th among all of Pennsylvania's then 501 public school districts. The lowest administrative cost per pupil in Pennsylvania was $398 per pupil.[170] The District reported spending $1,730,363 on administration.[171]

Debt In 2009, Bermudian Springs School District reported having $30,233,325 in outstanding debt.[172]

Tuition Students who live in the Bermudian Springs School District's attendance area may choose to attend one of Pennsylvania's 157 public charter schools. A student living in a neighboring public school district or a foreign exchange student may seek admission to Bermudian Springs School District. For these cases, the Pennsylvania Department of Education sets an annual tuition rate for each school district. It is the amount the public school district pays to a charter school for each resident student that attends the charter and it is the amount a nonresident student's parents must pay to attend the District's schools. The 2012 tuition rates are Elementary School - $7,357.26, High School - $7,891.70.[173]

Bermudian Springs School District is funded by a combination of: a local earned income tax 1.7%, a property tax, a real estate transfer tax 0.5%, 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 income and Social Security income are exempted from state personal income tax and local earned income tax, regardless of the level of the individual’s personal wealth.[174] The average Pennsylvania public school teacher pension in 2011 exceeds $60,000 a year, plus they receive federal Social Security benefits. Both incomes are free of Pennsylvania state income tax and local income tax which funds local public schools.[175]

State education funding[edit]

According to a report from Representative Todd Stephens office, Bermudian Springs School District receives 40.7% of its annual revenue from the state.[176]

For the 2014-15 school year, Bermudian Springs School District will receive $5,879,856 in State Basic Education funding. The District will also receive $261,223 in new Ready To Learn Block grant. The State’s enacted Education Budget includes $5,526,129,000 for the 2014-2015 Basic Education Funding.[177] The Education budget also includes Accountability Block Grant funding at $100 million and $241 million in new Ready to Learn funding for public schools that focus on student achievement and academic success. The State is paying $500.8 million to Social Security on the school employees behalf and another $1.16 billion to the state teachers pension system (PSERS). In total, Pennsylvania’s Education budget for K-12 public schools is $10 billion. This was a $305 million increase over 2013-2014 state spending and the greatest amount ever allotted by the Commonwealth for its public schools.[178]

For the 2013-14 school year, Bermudian Springs School District received a 2.3% increase or $5,877,774 in Pennsylvania Basic Education Funding. This is $131,702 more than its 2012-13 state BEF to the District. Additionally, Bermudian Springs School District received $133,436 in Accountability Block Grant funding to focus on academic achievement and level funding for special education services. Among the public school districts in Adams County, Conewago Valley School District received the highest percentage increase at 3.2%. The District has the option of applying for several other state and federal grants to increase revenues. The Commonwealth’s budget increased Basic Education Funding statewide by $123 million to over $5.5 billion. Most of Pennsylvania’s 500 public school districts received an increase of Basic Education Funding in a range of 0.9% to 4%. Eight public school districts received exceptionally high funding of 10% to 16%. The highest increase in state funding was awarded to Austin Area School District which received a 22.5% increase in Basic Education Funding.[179] The state funded the PSERS (Pennsylvania school employee pension fund) with $1,017,000,000 and Social Security payments for school employees of $495 million.[180]

For the 2012-13 school year, Bermudian Springs School District received $5,879,508.[181] The Governor's Executive Budget for 2012-2013 includes $9.34 billion for kindergarten through 12th grade public education, including $5.4 billion in basic education funding, which is an increase of $49 million over the 2011-12 budget. The state also provides $100 million for the Accountability Block (ABG) grant. Bermudian Springs School District received $133,436 in ABG funds. The state will also provide $544.4 million for School Employees’ Social Security and $856 million for School Employees’ Retirement fund called PSERS.[182] This amount is a $21,823,000 increase (0.34%) over the 2011-2012 appropriations for Basic Education Funding, School Employees' Social Security, Pupil Transportation, Nonpublic and Charter School Pupil Transportation. The Governor's last two budgets have restored more than $918 million in support of public schools, compensating for the $1 billion in federal stimulus dollars lost at the end of the 2010-11 school year.

In 2011–12 budget year, Bermudian Springs School District received $5,745,323 in state Basic Education Funding.[183] Additionally, the district will receive $133,437 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.[184] Districts experienced a reduction in some funding due to the loss of federal stimulus funding which ended in 2011. In 2010, the Bermudian Springs School District reported that 640 pupils received a free or reduced-price lunch due to the family meeting the federal poverty level.

For the 2010–11 school year, Bermudian Springs School District received a 6% increase in state basic education funding for $6,325,843. One hundred fifty Pennsylvania school districts received the base 2% increase. The highest increase in Adams County was awarded to Conewago Valley School District at 9.66%. Among Pennsylvania school districts, the highest increase in 2010–11 went to Kennett Consolidated School District in Chester County which received a 23.65% increase in state funding.[185] The state's hold harmless policy regarding state basic education funding continued where each district received at least the same amount as it received the prior school year, even when enrollment had significantly declined. The amount of increase each school district received was determined by Governor Edward G. Rendell and the Secretary of Education Gerald Zahorchak through the allocation set in the state budget proposal made in February each year. This was the second year of Governor Rendell’s policy to fund some public school districts at a far greater rate than others.[186] According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Pennsylvania spent $7,824 Per Pupil in the year 2000. This amount increased up to $12,085 by the year 2008.[187][188]

In the 2009–2010 budget year, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania provided a 9.26% increase in Basic Education Funding for Bermudian Springs School District a total of $5,968,044. The highest increase in Adams County went to Conewago Valley School District which received 9.48% increase in 2009–10. Ninety school district received the base 2% increase in state BEF. Muhlenberg School District of Berks County received an increase of 22.31 percent. Sixteen school districts received an increase in funding of over 10 percent in 2009.[189]

In 2008-09 the state Basic Education funding to the Bermudian Springs School District was $5,462,216.58. In 2009, the District reported that 577 students received a federal free or reduced-price lunch due to low family income.[189]

Accountability Block Grants[edit]

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 Bermudian Springs School District applied for and received $362,180 in addition to all other state and federal funding. The district used the funding to provide full-day kindergarten, to reform the high school program and to increase instructional time for struggling students through before and after school tutoring.[190][191] In 2011-12 and 2012 13 the District received $133,436.[192]

Ready to Learn grant[edit]

Beginning in the 2014-2015 budget, the State funded a new Ready to Learn Grant for public schools. A total of $100 million is allocated through a formula to districts based on the numer of students, level of poverty of community as calculated by its market value/personal income aid ratio (MV/PI AR) and the number of English language learners. Ready to Learn Block Grant funds may be used by the Districts for: school safety; Ready by 3 early childhood intervention programs; individualized learning programs; and science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) programs.[193]

Bermudian Springs School District will receive $261,223 in Ready to Learn Grant dollars in addition to State Basic Education funding, Special Education funding, Accountability Block Grant funding, PreK Counts funding, reimbursement for Social Security payments for employees and other state grants which the district must apply to receive.

Classrooms for the Future grant[edit]

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. Bermudian Springs School District was denied funding in 2006–07. In 2007–08 it received $257,712. The district received $46,881 in 2008–09 for a total funding of $304,593.[194] In Adams County the highest award was given to Bermudian Springs School District. The highest funding state wide was awarded to Philadelphia City School District in Philadelphia County - $9,409,073. The grant program was discontinued by Governor Edward Rendell as part of the 2009-10 state budget.

Other grants[edit]

Bermudian Springs School District did not participate in: Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection's Environmental Education annual grants;[195][196] PA Science Its Elementary grants (discontinued effective with 2009-10 budget by Governor Rendell);[197] Education Assistance Grants; 2012 and 2013 Striving Readers Comprehensive Literacy grant, 2012 and 2013 Pennsylvania Hybrid Learning Grants;[198] nor the federal 21st Century Learning grants.

Federal Stimulus grant[edit]

Bermudian Springs School District received an extra $1,141,382 in ARRA – Federal Stimulus money to be used only in specific programs like special education and meeting the academic needs of low-income students.[199] Due to the temporary nature of the funding, schools were repeatedly advised to use the funds for one-time expenditures like acquiring equipment, making repairs to buildings, training teachers to provide more effective instruction or purchasing books and software.

Race to the Top grant[edit]

Bermudian Springs School District officials did not apply for the Race to the Top federal grant which would have brought the district hundreds of thousands of additional federal dollars for improving student academic achievement.[200] Participation required the administration, the school board and the local teachers' union to sign an agreement to prioritize improving student academic success.[201] In Pennsylvania, 120 public school districts and 56 charter schools agreed to participate.[202] Pennsylvania was not approved for the grant. According to then Governor Rendell, failure of districts to agree to participate was cited as one reason that Pennsylvania was not approved.[203]

Common Cents state initiative[edit]

The Bermudian Springs School Board decided 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.[204] After the review of the information, the district was not required to implement the recommended cost savings changes.

Real estate taxes[edit]

Property tax rates in 2014–2015 were set, by the Bermudian Springs School Board, at 10.3095 mills. A mill is $1 of tax for every $1,000 of a property's assessed value. An increase of 0.2246 mills will generate about $226,209 for the school district. 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. On the local level, Pennsylvania 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, which are around 15% of revenues for school districts.[205] Property taxes, in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, apply only to real estate - land and buildings. The property tax is not levied on cars, business inventory, or other personal property. Certain types of property are exempt from property taxes, including: places of worship, places of burial, private social clubs, charitable and educational institutions and government property. Additionally, service related, disabled US military veterans may seek an exemption from paying property taxes.

The average yearly property tax paid by Adams County residents amounts to about 3.48% of their yearly income. Adams County ranked 382nd out of the 3143 United States counties for property taxes as a percentage of median income.[215] According to a report prepared by the Pennsylvania Department of Education, the total real estate taxes collected by all school districts in Pennsylvania rose from $6,474,133,936 in 1999-00 to $10,438,463,356 in 2008-09 and to $11,153,412,490 in 2011.[216] 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%).[217]

Act 1 Adjusted index[edit]

The Act 1 of 2006 Index regulates the rates at which each school district can raise property taxes in Pennsylvania. Districts are not allowed 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 it 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, increasing rising health care 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.[218] With the 2011 state education budget, the General Assembly voted to end most of the Act 1 exceptions leaving only special education costs and pension costs. The cost of construction projects will go to the voters for approval via ballot referendum.[219]

The School District Adjusted Index for the Bermudian Springs School District 2006–2007 through 2011–2012.[220]

For the 2014-15 budget year, Bermudian Springs School Board did not apply for exceptions to exceed their Act 1 Index limit. In 2014-15, all Pennsylvania school districts were required to make a 21.4% of payroll payment to the teacher’s pension fund (PSERS).[227] For the school budget 2014-15, 316 Pennsylvania public school districts adopted a resolution certifying that tax rates would not be increased above its Act 1 Index limit. Another 181 school districts adopted a preliminary budget leaving open the option of exceeding the Index limit. Districts may apply for multiple exceptions each year. For the pension costs exception, 163 school districts received approval to exceed the Index in full, while others received a partial approval of their request. For special education costs, 104 districts received approval to exceed their tax limit. Seven Pennsylvania public school districts received an approval for the grandfathered construction debts exception.[228]

For the 2013-14 budget year, Bermudian Springs School Board did not apply for exceptions to exceed the Act 1 Index. For 2013-2014, 311 Pennsylvania public school districts adopted a resolution certifying that tax rates would not be increased above their index; 171 school districts adopted a preliminary budget leaving open the option of exceeded the Index limit. For the exception for pension costs, 89 school districts received approval to exceed the Index in full while others received a partial approval of their request. For special education costs, 75 districts received approval to exceed the tax limit. For the exception for pension costs, 169 school districts received approval to exceed the Index. Eleven districts received an approval for grandfathered construction debts.[229]

For the 2012-13 budget year, Bermudian Springs School Board did not apply for exceptions to exceed the Act 1 Index. For 2012-2013, 274 school districts adopted a resolution certifying that tax rates would not be increased above their index; 223 school districts adopted a preliminary budget leaving open the option of exceeded the Index limit. For the exception for pension costs, 194 school districts received approval to exceed the Index. For special education costs, 129 districts received approval to exceed the tax limit. For the exception for pension costs, 194 school districts received approval to exceed the Index. For special education costs, 129 districts received approval to exceed the tax limit.[230]

For the 2011–12 school year, the Bermudian Springs School Board did not apply for exceptions to exceed the Act 1 Index. Each year the Bermudian Springs School Board has the option of adopting either 1) a resolution in January certifying they will not increase taxes above their index or 2) a preliminary budget in February. A school district adopting the resolution may not apply for referendum exceptions or ask voters for a tax increase above the inflation index. A specific timeline for these decisions is publisher each year by the Pennsylvania Department of Education.[231]

According to a state report, for the 2011–2012 school year budgets, 247 school districts adopted a resolution certifying that tax rates would not be increased above their index; 250 school districts adopted a preliminary budget. Of the 250 school districts that adopted a preliminary budget, 231 adopted real estate tax rates that exceeded their index. Tax rate increases in the other 19 school districts that adopted a preliminary budget did not exceed the school district’s index. Of the districts who sought exceptions 221 used the pension costs exemption and 171 sought a Special Education costs exemption. Only 1 school district sought an exemption for Nonacademic School Construction Project, while 1 sought an exception for Electoral debt for school construction.[232]

In January 2010, the school board applied to the Pennsylvania Department of Education for referendum exemptions to raise taxes above the Act 1 limit which for 2010 was set at 3.88 percent – or 1.6 mills for Bermudian Springs School District.[233] In April 2010, the board was notified that the request was rejected.[234] When the Pennsylvania Department of Education denies the request, the school district must (1) reduce the tax rate increase to no more than its index or (2) submit a referendum question for voter approval in the next primary election (for school districts with a July 1 through June 30 fiscal year).[235]

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.[236]

Property tax relief[edit]

In 2013, Bermudian Springs School District approved 3,629 homestead properties to receive $167.[237] In 2010, the Homestead/Farmstead Property Tax Relief from gambling for the Bermudian Springs School District was $167 per approved permanent primary residence with 3,607 approved residences. In 2009, the Homestead/Farmstead Property Tax Relief for the Bermudian Springs School District was $168 per approved permanent primary residence. In the district, 3,585 property owners applied for the tax relief. Among Adams County school districts, in 2009 and in 2010, Upper Adams School District received the highest relief allocation at $279.[238] 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.[239] Chester-Upland School District has consistently been the top recipient since the programs inception. The relief was subtracted from the total annual school property 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. In Adams County, 74% of eligible property owners applied for property tax relief in 2009.[240]

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, so people who make 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.

Enrollment and Consolidation[edit]

Pennsylvania Department of Education projections of Bermudian Springs School District do not anticipate a growth in enrollment for the next decade. A Standard and Poors study found that an optimal school district size, to conserve administrative costs, was around 3000 pupils. Consolidation of administrations with an adjacent school district would achieve substantial administrative cost savings for people in both communities.[241] In March 2011, the Pennsylvania Institute of Certified Public Accountants Fiscal Responsibility Task Force released a report which found that consolidating school district administrations with one neighboring district would save the Commonwealth $1.2 billion without forcing the consolidation of any schools.[242] According to a 2009 proposal by Governor Edward Rendell, the excessive administrative overhead dollars could be redirected to improving high school student academic achievement, enriching the curriculum programs or to reducing local property taxes.[243]

More than 40 percent of elementary schools and more than 60 percent of secondary schools in western Pennsylvania are projected to experience significant enrollment decreases (15 percent or greater).[244] Pennsylvania Department of Education data shows that from 1999–2000 to 2008–09 there has been a 12 percent increase in public school staff even as there was a 1 percent decline in enrollment. Pennsylvania schools added 17,345 professional employees and 15,582 support workers over this time, while enrollment declined by 26,960.[245] Total public school enrollment in 2009 was 1,787,351 pupils.

From 2000 through 2010, rural Pennsylvania public school district enrollment has decreased by 8 percent.[246] In 2010, there were 726,417 children in rural Pennsylvania, or 21 percent of the total rural population. From 2000 to 2010, the number of children in rural counties decreased 7 percent. The decline in the number of children impacted most rural counties with 42 of Pennsylvania’s 48 rural counties experiencing a decline. Cameron County, Elk County and Sullivan County experienced the greatest declines, with a decrease of more than 21 percent in all three counties. Adams County's live birth rate was 1,132 births in 1990. Adams County's live birth rate in 2000 was 1,048 births while in 2011 it had declined to 1,039 babies.[247] Over the past 50 years (1960 to 2010), rural Pennsylvania saw a steady decline in both the number and proportion of residents under 18 years old. In 1960, 1.06 million rural residents, or 35 percent of the rural population, were children.

Pennsylvania has one of the highest numbers of school districts in the nation. In Pennsylvania, 80% of the school districts serve student populations under 5,000, and 40% serve less than 2,000. This results in excessive school administration bureaucracy and not enough course diversity.[248] In a survey of 88 superintendents of small districts, 42% of the respondents stated that they thought consolidation would save money without closing any schools.[249]

Wellness policy[edit]

Bermudian Springs School Board established a district wellness policy in 2006 – Policy 246.[250] The policy deals with nutritious meals served at school, the control of access to some foods and beverages during school hours, age appropriate nutrition education for all students, and physical education for students K-12. The policy is in response to state mandates and federal legislation (P.L. 108 – 265). The law dictates that each school district participating in a program authorized by the Richard B. Russell National School Lunch Act (42 U.S.C. 1751 et seq) or the Child Nutrition Act of 1966 (42 U.S.C. 1771 et seq) "shall establish a local school wellness policy by School Year 2006."

The legislation placed the responsibility of developing a wellness policy at the local level so the individual needs of each district can be addressed. According to the requirements for the Local Wellness Policy, school districts must set goals for nutrition education and physical education that are aligned with the Pennsylvania State Academic Standards for Health, Safety and Physical Education, campus food provision, and other school-based activities designed to promote student wellness. Additionally, districts were required to involve a broad group of individuals in policy development and to have a plan for measuring policy implementation. Districts were offered a choice of levels of implementation for limiting or prohibiting low nutrition foods on the school campus. In final implementation these regulations prohibit some foods and beverages on the school campus.[251] The Pennsylvania Department of Education required the district to submit a copy of the wellness policy for approval.

Bermudian Springs School District offers a free school breakfast and free or reduced-price lunch to low-income children. The meals are partially funded with federal dollars through the United States Department of Agriculture.[252] All students attending the school can eat breakfast and lunch. Children from families with incomes at or below 130 percent of the federal poverty level are provided a breakfast and lunch at no cost to the family. Children from families with incomes between 130 and 185 percent of the federal poverty level can be charged no more than 30 cents per breakfast. A foster child whose care and placement is the responsibility of the State or who is placed by a court with a caretaker household is eligible for both a free breakfast and a free lunch. Runaway, homeless and Migrant Youth are also automatically eligible for free meals.[253] The meals are partially funded with federal dollars through the United States Department of Agriculture.[252]

In 2013, the USDA issued new restrictions to foods in public schools. The rules apply to foods and beverages sold on all public school district campuses during the day. They limit vending machine snacks to a maximum of 200 calories per item. Additionally, all snack foods sold at school must meet competitive nutrient standards, meaning they must have fruits, vegetables, dairy or protein in them or contain at least 10 percent of the daily value of fiber, calcium, potassium, and Vitamin D.[254] In order to comply with the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 all US public school districts are required to raise the price of their school lunches to $2.60 regardless of the actual cost of providing the lunch.[255]

Bermudian Springs School District provides health services as mandated by the Commonwealth and the federal government. Nurses are available in each building to conduct annual health screenings (data reported to the PDE and state Department of Health) and to dispense prescribed medications to students during the school day. Students can be excluded from school unless they comply with all the State Department of Health’s extensive immunization mandates. School nurses monitor each pupil for this compliance.[256] Nurses also monitor each child's weight.

Bermudian Springs School District participated in Highmark Healthy High 5 Health eTools for Schools which enabled mobile data collection of pertinent health and physical fitness screening data on students K-12 in a database held by InnerLink, Inc. in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. Health eTools for Schools also provided interdisciplinary research-based curriculum in nutrition, physical education and physical activity to participating districts. The program was discontinued in 2013.[257]

Extracurriculars[edit]

Bermudian Springs School District offers a wide variety of clubs, activities and interscholastic sports. The school board sets policies regarding eligibility to participate in these activities.[258] The district does not charge an activity fee in 2011–12.[259] In 2012, Bermudian Springs School District reported spending $683,753 on student activities excluding transportation and facility costs.[260]

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 home schooled, 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.[261][262]

Bermudian Springs holds the Pennsylvania state record for the most individual wrestlers in one season to qualify the PIAA championships, with nine wrestlers qualifying in 2004. That same year marked their first trip to the PIAA Team Championships. This was the second of four visits to the PIAA Team Championships. During the span of 2005–2008, the wrestling program went undefeated in league matches, winning three consecutive YAIAA Division two titles. The 2007–2008 team finished second in the PIAA State Team Tournament, losing to Burrell High School of District 7 in the finals.

A notable individual standout athlete was three time PIAA State Swimming Champion (2001–2003) Kristin Brown. She continued to swim at the University of Pittsburgh.

Competing in the PIAA AA classification, the Varsity baseball team won the school district's first team PIAA State Championship in 2010 by beating Central High School of Martinsburg by a score of 5–3. They were the District 3 Champions after beating Delone Catholic by a score of 15–4. The championship team was led by coach Bob Bonner. They have won the YAIAA Division 3 title in 1994,2008,2009,2010 and 2011.

The middle school was once home to a championship music program, winning the local Showcase Festival in the 2011 school year.

According to PA Child Abuse Recognition and Reporting Act 126 of 2014, all volunteer coaches and all those who assist in student activities, must have criminal background checks. Like all school district employees, they must also attend an anti child abuse training once every three years.[263][264][265]

Sports[edit]

Coaches receive compensation as outlined in the teachers' union contract. When athletic competition exceeds the regular season, additional compensation is paid.[266]

Bermudian Springs School District provides its athletics disclosure form on its web site.[267] Article XVI-C of the Public School Code requires the disclosure of interscholastic athletic opportunities for all public secondary school entities in Pennsylvania. All school entities with grades 7-12 are required to annually collect data concerning team and financial information for all male and female athletes beginning with the 2012-13 school year and submit the information to the Pennsylvania Department of Education. Beginning with the 2013-14 school year, all non-school (booster club and alumni) contributions and purchases must also be reported to PDE.[268]

The District offers an extensive sports program, including:

Junior High School Sports

According to PIAA directory July 2014 [269]

Intermediate Unit[edit]

The district is part of the Lincoln Intermediate Unit (IU#12) region. The agency offers school districts, home-schooled students and private schools many services, including Summer Academy, which offers both art and academic strands that are designed to meet the individual needs of gifted, talented and high-achieving students. Additional services include: Curriculum Mapping, Professional Development for school employees, Adult Education, Nonpublic School Services, Business Services, Migrant & ESL (English as a Second Language), Instructional Services, Special Education, Management Services, and Technology Services.[270]

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External links[edit]

Coordinates: 39°58′49″N 77°05′01″W / 39.98026°N 77.08359°W / 39.98026; -77.08359