Conewago Valley School District

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Conewago Valley School District
Map of Adams County Pennsylvania School Districts.png
Address
130 Berlin Road
New Oxford, Pennsylvania, Adams County, 17350-1206
United States
Information
Type Public
School board 9 locally elected board
Superintendent Dr. Rebecca J Harbaugh, $127,000 (2012) contract through June 30, 2015[1]
Administrator Dr RE Greenholt - Asst Superintendent $115,000 (2012)

Mrs Lori Duncan - Business Manager, $90,820 (2012)
Joan Crouse $102,906
Gretchen Gates $100,976
Karen Sioe Supervisor of Ed. Programs $95,766
Doug Epley Network Administrator
Steve Lardarello, Technology Specialist
Steve Long, Coord. of Computer Services & Technology
Jeff Murren, Head of Maintenance
Ashley Greenholt, Food Service Director
Janet Trimmer Special Education Director $95,537
Linda Swift, Database Systems/PIMS

Director Bobbi Miller, Director transportation
Principal Kevin Thomas, HS
Principal Dr. Gretchen Gates, MS
Principal Dr. Ken Armacost, IS
Principal Dr. Larry Sanders, CTES
Principal Ms. Misti Wildasin, NOES
Vice principal Drew Little, HS
Vice principal Matt Muller, HS
Vice principal Chris Bowman, MS
Vice principal Stephanie Corbin, IS
Vice principal Dr. Bryan Watkins, NOES
Staff 1,845 [2]
Faculty 326 teachers (2012)
Grades full day K since (2011) -12th grade
Age 5 years old to 21 years old special education
Pupils 3,877 pupils (2014),[3]

3,943 pupils (2013), 3,941 pupils (2011),
4,024 pupils (2010)[4]

Kindergarten 274 (2012), 297 (2010)
Grade 1 304 (2012), 263
Grade 2 288 (2012), 294
Grade 3 286 (2012), 293
Grade 4 279 (2012), 303
Grade 5 308 (2012), 308
Grade 6 310 (2012), 298
Grade 7 320 (2012), 319
Grade 8 303 (2012), 294
Grade 9 340 (2012), 344
Grade 10 308 (2012), 359
Grade 11 307 (2012), 322
Grade 12 310 (2012), 330 (2010)
Other Enrollment projected by PDE to be 4,600 pupils in 2020[5]
Language English
Mascot Colonials
Budget $47,252,714 (2013-14)

$44,052,941 (2010-11)[6] $42,566,290 (2009-10)[7]

Per Pupil spending $9,829 (2008)
Per pupil Spending $11,010.08 (2010)
Website

The Conewago Valley School District is a midsized, rural public school district. Conewago Valley School District encompasses approximately 73 square miles (190 km2). It serves the Boroughs of Abbottstown, the northern portion of Bonneauville, McSherrystown and New Oxford and Berwick Township, Conewago Township, Hamilton Township, all but the southwestern edge of Mount Pleasant Township, Oxford Township, the eastern edge of Straban Township and the southeastern edge of Tyrone Township in Adams County, Pennsylvania. According to 2000 Federal Census data, it served a resident population of 23,314. By 2010, the district's population increased to 27,336 people.[8] The educational attainment levels for the School District population (25 years old and over) were 84.1% high school graduates and 13.5% college graduates.[9]

According to the Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center, 37.3% 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.[10] In 2009, Conewago Valley School District residents' per capita income was $18,281, while the median family income was $48,174.[11] In the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, the median family income was $49,501 [12] and the United States median family income was $49,445, in 2010.[13] In Adams County, the median household income was $56,529.[14] By 2013, the median household income in the United States rose to $52,100.[15]

According to Conewago Valley School District (CVSD) officials, in school year 2005-06, the District provided basic educational services to 3,788 pupils. It employed: 245 teachers, 116 full-time and part-time support personnel, and 13 administrators. Conewago Valley School District received more than $11.4 million in state funding in school year 2005-06. Per District officials, in school year 2007-08, the Conewago Valley School District provided basic educational services to 3,937 pupils. It employed: 259 teachers, 150 full-time and part-time support personnel, and 14 administrators. Conewago Valley School District received more than $13.3 million in state funding in school year 2007-08.

Conewago Valley School District operates New Oxford High School (9th-12th), New Oxford Middle School (7th-8th), Conewago Valley Intermediate School (4th-6th), Conewago Township Elementary School (K-3rd) and New Oxford Elementary School (K-3rd). In 2010, enrollment in the District was 3,931 pupils.[4] High school students may choose to attend Adams County Tech Prep for training in the construction and mechanical trades. The Lincoln Intermediate Unit IU12 provides the District with a wide variety of services like specialized education for disabled students and hearing, speech and visual disability services and professional development for staff and faculty.

Governance[edit]

Conewago Valley School District is governed by 9 individually elected school board members (serves without compensation for a term of four years.), the Pennsylvania State Board of Education, the Pennsylvania Department of Education and the Pennsylvania General Assembly.[16] 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 Superintendent and Business Manager are appointed by the school board. The Superintendent is the chief administrative officer with overall responsibility for all aspects of operations, including education and finance. The Business Manager is responsible for budget and financial operations. Neither of these officials are voting members of the School Board. The Conewago Valley School Board enters into individual employment contracts for these positions. In Pennsylvania, public school districts are required to give 150 days notice to the Superintendent regarding renewal of the employment contract.

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.[17]

Academic achievement[edit]

The Conewago Valley School District was ranked 274th out of 498 Pennsylvania school districts, in 2014, by the Pittsburgh Business Times.[18] 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.[19] 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.

Overachiever statewide ranking

In 2013, the Pittsburgh Business Times also reported an Overachievers Ranking for 498 Pennsylvania school districts. Conewago Valley School District ranked 372nd. In 2012, the district was 379th.[24] 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."[25]

District AYP status history[edit]

In 2012, Conewago Valley School District declined to Warning Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) status due to lagging student achievement in reading and mathematics.[26] In 2011, Conewago Valley School District achieved Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP). 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 Pennsylvania public 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.[27] Conewago Valley School District achieved AYP status each year from 2004 to 2010, while in 2003 the District was in Warning status due to lagging student achievement.[28]

Graduation rate[edit]

In 2014, Conewago Valley School District's graduation rate was 90.31%.[29]

  • 2013 - 90.96%.
  • 2012 - 90%.[30] I
  • 2011 - 94%.[31]
  • 2010, the Pennsylvania Department of Education issued a new, 4-year cohort graduation rate. Conewago Valley School District's rate was 93% for 2010.[32]
According to traditional graduation rate calculations

High school[edit]

New Oxford Senior High School is located at 130 Berlin Road, New Oxford. In 2014, enrollment was reported as 1,244 pupils in 9th through 12th grades, with 32.8% of pupils eligible for a free lunch due to family poverty. Additionally, 14% of pupils received special education services, while 3% of pupils were identified as gifted. The school employed 76 teachers.[37] Per the PA Department of Education, 100% of the teachers were rated "Highly Qualified" under the federal No Child Left Behind Act.

According to the National Center for Education Statistics, in 2010, New Oxford Senior High School reported an enrollment of 1,281 pupils in grades 9th through 12th, with 313 pupils eligible for a federal free or reduced-price lunch due to the family meeting the federal poverty level. The school is not a federally designated Title I school. The School employed 78 teachers, yielding a student–teacher ratio of 16:1.[38] According to a report by the Pennsylvania Department of Education, 6 teachers were rated "Non‐Highly Qualified" under No Child Left Behind.[39]

2014 School Performance Profile

New Oxford Senior High School achieved 86 out of 100. Reflects on grade level reading, mathematics and science achievement. In reading/literature - 71% of pupils were on grade level. In Algebra 1, 76.7% showed on grade level skills. In Biology, only 65% demonstrated on grade level science understanding at the end of the course.[40][41] 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.[42] Fifty-three percent of schools statewide received lower SPP scores compared with last year's, while 46 percent improved. A handful were unchanged.[43][44]

2013 School Performance Profile

New Oxford Senior High School achieved 85.9 out of 100. Reflects on grade level reading, mathematics and science achievement.[45] In reading/literature - 78.47% were on grade level. In Algebra 1, 78.02% showed on grade level skills. In Biology, just 44% showed on grade level science understanding at the end of the course.[46] 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, beginning in 2012, they take the Keystone Exams at the end of the associated course.[47]

AYP history

In 2012, New Oxford Senior High School declined again to Corrective Action Level I due to chronic low student achievement in both reading and mathematics.[48]

  • 2011 - declined further to School Improvement II AYP status due to low student academic achievement.
  • 2010 - declined again to School Improvement I level due to chronically low student achievement.[49] Under the federal No Child Left Behind Act, the school administration was required to notify parents of the school's poor achievement outcomes. The Pennsylvania Department of Education required the High School administration to develop a School Improvement Plan that focuses on raising student academic achievement. The plan had to be submitted to the PDE for review. Under the Pennsylvania Accountability System, the school district must pay for additional tutoring for struggling students.[50] The High School is eligible for extra funding under School Improvement Grants which the school must apply for each year. The funds must be used to raise student achievement.[51]
  • 2009 - declined to Warning status AYP
  • 2003 - 2008 - achieved AYP status
PSSA Results

Pennsylvania System of School Assessments, commonly called PSSAs are No Child Left Behind Act related examinations which were administered from 2003 through 2012, in all Pennsylvania public high schools. The exams were administered in the Spring of each school year. The goal was for 100% of students to be on grade level or better in reading and mathematics, by the Spring of 2014. The tests focused on the state's Academic Standards for reading, writing, mathematics and science. The Science exam included content in science, technology, ecology and the environmental studies. The mathematics exam included: algebra I, algebra II, geometry and trigonometry. The standards were first published in 1998 and are mandated by the Pennsylvania State Board of Education.[52] In 2013, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania changed its high school assessments to the Keystone Exams in Algebra 1, Reading/literature and Biology1. The exams are given at the end of the course, rather than all in the spring of the student's 11th grade year.[53]

11th Grade Reading
  • 2012 - 68% on grade level (13% below basic). State - 67% of 11th graders are on grade level.[54]
  • 2011 - 61.4% (18.5% below basic). State - 69.1%[55]
  • 2010 - 62% (22% below basic). State - 67% [56]
  • 2009 - 60%, State - 65% [57]
  • 2008 - 61%, State - 65% [58]
  • 2007 - 64%, State - 65% [59]
11th Grade Math:
  • 2012 - 74% on grade level (9% below basic). In Pennsylvania, 59% of 11th graders are on grade level.[60]
  • 2011 - 58.4% (21% below basic). State - 60.3% [61]
  • 2010 - 65% (19% below basic). State - 59% [62]
  • 2009 - 52%, State - 56% [63]
  • 2008 - 55%, State - 56%[64]
  • 2007 - 53%, State - 53%
11th Grade Science:
  • 2012 - 45% on grade level (7% below basic). State - 42% of 11th graders were on grade level.[65]
  • 2011 - 44.6% (16.8% below basic). State - 40%
  • 2010 - 42% on grade level. State - 39% [66]
  • 2009 - 34%, State - 40%
  • 2008 - 38%, State - 39% [67]

Science in Motion New Oxford Senior High School did not utilize 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.[68] Gettysburg College provides the experiences to Adams County schools.

College remediation[edit]

According to a Pennsylvania Department of Education study released in January 2009, 42% of New Oxford Senior 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.[69] 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.[70] 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.

Graduation requirements[edit]

All students are required to earn a minimum of 28 credits in grades 9 through 12 as follows: Language Arts 4 credits, Social Studies 4 credits, Mathematics 4 credits, Science 4 credits, Physical Education and Health 3 credits, Computer Technology 1 credit, Humanities, Practical Arts, or Fine Arts 2 credits and 6 credits of electives.[71] Additionally, all students must take a core English, Social Studies, Mathematics, and Science class in grades 9, 10, and 11.

By law, all Pennsylvania secondary school students must complete a graduation 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.[72]

Beginning with the class of 2015, students must take the Keystone Exams in English and Algebra 1.[73] Effective with the graduating class of 2017, the Pennsylvania Board of Education eliminated the state mandate that students complete a culminating project in order to graduate.[74]

By Pennsylvania School Board regulations, beginning with the class of 2017, public school students must demonstrate successful completion of secondary level course work in Algebra I, Biology, and English Literature by passing the Keystone Exams.[75][76][77] For the class of 2019, a composition exam will be added. For the class of 2020, passing a civics and government exam will be added to the graduation requirements.[78] In 2011, Pennsylvania high school students field tested the Algebra 1, Biology and English Lit exams. The statewide results were: Algebra 1 38% on grade level, Biology 35% on grade level and English Lit - 49% on grade level.[79] Individual student, school or district reports were not made public, although they were reported to district officials by the Pennsylvania Department of Education. Students identified as having special needs and qualifying for an Individual Educational Program (IEP) may graduate by meeting the requirements of their IEP.

Dual enrollment[edit]

The high school does not offer a dual enrollment program. This state program permits high school students to take courses, at local higher education institutions, to earn college credits. Students remain enrolled at their high school. The courses count towards high school graduation requirements and towards earning a college degree. The students continue to have full access to activities and programs at their high school, including the graduation ceremony. 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.[80] Under the Pennsylvania Transfer and Articulation Agreement, many Pennsylvania colleges and universities accept these credits for students who transfer to their institutions.[81]

SAT scores[edit]

In 2014, Conewage Valley School District students took the SAT exams. The District's Verbal Average Score was 485. The Math average score was 522. The Writing average score was 461.[82] 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.[83]

In 2013, 144 Conweago Valley School District students took the SAT exams. The District's Verbal Average Score was 488. The Math average score was 507. The Writing average score was 458. 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.[84]

In 2012, 154 Conewago Valley School District students took the SAT exams. The District's Verbal Average Score was 486. The Math average score was 514. The Writing average score was 462. 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, 165 Conewago Valley School District students took the SAT exams. The District's Verbal Average Score was 480. The Math average score was 502. The Writing average score was 454.[85] Pennsylvania ranked 40th among states with SAT scores: Verbal - 493, Math - 501, Writing - 479.[86] 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.[87]

The Pennsylvania Department of Education compared the SAT data of students in rural areas of Pennsylvania to students in urban areas. From 2003 to 2005, the average total SAT score for students in rural Pennsylvania was 992, while urban students averaged 1,006. During the same period, 28 percent of 11th and 12th graders in rural school districts took the exam, compared to 32 percent of urban students in the same grades. The average math and verbal scores were 495 and 497, respectively, for rural students, while urban test-takers averaged 499 and 507, respectively. Pennsylvania’s SAT composite score ranked low on the national scale in 2004. The composite SAT score of 1,003 left Pennsylvania ranking 44 out of the 50 states and Washington, DC.[88]

AP Courses[edit]

In 2014, New Oxford Senior High School offered 4 Advanced Placement (AP) courses at a higher cost than regular courses. The fee for each AP Exam is $91 (2014).[89] The school normally retains $9 of that fee as a rebate to help with administrative costs. In 2012, the fee was $89 per test per pupil. 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 New Oxford Senior High School none of the students who took an AP course earned a 3 or better on the exam.[90]

Middle school[edit]

New Oxford Middle School is located at 130 Berlin Road, New Oxford. In 2013, enrollment was 622 pupils in grades 7th and 8th, with 38% of pupils eligible for a free lunch due to family poverty. Additionally, 14% of pupils received special education services, while 4% of pupils were identified as gifted.[91] According to a 2013 report by the Pennsylvania Department of Education, 100% of its teachers were rated "Highly Qualified" under No Child Left Behind.[92]

According to the National Center for Education Statistics, in 2011, the school reported an enrollment of 624 pupils in grades 7th and 8th, with 207 pupils receiving a federal free or reduced-price lunch due to family poverty. The school employed 39 teachers, yielding a student–teacher ratio of 16:1.[93] According to a report by the Pennsylvania Department of Education, 100% of the teachers were rated "Non‐Highly Qualified" under No Child Left Behind.[94]

2014 School Performance Profile

New Oxford Middle School achieved 88.7 out of 100. Reflects on grade level reading, mathematics and science achievement. In reading/literature - 77% were on grade level. In Algebra 1/Math, 88.58% showed on grade level mathematics skills. In Science, 70% of 8th graders showed on grade level science understanding. In writing, 80% of the 8th grade students demonstrated on grade level writing skills.[95]

2013 School Performance Profile

New Oxford Middle School achieved 88.6 out of 100. Reflects on grade level reading, mathematics, writing and science achievement.[96] In reading, 72% of the students were on grade level. In Mathematics/Algebra 1, 88% of the students showed on grade level skills. In Science, 65% of the 8th graders demonstrated on grade level understanding. In writing, 80% of the 8th grade students were on grade level.[97]

AYP History

In 2010 through 2012, New Oxford Middle School achieved Adequate Yearly progress AYP status even though it missed all but 1 reading metric measured.[98] In 2011 the attendance rate was 94% while the attendance rate was 95% in 2010.[99] In 2010, the School achieved AYP status.

  • 2009 - declined to Warning AYP Status.[100]
  • 2008 - achieved AYP status[101]
  • 2007 - declined to Warning AYP Status.[102]
  • 2006 - achieved AYP status
  • 2005 - declined to Warning AYP Status.
  • 2004 - achieved AYP status
  • 2003 - Warning AYP Status.
PSSA Results
8th Grade Reading
  • 2012 - 83% on grade level (4% below basic). State - 79%[103]
  • 2011 - 84% (5.8% below basic). State - 81.8% [104]
  • 2010 - 85%, State - 31% [105]
  • 2009 - 81%, State - 80% [106]
  • 2008 - 80%, State - 78% [107]
  • 2007 - 74%, State - 75%
8th Grade Math:
  • 2012 - 89% on grade level (43% below basic). In Pennsylvania, 76% of 8th graders are on grade level
  • 2011 - 88% (3% below basic). State - 76.9%
  • 2010 - 90% (4.5% below basic). State - 75% [108]
  • 2009 - 80% (10% below basic). State - 71% [109]
  • 2008 - 74%, State - 70%
  • 2007 - 70%, State - 68%
8th Grade Science:
  • 2012 - 71% (12% below basic). State - 59%
  • 2011 - 68% (12% below basic). State – 58.3%
  • 2010 - 60.9%, State - 57%
  • 2009 - 64%, State - 55% [110]
  • 2008 - 62%, State - 52% [111]

Intermediate School[edit]

Conewago Valley Intermediate School is located at 175 700 Road, New Oxford. In 2013, the enrollment was 898 pupils in grades 4th through 6th, with 41% eligible for a free lunch due to family poverty. Additionally, 13% of pupils received special education services, while 3% were identified as gifted. According to a report by the Pennsylvania Department of Education, 100% of its teachers were rated "Non‐Highly Qualified" under No Child Left Behind.[114] Response to Instruction and Intervention (RTII) is implemented at Conewago Valley Intermediate School as an early identification and intervention strategy provided in the general education classroom. All students in grades are assessed three times a year to determine which students are at risk of falling behind. Students who perform below district benchmarks receive extra help to avoid their falling behind or failing.

According to the National Center for Education Statistics, in 2011, Conewago Valley Intermediate School reported an enrollment of 908 pupils in grades fourth through sixth, with 347 pupils receiving a federal free or reduced-price lunch due to family poverty. The school is a federally designated Title I school. The school employed 52 teachers, yielding a student–teacher ratio of 17:1.[115] According to a report by the Pennsylvania Department of Education, 100% of its teachers were rated "Non‐Highly Qualified" under No Child Left Behind.[116]

2014 School Performance Profile

Conewago Valley Intermediate School achieved a score of 88.8 out of 100. The score reflects on grade level: reading, science, writing and mathematics achievement. In 2013-14, only 66.86% of the students were reading on grade level in grades 4th through 6th. In math, 78.7% were on grade level (4th-6th grades). In 4th grade science, 89.89% of the pupils demonstrated on grade level understanding. In writing, only 67% of 5th grade pupils demonstrated on grade level skills.[117]

2013 School Performance Profile

Conewago Valley Intermediate School achieved 79.5 out of 100. Reflects on grade level reading, writing, mathematics and science achievement. In reading, 61.8% of the students were on grade level. In Mathematics, 74.3% of the students showed on grade level skills. In Science, 85.07% of the 4th graders demonstrated on grade level understanding. In writing, 56% of the 5th grade students demonstrated on grade level writing skills.[118]

AYP History

In 2012, Conewago Valley Intermediate School declined to Warning AYP status due to lagging student academic achievement in reading and mathematics. In 2011, Conewago Valley Intermediate School achieved AYP status.[119]

  • 2010 - achieved AYP status.
  • 2009 - Making Progress - School Improvement Level I
  • 2008 - declined to School Improvement Level I due to lagging student achievement
  • 2007 - declined to Warning AYP status
  • 2006 - achieved AYP status
PSSA results

Fourth, fifth and sixth graders are tested in reading and mathematics each year. The fourth graders are also tested in science each year since 2008

4th Grade Science
  • 2012 - 90% (3% below basic). State - 82%
  • 2011 - 89% (3% below basic). State - 82.9%
  • 2010 - 87% (4% below basic). State - 81%
  • 2009 - 86% (4% below basic). State - 83%

Conewago Township Elementary School[edit]

Conewago Township Elementary School is located at 1189 West Elm Avenue, Hanover. In 2013, the School's enrollment was 538 pupils in grades K-3rd, with 34% of pupils receiving a federal free or reduced price meals due to family poverty. Additionally, 12% of pupils received special education services. 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 kindergarten beginning in 2010-11 school year.[124] Response to Instruction and Intervention (RTII) is implemented at Conewago Township ES as an early identification and intervention strategy provided in the general education classroom. All students in grades K-3 are assessed three times a year to determine which students are at risk of falling behind. Students who perform below district benchmarks receive extra help to avoid their falling behind or failing.

According to a report by the Pennsylvania Department of Education, 100% of its teachers were rated "Highly Qualified" under No Child Left Behind.[125] The school provides full day kindergarten to a targeted group of students who would benefit the most from the program. This was 29% of the 2009 kindergarten class.[126]

2014 School Performance Profile: Conewago Township Elementary School achieved a score of 87 out of 100. The score reflects on grade level: reading, science, writing and mathematics achievement. In 3rd grade, 83% of the pupils were reading on grade level. In math, 77.97% were on grade level (3rd grades).[127]

2013 School Performance Profile

Conewago Township Elementary School achieved a score of 89.3 out of 100. The score reflects on grade level: reading and mathematics achievement. In 2012-13, 85% of the students were reading on grade level in grades 3rd. In math, 90.8% were on grade level (3rd-5th grades).[128]

AYP history

In 2004 through 2012, Conewago Township Elementary School achieved AYP status each year. Conewago Township Elementary missed all reading metrics measured in 2012.[129]

PSSA Results

3rd grade is tested annually in reading and mathematics.

New Oxford Elementary School[edit]

New Oxford Elementary School is located at 116 Berlin Avenue, New Oxford. The school provides full and half day kindergarten through 3rd grade. In 2013, the school's enrollment was 612 pupils with 44.7% of pupils receiving a federal free or reduced price meals due to family poverty. Additionally, 11% of pupils received special education services, while 2% 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 half day kindergarten.[136]

According to the National Center for Education Statistics, in 2013, the School reported an enrollment of 612 pupils in grades kindergarten through 3rd, with 40% of its pupils receiving a federal free or reduced price lunch due to family poverty. The school is a federally designated Title I school. The school employed certified teachers yielding a student-teacher ratio of 17:1.[137] According to a report by the Pennsylvania Department of Education, 100% of its teachers were rated "Highly Qualified" under No Child Left Behind.[138] The school offers full day kindergarten.

2014 School Performance Profile

New Oxford Elementary School achieved 83.2 out of 100. Reflects on grade level reading and mathematics achievement. In reading, 74.36% of 3rd graders were reading on grade level. In mathematics, just 81.41% of pupils in 3rd grade showed on grade level math skills.[139]

2013 School Performance Profile

New Oxford Elementary School achieved 80.3 out of 100. Reflects on grade level reading and mathematics achievement. In reading, 77% of 3rd graders were reading on grade level. In mathematics, just 75% of pupils in 3rd grade showed on grade level math skills.[140]

AYP History

In 2012, New Oxford Elementary School achieved Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) status.[141] In 2011, the School declined to Warning AYP status due to lagging student achievement in reading and mathematics. From 2006 through 2010, the School achieved AYP status. The third grade was the only group to take the PSSAs.

Special education[edit]

In December 2011, Conewago Valley School District administration reported that 534 pupils or 13.3% of the District's pupils received Special Education services, with 57% of the identified students having a specific learning disability.[148] The district administration reported that 520 students or 12.7% were receiving special education services in 2009, with 60% of identified students having a specific learning disabliity. In 2009, 2.9% of the District's students received autism related services.[149]

The District provides a wide variety of special services to students with special needs.[150] Parents may request in writing that their child be evaluated for gifted education services. The state has released an evaluation of special education service performance in the district. It finds that 13.4% of the pupils in the district are identified as receiving special education.[151]

In 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, and 2013, the state of Pennsylvania provided $1,026,815,000 for 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.[152] The Special Education funding structure is through the federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) funds and state appropriations. IDEA funds are appropriated to the state on an annual basis and distributed through intermediate units (IUs) to school districts, while state funds are distributed directly to the districts. Total funds that are received by school districts are calculated through a formula. The Pennsylvania Department of Education oversees four appropriations used to fund students with special needs: Special Education; Approved Private Schools; Pennsylvania Chartered Schools for the Deaf and Blind; and Early Intervention. 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.[153] Over identification 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.[154] 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.[155] In 2012, the Obama Administration's US Department of Education issued a directive that schools include students with disabilities in extracurricular activities, including sports.[156] In 2012, the Obama Administration's US Department of Education issued a directive that schools include students with disabilities in extracurricular activities, including sports.[156]

The Conewago Valley School District received a $1,717,671 supplement for special education services in 2010.[157] For the 2011-12, 2012–13 and 2013-14 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.[158][159] Additionally, the state provides supplemental funding for extraordinarily impacted students. The District must apply for this added funding.

Gifted education[edit]

Conwego Valley District Administration reported that 95 or 2.35% of its students were gifted in 2009. The highest percentage of gifted students reported among all 500 school districts and 100 public charter schools in Pennsylvania was North Allegheny School District with 15.5% of its students identified as gifted.[160] By law, the district must provide mentally gifted programs at all grade levels. The referral process for a gifted evaluation can be initiated by teachers or parents by contacting the student’s building principal and requesting an evaluation. All requests must be made in writing. To be eligible for mentally gifted programs in Pennsylvania, a student must have a cognitive ability of at least 130 as measured on a standardized ability test by a certified school psychologist. Other factors that indicate giftedness will also be considered for eligibility.[161][162]

Bullying policy[edit]

Conewago Valley School District Administration reported there were 15 incidents of bullying in the District in 2012. Additionally, there were 2 incidents of assault on students and zero incidents of sexual misconduct. The were 44 incidents involving local law enforcement with zero arrests reported.[163] Each year the school safety data is reported by the district to the Safe School Center which then publishes the compiled reports online.

Conewago Valley School District Administration reported there were 42 incidents of bullying in the district in 2009.[164][165]

The Conewago Valley School Board has provided the district's antibully policy online.[166] All Pennsylvania schools are not required to have an anti-bullying policy incorporated into their Code of Student Conduct, but it is recommended. The policy would 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.[167] 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.[168][169]

Safe School grant[edit]

In 2013, Conewago Valley School District did not participate in the 2013 state Safe Schools Targeted Grant. The maximum of $25,000 grants were awarded through a competitive application process.[170] The funds must be used for research based interventions, like: peer mediation, staff training in managing behavioral issues and creating a positive school climate. 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.[171]

Wellness policy[edit]

Conewago Valley School Board established a district wellness policy in 2007.[172] 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." Most districts identified the superintendent and school foodservice director as responsible for ensuring local wellness policy implementation.[173] Conewago Valley School Board made the Superintenendent respornsible for the program.

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, physical activity, 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.[174] The Pennsylvania Department of Education required the district to submit a copy of the policy for approval.

Conewago Valley School District offers both a free school breakfast and free or reduced-price lunch to children in low income families. 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.[175] The meals are partially funded with federal dollars through the United States Department of Agriculture.[176]

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.[177] 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 the lunch.[178]

Conewago Valley 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.[179] Nurses also monitor each child's weight.

Highmark Healthy High 5 grant[edit]

In 2011, the Conewago Valley School District received funding through a Highmark Healthy High 5 grant. New Oxford Middle School received $6,682 which was used to purchase a climbing wall and protective matting to implement a climbing program combined with a self-esteem curriculum.[180] Beginning in 2006, Highmark Foundation engaged in a 5 year, $100 million program to promote lifelong healthy behaviors in children and adolescents through local nonprofits and schools.

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.[181]

In 2013, the average teacher salary in Conewago Valley School District was $66,470 a year, while the cost of the benefits teachers received was $25,356 per employee, for a total annual average teacher compensation of $91,826.[182][183] The top salary in the district was $127,000.[184] There were five salaries over $100,000. Conewago Valley School District teacher and administrator retirement benefits are equal to at least 2.00% x Final Average Salary x Total Credited Service. (Some teachers benefits utilize a 2.50% benefit factor.) [185] After 40 years of service, a teacher can retire with 100% of the average salary of their final 3 years of employment. 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.[186]

In 2011-12, the average teacher salary in Conewago Valley School District was $64,594 a year, while the cost of the benefits teachers received was $20,042 per employee, for a total annual average teacher compensation of $84,637. The costs of the benefits ranks in the top 20% of school districts in Pennsylvania.[187]

For the 2010-11 school teacher the teacher's union agreed to forgo the annual raises in order to avoid cuts to teaching positions and school programs.[188]

In 2009, Conewago Valley School District reported employing 284 teachers and administrators with a median salary of $61,561 and a top salary of $127,000.[189] The teacher’s work day is 7 hours 30 minutes with a 30-minute duty-free lunch and a daily preparation period. There are 188 days in the contract year. In addition to salary, the teachers receive a defined benefit pension, health insurance, professional development reimbursement, paid personal days, 10 paid sick days, paid bereavement leave and other benefits.[190]

In 2007, the District employed 222 teachers. The average teacher salary in the district was $56,394 for 188 days worked.[191] The average teacher salary in Pennsylvania was $54,977. In 2009 the school board negotiated a new five-year contract with the teachers' union that included an annual raise and step raises for longevity coupled with slightly increased payment (11% by 5th year) by employees for health insurance. The raises are 1.55% in 2010, 2.3 percent in 2011, with subsequent years having increases of 2.9%, 3.6% and 3.8%. Each year also has a step increase.[192]

Reserves In 2008, the Conewago Valley School District reported a $295,626.00 in an unreserved-undesignated fund balance. The designated fund balance was reported as $9,261,318.00.[193] In 2010, Conewago Valley School District Administration reported $385,921 in the unreserved-undesignated fund balance. The District also reported $7,508,627 in its unreserved-designated fund in 2010. 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.[194] By 2013, reserves held by Pennsylvania public school districts, as a whole, had increased to over $3.8 billion.[195]

Per pupil spending Conewago Valley School District administrative costs per pupil in 2008 was $529.98 in 2008. The lowest administrative cost per pupil in Pennsylvania was $398 per pupil.[196] In July 2005, the school board provided a three-year contract for superintendent at a salary $100,000 and an extensive package of benefits.[197] Superintendents and administrators receive a benefit package commensurate with that offered to the district's teachers' union.[198] According to PSBA, the median Superintendent salary rose to over $130,000 in 2011.[199]

Administration spending In 2008, the Conewago Valley School District administration reported that per pupil spending was $$9,829 which ranked 485th among Pennsylvania's then 501 public school districts. In 2010, the District’s per pupil spending had increased to $11,010.08.[200] In 2011, Pennsylvania’s per pupil spending was $13,467, ranking 6th in the United States.[201] In 2007, the Pennsylvania per pupil total expenditures was reported as $12,759.[202]

The U.S. Census Bureau reported that Pennsylvania spent $8,191 per pupil in school year 2000-01.[203] In 2007, the Pennsylvania per pupil total expenditures was reported as $12,759.[202] Among the fifty states, Pennsylvania’s total per pupil revenue (including all sources) ranked 11th at $15,023 per student, in 2008-09.[204] Pennsylvania’s total revenue per pupil rose to $16,186 ranking 9th in the nation in 2011.[205]

Debt In 2009, Conewago Valley School District reported having $31,700,000 in outstanding debt.[206]

Audit In June 2010, the Pennsylvania Auditor General released a Performance Audit of the Conewago Valley School District.[207] It found that the District had four significant findings, including a board member ethics violation and financial overpayment issues. The results were reported to the school board and the school administration. In June 2011, the District was audited again and further findings were found, including issues with the student activity funds. It was also noted that the Administration had failed to address earlier issues.[208]

Tuition Students who live in the 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 Conewago Valley 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 - $8,102.21, High School - $8,514.19.[209]

Conewago Valley School District is funded by a combination of: a local earned income tax 0.5%, per capita tax - $5 per person (exemption for poverty), 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. Interest earnings on accounts also provide nontax income to the District. 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.[210] The average Pennsylvania public school teacher pension in 2011 exceeds $60,000 a year plus they receive federal Social Security benefits: both are free of Pennsylvania state income tax and local income tax which funds local public schools.[211]

State basic education funding[edit]

According to a report from Representative Todd Stephens office, Conewago Valley School District receives 34.3% of its annual revenue from the state.[212]

For the 2014-15 school year, Conewago Valley School District will receive $8,066,118 in State Basic Education funding. The District will also receive $445,121 in new Ready To Learn Block grant. TheState’s enacted Education Budgetincludes $5,526,129,000 for the 2014-2015 Basic Education Funding.[213] 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.[214]

For the 2013-14 school year, the Conewago Valley School District received a 3.2% increase or $8,069,042 in Pennsylvania Basic Education Funding. This is $253,785 more than its 2012-13 state BEF to the District. Additionally, Conewago Valley School District received $208,485 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. 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.[215] 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.[216]

For the 2012-13 school year, Conewago Valley School District received $5,746,072.[217] The Governor's Executive Budget for 2012-2013 included $9.34 billion for kindergarten through 12th grade public education, including $5.4 billion in basic education funding, which was an increase of $49 million over the 2011-12 budget. In addition, the Commonwealth provided $100 million for the Accountability Block Grant (ABG) program. Conewago Valley School District received $208,485 in Accountability Block Grant funding. The state also provided a $544.4 million payment for School Employees’ Social Security and $856 million for School Employees’ Retirement fund called PSERS.[218] This amount was 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. Since taking office, Corbett’s first 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.

For the 2011-12 school year, Conewago Valley School District received $7,813,323 in state Basic Education Funding.[219] Additionally, Conewago Valley School District also received $208,485 in Accountability Block Grant funding. The enacted Pennsylvania state Education budget included $5,354,629,000 for the 2011-2012 Basic Education Funding appropriation. This amount was a $233,290,000 increase (4.6%) over the enacted State appropriation for 2010-2011.[220] The highest increase in state basic education funding was awarded to Duquesne City School District of Allegheny County, which got a 49% increase in state funding for 2011-12.[221] In 2010, the district reported that 882 students received free or reduced price lunches, due to the family meeting the federal poverty level.[222] Some public school Districts experienced a reduction in funding due to the loss of federal stimulus funding which ended in 2011.

For the 2010-11 school year, the highest increase in basic education funding was awarded to Conewago Valley School District at 9.66% for $8,560,275. One hundred fifty Pennsylvania school districts received the base 2% increase. 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.[223] Fifteen (15) Pennsylvania public school districts received a BEF increase of greater than 10%. 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 set by Governor Edward Rendell and then Secretary of Education Gerald Zahorchak, as a part of the state budget proposal given each February. This was the second year of Governor Rendell’s policy to fund some public school districts at a far greater rate than others.[224]

For the 2009-2010 budget year, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania provided a 9.48% increase in Basic Education funding for Conewago Valley School District a total of $7,805,268. This was the highest increase in BEF for the school districts in Adams County. The highest increase among public schools in Pennsylvania went to Muhlenberg School District of Berks County which received an increase of 22.31 percent. Sixteen school districts received an increase in funding of over 10 percent in 2009.[225] The amount of increase each school district received was set by Governor Edward G. Rendell and the Secretary of Education Gerald Zahorchak, as a part of the state budget proposal.[226] 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.[227][228]

For the 2008 -09 school year, the state Basic Education Funding to Conewago Valley School District was $7,129,490.12. In 2009, Conewago Valley School District reported that 991 students received a federal free or reduced-price lunch due to low family income.[229]

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 Conewago Valley School District applied for and received $585,880 in addition to all other state and federal funding. The district used the funding to provide full-day kindergarten, to improve instruction by using teacher coaches in classrooms and to increase instructional time for struggling students through before and after school tutoring.[230][231]

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.[232]

School District will receive $445,121 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. Conewago Valley School District did not apply for funding in 2006-07. In 2007-08 it received $225,090. The district received $57,804 in 2008-09 for a total funding of $282,894.[233]

Other grants[edit]

Conewago Valley School District did not participate in: Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection's Environmental Education annual grants, PA Science Its Elementary grants (discontinued effective with 2009-10 budget by Governor Rendell), Education Assistance Grants, 2012 Striving Readers Comprehensive Literacy grant 2012 and 2013; Project 720 High School Reform grnats (discontinued effective with 2011-12 budget); nor the PA Pennsylvania Hybrid Learning Grants,[234] nor the federal 21st Century Learning grants.

Federal Stimulus grant[edit]

Conewago Valley School District received an extra $1,867,558 in ARRA - Federal Stimulus money to be used only in specific programs like special education and meeting the academic needs of low-income students.[235][236] The funding was limited to the 2009-10 and 2010-2011 school years.[237] 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[edit]

Conewago Valley 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.[238] 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.[239]

Common Cents state initiative[edit]

The Conewago Valley 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.[240] After the review of the information, the district was not required to implement the recommended cost savings changes.

Real estate taxes[edit]

The Conewago Valley School Board set property taxes at 11.1807 mills for 2014-15, which was a substantial increase over 2012-13.[241] A mill is $1 of tax for every $1,000 of a property's assessed value. In 2010, Adams County conducted a property reassessment which lead to a change in the real estate tax rates. Districts reduced them to realign with new property value assessments. 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.[242] 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 all government property (local, state and federal). Additionally, service related, disabled US military veterans may seek an exemption from paying property taxes. 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, which are around 15% of revenues for school districts.[243] When a Pennsylvania public school district includes municipalities in two counties, each of which has different rates of property tax assessment, a state board equalizes the tax rates between the counties.[244] In 2010, miscalculations by the State Tax Equalization Board (STEB) were widespread in the Commonwealth and adversely impacted funding for many school districts, including those that did not cross county borders.[245]

The average yearly property tax paid by Adams County residents amounts to about 3.33% of their yearly income. Adams County ranked 444h out of the 3143 United States counties for property taxes as a percentage of median income.[256] 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.[257] 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%).[258]

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.[259] 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.[260]

The School District Adjusted Index for the Conewago Valley School District 2006-2007 through 2010-2011.[261]

For the 2014-15 budget year, Conewago Valley School Board applied for two exceptions to exceed their Act 1 Index limit: special ed costs and escalating teacher pension costs. In 2014-15, all Pennsylvania school districts were required to make a 21.4% of payroll payment to the teacher’s pension fund (PSERS).[267] 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.[268]

For the 2013-14 budget year, Conewago Valley School Board applied for two exceptions to exceed their Act 1 Index limit: special education funding and teacher pesnion costs. For the school budget year 2013-14, 311 Pennsylvania public school districts adopted a resolution certifying that tax rates would not be increased above their index. Another 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 their tax limit. For the pension costs exception, 169 school districts received approval to exceed the Index. Eleven Pennsylvania public school districts received an approval for grandfathered construction debts.[269]

For the 2012-13 budget year, Conewago Valley 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.[270]

For the 2011-12 school year, the Conewago Valley School Board did not apply for an exception to exceed the Act 1 Index. Each year, the Conewago Valley 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.

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.[271]

For the 2008-09, 2009–10 and the 2010-11 school years, the Conewago Valley School Board did not seek an exception to exceed the Act 1 Index.[272][273] 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.[274]

Property tax relief[edit]

In 2013, the Homestead/Farmstead Property Tax Relief from gambling for the Conewago Valley School District was $125 per approved permanent primary residence. In the district, 7,301 property owners applied for the tax relief.[275] In 2009, the Homestead/Farmstead Property Tax Relief from gambling for the Conewago Valley School District was $128 per approved permanent primary residence. In the district, 7,163 property owners applied for the tax relief. Among Adams County school districts, in 2009, Upper Adams School District received the highest relief allocation at $279.[276] 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.[277] This was the second year CUSD was the top recipient. 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 (40,000 m2) 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.[278]

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.[279]

Extracurriculars[edit]

Conewago Valley School District offers a variety of clubs, activities and a costly, extensive sports program. Conewago Valley School District spends over $900,000 a year on student activities.[280] The Conewago Valley School Board sets policies regarding eligibility to participate in these activities.[281] A student must be passing four (4) scholastic credits. The P.I.A.A. requires regular school attendance, which must be strictly adhered to.[282]

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.[283]

Sports[edit]

Coaches receive compensation as outlined in the teachers' union contract. When athletic competition exceeds the regular season, additional compensation is paid.[284]

According to Pennsylvania’s Safety in Youth Sports Act, all sports coaches, paid and volunteer, are required to annually complete the Concussion Management Certification Training and present the certification before coaching.[285][286]

Conewago Valley School District provides its athletics disclosure forms on its web site.[287] 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.[288]

The District funds:

Middle School Sports

According to PIAA directory July 2013 [289]

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  275. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education, Tax Relief per Homestead, 2013-14
  276. ^ Tax Relief per Homestead May 1, 2009, Pennsylvania Department of Education report.
  277. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education (May 2010). "Tax Relief per Homestead 5-1-10. Report". 
  278. ^ Special Report Pennsylvania Property Tax Relief, Auditor General Office, 2-23-2010.
  279. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Revenue, Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program
  280. ^ Gettysburg Times (2014). "Government Budgets". 
  281. ^ Conewago Valley School District Extracurriculars Policy 122 and Interscholastic Athletics Policy 123
  282. ^ Conewago Valley School District Administration. "Conewago Valley Student Handbook - Athletics". 
  283. ^ Pennsylvania Office of the Governor Press Release (November 10, 2005). "Home-Schooled, Charter School Children Can Participate in School District Extracurricular Activities". 
  284. ^ Conewago Valley School Board, Conewago Valley School District Teacher Union Contract, 2014
  285. ^ PA General Assembly, (July 1, 2012). "Senate Bill 200 of Session 2011 Safety in Youth Sports Act". 
  286. ^ UMPC Sports Medicine (2014). "Managing Concussions in Student Athletes: The Safety in Youth Sports Act". 
  287. ^ Template:Cite web \url=http://www.conewago.k12.pa.us/athletics--activites.html
  288. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education (2013). "Interscholastic Athletic Opportunities Disclosure Form". 
  289. ^ Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletics Association (2013). "PIAA School Directory".