Dover Area School District

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Dover Area School District
More Color Map of York County Pennsylvania School Districts.png
Address
2 School Lane
Dover, Pennsylvania, York County, 17315
United States
Information
Type Public
Closed Kralltown Elementary School, East Berlin (June 2011)
School board 9 locally elected members
Oversight Pennsylvania Department of Education and US Department of Education
Superintendent Mr. Kenneth Cherry (contract July 1, 2014 to June 30, 2018)[1]
Specialist Kanigsberg, Sue, Asst Superintendent Director of Curriculum, Instruction & Professional Development (salary $87,951 in 2012)[2]
Administrator

Belinda Wallen, Business Manager
David Depew, Director Special Education
Wanda White, Accounts Payable/Purchasing Coordinator
Charles Benton, Director of Career and Technical Education
David Nelson, Facilities Manager

Angelene McWilliams, nstructional Technology Coordinator
Principal Riedel, Joel, DAHS (salary $113,487 in 2012)
Principal Walker, Steven, DES (salary $88,951 in 2012)
Principal Wiestling, Troy, LES (salary $86,951 in 2012)
Principal Depew, David, ES (salary $83,782 in 2012)
Principal Rickard, Davonna, WES (salary $81,730 in 2012)
Vice principal Miller, Shane, (salary $82,395 in 2012)
Vice principal Rickard, H, (salary $79,660 in 2012)
Staff 193 non teaching staff member (2012)[3]
Faculty

222 teachers (2014)[3]
231 teachers (2012)

234 teachers (2010)[4]
Grades K-12
Age 5 years old to 21 years old for special education students
Pupils

3,645 students (2014)[5]
3,613 students (2012)
3,641 students (2010)[6]

3,661 students (2006)
 • Kindergarten 290 (2012),[7] 326 (2010)
 • Grade 1 297 (2012), 280
 • Grade 2 260 (2012), 295
 • Grade 3 299 (2012), 285
 • Grade 4 278 (2012), 302
 • Grade 5 294 (2012), 262
 • Grade 6 298 (2012), 271
 • Grade 7 293 (2012), 312
 • Grade 8 259 (2012), 288
 • Grade 9 281 (2012), 284
 • Grade 10 271 (2012), 268
 • Grade 11 244 (2012), 224
 • Grade 12 263 (2012), 244 (2010)
 • Other Enrollment projected to increase to 4,290 by 2019 per the PDE.[8]
Language English
Color(s) Red, Silver/White and Black
Athletics conference Greater York Conference
Mascot Eagles
Newspaper The Eagles Eye
Budget

$56,442,453 (2014-15)[9]

$53 million (2012-13)[10]
Per pupil spending $11,312 (2008)
Website

The Dover Area School District is a midsized, rural, public school district located in Dover, York County, Pennsylvania. It serves the communities of: Dover Township, Washington Township and the Borough of Dover in York County. The District encompasses an area of approximately 65 square miles (170 km2). According to the 2010 United States Census, the District community's population grew to 25,779 people.[11] The population of the District was 22,349 people, according to the 2000 federal census. The educational attainment levels for the Dover Area School District population (25 years old and over) were 87% high school graduates and 14.7% college graduates.[12]

According to the Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center, 34.3% of the Dover Area School 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.[13] In 2009, the District residents’ per capita income was $20,403, while the median family income was $53,056.[11] In the Commonwealth, the median family income was $49,501[14] and the United States median family income was $49,445, in 2010.[15] In York County, the median household income was $57,494.[16] By 2013, the median household income in the United States rose to $52,100.[17]

According to the National Center for Education Statistics, in school year 2011-12, Dover Area School District had 3,613 pupils enrolled in grades kindergarten through 12th grades. It employed 231.50 teachers.[4] In school year 2009-10, Dover Area School District had 3,680 pupils enrolled in grades kindergarten through 12th grades. It employed 234 teachers.[18] In 2007-08, Dover Area School District provided basic educational services to 3,548 pupils. It employed: 251 teachers, 182 full-time and part-time support personnel, and 16 administrators. Dover Area School District received more than $17 million in state funding in school year 2007-08.

Dover Area School District operates seven schools: Dover Area High School (9th-12th), Dover Area Intermediate School (7th-8th), Dover Area Elementary School, Leib Elementary School, North Salem Elementary School and Weigelstown Elementary School. High school students may choose to attend York County School of Technology 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.

In 2014, Washington Township residents petitioned the state to permit it to leave the Dover Area School District to join the Northern York County School District.[19] The petitioners cited the superior education outcomes and lower property taxes in Northern County School District as motives for the change request. Estimates project a net gain of $800,000 to $1 million over the next five years to Northern York County School District when the change is approved.[20]

Governance[edit]

Dover Area School District is governed by 9 individually elected board members (serve four-year terms), the Pennsylvania State Board of Education, the Pennsylvania Department of Education and the Pennsylvania General Assembly.[21] 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 its resources on student success in acquiring reading and math skills. The 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.[22]

The Commonwealth Foundation for Public Policy Alternatives Sunshine Review gave the school board and district administration a "D-" 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]

Dover Area School District was ranked 360th out of 498 Pennsylvania school districts in 2014 by the Pittsburgh Business Times. The ranking was based on the last three years of student academic achievement on the PSSA results on: reading, writing, math and science.[24] The PSSAs were given to all children in grades 3rd through 8th and the 11th grade in high school. Adapted examinations are given to children in the special education programs.

  • 2013 - 372nd
  • 2012 - 382nd
  • 2011 - 347th
  • 2010 - 286th[25]
  • 2009 - 245th
  • 2008 - 247th
  • 2007 - 244th of 500 school districts in Pennsylvania.[26]

In 2012, the Pittsburgh Business Times reported an Overachievers Ranking for 498 Pennsylvania school districts. Dover Area School District ranked 477th.[27] The paper 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."[28]

  • 2012 - 452nd
  • 2011 - 432nd
  • 2010 - 448th
  • 2009 - 425th

In 2009, the academic achievement of the students of Dover Area School District was in the 38th percentile among 500 Pennsylvania school districts. Scale - (0-99; 100 is state best).[29]

District AYP status history[edit]

In 2012, Dover Area School District declined to Warning AYP status due to lagging student achievement in both reading and mathematics.[30] In 2006 through 2011, Dover Area School District achieved AYP status.[31] 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.[32]

  • 2005 - improved to Making Progress School Improvement I status
  • 2004 - declined to School Improvement I status due to low student achievement
  • 2003 the District was in Warning status due to lagging student achievement.[33]

Graduation rate[edit]

In 2014, Dover Area School District's graduation rate was 90.38%.[34]

  • 2013 - 91.56%
  • 2012 - 90%
  • 2011 - 81%[35]
  • 2010 - 78.62%, the Pennsylvania Department of Education issued a new, 4-year cohort graduation rate.[36]
According to traditional graduation rate calculations

Dover Area High School[edit]

Dover Area High School is located at 46 West Canal Street. Dover, Pennsylvania. In 2014, enrollment was reported as 1009 pupils in 9th through 12th grades, with 30% of pupils eligible for a free lunch due to family poverty. Additionally, 12.4% of pupils received special education services, while 2% of pupils were identified as gifted. The school employed 68 teachers.[40] 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 2012, the school reported an enrollment of 1,038 pupils in grades 9th through 12th, with 283 pupils eligible for a federal free or reduced-price lunch. The school employed 71.66 teachers, yielding a student–teacher ratio of 14:1.[41] In 2010, Dover Area High School reported an enrollment of 1,077 pupils in grades 9th through 12th, with 275 pupils eligible for a federal free or reduced-price lunch. The school employed 71 teachers, yielding a student–teacher ratio of 15:1.[42] According to a report by the Pennsylvania Department of Education, 1 teachers were rated "Non‐Highly Qualified" under No Child Left Behind.[43] The principal is Mr. Joel Riedel and the assistant principals are Mr. Shane Miller, Mr. William Rickard.

2014 School Performance Profile

Dover Area High School achieved 73.7 out of 100. Reflects on grade level reading, mathematics and science achievement. In reading/literature - 63% were on grade level. In Algebra 1, 62% showed on grade level skills. In Biology, 41% demonstrated on grade level science understanding at the end of the course.[44][45] Statewide, the percentage of high school students who scored proficient and advanced in Algebra I increased to 39.7% to 40.1%. The percentage of high school students who scored proficient and advanced in reading/literature declined to 52.5%. The percentage of high school students who scored proficient and advanced in biology improved from 39.7% to 41.4%.[46]

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.[47] Fifty-three percent of schools statewide received lower SPP scores compared with last year's, while 46 percent improved. A handful were unchanged.[48][49]

2013 School Performance Profile

Dover Area High School achieved out of 100. Reflects on grade level reading, mathematics and science achievement. In reading/literature - 71% were on grade level. In Algebra 1, 60.77% showed on grade level skills. In Biology, 34.3% showed on grade level science understanding.[50] 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.[51]

AYP status

In 2012, Dover Area High School declined again to School Improvement status due to low student achievement in both reading and mathematics. Under the federal No Child Left Behind Act, Dover Area High School administration was required to notify parents of the school's poor achievement outcomes and to offer the parent the opportunity to transfer to a successful school within the District. Additionally the school administration was required by the Pennsylvania Department of Education, to develop a School Improvement Plan to address the school's low student achievement. Under the Pennsylvania Accountability System, the school must pay for additional tutoring for struggling students.[52] The High School is eligible for special, extra funding under School Improvement Grants which the school must apply for each year.[53]

In 2011, Dover Area High School declined to Warning status due to lagging student academic achievement in math and in reading. In 2010 the High School achieved AYP status.[54]

PSSA Results
11th Grade Reading
  • 2012 - 68% on grade level (11% below basic). State - 67% of 11th graders are on grade level.[55]
  • 2011 - 66% (15% below basic). State - 69.1% [56]
  • 2010 - 63% (19% below basic). State - 68%[57]
  • 2009 - 68%, State - 65% of 11th graders on grade level.[58]
  • 2008 - 70%, State - 65%
  • 2007 - 75%, State - 65.4%[59]
11th Grade Math
  • 2012 - 55% on grade level (25% below basic). In Pennsylvania, 59% of 11th graders are on grade level.[60]
  • 2011 - 52% (23% below basic). State - 60.3%[61]
  • 2010 - 55% (28% below basic). State - 59%
  • 2009 - 51%, State - 56%[62]
  • 2008 - 69%, State - 56%[63]
  • 2007 - 61%, State - 53%
11th Grade Science
  • 2012 - 37% on grade level (14% below basic). State - 42% of 11th graders were on grade level.[64]
  • 2011 - 31% (22% below basic). State - 40%[65]
  • 2010 - 24% (27% below basic). State - 39%[66]
  • 2009 - 34%, State - 40%
  • 2008 - 46%, State - 39%
  • 2007 - Tested, The state did not make the results public.

Graduation requirements[edit]

The Dover Area School Board has set that a minimum of 25.66 credits, including specified required courses and projects required for graduation, must be successfully completed to qualify a student for graduation. Additionally, seniors planning for early graduation must pass/earn two (2) credits while all others must pass/earn four (4) credits regardless of total credits earned to date in order to graduate.[67]

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.[68] Effective with the graduating class of 2017, the Pennsylvania State Board of Education eliminated the state mandate that students complete a culminating project in order to graduate.[69]

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.[70][71][72] 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.[73] 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.[74] 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.

College remediation rate[edit]

According to a Pennsylvania Department of Education study released in January 2009, 28% of Dover Area School District graduates required remediation in mathematics and or reading before they were prepared to take college level courses in the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education or community colleges.[75][76] 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.[77][78] 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[edit]

Dover Area High School offers 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.[79] Under the Pennsylvania Transfer and Articulation Agreement, many Pennsylvania colleges and universities accept these credits for students who transfer to their institutions.[80] For the 2009-10 funding year, the school district received a state grant of $10,655 for the program.[81]

SAT scores[edit]

In 2014, Dover Area School District students took the SAT exams. The District's Verbal Average Score was 485. The Math average score was 480. The Writing average score was 451.[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, 147 Dover Area School District students took the SAT exams. The District's Verbal Average Score was 492. The Math average score was 490. The Writing average score was 466. The College Board reported that statewide scores were: 494 in reading, 504 in math and 482 in writing. The nationwide SAT results were the same as in 2012.[84]

In 2012, Dover Area School District students took the SAT exams. The District's Verbal Average Score was 472. The Math average score was 479. The Writing average score was 444. 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, 134 students took the SAT exams. The district's Verbal Average Score was 486. The Math average score was 486. The Writing average score was 450.[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]

Dover Area Intermediate School[edit]

Dover Area Intermediate School is located at 4500 Intermediate Avenue, Dover. In 2014, enrollment was 607 pupils, in grades 7th and 8th, with 37.5% of pupils eligible for a free lunch due to family poverty. Additionally, 13% of pupils received special education services, while 4.6% of pupils were identified as gifted.[88] According to a 2013 report by the Pennsylvania Department of Education, 100% of DAIS teachers were rated "Highly Qualified" under No Child Left Behind.[89]

According to the National Center for Education Statistics, in 2012, the school reported an enrollment of 590 pupils in grades 7th and 8th, with 187 pupils eligible for a federal free or reduced-price lunch. The school employed 35 teachers, yielding a student–teacher ratio of 17:1. In 2010, the School reported an enrollment of 602 pupils in grades 7th and 8th, with 176 pupils eligible for a federal free or reduced-price lunch. The school employed 35 teachers, yielding a student–teacher ratio of 17:1.[90]

2014 School Performance Profile

Dover Area Intermediate School achieved 69.9 out of 100. Reflects on grade level reading, mathematics and science achievement. In reading/literature - 76% were on grade level. In Algebra 1/Math, 76.8% showed on grade level mathematics skills. In Science, just 60% of 8th graders showed on grade level science understanding. In writing, only 65% of the 8th grade students demonstrated on grade level writing skills.[91]

2013 School Performance Profile

Dover Area Intermediate School achieved 71.4 out of 100. Reflects on grade level reading, writing, mathematics and science achievement. In reading, just 75.5% of the students were on grade level. In Mathematics/Algebra 1, 76.6% of the students showed on grade level skills. In Science, only 59.84% of the 8th graders demonstrated on grade level understanding. In writing, 64.9% of the 8th grade students demonstrated on grade level writing skills.[92]

AYP history

In 2012, Dover Area Intermediate School improved to Making Progress in School Improvement II level.[93] In 2011, Dover Area Intermediate School declined to School Improvement II level due to chronic low student achievement in mathematics. In 2010, the school was in School Improvement I level.[94] Under No Child Left Behind, the school administration was required to notify parents of the school's poor performance and to offer the opportunity to transfer to an achieving school in the district. Dover Area School District reports that 5 of its Intermediate School teachers are not Highly Qualified under No Child Left Behind.[95]

PSSA results

Pennsylvania System of School Assessments, commonly called PSSAs are NCLB related examination given in the Spring of each school year. Seventh grades have been 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, as a state initiative.[96] 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.[97] The standards were published in 1998 and are mandated by the Pennsylvania State Board of Education.[98] In 2014, the Commonwealth adopted the Pennsylvania Core Standards - Mathematics.[99]

8th Grade Reading:
  • 2012 - 69% on grade level (11% below basic). In Pennsylvania, 79% of 8th graders on grade level.[60]
  • 2011 - 75% (14% below basic). State - 81.8%[100]
  • 2010 - 73% (14% below basic). State - 81% [101]
  • 2009 - 84%, State - 80%[102]
  • 2008 - 81%, State - 78%[103]
8th Grade Math:
  • 2012 - 68% on grade level (18% below basic). State - 76% [104]
  • 2011 - 62% (20% below basic). State - 76.9%
  • 2010 - 70% (13% below basic). State - 75%
  • 2009 - 66%, State - 71%
  • 2008 - 69%, State - 70%
8th Grade Science:
  • 2012 - 57% on grade level (24% below basic). State - 59%
  • 2011 - 53% (25% below basic). State – 58.3%
  • 2010 - 52% (25% below basic). State – 57%
  • 2009 - 58%, State - 55%
  • 2008 - 55%, State - 52%

Elementary schools[edit]

Beginning with the 2012-13 school year, the elementary schools were realigned to serve grades kindergarten through 6th. Additionally, the elementary curriculum was synchronized so that all the Dover Area School District elementary schools were teaching the same thing at the same time.[108] Prior to the change the schools were first through 4th grade. The District provided full day kindergarten since 2004 using state Accountability Block Grant funding to cover the high level of added costs.[109]

Each year, in the Spring, the 3rd graders and sixth grades take the PSSAs in math and reading. The fourth grade is tested in reading, math and science. The fifth grade is evaluated in reading, mathematics and writing. Pennsylvania System of School Assessments, commonly called PSSAs are No Child Left Behind Act related examinations which were administered beginning 2003 to all Pennsylvania public school students in grades 3rd-8th.[110] The goal was for 100% of students to be on grade level or better in reading and mathematics, by the Spring of 2014.[111][112][113] The tests focused on the state's Academic Standards for reading, writing, mathematics and science. The Science exam is given to 4th grades and includes content in science, technology, ecology and the environmental studies.[114]

North Salem Elementary School[edit]

North Salem Elementary School is located at 5161 N Salem Church Road, Dover. In 2014, the School's enrollment was 528 pupils in grades kindergarten through 6th, with 41.8% of pupils receiving a federal free or reduced price meals due to family poverty. Additionally, 13.8% of the pupils receive special education services, while 2% are identified as gifted.[115] 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.[116] The school is a federally designated Title I school.

In 2011-12, North Salem Elementary School provided 1st through 6th grades. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, in 2010, the school reported an enrollment of 535 pupils in grades 5th and 6th, with 171 pupils eligible for a federal free or reduced-price lunch. The school employed 37 teachers, yielding a student–teacher ratio of 14:1.[117]

2014 School Performance Profile

North Salem Elementary School achieved a score of 83.2 out of 100. The score reflects on grade level: reading, science, writing and mathematics achievement. In 2013-14, only 74% of the students were reading on grade level in grades 3rd through 5th. In 3rd grade, 73% of the pupils were reading on grade level. In math, 80.5% were on grade level (3rd-5th grades). In 4th grade science, 83% of the pupils demonstrated on grade level understanding. In writing only 58% of 5th grade pupils demonstrated on grade level skills.[118]

2013 School Performance Profile

North Salem Elementary School achieved a score of 79.8 out of 100. The score reflects on grade level: reading, science, writing and mathematics achievement. In 2012-13, only 71% of the students were reading on grade level in grades 3rd through 5th. In 3rd grade, 83.7% of the pupils were reading on grade level. In math, 77.8% were on grade level (3rd-5th grades). In 4th grade science, 84.7% of the pupils demonstrated on grade level understanding. In writing only 64.9% of 5th grade pupils demonstrated on grade level skills.[119]

AYP History

In 2012, North Salem Elementary School declined to Warning AYP status due to lagging reading achievement. In 2010 and 2011, North Salem Elementary School achieved AYP status.[120] In 2011, 82% of 5th and 6th graders were on grade level in mathematics. Seventy three percent of 5th and 6th graders were reading on grade level.

4th Grade Science
  • 2012 - 96%, (4% below basic). State - 82%

Dover Elementary School[edit]

Dover Elementary School is located at 109 East Canal Street, Dover. In 2014, the School's enrollment was 481 pupils in grades kindergarten through 6th, with 38% of pupils receiving a federal free or reduced price meals due to family poverty. Additionally, 8.9% of the pupils receive special education services, while 2.2% are identified as gifted.[125] 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.[126] The school is a federally designated Title I school.

According to the National Center for Education Statistics, in 2010, the school reported an enrollment of 329 pupils in grades kindergarten through 4th, with 106 pupils eligible for a federal free or reduced-price lunch. The school employed 20 teachers, yielding a student–teacher ratio of 16:1.[127]

2014 School Performance Profile

Dover Area Elementary School achieved a score of 86.9 out of 100. The score reflects on grade level: reading, science, writing and mathematics achievement. In 2013-14, only 79% of the students were reading on grade level in grades 3rd through 5th. In 3rd grade, 86% of the pupils were reading on grade level. In math, 84% were on grade level (3rd-5th grades). In 4th grade science, 90% of the pupils demonstrated on grade level understanding. In writing, only 57% of 5th grade pupils demonstrated on grade level writing skills.[128]

2013 School Performance Profile

Dover Area Elementary School achieved a score of 80.8 out of 100. The score reflects on grade level: reading, science, writing and mathematics achievement. In 2012-13, only 75% of the students were reading on grade level in grades 3rd through 5th. In 3rd grade, 85% of the pupils were reading on grade level. In math, 85% were on grade level (3rd-5th grades). In 4th grade science, 84% of the pupils demonstrated on grade level understanding. In writing only 70% of 5th grade pupils demonstrated on grade level skills.[119]

AYP history

In 2010 through 2012, Dover Elementary School achieved AYP status under No Child Left Behind.[129] In 2011, 95% of 3rd and 4th graders were on grade level in mathematics. Eighty five percent of 3rd and fourth graders were reading on grade level. In science, 95% of the 4th grade was on grade level, with 61% scoring Advanced.[130] From 2004-2010, Dover Area Elementary School achieved AYP each school year.

4th Grade Science
  • 2012 - 98%, 70% advanced. State - 82%
  • 2011 - 95%, 61% advanced. State - 82.9%
  • 2010 - 89%, 50% advanced. State - 81%

Leib Elementary School[edit]

Leib Elementary School is located at 2925 Oakland Road, Dover. In 2014, the School's enrollment was 511 pupils in grades kindergarten through 6th, with 41% of pupils receiving a federal free or reduced price meals due to family poverty. Additionally, 10.9% of the pupils receive special education services, while % are identified as gifted.[134] 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.[135] The school is a federally designated Title I school.

In 2012-13, the school provided grades kindergarten through 6th. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, in 2010, the school reported an enrollment of 514 pupils in grades kindergarten through 4th, with 153 pupils eligible for a federal free or reduced-price lunch. The school employed 31 teachers, yielding a student–teacher ratio of 16:1.[136] According to a report by the Pennsylvania Department of Education, 100% of its teachers were rated "Highly Qualified" under No Child Left Behind.[137]

2014 School Performance Profile

Leib Elementary School achieved a score of 73 out of 100. The score reflects on grade level: reading, science, writing and mathematics achievement. In 2013-14, only 65% of the students were reading on grade level in grades 3rd through 5th. In 3rd grade, 74.6% of the pupils were reading on grade level. In math, 74% were on grade level (3rd-5th grades). In 4th grade science, just 76% of the pupils demonstrated on grade level understanding. In writing, only 57% of 5th grade pupils demonstrated on grade level writing skills.[138]

2013 School Performance Profile

Leib Elementary School achieved a score of 81.5 out of 100. The score reflects on grade level: reading, science, writing and mathematics achievement. In 2012-13, only 67.9% of the students were reading on grade level in grades 3rd through 5th. In 3rd grade, 70% of the pupils were reading on grade level. In math, 76% were on grade level (3rd-5th grades). In 4th grade science, 88% of the pupils demonstrated on grade level understanding. In writing, only 59% of 5th grade pupils demonstrated on grade level writing skills.[139]

AYP status history

In 2012, Leib Elementary School declined to Warning AYP status due to lagging student achievement in reading and math. In 2010 and 2011, Leib Elementary School achieved AYP status.[140] From 2004 to 2009, the School achieved AYP status each school year.

4th Grade Science
  • 2012 - 79%, (2% below basic). State - 82%
  • 2011 - 86%, (0% below basic). State - 82.9%
  • 2010 - 87%, (1% below basic). State - 81%

Weigelstown Elementary School[edit]

Weigelstown Elementary School is located at 3205 Carlisle Road, Dover. In 2014, the School's enrollment was 509 pupils in grades kindergarten through 6th, with 43% of pupils receiving a federal free or reduced price meals due to family poverty. Additionally, 11% of the pupils receive special education services, while 2.3% are identified as gifted.[144] 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.[145] The school is a federally designated Title I school.

In 2010, the school provide grades kindergarten through 6th grade. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, in 2010, the school reported an enrollment of 502 pupils in grades kindergarten through 4th, with 182 pupils eligible for a federal free or reduced-price lunch. The school employed 33 teachers, yielding a student–teacher ratio of 15:1.[146]

2014 School Performance Profile

Weiglestown Elementary School achieved a score of 81.1 out of 100. The score reflects on grade level: reading, science, writing and mathematics achievement. In 2013-14, only 69.6% of the students were reading on grade level in grades 3rd through 5th. In 3rd grade, 67% of the pupils were reading on grade level. In math, 75.4% were on grade level (3rd-5th grades). In 4th grade science, 83% of the pupils demonstrated on grade level understanding. In writing, 75% of 5th grade pupils demonstrated on grade level skills.[147]

2013 School Performance Profile

Weiglestown Elementary School achieved a score of 78.6 out of 100. The score reflects on grade level: reading, science, writing and mathematics achievement. In 2012-13, only 66% of the students were reading on grade level in grades 3rd through 5th. In 3rd grade, 68% of the pupils were reading on grade level. In math, 78% were on grade level (3rd-5th grades). In 4th grade science, 84% of the pupils demonstrated on grade level understanding. In writing, only 63% of 5th grade pupils demonstrated on grade level skills.[148]

AYP history

In 2012, Weigelstown Elementary School declined to Warning AYP status due to low reading achievement. In 2010 and 2011, Weigelstown Elementary School achieved AYP status.[149] From 2004 through 2009, the school achieved AYP status each school year.

4th Grade Science
  • 2012 - 82%, (5% below basic). State - 82%
  • 2011 - 85%, (3% below basic). State - 82.9%
  • 2010 - 90%, (3% below basic). State - 81%

District wide elementary PSSA results[edit]

4th Grade Science on grade level

  • 2011: 89%, State - 83%
  • 2010: 89%, State - 81%
  • 2009: 95%, State - 83%[38]
  • 2008: 89%, State - 81%

Kindergarten[edit]

The district has provided all-day kindergarten to all pupils since 2006.[153] All-day kindergarten is believed to be particularly beneficial for at-risk students such as those with special needs or from a poor or non-English-speaking family. The extra time is theorized to help these students to catch up with their peers for first grade through repetition, reinforcement and supplemental the material.[154]

Dover Learning Center[edit]

The District offers several specialized programs under the Learning Center's umbrella. A cyber school is available for District students. This is nan effort to provide local alternative to the statewide public cyber charter schools. The Center provides students who need turtoring for current classes or remediation to improve their PSSA/Keystone Exam scores the resources they need to succeed. The Center offers credit recovery program which allows students to take on-line courses that they have previously failed in order to stay on track to graduate on time. Enrichment courses are available for students who choose to work online taking additional courses to prepare for college or work. A Diploma Recovery Program is offered to permit students ( must be 21 years old or older) who dropped out to finish their high school education. There is a fee attached to the Credit Recovery, Enrichment Courses, Diploma Recovery, & The Language Institute - online foreign language program (Chinese, Japanese, Russian, Hindi, Latin, and Arabic) [155]

Special education[edit]

In December 2012, the Dover Area School District administration reported that 511 pupils or 13.5% of the district's pupils received Special Education services. Forty-three percent of the students with Individual Education Plans (IEP) were identified as having a specific learning disability. In December 2010, the district administration reported that 560 pupils or 14.3% of the district's pupils received Special Education services. Fifty six percent of the students with Individual Education Plans were identified as having a specific learning disability.[156] In December 2009, the district administration reported that 561 pupils or 15.5% of the district's pupils received Special Education services.[157] Special education services in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania are provided to students from ages three (3) years to 21 years old. In the 2010-2011 school year, the total student enrollment was more than 1.78 million students with approximately 275,000 students eligible for special education services. Among these students 18,959 were identified with mental retardation and 21,245 students with autism.[158] The largest group of students are identified as Specific Learning Disabilities 126,026 students (46.9 percent) and Speech or Language Impairments with 43,542 students (16.2 percent).

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 Supervisor of Special Education.[159]

In 2010, 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.[160] 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.[161] The state requires each district to have a three-year special education plan to meet the unique needs of its special education students.[162] 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.[163] In 2012, the Obama Administration's US Department of Education issued a directive requiring schools include students with disabilities in extracurricular activities, including sports.[164]

Dover Area School District received a $1,830,838 supplement for special education services in 2010.[165] For the 2011-12, 2012–13, 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.[166] In 2014, Dover Area School District will receive $1,876,938 in state special education funding.[167]

Gifted education[edit]

Dover Area School District (DASD) Administration reported that 56 or 1.52% of its students were gifted in 2010. The DASD gifted census was 60 students or 1.62% of its pupils 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.[168] 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.[169][170]

Bullying policy School safety[edit]

Dover Area School District reported there were zero incidents of bullying in the District in 2013-14. Additionally, there were three incidents of Racial/Ethnic Intimidation of a student, several thefts, a bomb threat and 3 incidents of sexual harassment involving students. The local law enforcement was involved in twelve incidents at the schools, with 6 arrests.[171] [172] Each year the school safety data is reported by the district to the Safe School Center which then publishes the compiled reports online. Nationally, nearly 20% of pupils report being bullied at school.[173]

Dover Area School District administration reported there were 8 incidents of bullying in 2011-12, while there was 1 incident of bullying in the district in 2009. Additionally, the District reports in 2011-12, there were 38 incidents at the schools involving law enforcement with 30 arrests made.[174][175]

The Dover Area School Board has provided the Dover Area School District's antibully policy online.[176] 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.[177] 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.[178]

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.[179]

Safe School grant[edit]

In 2013, Dover Area School District was awarded $24,995 in a state Safe Schools Targeted Grant. The maximum of $25,000 grants were awarded through a competitive application process.[180] The funds must be used for research based interventions, like: peer mediation, staff training in managing behavioral issues and creating a positive school climate.

School Resource Officer and Police Officer grant[edit]

In 2014, Pennsylvania began a grant program providing funding for programs to address school violence and security. Eligible schools and municipalities could apply for up to $60,000 for a school resource officer and up to $40,000 for a school police officer. Dover Area School District applied and was awarded $60,000.[181]

Teacher evaluation study[edit]

In 2011, Dover Area School District agreed to participate in a pilot program to develop a new way to evaluate teachers that, in part, takes into account student achievement. Several other York County school districts also participated.[182] The pilot program had 104 K-12 entities, including: nine career and technical centers, nine charter schools and nine intermediate units. Beginning in January 2012, York County some schools will use the new evaluation method and provide feedback to the Department of Education. This new evaluation will not be used to determine an educator’s official 2011-12 assessment. Under the new evaluation system, 50% of the evaluation of a teacher will be based on an observation divided into four categories: planning and preparation, classroom environment, instruction, and professional responsibilities. The other half will be based on student achievement (15 percent will be building-level data, 15 percent will be teacher-specific data, and 20 percent will be elective). The new evaluation system has both announced and unannounced observations. The system includes meetings between the teacher and evaluator before and after the direct observation of a lesson.[183]

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.[184]

In 2013, the average teacher salary in Dover Area School District was $65,279 a year, while the cost of the benefits teachers received was $24,601 per employee, for a total annual average teacher compensation of $89,881.[185][186][187]

In 2011, the average teacher salary in Dover Area School District was $60,925 a year, while the cost of the benefits teachers receive was $18,842 per employee, for a total annual average teacher compensation of $79,768.[188]

In 2009, Dover Area School District reports employing 351 teachers and administrators with a salary range of $39,277 to $135,200.[189] Teachers earn extra pay for duties such as advising the clubs, writing curriculum or coaching athletics teams. That amount ranges from several hundred dollars a year to a few thousand. When a team progresses past the regular season the coaches are paid additional dollars for each week the teams continues to play. All of this is stipulated in the teachers' union contract at each district. Additionally, the District's teacher union contract includes seven levels, from a bachelor's degree to a doctorate. A teacher with five years of experience and a doctorate would make about $7,500 more than one with the same experience and a master's degree.[190] A teacher who achieves a higher level of education receives a raise in step pay and then the annual raise, as well. The school contract year is 190 days. In addition to salary, the teachers receive an extensive benefits package which includes: health insurance, life insurance, vision insurance, dental insurance, a defined benefit pension, 10 paid sick and 2-3 paid personal days, reimbursement for college courses and more.[191]

In 2007, Dover Area School District employed 214 teachers. The average teacher salary in the district was $54,777 for 180 days worked.[192] The average teacher salary in York County was $53,918. In 2007, the district's starting salary was $34,865 and the top teacher salary was $72.365.[193]

  • PA Teacher Profiles Database 2008-09 [1]

The teachers' union contract expired in June 2009. A new contract was negotiated. According to the state fact finder's report the union demands included a 5% annual raise for 6 years retroactive to 2009, while the school board is offering 3% each year for three years.[194] The union is also seeking a half-hour reduction in the workday for teachers.[195] The union voted in favor of the report. The school board rejected it.

Dover Area School District administrative costs was $685 per pupil in 2008. The lowest administrative cost per pupil in Pennsylvania was $398 in 2008.[196] In 2007, the Average District Administrator salary in Dover Area School District was $90,681. The Average School Administrator salary in Dover Area School District was $78,574 which ranked was the median school administrator salary in York County.[197] In July 2007, the Dover Area School Board awarded a five-year contract to Robert Krantz as Superintendent. The contract expires June 30, 2012[198] In 2009 the school district reported Krantz's salary as $129,875.[199]

Reserves In 2008, the Dover Area School Board reported a $4,148,046.00 in an unreserved-undesignated fund balance. The designated fund balance was reported as zero.[200] In 2009-10 school year, Dover Area Reported an end of year fund balance of $7.2 million.[201] 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. Pennsylvania public 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.[202]

APA Study According to an extensive study of York County school districts conducted by APA Associates in 2008, Dover Area School District achieved a +9 rating based on Performance and Relative Efficiency. Central York School District and Northeastern York School District ranked +10 and 11 of 16 York County districts achieved a positive rating.[197]

Per pupil spending In 2008, Dover Area School District reported spending $11,312 per pupil which ranked 364th among Pennsylvania's 500 school districts.[203] In 2010, the per pupil spending in Dover Area School District had increased to $12,179.03[204] Among the states, Pennsylvania’s total per pupil revenue (including all sources) ranked 11th at $15,023 per student, in 2008-09.[205] In 2007, the Pennsylvania per pupil total expenditures was $12,759.[206]

Audit In January 2009, the Pennsylvania Auditor General conducted a performance audit of the school district. Findings of irregularities were reported to the school board members and the school administration.[207]

Tuition Students who live in the Dover Area 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 Dover Area 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 Dover Area School District's schools. The 2012 tuition rates are Elementary School - $7,815.84, High School - $8,916.08.[208]

Dover Area School District is funded by a combination of: a local earned income tax 1.40%, a property tax, a real estate transfer tax 0.50%, per capita taxes, 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.[209] 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 individual's level of wealth.[210]

State basic education funding[edit]

According to a report from Representative Todd Stephens office, Dover Area School District receives 33.7% of its annual revenue from the state.[211]

For the 2014-15 school year, Dover Area School District will receive $10,785,813 in State Basic Education funding. The District will also receive $430,624 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.[212] 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.[213]

In the 2013-2014 school year, the Dover Area School District received a 7.5% increase or $$10,784,051 in Pennsylvania Basic Education Funding. This is $751,215 more than its 2012-13 state BEF to the District. Additionally, Dover Area School District received $191,064 in Accountability Block Grant funding to focus on academic achievement and level funding for special education services. Among the public school districts in York County, York City School District received the highest percentage increase in BEF at 12.3%. 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 increases 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.[214] The highest percent of state spending per student is in the Chester-Upland district, where roughly 78 percent comes from state coffers. In Philadelphia, it is nearly 49 percent.[215] As a part of the education budget, the state provided 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, Dover Area School District received $10,223,900.[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 program. Dover Area School District also received $191,064 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 is a $21,823,000 increase (0.34%) over the 2011-12 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.

In 2011-12, Dover Area School District received $10,032,836 in state Basic Education Funding.[219][220] Additionally, the District received $191,065 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.[221] Districts experienced a reduction in funding due to the loss of federal stimulus funding which ended in 2011. In 2010, the district reported that 982 pupils received a free or reduced-price lunch due to the family meeting the federal poverty level.

For the 2010-11 budget year, Dover Area School District received a 2% increase in Basic Education Funding for a total of $10,771,692. One hundred fifty Pennsylvania public school districts received the base 2% increase. The highest increase in York County was awarded to Hanover Public School District at 8.39%. 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.[222] 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 receives was determined by then Governor Edward Rendell and Secretary of Education Gerald Zahorchak through the allocation set in the state budget proposal made in February each year.[223] This was the second year of the Governor Rendell’s policy to fund some districts at a far greater rate than others.

In the 2009-10 budget year, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania provided a 5.26% increase in Basic Education funding for a total of $10,560,483 to the Dover Area School District. This was the second lowest percentage point increase, in Basic Education Funding, for the school districts in York County. Four school districts in York County received increases of over 6% in Basic Education Funding in 2009. In York County, 12 public school districts received less than 6% increase in state basic education funding in 2010 and three districts received the base 2% increase. Ninety school districts in the commonwealth were given the base 2% increase. Among the 500 school districts in Pennsylvania, Muhlenberg School District in Berks County received the highest with a 22.31% increase in funding.[224] 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.[225] 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.[226][227]

The state Basic Education funding to the Dover Area School District was $10,033,035.09 in 2008-2009. According to the Pennsylvania Department of Education, 890 students received free or reduced-price lunches due to low family income in the 2007-2008 school year.[228]

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, Dover Area School District applied for and received $518,596 in addition to all other state and federal funding. The District used the funding to provide full-day kindergarten and to develop and implement new curriculum.[229][230]

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 number 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.[231]

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. Dover Area School District did not apply to participate in 2006-07. In 2007-08 it was denied funding by the PDE. The District received $158,286 in 2008-09.[232] In York County, the top recipient District was West Shore School District which received $1,023,131. The highest funding statewide 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]

Dover Area School District did not participate in: Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection's Environmental Education grants;[233][234] PA Science Its Elementary grants (discontinued effective with 2009-10 budget by Governor Rendell);[235] Education Assistance Grants, 2012 Striving Readers Comprehensive Literacy grant;[236] 2012 and 2013 Pennsylvania Hybrid Learning Grants;[237] Project 720 High School Reform grants (discontinued effective with 2011-12 budget); nor the federal 21st Century Learning grants.

Federal Stimulus funding[edit]

Dover Area School District received an extra $2,245,744 in ARRA - Federal Stimulus money to be used in specific programs like special education and meeting the academic needs of low-income students.[238] The funding was limited to the 2009-10 and 2010-2011 school years.[239] 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]

Dover Area School District officials did not apply for the Race to the Top federal grant. When approved for the grant, the district would have received millions in additional federal dollars for improving student academic achievement.[240] 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. Central York was one of six York County school districts that applied 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.[241]

Common Cents state initiative[edit]

The Dover Area 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.[242] After the review of the information, the district was not required to implement the recommended cost savings changes.

Real estate taxes[edit]

The school board levied a real estate tax of 21.9340 mills in 2014-15.[243] A mill is $1 of tax for every $1,000 of a property's assessed value. 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. 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.[244] 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.

The average yearly property tax paid by York County residents amounts to about 4.01% of their yearly income. York County ranked 232nd of the 3143 United States counties for property taxes as a percentage of median income.[253] 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.[254] 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%).[255]

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 the Act 1 Index can be adjusted higher, depending on a number of factors, such as property values and the personal income of district residents. Act 1 included 10 exceptions, including: increasing pension costs, increases in special education costs, a catastrophe like a fire or flood, increase in health insurance costs for contracts in effect in 2006 or dwindling tax bases. The base index is the average of the percentage increase in the statewide average weekly wage, as determined by the PA Department of Labor and Industry, for the preceding calendar year and the percentage increase in the Employment Cost Index for Elementary and Secondary Schools, as determined by the Bureau of Labor Statistics in the U.S. Department of Labor, for the previous 12-month period ending June 30. For a school district with a market value/personal income aid ratio (MV/PI AR) greater than 0.4000, its index equals the base index multiplied by the sum of .75 and its MV/PI AR for the current year.[256] In June 2011, the Pennsylvania General Assembly eliminated six of the ten exceptions to the Act 1 Index.[257] The following exceptions were maintained: 1) costs to pay interest and principal on indebtedness incurred prior to September 4, 2004 for Act 72 schools and prior to June 27, 2006 for non-Act 72 schools; 2) costs to pay interest and principal on electoral debt; 3) costs incurred in providing special education programs and services (beyond what is already paid by the State); and 4) costs due to increases of more than the Index in the school’s share of payments to PSERS (PA school employees pension fund) taking into account the state mandated PSERS contribution rate.[258][259]

The School District Adjusted Index for the Dover Area School District 2006-2007 through 2011-2012.[260]

For the 2014-15 budget year, Dover Area 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).[265] 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.[266]

For the 2013-14 budget year, Dover Area School Board did not apply for exceptions to exceed their Act 1 Index limit. In 2013-14, all Pennsylvania school districts were required to make a 16.93% of payroll payment to the teacher’s pension fund (PSERS). 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 pension costs exception, 169 school districts received approval to exceed the Index. For special education costs, 75 districts received approval to exceed their tax limit. Eleven Pennsylvania public school districts received an approval for grandfathered construction debts.[267]

For the 2012-13 budget year, Dover Area 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.[268]

For the 2011-12 school year, Dover Area School Board did not apply for an exception to exceed the Act 1 Index. Each year, Dover Area 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 published annually, by the Pennsylvania Department of Education.[269]

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.[270]

Dover Area School Board did not apply for any exceptions to exceed the Act 1 index for the budget in 2011.[271] 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.[272]

Property tax relief[edit]

In 2013, Dover Area School District 7,571 approved homestead properties received $168 each.[273] The decline in amount was related to more residents applying for tax relief and a decline in table games tax revenues. The amount received by the District must be divided equally among all approved residences.[274]

In 2010, the Homestead/Farmstead Property Tax Relief from gambling for the Dover Area School District was $170 per approved permanent primary residence. In the district, 7,481 property owners applied for the tax relief. In 2009, the district's property tax relief amount was set at $175 to 7,307 approved homestead owners.[275] In 2010 within York County, the highest amount went to York City School District set at $495 per approved homestead. The property tax 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. Pennsylvania awarded the highest property tax relief to residents of the Chester-Upland School District in Delaware County at $641 per homestead and farmstead in 2010.[276] Chester-Upland School District was given $632 in 2009. This was the second year they were the top recipient.

Additionally, the Pennsylvania Property Tax/Rent Rebate program is provided for low income Pennsylvanians aged 65 and older; widows and widowers aged 50 and older; and people with disabilities age 18 and older. The income limit is $35,000 for homeowners. The maximum rebate for both homeowners and renters is $650. Applicants can exclude one-half (1/2) of their Social Security income, consequently individuals who have income substantially greater 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.

Wellness policy[edit]

The Dover Area School Board established a district wellness policy in 2006 - Policy 246.[277] 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, 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 high calorie, low nutrition foods and beverages on the school campus.[278] The Pennsylvania Department of Education required the district to submit a copy of the policy for approval.

The Dover Area School District offers both a free school breakfast and a 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.[279] The meals are partially funded with federal dollars through the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).[280]

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.[281] 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.[282] The Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 mandates that Districts raise their full pay lunch prices every year until the price of non-subsidized lunches equals the amount the federal government reimburses schools for free meals. That subsidy in 2013-2014 was $2.93.

In 2014, President Obama ordered a prohibition of advertisements for unhealthy foods on public school campuses during the school day.[283] The Food and Drug Administration requires that students take milk as their beverage at lunch. In accordance with this law, any student requesting water in place of milk with their lunch must present a written request, signed by a doctor, documenting the need for water instead of milk.[284][285]

Dover Area 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.[286][287] Nurses also monitor each child's weight.[288]

Highmark Healthy High 5 grant

In 2011, Dover Area School District's Weigelstown Elementary School received funding through a Highmark Healthy High 5 grant. The school received $8,625 which was used to purchase "WII Fit for Schools" program to be integrated into the Physical Education curriculum.[289] 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.

Extracurriculars[edit]

The Dover Area School District's students have access to a wide variety of clubs, activities and an extensive, costly sports program. For 2014-15, the Board budgeted $1,094,945 for activities including sports.[290][291] Eligibility for participation is determined by the school board policy.[292] The district is part of the York-Adams League for sports. The District charges a $50 activity in 2011-12. It also charges $20 for the PIAA mandated physical to participate in sports.[293]

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.[294]

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.[295][296]

Instrumental Music Department[edit]

Dover Area School District is well known for its music programs. The Dover Eagle Marching Band, led by director George J. Bradshaw, went on a trip in December 2008 to San Diego where they received an award for Best Drum Major in the Big Bay Balloon Parade. The band has also traveled to Hollywood, California, as well as Memphis, Tennessee, where they won the National Parade Award for the Best Marching Band in the parade.[citation needed] The Marching Band also performs at various band shows and festivals throughout the country.

The bands of Dover Area High School include:

  • The Dover Eagle Marching Band
  • Dominants - A select ensemble
  • Jazz Band
  • Concert Band
  • Symphonic Band
  • Pit Orchestra

Vocal Music Department[edit]

The choir department is headed by Mrs. Sara Courtney. She directs the various choir groups of Dover Area High School. Recently, the Renaissance vocal group travelled to San Diego with the marching band.

The choral groups of Dover Area High School are:

  • Renaissance - A select choir
  • DHS Concert Choir - The Sophomores, Juniors, and Seniors of DHS choir
  • Ladies Choir - The female vocal group
  • Men's Ensemble - A small male vocal group
  • Freshmen Choir - A choir consisting of DHS freshmen, often assisted by upperclassmen

Recently, Dover was named one of the top 100 school districts for music in the nation by the NAMM for the 4th year in a row.[citation needed]

Sports[edit]

Coaches receive compensation as outlined in the teachers' union contract. When athletic competition exceeds the regular season, additional compensation is paid.[297]

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.[298]

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.[299][300]

A joint Pennsylvania School Board Association and Pennsylvania State Athletic Directors Association survey, conducted in 2012, found nearly one third (30%) of public school respondents indicated charging individual students $10 to $250, with a statewide average of $65 per-sport.[301][302]

The Dover Area School District funds:

Intermediate School Sports

According to PIAA directory July 2012 [303] According to PIAA directory July 2013 [304]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

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External links[edit]

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