East Stroudsburg Area School District

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East Stroudsburg Area School District
Map of Monroe County Pennsylvania School Districts.png
Address
50 Vine Street
East Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania, Monroe County and Pike County, 18301
United States
Information
Type Public
Closed J S Bunnell JHS closed 1998
School board 9 locally elected members
Superintendent Mrs Sharon S Laverdure, (contract December 2012- June 30, 2016)[1]
Dean Debra Padavano, HSN

Kristin Lord, HSS

Administrator Mrs Irene N Duggins, Asst Superintendent C&I

Dr Thomas A Lesniewski, Asst Superintendent
Mr Jeffrey Bader, Business Manager
Thomas Williams, Facility Directors
Paul Schmid, Director of Food Services
Kim Stevens, Director of Pupil Services 6-8
Marialena Casciotta, Director of Pupil Services K-5
Lynda Hopkins, Director of Pupil Services 9-12
Araina Maynard-Freed, ACCESS Program Coordinator
Brian Borosh, Director of Technology
Robert Sutjak, Director of Transportation
Thomas Hendel, Asst Director of Transportation

Principal Steve Zall, HSN
Principal Michael Catrillo, HSS
Principal Robert Dilliplane, LIS
Principal Gail Kulick, RES
Principal David Baker, MSES
Vice principal Carolyn Krotowski, HSN
Vice principal Joseph Lalli, HSN
Vice principal Dawn Dailey, HSS
Vice principal David Evans, HSS
Vice principal Joanne Bohrman, LES
Grades K-12
Age 5 years old to 21 years old special education studnets
Pupils 7,558 pupils 2012-2013,[2] 7,666 pupils (2010-2011),[3] 8,017 pupils (2009-2010)[4] 8,246 pupils (2006-2007)[5]
Kindergarten 465 (2012), 517 (2010)
Grade 1 489 (2012), 505
Grade 2 497 (2012), 527
Grade 3 547 (2012), 584
Grade 4 528 (2012), 603
Grade 5 534 (2012), 555
Grade 6 603 (2012), 626
Grade 7 627 (2012), 614
Grade 8 578 (2012), 669
Grade 9 664 (2012), 764
Grade 10 624 (2012), 705
Grade 11 718 (2012), 658
Grade 12 684 (2012), 690 (2010)
Other 2011‐12 school year had a 269 pupil decline in enrollment over the previous school year.
Language English
Budget $147,948,637 (2013-14)[6] $140,236,000 (212-13)[7] $141,514,000 (2011-12)[8]
Per pupil spending $14,807 (2008) 66th in PA
Per pupil spending $16,535 (2011) 67th in PA[9]
Website
East Stroudsburg Area School District region in Pike County

East Stroudsburg Area School District is large, rural public school district located in Monroe and Pike Counties the Poconos of northeast Pennsylvania. The District is one of the 500 public school districts of Pennsylvania. East Stroudsburg Area School District encompasses approximately 214 square miles (550 km2). The headquarters are located on North Courtland Street in the Borough of East Stroudsburg. The District is the second largest in the county in terms of territory and is split into two parts: South and North. In Monroe County the District serves: East Stroudsburg Borough, Smithfield Township, Middle Smithfield Township, and Price Township. In Pike County the District serves: Lehman Township and Porter Township. According to 2000 federal census data, East Stroudsburg Area School District served a resident population of 200,758. By 2010, the District's population had declined to 47,919 people.[10]

In 2009, the District residents’ per capita income was $19,235, while the median family income was $19,238.[11] In the Commonwealth, the median family income was $49,501[12] and the United States median family income was $49,445, in 2010.[13] According to District officials, in school year 2007-08, East Stroudsburg Area School District (ESASD) provided basic educational services to 8,143 pupils. It employed: 657 teachers, 453 full-time and part-time support personnel, and 36 administrators. East Stroudsburg Area School District received more than $27.4 million in state funding in school year 2007-08. In school year 2009-10, ESASD provided basic educational services to 8,017 pupils. It employed: 644 teachers, 667 full-time and part-time support personnel. The District had increased its administration to 46 administrators despite a significant decline in enrollment. East Stroudsburg Area School District received more than $30.7 million in state funding in school year 2009-10.[14] In 2013, 209 pupils are attending charter schools.

According to an enrollment study done by the district's administration in 2012, the East Stroudsburg Area School District faces a steady decline in enrollment. Figures and predictions are as follows: 2010-11: 7,555 students, 2011-12: 7,566 students, 2012-13 (projection): 7,375 students, 2013-14: 7,126 students, 2014-15: 6,860 students. Cumulatively, the administration expects a loss of 173 students at East Stroudsburg Area School District, by 2015.[15]

High school students may choose to attend Monroe Career & Tech Institute for training. The Colonial Intermediate Unit IU20 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.

Split[edit]

At the time of its conception in 1891, East Stroudsburg Area School District consisted of only one high school and intermediate school. However, due to rapid growth in the area, the district split into two parts: South and North. They are split in terms of athletics and schools, but have the same district leaders. The South high school is located in East Stroudsburg Borough and the North high school is located in Lehman Township in Pike County.

Schools[edit]

The East Stroudsburg Area School District operates: six elementary schools that house students from kindergarten to fifth grade, two intermediate schools with sixth to eighth grades, and two high schools with ninth through twelfth grades.

Governance[edit]

East Stroudsburg 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.[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 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.[17]

The Commonwealth Foundation for Public Policy Alternatives Sunshine Review gave the school board and district administration a "B-" 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.[18]

Academic achievement[edit]

East Stroudsburg Area School District was ranked 296th out of 496 Pennsylvania public school districts, by the Pittsburgh Business Times.[19] 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.[20] Three school districts were excluded because they do not operate high schools (Saint Clair Area School District, Midland Borough School District, Duquesne City School District). The PSSAs are given to all children in grades 3rd through 8th. Adapted PSSA examinations are given to children in the special education programs. Writing exams were given to children in 5th and 8th grades.

  • 2013 - 289th[21]
  • 2012 - 290th[22]
  • 2011 - 319th[23]
  • 2010 - 307th[24]
  • 2009 - 314th
  • 2008 - 334th
  • 2007 - 339th out of 501 school districts.[25]

In 2011, the Pittsburgh Business Times reported an Overachievers Ranking for 498 Pennsylvania school districts. East Stroudsburg Area School District ranked 99th. In 2010, the district was 195th. 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."[26]

In 2009, the academic achievement of the students of East Stroudsburg Area School District was in the 25th percentile among 500 Pennsylvania school districts. Scale - (0-99; 100 is state best)[27]

District AYP status history[edit]

In 2012, East Stroudsburg Area School District declined to Warning Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) status due to low graduation rate.[28] In 2011, East Stroudsburg Area 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.[29][30]

  • 2010-2008 - achieved AYP status.[31]
  • 2007 - declined to Warning AYP status
  • 2006 - achieved AYP status
  • 2005 - Making Progress - School Improvement Level I
  • 2004 - declined to School Improvement Level I
  • 2003 - Warning AYP status

Graduation rate[edit]

In 2012, the graduation rate at East Stroudsburg Area School District declined to 86%.[32] In 2011, East Stroudsburg Area School District's graduation rate was 90.7%.[33] In 2010, the Pennsylvania Department of Education issued a new, 4-year cohort graduation rate. East Stroudsburg Area School District's rate was 87% for 2010.[34]

According to traditional graduation rate calculations

College remediation rate[edit]

According to a Pennsylvania Department of Education study released in January 2009, 28% of the East Stroudsburg 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.[39] 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.[40] 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.

East Stroudsburg Senior High School North[edit]

East Stroudsburg Senior High School North is located at Bushkill Road, Dingmans Ferry, Pike County. In 2013, enrollment was reported as 1,221 pupils in 9th through 12th grades, with 48% of pupils eligible for a free lunch due to family poverty. Additionally, 19.7% of pupils received special education services, while 1% of pupils were identified as gifted. The school employed 92 teachers.[41] Per the PA Department of Education, 100% of the teachers were rated "Highly Qualified" under the federal No Child Left Behind Act. The School is not a federally designated Title I school.

According to the National Center for Education Statistics, in 2010, East Stroudsburg Senior High School North had 1,314 pupils in grades 9th through 12th, with 598 students receiving a federal free or reduced-price lunch due to family poverty. The school employed 94 teachers, yielding a student–teacher ratio of 14:1.[42]

2013 School Performance Profile

East Stroudsburg Senior High School achieved 80.9 out of 100. Reflects on grade level reading, mathematics and science achievement. In reading/literature - were 82% on grade level. In Algebra 1, 64% showed on grade level mathematics skills. In Biology, 47% showed on grade level science understanding.[43] 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.[44]

AYP history[edit]

In 2012, East Stroudsburg Senior High School North declined to Corrective Action II 4th Year status due to chronic low student achievement.[45]

  • 2011 - declined to Corrective Action II 3rd Year status due to chronic low student achievement.[46]
  • 2010 - declined to Corrective Action II 2nd Year status due to chronic, low student achievement especially in mathematics.[47] The school was mandated by No Child Left Behind to notify parents of its low achievement and to offer the opportunity to transfer to a successful school in the district. Additionally, the administration was required by the Pennsylvania Department of Education to develop a School Improvement Plan to raise student achievement in core subjects, which it submitted for approval. The school has a principal, 2 assistant principals and a Dean of Students. There are also 5 guidance counselors and 2 nurses.[48]
  • 2009 - declined to Corrective Action II First Year status due to chronic low student achievement.[49]
  • 2008 - Making progress - Corrective Action I status due to chronic low student achievement.[50]
  • 2007 - declined to Corrective Action I status due to chronic low student achievement.
  • 2006 - Making Progress - School Improvement II status due to chronic low student achievement.
  • 2005 - declined to School Improvement II status due to chronic low student achievement.
  • 2004 - declined to School Improvement I status due to chronic low student achievement.
  • 2003 - Warning AYP status due to lagging student achievement
Graduation rate

East Stroudsburg Senior High School North's graduation rate in 2013 was 78%[51]

  • 2012 - 86%[52]
  • 2011 declined to 92%.[53]
  • 2010 - graduation rate was 98%.[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 - 67% (15% below basic). State - 69.1%[56]
  • 2010 - 64% (17% below basic). State - 66%[57]

11th Grade Math:

  • 2012 - 51% on grade level (24% below basic). In Pennsylvania, 59% of 11th graders are on grade level.[58]
  • 2011 - 53% (22% below basic). State - 60.3%
  • 2010 - 50% (28% below basic). State - 59%

11th Grade Science:

  • 2012 - 32% on grade level (16% below basic). State - 42% of 11th graders were on grade level.[59]
  • 2011 - 30% (20% below basic). State - 40%[60]
  • 2010 - 29% (23% below basic). State - 39%

SAT scores[edit]

In 2011, 165 students ESASHS North took the SAT exams. The high school's Verbal Average Score was 449. The Math average score was 444. The Writing average score was 424.[61] Pennsylvania ranked 40th among states with SAT scores: Verbal - 493, Math - 501, Writing - 479.[62] 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.[63]

East Stroudsburg Senior High School South[edit]

East Stroudsburg Senior High School South is located at 279 N Courtland Street, East Stroudsburg, Monroe County. In 2010, the school had 1,501 pupils in grades 9th through 12th, with 589 students receiving a federal free or reduced-price lunch due to family poverty. The school employed 115 teachers, yielding a student–teacher ratio of 13:1.[64] In 2011, East Stroudsburg Senior High School South achieved Making Progress: in Corrective Action II status due to chronic low student achievement. In 2010, the school was in Corrective Action II 3rd Year status due to chronic low student achievement.[65] The school was mandated by No Child Left Behind to notify parents of the low achievement and to offer the opportunity to transfer to a successful high school in the district. Additionally, the administration was required by the Pennsylvania Department of Education to develop a School Improvement Plan to raise student achievement in core subjects, which it submitted for approval. The school has a principal, 2 assistant principals and a Dean of Students. There are also 6 guidance counselors and 2 nurses.[66]

East Stroudsburg Senior High School South's graduation rate was 95% in 2011 and in 2010.[67]

PSSA Results

11th Grade Reading

  • 2011 - 78% on grade level, (7% below basic). State - 69.1% of 11th graders are on grade level.[68]
  • 2010 - 73% (11% below basic). State - 66%

11th Grade Math:

  • 2011 - 63% on grade level (11% below basic). State - 60.3%[69]
  • 2010 - 64%, (20% below basic). State - 59%

11th Grade Science:

  • 2011 - 53% on grade level (7% below basic). State - 40%
  • 2010 - 42% (11% below basic). State - 39%

SAT scores[edit]

From January to June 2011, 228 East Strousburg Area South students took the SAT exams. The school's Verbal Average Score was 478. The Math average score was 478. The Writing average score was 470.[70]

J.T. Lambert Intermediate School[edit]

J.T. Lambert Intermediate School is located at 2000 Milford Road, East Stroudsburg, Monroe County. In 2010, the school had 1,036 pupils in grades 6th through 8th, with 447 students receiving a federal free or reduced-price lunch due to family poverty. The school employed 83 teachers, yielding a student–teacher ratio of 12:1.[71] In 2011, J.T. Lambert Intermediate School achieved Warning status due to low student achievement. In 2010, the school achieved AYP status.[72] J.T. Lambert Intermediate School has a principal and 2 assistant principals. The school employs 3 guidance counselors and 2 nurses.[73]

PSSA Results:

8th Grade Science:

  • 2011 - 60% on grade level (20% below basic). State – 58.3% of 8th graders were on grade level.
  • 2010 - 60% (19% below basic). State – 57%[77]
  • 2009 - 58% (21% below basic). State - 55%[78]
  • 2008 - 64% (13% below basic). State - 52%[79]

Lehman Intermediate School[edit]

Lehman Intermediate School is located at Bushkill Falls Road, Dingmans Ferry, Pike County. In 2010, the school had 874 pupils in grades 6th through 8th, with 433 students receiving a federal free or reduced-price lunch due to family poverty. The school employed 74 teachers, yielding a student–teacher ratio of 11:1.[80]

In 2011, Lehman Intermediate School achieved AYP status. In 2010, the school achieved AYP status.[81] Lehman Intermediate School has a principal and an assistant principal. The school also employs 2 guidance counselors and 2 nurses.[82]

PSSA Results:

8th Grade Science:

  • 2011 - 60% on grade level (17% below basic). State – 58.3%
  • 2010 - 56% (22% below basic). State – 57%
  • 2009 - 52% (24% below basic). State - 55%
  • 2008 - 52% (14% below basic). State - 52%

Elementary schools[edit]

Bushkill Elementary School is located at Bushkill Falls Road, Dingmans Ferry. The enrollment in 2010 was 616 pupils in grades kindergarten through 5th grade, with 353 students receive a federal free or reduced-price lunch due to family poverty. In 2010, there were 48 teachers yielding 12:1 student–teacher ratio.[84] According to a 2012 district enrollment study, the school's enrollment will decline by 98 students. In 2011 the school was in Making Progress: in School Improvement II status due to low student achievement. In 2010 the school was in School Improvement II status.[85] In 2011, 79% of the 3rd through 5th grade pupils were on grade level in mathematics. In reading 76% of the 3rd through 5th grade pupils were reading on grade level.[86] In 4th grade, 86% of the students were on grade level in Science.[87] In compliance with No Child Left Behind, the administration was required to offer students the opportunity to transfer to a successful school in the district. Additionally the school administration was required to develop a School Improvement plan that it had to submit to the Pennsylvania Department o Education for approval.

East Stroudsburg Elementary School is located at 30 Independence Road, East Stroudsburg. The enrollment, in 2010, was 787 pupils in grades kindergarten through 5th grade, with 334 students receive a federal free or reduced-price lunch due to family poverty. In 2010, there were 54 teachers yielding 14:1 student–teacher ratio.[88] According to a 2012 district enrollment study, the school's enrollment will decline by 140 students. In 2011 the school was in Warning status due to low student achievement. In 2010, the school achieved AYP status.[89] In 2011, 78% of the 3rd through 5th grade pupils were on grade level in mathematics. In reading 71% of the 3rd through 5th grade pupils were reading on grade level.[90] In 4th grade, 84% of the students were on grade level in Science.[91]

JM Hill Elementary School is located at 151 E Broad Street, East Stroudsburg. The enrollment, in 2010, was 352 pupils in grades kindergarten through 5th grade, with 191 students received a federal free or reduced-price lunch due to family poverty. In 2010, there were 31 teachers yielding 11:1 student–teacher ratio.[92] According to a 2012 district enrollment study, the school's enrollment will increase by 37 students. In 2011 the school achieved AYP status. In 2010, the school achieved AYP status.[93] In 2011, 80% of the 3rd through 5th grade pupils were on grade level in mathematics. In reading 71% of the 3rd through 5th grade pupils were reading on grade level.[94] In 4th grade, 89% of the students were on grade level in Science.[95]

Dual enrollment program[edit]

This program lost funding and is no longer offered as of 2013. Both East Stroudsburg Area High Schools 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.[96] Under the Pennsylvania Transfer and Articulation Agreement, many Pennsylvania colleges and universities accept these credits for students who transfer to their institutions.[97] For the 2009-10 funding year, the school district received a state grant of $20,616 for the program.[98]

Virtual Academy[edit]

East Stroudsburg Area School District offers a cyber school to students grades 7th through 12th. It is a tuition free on-line public school where students may earn an East Stroudsburg Area School District high school diploma. The courses are taught by highly qualified, state-certified teachers using a curriculum that is aligned to Pennsylvania State Academic Standards. Students are provided with a computer, a printer and required software at the district's expense. Some students use the academy for credit recovery. Only students taking a full course load may apply for credit recovery. There is a nonrefundable fee for this service which must be paid in advance.

Special education[edit]

In December 2010, the district administration reported that 1,555 pupils or 19% of the district's pupils received Special Education services. According to a state report, 44.4% of the Special Education students had a specific learning disability.[99]

In order to comply with state and federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act rules and regulations, the school 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 .[100] To identify students who may be eligible for special education services, 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 Special Education administration. Parents who suspect their child is eligible may verbally request a multidisciplinary evaluation from a professional employee of the District or contact the district's Special Education Department.[101][102]

East Stroudsburg Area School District received a $3,603,503 supplement for special education services in 2010.[103] For the 2011-12 school year, 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.[104]

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.[105] 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.[106] The state requires each district to have a three-year special education plan to meet the unique needs of its special education students.[107] 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.[108]

Gifted education[edit]

East Stroudsburg Area District Administration reported that 148 or 1.78% of its students were gifted in 2009.[109] 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.[110][111]

Budget[edit]

In 2009, the district reported employing 890 teachers and 12 administrators with a median salary of $61,304 and a top salary of $130,000.[112] Teachers work a 184-day year with a 7.5-hour day, including a 30-minute duty-free lunch period each day. Additionally, the teachers receive a defined benefit pension, health insurance, dental insurance, vision insurance, disability insurance, life insurance, professional development reimbursement, 3 paid personal days, 10 paid sick days which accumulate, 3 bereavement days and other benefits. Teachers receive a retirement incentive of up to 50% of their salary plus $65/day for unused sick days.[113]

In 2007, the district employed 578 teachers. The average teacher salary in the district was $52,758 for 180 days worked. The teacher salary ranked 1st in the county.[114] As of 2007, Pennsylvania ranked in the top 10 states in average teacher salaries. When adjusted for cost of living Pennsylvania ranked fourth in the nation for teacher compensation.[115]

East Stroudsburg Area School District administrative costs per pupil in 2008 was $634.14 per pupil. The lowest administrative cost per pupil in Pennsylvania was $398 per pupil.[116] The Pennsylvania School Boards Association keeps statistics on salaries of public school district employees in Pennsylvania. According to the association's report, the average salary for a superintendent, for the 2007-08 school year, was $122,165. Superintendents and administrators receive a benefit package commensurate with that offered to the district's teachers' union.[117]

In 2008, the District administration reported that per pupil spending was $14,807 which ranked 66th among Pennsylvania's 501 school districts. In 2010, the per pupil spending had decreased to $14,555.42[118] Among the states, Pennsylvania’s total per pupil revenue (including all sources) ranked 11th at $15,023 per student, in 2008-09.[119] In 2007, the Pennsylvania per pupil total expenditures was $12,759.[120]

Reserves In 2008, the district reported a balance of $1,380,000 in an unreserved-designated fund. The unreserved-undesignated fund balance was reported as $7,097,129.[121] In 2010, East Stroudsburg Area Administration reported an increase to $10,843,377 in the unreserved-undesignated fund balance and $15,671,200 in its unreserved-designated fund. Pennsylvania 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. According to the Pennsylvania Department of Education, from 2003 to 2010, as a whole, Pennsylvania school districts amassed nearly $3 billion in reserved funds.[122]

For the 2012-13 school year the board of Education is considering 30 alternatives to deal with a large budget shortfall. Cuts include eliminating full-day kindergarten, negotiating pay freezes with the professional and support staff, eliminating activity buses, eliminating driver's education and reducing the number of credits required to graduate. The district expects the retirement of 15 professional staff, seven support staff and two administrators for 2012-13 which would save an estimated $1 million. The elimination of 37 non-tenured teaching staff is also under consideration.[123]

In March 2011, Pennsylvania Secretary of Education, Ron Tomalis approved a voter petition (signed by 800 residents) to transfer Porter Township to Wallenpaupack Area School District. The transfer was sought based on educational merits. Thirty four school aged children live in Porter Township. East Stroudsburg Area School District has sued, in Pike County Court of Common Pleas, to stop the transfer citing the loss of tax revenue.[124] In August 2011, Judge Joseph Kameen approved an agreement which required Wallenpaupack Area School District to pay to East Stroudsburg that portion of debt shared by Porter Township. It was to be paid in eight yearly installments of $1,094,506.63. East Stroudsburg Area School Board appealed the decision. For the purpose of the anticipated transfer, the geographical boundaries of Porter Township is temporarily designated as an independent school district. Bruce Johnson was named Director of the Porter Township Initiative School District until the matter is resolved. In April 2012, the case was heard by the Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court.[125]

In April 2011, the Pennsylvania Auditor General conducted a performance audit of the district. The findings were reported to the school board and administration. The district was cited for "Not Follow Proper Bidding Procedures" and for "Tuition Billing Internal Control Weaknesses". East Stroudsburg Area School District purchased, without solicitation of bids, 132 new school buses in a three-year period for a total of $8,794,225; purchased computers totaling $509,497 paid for over four years; authorized roof repairs for one of the intermediate schools for $261,250 and purchased an employee time keeping system with an upgrade for $170,626.[126]

The district is funded by a combination of: a local earned income tax, a property tax, a real estate transfer tax 0.5%, coupled with substantial funding from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the federal government. In the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, pension income and Social Security income are exempted from state personal income tax and local earned income tax, regardless the of individual’s personal wealth.[127]

State basic education funding[edit]

In 2011-12, the district received a $12,693,670, allocation, of state Basic Education Funding.[128][129] Additionally, the East Stroudsburg Area School District received $504,703 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.[130] 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.[131] In 2010, the district reported that 882 students received free or reduced-price lunches, due to the family meeting the federal poverty level.[132]

In the 2010-2011 budget year, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania provided a 7.50% increase in Basic Education Funding for a total of $13,419,105. East Stroudsburg Area School District, received more than twice the percentage increase than any other district in Monroe County. One hundred fifty Pennsylvania school districts received the base 2% increase. The highest increase in 2010-11 went to Kennett Consolidated School District in Chester County which received a 23.65% increase in state funding.[133] The state's hold harmless policy regarding state basic education funding continued where a district received at least the same amount as the year before, even where enrollment had significantly declined. The amount of increase each school district receives was set by Governor Edward G. 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 the Governors policy to fund some districts at a far greater rate than others.

In the 2009-2010 budget year, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania provided a 2% increase in Basic Education Funding to East Stroudsburg Area SD for a total of $12,491,657. Among the districts in Monroe County, the highest increase went to Stroudsburg Area School District which got a 6.34%. The state Basic Education Funding to East Stroudsburg Area School District in 2008-09 was $12,246,722.31. Ninety school districts received a 2% increase. Muhlenberg School District in Berks County received a 22.31% increase in state basic education funding in 2009.[134] The amount of increase each school district receives was set by the Governor and the Secretary of Education, as a part of the state budget proposal.[135] According to the Pennsylvania Department of Education, 2,978 East Stroudsburg Area School District students received free or reduced-price lunches due to low family income in the 2007–2008 school year.[136]

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 district applied for and received $1,369,890 in addition to all other state and federal funding. The district uses the funding to provide full-day kindergarten ($158,390), to hire teachers as literacy and math coaches ($745,522) and reduced class size K-3rd grade ($465,978).[137][138]

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 to 2009. East Stroudsburg Area School District received $538,158 in 2006-07. In 2007-08, it received $300,000. Finally the district received $120,022 in 2008-09 for a total funding of $958,180.[139] The highest award in Monroe County went to Pocono Mountain School District which received $1,419,802 over two years. The highest funding state wide was awarded to Philadelphia City School District in Philadelphia County - $9,409,073.

Science It’s Elementary grant[edit]

East Stroudsburg Area School district did not participate in the state's Science It’s Elementary program. For the 2008-09 school year, the program was offered in 143 schools reaching 2,847 teachers and 66,973 students across Pennsylvania.[140] In 2007, the Pennsylvania Department of Education initiated an effort to improve science instruction in the Commonwealth’s public elementary schools. Called Science: It’s Elementary, the program is a hands on instruction approach for elementary science classes that develops problem-solving and critical thinking skills.[141] To encourage schools to adopt the program’s standards aligned curriculum, the state provided a grant to cover the costs of materials and extensive mandatory teacher training.[142] The district was required to develop a three-year implementation plan for the participating school. They had to appoint a district liaison who was paid $3000 by PDE to serve as the conduit of all information between the district and the Department and its agents along with submitting orders and distributing supplies to implementing teachers. For the 2006-07 state education budget, $10 million was allocated. The 2006-07 State Education Budget provided $635 million in new spending for pre-K through 12th grades for the 2006-07 school year. This marks an 8-percent increase over 2005-06 public school funding.[143] The grant program was expanded to $14.5 million in the 2008-09 budget.

Education Assistance grant[edit]

The state's EAP funding provides for the continuing support of tutoring services and other programs to address the academic needs of eligible students. Funds are available to eligible school districts and full-time career and technology centers (CTC) in which one or more schools have failed to meet at least one academic performance target, as provided for in Section 1512-C of the Pennsylvania Public School Code. In 2010-11, East Stroudsburg Area School District received $485,153.[144]

Federal Stimulus grant[edit]

The district received an extra $4,500,992 in ARRA - Federal Stimulus money to be used in specific programs like special education and meeting the academic needs of low-income students.[145] The funding was limited to the 2009-10 and 2010-2011 school years.[146] 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]

East Stroudsburg Area District officials applied for the federal Race to the Top grant which would have provided over two million dollars in additional federal funding to improve student academic achievement.[147] 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.[148] 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.[149][150][151]

School Improvement Grant[edit]

In the Spring of 2011, the district administration was notified it was eligible for School Improvement Grant funding, from the federal government. Both Bushkill Elementary School and Resica Elementary School were identified as eligible for funding due to chronic low achievement. The grant stipulates the funds be used for improving student achievement using one of four federally dictated strategies. The strategies are: transformation, turnaround, restart with new faculty and administration or closure of failing schools.[152] The Pennsylvania Education Secretary awarded $66 million to reform Pennsylvania's lowest-achieving schools in August 2011. The funding is for three years.[153]

For the 2010-11 school year the School District's administration did not apply for a School Improvement Grant. It was eligible for funding due to the chronic, low achievement at Bushkill Elementary School and Resica Elementary School.[154]

In 2010, Pennsylvania received $141 million from the federal –US Department of Education, to turn around its worst-performing schools. The funds were disbursed via a competitive grant program.[155] The Pennsylvania Department of Education has identified 200 Pennsylvania schools as "persistently lowest-achieving," making them eligible for this special funding.[156] Pennsylvania required low performing schools to apply or provide documentation about why they had not applied. The funds must be used, by the district, to turn around schools in one of four ways: school closure, restart - close the school and reopen it as a charter school. The other two options involve firing the principal. One would require at least half the faculty in a chronically poor performing school be dismissed. The second involves intensive teacher training coupled with strong curriculum revision or a longer school day.[157]

Common Cents state initiative[edit]

East Stroudsburg Area School Board elected 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.[158] After the review of the information, the district was not required to implement the recommended cost savings changes.

Real estate taxes[edit]

Property tax rates in 2011-12 were set by the school board at 180.8100 mills for Monroe County residents and 128.8800 mills in Pike County. A mill is $1 of tax for every $1,000 of a property's assessed value. Irregular property reassessments have become a serious issue in the commonwealth as it creates a significant disparity in taxation within a community and across a region.[159] 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. 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.[160] The school district includes municipalities in two counties, each of which has different rates of property tax assessment, necessitating a state board equalization of the tax rates between the counties.[161] In 2010, miscalculations by the board were widespread in the Commonwealth and adversely impacted funding for many school districts.[162]

  • 2010-11 - 174.5300 mills for residents in Monroe County and 125.1000 mills for Pike County.[163]
  • 2009-10 - 163.2200 mills for residents in Monroe County and 118.9400 mills for Pike County.[164]
  • 2008-09 - 150.0200 mills for residents in Monroe County and 115.3500 mills for Pike County.[165]
  • 2007-08 - 138.7200 mills for residents in Monroe County and 106.2100 mills for Pike County.[166]
  • 2006-07 - 131.4600 mills for residents in Monroe County and 96.8700 mills for Pike County.

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.[167] In June 2011, the Pennsylvania General Assembly eliminated six of the ten the exceptions to the Act 1 Index.[168] 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.[169][170]

The School District Adjusted Index for the School District 2006-2007 through 2011-2012.[171]

  • 2006-07 - 5.3%, Base 3.9%
  • 2007-08 - 4.7%, Base 3.4%
  • 2008-09 - 6.0%, Base 4.4%
  • 2009-10 - 5.6%, Base 4.1%
  • 2010-11 - 3.9%, Base 2.9%
  • 2011-12 - 1.9%, Base 1.4%
  • 2012-13 - 2.3%, Base 1.7%[172]

For the 2012-13 budget year, East Stroudsburg Area School Board applied for exceptions to exceed the Act 1 Index: special education costs and PSERS pension costs. 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. In East Stroudsburg Area School District the approved real estate tax rate Increase due to exceptions was: Monroe County - 3.7148 mills and Pike County - 2.0230 mills.[173]

For the 2011-12 school year, the East Stroudsburg Area School Board applied for two exceptions to exceed the Act 1 Index: Maintenance of Local Tax Revenue and PSERS pension costs. Each year, East Stroudsburg 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.[174]

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.[175]

The East Stroudsburg Area School Board applied for 3 exceptions to exceed the Act 1 index for the budget in 2011: Maintenance of Local Tax Revenue, School Construction Grandfathered Debt and teacher pension costs.[176] For 2009-10 school budget, the ESASD Board applied for 2 exceptions to exceed the Index: School Construction Grandfathered Debt and Special Education costs.[177] 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.[178]

Property tax relief[edit]

In 2011, the Homestead/Farmstead Property Tax Relief from gambling for the East Stroudsburg Area School District was $4,341,927.75. It was divided evenly among each approved permanent primary residence at $394.[179] 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 Monroe County 57% of eligible property owners applied for property tax relief in 2009.[180] In Greene County, the highest amount of tax relief in 2010, went to property owners in School District. The highest property tax relief in Pennsylvania went to the residents of Chester Upland School District of Delaware County who received $632 per approved homestead.[181] This was the third year they were the top recipient.

Beginning in 1982, the District provides property tax relief, via an annual rebate, to low income senior citizens. Residents must apply each year for the rebate.[182]

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, individual with income much 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.[183]

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%).[184]

Wellness policy[edit]

East Stroudsburg Area School Board established a district wellness policy in July 2006.[185] 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 District was to establish a Wellness Committee to promote student wellness.

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.[186] The Pennsylvania Department of Education required the district to submit a copy of the policy for approval.

Construction projects[edit]

There are two major constructions going on within East Stroudsburg School District.

High school renovation[edit]

East Stroudsburg High School South had undergone a massive renovation that lasted for the past several years. This project made the high school more spacious, safe, and included the additions of a much larger gymnasium and a turf field in the stadium.

New elementary school[edit]

There was another project recently finished to build a new elementary school off of Route 447 in Smithfield Township. It took some students from Smithfield and J. M. Hill Elementaries when it was finished, allowing for less crowded classrooms in these two elementaries. Also, with more space, J. M. Hill was able to allow fifth graders back into its building, as that grade had been residing in a modular near J. T. Lambert Intermediate.

Extracurriculars[edit]

The district offers a variety of clubs, activities and sports. Eligibility for participation is determined by school board policy. In May 2012, East Stroudsburg Area School Board voted to set a $100 activity fee for students in grades 7 through 12.[187]

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.[188]

Mascot[edit]

The mascot of East Stroudsburg Area School District was originally only the cavalier, or "cav" for short. However, because of the split, North's mascot became the timberwolf or "T-WOLF". The cavalier is now just the South's mascot.

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