Mid Valley School District
|Mid Valley School District|
|52 Underwood Road
Throop, Pennsylvania, Lackawanna County, 18512-1196
|Superintendent||Mr. Randy Perry contract expires 12/31/2013 salary $78,984|
|Administrator||Mr Joseph Caputo - Business Manager
Skodacek, Rose Ellen Supervisor salary $74,950
|Staff||95 staff members|
|Number of students||1,767 pupils 2011, 1,883 pupils (2009-2010)|
|Other||Enrollment projected to increase through 2019|
|Color(s)||blue and white|
|Athletics conference||PIAA District 2|
|Budget||$21.32 million (2013-14)|
Mid Valley School District is a small school district located in Lackawanna County, Pennsylvania, comprising the communities of Olyphant, Dickson City, and Throop. The district operates two schools: Mid Valley Elementary Center (grades K-5) and Mid Valley Secondary Center (grades 6-12). Mid Valley School District encompasses approximately 15 square miles. According to 2000 federal census data, it serves a resident population of 15,193. Per school district officials, in school year 2005-06 the Mid Valley School District provided basic educational services to 1,674 pupils through the employment of 114 teachers, 76 full-time and part-time support personnel, and 6 administrators.
- 1 History of the district
- 2 Academic achievement
- 3 Mid Valley Secondary Center
- 4 Mid Valley Elementary Center
- 5 Special education
- 6 Budget
- 7 Enrollment
- 8 Extracurriculars
- 9 References
- 10 External links
History of the district
Prior to 1969 each town within the district had operated its own schools. Due to dwindling populations due to the decline of anthracite mining in the region the towns combined to form the Mid Valley School District and combine the student population of for the 1969-1970 school year. The name picked for the district "Mid Valley" comes from the fact that the three towns are considered to be in the middle of the Lackawanna Valley and the area of the three towns (along with Blakely, Jessup, sometimes Archbald) are often referred to as the Mid Valley Region.
For the 1969-70 school year and throughout most of the 1970s, the district population utilized several school buildings scattered across the three boroughs. Problems ranging from lack of heat in the winter months, structural problems and a fire that severely damaged the structure of one of the Dickson City buildings plagued the new district throughout much of the first decade.
While plans for a new high school for grades 7-12 were underway on Underwood Road in Throop, existing buildings in the district had to be closed, even with trailers brought in to serve as additional classroom space, the district had to eventually result in forced half-day sessions in the late 1970s and until the opening of the new Mid Valley Secondary Center in the fall of 1981.
1981 - 1989
In September 1981, the new high school building was finally opened at its present location at 52 Underwood Road in Throop. The new building housed grades 7 - 12 and was named Mid Valley Secondary Center. With the opening of the new building, Mid Valley Intermediate Center (grades 4 - 6) moved into the building formerly occupied by the senior high school in Olyphant and grades K-3 were Mid Valley Primary Center, housed in the remaining school building in Dickson City.
The land chosen for the new district building was, at the time a rather remote section of Throop which was mostly wooded which allowed for expansion as a large parcel of land was bought by the district. Spartan Stadium, the track and football field, as well as an open sports field and baseball/softball fields were set up at the opposite end of the property from the new building, which was adjacent to Underwood Road. A field house was recently added to the sports complex.
Plans were made to build another building to house both the primary and intermediate students on the district land adjacent to the Secondary Center. The new building was opened for the start of the 1989-1990 school year for students in grades K-6.
1989 to present
Due to increases in student population from recent housing developments, the elementary school building was expanded in the early 1990s. Mid Valley Secondary Center was expanded in the early 2000s
A Mid Valley School District substitute van driver was taken for drug and alcohol testing after another adult in the vehicle called school officials to report smelling an alcoholic beverage.http://thetimes-tribune.com/news/mid-valley-school-van-driver-taken-for-drug-and-alcohol-testing-1.747113 Van driver, Jennifer O'Rourke of Throop was charged with drunken driving while transporting students home from school. She was involved in a minor accident while driving back to a school to pick up more students and failed field sobriety tests given by Throop police in a school parking lot.http://thetimes-tribune.com/news/mid-valley-school-van-driver-taken-for-drug-and-alcohol-testing-1.747113
Mid Valley School District was ranked 360th out of 498 Pennsylvania School Districts in 2013 by the Pittsburgh Business Times. The ranking was based on the last three years of student academic performance based on the PSSA's on: reading, mathematics, writing and science.
- Overachiever statewide ranking
In 2013, the Pittsburgh Business Times also reported an Overachievers Ranking for 498 Pennsylvania school districts. Mid Valley School District ranked 420th. In 2012, the District was ranked 392nd. 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."
According to an Institute for Public Policy & Economic Development Report, in 2008, the academic achievement in reading and mathematics of Mid Valley School District students was the lowest among all Lackawanna County public school districts. Additionally, the Institute found that Mid Valley students performed poorly on the state's writing tests. The students scores were below county averages for four school years (2006-2009) for 5th, 8th and 11th graders.
- District AYP status history
In 2012 and 2011, Mid Valley School District achieved AYP status. In 2011, 94 percent of the 500 Pennsylvania public school districts achieved the No Child Left Behind Act progress level of 72% of students reading on grade level and 67% of students demonstrating on grade level math. In 2011, 46.9 percent of Pennsylvania school districts achieved Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) based on student performance. An additional 37.8 percent of 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. Mid Valley School District achieved AYP status each year from 2006 to 2010.
- 2005 - Making Progress School Improvement Level I
- 2004 - School Improvement Level I
- 2003 - Warning AYP level due to lagging student achievement.
In 2012, Mid Valley School District’s graduation rate declined to 87%. In 2011, the graduation rate was 91%. In 2010, the Pennsylvania Department of Education issued a new, 4-year cohort graduation rate. Mid Valley High School's rate was 90% for 2010.
- According to traditional graduation rate calculations
The Mid Valley School Board has determined that students must earn 30 credits to graduate, including: English 4 credits, Math 4 credits, Social Studies 4 credits, Science 4 credits, Physical Education/Health 2 credit, Humanities 2 credits, Enrichment 2 credits and Electives 5 credits.
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. At Midd Valley School District the student's project focuses on career and community and may include community service or career shadowing. Completing the project provides the student with 1 credit towards graduation. Effective with the graduating class of 2017, the Pennsylvania Board of Education eliminated the state mandate that students complete a culminating project in order to graduate.
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. 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. 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. 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.
Mid Valley Secondary Center
Located at 52 Underwood Road in Throop, Pennsylvania. The building, opened in 1981 was expanded recently to provide a separate space for the younger students in seventh and eighth grades who had historically clashed with the older high school population. The new addition was named Mid Valley Middle School and has a separate entrance for the younger students, but for all purposes it is the same building as Mid Valley High School (as is denoted over the high school entrance) sharing common staff, teachers, principals and facilities. Starting in the 2007-08 school year, the sixth grade students have moved into the of the secondary center due to overcrowding at Mid Valley Elementary Center. Chad Vinansky is the current principal.
In 2012, Mid Valley High School achieved AYP status. In 2011, Mid Valley High School was in Warning AYP Status due to lagging academic achievement in reading and math.
- PSSA Results
- 11th Grade Reading
- 2012 - 67% on grade level (20% below basic). State - 67% of 11th graders are on grade level.
- 2011 - 54% (29% below basic). State - 69.1% 
- 2010 - 63% (23% below basic). State - 66%
- 2009 - 59% (20% below basic). State - 65%
- 2008 - 48%, State - 65% 
- 2007 - 61% (21% below basic), State - 65% 
- 11th Grade Math:
- 2012 - 52% on grade level (33% below basic). In Pennsylvania, 59% of 11th graders are on grade level.
- 2011 - 44% (37% below basic). State - 60.3%
- 2010 - 54% (27% below basic). State - 59%
- 2009 - 56% (26% below basic), State - 56% 
- 2008 - 50%, State - 56%
- 2007 - 48% (27% below basic), State - 53%
- 11th Grade Science:
- 2012 - 44% on grade level (10% below basic). State - 42% of 11th graders were on grade level.
- 2011 - 49% (15% below basic). State - 40% 
- 2010 - 42% on grade level. State - 39% of 11th graders were on grade level.
- 2009 - 39%, State - 40%
- 2008 - 17% (30% below basic), State - 39% 
Science in Motion Mid Valley High School does not take advantage of a state program called Science in Motion which brought college professors and sophisticated science equipment to the school to raise science awareness and to provide inquiry-based experiences for the students. The Science in Motion program was funded by a state appropriation and cost the school nothing to participate. The region is served by Wilkes University.
According to a Pennsylvania Department of Education study released in January 2009, 14% of Mid Valley School graduates required remediation in mathematics and or reading before they were prepared to take college level courses in the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education or community colleges. Less than 66% of Pennsylvania high school graduates, who enroll in a four-year college in Pennsylvania, will earn a bachelor's degree within six years. Among Pennsylvania high school graduates pursuing an associate degree, only one in three graduate in three years. Per the Pennsylvania Department of Education, one in three recent high school graduates who attend Pennsylvania's public universities and community colleges takes at least one remedial course in math, reading or English.
The 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. The college credits are offered at a deeply discounted rate. The state offers a small grant to assist students in costs for tuition, fees and books. Under the Pennsylvania Transfer and Articulation Agreement, many Pennsylvania colleges and universities accept these credits for students who transfer to their institutions.
For the 2009-10 funding year, the school district received a state grant of $2,456 for the program.
In 2012, 67 School District students took the SAT exams. The District's Verbal Average Score was 486. The Math average score was 481. The Writing average score was 470. 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, 82 Mid Valley School District students took the SAT exams. The District's Verbal Average Score was 456. The Math average score was 466. The Writing average score was 436. Pennsylvania ranked 40th among states with SAT scores: Verbal - 493, Math - 501, Writing - 479. 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.
- 8th Grade Reading
- 2010 - 84% on grade level (9% below basic). State - 81% 
- 2009 - 79%, (14% below basic), State - 80%
- 2008 - 47%, (24% below basic), State - 78%
- 2007 - 76%, (15% below basic), State - 75%
- 8th Grade Math
- 2010 - 66% on grade level (19% below basic). State - 75%
- 2009 - 71% (13% below basic), State - 71%
- 2008 - 70% (17% below basic), State - 70% 
- 2007 - 76% (11% below basic), State - 67%
- 8th Grade Science
- 2010 - 47% on grade level (29% below basic). State - 57%.
- 2009 - 51% (20% below basic), State - 54% 
- 2008 - 50% (20% below basic), State - 52% 
- 7th Grade Reading
- 2010 - 74% on grade level (14% below basic). State - 73%
- 2009 - 69% (14% below basic), State - 71.7%
- 2008 - 63% (18% below basic), State - 70%
- 7th Grade Math
- 2010 - 68% on grade level (10% below basic). State - 77%
- 2009 - 69% (14% below basic), State - 75%
- 2008 - 70% (14% below basic), State - 72%
- 6th Grade Reading
- 2010 - 55% on grade level (22% below basic). State - 68%
- 2009 - 64% (14% below basic), State - 67%
- 2008 - 58% (24% below basic), State - 67%
- 6th Grade Math
- 2010 - 64% on grade level (17% below basic). State - 78%
- 2009 - 83% (4% below basic), State - 75.9%
- 2008 - 68% (11% below basic), State - 72%
Mid Valley Elementary Center
Located on Underwood Road in Throop, PA, next to the secondary center building. Carlos Lopez is the current principal. In the 2003-04 school year, Mid Valley Elementary scored the top scorer for all NEIU 19 districts on the PSSA state assessments. The building was nicknamed "The Little School" after it was opened to distinguish it from Mid Valley Secondary Center. The school made AYP in 2010. Report Card 2010  The 2010 attendance rate was reported as 95%. In math 78% of the students were on grade level. In reading 68% of the student were on grade level. Only 62% of boys were reading on grade level in 2010.
In December 2009, the district administration reported that 283 pupils or 15.3% of the district's pupils received Special Education services.
The District engages in identification procedures to ensure that eligible students receive an appropriate educational program consisting of special education and related services, individualized to meet student needs. At no cost to the parents, these services are provided in compliance with state and federal law; and are reasonably calculated to yield meaningful educational benefit and student progress. To identify students who may be eligible for special education, various screening activities are conducted on an ongoing basis. These screening activities include: review of group-based data (cumulative records, enrollment records, health records, report cards, ability and achievement test scores); hearing, vision, motor, and speech/language screening; and review by the Instructional Support Team or Student Assistance Team. When screening results suggest that the student may be eligible, the District seeks parental consent to conduct a multidisciplinary evaluation. Parents who suspect their child is eligible may verbally request a multidisciplinary evaluation from a professional employee of the District or contact the Special Education Department.
In 2010, the state of Pennsylvania provided $1,026,815,000 for special education services. The funds were distributed to districts based on a state policy which estimates that 16% of the district's pupils are receiving special education services. This funding is in addition to the state's basic education per pupil funding, as well as, all other state and federal funding.
Mid Valley School District received a $825,822 supplement for special education services in 2010.
The District Administration reported that 14 or 0.76% of its students were gifted in 2009. 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. Through the strategic planning process, the Superintendent must ensure that Mid Valley School District provides a continuum of program and service options to meet the needs of all mentally gifted students for enrichment, acceleration, or both.
In 2010, the district and school board were cited by the Pennsylvania Auditor General's Office for significant questionable spending at a national school board convention in Florida. School board members charged costly meals and theme park tickets in addition to other travel spending to the school district.
Several school board members (Shevchik, Rovinsky, Gilgallon, Logan) were found by the PA Ethics Commission to have violated Section 1103(a) of the Public Official and Employee Ethics Act, 65 Pa.C.S. §1103(a). They were required to repay the school district.
In 2009, the district reports employing over 130 teachers with a starting salary of $38,000 for 183 days for pupil instruction. The average teacher salary was $47,205 while the maximum salary was $84,000. 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. Mid Valley teachers are required to work a seven hour day. Additionally, Mid Valley School District teachers receive a defined benefit pension, health insurance, long term disability insurance, professional development reimbursement, paid personal days, 10 sick days, and other benefits. Teachers are paid an additional hourly rate, if they are required to work outside of the regular school day. Retirees receive compensation for each unused accumulated sick day. Teachers who serves as department heads and team leaders receive extra compensation. According to State Rep. Glen Grell, a trustee of the Pennsylvania Public School Employees’ Retirement System Board, a 40-year educator can retire with a pension equal to 100 percent of their final salary.
In 2007, the district employed 96 teachers. The average teacher salary in the district was $44,327 for 183 school days worked.
Mid Valley School District administrative costs per pupil in 2008 was $837.72 per pupil. This ranked 154th out of 500 Pennsylvania School districts. The lowest administrative cost per pupil in Pennsylvania was $398 per pupil.
In 2008, Mid Valley School District reported spending $10,764 per pupil. This ranked 419th in the commonwealth.
In 2009, the district reported $1,544,647 in an unreserved-undesignated fund balance. The designated fund balance was reported as $575,000.
In June 2010, the Pennsylvania Auditor General conducted a performance audit of the district. Findings were reported to the administration and school board.
The district is funded by a combination of: a local 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. Grants can provide an opportunity to supplement school funding without raising local taxes. In the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, pension and Social Security income are exempted from state personal income tax and local earned income tax regardless of the individual's wealth.
State basic education funding
For 2010-11 the Mid Valley School District received a 9.23% increase in state Basic Education Funding resulting in a $4,106,463 payment. Dunmore School District received the highest increase in BEF in Lackawanna County in 2011. Kennett Consolidated School District in Chester County received the highest increase in the state at 23.65% increase in funding for the 2010-11 school year. One hundred fifty school districts received the base 2% increase in 2010-11. The amount of increase each school district receives is determined by the Governor and the Secretary of Education through the allocation set in the state budget proposal made in February each year.
In the 2009-2010 budget year the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania provided a 6.83% increase in Basic Education funding for a total of $3,759,370. The state Basic Education funding to the district in 2008-09 was $3,519,152.45. The district also received supplemental funding for English language learners, Title 1 federal funding for low-income students, for district size, a poverty supplement from the commonwealth and more. Scranton School District received the highest increase in Lackawanna County for the 2009-10 school year at 9.46%. Among the 500 school districts in Pennsylvania, Muhlenberg School District in Berks County received the highest with a 22.31% increase in funding.
Accountability Block Grants
Beginning in 2004-2005, the state launched the Accountability Block Grant school funding. This program has provided $1.5 billion to Pennsylvania’s school districts. The Accountability Block Grant program requires that its taxpayer dollars are focused on specific interventions that are most likely to increase student academic achievement. These interventions include: teacher training, all-day kindergarten, lower class size K-3rd grade, literacy and math coaching programs that provide teachers with individualized job-embedded professional development to improve their instruction, before or after school tutoring assistance to struggling students. For 2010-11 the Mid Valley School District applied for and received $149,426 in addition to all other state and federal funding. The district used the funding to provide tutoring before and after school.
Classrooms for the Future grant
The Classroom for the Future state program provided districts with hundreds of thousands of extra state funding to buy laptop computers for each core curriculum high school class (English, Science, History, Math) and paid for teacher training to optimize the computers use. The program was funded from 2006-2009. Mid Valley School District received did not apply for any funding in the three years of the grant program. Of the 501 public school districts in Pennsylvania, 447 of them applied for and received Classrooms for the Future grant awards.
Federal Stimulus grant
The district received an extra $1,106,888 in ARRA - Federal Stimulus money to be used in specific programs like Title 1, special education and meeting the academic needs of low-income students. The funding was for the 2009-10 and 2010-11 school years.
Race to the Top grant
School district officials did not apply for the Race to the Top federal grant which would have brought the district hover one million dollars in additional federal dollars for improving student academic achievement. Participation required the administration, the school board and the local teachers' union to sign an agreement to prioritize improving student academic success. In Pennsylvania, 120 public school districts and 56 charter schools agreed to participate. Pennsylvania was not approved for the grant. The failure of districts to agree to participate was cited as one reason that Pennsylvania was not approved.
Common Cents state initiative
The Mid Valley School Board chose to not participate in the Pennsylvania Department of Education Common Cents program. The program called for the state to audit the district, at no cost to local taxpayers, to identify ways the district could save tax dollars. After the review of the information, the district was not required to implement any of the recommended cost savings changes.
Real estate taxes
The Mid Valley School Board set property tax rates in 2013-2014 at 97.56 mills. A mill is $1 of tax for every $1,000 of a property's assessed value. Irregular property reassessments have become a serious issue in the commonwealth as it creates a significant disparity in taxation within a community and across a region. Pennsylvania school district revenues are dominated by two main sources: 1) Property tax collections, which account for the vast majority (between 75-85%) of local revenues; and 2) Act 511 tax collections (Local Tax Enabling Act), which are around 15% of revenues for school districts.
The average yearly property tax paid by Lackawanna County residents amounts to about 3.4% of their yearly income. Lackawanna County ranked 413th out of the 3143 United States counties for property taxes as a percentage of median income. 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. 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%).
Act 1 Adjusted Index
The Act 1 of 2006 Index regulates the rates at which each school district can raise property taxes in Pennsylvania. Districts are not authorized to raise taxes above that index unless they allow voters to vote by referendum, or they seek an exception from the state Department of Education. The base index for the 2011-2012 school year is 1.4 percent, but the Act 1 Index can be adjusted higher, depending on a number of factors, such as property values and the personal income of district residents. Act 1 included 10 exceptions, including: increasing pension costs, increases in special education costs, a catastrophe like a fire or flood, increase in health insurance costs for contracts in effect in 2006 or dwindling tax bases. The base index is the average of the percentage increase in the statewide average weekly wage, as determined by the PA Department of Labor and Industry, for the preceding calendar year and the percentage increase in the Employment Cost Index for Elementary and Secondary Schools, as determined by the Bureau of Labor Statistics in the U.S. Department of Labor, for the previous 12-month period ending June 30. For a school district with a market value/personal income aid ratio (MV/PI AR) greater than 0.4000, its index equals the base index multiplied by the sum of .75 and its MV/PI AR for the current year.
The School District Adjusted Index for the Mid Valley School District 2006-2007 through 2010-2011.
Mid Valley School Board did not apply for exceptions to exceed the Act 1 index for the budgets in 2009-10 or in 2010-11. In the Spring of 2010, 135 Pennsylvania school boards asked to exceed their adjusted index. Approval was granted to 133 of them and 128 sought an exception for pension costs increases.
Property tax relief
In 2009, the Homestead/Farmstead Property Tax Relief from gambling for the Mid Valley School District was $68 per approved permanent primary residence. In the district, 3,848 property owners applied for the tax relief. The tax relief was subtracted from the total annual school property on the individual's tax bill. Property owners apply for the relief through the county Treasurer's office. Farmers can qualify for a farmstead exemption on building used for agricultural purposes. The farm must be at least 10 contiguous acres and must be the primary residence of the owner. Farmers can qualify for both the homestead exemption and the farmstead exemption. In Lackawanna County, the highest property tax relief in 2009 was awarded to the approved property owners in Scranton School District at $334. Pennsylvania awarded the highest property tax relief to residents of the Chester-Upland School District in Delaware County at $632 per homestead and farmstead in 2010. This was the second year Chester Upland School District was the top recipient.
Additionally, the Pennsylvania Property Tax/Rent Rebate program is provided for low income Pennsylvanians aged 65 and older; widows and widowers aged 50 and older; and people with disabilities age 18 and older. The income limit is $35,000 for homeowners. The maximum rebate for both homeowners and renters is $650. Applicants can exclude one-half (1/2) of their Social Security income, consequently individuals who have income substantially more than $35,000, may still qualify for a rebate. Individuals must apply annually for the rebate. This can be taken in addition to Homestead/Farmstead Property Tax Relief.
Mid Valley School District is experiencing low enrollment in K-12. The Pennsylvania Department of Education projects the district's enrollment will be less than 2400 pupils through 2018. Shifting population trends across the U.S. and Pennsylvania are affecting school enrollment. Over the next 10 years, rural Pennsylvania school enrollment is projected to decrease 8 percent. The most significant enrollment decline is projected to be in western Pennsylvania, where rural school districts may have a 16 percent decline. More than 40 percent of elementary schools and more than 60 percent of secondary schools in western Pennsylvania are projected to experience significant enrollment decreases (15 percent or greater).
A study done by Standard and Poors in 2007 (at the request of the PA General Assembly) examined whether the consolidation of small school district's administrations would yield saving where the resulting district had approximately 3000 pupils. Superintendent were asked about savings, if their district were to merge with another district at the administrative level only, but not close any of their schools. It found 42% of survey respondents thought consolidation could achieve cost reductions. Additionally, 63% of responding superintendents believed that consolidation with another district would help provide additional academic enrichment opportunities for the students. In March 2011, the Pennsylvania Institute of Certified Public Accountants Fiscal Responsibility Task Force released a report which found that consolidating school district administrations with one neighboring district would save the Commonwealth $1.2 billion without forcing the consolidation of any schools.
Pennsylvania has one of the highest numbers of school districts in the nation. In Pennsylvania, 80% of the school districts serve student populations under 5,000, and 40% serve less than 2,000. Less than 95 of Pennsylvania's 501 school districts have enrollment below 1250 students, in 2007.
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.
Mid Valley Secondary Center has teams in the following areas:
Football - Varsity and Freshman teams. All freshmen play on the freshman team, who are then encouraged to join the varsity team for their sophomore year.
Cross Country - Varsity and Junior High. The Varsity team is considered all the high school students (grade 9 - 12), the junior high team historically has been grades 7 and 8.
Soccer - originally introduced with a co-ed team, there are now separate teams for boys and girls.
Basketball - For Boys set up similarly to the football team with a separate freshman team, additionally teams exist for 7th and 8th grade boys. For girls, one team exists for high school students and separate teams for junior high and elementary students. The Mid Valley boys varsity team won the Pete Turonis championship for the first time in 29 years.
Baseball - Varsity, Freshman and junior high teams
Softball - Varsity, Junior Varsity and Junior high teams
Track & Field - Varsity and Junior high teams for both genders
Tennis - Varsity teams for both genders. Females play in the Fall and males play in the Spring
The historic rivals of the Mid Valley Spartans are the neighboring Valley View Cougars. An unofficial rivalry also exists with Holy Cross High School. During football season or when a team advances in the playoffs it is common to see the downtowns of all three towns adorned with blue and white ribbons and "Luv Ya Spartans" signs in business windows.
The student paper for the Secondary Center is The Spartan Outlook and is staffed by high school students in journalism electives. Mrs. Patricia Powell is currently the chairperson of the English Department and of the award-winning scholastic newspaper,The Spartan Outlook. Other popular student activities at the secondary center include Leo Club, Mock Trial, Spartan Pride (equivalent to a booster club), National Honors Society, student council, drama, and yearbook. The Mid Valley Drama Club presents full-scaled musicals under the direction of Mrs. Patricia Powell. Many students continued on a professional acting, dancing, or singing careers, including Michael McIlwee, who recently performed in "The Music Man," and "A Chorus Line." Gia Mazur, Matt Rinkunas, and Joe O'Malley with the acclaimed band One Hot Mess, Angel Buckley, and Brad Louryk. Club alumna Michelle O'Malley has launched a career as an acting coach. In May 2013, the Drama Club staged an original musical, War Bonds, written by the director, Patricia Powell. The story focuses on a veteran suffering from early-stage PTSD. With the help of veterans from various wars and conflicts, the lead character, played by Dane Hill, finds peace with himself, his country, and his family. The performance marks the 27th year that Mrs. Powell has been the director of the theater.
Additionally, a statistically large number of students enter the Pennsylvania Junior Academy of Science Competition and compete at both the regional and state level.
Spirit Week, typically held in the Fall of each year is a popular student event that includes athletic competitions, as well as bake-offs and also has themed days. Many senior classes have traditionally gone to Orlando, Florida, on a week-long class trip in the spring. However, in the early 2000s the number of seniors participating decreased due to the cost of the trip and suspending the trip has been discussed. In 2008; however, the administration added an additional all expenses paid trip to Florida for the administration. The trip during the 2008 year cost the district and taxpayers approximately $36,000.00 breaking down to about $5,000 per person. Randy Parry had the most expenses to the district. Attending members included board President John Gilgallon, Deborah Shevchik, Thomas Logan, Lisa Rovinsky, Mary Ruth Tanner and Mark Runco. High school Principal Randy Parry also attended. Directors Jerry Barone and Ken Novack did not attend. Director Eric Pusey had almost all his expenses reimbursed by the NEIU, so his expenses are not included in the $36,000 total. Randy Parry, High School principal at the time, was later promoted to district superintendent.
- Pennsylvania Department of Education, EdNA, 2013
- Pennsylvania Department of Education (January 2009). "Mid Valley School District Enrollment and Projections".
- The Times-Tribune, Mid Valley School budget raises tax 5.27 mills, June 27, 2013
- Pittsburgh Business Times (April 5, 2013). "Guide to Pennsylvania Schools Statewide ranking 2013".
- Pittsburgh Business Times, Statewide Honor Roll Rankings 2012, April 4, 2012
- Pittsburgh Business Times, Statewide Honor Roll Rankings 2011, April 4, 2011
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