Penn-Trafford School District

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Penn-Trafford School District
Warrior
Map of Westmoreland County Pennsylvania School Districts.png
Address
1006 Harrison City/Export Road
Western Pennsylvania
Harrison City, Pennsylvania, Allegheny, Westmoreland, 15085
United States
Information
School board 9 elected at large members
Superintendent Matthew Harris
Grades K-12
Enrollment 4373 (2008-2009)
Kindergarten 271
Grade 1 269
Grade 2 283
Grade 3 289
Grade 4 315
Grade 5 301
Grade 6 314
Grade 7 361
Grade 8 353
Grade 9 354
Grade 10 395
Grade 11 374
Grade 12 349
Other Enrollment is Projected to decline to 3148 by 2019[1]
Color(s) Green & Gold
Mascot Warrior
Rival Norwin School District
Website
Penn-Trafford School District area in eastern Allegheny County

The Penn-Trafford School District is a public school district that serves western Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania and a small portion of Allegheny County, Pennsylvania. The district is governed by a locally elected, nine member school board who serve, staggered four-year terms, the Pennsylvania General Assembly and the Pennsylvania Department of Education. The district neighbors 6 other school districts: Franklin Regional School District, Greensburg Salem, Hempfield Area, Jeannette City, Norwin, and East Allegheny School District. The district mascot is the Warrior.[2]

The suburban Pittsburgh district serves the municipalities of Trafford, Penn, Penn Township, Manor, and Harrison City.

Schools[edit]

  • Elementary
    • McCullough
    • Level Green
    • Sunrise Estates
    • Trafford
    • Harrison Park
  • Middle
    • Penn Middle
    • Trafford Middle

The Penn-Trafford School District is the public school system of the following County entities; Penn Township, Trafford Borough, Penn Borough, and parts of Manor Borough. All areas of the Penn-Trafford School District are in Westmoreland County except for a small area of Trafford Borough that is part of Allegheny County.

Penn-Trafford grew out of the Penn Joint school system that was formed in 1951 when Penn Township and Penn Borough formed a partnership. In 1956 Trafford Borough became a third party to form a district administrative unit under the County Plan for the Reorganization of School Districts, however all three areas retained their own identity in the joint school system. In 1963 Manor Borough annexed part of Penn Township[3] but the annexed area remained within the Penn Joint school system. In the meantime plans for a full merger of Penn Joint and Trafford were initiated in 1961 and were finalized in 1965 when the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania approved the Penn-Trafford School District as Administrative Unit XV of the Westmoreland County Plan.[4]

Penn Middle School and Trafford Middle School are the previous high schools before the school districts joined. Trafford Middle's boundaries now include a large area of Penn Township to roughly equalize the school sizes of the two middle schools.

McCullough Elementary won the "Boundless Playground" contest, receiving a free playground suitable for all children, including those with disabilities.[5]

Academic achievement[edit]

Penn-Trafford School District was ranked 10th out of 105 western Pennsylvania school districts in 2009 by the Pittsburgh Business Times. The ranking was based on three years of student academic performance on the PSSAs for math, reading, writing and one year of science.[6] In 2008, the school district ranked 16th out of 105 western Pennsylvania school districts and 50th out of 498 Pennsylvania school districts that were ranked. In 2007, the district ranked 50th of Pennsylvania's 501 school districts.[7]


PSSA Results:
11th Grade Reading
2009 - 78% on grade level, In Pennsylvania, 65% of 11th graders on grade level.[8]
2008 - 79%, State - 65%
2007 - 81%, State - 65%[9]

11th Grade Math
2009 - 68%, In Pennsylvania, 56% of 11th graders are on grade level.
2008 - 70%, State - 56%
2007 - 69%, State - 53%

11th Grade Science:
2009 - 48% on grade level. State: 40% of 11th graders were on grade level.
2008 - 50%, State - 39%[10]

College remediation: According to a Pennsylvania Department of Education study released in January 2009, 20% of Penn-Trafford 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.[11] 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.[12] 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.

Classroom of the Future[edit]

The Penn-Trafford School District recently accepted grants to fund "The Classroom of the Future." Each classroom is equipped with a Smart Board 600i and a projector mounted. Some teachers have portable Smart boards allowing mobility around the classroom. Selected core classes will be given a cart of laptops that teachers have to incorporate into their lessons.

Dual enrollment[edit]

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 both: high school graduation requirements and towards a college degree. The students continue to have full access to all clubs, 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.[13] Under the Pennsylvania Transfer and Articulation Agreement, many Pennsylvania colleges and universities accept these credits for students who transfer to their institutions.[14]

For the 2009-10 funding year, the school district received a state grant of $13,378 for the program.[15]

Penn Middle School[edit]

The middle school eighth grade ranked 24th out of 141 western Pennsylvania eighth grades, by the Pittsburgh Business Times in 2009, for academic achievement as reflected by three years of results on: math, reading, writing and one year of science PSSAs.[16]

8th Grade Reading:
2009 - 98% on grade level. State: 80.9% of 8th graders were on grade level.[17]
2008 - 96%, State - 78% on grade level
2007 - 90%, State - 75%[18]

8th Grade Math:
2009 - 91% on grade level. State: 71% of 8th graders were on grade level.
2008 - 91%, State - 70% on grade level
2007 - 80%, State - 67%

8th Grade Science:
2009 - 83% on grade level. State: 55% of 8th graders were on grade level.
2008 - 84%, State - 52% on grade level

Trafford Middle School[edit]

The middle school eighth grade ranked 26th out of 141 western Pennsylvania eighth grades, by the Pittsburgh Business Times in 2009, for academic achievement as reflected by three years of results on: math, reading, writing and one year of science PSSAs.[16]

8th Grade Reading:
2009 - 97% on grade level. State: 80.9% of 8th graders were on grade level.[17]
2008 - 94%, State - 78% on grade level
2007 - 88%, State - 75%[18]

8th Grade Math:
2009 - 92% on grade level. State: 71% of 8th graders were on grade level.
2008 - 82%, State - 70% on grade level
2007 - 80%, State - 67%

8th Grade Science:
2009 - 81% on grade level. State: 55% of 8th graders were on grade level.
2008 - 78%, State - 52% on grade level

Budget[edit]

In 2007, the district employed 252 teachers and the average teacher salary in the district was $540,200 for 180 days worked.

Penn-Trafford School District administrative costs per pupil in 2008 were $65,046 per pupil. The lowest administrative cost per pupil in Pennsylvania was $3,980 per pupil.[19]

The district received an extra $233,012,508 in ARRA - Federal Stimulus money to be used in specific programs like special education and meeting the academic needs of low-income students.[20]

Race to the Top - School district officials did not apply for the Race to the Top federal grant which would have brought the district hundreds of thousands of additional federal dollars for improving student academic achievement.[21]

Governor Edward Rendell proposed that consolidation with adjacent school districts, in each county, would achieve substantial cost savings. The savings could be redirected to improving lagging reading and science achievement, to enriching the academic programs or to reducing residents' property taxes.[22]

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).[23]

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.[24] This results in excessive school administration bureaucracy and not enough course diversity.[25] In a survey of 88 superintendents of small districts, 42% of the respondents stated that they thought consolidation would save money without closing any schools.[26]

A proposal has been made by David Wassell, a prominent resident and leader in Allegheny County, to consolidate Allegheny County school districts to save tax dollars, focus dollars on student achievement, and improve student services. The plan calls for a proposed district that includes: East Allegheny School District, Penn-Trafford School District and Gateway School District. The plan is opposed by residents of Penn-Trafford because other than a very small portion of Trafford Boro, their school district is located in Westmoreland County.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education Enrollment and projections for Penn-Trafford School District January 2009
  2. ^ Barnes, Keith (2007-11-16). "Penn-Trafford to play for first PIAA title". Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. Retrieved 2008-04-12. "The Lady Warriors were the third seed from the WPIAL after losing to Seneca Valley in the semifinals, but they recovered with victories against District 10 champion Erie McDowell, a Peters Township team that had defeated them, 9-1, in the South Park Kickoff Tournament and Mount Lebanon after losing, 1-0, to the Lady Blue Devils in the season opener." 
  3. ^ Mochnick, John W., History of Penn Township, 1982, p.286.
  4. ^ Mochnick, John W., History of Penn Township, 1982, p.226.
  5. ^ Junker, Leann. Penn Township school's Boundless Playground 'pretty much on schedule', Tribune Review. August 17, 2007.
  6. ^ Western Pennsylvania School District Rankings, Pittsburgh Business Times, May 15, 2009.
  7. ^ Three of top school districts in state hail from Allegheny County, Pittsburgh Business Times, May 23, 2007.
  8. ^ Penn-Trafford School District Academic Achievement Report Card 2009
  9. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education PSSA Math and Reading results by school 2007
  10. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education PSSA Science 2008 by school and grade
  11. ^ Pennsylvania College Remediation Report http://www.scribd.com/doc/23970364/Pennsylvania-College-Remediation-Report
  12. ^ National Center for Education Statistics
  13. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education - Dual Enrollment Guidelines.
  14. ^ Pennsylvania Transfer and Articulation Agreement. Site accessed March 2010. http://www.patrac.org/
  15. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education Dual Enrollment Fall Grants 2009-10. August 2009
  16. ^ a b The Rankings: 8th Grades, Pittsburgh Business Times, May 15, 2009
  17. ^ a b Pennsylvania Reading, Math, Science and Writing PSSA Results 2009 as reported by the Pennsylvania Department of Education, August 2009.
  18. ^ a b Pennsylvania Department of Education Math and Reading PSSA Results by School 2007
  19. ^ Fenton, Jacob. Pennsylvania School District Data: Will School Consolidation Save Money?, The Morning Call, Feb 2009.
  20. ^ Westmoreland County ARRA FUNDING
  21. ^ Pennsylvania's 'Race to the Top' Fueled by Effective Reforms, Strong Local Support, Governor's news office. January 20, 2010
  22. ^ Pennsylvania Public School Enrollments http://www.scribd.com/doc/26785165/Enrollments-Projected-by-school-district-A-F-2008-09
  23. ^ "Research Analyzes Rural School District Enrollment and Building Capacity", The Center for Rural Pennsylvania. October 2009
  24. ^ Pennsylvania Legislative Budget and Finance Committee, Study of the Cost Effectiveness of Consolidating Pennsylvania School Districts, 2007.
  25. ^ Rendell, E. & Soderberg, M. (2009). Pennsylvania school district consolidation. 2009-10 Executive Budget Fast Facts. Pennsylvania Office of the Governor.
  26. ^ Study of the cost-effectiveness of consolidating Pennsylvania districts. New York: Standard & Poor’s School Evaluation Services. 2007, p. 6.

External links[edit]