West Shamokin High School
|West Shamokin Junior/Senior High School|
|9399 State Route 85
Rural Valley, PA, Pennsylvania, Armstrong County, 16249-9720
|School district||Armstrong School District|
|Principal||Dr. Stephen Shutters|
|Vice principal||Joseph Treglia|
|Number of students||722 pupils (2012), 550 pupils 2010|
|Grade 7||133 (2012), 102 (2010)|
|Grade 8||143 (2012), 96 (2010)|
|Grade 9||135 (2012), 110 (2010)|
|Grade 10||142 (2012), 115 (2010)|
|Grade 11||94 (2012), 68 (2010)|
|Grade 12||75 (2012), 54 (2010)|
|Athletics||Basketball, baseball, cheerleading, football, soccer, softball, volleyball, wrestling, golf|
West Shamokin Junior Senior High School (WSHS) is a small, public high school located in Rural Valley, Pennsylvania. It is one of three high schools operated by the Armstrong School District. In 2013, West Shamokin Junior Senior High School's enrollment was 722 pupils in grades 7th through 12th, with 39% of its pupils eligible for a federal free or reduced price lunch due to the family meeting the federal poverty level. Additionally, 3.6% of students were identified as gifted. According to a report by the Pennsylvania Department of Education, 100% of its teachers were rated "Highly Qualified" under the federal No Child Left Behind Act.
According to the National Center for Education Statistics, in 2011, the school reported an enrollment of 545 pupils in grades 7th through 12th, with 245 pupils eligible for a federal free or reduced price lunch due to the family meeting the federal poverty level. The school employed 48 teachers yielding a student-teacher ratio of 11:1. According to a report by the Pennsylvania Department of Education, 100% of its teachers were rated "Highly Qualified" under No Child Left Behind.
High school students have the option to attend Lenape Tech for vocational training in the trades. 
- 1 History
- 2 Graduation Rate
- 3 Academic achievement
- 4 College Remediation
- 5 Graduation requirements
- 6 SAT scores
- 7 AP Courses
- 8 Classrooms for the Future grant
- 9 School safety and bullying
- 10 Tuition
- 11 Wellness policy
- 12 Extracurriculars
- 13 References
- 14 External links
West Shamokin was built to consolidate the Shannock Valley Jr/Sr High School and the Dayton Jr/Sr High School.
In 2013, West Shamokin Junior Senior High School's graduation rate was 84%.
- 2013 School Performance Profile
West Shamokin Junior Senior High School achieved only 65.1 out of 100. Reflects on grade level reading, mathematics and science achievement. In reading/literature - 78% of students were reading on grade level. In Algebra 1/math, 70.9% showed on grade level math skills. In Biology/science, just 54% showed on grade level science understanding. In 8th grade writing, only 47% demonstrated on grade level writing skills. 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, they now take the Keystone Exams at the end of the associated course.
- Western Pennsylvania ranking
In 2013, the Pittsburgh Business Times ranked West Shamokin Junior Senior High School’s eleventh grade 70th out of 105 western Pennsylvania high schools, based on the last three years of student academic achievement in Pennsylvania System of School Assessments (PSSAs) in: reading, math, writing and science. (Includes schools in: Allegheny County, Armstrong County, Beaver County, Butler County, Fayette County, Westmoreland County, and Washington County).
- 2012 - 60th
- 2009 - 84th out of 123 western Pennsylvania high schools, by the Pittsburgh Business Times, for student academic achievement as demonstrated on three years of PSSAs on: reading, writing, math and one year of science.
In 2012, West Shamokin Junior Senior High School achieved Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) status. The School also achieved AYP status in 2011.
- 2010 - Warning AYP status due to lagging student achievement.
- 2009 - achieved AYP status
- 2008 - Warning AYP status
- 2006 & 2007 - achieved AYP status.
- 2005 - Making Progress in School Improvement Level I
- 2004 - declined to School Improvement Level I
- 2003 - Warning AYP status
In 2005 - Under the federal No Child Left Behind Act, the school administration was required to notify parents of the school's poor achievement outcomes. The school was mandated to provide tutoring to students to improve their reading and math achievement. Additionally, the school administration was required by the Pennsylvania Department of Education, to develop a School Improvement Plan to address the school's low student achievement. Under the Pennsylvania Accountability System, the school district must pay for additional tutoring for struggling students. The High School was eligible for targeted, supplemental funding under School Improvement Grants which the school must apply for each year.
PSSAs are NCLB related examinations which were administered from 2003 through 2012. Eleventh grade pupils were mandated to take reading, math, writing and science exams. In 2013, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania changed its high school assessments to the Keystone Exams in Algebra 1, Reading/literature and Biology1. The exams are given at the end of the course, rather than all in the spring of the student's 11th grade year.
11th Grade Reading
- 2012 - 71% on grade level, (11% below basic). State - 67% of 11th graders are on grade level.
- 2011 - 78% (8% below basic). State - 69.1%
- 2010 - 73% (14% below basic). State - 66% 
- 2009 - 83% on grade level. State - 65%
- 2008 - 61%, State - 65%
- 2007 - 72%, State - 65%
11th Grade Math:
- 2012 - 60% on grade level (15% below basic). In Pennsylvania, 59% of 11th graders are on grade level.
- 2011 - 63%, (10% below basic). State - 60.3%
- 2010 - 54%, State - 59% 
- 2009 - 71%, State - 56%
- 2008 - 48%, State - 56% 
- 2007 - 53%, State - 53%
11th Grade Science:
- 2012 - 42% on grade level (9% below basic). State - 42% of 11th graders were on grade level.
- 2011 - 37% (18% below basic). State - 40%
- 2010 - 38%, State – 39%
- 2009 - 29% on grade level. State - 40%
- 2008 - 27%, State 49%
Science in Motion West Shamokin Junior Senior High School did 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. Clarion University provided the science enrichment experiences to schools in the region.
According to a Pennsylvania Department of Education study released in January 2009, 20% of Armstrong 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. 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 Armstrong School Board has determined that a pupil must earn 25 credits to graduate, including: a required class every year in math 4 credits, English 4 credits, social studies 4 credits, science 3 credits, Physical Education, Computer Science 0.5 credit, Community Service Learning .25 credit, Public speaking 0.5 credit, Living on Your Own 0.5 credit, Driver Education Theory 0.3 credit and other electives. Beginning in grade 7, students have the opportunity to make up a maximum of two courses failed during the school year in summer school.
Driver Education Theory is scheduled in grade ten as a required course. Behind-the- wheel driving lessons (six total hours) may be scheduled during after-school hours and after the Driver Education Theory course is completed. A $50 fee is charged for behind- the-wheel lessons.
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. Effective with the graduating class of 2017, the Pennsylvania State Board of Education eliminated the state mandate that students complete a culminating project in order to graduate.
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. The exam is given at the end of the course. Keystone Exams replace the PSSAs for 11th grade.
Students have several opportunities to pass the exam. Those who do not pass after several attempts can perform a project in order to graduate. 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.
In 2013, West Shamokin High School students took the SAT exams. The District's Verbal Average Score was 480. The Math average score was 497. The Writing average score was 481. The College Board reported that statewide scores were: 494 in reading, 504 in math and 482 in writing. The nation-wide SAT results were the same as in 2012.
In 2012, 33 West Shamokin High School students took the SAT exams. The District's Verbal Average Score was 509. The Math average score was 494. The Writing average score was 488. 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, 51 West Shamokin High School students took the SAT exams. The District's Verbal Average Score was 494. The Math average score was 473. The Writing average score was 473. 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.
The Pennsylvania Department of Education compared the SAT data of students in rural areas of Pennsylvania to students in urban areas. From 2003 to 2005, the average total SAT score for students in rural Pennsylvania was 992, while urban students averaged 1,006. During the same period, 28 percent of 11th and 12th graders in rural school districts took the exam, compared to 32 percent of urban students in the same grades. The average math and verbal scores were 495 and 497, respectively, for rural students, while urban test-takers averaged 499 and 507, respectively. Pennsylvania’s SAT composite score ranked low on the national scale in 2004. The composite SAT score of 1,003 left Pennsylvania ranking 44 out of the 50 states and Washington, DC.
The Pennsylvania Department of Education reported that 71 percent of students in rural areas of Pennsylvania chose to continue their education after high school in 2003, whereas 79 percent of urban high school graduates opted to continue their education.
In 2013, West Shamokin Junior Senior High School offered 5 Advanced Placement (AP) courses at a higher cost than regular courses. Students, who achieve a 3 or better on the exam, may be awarded college credits at US universities and colleges. Each higher education institution sets its own standards about what level of credits are awarded to a student based on their AP exam score. Most higher education institutions give credits for scores of 4 or 5. Some schools also give credits for scores of 3. High schools also give credits towards graduation to students who take the school's AP class. At West Shamokin Junior Senior High School only 9% of students who took an AP course earned a 3 or better on the exam.
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 to 2009. The Armstrong School District did not apply to participate in 2006-07. In 2007-08, the district received $413,503. The district received $181,651 in 2008-09 for a total funding $595,154. Among the public school districts in Armstrong County the highest award was given to Armstrong School District. The highest funding statewide was awarded to Philadelphia City School District in Philadelphia County - $9,409,073. The grant program was discontinued by Governor Edward Rendell as part of the 2009-10 state budget.
School safety and bullying
The Armstrong School District administration reported there were eight incidents of bullying in the district in 2012. Additionally, there were six incidents involving local police. There were four incidents of terroristic threats, seven incidents of possession of a knife and four incidents of the Possession/Use of a Controlled Substances. Each year, the school safety data is reported by the Armstrong School District Administration to the Safe School Center which publishes the reports online.
The Armstrong School Board has provided the District's antibully policy online. By state law, Pennsylvania public schools are required to have an anti-bullying policy incorporated into their Code of Student Conduct. The policy must identify disciplinary actions for bullying and designate a school staff person to receive complaints of bullying. The policy must be available on the school's website and posted in every classroom. All Pennsylvania public schools must provide a copy of its anti-bullying policy to the Office for Safe Schools every year, and the Board is required to review its policy every three years. Additionally, Armstrong School District is mandated to conduct an annual review of that policy with students. The Center for Schools and Communities works in partnership with the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime & Delinquency and the Pennsylvania Department of Education to assist schools and communities as they research, select and implement bullying prevention programs and initiatives.
Education standards relating to student safety and antiharassment programs are described in the 10.3. Safety and Injury Prevention in the Pennsylvania Academic Standards for Health, Safety and Physical Education.
Students who live in the Armstrong School District's attendance area may choose to attend one of Pennsylvania's 157 public charter schools. A student living in a neighboring public school district or a foreign exchange student may seek admission to Area School District. For these cases, the Pennsylvania Department of Education sets an annual tuition rate for each school district. It is the amount the public school district pays to a charter school for each resident student that attends the charter and it is the amount a nonresident student's parents must pay to attend the District's schools. The 2012 tuition rates at Armstrong School District for the West Shamokin Junior High Schools and Senior High Schools is $11,468.59.
Armstrong School Board established a District-wide wellness policy in 2006. 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 public school district participating in a program authorized by the Richard B. Russell National School Lunch Act (42 U.S.C. 1751 et seq) or the Child Nutrition Act of 1966 (42 U.S.C. 1771 et seq) "shall establish a local school wellness policy by School Year 2006." Most districts identified the superintendent and school foodservice director as responsible for ensuring local wellness policy implementation.
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. The Pennsylvania Department of Education required the District to submit a copy of the policy for approval.
The Armstrong School District offers both a free school breakfast and free or reduced-price lunch to children in low income families. All students attending the school can eat breakfast and lunch. Children from families with incomes at or below 130 percent of the federal poverty level are provided a breakfast and lunch at no cost to the family. Children from families with incomes between 130 and 185 percent of the federal poverty level can be charged no more than 30 cents per breakfast. A foster child whose care and placement is the responsibility of the State or who is placed by a court with a caretaker household is eligible for both a free breakfast and a free lunch. Runaway, homeless and Migrant Youth are also automatically eligible for free meals. The meals are partially funded with federal dollars through the United States Department of Agriculture. Armstrong School District has adopted a set of standards which limits foods to be served in schools.
In 2013, the USDA issued new restrictions to foods in public schools. The rules apply to foods and beverages sold on all public school district campuses during the day. They limit vending machine snacks to a maximum of 200 calories per item. Additionally, all snack foods sold at school must meet competitive nutrient standards, meaning they must have fruits, vegetables, dairy or protein in them or contain at least 10 percent of the daily value of fiber, calcium, potassium, and Vitamin D. In order to comply with the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 all US public school districts are required to raise the price of their school lunches to $2.60 regardless of the actual cost of providing the lunch. In 2014, President Obama ordered a prohibition of advertisements for unhealthy foods on public school school campuses during the school day.
Armstrong School District provides health services as mandated by the Commonwealth and the federal government. Nurses are available in each building to conduct annual health screenings (data reported to the PDE and state Department of Health) and to dispense prescribed medications to students during the school day. Students can be excluded from school unless they comply with all the State Department of Health’s extensive immunization mandates. School nurses monitor each pupil for this compliance. Nurses also monitor each child's weight.
HEALTHY Armstrong is a collaborative group made up of ACMH Hospital, Armstrong School District, Children’s Community Pediatrics-Armstrong, UPMC Health Plan and numerous other community partners all working together to increase wellness opportunities for Armstrong County families and youth.
The West Shamokin Junior Senior High School offers a variety of clubs, activities and an extensive, costly sports program. Armstrong School Board determines eligibility policies to participate in these programs.
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.
The District funds the following sports at West Shamokin Junior Senior High School:
- Varsity and JV
- Junior High School Sports
According to PIAA directory July 2013 
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- National Center for Education Statistics, Common Core Data - West Shamokin Junior Senior High School, 2010
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- Pennsylvania Auditor General (December 22, 2008). "Classrooms for the Future grants audit".
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- Armstrong School Board (September 26, 2011). "Interscholastic Athletics Policy 123".
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