William Penn School District
|William Penn School District|
|100 Green Avenue Annex
Lansdowne, Pennsylvania, Delaware County, 19050-2095
|School board||9 locally elected members|
|Superintendent||Joseph J. Bruni|
|School number||(610) 284-8000|
|Faculty||337 teachers (2010) |
|Enrollment||5,415 pupils (2009–10) |
|Other||Enrollment projected to be 5918 in 2020|
|Budget||$85 million (2012) |
|Tuition||for nonresident and charter school students ES - $9,618.50, HS - $10,151.64 |
|Per pupil spending||$13,430 (2008)|
|Per pupil spending||$14,233.48 (2010)|
The William Penn School District is a large suburban, public school district located in Delaware County, Pennsylvania. It comprises eight elementary schools, one middle school, one alternative school, and one high school, based on two campuses. The district serves the boroughs of Aldan, Colwyn, Darby, East Lansdowne, Lansdowne, and Yeadon. The district is adjacent to the City of Philadelphia. The total enrollment is about 5610. The district encompasses approximately 5 square miles. According to 2000 local census data, it serves a resident population of 42,457. According to District officials, in school year 2005–06 the WPSD provided basic educational services to 5,359 pupils through the employment of 375 teachers, 151 full-time and part-time support personnel, and 36 administrators. The district administration offices are located at 100 Green Avenue – Annex Lansdowne, PA 19050.
The district was created in 1972 from the consolidation of smaller, local districts by state mandate that they merge and desegregate their schools.
- 1 Schools
- 2 Academic achievement
- 3 Special education
- 4 Bullying policy
- 5 Budget
- 6 References
- 7 External links
- Penn Wood High School - occupies Cypress Street Campus (grades 9-10) (Yeadon) and Green Avenue Campus (grades 11-12) (Lansdowne). The William Penn School District also offers: the Twilight School which is a computer based credit recovery program; Customized, accelerated learning options through the Blended Schools program; and an alternative to the traditional brick-and-mortar school setting through the William Penn School District Cyber Academy.
- Penn Wood Middle School (grades 7-8) (Darby)
- Aldan Elementary School (K-6) (Aldan) Report Card 2010 
- Ardmore Avenue Elementary School (K-6) (Lansdowne) Report Card 2010 
- Bell Avenue Elementary School (K-6) (Yeadon) 
- Colwyn Elementary School (K-6) (Colwyn) Report Card 2010 
- East Lansdowne Elementary School (K-6) (East Lansdowne) Report Card 2010 
- Evans Elementary School (K-6) (Yeadon) Report Card 2010 
- Park Lane Elementary School (K-6) (Darby) Report Card 2010 
- Walnut Street Elementary School (K-6) (was K-8 in years 2006–08 but went back to K-6)(Darby) Report Card 2010 
The William Penn School District has been identified by the Pennsylvania Department of Education as one of the lowest-performing school districts in the state. The student achievement has remained in the bottom 5% in the commonwealth for many years.
In July 2012, the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) released a report identifying William Penn School District schools as among the lowest-achieving public school districts for reading and mathematics in 2011. All of the District's eleven schools are among the 15% lowest-achieving schools in the Commonwealth. Parents and students may be eligible for scholarships to transfer to another public or nonpublic school through the state's Opportunity Scholarship Tax Credit Program passed in June 2012. The scholarships are limited to those students whose family's income is less than $60,000 annually, with another $12,000 allowed per dependent. Maximum scholarship award is $8,500, with special education students receiving up to $15,000 for a year's tuition. Parents pay any difference between the scholarship amount and the receiving school's tuition rate. Students may seek admission to neighboring public school districts. Each year the PDE publishes the tuition rate for each individual public school district. Twenty eight public schools in Delaware County are among the lowest-achieving Pennsylvania public schools in 2011. According to the report, parents in 414 public schools (74 school districts) were offered access to these scholarships. For the 2012–13 school year, eight public school districts in Pennsylvania had all of their schools placed on the list, including: Sto-Rox School District, Chester Upland School District, Clairton City School District, Duquesne City School District, Farrell Area School District, William Penn School District, Wilkinsburg Borough School District and Steelton-Highspire School District. Funding for the scholarships comes from donations by businesses which receive a state tax credit for donating.
- Statewide academic ranking
William Penn School District was ranked 488th out of 498 Pennsylvania school districts, in 2012, by the Pittsburgh Business Times. The ranking is based on student academic performance on the last three years of PSSA results in: reading, writing, mathematics and science. The PSSAs are given to all children in grades 3rd through 8th and the 11th grade in high school. Adapted examinations are given to children in the special education programs. William Penn School District ranked 14th out of 15 public school districts in Delaware County. The highest ranking public school district in Delaware County was Radnor Township School District which ranked 4th statewide (2012).
- 2011 - 488th
- 2010 - 488th 
- 2009 - 489th
- 2008 - 491st
- 2007 - 488th of 501 school districts by the Pittsburgh Business Times.
- Statewide Overachievers Ranking
In 2012, the Pittsburgh Business Times also reported an Overachievers Ranking for 498 Pennsylvania school districts. William Penn School District ranked 394th. In 2011, the district was 415th.  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."
In 2009, the academic achievement, of the students in the William Penn School District, was in the 2nd percentile among all 500 Pennsylvania school districts Scale (0-99; 100 is state best) 
- District Adequate Yearly Progress History
In 2012, William Penn School District achieved Adequate Yearly progress (AYP) status despite the fact that the schools missed multiple metrics in reading and mathematics. In 2011, William Penn School District was in Making Progress: in Corrective Action II. Under No Child Left Behind, students may transfer to other successful schools within the District when a school is in School Improvement status or lower.
- 2010 - Making Progress: in Corrective Action II AYP status.
- 2009 - Corrective Action II
- 2008 - Corrective Action II
- 2007 - Corrective Action I
- 2006 - Making Progress - School Improvement Level II
- 2005 - School Improvement Level II
- 2004 - School Improvement Level I
- 2003 - Warning status
- According to traditional graduation rate calculations
Penn Wood High School Cypress Street Campus
In 2010 the school's attendance rate was 87%. The school is in School Improvement II AYP status.
Penn Wood Senior High School Green Avenue Campus
Penn Wood Senior High School GAC is located at 100 Green Avenue, Lansdowne. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, in 2010, the school reported an enrollment of 895 pupils in grades 11th through 12th, with 623 pupils eligible for a federal free or reduced-price lunch. The school employed 58 teachers, yielding a student–teacher ratio of 15.5:1. According to a report by the Pennsylvania Department of Education, 22 teachers were rated "Non‐Highly Qualified" under No Child Left Behind, with 19 teachers being emergency certified.
In 2011, Penn Wood Senior High School GAC is in Corrective Action II 5th Year AYP status. In 2010, the senior high school is in Corrective Action II 4th Year AYP status. Students may transfer to another high school in the district.
In 2009, Penn Wood Senior High School ranked 601st out of 666 Pennsylvania high schools for the reading and mathematics achievement of its students.
- PSSA Results
- 11th Grade Reading
- 2011 - 37% (37% below basic). State - 69%
- 2010 - 32% (47% below basic). State - 66% 
- 2009 - 31%, State - 65% 
- 2008 - 22%, State - 65%
- 2007 - 27%, State - 65% 
- 11th Grade Math
- 2011 - 34% on grade level (40% below basic). In Pennsylvania, 60.3% of 11th graders are on grade level.
- 2010 - 30% (55% below basic). State - 59%
- 2009 - 29%, State - 56%
- 2008 - 23%, State - 56% 
- 2007 - 26%, State - 53%
- 11th Grade Science
- 2010 - 8% on grade level. State - 39% of 11th graders were on grade level.
- 2009 - 2%, State - 40%
- 2008 - 5%, State - 39%
- College remediation
According to a Pennsylvania Department of Education study released in January 2009, 75% of William Penn Senior High 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 district offers the following Advanced Placement courses: AP English Literature and Composition, AP American History, AP Psychology, AP Calculus AB, AP Biology, AP Chemistry, AP Spanish Language, AP French Language, AP Studio Art and Honors Physics. All students in AP courses are required to take the AP Exam in May.
The high school offers the Pennsylvania 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. The Pennsylvania College Credit Transfer System reported in 2009, that students saved nearly $35.4 million by having their transferred credits count towards a degree under the new system.
In 2010 the district received a state grant of $26,382 to aid students with costs.
The William Penn School Board has determined that students must earn 24 credits to graduate, including: 4 credits of English, 3 credits of Social Studies, 4 credits of Mathematics, 3 credits of Science, 1 credit Computer technology, 0.5 credits of Wellness/fitness, 0.5 credit Health, 0.5 credits Contemporary Living, 0.5 credits Art or Music and 6 credits in electives.
When a student fails a class or needs to make-up additional classes in order to graduate on-time, a student can make-up courses through: the William Penn School District Summer School Program, the William Penn School District Cyber Academy Program, the Delaware Valley High School - Accredited High School Division or the Keystone Credit Recovery and Correspondence Program.
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. Students earn 1 credit when they have completed their project.
By Pennsylvania School Board regulations, for the graduating classes of 2015 and 2016, students must demonstrate successful completion of secondary level course work in Algebra I, Biology, English Composition, and Literature for which the Keystone Exams serve as the final course exams. Students’ Keystone Exam scores shall count for at least one-third of the final course grade.
Penn Wood Middle School
The school reported the attendance rate was 92% in 2010.
- 8th Grade Reading
- 2010 - 58% on grade level. State - 81%
- 2009 - 56%, State - 80%
- 2008 - 54%, State - 78%
- 2007 - 49%, State - 75%
- 8th Grade Math
- 2010 - 44% on grade level. State - 75%
- 2009 - 37%, State - 71%
- 2008 - 37%, State - 70% 
- 2007 - 33%, State - 67%
- 8th Grade Science
- 7th Grade Reading
- 2010 - 53% on grade level. State - 73%
- 2009 - 43%, State - 71.7%
- 2008 - 59%, State - 70%
- 2007 - 44%, State - 66%
- 7th Grade Math
- 2010 - 48% on grade level. State - 77%
- 2009 - 50%, State - 75%
- 2008 - 41%, State - 72%
- 2007 - 35%, State - 67%
In December 2009, the district administration reported that 742 pupils or 14% 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 Supervisor of Special Education.
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.
William Penn School District received a $3,952,896 supplement for special education services in 2010.
The District Administration reported that 159 or 2.94% of its students were gifted in 2009. By law, the district must provide mentally gifted programs at all grade levels. The primary emphasis is on enrichment and acceleration of the regular education curriculum through a push in model with the gifted instructor in the classroom with the regular instructor. 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.
The William Penn School Board adopted the district's antibully policy. All Pennsylvania schools are required to have an anti-bullying policy incorporated into their Code of Student Conduct. The policy must identify disciplinary actions for bullying and designate a school staff person to receive complaints of bullying. The policy must be available on the school's website and posted in every classroom. All Pennsylvania public schools must provide a copy of its anti-bullying policy to the Office for Safe Schools every year, and shall review their policy every three years. Additionally, the district must conduct an annual review of that policy with students. 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.
In 2009, the district reports employing over 450 teachers with a starting salary of $39,089 for 180 days work. The average teacher salary was $62,635 while the maximum salary is $154,882. In Pennsylvania, the average teacher salary for Pennsylvania's 124,100 public school teachers was $57,159 in 2008. 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. Additionally, William Penn School District teachers receive a defined benefit pension, health insurance, professional development reimbursement, compensation for voluntary extracurricular activities, paid personal days, and 10 sick days, life insurance and other benefits. 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 over 500 teachers. The average teacher salary in the district was $47,691 for 180 school days worked.
William Penn School District administrative costs per pupil in 2008 was $929.86 per pupil. The district is ranked 87th out of 500 in Pennsylvania for administrative spending. The lowest administrative cost per pupil in Pennsylvania was $398 per pupil. In 2011, the William Penn School Board cut 5 administration positions with a stated savings of $650,000.
In 2008, William Penn School District reported spending $13,430 per pupil. This ranked 141st in the commonwealth.
In 2012, the School Board used $2.5M from its reported $5 million reserves to balance the budget. In 2009, the district reported a $2,016,912 in an unreserved-undesignated fund balance. The designated fund balance was reported as zero. The Pennsylvania General Assembly sets a limit on how much money a district can have in its fund balance. The limit is based on the amount of the district's budget. As the total spending in the budget rises, the district is permitted to hold greater amounts in reserve.
In January 2010, the Pennsylvania Auditor General conducted a performance audit of the district. Findings were reported to the administration and school board. Certification deficiencies were noted, including that an administrator's certification had expired.
The district is funded by a combination of: a local income tax, a property tax, a real estate transfer tax, 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 William Penn School District received a 7.83% increase in state Basic Education Funding resulting in a $21,363,732 payment. Southeast Delco School District received a 10.34% increase which was the highest increase, in BEF, in Delaware County. 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 5.97% increase in Basic Education funding for a total of $19,814,414. The state Basic Education funding to the district in 2008–09 was $18,697,871. 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. Ninety school district received the base 2% increase. Upper Darby School District received the highest increase in Delaware County for the 2009–10 school year at 11.61%. 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 William Penn School District applied for and received $1,339,505 in addition to all other state and federal funding. The district used the funding to provide teacher training with teacher coaches and full-day kindergarten for the 7th year.
School Improvement Grant
Three schools in the district received a combined $3,285,600, three year federal/state grant for a Transformation reform program in 2010. According to the grant information, the Transformation model includes the use of rigorous, transparent, and equitable evaluation systems for teachers and principals, high-quality professional development and design and development of curriculum with teacher and principal involvement. The grant is to implement specific, aggressive reforms designed to substantially improve student performance in schools that have a high percentage of students performing below grade level, and where insufficient progress has been made over the past 5 years.
Schools eligible for School Improvement Grants included the lowest-performing Title I schools whose Adequate Yearly Progress status is School Improvement or Corrective Action, and Title I-eligible schools that are the lowest-achieving and have not made satisfactory progress on state assessments. Title I-eligible schools are those that have a high percentage of economically disadvantaged students.
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. William Penn School District received $521,151 in funding in 2006–07 In 2007–08 it received $300,000. For the 2008–09, school district did not apply. Of the 501 public school districts in Pennsylvania, 447 of them received Classrooms for the Future grant awards.
Federal Stimulus grant
The district received an extra $4,140,616 in ARRA - Federal Stimulus money to be used in specific programs like special education and meeting the academic needs of low-income students. The funding is for the 2009–10 and 2010–11 school years.
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- Pennsylvania Department of Education, Enrollment and Projections by LEA, 2010
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- Eleventh grade ranking in Pennsylvania, SchoolDigger.com. Accessed March 2010
- "2010 PSSAs: Reading, Math, Writing and Science Results".
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- "The 2008 PSSA Mathematics and Reading School Level Proficiency Results (by Grade and School Total)". August 2008.
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- Penn Wood High School Administration. "William Penn School District Penn Wood High School 2010–2011 Course Selection Guide". Retrieved February 2011.
- "Pennsylvania Code §4.24 (a) High school graduation requirements".
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- Pennsylvania Department of Education. "PSSA Science results 2008–09". Retrieved February 2011.
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- Pennsylvania Department of Education and Pennsylvania School Board. "CHAPTER 16. Special Education For Gifted Students". Retrieved February 4, 2011.
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- "Regular Session 2007–2008 House Bill 1067, Act 61 Section 6 page 8".
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- Official site
- Delaware County Tech Schools career and technical education
- Delaware County Intermediate Unit #25