Williamsburg Community School District
|Williamsburg Community School District|
|515 W. Third Street
Williamsburg, Pennsylvania, Blair County, 16693-1121
|School board||9 locally elected members|
|Superintendent||Mr. James Kaufman|
|Director||Mrs. Linda Smith|
|Principal||Mr. Todd Dishong|
|Mrs. Lisa Murgas|
|Age||5 years old to 21 years old special education|
|Pupils||526 (2009-10) |
|Other||Enrollment projected to decline to 450 by 2019 |
|Tuition||for nonresident and charter school students ES - $7,673.67, HS - $9,089.25 |
|Per pupil Spending||$21,548 (2008) ranks 8th in pps|
The Williamsburg Community School District is a small, rural, public school district in Blair County, Pennsylvania. It serves the borough of Williamsburg, plus the townships of Woodbury and Catharine. the district encompasses approximately 65 square miles (170 km2). According to 2000 federal census data, it serves a resident population of 3,740. According to District officials, in school year 2007–08 the Williamsburg Community School District provided basic educational services to 543 pupils through the employment of 50 teachers, 31 full-time and part-time support personnel, and 3 administrators. Williamsburg Community School District received more than $4.3 million in state funding in school year 2007-08.
- 1 School Facilities
- 2 Governance
- 3 Academic achievement
- 4 Special education
- 5 Bullying policy
- 6 Budget
- 7 Extracurriculars
- 8 References
- 9 External links
- Williamsburg Elementary School was built in 1942 with additions in 1955 and 1999, when the last renovation to the structure was completed. Grades K-6
- Williamsburg High School was originally constructed in 1917 with additions in 1937, 1942, 1964, and 1979. WHS was renovated in 1999. Grades 7–12
The school district is governed by 9 individually elected board members (serve four-year terms), the Pennsylvania State Board of Education, the Pennsylvania Department of Education and the Pennsylvania General Assembly. The federal government controls programs it funds like Title I funding for low-income children in the Elementary and Secondary Education Act and the No Child Left Behind Act, which mandates the district focus resources on student success in acquiring reading and math skills.
The Commonwealth Foundation for Public Policy Alternatives Sunshine Review gave the school board and district administration a "D" for transparency based on a review of "What information can people find on their school district's website". It examined the school district's website for information regarding; taxes, the current budget, meetings, school board members names and terms, contracts, audits, public records information and more.
Williamsburg Community School District was ranked 405th out of 498 Pennsylvania school districts in 2012 by the Pittsburgh Business Times. The ranking was based on the last three years of student academic performance on the PSSAs for math, reading, writing 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.
- 2011 - 406th
- 2010 - 455th 
- 2009 – 451st
- 2008 – 441st
- 2007 – 431st of 501 school districts by the Pittsburgh Business Times.
- Overachiever statewide ranking
In 2012, the Pittsburgh Business Times also reported an Overachievers Ranking for 498 Pennsylvania school districts. Williamsburg Community School District ranked 215st. In 2011, the district was 210th.  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 Williamsburg Community School District, was in the 14th percentile among all 500 Pennsylvania school districts Scale (0–99; 100 is state best)
- District AYP status history
In 2011, Williamsburg Community School District achieved Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP). In 2011, 94 percent of the 500 Pennsylvania public school districts achieved the No Child Left Behind Act progress level of 72% of students reading on grade level and 67% of students demonstrating on grade level math. In 2011, 46.9 percent of Pennsylvania school districts achieved Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) based on student performance. An additional 37.8 percent of 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. Williamsburg Community School District achieved AYP status each year from 2003 to 2010.
In 2011, the graduation rate was 100%. In 2010, the Pennsylvania Department of Education issued a new, 4-year cohort graduation rate. Williamsburg Community High School's rate was 97.78% for 2010.
- According to traditional graduation rate calculations
Williamsburg Community Junior Senior High School is located at 515 W Third Street, Williamsburg. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, in 2010, the school reported an enrollment of 283 pupils in grades 7th through 12th, with 132 pupils eligible for a federal free or reduced-price lunch. The school employed 23 teachers, yielding a student–teacher ratio of 12:1. According to a report by the Pennsylvania Department of Education, 100% of its teachers were rated "Highly Qualified" under No Child Left Behind.
In 2011, Williamsburg Community Junior Senior High School declined to Warning status due to lagging student achievement. In 2010, the school achieved AYP status under No Child Left Behind.
- PSSA Results
- 11th Grade Reading
- 2011 - 53% on grade level, (36% below basic). State - 69.1% of 11th graders are on grade level.
- 2010 - 65% (23% below basic). State - 66% 
- 2009 - 53%, State – 65%
- 2008 - 43%, State – 65%
- 2007 - 46%, State – 65%
- 11th Grade Math
- 2011 - 47% on grade level (36% below basic). In Pennsylvania, 60.3% of 11th graders are on grade level.
- 2010 - 60% (19% below basic). State – 59%
- 2009 - 43% (28% below basic). State – 56%
- 2008 - 36% (24% below basic). State – 56% 
- 2007 - 36% (38% below basic). State – 53%
- 11th Grade Science
- 2011 - 39% on grade level (34% below basic). State - 40% of 11th graders were on grade level.
- 2010 – 42% (17% below basic). State – 39%
- 2009 – 31% (27% below basic). State – 40%
- 2008 – 34% (53% below basic). State – 39%
According to a Pennsylvania Department of Education study released in January 2009, 100% of Williamsburg Community 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 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. 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 $4,626 in a state grant to be used assist students with tuition, fees and books.
The Williamsburg Community School Board has determined that students must earn 24 credits to graduate, including: 4 credits of communications, 4 credits of Social Studies, Mathematics 4 credits, Science 3 credits, Wellness and fitness 2.6 credits, human development 1 credit, 2 credits arts and humanities, 1 – 3 credits of PSSA and Electives 5.4 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 Williamsburg Community High School students area required to complete a senior portfolio which includes: a career paper, a letter of interest for employment, three letters of reference, a resume, two completed applications, an interview, and 20 community service hours.
By Pennsylvania School Board regulations, for the graduating class of 2017, 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. 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.
From January to June 2011, 23 students took the SAT exams. The district's Verbal Average Score was 506. The Math average score was 509. The Writing average score was 469. 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.
Junior high school
- 8th Grade Reading
8th Grade Reading
- 8th Grade Science
- 2011 - 55% on grade level (25% below basic). State – 58.3% of 8th graders were on grade level.
- 2010 – 54% (22% below basic). State – 57%.
- 2009 – 55%, State – 54%
- 2008 – 50%, State – 52%
Williamsburg Community Elementary School is located at 16 Sage Hill Drive, Williamsburg. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, in 2010, the school reported an enrollment of 265 pupils in grades kindergarten through 6th, with 147 pupils receiving a federal free or reduced-price lunch due to family poverty. The school employed 19 teachers, yielding a student–teacher ratio of 13:1. According to a report by the Pennsylvania Department of Education, 100% of its teachers were rated "Highly Qualified" under No Child Left Behind. In 2010 and 2011, Williamsburg Community Elementary School achieved AYP status.
- 4th Grade Science;
- 2011 - 100%, 58% advanced. State - 82.9%
- 2010 – 92%, 73% advanced. State – 81%
- 2009 – 100%, State – 83%
- 2008 – 96%, State – 81%
In December 2009, the district administration reported that 140 pupils or 25% 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.
Williamsburg Community School District received a $324,623 supplement for special education services in 2010.
The District Administration reported that 20 or 3.65% 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. This approach permits such specialized instructional strategies as tiered assignments, curriculum compacting, flexible grouping, learning stations, independent projects and independent contracts. Students identified as gifted attending the High School have access to honors and advanced placement courses, and dual enrollment with local colleges. 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 Williamsburg Community School Board has provided the district's antibully policy online. 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 2011, the average teacher salary in Williamsburg Community SD was $46,698.98 a year, while the cost of the benefits teachers receive was $15,152.57 per employee, for a total annual average teacher compensation of $60,851.55. According to a study conducted at the American Enterprise Institute, in 2011, public school teachers’ total compensation is roughly 50 percent higher than they would likely receive in the private sector. The study found that the most generous benefits that teachers receive are not accounted for in many studies of compensation, including: pension, retiree health benefits and job security.
In 2009, the district reports employing over 40 teachers with a starting salary of $31,229 for 185 days work. The average teacher salary was $44,911 while the maximum salary is $82,500. 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, Williamsburg Community School District teachers receive a defined benefit pension, health insurance, a retirement bonus, professional development reimbursement, several paid personal days, paid bereavement 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 46 teachers. The average teacher salary in the district was $42,427 for 180 school days worked.
Williamsburg Community School District administrative costs per pupil in 2008 was $1,254.69 per pupil. The district is ranked 19th out of 500 in Pennsylvania for administrative spending. The lowest administrative cost per pupil in Pennsylvania was $398 per pupil.
In 2008, Williamsburg Community School District reported spending $21,548 per pupil. This ranked 8th in the commonwealth.
In 2009, the district reported $80,000 in an unreserved-undesignated fund balance. The designated fund balance was reported as $228,282.
In January 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 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 the 2012-13 school year, the district will receive $3,201,265. The Governor's Executive Budget for 2012-2013 includes $9.34 billion for kindergarten through 12th grade public education, including $5.4 billion in basic education funding, which is an increase of $49 million over the 2011-12 budget. The state also provides $100 million for the Accountability Block grant. The state will also provide $544.4 million for School Employees’ Social Security and $856 million for School Employees’ Retirement fund called PSERS.  This amount is a $21,823,000 increase (0.34%) over the 2011-2012 appropriations for Basic Education Funding, School Employees' Social Security, Pupil Transportation, Nonpublic and Charter School Pupil Transportation. Since taking office, Corbett’s first two budgets have restored more than $918 million in support of public schools, compensating for the $1 billion in federal stimulus dollars lost at the end of the 2010-11 school year.
In 2011-12, the district received a $3,159,152 allocation, of state Basic Education Funding. Additionally, the School District received $42,113 in Accountability Block Grant funding. The enacted Pennsylvania state Education budget included $5,354,629,000 for the 2011-2012 Basic Education Funding appropriation. This amount was a $233,290,000 increase (4.6%) over the enacted State appropriation for 2010-2011. The highest increase in state basic education funding was awarded to Duquesne City School District, which got a 49% increase in state funding for 2011-12. In 2010, the district reported that 882 students received free or reduced-price lunches, due to the family meeting the federal poverty level.
For 2010–11 the Williamsburg Community School District received a 3.51% increase in state Basic Education Funding resulting in a $3,376,441 payment. Hollidaysburg Area School District received 4.26% which was the highest increase in BEF in Blair 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 3.26% increase in Basic Education funding for a total of $3,262.,021. The state Basic Education funding to the district in 2008–09 was $3,159,152. 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. Spring Cove School District received a 4.68% increase, the highest increase in Blair County for the 2009–10 school year. 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 Williamsburg Community School District applied for and received $114,304 in addition to all other state and federal funding. The district used the funding to provide full-day kindergarten for the 7th year.
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. Williamsburg Community School District was denied funding in 2006–07 and in 2007–08. For the 2008–09, school year the district received $74,691. 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 $827,057 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.
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 up to one million 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 Williamsburg Community School Board did 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 the recommended cost savings changes.
Real estate taxes
The Williamsburg Community School Board sets property tax rates. 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. Property taxes, in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, apply only to real estate - land and buildings. The property tax is not levied on cars, business inventory, or other personal property. Certain types of property are exempt from property taxes, including: places of worship, places of burial, private social clubs, charitable and educational institutions and government property. Additionally, service related, disabled US military veterans may seek an exemption from paying property taxes. Pennsylvania school district revenues are dominated by two main sources: 1) Property tax collections, which account for the vast majority (between 75–85%) of local revenues; and 2) Act 511 tax collections (Local Tax Enabling Act), which are around 15% of revenues for school districts. When the school district includes municipalities in two counties, each of which has different rates of property tax assessment, a state board equalizes the tax rates between the counties. In 2010, miscalculations by the State Tax Equalization Board (STEB) were widespread in the Commonwealth and adversely impacted funding for many school districts, including those that did not cross county borders.
- 2011-12 - 122.0000 mills.
- 2010-11 - 118.0000 mills 
- 2009-10 - 153.0000 mills.
- 2008-09 - 145.0000 mills.
- 2007-08 - 137.0000 mills.
- 2006-07 - 131.0000 mills.
- 2005-06 - 128.0000 mills.
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 Williamsburg Community School District 2006–2007 through 2010–2011.
- 2006–07 – 5.7%, Base 3.9%
- 2007–08 – 4.9%, Base 3.4%
- 2008–09 – 6.3%, Base 4.4%
- 2009–10 – 5.9%, Base 4.1%
- 2010–11 – 4.2%, Base 2.9%
- 2011–12 – 2.0%, Base 1.4%
The Williamsburg Community School Board did not apply for exceptions to exceed the Act 1 index for the budgets in 2009–10 and 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 Williamsburg Community School District was $216 per approved permanent primary residence. In the district, 945 property owners applied for the tax relief. This was the highest property tax relief allotted in Blair County for 2009. 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. The Pennsylvania Auditor General found that 53% of property owners applied for tax relief in Blair County. 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 they were 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.
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%).
The district offers a variety of clubs, activities and sports. Eligibility to participate is set by school board policies.
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:
- Baseball – Class A
- Basketball Boys – Class A
- Basketball Girls – Class A
- Football – Class A
- Softball – Class A
- Volleyball – Class A
- Junior High School Sports
- According to PIAA directory July 2012 
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