Berwick Area Senior High School

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Berwick Area Senior High School
Address
1100 Fowler Avenue
Berwick, Pennsylvania, Columbia County and Luzerne County 18603-2300
United States of America
Coordinates 41°03′57″N 76°13′48″W / 41.065864°N 76.230002°W / 41.065864; -76.230002Coordinates: 41°03′57″N 76°13′48″W / 41.065864°N 76.230002°W / 41.065864; -76.230002[1]
Information
Status Open
School district Berwick Area School District
Superintendent Mr. Wayne D. Brookhart salary $126,413 (2012), $139,370 (2013)[2] contract July 1, 2015 to June 30, 2018[3]
CEEB code 390290[4]
Dean Amy Melchiorre
Principal

Robert Croop $79,831 (2012), $84,872 (2013)

Jill Shipman salary $65,520 (2013)[5]
Staff 9
Faculty 76 FTE 2012[6]
Grades 9 to 12
Pupils

767 pupils (2015)[7]
882 pupils (2012)[8]
992 pupils (2008)

985 pupil (2006)[9]
 • Grade 9 190 (2014), 207 (2012), 277 (2006)
 • Grade 10 197 (2014), 224 (2012), 252 (2006)
 • Grade 11 224 (2014), 212 (2012), 236 (2006)
 • Grade 12 204 (2014), 239 (2012), 220 (2006)
Student to teacher ratio 11:1
Color(s) Berwick colorkit.png
Athletics conference Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association AAA
Mascot Bulldog BerwickBulldog.png
Nickname Dawgs
Team name Bulldogs
Budget $11.8M
Feeder schools Berwick Middle School
Pennsylvania School Number 1605
Website
Berwick Area School District region in Columbia County
Berwick Area School District region in Luzerne County

Berwick Area Senior High School (also called Berwick Area High School, Berwick High School or BHS) is a small, rural, public high school in Columbia County, in Northeastern Pennsylvania, United States. In Columbia County, the school serves children living in: Briar Creek Township Briar Creek, Berwick and Foundryville. The school also serves children living in: East Berwick, Nescopeck, Nescopeck Township, Hollenback Township, Salem Township in Luzerne County. The school is the only public high school in the Berwick Area School District.

Berwick Area High School students may choose to attend Columbia-Montour Area Vocational-Technical School for training in the construction and mechanical trades as well as other careers. The Central Susquehanna Intermediate Unit IU16 provides the District with a wide variety of services like specialized education for disabled students and hearing, speech and visual disability services and professional development for staff and faculty.

Students and faculty[edit]

In 2015, Berwick Area Senior HIgh School enrollment had declined further to 767 pupils.[10] Per the Pennsylvania Department of Education, the school continued to employ 2% of the teachers who were rated "Non‐Highly Qualified" under the federal No Child Left Behind Act. In 2012, the School's enrollment declined to 882 pupils while the faculty increased to 76. In 2012, according to a report by the Pennsylvania Department of Education, 5 teachers were rated "Non‐Highly Qualified" under No Child Left Behind.[11] In 2010, the school had 969 students grades 9th through 12th, with 359 students eligible for a federal free or reduced-price lunch due to family poverty. In 2010, the school employed 75 teachers, yielding a student–teacher ratio of 13:1.[12] In 2008, Berwick Area Senior High School had 992 students and 73 FTE teachers, the student-to-teacher ratio at Berwick Senior High School was 13.5:1, as compared to the state average of 16:1.

In 2008, the racial makeup of the student body was 93% Caucasian, 2% black, and 4% Hispanic.[13]

Graduation rate[edit]

In 2015, the Berwick Area School District graduation rate was 94.36%.[14]

  • 2014 - 88.5%.[15]
  • 2013 - 92%.[16]
  • 2012 - 85%.[17]
  • 2011 - 83%.[18]
  • 2010 - 80%, the Pennsylvania Department of Education issued a new, 4-year cohort graduation rate.[19]
  • 2010 - 88% [20]
  • 2009 - 100% [21]
  • 2008 - 21%[22]
  • 2007 - 85% [23]
  • 2006 - 81% [24]
  • 2005 - 43% [25]

Academic performance[edit]

Berwick Area Senior High School is a low academic achievement institution.

Opportunity Scholarship - lowest achieving schools in the Commonwealth

In 2015 and 2016, Berwick Area High School remained listed on the lowest achievement school list.[26][27][28] Five hundred fifty-two (552) public schools were on the list for 2016. The program empowers eligible students residing within the boundaries of a low-achieving school to apply for a scholarship to attend another public or nonpublic school.[29]

In April 2014, the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) released a report identifying one Berwick Area School District school as among the lowest achieving schools for reading and mathematics in the state.[30] Berwick Area High School was among the 15% lowest achieving schools in the Commonwealth. 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.[31] 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.[32] Fifty-three public schools in Allegheny County are among the lowest-achieving 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, nine public school districts in Pennsylvania had all of their schools placed on the list including: Steelton-Highspire School District, Sto-Rox School District, Chester Upland School District, Clairton City School District, Duquesne City School District, Farrell Area School District, Wilkinsburg Borough School District, and William Penn School District.[33] In 2014, Monessen City School District had all three of its schools added to the list. Funding for the scholarships comes from donations by businesses which receive a state tax credit for donating. In 2014-15, the Berwick Area High School remained on the lowest achievement list. For the 2015-16 school year, Berwick Area High School remained on the state's lowest academic achievement list.

2015 School Performance Profile[edit]

Berwick Area High School achieved 78.4 out of 100. Reflects on grade level reading, mathematics and science achievement. The PDE reported that 78.4% of the Berwick Area High School’s students 74% of pupils were on grade level in reading/literature. In Algebra 1, 70% of students showed on grade level skills at the end of the course. In Biology I, 64% demonstrated on grade level science understanding at the end of the course.[34] Statewide, 53 percent of schools with an eleventh grade achieved an academic score of 70 or better. Five percent of the 2,033 schools with 11th grade were scored at 90 and above; 20 percent were scored between 80 and 89; 28 percent between 70 and 79; 25 percent between 60 and 69 and 22 percent below 60. The Keystone Exam results showed: 73 percent of students statewide scored at grade-level in English, 64 percent in Algebra I and 59 percent in biology.[35][36]

2014 School Performance Profile[edit]

Berwick Area High School achieved 79.5 out of 100. In reading/literature - 77% of pupils tested were on grade level. In Algebra 1, only 70% showed on grade level skills at the end of the course. In Biology, 55% demonstrated on grade level science understanding at the end of the course.[37][38] Statewide, the percentage of high school students who scored proficient and advanced in Algebra I increased to 39.7% to 40.1%. The percentage of high school students who scored proficient and advanced in reading/literature declined to 52.5%. The percentage of high school students who scored proficient and advanced in biology improved from 39.7% to 41.4%.[39]

2013 School Performance Profile[edit]

Berwick Area Senior High School achieved a score of 77.1 out of 100. Reflects on grade level reading, mathematics and science achievement. In reading/literature - 71% were on grade level. In Algebra 1, 56% showed on grade level skills. In Biology, 33.51% showed on grade level science understanding.[40] 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.

Adequate Yearly Progress history[edit]

In 2012, Berwick Area High School declined further to Corrective Action Level I AYP status due to persistent low academic achievement and a low graduation rate.

  • 2011 - declined to School Improvement II status due to ongoing low student achievement. Under the federal No Child Left Behind Law, the school notified parents they could transfer their child to an achieving school within the district. The district operates one high school, meaning no transfer was possible. The administration was required to develop and submit to the Pennsylvania Department of Education a School Improvement Plan.
  • 2010 - School Improvement I AYP status due to lagging student achievement and a low graduation rate.[41]
  • 2009 - declined to School Improvement I status due to lagging student achievement and a low graduation rate.
  • 2007 and 2008 - declined to Warning AYP status due to lagging student achievement
  • 2004, 2005, 2006 - achieved AYP status[42]
  • 2003 - Warning AYP status
PSSA Results

Pennsylvania System of School Assessments, commonly called PSSAs are No Child Left Behind Act related examinations which were administered from 2003 through 2012. The exams were administered in the Spring of each school year. 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.[43] The goal was for 100% of students to be on grade level or better in reading and mathematics, by the Spring of 2014. The tests focused on the state's Academic Standards for reading, writing, mathematics and science. The Science exam included content in science, technology, ecology and the environmental studies. The mathematics exam included: algebra I, algebra II, geometry and trigonometry. The standards were first published in 1998 and are mandated by the Pennsylvania State Board of Education.[44]

11th Grade Reading
  • 2012 - 52% on grade level (25% below basic). In Pennsylvania, 67% of 11th graders on grade level.[45]
  • 2011 - 65% (17.9% below basic). State - 69%[46]
  • 2010 - 60% (22% below basic). State - 67%[47]
  • 2009 - 65%, State - 65%[48]
  • 2008 - 62%, State - 65%[47]
  • 2007 - 67%, State - 65%
  • 2006 - 69%, State - 65% [49]
  • 2005 - 70%, State - 65%
11th Grade Math:
  • 2012 - 40% on grade level, (37% below basic). In Pennsylvania, 59% of 11th graders are on grade level.
  • 2011 - 54% (22% below basic). State - 60.3%
  • 2010 - 52% (26% below basic). State - 59% [50]
  • 2009 - 54%, State - 56% [51]
  • 2008 - 48%, State - 56%
  • 2007 - 44%, State - 53% [52]
  • 2006 - 54%, State - 52%
  • 2005 - 50%, State - 51%
11th Grade Science:
  • 2012 - 31% on grade level (24% below basic). State - 42% of 11th graders were on grade level.
  • 2011 - 34.9% (18% below basic). State - 40%
  • 2010 - 39%, (15% below basic). State - 39%[53]
  • 2009 - 33%, State - 40% [54]
  • 2008 - 39%, State - 39% [55]

College Remediation[edit]

According to a Pennsylvania Department of Education study released in January 2009, 25% of Berwick Area 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.[56] 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.[57] 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.

Dual enrollment[edit]

Berwick Area 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 at their high school. Other students, that reside in the district, who attend a private nonpublic school, charter school or are homeschooled are eligible to participate in this program.

The college credits are offered at a deeply discounted rate. The state offered a small grant to assist students in costs for tuition, fees and books.[58] Under the Pennsylvania Transfer and Articulation Agreement, many Pennsylvania colleges and universities accept these credits for students who transfer to their institutions.[59] In 2010, Governor Edward G. Rendell terminated the grants as part of the state budget.

For the 2009-10 funding year, Berwick Area School District received a state grant of $6,779 for the program.[60]

According to a 2006 report by the Governor of Pennsylvania, Berwick Area Senior High School was recognized by Standard and Poors as reducing the achievement gap.[61] However, according to Standard and Poors SchoolMatters.com website, Reading proficiency at the school is 67.8%, while math proficiency is 44.7%, and it has been determined that this school is not making Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) toward federal and state requirements, per the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) act, and was in "warning" status under the act.[62]

Graduation requirements[edit]

Graduation requirements include achieving a minimum of 25 credits and designing a graduation project which is based on the 21st Century Skills and the National Technology Standards. 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.[63] The class of 2012 was required to complete a graduation project which includes the creation of an electronic portfolio.[64] 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.[65]

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.[66][67][68] 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.[69] 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.[70] 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 Individual Education Plan (IEP).

SAT scores[edit]

In 2015, 133 Berwick Area School District students took the SAT exams. The District's Verbal Average Score was 494. The Math average score was 506. The Writing average score was 459.[71] The College Board also reported that statewide 96,826 pupils took the exams with average scores declining in all three measurers to: 495 in reading, 511 in math and 484 in writing.[72]

In 2014, 130 Berwick Area School District students took the SAT exams. The District's Verbal Average Score was 468. The Math average score was 477. The Writing average score was 436.[73] Statewide in Pennsylvania, Verbal Average Score was 497. The Math average score was 504. The Writing average score was 480. The College Board also reported that nationwide scores were: 497 in reading, 513 in math and 487 in writing.[74]

In 2013, 135 Berwick Area Senior School District students took the SAT exams. The District's Verbal Average Score was 468. The Math average score was 477. The Writing average score was 452. The College Board reported that statewide scores were: 494 in reading, 504 in math and 482 in writing. The nationwide SAT results were the same as in 2012.[75]

In 2012, 151 Berwick Area School District students took the SAT exams. The District's Verbal Average Score was 477. The Math average score was 488. The Writing average score was 462. 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, 126 Berwick Area School District students took the SAT exams. The District's Verbal average Score was 470. The Math average score was 478. The Writing average score was 445.[76] Pennsylvania ranked 40th among state with SAT scores: Verbal - 493, Math - 501, Writing - 479.[77] 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.[78]

According to data from 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.[79]

AP Courses[edit]

In 2014, Berwick Area High School offered 10 Advanced Placement (AP) courses. Just 25% of the pupils who took the associated AP exam, at the end of the course, achieved a 3 or better. In 2013, the school offered 9 AP course with just 10% of pupils earning a 3 or better on the AP exam.[80] In 2015, Berwick Area HIgh School offered 14 AP courses. Fifty-four percent of the students who took the course, achieved a 3 or better on the AP exam given by the College Board.

In 2013, Berwick High School offered 9 AP courses at a higher cost than regular courses. Berwick Area High School requires students to take the AP exam if they take an AP course. The school district pays the fee for the exam which was $89 per test per pupil in 2012. Students have the option of taking College Board approved courses and then taking the College Board's examination in the Spring. Students, who achieve a 3 or better on the exam, may be awarded college credits at US universities and colleges. Each higher education sets its own standards about what level of credits are awarded to a student based on their AP exam score. Most higher education give credits for scores of 4 or 5. Some schools also give credits for scores of 3. High schools give credits towards graduation to students who take the school's AP class. At Berwick Area School District the AP courses are weighted at 1.08 credits.[81]

In 2011, the Berwick Area School District achieved the College Board's AP District of the Year Award. This honor roll consists of the 388 U.S. public school districts that simultaneously achieved increases in access to AP® courses for a broader number of students and also maintained or improved the rate at which their AP students earned scores of 3 or higher on an AP Exam.[82]

ACE[edit]

Berwick Area School District students have access to Bloomsburg University's Summer College and Advanced College Experience (ACE) during the summer of their sophomore, junior and senior years (after high school graduation). Tuition is deeply discounted to 75% of the regular rate.[83] Successful students earn college credits that can be transferred to other Pennsylvania public colleges and universities through the Pennsylvania TRAC system.

Tuition[edit]

Students who live in the Berwick Area 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 Berwick 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 is High School - $9,792.91.[84]

Classrooms for the Future grant[edit]

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, Mathematics) and funded mandatory teacher training to optimize the instructional use of the computers. The program was funded from 2006-2009. Berwick Area School District received $52,843 in 2006-07. In 2007-08 the High School received $300,000 and in 2008-09 $50,603 for a total of $403,446.[85] Among the public school districts in Columbia County, Berwick Area High School was the highest recipient. The grant program was discontinued by Governor Edward Rendell as part of the 2009-10 state budget plan.

Budget[edit]

The total annualized budget for the Berwick Area Senior High School is $11.8M. Per-student educational costs are shown in the following table:[86]

Category BHS PA average
Total Revenue $11,891 $12,273
Total Expenditures $10,633 $12,312
Operating Expenditures $9,337 $9,696
Instructional Expenditures $6,252 $5,940
Debt Payments $3,726 $1,961
Capital Expenditures $21 $1,086

Safety and Bullying[edit]

Berwick Area High School administration reported there were zero incidents of bullying in the School in 2015. Additionally, there was one assault on a student and no sexual incidents involving students. The local law enforcement was involved in no incidents at the schools.[87] Berwick Area High School administration reported there were two incidents of bullying in the District in 2013. Additionally, there were six assaults on students and no sexual incidents involving students. The local law enforcement was involved in three incidents at the schools.[88] [89]

The Berwick Area School Board prohibits bullying by district students and faculty. The policy defines bullying and cyberbullying.[90] The Board directs that complaints of bullying shall be investigated promptly, and corrective action shall be taken when allegations are verified. No reprisals or retaliation shall occur as a result of good faith reports of bullying. The board expects staff members to be responsible to maintain an educational environment free from all forms of bullying. 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.[91] 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.[92]

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.[93]

Extracurriculars[edit]

Berwick Area School District offers a wide variety of clubs, activities and an extensive, costly sports program. Eligibility to participate is determined by school board policy and the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association.[94][95] Berwick is the only public school district in Columbia County that does not participate in the Pennsylvania Heartland Athletic Conference.[96]

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.[97][98][99]

According to PA Child Abuse Recognition and Reporting Act 126 of 2014, all volunteer coaches and all those who assist in student activities, must have criminal background checks. Like all school district employees, they must also attend an anti child abuse training once every three years.[100][101][102]

Sports[edit]

Coaches receive compensation as outlined in the teachers' union contract. When athletic competition exceeds the regular season, additional compensation is paid.[103] According to Pennsylvania’s Safety in Youth Sports Act, all sports coaches, paid and volunteer, are required to annually complete the Concussion Management Certification Training and present the certification before coaching.[104]

Article XVI-C of the Pennsylvania Public School Code requires the disclosure of interscholastic athletic opportunities for all public secondary school entities in Pennsylvania. All school entities with grades 7-12 are required to annually collect data concerning team and financial information for all male and female athletes beginning with the 2012-13 school year and submit the information to the Pennsylvania Department of Education. Beginning with the 2013-14 school year, all non-school (booster club and alumni) contributions and purchases must also be reported to PDE.[105]

Noted for Football especially, the high school team has brought home the state championship six times.[106] Also, the Football team was ranked number 1 nationally by USA Today three times.[107] Berwick won the 2008 PIAA AAA Baseball State Championship. The Bulldogs defeated Somerset 6 to 2 at Blair County Stadium and became the first Baseball team in the Wyoming Valley Conference to win the state title.[108] It is the school's first Baseball state championship in its history. Also in 2008, the Berwick Golf Team was the District 2, and District 11 Champions. The Berwick Wrestling team won back to back District 2 Championships in 2007 and 2008. As well as finishing in the top Eight PIAA AA Team Championships in 2008. The school mascot is the Bulldog, and the sports teams are called the bulldogs, or just dawgs for short. School colors and blue and white.[109]

The District funds:

Notable alumni[edit]

References[edit]

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