Blue Mountain School District

Coordinates: 40°39′19″N 76°05′11″W / 40.6552°N 76.0865°W / 40.6552; -76.0865
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Blue Mountain School District
Location of Blue Mountain School District in Schuylkill County, Pennsylvania
685 Red Dale Road, P.O. Box 188
, Schuylkill County, Pennsylvania, 17961-0188
United States
District information
SchoolsBlue Mountain High School, Blue Mountain Middle School, Blue Mountain Elementary West, and Blue Mountain Elementary East
Budget$45.4 million
NCES District ID4203870[1]
Students and staff
Students2,463 (2021-22)
Teachers187.73 (on an FTE basis)
Student–teacher ratio13.12
District mascotEagles
ColorsBlue and White   
Other information

The Blue Mountain School District is a midsized, rural public school district in Schuylkill County, Pennsylvania. The district is one of 500 public school districts of Pennsylvania. The district serves five boroughs, Auburn, Cressona, Deer Lake, New Ringgold, and Orwigsburg, and four townships, Wayne, East Brunswick, North Manheim, and West Brunswick.


Blue Mountain School District encompasses approximately 125 square miles (320 km2). According to 2000 federal census data, Blue Mountain School District served a resident population of 19,436. By 2010, the district's population was 20,463 people, making it a District of the Third Class.[2][3] The educational attainment levels for the Blue Mountain School District population (25 years old and over) were 88.6% high school graduates and 22.5% college graduates.[4]

According to the Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center, 24.1% of the district's pupils lived at 185% or below the Federal Poverty Level as shown by their eligibility for the federal free or reduced price school meal programs in 2012.[5] In 2009, the Blue Mountain School District residents' per capita income was $21,212, and median family income was $36,276.[6]

In Schuylkill County, the median household income was $45,012.[7] In the Commonwealth, the median family income was $49,985[8] and the United States median family income was $49,445, in 2010.[9]

By 2013, the median household income in the United States rose to $52,100.[10] In 2014, the median household income in the USA was $53,700.[11]


Blue Mountain School District operates: Blue Mountain High School, Blue Mountain Middle School, Blue Mountain Elementary East, Blue Mountain Elementary West, and Blue Mountain Virtual Academy, founded in 2016. School colors are blue and white. Blue Mountain High school students may choose to attend either of the Schuylkill Technology Centers for training in construction and mechanical trades as well as various other careers..

The Schuylkill Intermediate Unit, IU29, provides the district with a wide variety of services, including specialized education for disabled students and hearing, speech and visual disability services, mandated training on recognizing and reporting child abuse, background checks for prospective employees, and professional development for staff and faculty.

In 2022, the district closed Blue Mountain Elementary Cressona after opening its remodeled Elementary West schoolc.[12]


J.S. v. Blue Mountain School District[edit]

In early 2006, an 8th grade student, rereferred to as J.S. since she was a minor at the time, made a parody profile of the Blue Mountain Middle School principal, James McGonigle. J.S. had been an honor roll student, until she had worn a camisole under her sweater that was deemed to be breaking dress code by McGonigle. She was given detention for it after being told multiple times not to wear it. In protest, she had created a Myspace account using McGonigles picture, along with claiming to be McGonigle. The account had vulgar language and insulted McGonigles family, so once he found out, she was given a 10-day suspension, the longest time period given before expelling her. The account she had created was private, meaning J.S. and her friends were the only people who could access it. Approximately 20 students were given permission to see the profile.

McGonigle had reported J.S. and her family for harassment, but later decided not to press charges. However, J.S. and her family sued the school district, arguing that punishment in school for actions outside of school was unconstitutional under the first amendment. In the first two cases, Blue Mountain had won, but after being appealed to the Third Circuit, had lost.


In September 2012, James S. McGonigle, Blue Mountain Middle School's principal, was arrested for DUI; his alcohol level was 0.20, over twice the legal limit of 0.08. He opted to go to a Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition Program.

Rocks in defense of school intruder[edit]

In 2018, Superintendent Dr. David Helsel spoke at a school board meeting in which he said that students were given river stone rocks in the case of a school shooter. He also said that the district follows the ALICE training program.[13]


Blue Mountain School District offers a variety of activities and interscholastic sports, including:



  • Basketball – AAAAA
  • Cheer – AAAA
  • Cross Country – AA
  • Soccer (Fall) – AA
  • Softball – AAA
  • Swimming and Diving – AA
  • Girls' Tennis – AA
  • Track and Field – AAA
  • Volleyball – AA

Middle school sports[edit]



  • Basketball
  • Cross Country
  • Softball
  • Track and Field

According to the July 2013 PIAA directory[14]


  1. ^ "Search for Public School Districts – District Detail for Blue Mountain School District". National Center for Education Statistics. Institute of Education Sciences.
  2. ^ US Census Bureau, 2010 Census Poverty Data by Local Educational Agency, 2011
  3. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education (2013). "EDNA LEA Name: Blue Mountain SD". Archived from the original on 2014-02-21. Retrieved 2014-02-03.
  4. ^ proximityone (2014). "School District Comparative Analysis Profiles".
  5. ^ Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center, Education Facts Student Poverty Concentration by LEA, 2012
  6. ^ US Census Bureau, American Fact Finder, 2009
  7. ^ US Census Bureau (2014). "Pennsylvania Median household income, 2006–2010 by County".
  8. ^ US Census Bureau (2010). "American Fact Finder, State and County quick facts". Archived from the original on 2014-10-06. Retrieved 2013-07-25.
  9. ^ "Income, Poverty, and Health Insurance Coverage in the United States: 2010" (PDF). US Census Bureau. September 2011.
  10. ^ Michael Sauter & Alexander E.M. Hess (August 31, 2013). "America's most popular six-figure jobs". USA Today.
  11. ^ Jeff Guo (September 15, 2015). "Lower wages for whites, higher wages for immigrants, and inequality for all". Washington Post.
  12. ^ "Blue Mountain Elementary West opens on schedule". Reading Eagle. Retrieved 10 March 2023.
  13. ^
  14. ^ Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletics Association, PIAA School Directory, 2013

External links[edit]

40°39′19″N 76°05′11″W / 40.6552°N 76.0865°W / 40.6552; -76.0865