Canton Area School District

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Canton Area School District
Map of Bradford County Pennsylvania School Districts.png
Address
509 East Main Street
Canton, Pennsylvania, Bradford County, Lycoming County, Tioga County, 17724-1698
United States
Information
Type Public
School board 9 locally elected members
Superintendent Mr. G. Mathew Gordon (5 year contract July 2012)[1] Salary $106,000 (2012), $106,000 (2013)[2]
School number (570) 673-3191
Administrator Mark Jannone – Business Manager/Transportation Director
Director

Eric Briggs, Director of Special Education
Janelle VanNoy – Technology Coordinator
Dann Lepper – Buildings & Grounds Supervisor
Sue Thomas – Food Service Director
Joanne Laverty – School Psychologist/Guidance Counselor

Robert Rockwell – Athletic Director
Principal John Rimmer, ES[3]
Principal Craig Coleman, JHS
Staff 63 non teaching staff members
Faculty 80 teachers 2012
Grades K-12
Age 5 years to 21 years old special education
Pupils

962 pupils (2015),[4] 1,003 pupils (2014)[5]
996 pupils (2013)
1,027 pupils (2009-10)[6]

1,139 pupils (2006)[7]
 • Kindergarten 73 (2013),[8] 78 (2010)
 • Grade 1 77 (2013), 87
 • Grade 2 85 (2013), 91
 • Grade 3 94 (2013), 75
 • Grade 4 71 (2013), 75
 • Grade 5 73 (2013), 83
 • Grade 6 83 (2013), 61
 • Grade 7 65 (2013), 81
 • Grade 8 86 (2013), 66
 • Grade 9 65 (2013), 75
 • Grade 10 76 (2013), 72
 • Grade 11 65 (2013), 89
 • Grade 12 90 (2013), 63 (2010)
 • Other Enrollment projected to decline to 789 by 2020[9]
Language English
Color(s) Crimson and White
Fight song "Weekend Warriors"
Mascot Warriors
Newspaper Crimson Echo
Budget

$14,972,252 (2015-16)[10]
$14,626,313 (2014-15)[11]
$14,547,734 (2013-14)

$13,866,450 (2011-12)[12]
Tuition for nonresident and charter school students ES - $8,868.09, HS - $9,442.14 [13]
per pupil spending $12,741 2008
per pupil spending $13,415.28 2010
Website
Map of Lycoming County, Pennsylvania Public School Districts
Map of Tioga County, Pennsylvania Public School Districts

The Canton Area School District is a diminutive, rural, Pennsylvania public school district that encompasses approximately 204 square miles (530 km2). Canton Area School District is split over 3 counties. In Bradford County, it serves Canton Township including Canton Borough; while excluding the borough of Alba, and Leroy Township. In Lycoming County, the district serves McIntyre Township including the villages of Marsh Hill and Ralston; and McNett Township including the villages of Chemung, Ellenton, Leolyn, Penbryn, and Roaring Branch. In Tioga County, the District serves Union Township. According to 2000 local census data, the district serves a resident population of 6,213. By 2010, the district's population increased to 6,534 people.[14] The educational attainment levels for the School District population (25 years old and over) were 86.6% high school graduates and 10.9% college graduates.[15] The District is one of the 500 public school districts of Pennsylvania.

According to the Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center, 45.4% of the Canton Area School District’s pupils lived at 185% or below the Federal Poverty Level [1] as shown by their eligibility for the federal free or reduced price school meal programs in 2012.[16] In 2009, the district residents’ per capita income was $14,597, while the median family income was $37,156.[17] In the Commonwealth, the median family income was $49,501 [18] and the United States median family income was $49,445, in 2010.[19] By 2013, the median household income in the United States rose to $52,100.[20]

Canton Area School District reported an enrollment of 1,004 pupils in 2011-12. It employed: 78 teachers, 50 full-time and part-time support personnel, and six (6) administrators during the 2011-12 school year. The District received $9.3 million in state funding in the 2011-12 school year.[21] According to Canton Area School District officials, in school year 2009-10, the CASD provided basic educational services to 1,038 pupils. The District employed: 80 teachers, 50 full-time and part-time support personnel, and 8 administrators. Canton Area School District received more than $9.8 million in state funding in school year 2009-10. District officials reported, in school year 2007–08, that the Canton Area School District provided basic educational services to 1,053 pupils. The District employed: 88 teachers, 53 full-time and part-time support personnel, and 9 administrators. The enrollment in the district has been in decline for the past decade going from 1,229 students in 1999–2000 to a projected 900 pupils in 2018.[22]

Canton Area School District operates 2 traditional schools: Canton Area Elementary School and Canton Junior Senior High School. The District also operates an alternative school called the Focus Support Academy. The program presents a placement for at risk students and those with behavioral issues that disrupt the classroom. The facility can accommodate up to twelve students. Focus Support Academy is located in the Gleckner building in Canton. When a student needs more intensive services like constant emotional support services, an out-ot-district placement is pursued.[23] Canton Area High School students may attend Northern Tier Career Center [2] for vocational training.

In April 2012, Canton Area School District contracted with BLAST Intermediate Unit #17 to provide: special education services, federally funded IDEA services and technology services.

Governance[edit]

Canton Area School District is governed by 9 individually elected board members (serve four-year terms with no compensation), the Pennsylvania State Board of Education, the Pennsylvania Department of Education and the Pennsylvania General Assembly.[24] 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 " B-" 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.[25]

Academic achievement[edit]

In 2015, Canton Area School District ranked 321st out of 493 Pennsylvania public school districts, by the Pittsburgh Business Times.[26] The ranking is based on the last 3 years of student academic achievement as demonstrated by PSSAs results in: reading, writing, math and science and the three Keystone Exams (literature, Algebra 1, Biology I) in high school.[27] Three school districts were excluded because they do not operate high schools (Saint Clair Area School District, Midland Borough School District, Duquesne City School District). The PSSAs are given to all children in grades 3rd through 8th. Adapted PSSA examinations are given to children in the special education programs. Writing exams were given to children in 5th and 8th grades.

  • 2014 - 350th[28]
  • 2013 - 416th[29]
  • 2012 - 429th[30]
  • 2011 - 459th
  • 2010 - 447th [31]
  • 2009 - 447th
  • 2008 - 428th
  • 2007 - 426th out of 501 Pennsylvania school districts.[32]
Statewide Overachievers ranking

In 2013, the Pittsburgh Business Times also reported an Overachievers Ranking for 498 Pennsylvania school districts. 'Canton Area School District ranked 337th. [33] 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."[34]

  • 2012 - 342nd[35]
  • 2011 - 339th

In 2009, the academic achievement, of the students in the Canton Area School District, was in the 6th percentile among all 500 Pennsylvania school districts Scale (0–99; 100 is state best) [36]

District AYP status and History[edit]

In 2012, Canton Area School District achieved AYP even though the schools missed 4 metrics in reading and mathematics. In 2010 and 2011, Canton Area School District achieved AYP status.[37] 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. Canton Area has achieved AYP every year since 2003.[38]

Graduation rate[edit]

In 2015, Canton Area School District's graduation rate was 97.65%.[39]

  • 2014 - 87%
  • 2013 - 85%.[40]
  • 2012 - 90%.[41]
  • 2011 - 88%.[42]
  • 2010 - 88%, the Pennsylvania Department of Education issued a new, 4-year cohort graduation rate.[43]
Former AYP graduation rate

Junior Senior High School[edit]

Canton Junior Senior High School is located at 509 E Main Street, Canton. In 2015, enrollment was reported as 422 pupils in 7th through 12th grades, with 41% of pupils eligible for a free lunch due to family poverty. Additionally, 19% of pupils received special education services, while 4.2% of pupils were identified as gifted.[48] The school employed 36 teachers.[49] Per the PA Department of Education, 100% of the teachers were rated "Highly Qualified" under the federal No Child Left Behind Act.

In 2013, Canton Junior Senior High School reported an enrollment of 446 pupils with 39% coming from low income households.[50] According to the National Center for Education Statistics, in 2010, the school reported an enrollment of 493 pupils in grades 7th through 12th, with 224 pupils eligible for a federal free or reduced-price lunch. The school employed 28 teachers, yielding a student–teacher ratio of 12:1.[51] According to a report by the Pennsylvania Department of Education, 100% of its teachers were rated "Highly Qualified" under No Child Left Behind, with 8 teachers having emergency certification.[52]

2015 School Performance Profile

Canton Junior Senior High School achieved 81.8 out of 100. Reflects on grade level reading, mathematics and science achievement.The PDE reported that 86% of the School’s students were on grade level in reading/literature. In Algebra 1, 68.9% of students showed on grade level skills at the end of the course. In Biology I, 72% demonstrated on grade level science understanding at the end of the course.[53] 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.[54][55]

2014 School Performance Profile

Canton Junior Senior High School achieved 76.6 out of 100. Reflects on grade level reading, mathematics and science achievement. In reading/literature - 81% were on grade level. In Algebra 1, 76.5% showed on grade level skills. In Biology, 67.6% demonstrated on grade level science understanding at the end of the course. In 8th grade, 72% of the pupils demonstrated on grade level writing skills.[56][57] 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%.[58]

2013 School Performance Profile

Canton Junior Senior High School achieved 75.9 out of 100. Reflects on grade level reading, mathematics and science achievement. In reading/literature -76% of students tested were on grade level. In Algebra 1, 75% showed on grade level skills. In Biology, 51% showed on grade level science understanding.[59] In 8th grade writing, 82% showed 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.

AYP History

In 2012, Canton Junior Senior High School declined to Warning Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) status due to low reading and mathematics achievement.[60]

  • 2010 and 2011 - achieved AYP status.[61]
  • 2009 - declined to Warning AYP status.[62]
  • 2006 to 2008 - achieved AYP status[63]
  • 2005 - declined to Warning status, due to lagging academic achievement.

2003 and 2004 - achieved 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, in all Pennsylvania public high schools. The exams were administered in the Spring of each school year. 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.[64] 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.[65]

11th Grade Reading
  • 2012 - 63% on grade level, (22% below basic). State - 67% of 11th graders are on grade level.[66]
  • 2011 - 58%, 25% advanced (20% below basic). State - 69.1%[67]
  • 2010 – 57%, 14% advanced (20% below basic). State - 66% [68]
  • 2009 – 63%, 28% advanced (18% below basic), State – 65% [69]
  • 2008 – 61%, 24% advanced (24% below basic), State – 65%[70]
  • 2007 – 56%, 24% advanced (18% below basic), State – 65% [71]
11th Grade Math
  • 2012 - 43% on grade level (30% below basic). In Pennsylvania, 59% of 11th graders are on grade level.[72]
  • 2011 - 49%, 28% advanced (23% below basic). State - 60.3%[73]
  • 2010 – 33%, 10% advanced (47% below basic). State – 59%[74]
  • 2009 – 37%, 11% advanced (29% below basic). State – 56%
  • 2008 – 34%, 8% advanced (39% below basic). State – 56% [75]
  • 2007 – 42%, 14% advanced (29% below basic). State – 53%
11th Grade Science
  • 2012 - 22% on grade level (20% below basic). State - 42% of 11th graders were on grade level.[76]
  • 2011 - 35% on grade level (17% below basic). State - 40% of 11th graders were on grade level.[77]
  • 2010 – 23%, (16% below basic). State – 39%
  • 2009 – 31%, (18% below basic). State – 40% [78]
  • 2008 – 36%, (18% below basic). State – 39% [79]

Science in Motion Canton 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.[80] University of Pittsburgh at Bradford provided the science enrichment experiences to schools in the region.

College remediation[edit]

According to a Pennsylvania Department of Education study released in January 2009, 33% of Canton 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.[81] 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.[82] 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 mathematics or English.

Graduation requirements[edit]

The Canton Area School Board has determined that a student must earn 27 credits to graduate, including: English 4 credits, Math 4 credits, Social Studies 4 credits, Science 4 credits, Health .25 credit, Physical Education 2 credits, Technology Business 2 credits, and Driver's Ed .25 credit. Participating in a PIAA school sport or cheerleading counts towards a Physical education credit in 11th grade and 12th grade. Additionally, students are required to complete 60 hours of community service or participate in a school sponsored club or sport.[83]

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.[84][85] 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.[86]

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.[87] The exam is given at the end of the course. Keystone Exams replace the PSSAs for 11th grade.[88]

Students have several opportunities to pass the exam. Those who do not pass after several attempts can perform a project in order to graduate.[89][90] 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.[91] 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.[92] 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.

Dual enrollment[edit]

The Canton Junior Senior 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 offered a small grant to assist students in costs for tuition, fees and books.[93] Canton Area School District has an agreement with Keystone College.[94] Under the Pennsylvania Transfer and Articulation Agreement, many Pennsylvania colleges and universities accept these credits for students who transfer to their institutions.[95] 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.[96] In 2010, the district received a $36,192 state grant to be used to assist students with tuition, fees and books. In 2015, the Canton Area School Board approved dual enrollment agreements with Lackawanna College and Keystone College.[97]

SAT scores[edit]

In 2014, 53 Canton Area School District students took the SAT exams. The District's Verbal Average Score was 450. The Math average score was 469. The Writing average score was 437.[98][99] 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.[100] In 2014, 1,672,395 students took the SATs in the United States.

In 2013, 41 Canton Area School District students took the SAT exams. The District's Verbal Average Score was 457. The Math average score was 469. The Writing average score was 443. 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.[101]

In 2012, 51 Canton Area School District students took the SAT exams. The District's Verbal Average Score was 444. The Math average score was 463. The Writing average score was 434. 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, 44 Canton Area students took the SAT exams. The district's Verbal Average Score was 444. The Math average score was 445. The Writing average score was 414.[102] Pennsylvania ranked 40th among states with SAT scores: Verbal - 493, Math - 501, Writing - 479.[103] 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.[104]

AP Courses[edit]

In 2013, High School offered 5 Advanced Placement (AP) courses at a higher cost than regular courses. 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 institution 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 Canton Junior Senior High School, fewer than 10 of the students who took an AP course earned a 3 or better on the exam.[105]

In 2014, the School offered 4 AP courses. None of the students who took the courses achieved a 3 or better on the AP exam given at the ned of the course.

Freshman Seminar[edit]

Freshman students take four seminars rotating to a new one each marking period. Thinking skills and problem solving as well as, teamwork and career exploration are taught. The seminar courses include: Character Building, Achievement Skills, Goal Setting and Career Exploration.[106]

Junior high school[edit]

Seventh grades have been tested in reading and mathematics since 2006. Eighth graders are tested in: reading, writing, mathematics and Science. Beginning in the Spring of 2013, eighth graders, who are enrolled in Algebra I take the Keystone Exam for Algebra I at the end of the course. The testing of 8th grade in reading and mathematics began in 1999, as a state initiative.[107] Testing in science began in 2007. The goal is for 100% of students to be on grade level or better in reading and mathematics, by the Spring of 2014. The tests focus on the state's Academic Standards for reading, writing, mathematics and science.[108] The standards were published in 1998 and are mandated by the Pennsylvania State Board of Education.[109] In 2014, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania adopted the Pennsylvania Core Standards - Mathematics.[110]

8th Grade Reading
  • 2012 - 69% on grade level (15% below basic). In Pennsylvania, 79% of 8th graders on grade level.[111]
  • 2011 - 79%, 49% advanced (7% below basic). State - 81.8%
  • 2010 - 67%, 30% advanced (16% below basic) State – 81%[112]
  • 2009 - 72%, 43% advanced (17% below basic), State – 80%
  • 2008 - 71%, 31% advanced (12% below basic), State – 78%
  • 2007 - 77%, 41% advanced (8% below basic), State – 75%[113]
8th Grade Math
  • 2012 - 75% on grade level (16% below basic). State - 76% [114]
  • 2011 - 73%, 33% advanced (17% below basic). State - 76.9%
  • 2010 - 62%, 33% advanced (19% below basic) State – 75%
  • 2009 - 56%, 32% advanced (20% below basic), State – 71%
  • 2008 - 68%, 45% advanced (14% below basic), State – 70% [115]
  • 2007 - 56%, 24% advanced (16% below basic), State – 67%
8th Grade Science
  • 2012 - 61% on grade level (21% below basic). State - 59%
  • 2011 - 57% (24% below basic). State – 58.3%
  • 2010 - 44%, (34% below basic), State – 57%.
  • 2009 - 44%, (26% below basic), State – 54% [116]
  • 2008 - 47%, (26% below basic), State – 52% [117]
Dropout Early Warning System

In 2013, Canton Area School District did not implement the state's free dropout prevention Early Warning System and Interventions Catalog at the junior high school.[118] The process identifies students at risk for dropping out by examining the pupil’s: attendance, behavior and course grades. Interventions are implemented to assist at-risk pupils to remain in school. The program is funded by federal and private dollars.[119]

Canton Area Elementary School[edit]

Canton Area Elementary School is located at 545 E Main Street, Canton. In 2014, the School's enrollment was 556 pupils in grades kindergarten through 6th, with 46.7% of pupils receiving a federal free or reduced price meals due to family poverty. Additionally, 14.5% of the pupils receive special education services, while 2.7% are identified as gifted.[120] In 2013, the school's enrollment was 550 pupils with 53% of pupils receiving a federal free or reduced price meals due to family poverty. According to a report by the Pennsylvania Department of Education, 100% of the teachers were rated highly qualified under No Child Left Behind. The school provides full day kindergarten since 2004.[121]

According to the National Center for Education Statistics, in 2010, the school reported an enrollment of 545 pupils in grades kindergarten through 6th, with 283 pupils receiving a federal free or reduced-price lunch due to family poverty. The school employed 41 teachers, yielding a student–teacher ratio of 13:1.[122] According to a report by the Pennsylvania Department of Education, 100% of its teachers were rated "Highly Qualified" under No Child Left Behind.[123]

2015 School Performance Profile

According to the Pennsylvania Department of Education, 55% of 5th grade students at Canton Area Elementary School were on grade level in reading on the PSSAs given in April 2015. In mathematics, 41% of 5th grade students showed on grade level skills. No fifth grade writing scores were reported. In 4th grade, 63% were on grade level in reading, while 39% showed on grade level math skills. In science, 84% of fourth graders showed on grade level understanding. Among third (3rd) graders, 71.8% were on grade level in reading and 50% were on grade level in mathematics. Among 6th graders, 65% were on grade level in reading and 47% were on grade level in mathematics.[124] Statewide 61.9% of fifth (5th) graders were reported on grade level in reading, while just 42.8% demonstrated on grade level math skills. Pennsylvania 4th graders were 58.6% on grade level in reading and 44.4% demonstrated on grade level math skills. In science, 77.3% of fourth graders showed on grade level understanding. Among Pennsylvania third (3rd) graders, 62% were reading on grade level, while 48.5% demonstrated on grade level math skills.[125]

2014 School Performance Profile

Canton Area Elementary School achieved a score of 72.5 out of 100. The score reflects on grade level: reading, science, writing and mathematics achievement. In 2013-14, only 61.5% of the students were reading on grade level in grades 3rd through 5th. In 3rd grade, 64.8% of the pupils were reading on grade level. In math, 68.5% were on grade level (3rd-5th grades). In 4th grade science, 82% of the pupils demonstrated on grade level understanding. In writing, only 43% of 5th grade pupils demonstrated on grade level skills.[126]

2013 School Performance Profile

Canton Area Elementary School achieved a score of 83.4 out of 100. The score reflects on grade level: reading, science, writing and mathematics achievement. In 2012-13, only 60% of the students were reading on grade level in grades 3rd through 5th. In 3rd grade, 62% of the pupils were reading on grade level. In math, 73.7% were on grade level (3rd-5th grades). In 4th grade science, just 82% of the pupils demonstrated on grade level understanding. In writing only 62% of 5th grade pupils demonstrated on grade level skills.[127]

AYP History

In 2012, Canton Area Elementary School remained in Warning level Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) status, due to lagging reading achievement.[128]

  • 2011 - achieved AYP status.[129]
  • 2010 - declined again to Warning AYP status due to low student achievement.[130]
  • 2009 - achieved AYP status.[131]
  • 2008 - declined to Warning AYP status, due to lagging academic achievement.[132]
  • 2003 through 2007 - achieved AYP status.[133]
PSSA History

Each year, in the Spring, the 3rd graders take the PSSAs in math and reading. The fourth grade is tested in reading, math and science. The fifth grade is evaluated in reading, mathematics and writing. Pennsylvania System of School Assessments, commonly called PSSAs are No Child Left Behind Act related examinations which were administered beginning 2003 to all Pennsylvania public school students in grades 3rd-8th.[134] The goal was for 100% of students to be on grade level or better in reading and mathematics, by the Spring of 2014.[135][136][137] The tests focused on the state's Academic Standards for reading, writing, mathematics and science. The Science exam is given to 4th grades and includes content in science, technology, ecology and the environmental studies.[138]

4th Grade Science
  • 2012 - 87%, (5% below basic). State - 82%
  • 2011 - 80%, 50% advanced (8% below basic). State – 82.9%
  • 2010 – 91%, 70% advanced (0% below basic). State – 81%
  • 2009 – 92%, 68% advanced, State – 83%
  • 2008 – 73%, 29% advanced, State – 81%

Since 2008, the District has operated full-day kindergarten.[147] While proponents of full day kindergarten claim it will reduce special education numbers and it will raise primary student academic achievement especially in reading and math, those outcomes have not been realized in Canton Area School District. Reading achievement in particular has continued to be low.[148]

Special education[edit]

In December 2013, the District administration reported that 181 pupils or 18% of the district's pupils received Special Education services, with 45.9% of the identified students having a specific learning disability.[149] In December 2011, the Canton Area School District administration reported that 164 pupils or 16% of the district's pupils received Special Education services, with 51.8% of the identified students having a specific learning disability.[150] In December 2010, the district administration reported that 169 pupils or 16.5% of the district's pupils received Special Education services with 46% of the identified students having a specific learning disability. In December 2009, the District Administration reported that 166 pupils or 15% of the district's pupils received Special Education services.[151]

In 2007, Pennsylvania Secretary of Education Gerald Zahorchak testified before the Pennsylvania House Education Committee regarding full day kindergarten. He claimed that districts which offered the program would see a significant decrease in special education students due to early identification and early intervention. He asserted the high cost of full day kindergarten would be recouped by Districts in lower special education costs.[152] Canton Area School District has provided full day kindergarten since 2004. Canton Area School District has seen an increase in the percentage of special education students it serves, yielding no savings. 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.[153]

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.[154] The Special Education funding structure is through the federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) funds and state appropriations. IDEA funds are appropriated to the state on an annual basis and distributed through intermediate units (IUs) to school districts, while state funds are distributed directly to the districts. Total funds that are received by school districts are calculated through a formula. The Pennsylvania Department of Education oversees four appropriations used to fund students with special needs: Special Education; Approved Private Schools; Pennsylvania Chartered Schools for the Deaf and Blind; and Early Intervention. The Pennsylvania Special Education funding system assumes that 16% of the district’s students receive special education services. It also assumes that each student’s needs accrue the same level of costs.[155] Over identification of students, in order to increase state funding, has been an issue in the Commonwealth. Some districts have more than 20% of its students receiving special education services while others have 10% supported through special education.[156] The state requires each public school district and charter school to have a three-year special education plan to meet the unique needs of its special education students.[157] In 2012, the Obama Administration's US Department of Education issued a directive that schools include students with disabilities in extracurricular activities, including sports.[158]

Canton Area School District received a $647,897 supplement for special education services in 2010.[159] For the 2011-12, 2012–13 and 2013-14 school years, all Pennsylvania public school districts received the same level of funding for special education that they received in 2010-11. This level funding is provided regardless of changes in the number of pupils who need special education services and regardless of the level of services the respective students required.[160][161] For the 2014-2015 school year, Canton Area School District received an increase to 659,404 from the Commonwealth for special education funding.[162]

Gifted education[edit]

The District Administration reported that 30 or 2.89% of its students were gifted in 2009.[163] 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 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.[164]

Bullying and Safety plan[edit]

The Canton Area School District administration reported there were zero incidents of bullying in the District in 2014. Additionally, there was an assault on a student and there was one sexual incidents involving a student. The local law enforcement was involved in one incident at the schools, with no arrest.[165]

The Canton Area School District administration reported there was 1 incident of bullying in the district in 2009.[166][167]

The District has instituted a safe school hotline so that people can report school safety issues at 1-800-418-6423 Ext. 359.[168] The district uses the Olweus Bully Prevention Program. Additionally, the district spent $30,000 to install a camera security system with DVR to protect its sports facilities.[169]

The Canton Area School Board has provided the District's antibully policy online.[170] 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.[171] 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.[172]

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.[173]

Budget[edit]

Pennsylvania public school districts budget and expend funds according to procedures mandated by the General Assembly and the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE). An annual operating budget is prepared by school district administrative officials. A uniform form is furnished by the PDE and submitted to the board of school directors for approval prior to the beginning of each fiscal year on July 1.

Under Pennsylvania’s Taxpayer Relief Act, Act 1 of the Special Session of 2006, all school districts of the first class A, second class, third class and fourth class must adopt a preliminary budget proposal. The proposal must include estimated revenues and expenditures and the proposed tax rates. This proposed budget must be considered by the Board no later than 90 days prior to the date of the election immediately preceding the fiscal year. The preliminary budget proposal must also be printed and made available for public inspection at least 20 days prior to its adoption. The board of school directors may hold a public hearing on the budget, but are not required to do so. The board must give at least 10 days’ public notice of its intent to adopt the final budget according to Act 1 of 2006.[174]

Teacher union contract The Canton Area School Board reached an agreement with the Canton Area Teachers Union on an employment contract in January 2015. It provides annual raises of 2.5% each year for next three years. The new contract expires on June 30, 2018. Teachers will be contributing more for their employer provided health insurance.[175] The teachers union contract is subject to the state's right to know law and will be provided to requesters upon written request.[176]

In 2013, the average teacher salary in Canton Area School District was $59,188 a year.[177] Canton Area School District teacher and administrator retirement benefits are equal to at least 2.00% x Final Average Salary x Total Credited Service. (Some teachers benefits utilize a 2.50% benefit factor.)[178] After 40 years of service, a teacher can retire with 100% of the average salary of their final 3 years of employment. 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.[179]

In 2012, the average teacher salary in Canton Area School District was $59,427 a year, while the cost of the benefits teachers received was $17,454 per employee, for a total annual average teacher compensation of $76,882.[180] The District employed 86 teachers and administrators. The highest salary was $106,000. In May 2013, the School Board rejected a state a fact-finder's report regarding the proposed teacher's union contract.[181] The Board voted a second time to reject the proposal a few weeks later citing several excessive costs.[182][183]

In 2011, the average teacher salary in Canton Area School District was $60,730.06 a year, while the cost of the benefits teachers receive was $16,495.67 per employee, for a total annual average teacher compensation of $77,225.73.[184] 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.[185] The teacher union contract expired June 30, 2012. The school board and union began negotiating in the spring of 2012.[186]

In 2009, Canton Area School District reported employing over 120 teachers with a starting salary of $42,000 for 180 days for pupil instruction.[187] The average teacher salary was $58,738 while the maximum salary is $104,360.[188] 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.[189] Additionally, Canton Area School District teachers receive a defined benefit pension, health insurance, professional development reimbursement, paid personal days, 10 sick days and other benefits. Teachers are paid extra if they are required to work outside of the regular school day [190] 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.[191]

In 2007, Canton Area School District employed 81 teachers. The average teacher salary in the district was $54,419 for 180 school days worked.[192]

Per pupil spending In 2008, Canton Area School District reported spending $12,741 per pupil. This ranked 192nd in the Commonwealth.[193] In 2011, Canton Area School District per pupil spending had risen to $13,354.24. In 2012, Canton Area School District per pupil spending was reported as $13,123.57. In 2011, Pennsylvania’s per pupil spending was $13,467, ranking 6th in the United States.[194] In 2007, the Pennsylvania per pupil total expenditures was reported as $12,759.[195]

Administrative spending Canton Area School District administrative costs in 2008 was $900.81 per pupil, ranking 105th out of then 501 Pennsylvania public school districts. The lowest administrative cost per pupil in Pennsylvania was $398 per pupil.[196] Superintendent awarded 5-year contract in July 2012 with salary as follows: July 1, 2012 to June 30, 2013: $106,000; July 1, 2013 to June 30, 2014: $119,000; - July 1, 2014 to June 30, 2015: $119,000; July 1, 2015 to June 30, 2016: $119,000 and July 1, 2016 to June 30, 2017: $125,877.[197] The Pennsylvania School Boards Association collects and maintains statistics on salaries of public school district employees in Pennsylvania. Superintendents and administrators also receive a benefit package commensurate with that offered to the district's teachers union.[198]

Reserves In 2009, the District reported $2,585,266 in an unreserved-undesignated fund balance. The designated fund balance was reported as $150,000.[199] In 2013, the District reported an increase to $3,169,549 in reserves. Pennsylvania public school district reserve funds are divided into two categories – designated and undesignated. The undesignated funds are not committed to any planned project. Designated funds and any other funds, such as capital reserves, are allocated to specific projects. School districts are required by state law to keep 5 percent of their annual spending in the undesignated reserve funds to preserve bond ratings. According to the Pennsylvania Department of Education, from 2003 to 2010, as a whole, Pennsylvania school districts amassed nearly $3 billion in reserved funds.[200] In 2005, the total reserve funds held by Pennsylvania public school districts was $1.9 billion.[201] By 2013, reserves held by Pennsylvania public school districts, as a whole, had increased to over $3.8 billion.[202] In 2014, reserves held by Pennsylvania school district had risen to over $4.1 billion.[203]

Audit In November 2010, the Pennsylvania Auditor General conducted a performance audit of the district. Findings were reported to the administration and school board. Th auditors noted that the District terminated the Superintendent’s employment through a $35,372 confidential contract buy-out after the individual voluntarily resigned after serving six months of a three-year contract.[204] In 2014, the District was audited again by the state.[205]

Tuition Students who live in the Canton 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 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 Canton Area School District's schools. The 2012 tuition rates are Elementary School - $9,039.78, High School - $10,065.99.[206]

In 2012, Canton Area School Board placed on the ballot a measure to change from the Occupation Tax to an Earned Income Tax. The ballot question failed (Yes - 937, No - 1,031).[207] In 2007, the residents also rejected changing from the occupation tax to an earned income tax.[208]

The Canton Area School District is funded by a combination of: a local earned income tax - 0.5%;[209] two per capita taxes of $5 each per year; a property tax; a real estate transfer tax 0.5%, 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.[210] The average Pennsylvania public school teacher pension in 2011 exceeded $60,000 a year plus they receive federal Social Security benefits: both are free of Pennsylvania state income tax and local income tax both of which fund local public schools.[211]

State basic education funding[edit]

According to a report from Representative Todd Stephens office, Canton Area School District receives 68.2% of its annual revenue from the state.[212] This exceeds the goal of the state providing 50% of district funding.[213]

For the 2014-15 school year, Canton Area School District received $6,712,877 in State Basic Education funding. The District also received $75,702 in new Ready To Learn Block grant. The State’s enacted Education Budget includes $5,526,129,000 for the 2014-2015 Basic Education Funding.[214] The Education budget also includes Accountability Block Grant funding at $100 million and $241 million in new Ready to Learn funding for public schools that focus on student achievement and academic success. The State is paying $500.8 million to Social Security on the school employees behalf and another $1.16 billion to the state teachers pension system (PSERS). In total, Pennsylvania’s Education budget for K-12 public schools is $10 billion. This was a $305 million increase over 2013-2014 state spending and the greatest amount ever allotted by the Commonwealth for its public schools.[215]

For the 2013-14 school year, the Canton Area School District received a 1.2% increase or $6,712,192 in Pennsylvania Basic Education Funding. This is $77,217 more than its 2012-13 state BEF to the District. Additionally, Canton Area School District received $86,371 in Accountability Block Grant funding to focus on academic achievement and level funding for special education services. Among the public school districts in Bradford County, Towanda Area School District received the highest percentage increase in BEF at 1.7%. The District has the option of applying for several other state and federal grants to increase revenues. The Commonwealth’s budget increased Basic Education Funding statewide by $123 million to over $5.5 billion. Most of Pennsylvania’s 500 public school districts received an increase of Basic Education Funding in a range of 0.9% to 4%. Eight public school districts received exceptionally high funding increases of 10% to 16%. The highest increase in state funding was awarded to Austin Area School District which received a 22.5% increase in Basic Education Funding.[216] The state funded the PSERS (Pennsylvania school employee pension fund) with $1,017,000,000 and Social Security payments for school employees of $495 million.[217]

For the 2012-13 school year, Canton Area School District will receive $6,721,346.[218] 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. Canton Area School District received $86,371 in Accountability Block Grant funding to focus on academic achievement. The state also provided $544.4 million for School Employees’ Social Security and $856 million for School Employees’ Retirement fund called PSERS.[219] 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, Canton Area School District received a $6,634,975.00, allocation, of state Basic Education Funding.[220][221] Additionally, the School District received $147,710 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 is a $233,290,000 increase (4.6%) over the enacted State appropriation for 2010-2011.[222] 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.[223] In 2010, the district reported that 462 students received free or reduced-price lunches, due to the family meeting the federal poverty level.

For the 2010–11 budget, the Canton Area School District received a 2% increase in state Basic Education Funding resulting in a $6,950,159 payment.[224] Towanda Area School District received a 6.36% increase, which was the highest increase in state Basic Education Funding (BEF) in Bradford County. Loyalsock Township School District received an 8.13% increase, which was the highest increase in BEF in Lycoming County. Southern Tioga School District received a 3.23% increase, which was the highest increase in BEF in Tioga 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 state's hold harmless policy regarding state basic education funding continued where each district received at least the same amount as it received the prior school year, even where enrollment had significantly declined. The amount of increase each school district received was set by Governor Edward Rendell and then Secretary of Education Gerald Zahorchak, as a part of the state budget proposal given each February. This was the second year of Governor Rendell’s policy to fund some districts at a far greater rate than others.[225]

In the 2009–10 budget year, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania provided a 2.70% increase in Basic Education funding for a total of $6,813,863. The Canton Area School 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.[226] Towanda Area School District received an 8.43% increase, the highest increase in Bradford County for the 2009–10 school year. Loyalsock Township School District received a 5.94% increase, the highest increase in Lycoming 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.[227]

In the 2008-09 budget year, the state Basic Education funding to the Canton Area School District was $6,634,975.00. According to the Pennsylvania Department of Education, 476 district students received free or reduced-price lunches due to family poverty in the 2007–2008 school year.[228]

Accountability Block Grants[edit]

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 Canton Area School District applied for and received $234,432 in addition to all other state and federal funding. The District used the funding to provide full-day kindergarten for the 6th year.[229][230]

Ready to Learn Grant[edit]

Beginning in the 2014-2015 budget, the State funded a new Ready to Learn Grant for public schools. A total of $100 million is allocated through a formula to districts based on the number of students, level of poverty of community as calculated by its market value/personal income aid ratio (MV/PI AR) and the number of English language learners. Ready to Learn Block Grant funds may be used by the Districts for: school safety; Ready by 3 early childhood intervention programs; individualized learning programs; and science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) programs.[231] Canton Area School District received $75,702 in Ready to Learn Grant dollars in addition to State Basic Education funding, Special Education funding, PreK Counts funding, reimbursement for Social Security payments for employees and other state grants which the district must apply to receive.

Education Assistance Grant[edit]

The state's EAP funding provides for the continuing support of tutoring services and other programs to address the academic needs of eligible students. Funds are available to eligible school districts and full-time career and technology centers (CTC) in which one or more schools have failed to meet at least one academic performance target, as provided for in Section 1512-C of the Pennsylvania Public School Code. In 2010–11 the Canton Area School District received $25,102.[232]

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, Math) and paid for teacher training to optimize the computers use. The program was funded from 2006–2009. Canton Area School District received $105,293 in 2006–07. In 2007–08 the district received $131,242. For the 2008–09, school year the district did not apply for funding. Of the 501 public school districts in Pennsylvania, 447 of them received Classrooms for the Future grant awards.[233]

Science It’s Elementary grant[edit]

Canton Area Elementary School successfully applied to participate and received a Science It’s Elementary grant in 2008-09. For the 2008-09 school year, the program was offered in 143 schools reaching 2,847 teachers and 66,973 students across Pennsylvania.[234] In 2007, the Pennsylvania Department of Education initiated an effort to improve science instruction in the Commonwealth’s public elementary schools. Called Science: It’s Elementary, the program is a hands on instruction approach for elementary science classes that develops problem-solving and critical thinking skills.[235] To encourage schools to adopt the program’s standards aligned curriculum, the state provided a grant to cover the costs of materials and extensive mandatory teacher training.[236] The district was required to develop a three-year implementation plan for the participating school. They had to appoint a district liaison who was paid $3000 by PDE to serve as the conduit of all information between the district and the Department and its agents along with submitting orders and distributing supplies to implementing teachers. For the 2006-07 state education budget, $10 million was allocated. The 2006-07 State Education Budget provided $635 million in new spending for pre-K through 12th grades for the 2006-07 school year. This marks an 8-percent increase over 2005-06 public school funding.[237] The grant program was expanded to $14.5 million in the 2008-09 budget. PA Science Its Elementary grants were discontinued effective with 2009-10 budget by Governor Rendell.

Project 720[edit]

Project 720 was a high school reform program implemented for three years under the Rendell administration. The intent was to increase academic rigor and improve the instruction of teachers in the Commonwealth’s high schools. Teachers were expected to use data driven instructional practices and to meet the needs of diverse learners.[238] The 720 in the name referred to the number of days a student was in high school in ninth through 12th grades. High school’s applied for funding and were required to agree to report to the PDE their plans, their actions and the outcomes. In 2007-08 budget year, the Commonwealth provided $11 million in funding. Canton Area School District was one of 161 PA public school districts to apply, receiving $50,000 funding over three years.[239][240] For 2010-11, Project 720 funding was decreased to $1.7 million by Governor Rendell. The grant program was discontinued effective with the 2011-12 state budget.[241]

Other grants[edit]

Canton Area Schoo District did not participate in: Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection's Environmental Education annual grants, 2012 Striving Readers Comprehensive Literacy grant, 2012 and 2013 nor Pennsylvania Hybrid Learning Grants,[242] nor the federal 21st Century Learning grants.

Federal grants[edit]

The Canton Area School District received an extra $961,245 in ARRA – Federal Stimulus money to be used in specific programs like special education and meeting the academic needs of low-income students.[243] The funding was limited to the 2009-10 and 2010-2011 school years.[244] Due to the temporary nature of the funding, schools were repeatedly advised to use the funds for one time expenditures like: acquiring equipment, making repairs to buildings, training teachers to provide more effective instruction or purchasing books and software.

Race to the Top grant[edit]

Canton Area 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.[245] 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.[246] 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.[247]

Title II grants[edit]

The Federal government provides annual grants to schools to be used to improve the quality of teacher instructions to pupils. The goal is provide each child in public schools with “Highly Quality” teachers and principals as defined by the state.[248] The funds are sent to the state Department of Education which distributes them to each school district and charter school.[249] Beginning in 2002, the federal funding committed to Title II was $3,175,000,000.

Public school district administrations must apply to the state annually for the Title II funds. In 2012-13, Canton Area School District received $64,937 in federal Title II funding.[250] In 2014-15, Canton Area School District applied for and received $61,744.[251]

Common Cents state initiative[edit]

The Canton Area School Board chose to 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.[252] After the review of the information, the district was not required to implement the recommended cost savings changes. The review identified potential annual savings of over $78,000 over a variety of cost centers, including food services, transportation, purchasing and utility costs. Opportunities for savings in food services and utility costs appeared particularly promising for the district.

Real estate taxes[edit]

The school board set property tax rates in 2015–16 at 32.2292 mills for residents in Bradford County. Lycoming County property owners were taxed at 14.4352 mills and for residents in Tioga County at 16.8728 mills.[253] 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, which are around 15% of revenues for school districts.[254] Canton Area School District includes municipalities in three counties, each of which has different rates of property tax assessment, a state board equalizes the property tax rates between the three counties.[255] 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.[256]

  • 2014–15 - 32.4935 mills for residents in Bradford County. Lycoming County property owners were taxed at 14.0273 mills and for residents in Tioga County at 16.8802 mills.[257]
  • 2013–14 at 32.9701 mills for residents in Bradford County. Lycoming County property owners were taxed at 14.7889 mills and for residents in Tioga County at 15.8987 mills.[258]
  • 2012-13 - 32.4715 mills for residents in Bradford County. Lycoming County property owners were taxed at 14.4133 mills and for residents in Tioga County at 15.4660 mills.
  • 2011–12 - 32.6380 mills in Bradford County. Lycoming County property owners were taxed at 12.2352 mills and for residents in Tioga County at 13.9184 mills.
  • 2010-11 - 30.6968 mills in Bradford County. Lycoming County property owners 12.2352 mills and for residents in Tioga County at 13.9184 mills.[259]
  • 2009-10 - 31.2080 mills for residents in Bradford County. Lycoming County - 11.8440 mills and for residents in Tioga County at 13.6070 mills.[260]
  • 2008-09 - 31.3590 mills for residents in Bradford County. Lycoming County - 12.0190 mills and for residents in Tioga County at 13.5810 mills.[261]
  • 2007-08 - 31.7920 mills for residents in Bradford County. Lycoming County property owners were taxed at 11.4830 mills and for residents in Tioga County at 11.4830 mills.[262]
  • 2006-07 - 31.3000 mills for residents in Bradford County. Lycoming County - 11.4000 mills and for residents in Tioga County at mills.[263]

The average yearly property tax paid by Cambria County residents amounts to about 3.06% of their yearly income. Bradford County ranked 565th out of the 3143 United States counties for property taxes as a percentage of median income.[264] According to a report prepared by the Pennsylvania Department of Education, the total real estate taxes collected by all school districts in Pennsylvania rose from $6,474,133,936 in 1999-00 to $10,438,463,356 in 2008-09 and to $11,153,412,490 in 2011.[265] 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%).[266] Pennsylvania's 2011 tax burden of 10.35% ranked 10th highest out of 50 states. The tax burden was above the national average of 9.8%. Pennsylvania's taxpayers paid $4,374 per capita in state and local taxes, including school taxes.[267]

Act 1 Adjusted index[edit]

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 the District seeks 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.[268] In June 2011, the Pennsylvania General Assembly eliminated six of the ten exceptions to the Act 1 Index.[269] Several exceptions were maintained: 1) costs to pay interest and principal on indebtedness incurred prior to September 4, 2004 for Act 72 schools and prior to June 27, 2006 for non-Act 72 schools; 2) costs to pay interest and principal on electoral debt; 3) costs incurred in providing special education programs and services (beyond what is already paid by the State); and 4) costs due to increases of more than the Index in the school’s share of payments to PSERS (PA school employees pension fund) taking into account the state mandated PSERS contribution rate.[270][271]

The School District Adjusted Index for the Canton Area School District 2006–2007 through 2010–2011.[272]

For the 2015-16 budget year, Canton Area School Board did not apply for exceptions to exceed their Act 1 Index limit. For the school budget 2015-16, 310 Pennsylvania public school districts adopted a resolution certifying that tax rates would not be increased above its Act 1 Index limit. Another 187 school districts adopted a preliminary budget leaving open the option of exceeding the Index limit. Regarding the pension costs exception, 172 school districts received approval to exceed the Index limit in full, while others received a partial approval of their request. For special education costs, 119 districts received approval to exceed their tax limit. No Pennsylvania public school districts received an approval for the grandfathered construction debts exception.[280]

For the 2014-15 budget year, Canton Area School Board did not apply for exceptions to exceed their Act 1 Index limit. In 2014-15, all Pennsylvania school districts were required to make a 21.4% of payroll payment to the teacher’s pension fund (PSERS).[281] For the school budget 2014-15, 316 Pennsylvania public school districts adopted a resolution certifying that tax rates would not be increased above its Act 1 Index limit. Another 181 school districts adopted a preliminary budget leaving open the option of exceeding the Index limit. Districts may apply for multiple exceptions each year. For the pension costs exception, 163 school districts received approval to exceed the Index in full, while others received a partial approval of their request. For special education costs, 104 districts received approval to exceed their tax limit. Seven Pennsylvania public school districts received an approval for the grandfathered construction debts exception.[282]

For the 2013-14 budget year, Canton Area School Board did not apply for exceptions to exceed their Act 1 Index limit. For the school budget year 2013-14, 311 Pennsylvania public school districts adopted a resolution certifying that tax rates would not be increased above their index. Another 171 school districts adopted a preliminary budget leaving open the option of exceeded the Index limit. For the exception for pension costs, 89 school districts received approval to exceed the Index in full while others received a partial approval of their request. For special education costs, 75 districts received approval to exceed their tax limit. For the pension costs exception, 169 school districts received approval to exceed the Index. Eleven Pennsylvania public school districts received an approval for grandfathered construction debts.[283]

For the 2012-13 budget year, Canton Area School Board did not apply for exceptions to exceed the Act 1 Index. For 2012-2013, 274 school districts adopted a resolution certifying that tax rates would not be increased above their index; 223 school districts adopted a preliminary budget leaving open the option of exceeded the Index limit. For the exception for pension costs, 194 school districts received approval to exceed the Index. For special education costs, 129 districts received approval to exceed the tax limit. For the exception for pension costs, 194 school districts received approval to exceed the Index. For special education costs, 129 districts received approval to exceed the tax limit.[284]

For the 2011-12 school year, the Canton Area School Board applied for two exceptions to exceed the Act 1 Index: Maintenance of Selected Revenue Sources and teacher pensions costs. Each year, the Canton Area School Board has the option of adopting either 1) a resolution in January certifying they will not increase taxes above their index or 2) a preliminary budget in February. A school district adopting the resolution may not apply for referendum exceptions or ask voters for a tax increase above the inflation index. A specific timeline for these decisions is published annually, by the Pennsylvania Department of Education.[285]

According to a state report, for the 2011-2012 school year budgets, 247 school districts adopted a resolution certifying that tax rates would not be increased above their index; 250 school districts adopted a preliminary budget. Of the 250 school districts that adopted a preliminary budget, 231 adopted real estate tax rates that exceeded their index. Tax rate increases in the other 19 school districts that adopted a preliminary budget did not exceed the school district’s index. Of the districts who sought exceptions: 221 used the pension costs exemption and 171 sought a Special Education costs exemption. Only 1 school district sought an exemption for Nonacademic School Construction Project, while 1 sought an exception for Electoral debt for school construction.[286]

Canton Area School Board did not apply for exceptions to exceed the Act 1 index for the budget in 2010–11.[287] 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.[288]

Property tax relief[edit]

In 2011, the Homestead/Farmstead Property Tax Relief from gambling for the Canton Area School District was $193 per approved permanent primary residence with 1,544 approved residences. In 2009, the Homestead/Farmstead Property Tax Relief from gambling for the Canton Area School District was $192 per approved permanent primary residence. In the district, 1,555 property owners applied for the tax relief.[289] 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 (40,000 m2) and must be the primary residence of the owner. Farmers can qualify for both the homestead exemption and the farmstead exemption.[290] In Bradford County, the highest property tax relief in 2009 was $347 awarded to the approved property owners in Sayre Area School District. 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.[291] This was the second year Chester Upland School District was 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.[292]

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%).[293]

Enrollment and consolidation[edit]

Canton Area School District is experiencing low enrollment in K-12. In 2006, Canton Area School District's enrollment was 1,139 pupils K-12. The Class of 2007 was 90 pupils. By 2012 the District's enrollment had declined to 987 pupils. The Class of 2012 had just 70 pupils. The Pennsylvania Department of Education projects the district's enrollment will remain below 1000 pupils.[294] Shifting population trends across the U.S. and Pennsylvania are affecting school enrollment and may impact the building needs of school districts in the years to come.[295][296]

A study done by Standard and Poors in 2007 (at the request of the PA General Assembly) examined the district consolidating with neighboring school districts. It found that residents in the districts would realize substantial savings in a consolidation. Savings of over $1000 per pupil were estimated.[297] Conton Area School District was paired with several neighboring districts in the study. Sharing administrative services with Sullivan County School District was projected to save over $2 million. As a part of the study, Superintendents were asked about savings, if their district were to merge with another district at the administrative level only, but not close any of their schools. It found 42% of survey respondents thought consolidation could achieve cost reductions. Additionally, 63% of responding superintendents believed that consolidation with another district would help provide additional academic enrichment opportunities for the students.[298]

According to a 2009 school district administration consolidation proposal by Governor Edward Rendell, the excessive administrative overhead dollars could be redirected to improve lagging academic achievement, to enrich the academic programs or to reduce property taxes.[299] Consolidation of two central administrations into one would not require the closing of any schools. The Governor's proposal called for the savings to be redirected to improving lagging reading and science achievement, to enriching the academic programs or to reducing residents' property taxes.[300] In March 2011, the Pennsylvania Institute of Certified Public Accountants Fiscal Responsibility Task Force released a report which found that consolidating school district administrations with one neighboring district would save the Commonwealth $1.2 billion without forcing the consolidation of any schools.[301]

Over the decade 2000-2010, rural Pennsylvania public school district enrollment has decreased by 8 percent.[302] In 2010, there were 726,417 children in rural Pennsylvania, or 21 percent of the total rural population. From 2000 to 2010, the number of children in rural counties decreased 7 percent. The decline in the number of children impacted most rural counties with 42 of Pennsylvania’s 48 rural counties experiencing a decline. Cameron County, Elk County and Sullivan County experienced the greatest declines, with a decrease of more than 21 percent in all three counties. Potter County's live birth rate in 2011 was 201 babies, while in 1990 it was 242 births.[303] Tioga County's live birth rate was 524 in 1990, while in 2011 it was 437 babies. Over the past 50 years (1960 to 2010), rural Pennsylvania saw a steady decline in both the number and proportion of residents under 18 years old. In 1960, 1.06 million rural residents, or 35 percent of the rural population, were children.

Pennsylvania’s birth rate has been declining for two decades. According to data from the Pennsylvania Department of Health, in 1990, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania’s birth rate was 171,053.[304] In 2000, Pennsylvania’s birth rate was 145,874.[305] Finally in 2011, the State’s birth rate declined further to 142,021.[306] From 2000 to 2009, the number of babies born in rural counties declined 5 percent.[307] Urban counties have also experienced a decline in the number of school aged children. From 2000-2010 urban Pennsylvania counties had a 3 percent decline in the number of residents under 18 years old. In 2010, there were 2.07 million residents, or 22 percent of the urban population, who were under age 18.[308]

Pennsylvania has one of the highest numbers of school districts in the nation. In Pennsylvania, 80% of the school districts serve student populations under 5,000, and 40% serve less than 2,000. Less than 95 of Pennsylvania's 501 school districts have enrollment below 1250 students, in 2007.[309]

Wellness policy[edit]

Canton Area School Board established a district wellness policy in 2006.[310] 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 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.[311]

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.[312] The Pennsylvania Department of Education required the district to submit a copy of the policy for approval.

The Canton Area School District offers 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.[313] The meals are partially funded with federal dollars through the United States Department of Agriculture.[314]

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.[315] 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.[316]

Canton Area 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.[317] Nurses also monitor each child's weight.

Extracurriculars[edit]

The Canton Area School District offers a variety of clubs, activities and sports for high school and junior high school students.[318] Eligibility to participate is set by school board policies.[319][320] The district spends more than $600,000 a year providing extracurriculars.[321]

By Pennsylvania law, all K-12 students in the Canton Area School District, including those who attend a private nonpublic school, cyber charter school, charter school and those home schooled, 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.[322][323]

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.[324][325][326]

Clubs include

Sports[edit]

Coaches receive compensation as outlined in the teachers' union contract. When athletic competition exceeds the regular season, additional compensation is paid.[327]

Article XVI-C of the 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.[328]

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.[329][330]

The District provides the following varsity sports:

Junior high school sports
  • According to PIAA directory July 2015 [331]

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