Carlisle High School (Carlisle, Pennsylvania)

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Carlisle High School
623 W. Penn St.
Carlisle, Pennsylvania, Cumberland County 17013
United States
Coordinates 40°12′40″N 77°12′25″W / 40.21111°N 77.20694°W / 40.21111; -77.20694Coordinates: 40°12′40″N 77°12′25″W / 40.21111°N 77.20694°W / 40.21111; -77.20694
Motto Be Just and Fear Not
School district Carlisle Area School District
Principal Jay Rauscher
Grades 9th through 12th
Enrollment About 1500 students
Color(s) Green and White         
Mascot Bison
Team name Carlisle Thundering Herd

Carlisle High School is a public high school located in Carlisle, Pennsylvania in the United States, and includes grades 9–12. In 2010 the school reported having 1,493 pupils enrolled with 346 pupils eligible for a federal free or reduced price lunch. The school employed 110 teachers yielding a student teacher ratio of 13.50:1.[1] According to a report by the Pennsylvania Department of Education, 14 teachers were rated "Non‐Highly Qualified" under No Child Left Behind.[2]

It is in the Carlisle Area School District which also includes two middle schools (6–8 grades) and seven elementary schools (K–5 grades).


The high school facility comprises four connected buildings. On the west end of the complex is the Emma T. McGowan Building housing students in grades eleven and twelve. On the east end of the complex is the David L. Swartz Building housing students in grades nine and ten. Connecting these two buildings are the Gerald L. Fowler Education Center and the Vocational-Technical Building where the library/media center and the vocational program components are located.

Graduation Rate[edit]

In 2011, the graduation rate was 93%.[3] In 2010, the Pennsylvania Department of Education issued a new, 4 year cohort graduation rate. Carlisle Area School District's rate was 88% for 2010.[4]

According to traditional graduation rate calculations
  • 2010 – 87% [5]
  • 2009 – 87% [6]
  • 2008 – 92%
  • 2007 – 92% [7]
  • 2006 – 91% [8]
  • 2005 – 85% [9]

Graduation requirements[edit]

The Carlisle Area School Board has determined that students must earn 24 credits to graduate including: English 4 credits, 3 credits Math, 3 credits Science, 3 credits Social Studies, 2 credits in arts, 2 PE/health credits, 1 Safety credit, and 6 electives.[10]

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.[11]

By Pennsylvania School Board regulations, for the graduating classes of 2016, students must demonstrate successful completion of secondary level course work in Algebra I, Biology, English Composition, and Literature for which the Keystone Exams serve as the final course exams. Students’ Keystone Exam scores shall count for at least one-third of the final course grade.[12]

Academic achievement[edit]

In 2011, Carlisle Area High School declined to Warning status due to lagging mathematics achievement.[13] In 2010, Carlisle Area High School achieved AYP status. In 2009, Carlisle Area High School was in Making Progress: in School Improvement I for lagging student achievement. In 2009, Carlisle High School was in School Improvement I for chronically lagging student achievement. Under No Child LEft Behind, the school was required to notify parents of the low student achievement and offer to transfer the student to an adequately achieving school in the district. The school administration was required to develop a School Improvement Plan to address the low student achievement. They were required to submit the plan to the PDE for approval.

PSSA Results
11th Grade Reading:
  • 2011 – 75% on grade level, (14% below basic). State – 69.1% of 11th graders are on grade level.[14]
  • 2010 – 73% (11% below basic). State – 67% [15]
  • 2009 – 66%, State – 65% [16]
  • 2008 – 59%, State – 64%
  • 2007 – 64%, State – 65% [17]
11th Grade Math:
  • 2011 – 61%, on grade level (22% below basic). In Pennsylvania, 60.3% of 11th graders are on grade level.[18]
  • 2010 – 67% (21% below basic). State – 56%
  • 2009 – 60%, State – 56% [19]
  • 2008 – 47%, State – 56%
  • 2007 – 47%, State – 53%
11th Grade Science:
  • 2011 – 43% on grade level (14% below basic). State – 40% of 11th graders were on grade level.[20]
  • 2010 – 46% (14% below basic). State – 39%
  • 2009 – 42%, State – 40%
  • 2008 – 38%, State – 39% [21]

College Remediation[edit]

According to a Pennsylvania Department of Education study released in January 2009, 37% of the Carlisle 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.[22] 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.[23] Per the Pennsylvania Department of Education, one in three recent high school graduates who attend Pennsylvania's public universities and community colleges takes at least one remedial course in math, reading or English.

Dual Enrollment[edit]

The high school offers the Pennsylvania Dual Enrollment program which permits students to earn deeply discounted college credits while still enrolled in high school. The school has an articulation agreement with Central Penn College. Over 400 school districts in Pennsylvania offer this state funded program.[24][25]

Classrooms for the Future grant[edit]

The Classroom for the Future state program provided districts with hundreds of thousands of dollars 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. Carlisle Area School District never applied for funding denying the high school the upgrades. Of the 501 public school districts in Pennsylvania, 447 of them received Classrooms for the Future state grant awards. Of the eight public school districts in Cumberland County, 2 failed to apply including Carlisle Area School District. In Cumberland County the highest award was given to Big Spring School District - $695,531. The highest funding grant statewide was awarded to Philadelphia City School District in Philadelphia County - $9,409,073. In 2010, Classrooms for the Future funding was curtailed statewide due to a massive state financial crisis.[26]

Cyber school[edit]

Carlisle Area High School offers a Virtual Academy which permits students to earn a Carlisle Area School District diploma through taking online courses. The student continues to have access to all programs, including extracurriculars and school events.[27]

Employability certificate[edit]

The high school awards students who meet the criteria an employability certificate. The criteria are: a strong attendance record, a few discipline problems, at least a C-average and two favorable recommendations from school educators.[28]

Extracurricular activities[edit]

The school has an active student government, varsity sports, and music programs. The student newspaper, Periscope, is published monthly. The school's motto is "Be Just and Fear Not", and the school colors are Green and White. Its mascot is the bison, and teams are also known as the Carlisle Thundering Herd. About 1,500 students are currently enrolled at Carlisle High School.

Varsity and junior varsity athletic activities are under the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletics Association. Eligibility for participation is determined by school board policies.[29][30]

Carlisle High School fields a number of athletic teams. In recent years, Cross Country, Boys Lacrosse, Boys Basketball, Boys Soccer, and Girls Volleyball have all advanced to the state quarterfinals or better.

The school is especially strong in extra-curricular opportunities in the arts. It features a large and active Shakespeare Troupe with a nationally recognized director and an improv comedy troupe called Wingin' It! Acoustic coffeehouses also highlight student talent throughout the year.

By Pennsylvania law, all K-12 students in the district, including those who attend a private nonpublic school, cyber charter school, charter school and those homeschooled, are eligible to participate in the extracurricular programs including all athletics. They must meet the same eligibility rules as the students enrolled in the district's schools.[31][32][33]

Notable alumni[edit]


  1. ^ National Center for Education Statistics, Common Care Data - Carlisle Area High School, 2010
  2. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education, Professional Qualifications of Teachers Carlisle Area High School, September 29, 2011
  3. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education (September 29, 2011). "Carlisle Area School District – District AYP Data Table". 
  4. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education (March 15, 2011). "New 4-year Cohort Graduation Rate Calculation Now Being Implemented". Archived from the original on September 14, 2010. 
  5. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education (2010). "Carlisle Area School District Academic Achievement Report Card 2010" (PDF). 
  6. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education (2009). "Carlisle Area School District Academic Achievement Report Card 2009". 
  7. ^ Pennsylvania Partnerships for Children – High School Graduation Rates 2007
  8. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education (2006). "Carlisle Area High School Academic Report Card 2006". 
  9. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education (2005). "Carlisle Area School District Report Card 2005". 
  10. ^ Carlisle Area School Administration (2011). "Carlisle Area High School Student Handbook 2011–12" (PDF). 
  11. ^ Pennsylvania Code §4.24 (a) High school graduation requirements
  12. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education (September 2011). "Pennsylvania Keystone Exams Overview". 
  13. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education (September 29, 2011). "CARLISLE AREA School District AYP status". 
  14. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education (September 29, 2011). "2010–2011 PSSA and AYP Results". 
  15. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education, Carlisle Area School District Academic Achievement Report Card 2010, January 31, 2011
  16. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education (2009). "Carlisle Area School District Academic Achievement Report Card 2009". 
  17. ^ Carlisle High School Academic Achievement Report Card 2007, Pennsylvania Department of Education |year=2007
  18. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education (September 29, 2011). "Carlisle Area High School Academic Achievement Report Card 2011" (PDF). 
  19. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education (2009). "2009 PSSAs: Reading, Math, Writing and Science Results". 
  20. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education (September 29, 2011). "2010–2011 PSSA results in Science". 
  21. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education (August 2008). "Report on Science PSSA 2008". 
  22. ^ Pennsylvania College Remediation Report Pennsylvania Department of Education January 2009
  23. ^ National Center for Education Statistics
  24. ^ Central Penn College Transfer (2011). "Students Articulation Agreements". 
  25. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education (2010). "Dual Enrollment Guidelines 2010–2011". Archived from the original on May 28, 2010. 
  26. ^ Pennsylvania Auditor General (2008-12-22). "Special Performance Audit Classrooms For the Future grants" (PDF). 
  27. ^ Carlisle Area School District Administration (2010). "Carlisle Virtual Academy". 
  28. ^ Katie Kuba (October 29, 2011). "Carlisle High School students awarded employability certificates". Sentinel Reporter. 
  29. ^ Carlisle Area School Board (May 2006). "Extracurriculars Policy 122". 
  30. ^ Carlisle Area School Board (May 2006). "Interscholastic Athletics Policy 123". 
  31. ^ Pennsylvania Office of the Governor Press Release, (November 10, 2005). "Home-Schooled, Charter School Children Can Participate in School District Extracurricular Activities,". 
  32. ^ Carlisle Area School Board (May 2006). "Extracurricular Participation By Home Education Students Policy 137.1". 
  33. ^ Carlisle Area School Board (May 2006). "Extracurricular Participation By Charter/Cybercharter Students Policy 140.1". 
  34. ^ "Sid Bream Statistics".
  35. ^ "Jeff Lebo Biography Archived November 3, 2006, at the Wayback Machine.". Hit! Run! Score! Sporting Goods.
  36. ^ Flannery, Kelli (February 24, 2004). "NFL retiree to open fitness center", The Sentinel.
  37. ^ "Lee Woodall".