Conemaugh Township Area School District
|Conemaugh Township Area School District|
|300 West Campus Avenue
Davidsville, Pennsylvania, Somerset 15928
|Superintendent||Thomas "T.J." Kakabar|
|• Grade 1||69|
|• Grade 2||67|
|• Grade 3||62|
|• Grade 4||82|
|• Grade 5||68|
|• Grade 6||66|
|• Grade 7||74|
|• Grade 8||83|
|• Grade 9||92|
|• Grade 10||70|
|• Grade 11||80|
|• Grade 12||100|
|• Other||Enrollment projected to be 900 by 2019|
|Athletics conference||PIAA District V|
The Conemaugh Township Area School District covers the Borough of Benson and Conemaugh Township and the western portion of Paint Township in Somerset County, Pennsylvania. The district encompasses approximately 53 square miles. According to 2000 federal census data, it serves a resident population of 8,746. According to District officials, in school year 2007-08 the CTASD provided basic educational services to 1,057 pupils through the employment of 83 teachers, 52 full-time and part-time support personnel, and 10 administrators.
- 1 Schools
- 2 Academic achievement
- 3 Bullying policy
- 4 Wellness policy
- 5 Special education
- 6 Governance
- 7 Enrollment
- 8 Budget
- 9 Extracurriculars
- 10 References
- 11 External links
The District operates a primary school, an intermediate school and a junior/senior high school
- Conemaugh Township Area Elementary School (Grades K-5)
1516 Tire Hill Rd.
Johnstown, Pennsylvania 15905
- Conemaugh Township Area Middle/Senior High School (Grades 6-12)
300 W. Campus Av.
Davidsville, Pennsylvania 15928
Conemaugh Township Area School District was ranked 95th out of 493 Pennsylvania school districts evaluated in 2010 by the Pittsburgh Business Times. The ranking was based on three years of student academic performance on the reading, writing, math and two years of science PSSAs.
2009 - 89th
2008 - 122nd out of 497 school districts
2007 - 171st out of 501 school districts.
In 2009, the academic achievement of the students of the Conemaugh Township Area School District was in the 86th percentile among 500 Pennsylvania school districts. Scale - (0-99; 100 is state best)
The high school offers a dual enrollment program. This state program permits high school students to take courses, at local higher education institutions, to earn college credits. Students remain enrolled at their high school. The courses count towards high school graduation requirements and towards earning a college degree. The students continue to have full access to activities and programs at their high school. The college credits are offered at a deeply discounted rate. The state offers a small grant to assist students in costs for tuition, fees and books. Under the Pennsylvania Transfer and Articulation Agreement, many Pennsylvania colleges and universities accept these credits for students who transfer to their institutions.
For the 2009-10 funding year, the school district received a state grant of $3,533 for the program.
The Conemaugh Township Area School Board has determined that students must attain 26.40 Carnegie Units to graduate. The specific courses and their weight in units are outlined in the course description booklet.
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.
Beginning with the class of 2015, students must take the Keystone Exams in reading and math.
The Challenge Program, Inc. offers $250.00 cash incentives to Conemaugh Township Area High School sophomores, juniors, and seniors who excel in the categories of: Academic Improvement, Attendance, Community Service and Academic Excellence. The program partners with businesses to motivate students both in and out of the classroom by encouraging good habits in students that will last throughout their education and into their future careers. For the 2010-2011 school year, the top 10% of students in each of the categories will be eligible to win $250.00.
College remediation rate
According to a Pennsylvania Department of Education study released in January 2009, 9% of the Conemaugh Township Area High School graduates required remediation in mathematics and or reading before they were prepared to take college level courses in the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education or community colleges. Less than 66% of Pennsylvania high school graduates, who enroll in a four-year college in Pennsylvania, will earn a bachelor's degree within six years. Among Pennsylvania high school graduates pursuing an associate degree, only one in three graduate in three years. Per the Pennsylvania Department of Education, one in three recent high school graduates who attend Pennsylvania's public universities and community colleges takes at least one remedial course in math, reading or English.
2010 - 93% on grade level. In Pennsylvania, 75% of 8th graders are on grade level.
2009 - 72%, State - 71%
2008 - 81%, State - 70%
2010 - 61% on grade level. State - 57% of 8th graders were on grade level.
2009 - 57%, State - 55%.
2008 - 61%, State - 52%
2010 - 71% on grade level. In Pennsylvania, 73% of 7th graders are on grade level. (83 pupils enrolled)
2009 - 79%, State - 71%
2008 - 61%, State - 70%
2010 - 88.9% on grade level. In Pennsylvania, 77% of 7th graders are on grade level.
2009 - 89%, State - 75%
2008 - 79%, State - 70%
Conemaugh Township Area Intermediate School
Conemaugh Township Area Intermediate School, formerly known as Central Elementary serves approximately 360 students in grade K-5, employing 36 highly qualified faculty, and 20 staff.
- Conemaugh Township Area Intermediate School Academic Achievement Report Card 2009 
6th Grade Reading:
2010 - 91% on grade level. State: 68% of 6th graders were on grade level. (68 pupils enrolled)
2009 - 95%, State - 67%
2008 - 83%, State - 67%
6th Grade Math:
2010 - 95% on grade level. State - 78% of 6th graders were on grade level.
2009 - 91%, State - 75%
2008 - 92%, State -72%
5th Grade Reading:
2010 - 93% on grade level. State - 64% of 5th graders were on grade level. (58 pupils enrolled)
2009 - 86%, State - 64%
2008 - 82%, State - 61%
5th Grade Math:
2010 - 96% on grade level. State - 74% of 5th graders were on grade level.
2009 - 100%, State - 73%
2008 - 91%, State - 73%
4th Grade Reading:
2010 - 90.9% on grade level. State - 72% of 4th graders were on grade level. (66 pupils enrolled)
2009 - 91%, State - 72%
2008 - 92%, State - 70%
4th Grade Math:
2010 - 97% on grade level. State - 84% of 4th graders were on grade level.
2009 - 95%, State - 81
2008 - 95%, State - 79%
4th Grade Science:
2010 - 97% on grade level. State - 81% of 4th graders were on grade level.
2009 - 98%, State - 83%
2008 - 95%, State - 81%
3rd Grade Reading:
2010 - 71% on grade level. State - 75% of 3rd graders were on grade level. (76 pupils enrolled)
2009 - 83%, State - 77%
2008 - 88%, State - 77%
3rd Grade Math:
2010 - 81% on grade level. State - 84% of 3rd graders were on grade level.
2009 - 95%, State - 81%
2008 - 98%, State - 80%
In 2009, the administrative reported there was one incident of bullying in the district. The Olweus Bullying Prevention program has been implemented in the district. Students at the Primary and Intermediate Schools attend weekly classroom meetings to reinforce the Olweus Anti- Bullying Program.
The Conemaugh Township Area School Board has not provided a bully policy online. All Pennsylvania schools are required to have an anti-bullying policy incorporated into their Code of Student Conduct. The policy must identify disciplinary actions for bullying and designate a school staff person to receive complaints of bullying. The policy must be available on the school's website and posted in every classroom. All Pennsylvania public schools must provide a copy of its anti-bullying policy to the Office for Safe Schools every year, and shall review their policy every three years. Additionally, the district must conduct an annual review of that policy with students. The Center for Schools and Communities works in partnership with the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime & Delinquency and the Pennsylvania Department of Education to assist schools and communities as they research, select and implement bullying prevention programs and initiatives.
Education standards relating to student safety and antiharassment programs are described in the 10.3. Safety and Injury Prevention in the Pennsylvania Academic Standards for Health, Safety and Physical Education.
Conemaugh Township Area School Board established a district wellness policy in 2006 - Policy 246. 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."
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 and physical education that are aligned with the Pennsylvania State Academic Standards for Health, Safety and Physical Education, 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. The policy requires that the Superintendent or designee shall report to the Board on the district’s compliance with law and policies related to student wellness.
The Pennsylvania Department of Education required the district to submit a copy of the policy for approval.
Intermediate Unit 8 and each school district in Somerset counties have established and implemented procedures to locate, identify, and evaluate students and young children suspected of being exceptional. These procedures include screening activities which include but are not limited to: review of group-based data (cumulative records, enrollment records, health records, and report cards); hearing screening (at a minimum of kindergarten, special ungraded classes, first, second, third, seventh, and eleventh grades); vision screening (every grade level); motor screening; and speech and language screening. In schools which have a Pre-Referral, Child-Study, Early Intervening or Instructional Support Team, the above screening activities may lead to consideration by the teams to move the next level of screening activities. 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 District's Department of Special Education.
The school district is governed by 9 individually elected board members (serve four-year terms), the Pennsylvania State Board of Education, the Pennsylvania Department of Education and the Pennsylvania General Assembly. The federal government controls programs it funds like Title I funding for low-income children in the Elementary and Secondary Education Act and the No Child Left Behind Act, which mandates the district focus resources on student success in acquiring reading and math skills.
The Commonwealth Foundation for Public Policy Alternatives Sunshine Review gave the school board and district administration a "F" 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. The school board provides meeting of the whole minutes online from the July Board Meeting Minutes 2004 to the November Board Meeting Minutes 2010.
The district's enrollment is in the bottom 8% in Pennsylvania. According to the Pennsylvania Department of Education, there are fewer than 950 students enrolled in K-12. The administrative infrastructure and mandate related costs per pupil are very high. With limited local taxation resources, opportunities for students are limited.
Consolidation with an adjacent school district would achieve substantial cost savings. These savings could be redirected to improving lagging student achievement, to enriching the academic programs or to reducing property taxes. In 1994, a consolidation study was conducted at the request of district officials.
A study was done in 2004, examining consolidating school administrations of Conemaugh Township Area School District with neighboring: Shade-Central City School District saving hundreds of thousands of dollars for both communities, with North Star School District saving nearly one million dollars or with Richland School District saving over $1,000,000. The study noted that consolidation could significantly decrease administrative costs for both communities while improving offerings to students.
Rural Pennsylvania school enrollment is projected to decrease 8 percent by 2011. The most significant enrollment decline is projected to be in western Pennsylvania, where rural school districts may have a 16 percent decline. More than 40 percent of elementary schools and more than 60 percent of secondary schools in western Pennsylvania are projected to experience significant enrollment decreases (15 percent or greater).
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. This results in excessive school administration bureaucracy and not enough course diversity. In a survey of 88 superintendents of small districts, 42% of the 49 respondents stated that they thought consolidation would save money without closing any schools.
In 2009, the district reported employing 80 teachers with a salary range of $26,700 to $91,500 for the 185-day school year. Guidance counselors work an additional 10 days. Additionally, the teachers receive a defined benefit pension, health insurance, professional development reimbursement, bereavement leave 4 days, Personal days 2, sick days 10, and other benefits. Teachers are paid for extra instructional services at an hourly rate. Part-time employees receive fringe benefits on a prorated basis. Certified staff who teach learning support classes receive an additional $200 a year.
In 2007, the district employed 75 teachers. The average teacher salary in the district was $49,080 for 182 days worked. 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.
Conemaugh Township Area School District administrative costs per pupil in 2008 was $831.78 per pupil. This ranked 158th for per pupil administrative spending in the state. The lowest administrative cost per pupil in Pennsylvania was $398 per pupil. The Superintendent earned $116,395 in 2009
In 2008, the district administration reported spending $11,595 per pupil which ranked 328th among Pennsylvania's 501 school districts.
In November 2010, the Pennsylvania Auditor General conducted a performance audit of the district. The findings were reported to the administration and the school board by state officials.
Reserves In 2008, the district reported a $2,734,846 in an unreserved-undesignated fund balance. The designated fund balance was reported as zero.
The district is funded by a combination of: a local income tax, a property tax, a real estate transfer tax, coupled with substantial funding from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the annual Title 1 grants from the federal government. In the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, pension income and Social Security income are exempted from state personal income tax and local earned income tax, regardless of the person's wealth.
State basic education funding
For the 2010-11 budget year, the Conemaugh Township Area School District was allotted a 2% increase in Basic Education Funding for a total of $6,812,366. The highest increase in Somerset County was provided to: North Star School District and Somerset Area School District both of which received a 2.82% increase. One hundred fifty Pennsylvania school districts received the base 2% increase. The highest increase in 2010-11 went to Kennett Consolidated School District in Chester County which received a 23.65% increase in state funding. The amount of increase each school district receives is set by the Governor and the Secretary of Education as a part of the state budget proposal given each February.
In the 2009-2010 budget year, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania provided a 2.37% increase in Basic Education Funding for a total of $6,678,790. Somerset Area School District received a 4.87%. The state Basic Education Funding to Conemaugh Township Area School District in 2008-09 was $6,524,246. Ninety Pennsylvania school districts received a 2% increase. Muhlenberg School District in Berks County received a 22.31% increase in state basic education funding in 2009.
Accountability Block Grants
Beginning in 2004-2005, the state launched the Accountability Block Grant school funding. This program has provided $1.5 billion to Pennsylvania’s school districts. The Accountability Block Grant program requires that its taxpayer dollars are focused on specific interventions that are most likely to increase student academic achievement. These interventions include: teacher training, all-day kindergarten, lower class size K-3rd grade, literacy and math coaching programs that provide teachers with individualized job-embedded professional development to improve their instruction, before or after school tutoring assistance to struggling students, For 2010-11 the district applied for and received $190,496 in addition to all other state and federal funding. The Conemaugh Township Area School District uses the funding to provide all-day kindergarten for 77 students (5th year), to provide teacher training and for assistance to students to improve academic performance.
Classrooms for the Future grant
The Classroom for the Future state program provided districts with hundreds of thousands of extra state funding to buy laptop computers for each core curriculum high school class (English, Science, History, Math) and paid for teacher training to optimize the computers use. The program was funded from 2006-2009. Conemaugh Township Area School District did not apply for the grant. It was one of 50 school districts in the state that did apply for Classrooms for the Future grants in any of the three fiscal years 2006- 07 through 2008-09.
Federal Stimulus grant
The district received an extra $870,950 in ARRA - Federal Stimulus money to be used in specific programs like special education and meeting the academic needs of low-income students. The funding is for the 2009-10 and 2010-2011 school years.
Race to the Top Grant
School district officials applied for the Race to the Top federal grant which will mean hundreds of thousands of additional federal dollars for improving student academic achievement. The administration, school board and teachers' union prioritized free resources to improve student success over local control. Pennsylvania was not approved for the grant. The failure of districts to agree to participate was cited as one reason that Pennsylvania was not approved.
Common Cents state initiative
The Conemaugh Township Area School Board decided 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. After the review of the information, the district was not required to implement the recommended cost savings changes.
Real estate taxes
Property tax rates in 2010 were set at 23.9000 mills. 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 the region.
Act 1 Adjusted Index
The Act 1 of 2006 Index regulates the rates at which each school district can raise property taxes in Pennsylvania. Districts are not allowed to raise taxes above that index unless they allow voters to vote by referendum, or they seek an exception from the state Department of Education. The base index for the 2011-2012 school year is 1.4 percent, but the Act 1 Index can be adjusted higher, depending on a number of factors, such as property values and the personal income of district residents. Act 1 included 10 exceptions, including: increasing pension costs, increases in special education costs, a catastrophe like a fire or flood, increase in health insurance costs for contracts in effect in 2006 or dwindling tax bases. The base index is the average of the percentage increase in the statewide average weekly wage, as determined by the PA Department of Labor and Industry, for the preceding calendar year and the percentage increase in the Employment Cost Index for Elementary and Secondary Schools, as determined by the Bureau of Labor Statistics in the U.S. Department of Labor, for the previous 12-month period ending June 30. For a school district with a market value/personal income aid ratio (MV/PI AR) greater than 0.4000, its index equals the base index multiplied by the sum of .75 and its MV/PI AR for the current year.
The School District Adjusted Index for the Conemaugh Township Area School District 2006-2007 through 2011-2012.
2006-07 - 5.5%, Base 3.9%
2007-08 - 4.8%, Base 3.4%
2008-09 - 6.2%, Base 4.4%
2009-10 - 5.8%, Base 4.1%
2010-11 - 4.1%, Base 2.9%
2011-12 - 2.0%, Base 1.4%
The Conemaugh Township Area School Board did not apply for exceptions to exceed the Act 1 Index for the budget year 2010-2011. In the Spring of 2010, 135 Pennsylvania school boards asked to exceed their adjusted index. Approval was granted to 133 of them and 128 sought an exception for pension costs increases.
Property tax relief
In 2010, the Homestead/Farmstead Property Tax Relief from gambling for the Conemaugh Township Area School District was $125 per approved permanent primary residence. In the district, 2,220 property owners applied for the tax relief. The relief was subtracted from the total annual school property 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. In Somerset County, 47% of eligible property owners applied for property tax relief in 2009. In Somerset County, the highest amount of tax relief in 2010, went to Shanksville-Stonycreek School District at $211. The highest property tax relief in Pennsylvania went to the residents of Chester Upland School District of Delaware County who received $632 per approved homestead. This was the third year they were the top recipient.
Additionally, the Pennsylvania Property Tax/Rent Rebate program is provided for low income Pennsylvanians aged 65 and older; widows and widowers aged 50 and older; and people with disabilities age 18 and older. The income limit is $35,000 for homeowners. The maximum rebate for both homeowners and renters is $650. Applicants can exclude one-half (1/2) of their Social Security income, consequently, individual with income much more than $35,000 may still qualify for a rebate. Individuals must apply annually for the rebate. This can be taken in addition to Homestead/Farmstead Property Tax Relief.
Property taxes in Pennsylvania are relatively high on a national scale. According to the Tax Foundation, Pennsylvania ranked 11th in the U.S. in 2008 in terms of property taxes paid as a percentage of home value (1.34%) and 12th in the country in terms of property taxes as a percentage of income (3.55%).
The district offers a variety of clubs, activities and sports. Eligibility for participation is determined by school board policy. Students must be in compliance with the School's Code of Conduct in order to participate. Students participating in extra-curricular activities before public audiences or inter-scholastically (i.e. - sports, plays, competition band, extra choral presentations, musicals, forensics and academic competitions) will lose their eligibility if they fail any two classes on a weekly basis. Eligibility shall be cumulative from the beginning of a grading period, shall be reported on a weekly basis and shall be filed in the Principal’s office. In cases where a student’s cumulative work from the beginning of the grading period does not as of any Friday meet the standards provided for in this section, he/she shall be ineligible from the immediately following Sunday through the Saturday of the following week.
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.
- Pennsylvania Department of Education School District Enrollments
- Statewide Honor Roll Rankings 2010, Pittsburgh Business Times. April 30, 2010.
- USC Ranked Best School District In Pa.; Complete List Inside "WTAE" 2007 Archived March 28, 2010, at the Wayback Machine.
- 2009 PSSA RESULTS Conemaugh Township Area SD, The Morning Call, 2009
- Conemaugh Township Area School District Academic Achievement Report Card Data table
- 2008 Graduation Rates Pennsyllania Schools - Grading Our Schools. The Scranton Times-Tribune.
- Pennsylvania Partnerships for Children - High School Graduation rate 2007
- Conemaugh Township Area 2009-2010 PSSA and AYP Results
- 2007-2008 PSSA and AYP Results
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- 2009 PSSAs: Reading, Math, Writing and Science Results
- 2008-09 School Level Science PSSA Results
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- Pennsylvania Department of Education - Dual Enrollment Guidelines.
- Pennsylvania Transfer and Articulation Agreement. Site accessed March 2010.
- Pennsylvania Dual Enrollment Grants 2009 10 Fall Grants by School District
- Conemaugh Township Area High School 2010 - 2011 "Scout" Student Handbook
- Pennsylvania Code §4.24 (a) High school graduation requirements
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- The Challenge Program 2010 Archived October 6, 2011, at the Wayback Machine.
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- Grading our Schools 2008 database, The Times-Tribune. accessed December 2009
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- CTAIS Student Handbook 2010-11
- Olweus Bullying Prevention Program
- Conemaugh Township Area School District Policy Manual
- Regular Session 2007-2008 House Bill 1067, Act 61 Section 6 page 8
- Center for Safe Schools of Pennsylvania, Bullying Prevention advisory
- Pennsylvania Academic Standards
- Conemaugh Township Area School Board Policy Manual
- Nutrition Standards for Competitive Foods in Pennsylvania Schools for the School Nutrition Incentive, Pennsylvania Department of Education — Division of Food and Nutrition. July 2008
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- School District Consolidation Fact Sheet
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- Times Leader Teacher database 2010
- Per Pupil Spending in Pennsylvania Public Schools in 2008 Sort Spending
- Conemaugh Township Area School District SOMERSET COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA PERFORMANCE AUDIT REPORT November 2010
- Pennsylvania Department of Education report on Fund Balances by Local Education Agency 1997 to 2008
- Pennsylvania Department of Revenue Personal Income Taxation Guidelines. Accessed April 2010 Archived December 13, 2009, at the Wayback Machine.
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- Accountability Block Grant Mid Year report
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- Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program
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- Conemaugh Township Area School District Policy Manual Extracurricular Policy 122 and Interscholastic Athletics Policy 123
- Conemaugh Township Area School District Student Life information
- Home-Schooled, Charter School Children Can Participate in School District Extracurricular Activities, Pennsylvania Office of the Governor Press Release, November 10, 2005
- Extracurricular Participation By Home Education Students Policy 137.1