Dunbar Township, Fayette County, Pennsylvania
The Isaac Meason House, a historic house in the township
Location of Dunbar Township in Fayette County
Location of Fayette County in Pennsylvania
|• Total||59.54 sq mi (154.2 km2)|
|• Land||59.10 sq mi (153.1 km2)|
|• Water||0.44 sq mi (1.1 km2)|
|• Density||120.6/sq mi (46.6/km2)|
|Time zone||EST (UTC-4)|
|• Summer (DST)||EDT (UTC-5)|
Dunbar Township includes the unincorporated communities of Dickerson Run, Liberty, Adelaide, Crossland, Juniata, Little Summit, Graham Crossing, Leisenring, Rogerstown, Trotter, Greenwood Heights, Wheeler, Fayette, Sitka, Bowest, Monarch, Mahoning, Hill Farm, Ferguson, Pechin, Brown Row, Hardy Hill, Factory Hill, Furnace Hill, and Irishtown.
Dunbar Township is in north-central Fayette County. It is bordered to the north and east by the Youghiogheny River, except where it touches the city of Connellsville. The township surrounds the boroughs of Dunbar (near the township center) and Vanderbilt (in the northwest). Across the Youghiogheny, the township is bordered by the borough of South Connellsville to the northeast and by the borough of Dawson to the north.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the township has a total area of 59.54 square miles (154.21 km2), of which 59.10 square miles (153.06 km2) is land and 0.44 square miles (1.15 km2), or 0.74%, is water.
As of the census of 2000, there were 7,562 people, 2,944 households, and 2,140 families residing in the township. The population density was 128.0 people per square mile (49.4/km²). There were 3,152 housing units at an average density of 53.3/sq mi (20.6/km²). The racial makeup of the township was 97.57% White, 1.52% African American, 0.12% Native American, 0.21% Asian, 0.04% from other races, and 0.54% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.32% of the population.
There were 2,944 households, out of which 30.1% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 56.8% were married couples living together, 11.0% had a female householder with no husband present, and 27.3% were non-families. 23.8% of all households were made up of individuals, and 11.1% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.53 and the average family size was 3.00.
In the township the population was spread out, with 23.0% under the age of 18, 7.7% from 18 to 24, 28.0% from 25 to 44, 25.6% from 45 to 64, and 15.7% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 40 years. For every 100 females there were 97.4 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 91.5 males.
The median income for a household in the township was $31,951, and the median income for a family was $38,438. Males had a median income of $29,516 versus $20,670 for females. The per capita income for the township was $15,083. About 8.7% of families and 13.1% of the population were below the poverty line, including 15.1% of those under age 18 and 14.2% of those age 65 or over.
Residents of Dunbar Township may attend the local, public schools operated by Connellsville Area School District which provides full day kindergarten through 12th grade. In 2015, the Connellsville Area School District's enrollment declined to 4,321 students. In 2011, Connellsville Area School District enrollment was 4,896 pupils. Connellsville Area School District operates: Connellsville Area Senior High School (9th-12th), Connellsville Area Junior High School (7th-8th), and eight elementary schools, including Dunbar Township Elementary School which is located on 711 Ridge Blvd, in Connellsville, PA. The District also operates its own career tech school called Connellsville Area Career & Technology Center.
In 2015, Connellsville Area Senior High School ’s graduation rate was 69.75%. Connellsville Area School District ranked 401st out of 493 Pennsylvania public school districts, by the Pittsburgh Business Times. 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.
In 2012, Connellsville Area School District declined to District Improvement II Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) status due to missing nearly every academic metric measured in reading and mathematics. In 2011, the District was in Making Progress: in District Improvement I AYP status. The Pennsylvania Department of Education required the administration to develop a plan to raise student academic achievement.
In 2015, Dunbar Township Elementary School's enrollment was 531 pupils in grades kindergarten through 6th, with 60% of pupils receiving a federal free or reduced price meals due to family poverty. Additionally, 21.8% of the pupils receive special education services, while less than 1% were identified as gifted. 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. The school is a federally designated Title I school. According to the Pennsylvania Department of Education, 45% of 5th grade students at Dunbar Township Elementary School were on grade level in reading on the PSSAs given in April of 2015. In mathematics, 20% of 5th grade students showed on grade level skills. No fifth grade writing scores were reported. In 4th grade, 45% were on grade level in reading, while 27% showed on grade level math skills. In science, 81% of fourth graders showed on grade level understanding. Among third (3rd) graders, 47% were on grade level in reading and 35% were on grade level in mathematics. Among 6th graders, 36% were on grade level in reading and 15% were on grade level in mathematics.
In October 2015, Pennsylvania Auditor General Eugene DePasquale reported that several schools in the Connellsville Area School District are among the 561 academically challenged schools that have been overlooked by the Pennsylvania Department of Education. This included Dunbar Township Elementary School and Dunbar Boro Elementary School. DePasquale also reported the Pennsylvania Department of Education failed to take any action to remediate the poorly performing schools to raise student academic achievement or to provide them with targeted professional assistance.
- Opportunity Scholarship - lowest achieving schools
In May 2015, the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) released a report identifying five Connellsville Area School District schools as among the lowest achieving schools for reading and mathematics in the state, including Dunbar Township Elementary School. One hundred four (104) public school districts had one or more schools on the list. Parents and students may be eligible for scholarships to transfer to another public or nonpublic school through the state's Opportunity Scholarship Tax Credit Program passed in June 2012. The scholarships are limited to those students whose family's income is less than $60,000 annually, with another $12,000 allowed per dependent. Maximum scholarship award is $8,500, with special education students receiving up to $15,000 for a year's tuition. Parents pay any difference between the scholarship amount and the receiving school's tuition rate. Students may seek admission to neighboring public school districts. Each year the PDE publishes the tuition rate for each individual public school district. 
- AYP history
Dunbar Township Elementary School remained in Corrective Action II AYP status. Under the federal No Child Left Behind Act, the District was mandated to inform parents of the poor achievement and to offer the option to transfer to a more successful school in the District. In 2012, just 62% of pupils were reading on grade level in 3rd through 6th grades. Additionally, 69% of the pupils demonstrated on grade level mathematics skills. In 4th grade science, 89% were on grade level.
In 2011, Dunbar Township Elementary School declined further to Corrective Action II AYP status, due to chronic, low student achievement in reading and mathematics. In 2010, Dunbar Township Elementary School declined again to School Improvement Level 2 AYP status, due to continuing low student academic achievement. The administration was required to inform parents of the School's low academic achievement in reading and math. In 2009, the School declined to School Improvement Level 1 AYP status. The administration was required, by the Pennsylvania Department of Education, to inform the community of the lagging achievement and to develop a plan to raise student academic achievement. The school was required to pay for after school tutoring for struggling students.
Dunbar Township residents may also apply to attend any of the Commonwealth's 13 public, cyber charter schools (in 2013) at no additional cost to the parents. The resident’s public school district is required to pay the charter school and cyber charter school tuition for residents who attend these public schools. The tuition rate that Connellsville Area School District must pay was $9,558.54 in 2013.
Intermediate Unit #1 provides a wide variety of services to children living in its region which includes Dunbar Township. Early screening, special education services, speech and hearing therapy, autistic support, preschool classes and many other services like driver education are available. Services for children during the preschool years are provided, without cost to their families, when the child is determined to meet eligibility requirements. Intermediate units receive taxpayer funding: through subsidies paid by member school districts; through direct charges to users for some services; through the successful application for state and federal competitive grants and through private grants.
- "Geographic Identifiers: 2010 Census Summary File 1 (G001), Dunbar township, Fayette County, Pennsylvania". American FactFinder. U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved July 15, 2016.
- Staff (2010-07-09). "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service.
- "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
- Pennsylvania Department of Education (December 4, 2015). "District Fast Facts - Connellsville Area School District".
- NCES, Common Core of Data - Connellsville Area School District, 2011
- Pennsylvania Department of Education (December 4, 2015). "Connellsville Area Senior High School Performance Profile 2015".
- Pittsburgh Business Times (April 10, 2015). "Guide to Pennsylvania Schools Statewide School District Ranking 2015".
- Pittsburgh Business Times (April 11, 2014). "What makes up a district’s School Performance Profile score?".
- Pennsylvania Department of Education (September 21, 2012). "State wide AYP Report 2012".
- Pennsylvania Department of Education (September 29, 2011). "Connellsville Area School District AYP overview 2011".
- Pennsylvania Department of Education (November 4, 2015). "Dunbar Township Elementary School Fast Facts 2015".
- Pennsylvania Department of Education, School Performance Profile, Dunbar Township Elementary School Fast Facts 2015, December 2015
- Pennsylvania Department of Education (October 1, 2015). "2015 PSSA School Level Data".
- Pennsylvania Auditor General Office (October 6, 2015). "561 Academically Challenged Schools Overlooked by the Department of Education" (PDF).
- Joe Sylvester (October 7, 2015). "8 schools in Valley jilted, audit reveals". The Daily Item.
- Pennsylvania Auditor General Office (October 7, 2015). "Special Performance Audit Report - Pennsylvania Department of Education" (PDF).
- Pennsylvania Department of Education (May 11, 2015). "Opportunity Scholarship Tax Credit Program".
- Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development (April 2014). "Opportunity Scholarship Tax Credit Program FAQ".
- Pennsylvania Department of Education (May 2012). "Tuition rate Fiscal Year 2011-2012".
- Pennsylvania Department of Education (September 21, 2012). "Dunbar Township Elementary School AYP overview 2012".
- Pennsylvania Department of Education (September 21, 2012). "Dunbar Township School District Academic Report Card 2012" (PDF).
- Pennsylvania Department of Education (September 29, 2011). "Dunbar Township Elementary School AYP overview 2011".
- Pennsylvania Department of Education, Dunbar Township Elementary School AYP status 2010, October 20, 2010
- Pennsylvania Department of Education (2013). "Charter Schools".
- Pennsylvania Department of Education (2013). "What is a Charter School?".
- Pennsylvania Department of Education (May 2013). "Pennsylvania Public School District Tuition Rates".
- Intermediate Unit 1 Administration, About our services, 2014