Frazier School District

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Frazier School District
Map of Fayette County Pennsylvania School Districts.png
Address
142 Constitution Street
Perryopolis, PA, Fayette 15473
United States
Information
School type Public
School board 9 elected members
Superintendent

Mr. William Henderson III (contract July 1, 2014 to June 30, 2019)
Donald Martin, 2009[1]
Dennis Spinella, former superintendent 2005-2009[2]

Frederick L. Smeigh former superintendent 1991 to 2005[3]
Administrator

Kevin W Mildren, Business Manager
Billi Jo Huffman, Special Ed Supervisor
Gerry Dawson, Directory technology
John M. Phillips, Supervisor, Buildings, Grounds and Maintenance

Suzanne E. Boni, Coordinator, Cafeteria and Transportation
Grades preschool 4 year olds-12th grade
Pupils

1,246 pupils (2015)[4]
1,247 pupils (2013)[5]
1,178 enrolled student (2010)[6]

1,249 pupils (2009)
 • Kindergarten 95 (2014)[7] 100 (2009)
 • Grade 1 101 (2014) 83
 • Grade 2 73 (2014) 94
 • Grade 3 90 (2014) 99
 • Grade 4 84 (2014) 97
 • Grade 5 89 (2014) 102
 • Grade 6 103 (2014) 86
 • Grade 7 93 (2014) 82
 • Grade 8 101 (2014) 89
 • Grade 9 97 (2014) 97
 • Grade 10 89 (2014) 96
 • Grade 11 80 (2014) 92
 • Grade 12 84 (2014) 79 (2009)
Color(s) Red and White
Mascot Commodores
Website

The Frazier School District is a diminutive, rural public school district located in Fayette County, Pennsylvania, about 35 miles south of Pittsburgh. It serves the boroughs of Perryopolis and Newell, and the townships of Perry, Jefferson, and Lower Tyrone. Frazier School District encompasses approximately 83 square miles. According to 2000 federal census data it serves a resident population of 8,531. By 2010, the District's population declined to 8,006 people.[8] The educational attainment levels for the Frazier School District population (25 years old and over) were 88.8% high school graduates and 16.1% college graduates.[9] The District is one of the 500 public school districts of Pennsylvania.

According to the Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center, 40.5% of the 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.[10] In 2009, Frazier School District residents’ per capita income was $16,262, while the median family income was $39,438[11] In the Commonwealth, the median family income was $49,501[12] and the United States median family income was $49,445, in 2010.[13] In Fayette County, the median household income was $39,115.[14] In 2013 the Pennsylvania Department of Education, reported that less than 10 students in the Frazier School District were identified as homeless.[15] In 2014, the median household income in the USA was $53,700.[16]

Per Frazier School District officials, in school year 2007-08, the district provided basic educational services to 1,119 pupils. It employed: 90 teachers, 46 full-time and part-time support personnel, and 8 administrators. Frazier School District received more than $9.3 million, in state funding, for the 2007-08 school year. In 2009-10, Frazier School District provided basic educational services to 1,249 pupils. The school employed: 87 teachers, 25 full-time and part-time support personnel, and 9 administrators during the 2009-10 school year. The District received $9,052,923 in state funding in the 2009-10 school year.

Frazier School District is named for a wealthy Perryopolis resident named Mary Fuller Frazier, who provided the struggling school district then named Perry Area with an endowment. Frazier is the smallest district in Fayette County. The district operates four schools. There are two elementary schools: Central Elementary School and Perry Elementary School. Both schools serves grades K-5. There are two secondary schools the Frazier Middle School and Frazier High School. They are connected together and are located in Perryopolis Borough. There is also a library that is open to the community and an athletic field. Frazier will open the new Frederick L. Smeigh Learning Center in August 2015 which will house all K-8 students.

The Intermediate Unit IU1 provides the District with a wide variety of services like specialized education for disabled students and hearing, background checks for employees, state mandated recognizing and reporting child abuse training, speech and visual disability services and criminal background check processing for prospective employees and professional development for staff and faculty.

Governance[edit]

Frazier School District is governed by 9 individually elected board members (serve without compensation for a term of four years), the Pennsylvania State Board of Education, the Pennsylvania Department of Education and the Pennsylvania General Assembly.[17] 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(renamed Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) in December 2015) which mandates the district focus resources on student success in acquiring reading and math skills.[18] The school board is required by state law to post a financial report on the district in its website by March of each school year.[19] Frazier School District is noncompliant regarding posting its financial report in March 2016.

The Superintendent and Business Manager are appointed by the Frazier School Board. The Superintendent is the chief administrative officer with overall responsibility for all aspects of operations, including education and finance. The Business Manager is responsible for budget and financial operations. Neither of these officials are voting members of the School Board. The Frazier School Board enters into individual employment contracts for these positions. These contracts must be in writing and are subject to public discloure under the state’s Right to Know Act. In Pennsylvania, public school districts are required to give 150 days notice to the Superintendent and Business Manager regarding renewal of their employment contracts.[20] Pursuant to Act 141 of 2012 which amended the Pennsylvania School Code, all school districts that have hired superintendents on/after the fall of 2012 are required to develop objective performance standards and post them on the district’s website.[21] The superintendent is noncompliant regarding posting goals by March 2016.[22]

Academic achievement[edit]

In 2015, Frazier School District ranked 218th out of 493 Pennsylvania public school districts, by the Pittsburgh Business Times.[23] 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.[24] 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.[25]

  • 2014 - 215th
  • 2013 - 198th
  • 2012 - 194th
  • 2011 - 142nd out of 498 Pennsylvania school districts, in student academic achievement as demonstrated by five years of results on the PSSAs in: reading, writing, math and three years of science.[26]
  • 2010 - 111th[27]
  • 2009 - 115th
  • 2008 - 123rd
  • 2007 - 98th out of 501 school districts.[28]
Overachievers ranking

In 2010, the Pittsburgh Business Times reported an Overachievers Ranking for 498 Pennsylvania school districts. Frazier School District ranked 20th. In 2009 the district was 17th. The paper 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."[29]

Western Pennsylvania ranking

Frazier School District was ranked 48th in 2015, by the Pittsburgh Business Times. The ranking was based on three years of student academic performance on the PSSAs for math, reading, writing and science.[30] (includes 105 districts in: Allegheny County, Armstrong County, Beaver County, Butler County, Fayette County, Washington County and Westmoreland County but excludes Duquesne City School District & Midland Borough School District due to their not operating a high school).

  • 2014 - 48th
  • 2009 - 32nd out of 105 western Pennsylvania school districts in 2009
  • 2008 - 34th among western Pennsylvania school districts.

In 2009, the academic achievement of the students of Frazier School District was in the 70th percentile among 500 Pennsylvania school districts. Scale - (0-99; 100 is state best)[31]

Graduation rate[edit]

In 2015, Frazier School District’s graduation rate was just 84.7%.[32]

  • 2014 - 91%[33]
  • 2013 - 86.21% [34]
  • 2012 - 93%[35]
  • 2011 - 92%.[36]
  • 2010 - 84%, the Pennsylvania Department of Education issued a new, 4-year cohort graduation rate.[37]

According to traditional graduation rate calculations:

Frazier High School, as seen during a winter storm.

Frazier High School[edit]

Frazier High School is located at142 Constitution Street, Perryopolis. In 2015, enrollment was reported as 350 pupils in 9th through 12th grades, with 43% of pupils eligible for a free lunch due to the family meeting the federal poverty level. Additionally, 12% of pupils received special education services, while 3.7% of pupils were identified as gifted.[41] The school employed 24 teachers.[42] Per the PA Department of Education, 100% of the teachers were rated "Highly Qualified" under the federal No Child Left Behind Act.[43]

According to the National Center for Education Statistics, in 2013, the school reported an enrollment of 342 pupils in grades 9th through 12th, with 110 pupils eligible for a federal free or reduced price lunch due to the family meeting the federal poverty level. In 2013, the School employed 24 teachers yielding a student-teacher ratio of 14:1.[44] According to a report by the Pennsylvania Department of Education, 1 teacher was rated "Non‐Highly Qualified" under No Child Left Behind.[45]

2015 School Performance Profile

Frazier High School achieved 86.8 out of 100. Reflects on grade level reading, mathematics and science achievement. The PDE reported that 86.6% of the High School’s students were on grade level in reading/literature. In Algebra 1, 82.5% 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.[46] 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.[47][48]

2014 School Performance Profile

Frazier High School achieved 82.6 out of 100. Reflects on grade level reading, mathematics and science achievement. In reading/literature - 80.49% were on grade level. In Algebra 1, 79.27% showed on grade level skills. In Biology, 49.4% demonstrated on grade level science understanding at the end of the course.[49][50] 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%.[51]

According to the Pennsylvania Department of Education, 2,134 of 2,947 Pennsylvania public schools (72 percent of Pennsylvania public schools), achieved an academic score of 70 or higher.[52] Fifty-three percent of schools statewide received lower SPP scores compared with last year's, while 46 percent improved. A handful were unchanged.[53][54]

2013 School Performance Profile

Frazier High School achieved 73.4 out of 100. Reflects on grade level reading, mathematics and science achievement. In reading/literature - 85.7% were on grade level. In Algebra 1, 70% showed on grade level skills. In Biology, 32.8% showed on grade level science understanding.[55] 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, beginning in 2013, they take the Keystone Exams at the end of the associated course.[56]

Regional ranking

The high school's 11th grade ranked 37th out of 123 western Pennsylvania high schools based on three years of results in PSSAs on: reading, math writing and two years of science.[57] In 2009, the 11th grade ranked 42nd out of 123 high schools in the Pittsburgh region.[58]

AYP History[edit]

In 2012, Frazier High School declined to Warning Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) status due to lagging mathematics achievement. In 2010 and 2011, Frazier High School achieved AYP status.[59] From 2003 to 2009, Frazier High School Achieved AYP status each school year.

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.[60]

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 applicable course, rather than all in the spring of the student's 11th grade year.[61]

11th Grade Reading
  • 2012 - 79% on grade level, (9% below basic). State - 67% of 11th graders are on grade level.[62]
  • 2011 - 61%, (20% below basic). State - 69.1%[63]
  • 2010 - 77% (5% below basic). State - 66%[64]
  • 2009 - 67%, State - 65%[65]
  • 2008 - 74%, State - 65%[66]
  • 2007 - 69%, State - 65%[67]
11th Grade Math:
  • 2012 - 62% on grade level (20% below basic). In Pennsylvania, 59% of 11th graders are on grade level.[68]
  • 2011 - 64%, (19% below basic). State - 60.3%
  • 2010 - 64%, (14% below basic). State - 59%
  • 2009 - 65%, State - 56%
  • 2008 - 72%, State - 56%
  • 2007 - 68%, State - 53%
11th Grade Science
  • 2012 - 49% on grade level (6% below basic). State - 42% of 11th graders were on grade level.[69]
  • 2011 - 47% (14% below basic). State - 40%.[70]
  • 2010 - 50% (1% below basic). State - 39%
  • 2009 - 56%, State - 40%
  • 2008 - 37%, State - 39%[71]

College Remediation[edit]

According to a Pennsylvania Department of Education study released in January 2009, 22% of Frazier School District's 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.[72] 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.[73] 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]

Frazier 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. Frazier School District has an agreement with Penn State Fayette to allow the students to attend.[74] 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[75] Under the Pennsylvania Transfer and Articulation Agreement, many Pennsylvania colleges and universities accept these credits for students who transfer to their institutions.[76] For the 2009-10 funding year, the school district received a state grant of $4,986 for the program.[77]

Graduation requirements[edit]

The School Board has determined that a pupil must earn 30 credits to graduate, including: math 4 credits, English 4 credits, social studies 3 credits, science 4 credits, Wellness 2 credits, Arts and Humanities 2 credits (unless attending CWCTC) and electives.

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.[78] At Frazier High School the students must complete a career focused project under the supervision of the English teachers.[79] 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.[80]

By Pennsylvania State School Board regulations, beginning with the class of 2019,[81] public school students must demonstrate successful completion of secondary level course work in Algebra I, Biology, and English Literature by passing the respective Keystone Exams for each course.[82][83] The exam is given at the end of the course. Keystone Exams replace the PSSAs for 11th grade.[84]

Students have several opportunities to pass the exam. Schools are mandated to provide targeted assistance to help the student be successful. Those who do not pass after several attempts can perform a project in order to graduate.[85][86] 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.[87] 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.[88] 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.

AP courses[edit]

Frazier High School participates in the Advanced Placement Program offered by the College Board. In 2015, the School offered 10 Advanced Placement (AP) courses at a higher cost than regular courses. All advanced placement courses are counted as a level 3 weighted course for the purposes of class rank only. All students taking an Advanced Placement course are required to take the associated AP exam. The cost of the advanced placement examination(s) are covered by the district. The fee for each AP Exam is $91 (2014).[89] The school normally retains $9 of that fee as a rebate to help with administrative costs.

In 2015, Frazier High School 21.60% of the students who took an AP course earned a 3 or better on the exam.[90] In 2013, Frazier High School 29.57% of the students who took an AP course earned a 3 or better on the exam.[91]

SAT scores[edit]

In 2014, 52 Frazier School District students took the SAT exams. The District's Verbal Average Score was 463. The Math average score was 470. The Writing average score was 436.[92][93] 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.[94] In 2014, 1,672,395 students took the SATs in the United States.

In 2013, 56 Frazier School District students took the SAT exams. The District's Verbal Average Score was 485. The Math average score was 501. The Writing average score was 456. 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.[95]

In 2012, 46 Frazier School District students took the SAT exams. The District's Verbal Average Score was 477. The Math average score was 510. The Writing average score was 462. 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, 39 Frazier School District students took the SAT exams. The District's Verbal Average Score was 474. The Math average score was 491. The Writing average score was 470.[96] Pennsylvania ranked 40th among state with SAT scores: Verbal - 493, Math - 501, Writing - 479.[97] 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.[98]

The Center for Rural Pennsylvania, a research arm of the Pennsylvania General Assembly, compared the SAT data of students in rural areas of Pennsylvania to students in urban areas. From 2003 to 2005, the average total SAT score for students in rural Pennsylvania was 992, while urban students averaged 1,006. During the same period, 28 percent of 11th and 12th graders in rural school districts took the exam, compared to 32 percent of urban students in the same grades. The average math and verbal scores were 495 and 497, respectively, for rural students, while urban test-takers averaged 499 and 507, respectively. Pennsylvania’s SAT composite score ranked low on the national scale in 2004. The composite SAT score of 1,003 left Pennsylvania ranking 44 out of the 50 states and Washington, DC.[99]

Middle school[edit]

Frazier Middle School is located at 142 Constitution Street, Perryopolis. In 2015, enrollment was 297 pupils, in grades 6th through 8th, with 41.7% of pupils eligible for a free lunch due to family poverty. Additionally, 11% of pupils received special education services, while 3% of pupils were identified as gifted.[100] According to a 2014 report by the Pennsylvania Department of Education, 100% of its teachers were rated "Highly Qualified" under No Child Left Behind.[101]

According to the National Center for Education Statistics, in 2013, the school reported an enrollment of 279 pupils, in grades 6th through 8th, with 115 pupils receiving a federal free or reduced price lunch due to family poverty. The school employed 21.5 teachers yielding a student-teacher ratio of 12:1.[102] According to a report by the Pennsylvania Department of Education, 100% of the teachers were rated "Highly Qualified" under the No Child Left Behind Act.[103]

2015 School Performance Profile

The PDE withheld SPP scores. It was reported that 41% of 8th grade students at Frazier Middle School students were on grade level in reading on the PSSAs given in April 2015. In math/Algebra 1, 29% of 8th grade students showed on grade level skills. In science, 64% of the school’s 8th graders demonstrated on grade level science understanding. No eighth grade writing scores were reported. In 7th grade, 66% were on grade level in reading, while 34% showed on grade level math skills. Among 6th graders, 63% were on grade level in reading and 29% were on grade level in mathematics.[104] Statewide 58% of eighth (8th) graders were on grade level in reading, while 29% demonstrated on grade level math skills. Pennsylvania 7th graders were 58% on grade level in reading and 33% demonstrated on grade level math skills. Among sixth (6th) graders, 60.7% were reading on grade level, while 39.7% demonstrated on grade level math skills. Statewide 61.9% of fifth (5th) graders were on grade level in reading, while 42.8% demonstrated on grade level math skills.[105]

2014 School Performance Profile

Frazier Middle School achieved 82.6 out of 100. Reflects on grade level reading, mathematics and science achievement. In reading/literature - were on grade level. In Algebra 1/Math, 83% showed on grade level mathematics skills. In Science, 67.8% of 8th graders showed on grade level science understanding. In writing, 75% of the 8th grade students demonstrated on grade level writing skills.[106]

2013 School Performance Profile

Frazier Middle School achieved 83.2 out of 100. Reflects on grade level reading, writing, mathematics and science achievement. In reading, just 72.7% of the students were on grade level. In Mathematics/Algebra 1, 84% of the students showed on grade level skills. In Science, 73% of the 8th graders demonstrated on grade level understanding. In writing, 75% of the 8th grade students demonstrated on grade level writing skills.[107] 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.

AYP history[edit]

In 2010 through 2012, Frazier Middle School achieved AYP status each school year.[108] The attendance rate was 94% in 2001 and 93% in 2010.[109] From 2003 through 2009, Frazier Middle School achieved AYP status each school year.

PSSA Results

Sixth and 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.[110] 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.[111] The standards were published in 1998 and are mandated by the Pennsylvania State Board of Education.[112] In 2014, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania adopted the Pennsylvania Core Standards - Mathematics.[113]