Freedom High School (Pennsylvania)

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Freedom High School
Freedom High School.JPG
Freedom High School, 2007
Location
Bethlehem, Pennsylvania USA
Information
Type Public high school
Established 1967
School district Bethlehem Area School District
Superintendent Dr. Joseph Roy
Principal Michael J. LaPorta
Staff ~ 170
Enrollment ~ 1,800
Campus Suburban
Color(s)      Black
     Gold
Athletics conference Eastern Pennsylvania Conference
Mascot Patriot
Rival Liberty High School
Website

Freedom High School is a large urban, public high school, located in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, Northampton County in the Lehigh Valley region of Pennsylvania, in the United States. Freedom High School is one of the two public high schools operated by the Bethlehem Area School District. It is located at 3149 Chester Avenue, Bethlehem Township. In 2015, enrollment was reported as 1843 pupils in 9th through 12th grades, with 43.5% of pupils eligible for a free lunch due to the family meeting the federal poverty level. Additionally, 15% of pupils received special education services, while 4.9% of pupils were identified as gifted.[1] The school employed 105 teachers.[2] Per the PA Department of Education, 1% of the teachers were rated "Non‐Highly Qualified" under the federal No Child Left Behind Act.[3] The principal for 2014-2016 was Michael LaPorta.[4]

According to the National Center for Education Statistics, in 2013, the school reported an enrollment of 1,845 pupils in grades 9th through 12th, with 737 pupils eligible for a federal free or reduced price lunch due to the family meeting the federal poverty level. In 2013, the School employed 105 teachers yielding a student-teacher ratio of 17:1.[5] According to a report by the Pennsylvania Department of Education, 16 teachers were rated "Non‐Highly Qualified" under No Child Left Behind.[6]

Freedom High School students may choose to attend the Bethlehem Area Vocational-Technical School for training in the construction and mechanical trades. The Colonial Intermediate Unit IU20 provides the School with a wide variety of services like: specialized education for disabled students; state mandated training on recognizing and reporting child abuse; speech and visual disability services; criminal background check processing for prospective employees and professional development for staff and faculty.

Graduation rate[edit]

In 2015, the District’s graduation rate was 83.75%.[7]

  • 2014 - 87.8%[8]
  • 2013 - 87.6%[9]
  • 2012 - 83%.[10]
  • 2011 - 88.6%.[11]
  • 2010 - 81%, the Pennsylvania Department of Education issued a new, 4-year cohort graduation rate.[12]
According to traditional graduation rate calculations

Academics[edit]

2015 School Performance Profile[edit]

Freedom High School SPP score declined to 68.6 out of 100. Reflects on grade level reading, mathematics and science achievement. The PDE reported that just 57% of the Freedom High School's students were on grade level in reading/literature. In Algebra 1, just 32% of students showed on grade level skills at the end of the course. In Biology I, only 46% demonstrated on grade level science understanding at the end of the course.[16][17] 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.[18][19]

2014 School Performance Profile[edit]

Freedom High School achieved a score of 73.2 out of 100. Reflects on grade level reading, mathematics and science achievement. In reading/literature, just 67% were reading on grade level. In Algebra 1, 44.8% showed on grade level skills. In Biology, 39% demonstrated on grade level science understanding at the end of the course.[20] Statewide, the percentage of high school students who scored proficient and advanced in Algebra I increased from 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%.[21]

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.[22] Fifty-three percent of schools statewide received lower SPP scores compared with last year's, while 46 percent improved. A handful were unchanged.[23][24]

2013 School Performance Profile[edit]

Freedom High School achieved 73.4 out of 100. Reflects on grade level reading, mathematics and science achievement. In reading/literature - 71.9% of pupils tested were reading on grade level. In Algebra 1, just 43% showed on grade level algebra skills at the end of the course. In Biology, only 36% showed on grade level science understanding.[25] 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 2012, they take the Keystone Exams at the end of the associated course.[26]

History[edit]

1960s[edit]

  • 1966 - Students at Liberty High School who were scheduled to attend the new high school picked the name (Freedom) and mascot (patriot) of the future Freedom Senior High School. They also picked the school colors of black and gold.
  • 1967 - Freedom Senior High School opened for grades 10-12 for the fall semester of 1967. Joseph McIntyre was appointed as the first Freedom High School principal. Also, the Freedom High School Patriot Marching Band was created.
  • 1968 - The First Freedom High School class graduates.

1970s[edit]

1980s[edit]

  • 1983 - Freedom High School becomes a high school for grades 9-12. First year coach, George Kazakos, leads the Freedom High School Boys Soccer Team to a Pennsylvania State Title.
  • 1987 - Freedom High School Gymnastics team wins the Pennsylvania State Title.

1990s[edit]

  • 1990 - First issue of PEN AND INK, a continuation of the FIFE AND DRUM, FHS's literary-and-arts magazine
  • 1994 - New Science Wing of the school opens up with 11 new science, biology, chemistry, and physics classrooms

2000s[edit]

  • 2002 - Freedom High School joins the Lehigh Valley Conference. The Girls Tennis team wins the PIAA State Title.
  • 2005 - Freedom High School Theatre Company's production of Crazy For You wins the Freddy Award for Outstanding Overall Production of a Musical.
  • 2006 - Freedom High School New Gymnasium, aerobic room, fitness center, and renovated Natatorium open for the winter athletic season. A new Business Wing for the school is also completed.
  • 2007 - Michael LaPorta is appointed new Freedom High School principal. New Freedom High School cafeterias open in the fall semester.
  • 2009 - The first color yearbook is printed.

2010s[edit]

  • 2012 - Freedom High School Theatre Company's production of Thoroughly Modern Millie wins the Freddy Award for Outstanding Overall Production of a Musical.
  • 2014 - Freedom High School Theatre Company's production of Crazy for You wins the Freddy Award for Outstanding Overall Production of a Musical. Also, Freedom joins the Eastern Pennsylvania Conference.
  • 2017 - Freedom High School celebrates its 50th Anniversary.

Extracurriculars[edit]

Freedom's Scholastic Scrimmage team has turned in several first and second-place finishes in the Lehigh Valley region. The team placed first in 1976, 1980 and 1989 and second in 1981 (losing to Emmaus High School), 2005 (losing to Allentown Central Catholic High School), 2012 (losing to Pen Argyl Area High School), and 2013 (losing to Moravian Academy). In 2007, Freedom went undefeated in the Lehigh Valley Conference regular season, losing to Liberty High School in the East Division championship. The team defeated Allentown Central Catholic High School for third place in the conference. In 2008, the team advanced to the quarterfinal round of "Scholastic Scrimmage", where they lost again to the Liberty Hurricanes, on a disputed last-second ruling that is still under review. In 2012, Freedom's team qualified for the Pennsylvania Academic Competition in the state's capitol for the first time in school history, where they tied for second in the state.

Freedom's Math Team also had many successes, including placing in the top three in at least two of the three events at Bloomsburg Math Competition since 2006. Two Freedom students were also chosen to join the Lehigh University chapter of the American Regions Mathematics League.

In 2007, senior Isha Himani Jain placed first in the Siemens Competition.[27][28]

Athletics[edit]

Freedom competes in the Eastern Pennsylvania Conference in the District XI athletic division of the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association. It holds the record for the most Lehigh Valley Conference championships in boys volleyball.[29]

In boys athletics, Freedom has football, basketball, golf, ice hockey, soccer, baseball, tennis, volleyball, lacrosse, swimming, and Diving teams. In girls athletics, Freedom has basketball, soccer, lacrosse, golf, cheerleading, tennis, volleyball teams, swimming, and diving teams.

The FHS football, soccer, and field hockey teams play their home games at Frank Banko Field at Bethlehem Area School District Stadium, which seats 13,600 and can accommodate up to 15,000 in the standing room section.

Their most recent championships include:

  • The cheerleading squad has won eight Grand National Championships and numerous other championships and competes regionally and nationally in cheerleading competitions; most recently in San Antonio Texas in 2009, Baltimore Md. in 2010 and Myrtle Beach, SC in 2011. In March 2012 the squad traveled to Walt Disney World in Florida to compete in an international competition at the ESPN Wide World of Sports venue where the junior prep stunt squad took first place and senior Captain Gabby Spadaccia won 1st place in individual competition. The 2008 Freedom Varsity Cheerleading squad won the District XI Cheerleading Championship.
  • The 2009 Boys Volleyball Team won the District XI Championship
  • The 2007 football team won the 2007 District XI Eastern Conference Championship.
  • The ice hockey team won the 2006-2007 LVSHL (Lehigh Valley Scholastic Hockey League) championship.
  • The baseball team won the 2007 inaugural championship of the Pride of the Diamond baseball league.
  • 19:02
  • The boys cross country team was undefeated in the 2012 season and finished as both League and District champions.

The Freedom Patriot Band[edit]

Freedom vs. Liberty High School pre-game show, 2006

In 1970, band members made their first major national appearance in the Orange Bowl parade. The Freedom Patriot Band has performed at the Outback Bowl in Tampa, Florida. In 2004, the Freedom High School Patriot Marching Band performed at the Boscov's Thanksgiving Day Parade in Philadelphia.

In March 2008 the Patriot Band performed in both the Limerick and Dublin St. Patrick's Day parades. In Limerick, the band won Best Uniform and won Best International Band. At the Dublin St. Patrick's Day Parade, the band was honored with the award for Best Overall Band.

Freedom High School Planetarium[edit]

Freedom High School is home to one of two Planetariums in the Bethlehem Area School District, the other being located at Broughal Middle School. The Planetarium provides instruction for 2nd, 3rd, and 8th through 12th grade students in the Bethlehem Area School District. The Freedom High School planetarium and astronomy clubs also make use of the only Bethlehem Area School District planetarium. Planetarium visits may be arranged by contacting the school.

Freedom High School Theatre Company[edit]

The theater company produces two plays per year (Fall and Spring) and participates in a local awards show called The Freddy Awards. Since The Freddy's began in 2003, Freedom has been nominated for Best Musical and performed at the ceremony 10 out of the 12 years. The performances include: "Dance at the Gym" (West Side Story), "Crapshooters Ballet" (Guys and Dolls 2004), "I Got Rhythm" (Crazy For You 2005), "Anything Goes," "Honestly, Sincere" (Bye Bye Birdie), "Jitterbug" (The Wizard of Oz), "Go, Go, Go Joseph" (Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat), "The Speed Test" (Thoroughly Modern Millie), "One Day More" (Les Misérables), "Slap That Bass" (Crazy For You 2014), "You Can't Stop the Beat" (Hairspray), and "Sit Down, You're Rockin' the Boat" (Guys and Dolls 2016). Both the 2005 and 2014 productions of Crazy For You, the 2007 production of Anything Goes, and the 2015 production of Hairspray received 14 Freddy nominations. Joseph in 2011 and Les Misérables in 2013 each received 15 nominations. Thoroughly Modern Millie garnered 17 nominations.

Freedom High School has won the Freddy Award for Outstanding Overall Production of a Musical three times. The productions were Crazy For You in 2005, Thoroughly Modern Millie in 2012, and Crazy For You most recently in 2014.

Recent construction[edit]

Freedom High School, 2008

A new main entrance was completed in June 2006 and Freedom's athletic facilities opened in December. Other additions created new main offices, classrooms, a business wing, a refurbished pool & old gymnasium, a fitness center, a new athletic office, a new trainer's room, and a gym. A larger combined cafeteria opened for the fall semester of 2007. The academic wings of the school still remain in their original state with no current plans for remodeling.

Notable alumni[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education (November 4, 2015). "Freedom High School Fast Facts 2015". 
  2. ^ US News and World Report, Best High Schools, 2016
  3. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education (2015). "Highly Qualified Teacher Guidelines". 
  4. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education, ED Names and Addresses 2016, 2016
  5. ^ National Center for Education Statistics, Common Core Data - Freedom High School, 2014
  6. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education, Professional Qualifications of Teachers Freedom High School 2012, September 21, 2012
  7. ^ PDE, Graduation rate by LEA, 2015
  8. ^ PDE, Graduation rate by LEA, 2014
  9. ^ PDE, Graduation rate by LEA, 2013
  10. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education (September 21, 2012). "Freedom HIgh School AYP Data Table 2012". 
  11. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education, Freedom HIgh School AYP Data Table 2011, September 29, 2011
  12. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education (March 15, 2011). "New 4-year Cohort Graduation Rate Calculation Now Being Implemented". 
  13. ^ The Times-Tribune (June 27, 2010). "PA School District Statistical Snapshot Database 2008-09". 
  14. ^ The Times-Tribune (June 25, 2009). "County School Districts Graduation Rates 2008". 
  15. ^ Pennsylvania Partnerships for Children (2008). "High School Graduation rate 2007" (PDF). 
  16. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education (November 4, 2015). "Freedom High School School Performance Profile 2015". 
  17. ^ MARK GILGER JR (July 6, 2016). "Grading Our Schools: Some districts struggle with standardized tests". The Republican Herald. 
  18. ^ Jan Murphy (November 4, 2015). "Report card for state's high schools show overall decline". Pennlive.com. 
  19. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education (November 4, 2015). "2015 Keystone Exam School Level Data". 
  20. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education (November 6, 2014). "Freedom High School Academic Performance Data 2014". 
  21. ^ Eleanor Chute (November 21, 2014). "Pennsylvania student scores declined with reduced funding, test results show". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. 
  22. ^ Acting Secretary of Education Carolyn Dumaresq, Acting Secretary of Education Announces Results of 2013-14 School Performance Profile; Strong Performance in 72 Percent of Schools, November 6, 2014
  23. ^ Kathy Boccella, Dylan Purcell, Kristen A. Graham., Pa. school rankings: Downingtown STEM No. 1; Phila. falters, Philadelphia Inquirer , November 6, 2014
  24. ^ Jan Murphy (November 6, 2014). "More Pa. school scores decline than improve, state report card shows". Pennlive.com. 
  25. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education, Freedom High School Academic Performance Data 2013, October 4, 2013
  26. ^ Eleanor Chute, Mary Niederberger (December 11, 2013). "New assessment shows fuller picture of Pa. schools". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. 
  27. ^ Catherine Arnst (2007-12-03). "Girls Dominate the Siemens Competition". Business Week. Retrieved 2007-12-06. 
  28. ^ Amanda Millner-Fairbanks (2007-12-04). "Girls Make History by Sweeping Top Honors at a Science Contest". The New York Times. Retrieved 2007-12-06. 
  29. ^ LVIAC Historical Stats. Archived September 8, 2008, at the Wayback Machine.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 40°39′50″N 75°20′24″W / 40.664°N 75.340°W / 40.664; -75.340