Freeport Area School District

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Freeport Area School District
Freeport Yellowjacket.png
Address
621 South Pike Rd
Sarver, Pennsylvania, Freeport, Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania, Butler County and Armstrong County 16055-9202
United States
Information
Type Public School District
Established 1969
Superintendent Mr. Ian M. Magness
Faculty 131.20
Enrollment 1982 pupils (2010-11) [1]
 • Kindergarten 134
 • Grade 1 153
 • Grade 2 146
 • Grade 3 129
 • Grade 4 159
 • Grade 5 172
 • Grade 6 165
 • Grade 7 151
 • Grade 8 157
 • Grade 9 176
 • Grade 10 145
 • Grade 11 148
 • Grade 12 146
Budget $24.9 million in 2012-13; $24.2 million in 2011-12 [2]
Tuition for nonresident and charter school students ES - $7,528.22, HS -$8,366.13 [3]
Website
Freeport Area School District region in Butler County
Freeport Area School District region in Armstrong County

Freeport Area School District (FASD) in Pennsylvania, United States is home to the Yellowjackets and Buffalo Elementary School, South Buffalo Elementary School, Freeport Area Middle School, and Freeport Area High School. Buffalo Elementary School, the Freeport Area Middle School, and the Freeport Area High School, along with the Administration building, are in Sarver, Butler County, and South Buffalo Elementary School is located in South Buffalo Township, Pennsylvania in Armstrong County. In 1969, the political divisions of Freeport, Buffalo and South Buffalo merged to form the Freeport Area School District. FASD lies along the banks of the Allegheny River and is on the mouth of Buffalo Creek. It is located about 25–30 miles north of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The community is a mix of Pittsburgh suburbia and rural areas.
South Buffalo Elementary was recently remodeled following the remodeling of Buffalo Elementary. They look similar but South Buffalo is smaller, while Buffalo is larger.
The District was reorganized prior to the 2015-2016 school year, to eliminate two school buildings (the former Freeport Jr High School and the Freeport Kindergarten Center) and to open the new Freeport Area Middle School.

Academic achievement[edit]

Freeport Area School District was ranked 63rd out of the 498 ranked Pennsylvania School Districts in 2008 by the Pittsburgh Business Times. The ranking was based on student academic achievement as demonstrated by 3 years of PSSA results in: reading, writing, math and one year of science.[4] In 2007, the district ranked 72nd out of 501 Pennsylvania school districts.[5]

Graduation rate
2009 - 99%[6]
2008 - 99%
2007 - 99%[7]

Freeport Senior High School[edit]

In 2009, the high school was ranked 53rd out of 123 western Pennsylvania high schools, by the Pittsburgh Business Times, for academic achievement based on three years of the PSSAs on: reading, writing, math and one year of science.[8]

PSSA Results
11th Grade Reading
2009 - 79% on grade level. In Pennsylvania, 65% of 11th graders on grade level.[9]
2008 - 68%, State - 65%
2007 - 78%, State - 65% [10]

11th Grade Math:
2009 - 60% on grade level. In Pennsylvania, 56% of 11th graders are on grade level.[11]
2008 - 59%, State - 56%[12]
2007 - 61%, State - 53%

11th Grade Science:
2009 - 40% on grade level. State: 40% of 11th graders were on grade level.
2008 - 38%, State - 39% [13]

College remediation: According to a Pennsylvania Department of Education study released in January 2009, 23% of Freeport Senior 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.[14] 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.[15] 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 - Freeport Senior High School does not offer the Pennsylvania dual enrollment program which permits students to earn deeply discounted college credits while still enrolled in high school. Over 400 school districts in Pennsylvania offer this state-funded program.[16][17]

Graduation project[edit]

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.[18]

Vocational Education[edit]

Freeport students preferring a full-day vocational program attend Lenape Vocational-Technical School in Ford City, Pennsylvania.

Lenape Technical School[edit]

In 1965, Lenape Technical School was opened. It serves the Freeport Area, Armstrong, Apollo-Ridge, and Leechburg Area School Districts.

Budget[edit]

In 2007, the Freeport Area School District employed 128 teachers. The average teacher salary in the district was $52,370 for 181 days worked.[19] 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.[20] Additionally, the teachers receive a defined benefit pension, health insurance, professional development reimbursement, paid personal days, paid sick days, a retirement bonus and other benefits.[21] According to Rep. Glen Grell, a trustee of the state teacher retirement fund, a 40-year educator can retire with a pension equal to 100 percent of their final salary.[22]

Freeport Area School District administrative costs in 2008 were $803.49 per pupil. The lowest administrative cost per pupil in Pennsylvania was $398, in 2008.[23] The district provides an extensive benefit package to all administrators.[24] On May 9, 2007, the board hired Stan Chapp as superintendent in a five-year contract. His initial salary was set at $119,000.[25] In 2010, Dr. Chapp revealed that he was interviewing for other positions. His FASD salary had reached $128,000.[26] Chapp's contract includes: a 3.5% annual increase, taxpayer funded health dental insurances, taxpayers provide these insurances in retirement, 2 life insurance policies of $150,000 and $200,000, and much more. Dr. Chapp has a personal tax lien that dates back to 2002 which is still unpaid as of 2012. The contract expires May 9, 2012[27]

The district is funded by a combination of: a local earned income tax, a local real property tax, a real estate transfer tax, and a per capita tax, coupled with substantial funding from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the federal government.[28] Grants provide an opportunity to supplement school funding without raising local taxes. 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 income level.[29]

State basic education funding[edit]

In the 2009-2010 budget year the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania provided the Armstrong School District a 5.16% increase in Basic Education Funding for a total of $6,592,525. Two Armstrong County school districts received increases of over 5% in Basic Education Funding. South Butler County School District received an increase of 4.54%. Sixteen school districts in Pennsylvania received an increase of over 10% in 2009. The Muhlenberg School District of Berks County received an increase of 22.31% in 2009-10. The state Basic Education Funding to Freeport Area School District in 2008-09 was $6,268,794.18.[30] The amount of increase each school district receives is determined by the Governor and the Secretary of Education through the allocation set in the budget proposal made in February each year.[31]

Federal Stimulus funding[edit]

The district received an extra $1,166,708 in ARRA - Federal Stimulus money to be used in specific programs like special education and meeting the academic needs of low-income students.[32] The funding is for 2009-2011 school years.

According to the Pennsylvania Department of Education, 449 students qualified for free or reduced-price lunch due to low family income in 2008.[33]

Race to the Top grant[edit]

Freeport Area School District officials did not apply for the Race to the Top federal grant which would have brought the district up to one million additional federal dollars for improving student academic achievement.[34] Participation required the administration, the school board and the local teachers' union to sign an agreement to prioritize improving student academic success. In Pennsylvania, 120 public school districts and 56 charter schools agreed to participate.[35] Pennsylvania was not approved in the first round of the grant. The failure of districts to agree to participate was cited as one reason that Pennsylvania was not approved. A second round of state RTTT application judging will occur in June 2010.[36]

Real estate taxes[edit]

Property tax rates in 2009-10 are 49.0000 mills.[37] 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 across a region.

In 2009, the Homestead/Farmstead Property Tax Relief from gambling for the Freeport Area School District was $208 per approved permanent primary residence. In the district, 3,387 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 Armstrong County, 77% of eligible property owners applied for property tax relief in 2009.[38]

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, so people who make substantially more than $35,000 may still qualify for a rebate. Individuals must apply annually for the rebate. This rebate 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%).[39]

Extracurriculars[edit]

The district offers a variety of clubs, activities and sports. The Freeport Area School Board determines eligibility policies to participate in these programs.[40]

All Freeport teams are called "The Yellowjackets" and are part of the WPIAL (PIAA District 7), as well as a hockey team in the PIHL. In 2007, the hockey team won the Penguins Cup.

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.[41]

BeeTV[edit]

BeeTV is a small scale cable broadcast station located in Sarver, Pennsylvania. The station is linked to Freeport Area School District and provides information for events in the school district and the surrounding community. Content airing on BeeTV is student-produced and scheduled daily. Programs air hourly from 4 pm till 10 pm on weekdays, and from 10am till 10pm on weekends. Freeport Area Senior High School's morning announcements program, "You're Watching BeeTV" airs every weekday at 7:55 am, 11:15 am, and 7:30 pm est. BeeTV is broadcast on Armstrong Cable channels 50 & 205.

History[edit]

The Junior High was built in 1923 and is no longer used as of the 2015-2016 school year, when the district added the new Freeport Area Middle School in Sarver. The old middle school gym had a cement floor and couldn't be used for sporting events. In the 1960s, the Cafe was added to the School. Before then the students would travel out in Freeport and eat at several restaurants.

The Junior High school used to be the high school. In 1960, a new high school was built in Sarver. Some high school events, such as football games, were still at the junior high. As of 2008, scoreboards were installed at the senior high fields, and the high school sports have been moved to the senior high. The varsity football team played at the junior high until the 2016-2017 school year, when a new athletic complex was built adjacent to the high school and middle school campuses in Sarver.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Freeport Area School District
  2. ^ Weigand, Jodi, Some taxes up, some down in Freeport Area budget, June 21, 2012
  3. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education, Tuition rates per LEA, 2011
  4. ^ Pennsylvania Public School Rankings, Pittsburgh Business Times. May 14, 2008.
  5. ^ Three of top school districts in state hail from Allegheny County, Pittsburgh Business Times. May 23, 2007
  6. ^ Freeport Area School District Academic Achievement Report Card 2009
  7. ^ Pennsylvania Partnerships for Children - High School Graduation Rate 2007
  8. ^ The Rankings: 11th Grade, Guide to Western Pennsylvania Schools, Pittsburgh Business Times. May 15, 2009
  9. ^ Freeport Area Senior High School Academic Achievement Report Card 2009
  10. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education PSSA Math and Reading Results by School and grade 2007
  11. ^ 2009 PSSAs: Reading, Math, Writing and Science Results
  12. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education PSSA Math and Reading Results by School 2008
  13. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education Report on Science PSSA 2008 by school and grade, August 2008.
  14. ^ Pennsylvania College Remediation Report, Pennsylvania Department of Education January 2009
  15. ^ National Center for Education Statistics
  16. ^ Dual Enrollment Guidlelines 2010-2011
  17. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education Dual Enrollment Grants 2009-10
  18. ^ Pennsylvania Code §4.24 (a) High school graduation requirements
  19. ^ Fenton, Jacob, Average classroom teacher salary in Armstrong County, 2006-07. The Morning Call. Accessed March 2009.
  20. ^ Teachers need to know enough is enough, PaDelcoTimes, April 20, 2010.
  21. ^ Freeport Area Professional Education Association Employment Contract 2009
  22. ^ Legislature must act on educators' pension hole. The Patriot News. February 21, 2010
  23. ^ Fenton, Jacob. Pennsylvania School District Data: Will School Consolidation Save Money?, The Morning Call, Feb 2009.
  24. ^ Freeport Area School District ACT-93 Agreement
  25. ^ Garrone, Francine. Freeport Area names superintendent, The Valley News Dispatch. May 18, 2007
  26. ^ Aubele, Michael. Freeport Superintendent Chapp 'not one of the finalists' for Norwin job. The Valley News Dispatch. April 8, 2010.
  27. ^ Benefits of Learning. The Altoona Mirror. August 2007
  28. ^ What are the Local Taxes in Pennsylvania?, Local Tax Reform Education Project, Penn State Cooperative Extension web site. Accessed 2010.
  29. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Revenue - Income Tax information 2010
  30. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education Basic Education Funding report October 2009
  31. ^ Governor's Budget Proposal for 2009-2010
  32. ^ Armstrong County ARRA FUNDING Report, April 2010
  33. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education School District Funding Report. October 2009.
  34. ^ Pennsylvania's 'Race to the Top' Fueled by Effective Reforms, Strong Local Support, Governor's Press release January 20, 2010
  35. ^ Pennsylvania's 'Race to the Top' Fueled by Effective Reforms, Strong Local Support
  36. ^ Race to the Top Fund, U.S. Department of Education, March 29, 2010.
  37. ^ Real Estate Tax Millage by School District, Pennsylvania Department of Revenue. 2009
  38. ^ Special Report Pennsylvania Property Tax Relief, Auditor General Office, 2-23-2010.
  39. ^ New Census Data on Property Taxes on Homeowners, Tax Foundation, September 22, 2009.
  40. ^ Policy Extracurriculars 122 and Student Athletics 123. Freeport Area School District Policy Manual. 2010.
  41. ^ Home-Schooled, Charter School Children Can Participate in School District Extracurricular Activities, Pennsylvania Office of the Governor Press Release, November 10, 2005

External links[edit]