Gettysburg Area School District

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Gettysburg Area School District
Location
Gettysburg, Pennsylvania
South Central Pennsylvania
United States
Coordinates 39°51′02″N 77°14′01″W / 39.850500°N 77.233520°W / 39.850500; -77.233520 (District office)Coordinates: 39°51′02″N 77°14′01″W / 39.850500°N 77.233520°W / 39.850500; -77.233520 (District office)
Information
Type Public
Motto A Great Place to Learn
Established 1971 (1971)
NCES District ID 4210710[1]
Superintendent

Dr. Larry R. Redding, Contract July 1, 2014-June 30, 2017[2] Salary $131,396 (2015)[3]

Dr. Christine S. Lay, Asst Superintendent
Administrator Brad N Hunt, Business Manager[4]
Staff 183 (2013)
Faculty 209 teachers (2013),[5] 229 (2010)
Grades K-12
Number of students

2,994 pupils (2016)[6]
3,012 pupils (2014)[7]
2,997 pupils (2012)[8]
2,827 pupils (2011)

3,265 pupils (2006)[9]
 • Kindergarten 208 (2012),[10] 222 (2006)[11]
 • Grade 1 202 (2012), 244 (2006)
 • Grade 2 210 (2012), 209 (2006)
 • Grade 3 211 (2012), 228 (2006)
 • Grade 4 213 (2012), 213 (2006)
 • Grade 5 203 (2012), 232 (2006)
 • Grade 6 225 (2012), 222 (2006)
 • Grade 7 259 (2012), 245 (2006)
 • Grade 8 210 (2012), 270 (2006)
 • Grade 9 237 (2012), 274 (2006)
 • Grade 10 234 (2012), 322 (2006)
 • Grade 11 280 (2012), 299 (2006)
 • Grade 12 294 (2012), 285 (2006)
Mascot Gettysburg Warriors
Budget $55.528 million
Website

The Gettysburg Area School District is a mid-sized, rural, public school district which serves students in a 185-square-mile (480 km2) area of Adams County, Pennsylvania. The District includes: Gettysburg Borough, as well as Cumberland, Freedom, Highland, Franklin and parts of Mt. Joy and Straban Townships. According to 2000 federal census data, Gettysburg Area School District served a resident population of 26,205 people. By 2010, the District's population increased to 27,614 people.[12] The educational attainment levels for the Gettysburg Area School District population (25 years old and over) were 87.4% high school graduates and 27.4% college graduates.[13] The District is one of the 500 public school districts of Pennsylvania.

According to the Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center, 42.3% 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. In 2013, the Pennsylvania Department of Education, reported that 130 students in Gettysburg Area School District were homeless.[14][15] In 2009, the District residents' per capita income was $18,982, while median family income was $50,396 a year.[16] In the Commonwealth, the median family income was $49,501[17] and the United States median family income was $49,445, in 2010.[18] In Adams County, the median household income was $59,492.[19] By 2013, the median household income in the United States rose to $52,100.[20] In 2014, the median household income in the USA was $53,700.[21]

According to District officials, in school year 2007–08 the Gettysburg Area School District provided basic educational services to 3,409 pupils. At the time, the district employed 256 teachers, 164 full-time and part-time support personnel, and 27 administrators. Gettysburg Area School District received more than $12.8 million in state funding in school year 2007–08. Per District officials, in school year 2009–10 the Gettysburg Area School District provided basic educational services to 3,032 pupils. The District employed: 251 teachers, 178 full-time and part-time support personnel, and 25 administrators. Gettysburg Area School District received more than $13 million in state funding in school year 2009–10.[22]

The District operates three elementary schools Franklin Township Elementary School - K-5, James Gettys Elementary School - K-5, Lincoln Elementary School - K-5, one middle school (grades 6–8) and Gettysburg Area High School (grades 9–12.) Since 2010, the District has also offered a Virtual Academy program to pupils in grades 7th through 12th. There is no cost to the parent for the program; with: computer, software, books are all provided by the district.[23] The pupils have access to all extracurricular programs in the district and can earn a Gettysburg Area School District diploma.

Lincoln Intermediate Unit #12 provides a wide variety of services to children living in its region which includes Gettysburg Area School District. Early screening, special educations services, speech and hearing therapy, Head Start preschool classes and many other services 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.

Governance[edit]

Gettysburg Area 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.[24] The federal government controls programs it funds like Title I funding for low-income children in the Elementary and Secondary Education Act and President George W. Bush's No Child Left Behind Act (renamed Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) in December 2015) which mandates the district focus its resources on student success in acquiring reading and math skills.[25] 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.[26]

The Superintendent and Business Manager are appointed by the 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 Gettysburg Area School Board. The 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 regarding renewal of the employment contract.[27] 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.[28]

The Commonwealth Foundation for Public Policy Alternatives Sunshine Review gave the school board and district administration a "C–" 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.[29]

Schools[edit]

Name Level Information
Gettysburg Area High School 9-12 A new facility was built and moved into in January 1998. Sports Mascot: Warriors. Principal: Mark Blanchard
Gettysburg Area Middle School 6-8 Formerly Gettysburg Area Junior High School. Sports Mascot: Braves. Principal: Elwood Strait
Lincoln Elementary School K-5 Former site of Gettysburg Area High School. Named for former President Abraham Lincoln, who visited Gettysburg in November 1863 when he delivered his famous Gettysburg Address. Principal: Steve Fehringer
Franklin Township Elementary School K-5 Located west of Gettysburg in Cashtown. Principal: Shelly Lappi
James Gettys Elementary School K-5 Named for James Gettys, the founder of the borough of Gettysburg. Principal: Donna Kluck

In June 2011, the school board voted to close Eisenhower Elementary School. The school had opened in the 1959–60 school year. Closing the school was projected to save $500,000. The building was leased to two public charter schools: Vida Charter School and Gettysburg Montessori Charter School beginning with the 2011–12 school year. The lease provides the District with over $150,000 in rent.[30]

Academic achievement[edit]

The Gettysburg Area School District was ranked 95th out of 493 Pennsylvania school districts, in 2016,[31] by the Pittsburgh Business Times. The ranking was based on student academic performance on the last three years of PSSAs results in: reading, writing, mathematics and science and the three Keystone Exams (literature, Algebra 1, Biology I) in high school.[32] Three public 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 and the 11th grade in high school. Adapted examinations are given to children in the special education programs.

Overachiever statewide ranking

In 2013, the Pittsburgh Business Times also reported an Overachievers Ranking for 498 Pennsylvania school districts. Gettysburg Area School District ranked 42nd. In 2012, the district was ranked 69th. [36] The editor 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."[37]

In 2009, the academic achievement of the students in the Gettysburg Area School District was in the 65th percentile among Pennsylvania's 500 school districts. Scale - (0–99; 100 is state best) [38]

District AYP status history[edit]

In 2011 and 2012, Gettysburg Area School District achieved Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) status.[39] In 2011, 94 percent of the 500 Pennsylvania public school districts achieved the No Child Left Behind Act progress level of 72% of students reading on grade level and 67% of students demonstrating on grade level math. In 2011, 46.9 percent of Pennsylvania school districts achieved Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) based on student performance. An additional 37.8 percent of Pennsylvania public school districts made AYP based on a calculated method called safe harbor, 8.2 percent on the growth model and 0.8 percent on a two-year average performance.[40] Gettysburg Area School District achieved AYP status each year from 2004 to 2010, while in 2003, Gettysburg Area School District was in Warning AYP status due to lagging student achievement.[41]

Graduation rate[edit]

In 2016, the District’s graduation rate was 93.86%.[42]

High school[edit]

Gettysburg Area High School is located at 1130 Old Harrisburg Road. In 2016, enrollment was reported as 1067 pupils in 9th through 12th grades, with 36.5% of pupils eligible for a free lunch due to the family meeting the federal federal poverty level. Additionally, 11.7% of pupils received special education services, while 4% of pupils were identified as gifted.[51] The school employed 76 teachers.[52] Per the Pennsylvania Department of Education, 100% of the teachers were rated "Highly Qualified" under the federal No Child Left Behind Act.[53]

In 2013, Gettysburg Area High School reported an enrollment of 1,034 pupils, with 34% coming from low income homes.[54] According to the National Center for Education Statistics, in 2010, the school reported an enrollment of 1,151 pupils in grades 9th through 12th, with 369 pupils eligible for a federal free or reduced-price lunch due to the family meeting the federal poverty level. The school employed 82.5 teachers, yielding a student–teacher ratio of 13:1.[55] According to a report by the Pennsylvania Department of Education, 100% of its teachers were rated "Highly Qualified" under No Child Left Behind.[56]

2016 School Performance Profile

SPP 81.1 out of 100 points Gettysburg Area High School Keystone Exams mandated testing results were: 82.5% of students were on grade level in reading.literature and 72% of students demonstrated on grade level in Algebra I. In Biology I, 73.37% of pupils demonstrated on grade level science understanding at the end of the Biology course.[57] The requirement that pupils pass the Keystone Exams in reading, algebra I and bIology I in order to graduate was postponed until 2019 by the Pennsylvania General Assembly because less than 60% of 12 grade pupils statewide would have been eligible for graduation from high school due to failing one or more Keystone Exams.[58] Fifty-four percent of the 2,676 public schools in Pennsylvania achieved a passing score of 70 or better.[59]

2015 School Performance Profile

Gettysburg Area High School achieved 69.5 out of 100. Reflects on grade level reading, mathematics and science achievement. The PDE reported that 83.5% of the School’s students were on grade level in reading/literature. In Algebra 1, 77.9% of students showed on grade level skills at the end of the course. In Biology I, 71.7% demonstrated on grade level science understanding at the end of the course.[60][61] 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.[62][63]

2014 School Performance Profile

Gettysburg Area High School achieved 78.8 out of 100. Reflects on grade level reading, mathematics and science achievement. In reading/literature, 88% of pupils were on grade level. In Algebra 1, 77% showed on grade level skills. In Biology, 64.8% demonstrated on grade level science understanding at the end of the course.[64] 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%.[65]

2013 School Performance Profile

Gettysburg Area High School achieved 87.9 out of 100. Reflects on grade level reading, mathematics and science achievement.[66] In reading/literature - 84% were on grade level. In Algebra 1, 77% showed on grade level skills. In Biology, 50% showed on grade level science understanding.[67] 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, they now take the Keystone Exams at the end of the associated course.

AYP History[edit]

In 2012, Gettysburg Area High School remained in School Improvement I Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) status due to chronic, low academic achievement in reading and mathematics.[68] Under the federal No Child Left Behind Act, the school administration was required to notify parents of the school's poor achievement outcomes and to offer the parent the opportunity to transfer to a successful school within the District. Additionally the school administration was required by the Pennsylvania Department of Education, to develop a School Improvement Plan to address the school's low student achievement. Under the Pennsylvania Accountability System, the Gettysburg Area School District must pay for additional tutoring for struggling students.[69] Gettysburg Area High School is eligible for extra funding under School Improvement Grants which the school must apply for each year.[70]

  • 2011 - declined to School Improvement II AYP status due to chronic, low academic achievement.[71]
  • 2010 - School Improvement I - Making Progress[72]
  • 2009 - declined to School Improvement I due to chronic, low academic achievement.[73]
  • 2008 - declined to Warning AYP status due to lagging student achievement
  • 2007 - achieved AYP status
  • 2006 - declined to Warning AYP status due to lagging student achievement
  • 2004 and 2005 - achieved AYP status
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.[74] 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 course, rather than all in the spring of the student's 11th grade year.[75]

11th Grade Reading
  • 2012 - 71% on grade level, (11% below basic). State - 67% of 11th graders are on grade level.[76]
  • 2011 - 67.9% (17% below basic). State - 69.1% [77]
  • 2010 - 66%, State - 67%[78]
  • 2009 - 64%, State - 65%
  • 2008 - 59%, State - 65%
  • 2007 - 64%, State - 65%[79]
11th Grade Math:
  • 2012 - 63% on grade level (19% below basic). In Pennsylvania, 59% of 11th graders are on grade level.[80]
  • 2011 - 60%, (24% below basic). State - 60.3%
  • 2010 - 63%, State - 59% [81]
  • 2009 - 63%, State - 56%
  • 2008 - 46%, State - 56%[82]
  • 2007 - 49%, State - 53%
11th Grade Science
  • 2012 - 43% on grade level (12% below basic). State - 42% of 11th graders were on grade level.[83]
  • 2011 - 34% (17% below basic). State - 40%
  • 2010 - 32%, State - 39%
  • 2009 - 45%, State - 40%
  • 2008 - 26%, State - 39% [84]

College Remediation[edit]

According to a Pennsylvania Department of Education study released in January 2009, 31% of Gettysburg 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.[85] 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.[86][87] 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.

Science in Motion Gettysburg Area High School took advantage of a state program called Science in Motion which brought college professors and sophisticated science equipment to the school to raise science awareness and to provide inquiry-based experiences for the students. The Science in Motion program was funded by a state appropriation and cost the school nothing to participate.[88] Gettysburg Area Middle School also worked with Gettysburg College to provide the experiences.

Graduation requirements[edit]

The Gettysburg School Board has determined that 29 credits are required to graduation, including: English 4 credits, Math 3 or 4 credits, Science 3 or 4 credits, Social Students 4 credits, Health and Physical Education 4 credits, Information Technology 1 credit, Graduation Project 1 credit and Electives 8 credits. A minimum total of 7.0 credits are required between Mathematics and Science.[89][90]

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.[91] Effective with the graduating class of 2017, the Pennsylvania Board of Education eliminated the state mandate that students complete a culminating project in order to graduate.[92]

By Pennsylvania School Board regulations, beginning with the class of 2019,[93] public school students must demonstrate successful completion of secondary level course work in Algebra I, Biology, and English Literature by passing the Keystone Exams.[94][95][96] 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.[97] 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.[98] 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.

SAT scores[edit]

In 2015, 139 Gettysburg Area School District students took the SAT exams. The District's Verbal Average Score was 508. The Math average score was 511. The Writing average score was 480.[99] The College Board also reported that statewide 96,826 pupils took the exams with average scores declining in all three measurers to: 495 in reading, 511 in math and 484 in writing.[100]

In 2014, 159 Gettysburg Area School District students took the SAT exams. The District's Verbal Average Score was 495. The Math average score was 490. The Writing average score was 472.[101][102] 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.[103] In 2014, 1,672,395 students took the SATs in the United States.

In 2013, 139 Gettysburg Area School District students' Verbal Average Score was 521. The Math average score was 517. The Writing average score was 496. The College Board reported Pennsylvania students who took the test scored 494 Verbal, 504 Math and just 482 in Writing. The highest possible score is 800 on each of the exams. The nationwide scores in all three subjects, which averaged Verbal 496, Mathematics 514 and Writing 488.

In 2012, 137 Gettysburg Area School District students took the SAT exams. The District's Verbal Average Score was 505. The Math average score was 495. The Writing average score was 494. The statewide Verbal SAT exams results were: Verbal 491, Math 501, Writing 480. In the US, 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, 167 Gettysburg Area School District students took the SAT exams. The District's Verbal Average Score was 504. The Math average score was 502. The Writing average score was 485.[104] Pennsylvania ranked 40th among states with SAT scores: Verbal - 493, Math - 501, Writing - 479.[105] 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.[106]

AP Courses[edit]

In 2013, Gettysburg Area High School offered 14 Advanced Placement (AP) courses at a higher cost than regular courses. Students have the option of taking College Board approved courses and then taking the College Board's examination in the spring. Students who achieve a 3 or better on the exam, may be awarded college credits at US universities and colleges. Each higher education institution sets its own standards about what level of credits are awarded to a student based on their AP exam score. Most higher education give credits for scores of 4 or 5. Some schools also give credits for scores of 3. High schools give credits towards graduation to students who take the school's AP class. At Gettysburg Area High School 78.7% of students, who took an AP course, earned a 3 or better on the exam.[107]

In 2014, the School offered 19 AP Courses with 84% of pupils who took the course earning a 3 or better on the AP exam.[108]

Middle school[edit]

Gettysburg Area Middle School is located at 37 Lefever Street. In 2016, enrollment was 678 pupils, in grades 6th through 8th, with 45.5% of pupils eligible for a free lunch due to family poverty. Additionally, 9% of pupils received special education services, while 11% of pupils were identified as gifted.[109] According to a 2014 report by the Pennsylvania Department of Education, 100% of its teachers were rated "Highly Qualified" under No Child Left Behind.[110]

In 2013, the school reported an enrollment of 689 pupils, with 41% coming from low income homes.[111] According to the National Center for Education Statistics, in 2011, the school reported an enrollment of 667 pupils in grades 6th through 8th, with 271 pupils receiving a federal free or reduced-price lunch due to family poverty. The school employed 53 teachers, yielding a student–teacher ratio of 12:1.[112] The Middle School is a federally designated Title I school. According to a report by the Pennsylvania Department of Education, 17 teachers were rated "Non‐Highly Qualified" under No Child Left Behind.[113]

2016 School Performance Profile

SPP 86.5 out of 100 points. Gettysburg Area Middle School PSSA mandated testing results were: 79% of students in 8th grade were on grade level in reading, while just 64% of students demonstrated on grade level in mathematics. In science 75% of eighth grade pupils demonstrated on grade level science understanding.[114] In 7th grade, 71% of pupils were on grade level in reading, while just 50% demonstrated on grade level math skills. Among 6th graders, 75% were on grade level in reading and only 60% were on grade level in math. No fifth grade writing scores were reported. Statewide just 31% of eighth graders demonstrated on grade level in math and 58% of eighth graders were on grade level in reading. In science, 57.7% of eighth graders showed on grade level proficiency. Among 7th graders, just 37% of students demonstrated on grade evel skills in mathematics. In seventh grade reading, 58% were on grade level. Sixth graders had 61.5% showing on grade level math skills. In reading, 61.5% of sixth graders were on grade level.[115]

2015 School Performance Profile

The PDE withheld SPP scores. It was reported that 78% of 8th grade students at Gettysburg Area Middle School students were on grade level in reading on the PSSAs given in April 2015. In math/Algebra 1, 54% of 8th grade students showed on grade level skills. In science, % of the school’s 8th graders demonstrated on grade level science understanding. No eighth grade writing scores were reported. In 7th grade, 71% were on grade level in reading, while just 53% showed on grade level math skills. Among 6th graders, 67% were on grade level in reading and 51% were on grade level in mathematics.[116] 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.[117]

2014 School Performance Profile

Gettysburg Area Middle School achieved 92.1 out of 100. Reflects on grade level reading, mathematics and science achievement. In reading/literature, 82.6% were on grade level. In Algebra 1/Math, 91.6% showed on grade level mathematics skills. In Science, 71% of 8th graders showed on grade level science understanding. In writing, 84.1% of the 8th grade students demonstrated on grade level writing skills.[118][119]

2013 School Performance Profile

Gettysburg Area Middle School achieved 89 out of 100. Reflects on grade level reading and mathematics achievement.[120] In reading, 79% of the students were on grade level. In Mathematics/Algebra1, 89% of the students showed on grade level skills. In Science, 70% of the 8th graders demonstrated on grade level understanding. In writing, 85% of the 8th grade students showed on grade level writing skills.

AYP history

In 2010 through 2012, Gettysburg Area Middle School achieved AYP status.[121] In 2009, the Middle School was in Making Progress: in School Improvement I status for academics due to low student achievement.[122]

8th Grade Reading:
  • 2012 − 93% on grade level (1% below basic). In Pennsylvania, 79% of 8th graders on grade level.[80]
  • 2011 − 93.3% (4% below basic). State − 81.8%
  • 2010 − 92%, State − 81% [123]
  • 2009 − 86%, State − 80.9% [124]
  • 2008 − 79%, State − 78% [125]

8th Grade Math:

  • 2012 − 96% on grade level (1% below basic). State − 76% [126]
  • 2011 − 93.2% (% below basic). State − 76.9%[127]
  • 2010 − 90%, State − 75% [128]
  • 2009 − 78%, State − 71%[125]
  • 2008 − 71%, State − 70%
8th Grade Science:
  • 2012 − 69% on grade level (8% below basic). State - 59%
  • 2011 − 69% (11% below basic). State – 58.3%
  • 2010 − 67%, State − 57% [129]
  • 2009 − 57%, State − 55%
  • 2008 − 51%, State − 50% [130]

Gettysburg Area Virtual Academy[edit]

In 2009, Gettysburg Area School Board established the Virtual Academy for students in grades 6–12. It offers 30 web-based courses. Originally the courses were only open to alternative education students. The courses will be developed by a Pittsburgh company, Virtual Learning Network Partners.[132]

James Gettys Elementary School[edit]

James Gettys Elementary School is located at 898 Biglerville Road, Gettysburg. In 2013, the school reported an enrollment of 417 pupils in grade kingergarten through 5th grade, with 48.6% of pupils coming from low income families.[133] According to the National Center for Education Statistics, in 2011, the school reported an enrollment of 300 pupils in grades kindergarten through 3rd, with 124 pupils receiving a federal free or reduced-price lunch due to family poverty. The school is a federally designated Title I school. The school employed 20 teachers, yielding a student–teacher ratio of 15:1.[134] According to a report by the Pennsylvania Department of Education, 100% of its teachers were rated "Highly Qualified" under No Child Left Behind.[135] For the 2012 school year, James Gettys Elementary School's enrollment was changed to include 4th and 5th grades. Since 2008, the school has provided full day kindergarten.

2016 School Performance Profile

SPP 73.4 points out of 100. James Gettys Elementary School PSSA mandated testing results were: 82% of students in 5th grade were on grade level in reading, while just 79% of students demonstrated on grade level mathematics skills. In 4th grade, 66% were on grade level in reading, while 54% demonstrated on grade level math skills. In science, 88% of fourth grade pupils demonstrated on grade level understanding of science concepts in the state standards. Among the school's third graders, only 65% were on grade level in reading and 64% showed on grade level mathematics skills.[136][137]

2015 School Performance Profile

According to the Pennsylvania Department of Education, 85% of 5th grade students at James Gettys Elementary School were on grade level in reading on the PSSAs given in April 2015. In mathematics, 75% of 5th grade students showed on grade level skills. No fifth grade writing scores were reported. In 4th grade, 87% were on grade level in reading, while 76% showed on grade level math skills. In science, 98% of fourth graders showed on grade level understanding. Among third (3rd) graders, only 65% were on grade level in reading and just 53% were on grade level in mathematics.[138] Statewide 61.9% of fifth (5th) graders were on grade level in reading, while 42.8% demonstrated on grade level math skills. Pennsylvania 4th graders were 58.6% on grade level in reading and 44.4% demonstrated on grade level math skills. In science, 77.3% of fourth graders showed on grade level understanding. Among Pennsylvania third (3rd) graders, 62% were reading on grade level, while 48.5% demonstrated on grade level math skills.[139]

2014 School Performance Profile

James Gettys Elementary School achieved a score of 84.6 out of 100. The score reflects on grade level: reading, science, writing and mathematics achievement. In 2013-14, 81% of the students were reading on grade level in grades 3rd through 5th. In 3rd grade, 80% of the pupils were reading on grade level. In math, 87.8% were on grade level (3rd-5th grades). In 4th grade science, just 95% of the pupils demonstrated on grade level understanding. In writing only 57.8% of 5th grade pupils demonstrated on grade level skills.[140]

2013 School Performance Profile

James Gettys Elementary School achieved 88.5 out of 100. Reflects on grade level reading and mathematics achievement.[141] In 2012–13, 80% of the students were reading on grade level in grades 3rd through 5th. In 3rd grade, 88% of the pupils were reading on grade level. In math, 89.8 were on grade level (3rd-5th grades). In 4th grade science, 90% of the pupils demonstrated on grade level understanding. In writing only 78% of 5th grade pupils demonstrated on grade level skills.[142]

AYP History

In 2012, James Gettys Elementary School achieved AYP status.[143] In 2012, 80% of the students were reading on grade level in grades 3rd through 5th. In math, 92% of the students in 3rd through 5th grades were on grade level and 61% scored advanced. In 4th grade science, 82% of the pupils were on grade level.[144]

Lincoln Elementary School[edit]

Lincoln Elementary School is located at 98 Lefever Street, Gettysburg. In 2013, the school reported an enrollment of 453 pupils in grades Kindergarten through 5th, with 51% coming from low income homes. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, in 2011, the school reported an enrollment of 477 pupils in grades fourth and fifth, with 195 pupils receiving a federal free or reduced-price lunch due to family poverty. The school is a federally designated Title I school. The school employed 31 teachers, yielding a student–teacher ratio of 15:1.[145] According to a report by the Pennsylvania Department of Education, 100% of its teachers were rated "Highly Qualified" under No Child Left Behind.[146]

2013 School Performance Profile

Lincoln Elementary School achieved 75.7 out of 100. Reflects on grade level reading and mathematics achievement.[147] In 2012–13, only 77% of the students were reading on grade level in grades 3rd through 5th. In 3rd grade, 82% of the pupils were reading on grade level. In math, 86% were on grade level (3rd-5th grades). In 4th grade science, just 77% of the pupils demonstrated on grade level understanding. In writing only 61% of 5th grade pupils demonstrated on grade level skills.[148]

AYP History

In 2009 through 2012, Lincoln Elementary School achieved AYP status each year.[149]

  • 2008 - Making Progress School Improvement[150]
  • 2007 - declined to Corrective Action 1 due to low student academic achievement[151]
  • 2006 - declined to School Improvement 2[152]
  • 2005 - School Improvement 1
  • 2004 - declined to School Improvement 1
  • 2003 - Warning AYP Status
4th Grade Science
  • 2012 - 85%, (3% below basic). State - 82%
  • 2011 - 87%, (2% below basic). State - 82.9%
  • 2010 - 86%, (1% below basic). State - 81%

Franklin Township Elementary School[edit]

Franklin Township Elementary School is located at 870 Old Route 30, Cashtown. In 2016, the School's enrollment was 379 pupils in grades kindergarten through 5th, with 47% of pupils receiving a federal free or reduced price meals due to family poverty. Additionally, 13% of the pupils receive special education services, while 2.9% are identified as gifted.[155] 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.[156] The school is a federally designated Title I school.

In 2013, the school's enrollment was 376 pupils with 46% of pupils receiving a federal free or reduced price meals due to family poverty. The school provided grades kindergarten through 5th. According to a report by the Pennsylvania Department of Education, 100% of the teachers were rated highly qualified under the federal No Child Left Behind Act. The school provided full day kindergarten.[157] The school is a federally designated Title I school. In 2012–13, the school underwent a major renovation. As part of an elementary school reorganization plan 4th and 5th grades were added to FTES in 2012.[158]

2016 School Performance Profile

SPP 68.7 out of 100 points Franklin Township Elementary School PSSA mandated testing results were: just 56% of students in 5th grade were on grade level in reading, while only 51% of students demonstrated on grade level mathematics skills. In 4th grade, 50% were on grade level in reading, while 50% demonstrated on grade level math skills. In science, 86% of fourth grade pupils demonstrated on grade level understanding of science concepts in the state standards. Among the school's third graders, 71% were on grade level in reading and only 68% showed on grade level mathematics skills.[136][137]

2015 School Performance Profile

SPP withheld by the Pennsylvania Department of Education. According to the Pennsylvania Department of Education, 71% of 5th grade students at Franklin Township Elementary School were on grade level in reading on the PSSAs given in April 2015. In mathematics, just 50% of 5th grade students showed on grade level skills. No fifth grade writing scores were reported. In 4th grade, just 59% were on grade level in reading, while only 59% showed on grade level math skills. In science, 95% of fourth graders showed on grade level understanding. Among third (3rd) graders, only 69% were on grade level in reading and just 54% were on grade level in mathematics.[159]

2014 School Performance Profile

SPP 79.4 out of 100 points. Franklin Township Elementary School achieved a score of out of 100. The score reflects on grade level: reading, science, writing and mathematics achievement. In 2013-14, 69.57% of the students were reading on grade level in grades 3rd through 5th. In 3rd grade, 67.16% of the pupils were reading on grade level. In math, 78.85% were on grade level (3rd-5th grades). In 4th grade science, 89.86% of the pupils demonstrated on grade level understanding. In writing, only 61% of 5th grade pupils demonstrated on grade level skills.[160]

2013 School Performance Profile

Franklin Township Elementary School achieved a score of 77.6 out of 100. The score reflects on grade level: reading, science, writing and mathematics achievement. In 2012–13, only 75% of the students were reading on grade level in grades 3rd through 5th. In 3rd grade, 81.6% of the pupils were reading on grade level. In math, 83% were on grade level (3rd-5th grades). In 4th grade science, just 85% of the pupils demonstrated on grade level understanding. In writing only 71% of 5th grade pupils demonstrated on grade level skills.[161] According to a school report 78% of third graders, 90% of fourth graders and 84% of fifth graders achieved proficiency in mathematics as measured on the PSSA. Additionally, 82% of third graders, 77% of fourth graders and 67% of fifth graders are proficient in reading as measured on the PSSA.[162]

AYP History

In 2012, Franklin Township Elementary School achieved AYP status.[163]

4th Grade Science
  • 2012 - 93%, (2% below basic). State - 82%

Special education[edit]

In December 2015, Gettysburg Area School District administration reported that 383 pupils or 12.7% of the district's pupils received Special Education services, with 44% of the identified students having a specific learning disability.[167]

In December 2009, the District administration reported that 399 pupils or 12.5% of the district's pupils received Special Education services, with 57.1% of the identified students having a specific learning disability. Special education services in the Commonwealth are provided to students from ages three years to 21 years old. In the 2010-11 school year, the total student enrollment was more than 1.78 million students with approximately 275,000 students eligible for special education services. Among these students 18,959 were identified with mental retardation and 21,245 students with autism.[168] The largest group of students are identified as Specific Learning Disabilities 126,026 students (46.9 percent) and Speech or Language Impairments with 43,542 students (16.2 percent).[169]

In 2007, Pennsylvania Secretary of Education Gerald Zahorchak testified before the Pennsylvania House Education Committee regarding full day kindergarten. He claimed that districts which offered the program would see a significant decrease in special education students due to early identification and early intervention. He asserted the high cost of full day kindergarten would be recouped by Districts in lower special education costs.[170] Gettysburg Area School District has provided full day kindergarten since 2003. The District has seen a slight decrease in the percentage of special education students it serves, yielding no savings. In fact, the school board has appealed for permission to raise its property taxes higher than the Act I index permitted in order to pay for rising special education costs.[171]

In order to comply with state and federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act rules and regulations, the school district engages in identification procedures to ensure that eligible students receive an appropriate educational program consisting of special education and related services, individualized to meet student needs. At no cost to the parents, these services are provided in compliance with state and federal law; and are reasonably calculated to yield meaningful educational benefit and student progress.[172] The IDEA 2004 requires each school entity to publish a notice to parents, in newspapers or other media, including the student handbook and school website regarding the availability of screening and intervention services and how to access them.

Students who have an Individual Education Plan (IEP) may take the PSSA-M an alternative math exam rather than the PSSA.[173] Some special education students may take the PASA (Pennsylvania Alternate System of Assessment), rather than the PSSA.[174] Schools are permitted to provide accommodations to some students.[175]

In 2010, the state of Pennsylvania provided $1,026,815,000 for Special Education services. This funding was in addition to the state's basic education per pupil funding, as well as, all other state and federal funding.[176] The Special Education funding structure is through the federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) funds and state appropriations. IDEA funds are appropriated to the state on an annual basis and distributed through intermediate units (IUs) to school districts, while state funds are distributed directly to the districts. Total funds that are received by school districts are calculated through a formula. The Pennsylvania Department of Education oversees four appropriations used to fund students with special needs: Special Education; Approved Private Schools; Pennsylvania Chartered Schools for the Deaf and Blind; and Early Intervention. The Pennsylvania Special Education funding system assumes that 16% of the district’s students receive special education services. It also assumes that each student’s needs accrue the same level of costs.[177] Over identification of students, in order to increase state funding, has been an issue in the Commonwealth. Some districts have more than 20% of its students receiving special education services while others have 10% supported through special education.[178] The state requires each public school district and charter school to have a three-year special education plan to meet the unique needs of its special education students.[179] In 2012, the Obama Administration's US Department of Education issued a directive requiring schools include students with disabilities in extracurricular activities, including sports.[180]

The Gettysburg Area School District received a $1,685,442 supplement for special education services in 2010.[181] For the 2011–12, 2012–13 and 2013-14 school years, all Pennsylvania public school districts received the same level of funding for special education that they received in 2010-11. This level funding was provided regardless of changes in the number of pupils who need special education services and regardless of the level of services the respective students required.[182][183]

  • 2014-15 school year, GASD received an increase to $1,709,805 from the Commonwealth for special education funding.[184]
  • 2016-17 school year, Gettysburg Area School District received a 1.1% increase in state special education funding to $1,748,501.[185]

Additionally, the state provides supplemental funding for extraordinarily impacted students. The District must apply for this added funding.

Budget[edit]

Pennsylvania public school districts budget and expend funds according to procedures mandated by the General Assembly and the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE). An annual operating budget is prepared by school district administrative officials. A uniform form is furnished by the PDE and submitted to the board of school directors for approval prior to the beginning of each fiscal year on July 1.

Under Pennsylvania’s Taxpayer Relief Act, Act 1 of the Special Session of 2006, all school districts of the first class A, second class, third class and fourth class must adopt a preliminary budget proposal. The proposal must include estimated revenues and expenditures and the proposed tax rates. This proposed budget must be considered by the Board no later than 90 days prior to the date of the election immediately preceding the fiscal year. The preliminary budget proposal must also be printed and made available for public inspection at least 20 days prior to its adoption. The board of school directors may hold a public hearing on the budget, but are not required to do so. The board must give at least 10 days’ public notice of its intent to adopt the final budget according to Act 1 of 2006.[186]

In 2016, the average teacher salary in Gettysburg Area School District rose to $69,732 a year. The District employed 246 teachers with a top salary of $131,396.[187][188] Gettysburg Area School District teacher and administrator retirement benefits are equal to at least 2.00% x Final Average Salary x Total Credited Service. (Some teachers benefits utilize a 2.50% benefit factor.)[189] After 40 years of service, Pennsylvania public school teachers and administrators can retire with 100% of the average salary of their final 3 years of employment. According to a study conducted at the American Enterprise Institute, in 2011, public school teachers’ total compensation is roughly 50 percent higher than they would likely receive in the private sector. The study found that the most generous benefits that teachers receive are not accounted for in many studies of compensation including: pension, retiree health benefits and job security.[190][191] In 2014-15, the state mandated District contribution to the teacher pension fund rose to 21.40% of employee salaries and in 2015-16 it rose again to 25.84% of total District salaries.[192]

In 2012, the average teacher salary in Gettysburg Area School District was $64,240 a year, while the cost of the benefits teachers received was $20,561 per employee, for a total annual average teacher compensation of $84,802.[193] The District employed 255 teachers with an average salary of $65,820 and a top salary of $124,250.[194] In 2011, the District continued to reduce staffing due to a decline in student enrollment. 24 positions were eliminated. The Superintendent reported that kindergarten enrollment has been at a lower level for the past 5 years.[30]

In 2009, Gettysburg Area School District employed over 300 teachers with a salary range of $42,000 to $131,043.[195] The average teacher's salary is $60,000.[196]

In 2007, the Gettysburg Area School District employed 233 teachers. The average teacher salary in the district was $54,489 for 180 days worked.[197] In addition to a defined benefit pension, the district pays retiring teachers a bonus for giving the district 90 days notice of the intent to retire. The maximum benefit is a $16,000 lump sum payment.[198]

Per pupil spending Gettysburg Area School District's administrative costs per pupil was $813.35 in 2008. This ranked 180th in Pennsylvania for administrative spending. The lowest administrative cost per pupil in Pennsylvania was $398 per pupil.[199] In January 2007, the Gettysburg Area School Board awarded a three-year contract to William Hall with an initial salary of $120,000 and an extensive benefits package that includes health insurance, Taxpayer pays up to $5,000 moving expenses, dues, conferences, travel per policy, and a defined benefit pension.[200] In 2011, the Pennsylvania Auditor General notified the school district that it will be investigating the recent superintendent buyout that includes a severance package costing over $500,000, including paying two years’ salary, at $135,630 a year and paying the mortgage on Hall's home, which he purchased in 2009 from the district’s Tech Prep program.[201][202][203] In October 2010, the Gettysburg Area School Board named Larry R. Redding as Acting Superintendent. In March 2011, the board officially promoted Redding to Superintendent.[204]

In 2008, Gettysburg Area School District's per pupil spending was $13,414. This ranked 142nd in 500 Pennsylvania public school districts.[205] In 2010, the District’s per pupil spending had increased to $15,451.17.[206] In 2011, Pennsylvania’s per pupil spending was $13,467, ranking 6th in the United States.[207] In 2007, the Pennsylvania per pupil total expenditures was reported as $12,759.[208]

The U.S. Census Bureau reported that Pennsylvania spent $8,191 per pupil in school year 2000–01.[209] In 2007, the Pennsylvania per pupil total expenditures was reported as $12,759.[208] Among the fifty states, Pennsylvania’s total per pupil revenue (including all sources) ranked 11th at $15,023 per student, in 2008–09.[210] Pennsylvania’s total revenue per pupil rose to $16,186 ranking 9th in the nation in 2011.[211]

Reserves In 2008, Gettysburg Area School District reported an unreserved designated fund balance of $2,944,403.00 and an unreserved-undesignated fund balance of $7,279,155.00.[212] In 2010 the reserves had increased to an unreserved designated fund balance of $5,930,484.00 and an unreserved-undesignated fund balance of $8,308,225.[213] In 2012, Gettysburg Area School District reported a fund balance of $4,280,932. Pennsylvania public school district reserve funds are divided into two categories – designated and undesignated. The undesignated funds are not committed to any planned project. Designated funds and any other funds, such as capital reserves, are allocated to specific projects. School districts are required by state law to keep 5 percent of their annual spending in the undesignated reserve funds to preserve bond ratings. By law the state limits the total unreserved-undesignated fund balance at 8% of the annual budget for school districts that have budgets over $19 million a year. According to the Pennsylvania Department of Education, from 2003 to 2010, as a whole, Pennsylvania school districts amassed nearly $3 billion in reserved funds.[214] By 2013, reserves held by Pennsylvania public school districts, as a whole, had increased to over $3.8 billion.[215]

State Audits

In December 2009, the Pennsylvania Auditor General conducted a performance audit of the District. Findings were reported to the school board and administration.[216] In January 2013, the Pennsylvania Auditor General conducted another performance audit of the District. Significant findings were reported to the school board and administration.[217]

In April 2015, the District was audited again by the Pennsylvania Auditor General. Serious finding included: inability to verify the enrollment data that had been submitted to the state and an excessive payout to a former Superintendent. Specifically The District’s early separation agreement from its Superintendent cost it $622,015 in Administrative Leave, Contract Buy-Out Expenses, and Replacement Costs.[218] Dr. William Hall left the district in 2011.[219]

Debt In 2011, the Gettysburg Area School Board approved the issuing of general obligation bonds totaling $37.3 million. The money raised will be used to fund various district projects, including the demolition and construction of a new middle school ($35 million), the construction of the Adams County Tech Prep building ($4.2 million), and demolition of Keefauver Elementary ($350,000) as well as $7.97 million worth of additions and renovations to Lincoln, Franklin Township and James Gettys elementary schools.[220]

Tuition Students who live in the Gettysburg Area School District's attendance area may choose to attend one of Pennsylvania's 157 public charter schools. A student living in a neighboring public school district or a foreign exchange student may seek admission to Gettysburg Area School District. For these cases, the Pennsylvania Department of Education sets an annual tuition rate for each school district. It is the amount the public school district pays to a charter school for each resident student that attends the charter and it is the amount a nonresident student's parents must pay to attend the District's schools. The 2012 tuition rates are Elementary School – $9,935.50, High School – $11,168.47.[221]

Gettysburg Area School District is funded by a combination of: a local earned income tax 1.7%, a property tax, a real estate transfer tax 0.5%, per capital taxes $10, admissions tax 10%, Emergency & Municipal Services Tax $10, coupled with substantial funding from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the federal government. Grants can provide an opportunity to supplement school funding without raising local taxes. Interest earnings on reserve accounts also provides nontax income to the District. 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 level of the individual’s personal wealth.[222] The average Pennsylvania public school teacher pension in 2011 exceeds $60,000 a year plus they receive federal Social Security benefits: both are free of Pennsylvania state income tax and local income tax which funds local public schools.[223] Effective 2016, active duty military are also exempted from paying the local earned income tax in Pennsylvania.[224][225]

State basic education funding[edit]

According to a report from Representative Todd Stephens office, Gettysburg Area School District receives 26.4% of its annual revenue from the state.[226] In December 2014, the Pennsylvania Education Funding Reform Commission conducted a hearing. The commission developed a new basic education funding formula which sets a new way to distribute state basic education dollars. It abolished the practice of "hold harmless" funding, which gave districts at least the same as they got the previous school year regardless of declining enrollment. The plan became law in June 2016 (House Bill 1552).[227][228][229]

For the 2016-17 school year, Gettysburg Area School District received $7,741,679 in Basic Education Funding from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. This was a 3.7% increase over 2015-16 funding to the District. The highest percentage of BEF increase in Adams County was 3.8% awarded to Conewago Valley School District under the state’s Basic Education Funding formula. For the 2016-17 school year, Pennsylvania increased its public education spending to a record high of $5,895 billion. It was a $200 million increase, 3.51% increase over the 2015-16 appropriation.[230] The state also funded Ready to Learn grants at $250 million and Special Education funding received a $20 million increase.[231] The state also paid $492 million to the school employee social security fund and another $2.064 billion to the teacher’s pension fund.[232] Statewide Conestoga Valley School District received a 13.3% increase in state BEF funding. Five PA public school districts received an increase of 10% or greater in Basic Education funding over their 2015-16 funding.

For the 2015-16 school year, Governor Tom Wolf released a partial Basic Education Funding of $3,613,169 to Gettysburg Area School District, in January 2016.[233] This was part of $10.3 billion in school funding withheld from the public schools, by the Governor since the summer of 2015.[234] The dispersement did not follow the new Basic Education Fair Funding formula which had been established by the Pennsylvania General Assemby in June 2015.[235] Ten (10) Pennsylvania school districts received no increase in Basic Education funding under Governor Wolf.[236][237]

In compliance with a legislative mandate that was passed with veto proof majorities in the PA House and Senate,[238] the final BEF funding was determined for 2015-16, in April 2016. Gettysburg Area School District received $7,467,096 in Basic Education Funds for the 2015-16 school year. This was a 2.89% increase yielding a $209,402 increase over the previous school year funding. The District also received $298,479 in Ready to Learn funding from the state.[239]

For the 2014-15 school year, Gettysburg Area School District received $7,254,177 in State Basic Education funding. The District received $247,644 in new Ready To Learn Block grant. The State’s enacted Education Budget included $5,526,129,000 for the 2014-15 Basic Education Funding.[240] The Education budget also included Accountability Block Grant funding at $100 million and $241 million in new Ready to Learn funding for public schools that focus on student achievement and academic success. The State paid $500.8 million to Social Security on the school employees behalf and another $1.16 billion to the state teachers pension system (PSERS). In total, Pennsylvania’s Education budget for K-12 public schools is $10 billion. This was a $305 million increase over 2013-2014 state spending and the greatest amount ever allotted by the Commonwealth for its public schools.[241]

For the 2013–14 school year, the Gettysburg Area School District received a 1.4% increase or $7,256,134 in Pennsylvania Basic Education Funding. This is $101,980 more than its 2012–13 state BEF to the District. Additionally, Gettysburg Area School District received $154,109 in Accountability Block Grant funding to focus on academic achievement and level funding for special education services. Among the public school districts in Adams County, Conewago Valley School District received the highest percentage increase in BEF at 3.2%. The District has the option of applying for several other state and federal grants to increase revenues. The Commonwealth’s budget increased Basic Education Funding statewide by $123 million to over $5.5 billion. Most of Pennsylvania’s 500 public school districts received an increase of Basic Education Funding in a range of 0.9% to 4%. Eight public school districts received exceptionally high funding increases of 10% to 16%. The highest increase in state funding was awarded to Austin Area School District which received a 22.5% increase in Basic Education Funding.[242] The state funded the PSERS (Pennsylvania school employee pension fund) with $1,017,000,000 and Social Security payments for school employees of $495 million.[243]

For the 2012–13 school year, Gettysburg Area School District received $7,154,174.[244] The Governor's Executive Budget for 2012–13 included $9.34 billion for kindergarten through 12th grade public education, including $5.4 billion in basic education funding, which was an increase of $49 million over the 2011–12 budget. In addition, the Commonwealth provided $100 million for the Accountability Block Grant (ABG) program. Gettysburg Area School District received $$154,109 in Accountability Block Grant funding to focus on academic achievement. The state also provided a $544.4 million payment for School Employees’ Social Security and $856 million for School Employees’ Retirement fund called PSERS.[245] This amount was a $21,823,000 increase (0.34%) over the 2011–12 appropriations for Basic Education Funding, School Employees' Social Security, Pupil Transportation, Nonpublic and Charter School Pupil Transportation. Since taking office, Corbett’s first two budgets have restored more than $918 million in support of public schools, compensating for the $1 billion in federal stimulus dollars lost at the end of the 2010–11 school year.

In 2011–12, Gettysburg Area School District received $7,154,174 in state Basic Education Funding.[246][247] Additionally, the District received $154,110 in Accountability Block Grant funding. The enacted Pennsylvania state Education budget includes $5,354,629,000 for the 2011–2012 Basic Education Funding appropriation. This amount is a $233,290,000 increase (4.6%) over the enacted State appropriation for 2010–2011. The highest increase in state basic education funding was awarded to Duquesne City School District, which got a 49% increase in state funding for 2011–12.[248] Districts experienced a reduction in funding due to the loss of federal stimulus funding which ended in 2011.

For the 2010–11 school year, the Pennsylvania Department of Education allocated Gettysburg Area School District a 2% increase in Basic Education Funding for a total of $7,443,202. Among Adams County school districts, the highest increase was 9.66% increase given to Conewago Valley School District. One hundred fifty school districts in Pennsylvania received a 2% increase for 2010–11. The highest increase in 2010–11 went to Kennett Consolidated School District in Chester County which received a 23.65% increase in state funding.[249] The state's hold harmless policy regarding state basic education funding continued where each public school district received at least the same amount as it received the prior school year, even when enrollment had significantly declined. The amount of increase each school district received was set by Governor Edward Rendell and then Secretary of Education Gerald Zahorchak, as a part of the state budget proposal given each February. This was the second year of Governor Rendell’s policy to fund some public school districts at a far greater rate than others.[250] In 2010, the district reported that 1,037 pupils received a free or reduced-price lunch due to the family meeting the federal poverty level.

In the 2009–2010 budget year, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania provided a 2% increase in Basic Education funding for Gettysburg Area School District a total of $7,297,257. The highest increase in Adams County went to Conewago Valley School District which received 9.48% increase in 2009−10. Muhlenberg School District of Berks County received an increase of 22.31 percent. Sixteen school districts received an increase in funding of over 10 percent in 2009. Ninety school districts received the base 2% increase.[251] The amount of increase each school district receives was determined by the Governor Edward Rendell and the Secretary of Education, Gerald Zahorchak through the allocation set in the budget proposal made in February each year.[252]

The state Basic Education funding to the district in 2008–09 was $7,154,173.52. In 2009, the Gettysburg Area School District reported having 970 students participating in the federal free and reduced-price lunch program due to low family income.[253]

Accountability Block Grant[edit]

The state provides additional education funding to schools, in the form of Accountability Block Grants. The use of these funds is strictly targeted on specific state approved uses designed to improve student academic achievement. Gettysburg Area School District uses its $418,292 to fund all day kindergarten for the seventh year. These annual funds are in addition to the state's basic education funding and all federal funding.[254] School Districts must apply each year for Accountability Block Grants.[255] In 2009–10, the state provided $271.4 million in Accountability Block grants, with $199.5 million of it going to providing all-day kindergarten.[256]

Ready to Learn grant[edit]

Beginning in the 2014-2015 budget, the State funded a new Ready to Learn Grant for public schools. A total of $100 million is allocated through a formula to districts based on the number of students, level of poverty of community as calculated by its market value/personal income aid ratio (MV/PI AR) and the number of English language learners. Ready to Learn Block Grant funds may be used by the Districts for: school safety; Ready by 3 early childhood intervention programs; individualized learning programs; and science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) programs.[257]

Gettysburg Area School District received $247,644 in Ready to Learn Grant dollars in 2014, in addition to State Basic Education funding, special education funding, transportation reimbursement, reimbursement for Social Security payments for employees and other state grants which the district must apply to receive.

Classrooms for the Future grant[edit]

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, Mathematics) and paid for mandatory teacher training to optimize the computers' use in the classroom for improving instruction. The program was funded from 2006 to 2009. Gettysburg Area School District administration did not apply for the grant in 2006−07. In 2007–08, the district' received $290,029. For the 2008–09, school year the district received $251,813. Of the 501 public school districts in Pennsylvania, 447 of them received Classrooms for the Future grant awards.[258]

Project 720[edit]

Project 720 was a high school reform program implemented for three years under the Rendell administration. The intent was to increase academic rigor and improve the instruction of teachers in the Commonwealth’s high schools. Teachers were expected to use data driven instructional practices and to meet the needs of diverse learners.[259] The 720 in the name referred to the number of days a student was in high school in ninth through 12th grades.[260] High schools applied for funding and were required to agree to report to the PDE their plans, their actions and the outcomes. In 2007-08 budget year, the Commonwealth provided $11 million in funding. Gettysburg Area School District was one of 161 PA public school districts to apply, receiving $325,000 funding over three years.[261][262] For 2010-11, Project 720 funding was decreased to $1.7 million by Governor Rendell. The grant program was discontinued effective with the 2011-12 state budget.[263]

Other state grants[edit]

The District did not participate in: Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection's Environmental Education annual grants;[264][265] PA Science Its Elementary grants (discontinued effective with 2009-10 budget by Governor Rendell);[266] Education Assistance Grants; 2012 Striving Readers Comprehensive Literacy grant;[267] 2013 Safe Schools and Resource Officer grants; nor 2012 and 2013 Pennsylvania Hybrid Learning Grants.[268]

Federal grants[edit]

Gettysburg Area School District received an extra $1,729,062 in ARRA − Federal Stimulus money to be used only in specific programs like special education and meeting the academic needs of low-income students.[269] This funding is for the 2009−2011 school years.

Race to the Top grant[edit]

Gettysburg Area School District officials did not apply for the Race to the Top federal grant which would have brought the district over $1 million in additional federal funding for improving student academic achievement.[270] Participation required the administration, the school board and the local teachers' union to sign an agreement to prioritize improving student academic success.[271] In Pennsylvania, 120 public school districts and 56 charter schools agreed to participate.[272] Pennsylvania was not approved for the grant. According to then Governor Rendell, failure of districts to agree to participate was cited as one reason that Pennsylvania was not approved.[273]

English language learners grant[edit]

The Federal government provides annual grants to schools to assist in educating immigrant children and children who are identified as limited English proficient.[274] Upon registering for school a language survey is done for all new enrollment pupils, typically in kindergarten or preschool. They identify the primary language spoken at home. This data is collected and submitted to the Pennsylvania Department of Education, which in turn notifies the federal government.[275][276]

In 2012-13, Gettysburg Area School District received $26,518 in Title III funding for English language learners.[277] For 2014-15, Gettysburg Area School District received $31,504 in Title III funding.[278]

Title II grants[edit]

The Federal government provides annual grants to schools to be used to improve the quality of teacher instructions to pupils. The goal is to provide each child in public schools with “High Quality” teachers and principals as defined by the state.[279] The funds are sent to the state Department of Education which distributes them to each school district and charter school.[280] Beginning in 2002, the federal funding committed to Title II was $3,175,000,000.

Public school district administrations must apply to the state annually for the Title II funds. In 2012-13, Gettysburg Area School District received $154,495 in federal Title II funding.[281] In 2014-15, Gettysburg Area School District applied for and received $146,657.[282]

Common Cents state initiative[edit]

The school board elected 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.[283] After the review of the information, the district was not required to implement the recommended cost savings changes.

Real estate taxes[edit]

Property tax rates in 2016-17, were raised by the Gettysburg Area School Board to 10.5529 mills.[284] 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 2010 Adams County conducted a reassessment of the value of property. in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, apply only to real estate - land and buildings. The property tax is not levied on cars, business inventory, or other personal property. Certain types of property are exempt from property taxes, including: places of worship, places of burial, private social clubs, charitable and educational institutions and government property. 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. Additionally, service related, disabled US military veterans may seek an exemption from paying property taxes. Unlike other states, under Pennsylvania state tax policy, natural gas and oil pipelines are exempted from property taxes.[285] Pipeline companies prohibit development within the 100 foot wide right-of-way, there by limiting future development options for the landowner. This limits future potential property tax revenues for the school district, by constraining future land development.[286][287][288] The Texas Eastern Pipeline passes through the District.[289]

Pennsylvania school district revenues are dominated by two main sources: 1) Property tax collections, which account for the vast majority (between 75-85%) of local revenues; and 2) Act 511 tax collections, which are around 15% of revenues for school districts.[290] When a Pennsylvania public school district includes municipalities in two or more counties, each of which has different rates of property tax assessment, a state board equalizes the tax rates between the counties.[291] In 2010, miscalculations by the State Tax Equalization Board (STEB) were widespread in the Commonwealth and adversely impacted funding for many school districts, including those that did not cross county borders.[292]

The average yearly property tax paid by Adams County residents amounts to about 3.33% of their yearly income. Adams County ranked 444th out of the 3143 United States counties for property taxes as a percentage of median income.[304] According to a report prepared by the Pennsylvania Department of Education, the total real estate taxes collected by all school districts in Pennsylvania rose from $6,474,133,936 in 1999–00 to $10,438,463,356 in 2008–09 and to $11,153,412,490 in 2011.[305] 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%).[306]

Act 1 Adjusted index[edit]

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 2011−12 school year is 1.4 percent, but it 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, increasing rising health care 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.[307]

The School District Adjusted Index for the Gettysburg Area School District 2006–2007 through 2012–2013.[308]

For the 2016-17 budget year, Gettysburg Area School Board applied for two exceptions to exceed the District's Act 1 Index limit, due to escalating pension costs and rising special education costs.[318] Statewide 299 school districts adopted a resolution to not exceed their Act I index in 2016-17. In 2016-17, all Pennsylvania public school districts were required to make a 30.03% of payroll payment to the teacher’s pension fund (PSERS).[319] This was in addition to the 6.02% social security employer match payment.[320]

For the 2015-16 budget year, Gettysburg Area School Board applied for one exception to exceed their Act 1 Index limit: for its rapidly rising teacher pension costs. For the school budget 2015-16, 310 Pennsylvania public school districts adopted a resolution certifying that tax rates would not be increased above its Act 1 Index limit. Another 187 school districts adopted a preliminary budget leaving open the option of exceeding the Index limit. Regarding the pension costs exception, 172 school districts received approval to exceed the Index limit in full, while others received a partial approval of their request. For special education costs, 119 districts received approval to exceed their tax limit. No Pennsylvania public school districts received an approval for the grandfathered construction debts exception.[321]

For the 2014-15 budget year, Gettysburg Area School Board did not apply for exceptions to exceed their Act 1 Index limit. In 2014-15, all Pennsylvania school districts were required to make a 21.4% of payroll payment to the teacher’s pension fund (PSERS).[322] For the school budget 2014-15, 316 Pennsylvania public school districts adopted a resolution certifying that tax rates would not be increased above its Act 1 Index limit. Another 181 school districts adopted a preliminary budget leaving open the option of exceeding the Index limit. Districts may apply for multiple exceptions each year. For the pension costs exception, 163 school districts received approval to exceed the Index in full, while others received a partial approval of their request. For special education costs, 104 districts received approval to exceed their tax limit. Seven Pennsylvania public school districts received an approval for the grandfathered construction debts exception.[323]

For the 2013−14 budget year, Gettysburg Area School Board did not apply for exceptions to exceed their Act 1 Index limit. For the school budget year 2013−14, 311 Pennsylvania public school districts adopted a resolution certifying that tax rates would not be increased above their index. Another 171 school districts adopted a preliminary budget leaving open the option of exceeded the Index limit. For the exception for pension costs, 89 school districts received approval to exceed the Index in full while others received a partial approval of their request. For special education costs, 75 districts received approval to exceed their tax limit. For the pension costs exception, 169 school districts received approval to exceed the Index. Eleven Pennsylvania public school districts received an approval for grandfathered construction debts.[324]

For the 2012−13 budget year, Gettysburg Area School Board did not apply for exceptions to exceed the Act 1 Index. For 2012−13, 274 school districts adopted a resolution certifying that tax rates would not be increased above their index; 223 school districts adopted a preliminary budget leaving open the option of exceeded the Index limit. For the exception for pension costs, 194 school districts received approval to exceed the Index. For special education costs, 129 districts received approval to exceed the tax limit.[325]

For the 2011−12 school year, the Gettysburg Area School Board did not apply for exceptions to exceed the Act 1 Index. Each year the Gettysburg Area School Board has the option of adopting either 1) a resolution in January certifying they will not increase taxes above their index or 2) a preliminary budget in February. A school district adopting the resolution may not apply for referendum exceptions or ask voters for a tax increase above the inflation index. A specific timeline for these decisions is publisher each year by the Pennsylvania Department of Education.[326]

According to a state report, for the 2011−12 school year budgets, 247 school districts adopted a resolution certifying that tax rates would not be increased above their index; 250 school districts adopted a preliminary budget. Of the 250 school districts that adopted a preliminary budget, 231 adopted real estate tax rates that exceeded their index. Tax rate increases in the other 19 school districts that adopted a preliminary budget did not exceed the school district’s index. Of the districts who sought exceptions 221 used the pension costs exemption and 171 sought a Special Education costs exemption. Only one school district sought an exemption for Nonacademic School Construction Project, while one sought an exception for Electoral debt for school construction.[327]

For the 2010−11 school year, the Gettysburg School Board sought an exception to exceed the Act 1 index for pension costs of $389,777. The request was approved by the Pennsylvania Department of Education.[328] 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.[329]

Property tax relief[edit]

In 2016, Gettysburg Area School District approved 6,695 homestead properties to receive $168.[330]

In 2013, the Homestead/Farmstead Property Tax Relief from gambling for the Gettysburg Area School District was $166 per approved permanent primary residence. In the district, 6,670 property owners applied for the tax relief.[331] In 2009, the Homestead/Farmstead Property Tax Relief from gambling for the Gettysburg Area School District was $167 per approved permanent primary residence. In the district, 6,618 property owners applied for the tax relief. Among Adams County school districts, in 2010, Upper Adams School District received the highest relief allocation at $273.[332] 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 Adams County, 74% of eligible property owners applied for property tax relief in 2009.[333] Pennsylvania awarded the highest property tax relief to residents of the Chester-Upland School District in Delaware County at $632 per homestead and farmstead in 2010.[334] CUSD has been the top recipient of tax relief each year since the program began. In Adams County, 74.26% of eligible property owners applied for property tax relief in 2009.[335]

  • 2009 − $170 for 6517 approved homesteads.[336]

Additionally, the Pennsylvania Property Tax/Rent Rebate program is provided for low income Gettysburg Area School District residents 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 whose income is substantially more than $35,000 may still qualify for a rebate. Individuals must apply annually for the rebate. This tax break can be taken in addition to Homestead/Farmstead Property Tax Relief.

Closed school[edit]

Keefauver Elementary School is no longer maintained by the Gettysburg Area School district but is maintained by Manito an organization which takes troubled students for a time or for the rest of the school year.

The Keefauver Elementary School building has been demonlished as of 2013.

Wellness policy[edit]

Gettysburg Area School Board established a district wellness policy in 2006 - Policy 246.[337] 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.[338] The Pennsylvania Department of Education required the District to submit a copy of the policy for approval.

The Gettysburg Area School District offers a free school breakfast and free or reduced-price lunch to children in low income families. All students attending the school can eat breakfast and lunch. Children from families with incomes at or below 130 percent of the federal poverty level are provided a breakfast and lunch at no cost to the family. Children from families with incomes between 130 and 185 percent of the federal poverty level can be charged no more than 30 cents per breakfast. A foster child whose care and placement is the responsibility of the State or who is placed by a court with a caretaker household is eligible for both a free breakfast and a free lunch. Runaway, homeless and Migrant Youth are also automatically eligible for free meals.[339] The meals are partially funded with federal dollars through the United States Department of Agriculture.[340]

In 2013, the USDA issued new restrictions to foods in public schools. The rules apply to foods and beverages sold on all public school district campuses during the day. They limit vending machine snacks to a maximum of 200 calories per item. Additionally, all snack foods sold at school must meet competitive nutrient standards, meaning they must have fruits, vegetables, dairy or protein in them or contain at least 10 percent of the daily value of fiber, calcium, potassium, and Vitamin D.[341] In order to comply with the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 all US public school districts are required to raise the price of their school lunches to $2.60 regardless of the actual cost of providing the lunch.[342]

Gettysburg Area School District provides health services as mandated by the Commonwealth and the federal government. Nurses are available in each building to conduct annual health screenings (data reported to the PDE and state Department of Health) and to dispense prescribed medications to students during the school day. Students can be excluded from school unless they comply with all the State Department of Health’s extensive immunization mandates. School nurses monitor each pupil for this compliance.[343] Nurses also monitor each child's weight.

In 2016, the Pennsylvania Department of Health made available to each Pennsylvania high school the overdose antidote drug naloxone in a nasal spray. School nurses were also provided with educational materials and training developed by the National Association of School Nurses.[344] The cost was covered by a grant from a private foundation.[345][346]

Intermediate Unit[edit]

Lincoln Intermediate Unit (IU#12) region includes: Adams County, Franklin County and York County. The agency provides Gettysburg Area Schools, district home schooled students and area private schools many services, including: Special education services, combined purchasing, and instructional technology services. It runs Summer Academy, which offers both art and academic strands designed to meet the individual needs of gifted, talented and high achieving students. Additional services include: Curriculum Mapping, Professional Development for school employees, Adult Education, Nonpublic School Services, Business Services, Migrant & ESL (English as a Second Language), Instructional Services, Special Education, Management Services, and Technology Services. It also provides a GED program to adults who want to earn a high school diploma and literacy programs. The Lincoln Intermediate Unit is governed by a 13-member board of directors, each a member of a local school board from the 25 school districts. Board members are elected by school directors of all 25 school districts for three-year terms that begin July 1.[347] There are 29 intermediate units in Pennsylvania. They are funded by school districts, state and federal program specific funding and grants. IUs do not have the power to tax.

Extracurriculars[edit]

The Gettysburgh Area School District offers a variety of clubs, activities and an extensive costly sports program. The Gettysburg Area School Board sets policies regarding eligibility to participate in these activities.[348] In 2010–11, Gettysburg Area School District reported spending $1,000,598 on student activities.[349]

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 home schooled, 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.[350]

Sports[edit]

The District funds:

Varsity
Middle School Sports

According to PIAA directory July 2013 [351]

Community[edit]

Gettysburg is a town made famous by one of the most important battles of the American Civil War and by one of the most significant speeches in America's history. Gettysburg College and the Lutheran Theological Seminary are both located within the District. The town is encircled by the Gettysburg National Military Park. It is within easy access to a number of metropolitan, academic, cultural and recreational centers. Washington is 78 miles (126 km) south, Baltimore is 54 miles (87 km) south, and Harrisburg is 36 miles (58 km) north.

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External links[edit]