Greencastle-Antrim School District

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Greencastle-Antrim School District
Map of Franklin County Pennsylvania School Districts.png
Address
500 E. Leitersburg St
Greencastle, Pennsylvania, Franklin County 17225
United States
Information
Type Public
School board 9 elected members
Superintendent Dr. Greg Hoover salary $120,605 (2012) contract August 15, 2014 to June 30, 2017[1]
Administrator

Ms Jolinda C Wilson - Business Manager salary $97,882
Crider, Robert, Asst to Superintendent salary $98,091 (2012)
Wingerd, Edmund, Supervisor salary $91,409

Moran, Molly, Coordinator salary $84,880
Principal Rife, Edward, salary $94,883 (2012)
Principal Herman, Mark, salary $91,270 (2012)
Staff 218 staff members
Faculty 154 teachers (2011) [2]
Grades K-12
Age 5 years old to 21 years old special education
Pupils 3,107 pupils (2013),[3] 3,048 pupils (2010)[4] 2,887 pupils (2006-2007)[5]
 • Kindergarten 245 (2012), 220 (2010)
 • Grade 1 242 (2012), 223
 • Grade 2 218 (2012), 186
 • Grade 3 230 (2012), 233
 • Grade 4 227 (2012), 231
 • Grade 5 213 (2012), 234
 • Grade 6 246 (2012), 248
 • Grade 7 244 (2012), 235
 • Grade 8 242 (2012), 239
 • Grade 9 268 (2012), 258
 • Grade 10 239 (2012), 228
 • Grade 11 236 (2012), 236
 • Grade 12 257 (2012), 267 (2010)
Language English
Budget

$36,127,185 (2014-2015)[6]
$34 million 2013-14
$32,964,755 (2012-13)

$33,474,270 2011-12
Per pupil Spending $10,214 (2008)
Per pupil Spending $10,812.14 (2010)
Website

The Greencastle Antrim School District is a small, rural, public school district located in Franklin County, Pennsylvania. It encompasses the borough of Greencastle and the surrounding Antrim Township. Greencastle Antrim School District encompasses approximately 93 square miles (240 km2). According to 2000 federal census data, it served a resident population of 16,226 people. By 2010, the District's population increased to 18,916 people.[7] According to the US Census Bureau, in 2009, the District residents' per capita income was $19,566, while the median family income was $49,318.[8] In the Commonwealth, the median family income was $49,501 [9] and the United States median family income was $49,445, in 2010.[10]

In school year 2007-08, Greencastle Antrim School District provided basic educational services to 2,938 pupils. The District employed: 175 teachers, 179 full-time and part-time support personnel and 15 administrators. Greencastle Antrim School District received more than $9.6 million in state funding in school year 2007-08. According to District officials, the District provided basic educational services to 3,003 pupils in 2011-2012. It employed: 176 teachers, 119 full-time and part-time support personnel, and thirteen (13) administrators during the 2011-12 school year. The District received $10.18 million in state funding in the 2011-2012 school year. Transportation is provided to over 90% of more than 2,800 students enrolled in grades K-12.

Greencastle Antrim School District operates five schools: Greencastle Antrim Primary School (K-2), Greencastle Antrim Elementary School (3-5), Greencastle Antrim Middle School (6-8), and Greencastle Antrim High School (9-12). Alternatively, students may choose to attend Franklin Virtual Academy which is an online education program operated by a cooperative agreement of Franklin County public school districts.[11] Greencastle-Antrim High School students may also choose to attend Franklin County Career and Technology Center for training in the construction and mechanical trades. The Lincoln Intermediate Unit IU12 provides the District with a wide variety of services like specialized education for disabled students and hearing, speech and visual disability services and professional development for staff and faculty. Greencastle-Antrim School District is affiliated with six neighboring districts in a Learning Center for severely handicapped children.

In 1966, the District purchased the Stover-Winger Farm.[12]

Governance[edit]

Like most Pennsylvania public school districts, Greencastle-Antrum 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.[13] The federal government, through the US Department of Education, controls programs it funds like Title I funding for low-income children in the Elementary and Secondary Education Act and the No Child Left Behind Act, which mandates the district focus federal resources on student success in acquiring adequate reading skills and math competence. 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 School Board. The School Board enters into individual employment contracts for these positions. In Pennsylvania, public school districts are required to give 150 days notice to the Superintendent regarding renewal of the employment contract.[14]

The Commonwealth Foundation for Public Policy Alternatives Sunshine Review gave the Greencastle-Antrim School Board and the district administration a "F" 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.[15]

Academic achievement[edit]

Greencastle-Antrim School District was ranked 199th out of the 498 ranked Pennsylvania school districts in 2014, by the Pittsburgh Business Times.[16] The ranking is based on the last 3 years of student academic achievement as demonstrated by PSSAs results in: reading, writing, math and science and the three Keystone Exams (literature, Algebra 1, Biology I) in high school.[17] Three school districts were excluded because they do not operate high schools (Saint Clair Area School District, Midland Borough School District, Duquesne City School District). The PSSAs are given to all children in grades 3rd through 8th. Adapted PSSA examinations are given to children in the special education programs. Writing exams were given to children in 5th and 8th grades.

  • 2013 - 219th
  • 2012 - 262nd[18]
  • 2011 - 251st [19]
  • 2010 - 284th[20]
  • 2009 - 326th[21]
  • 2008 - 337th
  • 2007 - 300th out of 501 Pennsylvania school districts in 2007.[22]
Overachiever statewide ranking

In 2013, the Pittsburgh Business Times also reported an Overachievers Ranking for 498 Pennsylvania school districts. Greencastle-Antim School District ranked 457th. In 2012, the district was ranked 483rd in the Commonwealth.[23] 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."[24]

Greencastle-Antrim School District student achievement is in the 47th percentile of Pennsylvania's 500 school district. Scale (0-99; 100 is state best)[25]

District AYP status history[edit]

In 2012 and 2011, Greencastle-Antim School District achieved Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) status. 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 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.[26] Greencastle-Antim School District achieved AYP status each year from 2006 to 2009. In 2004 and 2005, the District was in School Improvement status In 2003 the District was in Warning status due to lagging student achievement.[27]

Graduation rate[edit]

In 2013, Greencastle-Antrim School District's graduation rate was 89.7%.[28] In 2012, Greencastle-Antrim School District's graduation rate was 87%.[29] In 2011, the District's graduation rate was 84%.[30] In 2010, the Pennsylvania Department of Education issued a new, 4-year cohort graduation rate. Greencastle-Antrim School District's rate was 36% for 2010.[31]

Former calculation graduation rate

High school[edit]

Greencastle-Antrim High School is located at 300 South Ridge Avenue, Greencastle. In 2013, enrollment was reported as 1,000 pupils in 9th through 12th grades, with 18% of pupils eligible for a free lunch due to family poverty. Additionally, 12% of pupils received special education services, while less than 1% of pupils were identified as gifted. The School employed 43 teachers.[36] Per the PA Department of Education 100% of the teachers were rated "Highly Qualified" under the federal No Child Left Behind Act.

According to the National Center for Education Statistics, in 2010, the school reported an enrollment of 971 pupils in grades 9th through 12th, with 132 pupils eligible for a federal free or reduced-price lunch due to meeting federal poverty level. The school employed 43 teachers, yielding a student–teacher ratio of 23:1.[37] According to a report by the Pennsylvania Department of Education, 100% of its teachers were rated "Highly Qualified" under No Child Left Behind.[38]

2013 School Performance Profile

Greencastle-Antrim High School achieved 85 out of 100. Reflects on grade level reading, mathematics and science achievement. In reading/literature - 86% were on grade level. In Algebra 1, 70.9% showed on grade level skills. In Biology, 55.7% showed on grade level science understanding.[39] According to the Pennsylvania Department of Education, 2,181 public schools (less than 73 percent of Pennsylvania public schools), achieved an academic score of 70 or higher. Pennsylvania 11th grade students no longer take the PSSAs. Instead, beginning in 2012, they take the Keystone Exams at the end of the associated course.[40]

AYP History

In 2012, Greencastle-Antrim High School improved to achieving AYP status. In 2011, the High School had declined to Warning status due to lagging student achievement in mathematics. In 2010, Greencastle-Antrim High School achieved Adequate Yearly Progress under the federal No Child Left Behind law.[41]

PSSA history

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.[42]

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.[43]

11th Grade Reading:

  • 2012 - 74% on grade level, (12% below basic). State - 67% of 11th graders are on grade level.[44]
  • 2011 - 69% (15% below basic). State - 69%[45]
  • 2010 - 74% (12% below basic). State - 66% [46]
  • 2009 - 68% (17% below basic). State - 65%[47]
  • 2008 - 68% (15% below basic), State - 65%[48]
  • 2007 - 67% (15% below basic), State - 65%[49]

11th Grade Math:

  • 2012 - 62% on grade level (22% below basic). In Pennsylvania, 59% of 11th graders are on grade level.[50]
  • 2011 - 54% (25% below basic). State - 60.3% [51]
  • 2010 - 80%, (17% below basic). State - 59%
  • 2009 - 90%, (22% below basic). State - 56%.
  • 2008 - 59%, (20% below basic). State - 56%
  • 2007 - 70, (21% below basic). State - 53%

11th Grade Science:

  • 2012 - 37% on grade level (15% below basic). State - 42% of 11th graders were on grade level.[52]
  • 2011 - 26% (23% below basic). State - 40% [53]
  • 2010 - 38% (13% below basic). State - 39%
  • 2009 - 28% (21% below basic). State - 40%[54]
  • 2008 - 35% (13% below basic). State - 39%

College Remediation[edit]

According to a Pennsylvania Department of Education study released in January 2009, 12% of Greencastle-Antrim School District 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.[55] 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.[56] 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.[57][58]

SAT scores[edit]

In 2013, Greencastle-Antim School District students took the SAT exams. The District's Verbal Average Score was 501. The Math average score was 519. The Writing average score was 499. The College Board reported that statewide scores were: 494 in reading, 504 in math and 482 in writing. The nationwide SAT results were the same as in 2012.[59]

In 2012, 110 Greencastle-Antim School District students took the SAT exams. The District's Verbal Average Score was 488. The Math average score was 500. The Writing average score was 483. The statewide Verbal SAT exams results were: Verbal 491, Math 501, Writing 480. In the USA, 1.65 million students took the exams achieving scores: Verbal 496, Math 514, Writing 488. According to the College Board the maximum score on each section was 800, and 360 students nationwide scored a perfect 2,400.

In 2011, 131 Greencastle-Antim School District students took the SAT exams. The District's Verbal Average Score was 490. The Math average score was 505. The Writing average score was 470.[60] Pennsylvania ranked 40th among states with SAT scores: Verbal - 493, Math - 501, Writing - 479.[61] 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.[62]

The Pennsylvania Department of Education compared the SAT data of students in rural areas of Pennsylvania to students in urban areas. From 2003 to 2005, the average total SAT score for students in rural Pennsylvania was 992, while urban students averaged 1,006. During the same period, 28 percent of 11th and 12th graders in rural school districts took the exam, compared to 32 percent of urban students in the same grades. The average math and verbal scores were 495 and 497, respectively, for rural students, while urban test-takers averaged 499 and 507, respectively. Pennsylvania’s SAT composite score ranked low on the national scale in 2004. The composite SAT score of 1,003 left Pennsylvania ranking 44 out of the 50 states and Washington, DC.[63]

The Pennsylvania Department of Education reported that 71 percent of students in rural areas of Pennsylvania chose to continue their education after high school in 2003, whereas 79 percent of urban high school graduates opted to continue their education.

Graduation requirements[edit]

The Greencastle-Antrim School Board has determined that, in order to graduate, a student must earn a specific credits, including: 4 Credits of English; 4 Math courses; 4 Credits of Social Science; 3 Science courses; 1 Course of Wellness a year; one course in Art and Technology ;; 0.5 Credit Units of Driver’s Education; 1 Course of Family and Consumer Science and 1 course in World Language in ninth grade.[64] Greencastle-Antrim Middle School serves more than 700 students in 2011. It employs a team teaching approach, where a group of certified teachers serve a group of students. The students are divided into smaller classes to receive instruction in a broad set of subject areas, including language arts, math, science, social studies, wellness. Students also study environmental education, music, art, family and consumer science and technology. There is an environmental center located on the school's campus. Struggling students have access to “After School Support” Monday through Thursday until 4 p.m.

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.[65] Students are required to complete 30 hours of community service and a career pathway assignment. In addition, the student must score on grade level (at or above the proficiency level), on the junior year: math, reading and writing Pennsylvania System of School Assessment tests or complete remediation.[66]

By Pennsylvania School Board regulations, beginning with the class of 2017, public school students must demonstrate successful completion of secondary level course work in Algebra I, Biology, and English Literature by passing the Keystone Exams.[67] The exam is given at the end of the course. Keystone Exams replace the PSSAs for 11th grade.[68]

Students have several opportunities to pass the exam. Schools are mandated to provide targeted assistance to help the student be successful. Those who do not pass after several attempts can perform a project in order to graduate.[69][70] 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.[71] 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.[72] Individual student, school or district reports were not made public, although they were reported to district officials by the Pennsylvania Department of Education. Students identified as having special needs and qualifying for an Individual Educational Program (IEP) may graduate by meeting the requirements of their IEP.

AP Courses[edit]

In 2013, Greencastle-Antrim High School offered 11 Advanced Placement (AP) courses at a higher cost than regular courses. The Student pays the fee for the exam which was $89 per test per pupil in 2012. 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 Greencastle-Antrim High School 19% of students who took an AP course earned a 3 or better on the exam.[73]

Franklin Virtual Academy[edit]

Franklin Virtual Academy is a 9th through 12th grade program. It is a joint venture of Greencastle-Antrim School District, Chambersburg Area School District, Fannett-Metal School District, Southern Huntingdon County School District and Waynesboro Area School District. The program is self paced, offering a custom blend of rigorous, multi-media rich online classes. FVA students have the option of filling their schedules with online classes or creating a blend of online and in-school classes in their home high school. Students graduate with a diploma from their respective high school.

Middle school[edit]

Greencastle-Antrim Middle School is located at 370 South Ridge Avenue, Greencastle. In 2013, enrollment was 732 pupils, in grades 6th through 8th, with 25.5% of pupils eligible for a free lunch due to family poverty. Additionally, 11.7% of pupils received special education services, while none of pupils were identified as gifted.[74] According to a 2013 report by the Pennsylvania Department of Education, 100% of its teachers were rated "Highly Qualified" under No Child Left Behind.[75]

According to the National Center for Education Statistics, in 2011, the school reported an enrollment of 731 pupils in grades 6th through 8th, with 141 pupils receiving a federal free or reduced-price lunch due to family poverty. The school employed 38 teachers, yielding a student–teacher ratio of 19:1.[76] According to a report by the Pennsylvania Department of Education, 100% of its teachers were rated "Highly Qualified" under No Child Left Behind.[77]

2013 School Performance Profile

Greencastle-Antrim Middle School achieved 86 out of 100. Reflects on grade level reading, writing, mathematics and science achievement. In reading, just 77% of the students were on grade level. In Mathematics/Algebra 1, 81% of the students showed on grade level skills. In Science, only 62% of the 8th graders demonstrated on grade level understanding. In writing, 83% of the 8th grade students demonstrated on grade level writing skills.[78]

AYP history

In 2012, the Greencastle-Antrim Middle School achieved Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) status.[79] In 2011, Greencastle-Antrim Middle School declined to Warning' AYP status, due to lagging student achievement in mathematics.[80] In 2010, the School achieved AYP status. The attendance rate for 2011 and 2010 was 94%.

PSSA Results

Sixth and seventh grades have been tested in reading and mathematics since 2006. Eighth graders are tested in: reading, writing, mathematics and science. Beginning in the Spring of 2013, eighth graders, who are enrolled in Algebra I, take the Keystone Exam for Algebra I at the end of the course. The testing of 8th grade in reading and mathematics began in 1999, as a state initiative.[81] Testing in science began in 2007. The goal is for 100% of students to be on grade level or better in reading and mathematics, by the Spring of 2014. The tests focus on the state's Academic Standards for reading, writing, mathematics and science.[82] The standards were published in 1998 and are mandated by the Pennsylvania State Board of Education.[42] In 2014, the Commonwealth adopted the Pennsylvania Core Standards - Mathematics.[83]

8th Grade Science:

  • 2012 - 58% on grade level (16% below basic). State - 59%
  • 2011 - 60% (20% below basic). State – 58.3%
  • 2010 - 62% (17% below basic). State - 57[89]
  • 2009 - 53% (18% below basic). State - 55%[90]
  • 2008 - 57% (19% below basic). State - 52%[91]

Elementary schools[edit]

Greencastle-Antrim Elementary School is located at 500 East Leitersburg Street, Greencastle. In 2013, the school's enrollment was 670 pupils in grades 3rd through 5th, with 24% of pupils receiving a federal free or reduced price meals due to family poverty. Additionally, 13.5% of the pupils receive special education services, while none are identified as gifted.[93] According to a report by the Pennsylvania Department of Education, 100% of the teachers were rated highly qualified under No Child Left Behind.[94] The school is not a federally designated Title I school.

According to the National Center for Education Statistics, in 2011, the school reported an enrollment of 681 pupils in grades third through 5th, with 151 pupils receiving a federal free or reduced-price lunch due to family poverty. The school employed 36 teachers, yielding a student–teacher ratio of 19:1.[95] According to a report by the Pennsylvania Department of Education, 100% of its teachers were rated "Highly Qualified" under the federal No Child Left Behind Act.[96]

2013 School Performance Profile

Greencastle-Antrim Elementary School achieved a score of 72.1 out of 100. The score reflects on grade level: reading, science, writing and mathematics achievement. In 2012-13, only 71% 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, 79% were on grade level (3rd-5th grades). In 4th grade science, 82% of the pupils demonstrated on grade level understanding. In writing, only 75% of 5th grade pupils demonstrated on grade level skills.[97]

AYP history

In 2012, Greencastle-Antrim Elementary School declined to Warning AYP status.[98] Greencastle-Antrim Elementary School achieved AYP in 2011. It was in Warning status in 2010.[99] The attendance rate was 95% in 2011 and 2010.[100]

PSSA history

Each year, in the Spring, the 3rd graders take the PSSAs in math and reading. The fourth grade is tested in reading, math and science. The fifth grade is evaluated in reading, mathematics and writing. Pennsylvania System of School Assessments, commonly called PSSAs are No Child Left Behind Act related examinations which were administered beginning 2003 to all Pennsylvania public school students in grades 3rd-8th.[101] The goal was for 100% of students to be on grade level or better in reading and mathematics, by the Spring of 2014.[102][103][104] The tests focused on the state's Academic Standards for reading, writing, mathematics and science. The Science exam is given to 4th grades and includes content in science, technology, ecology and the environmental studies.[105]

4th Grade Science
  • 2012 - 88%, (2% below basic). State - 82%
  • 2011 - 81%, (7% below basic). State – 82.9%
  • 2010 - 83%, (8% below basic). State - 81%
  • 2009 - 79%, (4% below basic). State - 83%
  • 2008 - 86%, (4% below basic). State - 81%

Primary School[edit]

Greencastle-Antrim Primary School is located at 504 East Leitersburg Street, Greencastle. In 2013, enrollment was 705 pupils in kindergarten through second grade school, with 28.5% of pupils receiving a federal free or reduced price meals due to family poverty. Additionally, 6.6% of the pupils receive special education services, while less than 1% are identified as gifted.[112] 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 to all pupils.[113] The school is a federally designated Title I school.

Special education[edit]

In December 2011, the district administration reported that 370 pupils or 12.2% of the district's pupils received Special Education services, with 58% having a specific learning disability. In December 2009, the district administration reported that 373 pupils or 12% of the district's pupils received Special Education services, with 60% of the identified students having a specific learning disability. In December 2009, the district administration reported that 358 pupils or 11.6% of the district's pupils received Special Education services.[114]

In order to comply with state and federal laws, 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.[115] To identify students who may be eligible for special education, various screening activities are conducted on an ongoing basis. These screening activities include: review of group-based data (cumulative records, enrollment records, health records, report cards, ability and achievement test scores); hearing, vision, motor, and speech/language screening; and review by the Special Education administration. When screening results suggest that the student may be eligible, the District seeks parental consent to conduct a multidisciplinary evaluation. Parents who suspect their child is eligible may verbally request a multidisciplinary evaluation from a professional employee of the District or contact the Director of Special Education. The requested evaluation must be completed within 60 calendar days.[116][117]

In 2010, the state of Pennsylvania provided $1,026,815,000 for special education services. The funds were distributed to districts based on a state policy which estimates that 16% of the district's pupils are receiving special education services. This funding is in addition to the state's basic education per pupil funding, as well as, all other state and federal funding.[118]

Greencastle-Antrim School District received a $1,241,223 supplement for special education services in 2010.[119] 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. This level funding is 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.[120]

Gifted education[edit]

The District Administration reported that 39 or 1.34% of its students were gifted in 2009.[121] By law, the district must provide mentally gifted programs at all grade levels. The referral process for a gifted evaluation can be initiated by teachers or parents by contacting the student’s building principal and requesting an evaluation. All requests must be made in writing. To be eligible for mentally gifted programs in Pennsylvania, a student must have a cognitive ability of at least 130 as measured on a standardized ability test by a certified school psychologist. Other factors that indicate giftedness will also be considered for eligibility.[122]

Bullying policy and school safety[edit]

In 2009, the administration reported there were 4 reported episodes of bullying in the district. There were 21 incidents involving local law enforcement agencies. Five thefts occurred during the school year 2008-09.[123]

The Greencastle-Antrim School Board prohibits bullying by district students and faculty in its Bullying/CyberBullying Policy.[124] The policy defines bullying and cyberbullying. The Board directs that complaints of bullying shall be investigated promptly, and corrective action shall be taken when allegations are verified. No reprisals or retaliation on students may occur as a result of good faith reports of bullying. The board expects staff members to be responsible to maintain an educational environment free from all forms of bullying. Consequences for Central Dauphin students, who are found to have bullied others include: counseling, a parental conference, detention, suspension, expulsion, a loss of school privileges and/or exclusion from school-sponsored activities. The district uses the Olweus Bullying Prevention Program.[125]

All Pennsylvania schools are required to have an anti-bullying policy incorporated into their Code of Student Conduct. The policy must identify disciplinary actions for bullying and designate a school staff person to receive complaints of bullying. The policy must be available on the school's website and posted in every classroom. All Pennsylvania public schools must provide a copy of its anti-bullying policy to the Office for Safe Schools and are required to review their antibullying policy every three years. Additionally, the district must conduct an annual review of that policy with students.[126] The Center for Schools and Communities works in partnership with the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime & Delinquency and the Pennsylvania Department of Education to assist schools and communities as they research, select and implement bullying prevention programs and initiatives.[127]

Education standards relating to student safety and antiharassment programs are described in the 10.3. Safety and Injury Prevention in the Pennsylvania Academic Standards for Health, Safety and Physical Education.[128]

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.[129]

In 2011, the average teacher salary in Greencastle-Antrim School District was $66,479 a year, while the cost of the benefits teachers receive was $16,370 per employee, for a total annual average teacher compensation of $82,850.[130]

In 2009, the Greencastle-Antrim School District reported employing 193 teachers and administrators with a median salary of $67,801 and a top salary of $120,605.[131] The teacher’s work day is 7.5 hours, including a 30-minute duty-free lunch and a daily preparation period. There are 187 days in the contract year. Additionally, the teachers receive a defined benefit pension, health insurance, dental insurance, professional development reimbursement (100% at Shippensburg University), 3 paid personal days, 10 paid sick days, 5 paid bereavement days and other benefits. Retiring teachers receive payment for unused leave days.[132]

In 2007, Greencastle-Antrim School District employed 180 teachers. The average teacher salary in the district was $56,720 for 156 days worked (180 pupil days). Greencastle-Antrim School District teachers were the highest paid in Franklin County.[133] 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.[134] Additionally, the teachers receive a defined benefit pension (PSERS), health insurance, professional development reimbursement, paid personal days, 10 paid sick days, life insurance, retirement bonus and other benefits.[135] The contract was extended to 2013-14 by the school board and teachers union.[136] According to Rep. Glen Grell, a trustee of the state teacher retirement fund, a 40-year Pennsylvania public school educator can retire with a pension equal to 100 percent of their final salary.[137]

In April 2013, the Greencastle-Antum School Board voted to outsource many services which saved the District over $600,000 or half its budget deficit. Services outsourced included busing, maintenance/custodial and technology support.[138]

Greencastle-Antrim School District administrative costs per pupil was $752.90 in 2008. The lowest administrative cost per pupil in Pennsylvania was $398 per pupil.[139] In 2008, the district reported spending $10,214 per pupil which ranked 372nd in the Commonwealth.[140]

Audit In November 2011, the Pennsylvania Auditor General conducted a performance audit of the district. Results were reported to the school board and administration.[141]

In December 2011, the newly installed school board elected Eric Holtzman as its president for 2012 by a 5-4 vote. Mr Holtzman is the Business Manager of neighboring Tuscarora School District.[142]

Per pupil spending In 2008, the Greencastle-Antrim School District administration reported that per pupil spending was $10,214 which ranked 461st among Pennsylvania's then 501 public school districts. In 2010, the District’s per pupil spending had increased to $10,812.14.[143] In 2011, Pennsylvania’s per pupil spending was $13,467, ranking 6th in the United States.[144] In 2007, the Pennsylvania per pupil total expenditures was reported as $12,759.[145] The U.S. Census Bureau reported that Pennsylvania spent $8,191 per pupil in school year 2000-01.[146]

Tuition Students who live in the District's attendance range may choose to attend one of Pennsylvania's 157 public charter schools. Or a student living in a neighboring public school district may seek admission to Greencastle-Antrim 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. Elementary School - $7,241.16, High School - $9,298.89 [147]

Unreserved Funds In 2008, the administration reported a $4,714,570 in the District's unreserved-undesignated fund balance and $550,000 in an unreserved-designated fund[148] In 2010, Greeencastle-Antrim Administration reported $4,282,928.00 in the unreserved-undesignated fund balance and $740,000 in its reserved-undesignated fund. 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. According to the Pennsylvania Department of Education, from 2003 to 2010, as a whole, Pennsylvania school districts amassed nearly $3 billion in reserved funds.[149]

Greencastle-Antrim School District is funded by a combination of: a local real property tax, a real estate transfer tax 0.5%, an annual per capita tax of $10, and an annual Occupation Privilege Tax of $10, coupled with substantial funding from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the federal government.[150] 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.[151] 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.[152]

State basic education funding[edit]

For the 2013-14 school year, the Greencastle-Antrim School District will receive a 3.1% increase or $5,680,315 in Pennsylvania Basic Education Funding. This is $169,117 more than its 2012-13 state BEF to the District. Additionally, Greencastle-Antim School District will receive $136,200 in Accountability Block Grant funding to focus on academic achievement and level funding for special education services. Among the public school districts in County, School District received the highest percentage increase 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.[153] 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.[154]

For the 2012-13 school year, the Greencastle-Antrim School District received $5,647,398.[155] The Governor's Executive Budget for 2012-2013 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. The state also provides $100 million for the Accountability Block grant. The state also provided a $544.4 million payment for School Employees’ Social Security and $856 million for School Employees’ Retirement fund called PSERS.[156]

In 2011-12, Greencastle-Antrim School District received a $5,513,266 allocation of state Basic Education Funding.[157] Additionally, the district will receive $136,200 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.[158] 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.[159] In 2010, the District reported that 629 students received free or reduced-price lunches, due to the family meeting the federal poverty level.[160]

For the 2010-11 budget year, Greencastle-Antrim School District was allotted a 2.97% increase in Basic Education Funding for a total of $5,354,493.49. The highest increase, in Franklin County, was provided to Chambersburg Area School District which received a 7.08% increase. One hundred fifty Pennsylvania school districts received the base 2% increase. The highest increase in 2010-11 went to Kennett Consolidated School District in Chester County which received a 23.65% increase in state funding.[161] The state's hold harmless policy regarding state basic education funding continued where each 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 receives was set by then Governor Edward Rendell and the Secretary of Education Gerald Zahorchak, as a part of the state budget proposal given each February.[162] This was the second year of Governor Rendell’s policy to fund some public school districts at a far greater rate than others.[163]

In 2009–2010, Greencastle-Antrim School District received an 4.79% increase in Basic Education Funding for a total of $5,701,637. The highest increase in among Franklin County public school districts, went to Tuscarora School District at 5.5%. In Pennsylvania, over 15 school districts received Basic Education Funding increases in excess of 10% in 2009. Muhlenberg School District in Berks County received the highest with a 22.31% increase in funding.[164] The amount of increase each public school district received was determined by then Governor Edward Rendell and the Secretary of Education Gerald Zahorchak through the allocation set in the state budget proposal made in February each year.[165]

The state's Basic Education Funding to Greencastle-Antrim School District in 2008–09 was $5,440,842.39. In 2008, Greencastle-Antrim School District reported that 463 students received free or reduced-price lunches due to low family income.[160] According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Pennsylvania spent $7,824 Per Pupil in the year 2000. This amount increased up to $12,085 by the year 2008.[166][167]

Accountability Block Grants[edit]

Beginning in 2004-2005, the state launched the Accountability Block Grant school funding. This program has provided $1.5 billion to Pennsylvania’s school districts. The Accountability Block Grant program requires that its taxpayer dollars are focused on specific interventions that are most likely to increase student academic achievement. These interventions include: teacher training, all-day kindergarten, lower class size K-3rd grade, literacy and math coaching programs that provide teachers with individualized job-embedded professional development to improve their instruction, and before or after school tutoring assistance to struggling students. For 2010-11, the District applied for and received $375,464 in addition to all other state and federal funding. Greencastle-Antrim School District used the funding to provide all-day kindergarten to 61 children.[168][169]

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, Math) and paid for teacher training to optimize the computers use. The program was funded from 2006-2009. The Greencastle-Antrim School District Administration was denied funding in 2006-07 and 2007-08. In 2008-09, it received $165,458. The District received the highest funding among the public school districts in Franklin County.[170] The highest funding statewide was awarded to Philadelphia City School District in Philadelphia County - $9,409,073. The grant program was discontinued by Governor Edward Rendell as part of his 2009-10 state budget.

Literacy grant[edit]

Greencastle-Antrim School District was awarded a $996,048 competitive literacy grant. It is to be used to improve reading skills birth through 12th grade. The District was required to develop a lengthy literacy plan, which included outreach into the community. The funds come from a Striving Readers Comprehensive Literacy grant, also referred to as the Keystones to Opportunity grant It is a five-year, competitive federal grant program designed to assist local education agencies in developing and implementing local comprehensive literacy plans. Of the 329 pre-applications by school districts reviewed by the Pennsylvania Department of Education, School District was one of only 148 entities that were invited to submit a full application. In Franklin County, only Greencastle-Antrim was awarded funding.[171] The funds must be used for teacher training, student screening and assessment, targeted interventions for students reading below grade level and research-based methods of improving classroom instruction and practice. Districts must hire literacy coaches. The coaches work with classroom teachers to enhance their literacy teaching skills. Pennsylvania was among six other states, out of the 35 that applied, to be awarded funding. Pennsylvania received $38 million through the federal program. The Department of Education reserved 5% of the grant for administration costs at the state level.

As of May 2014, the grant has provided almost all Greencastle-Antrim Middle School classrooms with the use of Smartboards, a classroom library of many different genres of books, and iPad's. Some classrooms also have received Apple TV's (to use with the iPad's) and document cameras.

Other grants[edit]

Greencastle-Antrim School District did not participate in the following grants: Science Its Elementary Grants (discontinued effective with 2009-10 budget by Governor Rendell), DEP Environmental Education grants, nor 21st Century Community Learning Center before and after school grants.

Federal Stimulus grant[edit]

Greencastle-Antrim School District received an extra $1,922,814 in ARRA – Federal Stimulus money to be used in specific programs like special education and meeting the academic needs of low-income students. This was in addition to all regular state and federal funding.[172] This funding is for 2009-10 and 2010–2011 school years.

Race to the Top grant[edit]

Greencastle-Antrim School District officials did not apply for the Race to the Top federal grant which would have brought the district nearly one million additional federal dollars for improving student academic achievement.[173] Participation required the administration, the school board and the local teachers' union to sign an agreement to prioritize improving student academic success.[174] In Pennsylvania, 120 public school districts and 56 charter schools agreed to participate.[175] Pennsylvania was not approved for the grant. The failure of school districts to agree to participate was cited as one reason that Pennsylvania was not approved.[176]

Real estate taxes[edit]

Property tax rates in 2013-14 were set at 101.1500 mills by the Greencastle-Antrim School Board. 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.[177] Property taxes, 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. Additionally, service related, disabled US military veterans may seek an exemption from paying property taxes. 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.[178]

  • 2012-13 - 98.9000 mills
  • 2011-12 - 97.9000 mills
  • 2010-11 - 94.9000 mills.[179]
  • 2009-10 - 91.7000 mills.[180]
  • 2008-09 - 91.7000 mills.[181]
  • 2007-08 - 88.9000 mills.[182]
  • 2006-07 - 85.4000 mills.[183]
  • 2005-06 - 81.4000 mills.[184]

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.[185] 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%).[186] The average yearly property tax paid by Franklin County residents amounts to about 2.94% of their yearly income. Franklin County ranks 631st of the 3143 United States counties for property taxes as a percentage of median income.[187]

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 permitted to raise taxes above that index, unless they allow voters to vote by referendum, or they seek an exception from the Pennsylvania Department of Education. The base index for the 2011-2012 school year is 1.4 percent, but the Act 1 Index 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, increase in health insurance 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.[188] With the 2011 state education budget, the General Assembly voted to end most of the Act 1 exceptions leaving only special education costs and pension costs. The cost of construction projects will go to the voters for approval via ballot referendum.[189]

The School District Adjusted Index for Greencastle-Antrim School District 2006-2007 through 2011-2012.[190]

For the 2013-14 budget year, Greencastle-Antrum School Board applied for one exception to exceed the Act 1 Index for teacher pension costs. For 2013-2014, 311 Pennsylvania public school districts adopted a resolution certifying that tax rates would not be increased above their index; 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 the tax limit. For the exception for pension costs, 169 school districts received approval to exceed the Index. Eleven districts received an approval for grandfathered construction debts.[192]

For the 2012-13 school budget year, Greencastle-Antrim School Board did not apply for exceptions to exceed the Act 1 Index. For 2012-2013, 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.[192]

For the 2011-12 school year, the Greencastle-Antrim School Board applied for three exceptions to exceed the Act 1 Index. It applied for pension costs, grandfathered school debt and special education costs. Each year, Greencastle-Antrim 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 published annually, by the Pennsylvania Department of Education.[193]

According to a state report, for the 2011-2012 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 1 school district sought an exemption for Nonacademic School Construction Project, while 1 sought an exception for Electoral debt for school construction.[194]

Greencastle-Antrim School Board did not apply for any exceptions to exceed the Act 1 index for the budget in 2010-11.[195] Among Pennsylvania's 500 school district 165 applied for exceptions to exceed the Index in 2010-11.

For 2009-10, Greencastle-Antrim School Board did not apply for exceptions to exceed the District's Index limit.[196] 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.[197]

Property tax relief[edit]

In 2009, the Homestead/Farmstead Property Tax Relief from gambling for the Greencastle-Antrim School District was set for each approved permanent primary residence and farmstead at $134. 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 and must be the primary residence of the owner. Farmers can qualify for both the homestead exemption and the farmstead exemption.

Extracurriculars[edit]

The Greencastle-Antim School District offers a wide variety of activities, clubs and an extensive, costly sports program. The District reports spending over $600,000 a year for sports.[198] Eligibility to participate is determined through school board policy. Sports are provided under the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association and the Mid Penn Conference. The district charges three levels of activity fees with the highest being $100 per activity to a maximum of $225 per pupil. Students who receive a federal free lunch are exempted from the fee.[199]

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.[200]

Sports[edit]

The District funds:

Junior high school sports

According to PIAA directory July 2012 [201]

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