Harrisburg High School (Pennsylvania)

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Harrisburg High School
Map of Dauphin County Pennsylvania School Districts.png
Address
1601 State Street

, ,
17103-1466

Coordinates40°16′15″N 76°50′50″W / 40.2709°N 76.8471°W / 40.2709; -76.8471Coordinates: 40°16′15″N 76°50′50″W / 40.2709°N 76.8471°W / 40.2709; -76.8471
Information
TypePublic
School board9 locally elected members
School districtHarrisburg School District
SuperintendentDr Sybil Knight-Burney (2015)[1] Contract July 1, 2014 to June 30, 2018[2]
PrincipalJennifer Jenkins [3]
Faculty[4]
Grades9-12
Age14 years old to 21 years old special education
Number of pupils1,165 pupils (2015),[5]

1,146 pupils (2014),[6]
1,146 pupils (2013)[7]
1,778 pupils (2010)[8]

1,848 pupils (2005)[9]
 • Grade 9443 (2013),546 (2005)
 • Grade 10310 (2013), 488 (2005)
 • Grade 11180 (2013),505 (2005)
 • Grade 12213 (2013), 309 (2005)
LanguageEnglish
Feeder schoolsHarrisburg High School, SciTech Campus
Website

Harrisburg High School (Pennsylvania) is located at 2451 Market Street, Harrisburg, Dauphin County, Pennsylvania. This large urban high school is one of two public high schools operated by the Harrisburg City School District. In 2015, enrollment was reported as 1,165 pupils in 9th through 12th grades, with 97% of pupils eligible for a free lunch due to family poverty. Additionally, 29.7% of pupils received special education services, while less than 1% of pupils were identified as gifted.[11] The school employed 89 teachers.[12] According to the Pennsylvania Department of Education, 14% of the teachers were rated "Non‐Highly Qualified" under the federal No Child Left Behind Act.

In 2014, Harrisburg High School enrollment was reported as 1,146 pupils in 9th through 12th grades, with 81% of pupils eligible for a free lunch due to family poverty. Additionally, 29% of pupils received special education services, while 0.09% of pupils were identified as gifted. The school employed 117 teachers.[13] According to the PA Department of Education 2% of the teachers were rated "Non‐Highly Qualified" under the federal No Child Left Behind Act. The school is a federally designated Title I school.

According to the National Center for Education Statistics, in 2011, Harrisburg High School reported an enrollment of 1,318 pupils in grades 9th through 12th, with 861 pupils eligible for a federal free or reduced-price lunch due to the family meeting the federal poverty level. In 2011, Harrisburg High School employed 117 teachers, yielding a student-teacher ratio of 11:1.[14] According to a report by the Pennsylvania Department of Education, 29 teachers were rated "Non‐Highly Qualified" under No Child Left Behind.[15] The school was a federally designated Title I school.

In 2009, Harrisburg High School ranked 636th out of 666 Pennsylvania high schools for the reading and mathematics achievement of its students.[16] In 2007, Johns Hopkins University reported that Harrisburg High School was listed among 47 Pennsylvania schools and 1700 nationwide high schools with high drop out rates.[17]

History[edit]

The school first opened in 1971 as a merger of John Harris High School, which opened 1926, and William Penn High School.[18] John Harris High School now refers to a campus of Harrisburg High.[19]

Graduation rate[edit]

  • 2017 - 100%[20]
  • 2015 - 52.78%[21]
  • 2014 - 42.69%[22]
  • 2013 - 45.10%[23]
  • 2012 - 38%[24]
  • 2011 - 68%[25]
  • 2010 - 79%[26]
  • 2009 - 79%
  • 2008 - 74%
  • 2006 - 62%
  • 2005 - 74%

Academics[edit]

Opportunity Scholarship - lowest achieving schools

In May 2015, the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) released a report identifying Harrisburg High School as among the lowest achieving schools for reading and mathematics in the state.[27][28] Harrisburg High School has been included on this lowest achievement list each year since the list was begun in 2011.[29][30][31][32] One hundred four (104) public school districts had one or more schools on the list. Parents and students may be eligible for scholarships to transfer to another public or nonpublic school through the state's Opportunity Scholarship Tax Credit Program passed in June 2012.[33] The scholarships are limited to those students whose family's income is less than $60,000 annually, with another $12,000 allowed per dependent. Maximum scholarship award is $8,500, with special education students receiving up to $15,000 for a year's tuition. Parents pay any difference between the scholarship amount and the receiving school's tuition rate. Students may seek admission to neighboring public school districts. Each year the PDE publishes the tuition rate for each individual public school district.[34] Fifty-three public schools in Allegheny County are among the lowest-achieving schools in 2011. According to the report, parents in 414 public schools (74 school districts) were offered access to these scholarships. For the 2015-16 school year, Harrisburg School District had nine of its schools on the lowest achievement list.

2015 School Performance Profile[edit]

Harrisburg High School achieved 40.5 out of 100. Reflects on grade level reading, mathematics and science achievement. The PDE reported that 23% of Harrisburg High School’s students were on grade level in reading/literature. In Algebra 1, just 18% of students showed on grade level skills at the end of the course. In Biology I, 10% demonstrated on grade level science understanding at the end of the course.[35] 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.[36][37]

2014 School Performance Profile[edit]

Harrisburg High School achieved 39.7 out of 100. Reflects on grade level reading, mathematics and science achievement. In reading/literature - 20% were on grade level. In Algebra 1, 18.6% showed on grade level skills at the end of the course. In Biology, 11% showed on grade level science understanding at the end of the course.[38][39] Fifty-three percent of schools statewide received lower SPP scores compared with last year's, while 46 percent improved. A handful were unchanged.[40][41]

Compared with 2013, the percentage of schools that earned below 60 declined by nearly 1 percent per Secretary of Education Carolyn Dumaresq. She reported that this is an indication that student achievement is improving as school resources are being used better.[42]

2013 School Performance Profile[edit]

Harrisburg High School achieved out of 100. Reflects on grade level reading, mathematics and science achievement. In reading/literature - 27.48% were on grade level. In Algebra 1, 12.21% showed on grade level skills. In Biology, 10.45% showed on grade level science understanding.[43] 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.[44]

AYP Status[edit]

In 2012, Harrisburg High School declined to Corrective Action II 9th Year due to achieving only 4 of 14 metrics measured.[45]

  • 2011 - declined to Corrective Action II 8th Year due to continuing, low student achievement.[46]
  • 2010 - declined to Corrective Action II 7th Year due to chronic low student achievement.[47]
  • 2009 - declined to Corrective Action II 6th Year due to continuing, low student achievement.[48]
  • 2008 - declined to Corrective Action II 5th Year due to continuing, low student achievement.[49]
  • 2007 - Corrective Action II 4th Year[50]
  • 2006 - Corrective Action II 3rd Year
  • 2005 - Corrective Action II 2nd Year
  • 2004 - Corrective Action II AYP status
  • 2003 - Corrective Action I AYP status

Under the federal No Child Left Behind Act, the Harrisburg HIgh 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 Harrisburg High 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 school district was required to pay for additional tutoring for struggling students.[51] The High School is eligible for special, extra funding under federal School Improvement Grants which the school must apply for each year.[52]

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 Commonwealth's Academic Standards were first published in 1998 and were mandated by the Pennsylvania State Board of Education and the Pennsylvania General Assembly.[53]

In 2013, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania changed its high school assessments to three 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.[54] Schools are required to provide targeted remediation to students who do not pass a Keystone Exam.

11th grade Science on grade level
  • 2012 - 4% (62% below basic). State - 42%
  • 2011 - 2% (68% below basic). State - 40%
  • 2010 - 5.9% (52% below basic). State - 39%
  • 2009 - 4% (65% below basic). State - 40%
  • 2008 - 3% (56% below basic). State - 39%

College Remediation Rate[edit]

According to a Pennsylvania Department of Education study released in January 2009, 67% of the Harrisburg 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.[62][63] 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.[64][65] According to 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.

SAT scores[edit]

In 2015, 132 Harrisburg High School students took the SAT exams. The average reading score was 402, the average math score was 411 and the average writing score was 383. The composite average of the 2015 school year was 1196.[66]

In 2014, 179 Harrisburg High School students took the SAT exams. The school's Verbal Average Score was 388. The Math average score was 400. The Writing average score was 371.[67][68] 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.[69] In 2014, 1,672,395 students took the SATs in the United States.

In 2013, 164 Harrisburg High School students took the SAT exams. The school's Verbal Average Score was 398. The Math average score was 407. The Writing average score was 359. 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.[70]

In 2012, 128 Harrisburg City School District students took the SAT exams. The district's Verbal Average Score was 473. The Math average score was 481. The Writing average score was 439. 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, 224 Harrisburg High School students took the SAT exams. The school's Verbal Average Score was 392. The Math average score was 392. The Writing average score was 350.[71] Pennsylvania ranked 40th among states with SAT scores: Verbal - 493, Math - 501, Writing - 479.[72] 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.[73]

Graduation requirements[edit]

The Harrisburg School Board requires that students earn 24 credits to graduate, including: English 4 credits, Mathematics 4 credits, Science 3 credits, Social Studies 3 credits, Humanities 2 credits, Electives 5 credits, Physical Education 1 credits, Wellness 1 credits, and Senior Project 1 credit.[74]

For nearly two decades, all Pennsylvania secondary school students were required to 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.[75] Effective with the graduating class of 2017, the Pennsylvania State Board of Education eliminated the state mandate that students complete a culminating project in order to graduate.[76]

By Pennsylvania State School Board regulations, beginning with the class of 2019, public school students must demonstrate successful completion of secondary level course work in Algebra I, Biology, and English Literature by passing the respective Keystone Exams for each course.[77][78]

The exam is given at the end of the course. Keystone Exams replace the PSSAs for 11th grade.[79]

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.[80][81] 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.[82] 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.[83] 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.

Grants[edit]

Classrooms for the Future grant

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 to 2009. The School District applied to participate in 2006-07 and was denied funding by the PDE. In 2007-08, Harrisburg City School District applied again receiving $585,907. The district received $136,749 in 2008-09, for a total funding of $692,809.[84][85] Among the public school districts in Cambria County, the highest award was given to Greater Johnstown School District which received $463,166. 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.

Project 720

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.[86] The 720 in the name referred to the number of days a student was in high school in ninth through 12th grades.[87] 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. Harrisburg City School District was one of 161 PA public school districts to apply, receiving $327,000 funding over three years.[88][89] 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.[90]

School safety and bullying[edit]

The Harrisburg City School District administration reported there were five incidents of bullying in Harrisburg High School in 2014. Additionally, there were 13 assaults on students and one sexual incidents involving students. The local law enforcement was involved in 25 incidents at the schools, making 25 arrests.[91] [92] Each year the school safety data is reported by the district to the Safe School Center which then publishes the compiled reports online. Nationally, nearly 20% of pupils report being bullied at school.[93]

The Harrisburg City School Board has provided the district's antibully policy online.[94] 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 every year, and shall review their policy every three years. Additionally, the district must conduct an annual review of that policy with students.[95] The Center for Schools and Communities works in 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.[96][97] According to the Center for Disease Control’s biannual national study of high school students in 2009, five percent of Pennsylvania students did not go to school for at least one day because they felt unsafe at school or on their way to or from school.[98]

Education standards relating to student safety and anti harassment programs are described in the 10.3. Safety and Injury Prevention in the Pennsylvania Academic Standards for Health, Safety and Physical Education.[99]

Extracurriculars[edit]

Harrisburg HIgh School offers a wide variety of clubs, activities and an extensive, publicly funded sports program.[100] Eligibility for participation is determined by school board policy and in compliance with standards set by the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association (PIAA).

By Pennsylvania law, all K-12 students residing in the school district, including those who attend a private nonpublic school, a Pennsylvania public cyber charter school, charter school and those who are homeschooled, are all 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.[101]

According to PA Child Abuse Recognition and Reporting Act 126 of 2014, all volunteer coaches and all those who assist in student activities, must have criminal background checks. Like all school district employees, they must also attend an anti child abuse training once every three years.[102][103][104]

Harrisburg High School offers Marching Cougars Band, Concert Band, and a Jazz Ensemble. The school also offers a US Navy Junior ROTC program.[105]

Sports[edit]

Coaches receive compensation as outlined in the teachers' union contract. When athletic competition exceeds the regular season, additional compensation is paid.[106]

According to Pennsylvania’s Safety in Youth Sports Act, all sports coaches, paid and volunteer, are required to annually complete the Concussion Management Certification Training and present the certification before coaching.[107][108]

The district provides these high school sports:

Varsity

According to PIAA directory July 2015[109]

Notable alumni[edit]

References[edit]

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