Jersey Shore Area School District

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Jersey Shore Area School District
JSASD
Map of Lycoming County Pennsylvania School Districts.png
Address
175 A&P Drive
Jersey Shore, Pennsylvania, Lycoming County and Clinton County 17740
United States of America
Information
Type Public
Closed Nippenose Valley ES June 2013
School board 9 elected members
Superintendent

Dr Jill T Wenrich, Salary $130,000 (2016) contract May 28, 2016 to May 27, 2021)[1][2]
former Dr Dorothy L Chappel Salary $126,000 (contract July 1, 2013 to June 30, 2016)[3][4]

Richard J. Emery, Salary $125,191 (2013)[5]
Administrator Ms Adrienne Craig, Business Manager
Principal Dr Kenneth Dady, AES & JSAES
Principal Mrs Nola Allison, SES
Principal Mrs Laura Milarch, JSMS
Principal Reed Mellinger, JSAHS
Staff 139 non teaching staff (2013)
Faculty

172 (2014)[6]
174 teachers (2013)[7]

201 teachers (2010)
Grades K-12
Age 5 years to 21 years special education
Pupils

2,477 pupils (2016-17)[8]
2,558 pupils (2015-16)[9]
2,610 pupils (2013-14)[10]
2,718 pupils (2009-10)[11]

2,844 pupils (2005-06)[12]
 • Kindergarten 177 (2013), 221 (2010)
 • Grade 1 222 (2013), 187
 • Grade 2 203 (2013), 217
 • Grade 3 201 (2013), 207
 • Grade 4 201 (2013), 207
 • Grade 5 182 (2013), 186
 • Grade 6 223 (2013), 195
 • Grade 7 224 (2013), 214
 • Grade 8 195 (2013), 205
 • Grade 9 196 (2013), 249
 • Grade 10 205 (2013), 221
 • Grade 11 201 (2013), 204
 • Grade 12 180 (2013), 205 (2010)
 • Other Enrollment projected by the PDE to steadily decline to 2574 by 2020 [13]
Language English
Color(s) Orange and Black
Mascot Bulldog
Budget

$39,660,165 (2015–16)[14]
$38,010,037 (2014–15)[15]

$40,987,729 (2012–13)
Tuition for nonresident and charter school students ES - $7,830.85, HS - $10,288.32 [16]
Per Pupil Spending

$11,187 (2008)
$12,897.91 (2010)

$12,957.86 (2013)
Website
Map of Clinton County, Pennsylvania Public School Districts

The Jersey Shore Area School District is a large rural, public school district in Lycoming County, Pennsylvania and Clinton County, Pennsylvania. The district encompasses approximately 385 square miles (1,000 km2). It is centered on the borough of Jersey Shore and serves the surrounding Lycoming County municipalities of Limestone Township, Bastress Township, Nippenose Township, Porter Township, Piatt Township, Anthony Township, Mifflin Township, Watson Township, Cummings Township, McHenry Township, Brown Township, and Salladasburg. It also encompasses Avis, Pine Creek Township, and Crawford Township in Clinton County. The District was organized in 1966 by a consolidation of eleven smaller school districts. Per the 2000 US Census Bureau data, Jersey Shore Area School District served a resident population of 19,807. According to 2010 state census data, Jersey Shore Area School District served a resident population of 17,858. The educational attainment levels for the Jersey Shore Area School District population (25 years old and over) were 86.8% high school graduates and 13.7% college graduates.[17] The District is one of the 500 public school districts of Pennsylvania.

According to the Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center, 41.3% 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.[18] In 2009, the district residents’ per capita income was $16,201, while the median family income was $41,792.[19] In the Commonwealth, the median family income was $49,501 [20] and the United States median family income was $49,445, in 2010.[21] In Lycoming County, the median household income was $45,430.[22] By 2013, the median household income in the United States rose to $52,100.[23] In 2014, the median household income in the USA was $53,700.[24]

The Jersey Shore Area School District provided basic educational services to 2,588 pupils through the employment of 199 teachers, 54 full-time and part-time support personnel, and thirteen (13) administrators during the 2011-12 school year. The District received $19.2 million in state funding in the 2011-12 school year. In school year 2009-10, the District enrollment was 2,686 pupils.The District employed: 212 teachers, 180 full-time and part-time support personnel, and 19 administrators. Jersey Shore Area School District received more than $18.6 million in state funding in school year 2009-10. In the 2007–2008 school year, Jersey Shore Area School District enrollment was 2,805 pupils. The District employed: 213 teachers, 53 full-time and part-time support personnel, and 15 administrators in 2008.

Jersey Shore Area School District operates five schools: Avis Elementary School, Jersey Shore Elementary School, Salladasburg Elementary School, Jersey Shore Area Middle School (6-8), and Jersey Shore Area High School (9-12). The District has a separate administration building. Due to steadily declining enrollment, the Board is grappling with consolidating elementary schools. Nippenose Elementary School was closed in 2013 due to declining enrollment. No publicly funded technology and career school is available to students.

The BLaST Intermediate Unit IU17 provides the District with a wide variety of services like specialized education for disabled students and hearing, background checks for employees, state mandated recognizing and reporting child abuse training, speech and visual disability services and criminal background check processing for prospective employees and professional development for staff and faculty.

Governance[edit]

Jersey Shore 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.[25] The federal government 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 (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.[26] 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.[27]

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 and Business Manager regarding renewal of their employment contracts.[28] 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.[29]

The Commonwealth Foundation for Public Policy Alternatives Sunshine Review gave the School Board and District Administration a "D-" 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.[30]

Academic achievement[edit]

Jersey Shore Area School District was ranked 243rd out of 498 Pennsylvania school districts in 2016, by the Pittsburgh Business Times.[31] The ranking was based on student academic performance based on the last three years of student achievement scores on the PSSAs for: reading, writing, math, science and the three Keystone Exams (literature, Algebra 1, Biology I) in high school.[32] 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 2012, the Pittsburgh Business Times also reported an Overachievers Ranking for 498 Pennsylvania school districts. Jersey Shore Area School District ranked 165th. In 2011, the district was 179th. [40] 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."[41]

In 2009, the academic achievement, of the students in the Jersey Shore Area School District, was in the 55th percentile among all 500 Pennsylvania school districts Scale (0-99; 100 is state best) [42]

District Adequate Yearly Progress[edit]

In 2012, Jersey Shore Area School District declined to Warning Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) status due to a lagging graduation rate. In 2011, Jersey Shore Area School District achieved Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP).[43] 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.[44]

  • 2006 to 2010 – achieved AYP each school year
  • 2005 - "Making Progress – School Improvement I" [45]
  • 2004 – declined to "School Improvement status" The District administration was required by the PDE to develop of district improvement plan to raise student academic achievement in reading and mathematics.
  • 2003 – Warning AYP status due to lagging student achievement.[46]

Graduation rate[edit]

In 2016, Jersey Shore Area School District's graduation rate was only 84.31%.[47]

  • 2015 - 83%[48]
  • 2014 - 74.7%[49]
  • 2013 - 81%[50]
  • 2012 - 77%[51]
  • 2011 - 86%[52]
  • 2010 - 83% the Pennsylvania Department of Education issued a new, 4-year cohort graduation rate.[53]
Former formula graduation rate

High school[edit]

Jersey Shore Area High School is located at 701 Cemetery Street, Jersey Shore. In 2016, enrollment was reported as 769 pupils in 9th through 12th grades, with 36% of pupils eligible for a free lunch due to the family meeting the federal poverty level. Additionally, 14.5% of pupils received special education services, while 1.5% of pupils were identified as gifted.[57] The school employed 59 teachers.[58] Per the PA Department of Education, 3% of the teachers were rated "Non‐Highly Qualified" under the federal No Child Left Behind Act.[59]

According to the National Center for Education Statistics, in 2010, the school reported an enrollment of 697 pupils in grades 9th through 12th, with 186 pupils eligible for a federal free or reduced-price lunch. The school employed 71 teachers, yielding a student–teacher ratio of 10:1.[60] According to a report by the Pennsylvania Department of Education, 15 teachers were rated "Non‐Highly Qualified" under No Child Left Behind.[61]

2016 School Performance Profile

Jersey Shore Area High School Keystone Exams mandated testing results were: 81% of students were on grade level in reading/literature and 75% of students demonstrated on grade level in Algebra I. In Biology I. 70% of pupils demonstrated on grade level science understanding at the end of the Biology course.[62] 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.[63] Fifty-four percent of the 2,676 public schools in Pennsylvania achieved a passing score of 70 or better.[64]

2015 School Performance Profile

Jersey Shore Area High School achieved 69.4 out of 100. Reflects on grade level reading, mathematics and science achievement. The PDE reported that 74% of the High School's students were on grade level in reading/literature. In Algebra 1, 71% of students showed on grade level skills at the end of the course. In Biology I, 50.8% demonstrated on grade level science understanding at the end of the course.[65][66] 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.[67][68]

2014 School Performance Profile

Jersey Shore Area High School achieved 74.5 out of 100. Reflects on grade level reading, mathematics and science achievement. In reading/literature, 77.5% were on grade level. In Algebra 1, 78% showed on grade level skills in math. In Biology, 44% demonstrated on grade level science understanding at the end of the course.[69][70] 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%.[71]

2013 School Performance Profile

Jersey Shore Area High School achieved 72.2 out of 100. Reflects on grade level reading, mathematics and science achievement. In reading/literature, 83% were on grade level. In Algebra 1, just 62% showed on grade level skills. In Biology, only 36.5% showed on grade level science understanding.[72] 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.[73]

AYP history;

In 2012, Jersey Shore Area High School remained in Warning Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) status. In 2010 and 2011, the High School was also in Warning AYP status due to low student achievement in reading and math coupled with a low graduation rate.[74]

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.[75] 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 applicable course, rather than all in the spring of the student's 11th grade year.[76] The state announced the change in 2010 and made it in order to comply with Governor Edward G. Rendell's agreement to change to the national Common Core standards.[77]

11th Grade Reading
  • 2012 - 69% on grade level, (14% below basic). State - 67% of 11th graders are on grade level.
  • 2011 - 67% (9% below basic). State - 69.1% [78]
  • 2010 - 64% (18% below basic). State - 66% [79]
  • 2009 - 60% (18% below basic). State - 65% [80]
  • 2008 - 64% (21% below basic). State - 65% [81]
  • 2007 - 59% (20% below basic). State - 65% [82]

11th Grade Math:

  • 2012 - 67%% on grade level (11% below basic). In Pennsylvania, 59% of 11th graders are on grade level.[83]
  • 2011 - 66% (11% below basic). State - 60.3% [84]
  • 2010 - 57% (24% below basic). State - 59% [85]
  • 2009 - 54% (20% below basic). State - 56%.[86]
  • 2008 - 59% (22% below basic). State - 56% [87]
  • 2007 - 50% (25% below basic). State - 53% [88]

11th Grade Science:

  • 2012 - 36% on grade level (11% below basic). State - 42% of 11th graders were on grade level.[89]
  • 2011 - 41% (13% below basic). State - 40% [90]
  • 2010 - 33% (16% below basic). State - 39%
  • 2009 - 31% (19% below basic). State - 40% [91]
  • 2008 - 27% (15% below basic). State - 39% [92]

Science in Motion Jersey Shore Area High School did not take 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.[93] Susquehanna University provided the science enrichment experiences to schools in the region.

College remediation rate[edit]

According to a Pennsylvania Department of Education study released in January 2009, 7% of the Jersey Shore 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.[94] 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.[95] Per the Pennsylvania Department of Education, one in three recent high school graduates who attend Pennsylvania's public universities and community colleges takes at least one remedial course in math, reading or English.

Dual enrollment[edit]

The Jersey Shore Area High School offers a dual enrollment program. This state program permits high school students to take courses, at local higher education institutions, to earn college credits. Students remain enrolled at their high school. The courses count towards high school graduation requirements and towards earning a college degree. The students continue to have full access to activities and programs at their high school. The college credits are offered at a deeply discounted rate through Indiana University of Pennsylvania. Under the Pennsylvania Transfer and Articulation Agreement, many Pennsylvania colleges and universities accept these credits for students who transfer to their institutions.[96] Under state rules, other students that reside in the district, who attend a private school, a charter school or are home schooled are eligible to participate in this program. The state offered a small grant to assist students in costs for tuition, fees and books.[97] For the 2009-10 funding year, Jersey Shore Area High School received a state grant of $1,690 for the program.[98] In 2010, Governor Edward Rendell eliminated the grants to students.

Penn College NOW

In 2014, Jersey Shore Area School District offered several dual enrollment courses in conjunction with Pennsylvania College of Technology. Penn College NOW classes are taught by approved local high school teachers, at the high school.[99] Penn College NOW is partially funded by the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Improvement Act of 2006 (Public Law 109-270) through the Pennsylvania Department of Education, by the support of Pennsylvania companies through the Educational Improvement Tax Credit program managed by the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development and by Pennsylvania College of Technology.

SAT scores[edit]

In 2015, 114 Jersey Shore Area School District students took the SAT exams. The District's Verbal Average Score was 484. The Math average score was 488. The Writing average score was 473.[100] 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.[101]

In 2014, 116 Jersey Shore Area School District students took the SAT exams. The District's Verbal Average Score was 484. The Math average score was 489. The Writing average score was 463.[102][103] Statewide in Pennsylvania, Verbal Average Score was 497. The Math average score was 504. The Writing average score was 480. The College Board reported that nationwide scores were: 497 in reading, 513 in math and 487 in writing.[104] In 2014, 1,672,395 students took the SATs in the United States.

In 2013, 113 Jersey Shore Area School District students took the SAT exams. The District's Verbal Average Score was 471. The Math average score was 495. The Writing average score was 453. 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.[105]

In 2012, 115 Jersey Shore Area School District students took the SAT exams. The District's Verbal Average Score was 473. The Math average score was 487. The Writing average score was 464. 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, 116 Jersey Shore Area students took the SAT exams. The District's Verbal Average Score was 458. The Math average score was 466. The Writing average score was 443.[106] Pennsylvania ranked 40th among states with SAT scores: Verbal – 493, Math – 501, Writing – 479.[107] 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.[108]

Graduation requirements[edit]

The Jersey Shore Area School Board has determined that a pupil must earn 28.5 credits to graduate, including: Mathematics – 4 credits, English – 4 credits, social studies – 4 credits, science – 4 credits, Computer education – 1 credit, Physical Education – 2 credit, Health 0.5 credits, Family and Consumer Science – 0,5 credits, Technology Education – 0,5 credits, Graduation Project (Senior Project) – 0.5 credits and electives 7.5 credits.[109]

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.[110] 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.[111]

By Pennsylvania School Board regulations, for the graduating class of 2019,[112] students must demonstrate successful completion of secondary level course work in Algebra I, Biology, English Composition, and Literature.[113][114][115][116] The exam is given at the end of the course. Keystone Exams have replaced the PSSAs for 11th grade.[117] 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.[118] Individual student, school or district reports were not made public, although they were reported to district officials by the Pennsylvania Department of Education.

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.[119][120] 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.[121] 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.[122] 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. School district superintendents have the discretion to graduate up to 10% of pupils who do not pass the exams or project.

Jersey Shore Area Middle School[edit]

Jersey Shore Area Middle School is located at 601 Thompson Street, Jersey Shore. By 2016, the school's enrollment had declined to 609 pupils, in grades 6th through 8th, with 46.8% of pupils eligible for a free lunch due to family poverty. Additionally, 16% of pupils received special education services, while 2.3% of pupils were identified as gifted.[123] According to a 2014 report by the Pennsylvania Department of Education, 97% of its teachers were rated "Highly Qualified" under No Child Left Behind.[124]

According to the National Center for Education Statistics, in 2010, Jersey Shore Area Middle School reported an enrollment of 847 pupils in grades 6th through 9th, with 285 pupils receiving a federal free or reduced-price lunch due to family poverty. The school is a federal Title I school. The school employed 40.5 teachers, yielding a student–teacher ratio of 15:1.[125] According to a report by the Pennsylvania Department of Education, 14 teachers were rated "Non‐Highly Qualified" under No Child Left Behind.[126]

2016 School Performance Profile

SPP 72.6 out of 100 points. Jersey Shore Area Middle School PSSA mandated testing results were: 68% of students in 8th grade were on grade level in reading, while 34% of students demonstrated on grade level in mathematics. In science, 65% of eighth grade pupils demonstrated on grade level science understanding.[127] In 7th grade, 70% of pupils were on grade level in reading, while just 40% demonstrated on grade level math skills. Among 6th graders, 70% were on grade level in reading and only 55% were on grade level in math. 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.[128]

2015 School Performance Profile

The PDE withheld SPP scores. It was reported that just 63% of 8th grade students at Jersey Shore Area Middle School students were on grade level in reading on the PSSAs given in April 2015. In math/Algebra 1, just 30% of 8th grade students showed on grade level skills. In science, 67% of the school's 8th graders demonstrated on grade level science understanding. No eighth grade writing scores were reported. In 7th grade, 62% were on grade level in reading, while just 36% showed on grade level math skills. Among 6th graders, 70% were on grade level in reading and 55% were on grade level in mathematics. No eighth grade writing scores were reported.[129]

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. Statewide 61.9% of fifth (5th) graders were on grade level in reading, while 42.8% demonstrated on grade level math skills.[130]

2014 School Performance Profile

Jersey Shore Area Middle School achieved 74.9 out of 100. Reflects on grade level reading, mathematics and science achievement. In reading/literature, 76% were on grade level. In Algebra 1/Math, 85.58% showed on grade level mathematics skills. In Science, just 67% of 8th graders showed on grade level science understanding. In writing, 75% of the 8th grade students demonstrated on grade level writing skills.[131][132]

2013 School Performance Profile

Jersey Shore Area Middle School achieved 80 out of 100. Reflects on grade level reading, writing, mathematics and science achievement. In reading, just 74% of the students were on grade level. In Mathematics/Algebra 1, 85.5% of the students showed on grade level skills. In Science, only 67% of the 8th graders demonstrated on grade level understanding. In writing, 73% of the 8th grade students demonstrated on grade level writing skills.[133] 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.

AYP status history

In 2012, Jersey Shore Area Middle School declined to Warning AYP status due to lagging reading scores.[134]

  • 2010 & 2011 - achieved AYP status.[135]
  • 2009 - Making Progress in School Improvement Level I AYP status[136]
  • 2008 - declined further to School Improvement Level I AYP status due to chronic low student achievement[137]
  • 2007 - declined to Warning AYP status[138]
  • 2006 - achieved AYP status[139]
  • 2005 - declined again to Warning AYP status due to lagging academic achievement
  • 2004 - achieved AYP status.
  • 2003 - Warning AYP status due to lagging academic achievement[140]
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.[141] 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.[142] The standards were published in 1998 and are mandated by the Pennsylvania State Board of Education.[143] In 2014, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania adopted the Pennsylvania Core Standards - Mathematics.[144]

8th Grade Science:

  • 2012 - 71% on grade level (12% below basic). State - 59%
  • 2011 - 69% (13% below basic). State - 58.3%
  • 2010 - 67%, (16% below basic). State - 57%
  • 2009 - 56% (21% below basic). State - 55%
  • 2008 - 47%, (29% below basic). State - 52%
  • 2007 - tested, but results not made public.
Dropout Early Warning System

In 2013, Jersey Shore Area School District did not implement a no-cost dropout prevention Early Warning System and Interventions Catalog at the middle school.[149] The process identifies students at risk for dropping out by examining the pupil's: attendance, behavior and course grades. Interventions are implemented to assist at-risk pupils to remain in school. The program is funded by federal and private dollars.[150]

Avis Elementary School[edit]

Avis Elementary School is located at 1088 Third Street, Jersey Shore. In 2016, Avis Elementary School's enrollment was just 235 pupils in grades kindergarten through 5th, with 50% of pupils receiving a federal free or reduced price meals due to family poverty. Additionally, 9% of the pupils receive special education services, while 1% are identified as gifted.[151] 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.[152] The school is a federally designated Title I school. The school has provided full-day kindergarten since 2003.

According to the National Center for Education Statistics, in 2010, the school reported an enrollment of 212 pupils in grades kindergarten through 5th, with 106 pupils receiving a federal free or reduced-price lunch due to family poverty. The school employed 14 teachers, yielding a student–teacher ratio of 14:1.[153] According to a report by the Pennsylvania Department of Education, 100% of its teachers were rated "Highly Qualified" under No Child Left Behind.[154] In 2012 and 2013, the School was recommended, by the Superintendent, for closure due to persistent low enrollment.

2016 School Performance Profile

SPP 78.3 out of 100 points. Avis Elementary School PSSA mandated testing results were: 62% of students in 5th grade were on grade level in reading, while 70% of students demonstrated on grade level mathematics skills.[155] In 4th grade, 88% were on grade level in reading, while 75% demonstrated on grade level math skills. In science, 93% of fourth grade pupils demonstrated on grade level understanding of science concepts in the state standards. Among the school's third graders, 90% were on grade level in reading and 82% showed on grade level mathematics skills.[156][157]

2015 School Performance Profile

According to the Pennsylvania Department of Education, 83% of 5th grade students at Avis Elementary School were on grade level in reading on the PSSAs given in April 2015. In mathematics, 71% of 5th grade students showed on grade level skills. No fifth grade writing scores were reported. In 4th grade, 71% were on grade level in reading, while 72% showed on grade level math skills. In science, 84% of fourth graders showed on grade level understanding. Among third (3rd) graders, 97% were on grade level in reading and 75% were on grade level in mathematics. Among 6th graders, % were on grade level in reading and % were on grade level in mathematics.[158] 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.[159]

2014 School Performance Profile

Avis Elementary School achieved a score of out of 100. The score reflects on grade level: reading, science, writing and mathematics achievement. In 2013-14, only 72% of the students were reading on grade level in grades 3rd through 5th. In 3rd grade, 81% of the pupils were reading on grade level. In math, 83.7% were on grade level (3rd-5th grades). In 4th grade science, 92.8% of the pupils demonstrated on grade level understanding. In writing, 70% of 5th grade pupils demonstrated on grade level skills.[160]

2013 School Performance Profile

Avis Elementary School achieved a score of 84.5 out of 100. The score reflects on grade level: reading, science, writing and mathematics achievement. In 2012-13, 80% of the students were reading on grade level in grades 3rd through 5th. In 3rd grade, 84.7% of the pupils were reading on grade level. In math, 87.3% were on grade level (3rd-5th grades). In 4th grade science, just 81% of the pupils demonstrated on grade level understanding. In writing, 84% of 5th grade pupils demonstrated on grade level skills.[161] 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.

AYP status

In 2010 and 2011, Avis Elementary School achieved AYP status.[162]

PSSA History

Each year, in the Spring, in order to comply with the federal No Child Left Behind Law, 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.[163] The goal was for 100% of students to be on grade level or better in reading and mathematics, by the Spring of 2014.[164][165][166] 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.[167] The first cohort of children who attended Accountability Block Grant funded full-day kindergarten reached third grade and took the PSSAs in the spring of 2008.

In 2012, 82% of the students at Avis Elementary School were reading on grade level in grades 3rd through 5th. In math, 89% of the students in 3rd through 5th grades were on grade level and 64% scored advanced. In 4th grade science, 98% of the pupils were on grade level.[168]

In 2011, only 79% of the students at Avis Elementary School were reading on grade level in grades 3rd through 5th. In math, 90% of the students in 3rd through 5th grades were on grade level and 57% scored advanced. In 4th grade science, 86% of the pupils were on grade level.[169]

Jersey Shore Area Elementary School[edit]

Jersey Shore Area Elementary School is located at 601 Locust Street, Jersey Shore. It is the largest elementary school in the District. In 2016, the School's enrollment was 623 pupils in grades kindergarten through 5th, with 53.6% of pupils receiving a federal free or reduced price meals due to family poverty. Additionally, 21% of the pupils receive special education services, while less than 1% are identified as gifted.[170] 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 since 2003.[171][172] The school is a federally designated Title I school.

According to the National Center for Education Statistics, in 2010, Jersey Shore Area Elementary School reported an enrollment of 496 pupils in grades kindergarten through 6th, with 270 pupils receiving a federal free or reduced-price lunch due to family poverty. This is a Title I school. The School employed 32.75 teachers, yielding a student–teacher ratio of 15:1.[173] According to a report by the Pennsylvania Department of Education, 100% of its teachers were rated "Highly Qualified" under No Child Left Behind.[174]

2016 School Performance Profile

SPP 78.4 points out of 100. Jersey Shore Area Elementary School PSSA mandated testing results were: 70% of students in 5th grade were on grade level in reading, while 54% of students demonstrated on grade level mathematics skills. In 4th grade, 61% were on grade level in reading, while just 56% demonstrated on grade level math skills. In science, 81% of fourth grade pupils demonstrated on grade level understanding of science concepts in the state standards. Among the school's third graders, just 56% were on grade level in reading and only 49% showed on grade level mathematics skills.[175][176]

2015 School Performance Profile

SPP withheld by PDE. According to the Pennsylvania Department of Education, 68% of 5th grade students at Jersey Shore Area Elementary School were on grade level in reading on the PSSAs given in April 2015. In mathematics, 48% of 5th grade students showed on grade level skills. No fifth grade writing scores were reported. In 4th grade, 62% were on grade level in reading, while 55% showed on grade level math skills. In science, 85% of fourth graders showed on grade level understanding. Among third (3rd) graders, 60% were on grade level in reading and 41% were on grade level in mathematics.[177]

2014 School Performance Profile

Jersey Shore Area Elementary School achieved a score of 80 out of 100. The score reflects on grade level: reading, science, writing and mathematics achievement. In 2013-14, just 66% of the students were reading on grade level in grades 3rd through 5th. In 3rd grade, 75% of the pupils were reading on grade level. In math, 76% were on grade level (3rd-5th grades). In 4th grade science, 77% of the pupils demonstrated on grade level understanding. In writing, 79% of 5th grade pupils demonstrated on grade level skills.[178]

2013 School Performance Profile

Jersey Shore Area Elementary School achieved a score of 78.2 out of 100. The score reflects on grade level: reading, science, writing and mathematics achievement. In 2012-13, only 65.7% of the students were reading on grade level in grades 3rd through 5th. In 3rd grade, 72% of the pupils were reading on grade level. In math, 78% were on grade level (3rd-5th grades). In 4th grade science, just 90% of the pupils demonstrated on grade level understanding. In writing, only 74% of 5th grade pupils demonstrated on grade level skills.[179]

AYP history

In 2012, Jersey Shore Area Elementary School declined again to Warning Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) status, due to low academic achievement in reading and math. The school missed all reading metrics measured.[180] In 2011, Jersey Shore Area Elementary School achieved AYP status. In 2010, Jersey Shore Area Elementary School was in Warning AYP status due to lagging student achievement[181]

In 2011, only 72% of the students at Jersey Shore Area Elementary School were reading on grade level in grades 3rd through 5th. In math, 85% of the students in 3rd through 5th grades were on grade level and 44% scored advanced. In 4th grade science, 89% of the pupils were on grade level.[182] In 2012, only 71% of the students were reading on grade level in grades 3rd through 5th. In math, 86% of the students in 3rd through 5th grades were on grade level and 50% scored advanced. In 4th grade science, 94% of the pupils were on grade level.[183]

Salladasburg Elementary School[edit]

Salladasburg Elementary School is located at 3490 Route 287 Highway, Jersey Shore. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, in 2010, the school reported an enrollment of 236 pupils in grades kindergarten through 5th, with 97 pupils receiving a federal free or reduced-price lunch due to family poverty. This is a Title I school. The school employed 17 teachers, yielding a student–teacher ratio of 13:1.[184] According to a report by the Pennsylvania Department of Education, 100% of its teachers were rated "Highly Qualified" under No Child Left Behind.[185]

In 2010 and 2011, Salladasburg Elementary School achieved AYP status.[186] In 2011, 82% of the students were reading on grade level in grades 3rd through 5th. In math, 89% of the students in 3rd through 5th grades were on grade level and 54% scored advanced. In 4th grade science, 90% of the pupils were on grade level.[187] In 2012, 82% of the students were reading on grade level in grades 3rd through 5th. In math, 89% of the students in 3rd through 5th grades were on grade level and 51% scored advanced. In 4th grade science, 92% of the pupils were on grade level.

Special education[edit]

In December 2015, Jersey Shore Area School District administration reported that 399 pupils or 16% of the district's pupils received Special Education services, with 41% of the identified students having a specific learning disability.[188] In 2012, the District administration reported that 415 pupils or 15.5% of the district's pupils received Special Education services, with 50.4% of the identified students having a specific learning disability.[189]

In 2010, the Jersey Shore Area School District administration reported that 462 pupils or 16.7% of the district's pupils received Special Education services, with 55% of identified students having a specific learning disability. In December 2009, the Jersey Shore Area School District administration reported that 458 pupils or 16.7% of the district's pupils received Special Education services.[190]

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.[191] Jersey Shore Area School District has provided full day kindergarten since 2003. The District has seen a slight decrease (-1%) in the percentage of special education students it serves, which had yielded no savings.[192]

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.[193] By Pennsylvania law, the District has 60 calendar days, after receiving parental consent, to complete the evaluation.[194] To identify students who may be eligible for special education services, 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 district's Special Education Department.[195][196]

Students who have an Individual Education Plan (IEP) may take the PSSA-M an alternative math exam rather than the PSSA.[197] Some special education students may take the PASA (Pennsylvania Alternate System of Assessment), rather than the PSSA.[198] Schools are permitted to provide accommodations to some students.[199]

In 2010, the state of Pennsylvania provided $1,026,815,000 for 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.[200] 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.[201] The state requires each district to have a three-year special education plan to meet the unique needs of its special education students.[202] Overidentification 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.[203] In 2012, the Obama Administration's US Department of Education issued a directive requiring schools include students with disabilities in extracurricular activities, including sports.[204]

The Jersey Shore Area School District received a $1,673,157 supplement for special education services in 2010.[205] For the 2011-12, 2012–13 and 2013-14 school year, all Pennsylvania public school districts received the same level of funding for special education that they received in 2010-11. 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.[206][207]

  • 2014-2015 school year, Jersey Shore Area SD received an increase to $1,705,161 from the Commonwealth for special education funding.[208]
  • 2016-17 school year, Jersey Shore Area School District received a 1.6% increase in state special education funding to $1,775,947.[209]

Additionally, the state provides supplemental funding for extraordinarily impacted students. The District must apply for this added funding. In 2013, the state's Special Education Funding Reform Commission provided a report on the state of funding for special education in the Commonwealth.[210] Funding for special education programs is borne largely on a local basis at 60%, with the state contributing $1 billion or 30% and the federal government providing 10% of the funding.

Gifted education[edit]

The District Administration reported that just 12 children or 0.42% of its students were gifted in 2009. The highest percentage of gifted students reported among all 500 school districts and 100 public charter schools in Pennsylvania was North Allegheny School District with 15.5% of its students identified as gifted.[211][212] 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 are also considered for eligibility.[213][214]

Wellness policy[edit]

Jersey Shore Area School Board established a district wellness policy in 2006.[215] 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." Most districts identified the superintendent and school foodservice director as responsible for ensuring local wellness policy implementation.[216] e

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, physical activity, 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.[217] The Pennsylvania Department of Education required the district to submit a copy of the policy for approval.

Jersey Shore Area School District offers both a free school breakfast and a 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.[218] The meals are partially funded with federal dollars through the United States Department of Agriculture.[219]

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.[220] 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.[221] The Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 mandates that Districts raise their full pay lunch prices every year until the price of non-subsidized lunches equals the amount the federal government reimburses schools for free meals. That subsidy in 2013-2014 was $2.93. In 2015, federal reimbursement rates were: $3.07 per meal for students who are income-eligible for free lunches and $2.67 for those who qualify for a reduced price. School lunch participation nationally dropped from 31.6 million students in 2012 to 30.4 million in 2014, according to the federal Department of Agriculture. Pennsylvania statistics show school lunch participation dropped by 86,950 students in the same two years, from 1,127,444 in 2012 to 1,040,494 in 2014.[222]

In 2014, President Barack Obama ordered a prohibition of advertisements for unhealthy foods on public school campuses during the school day.[223][224]

The US Department of Agriculture requires that students take milk as their beverage at lunch. In accordance with this law, any student requesting water in place of milk with their lunch must present a written request, signed by a doctor, documenting the need for water instead of milk.[225][226]

Jersey Shore 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.[227][228] Nurses also monitor each child's weight.[229]

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.[230] The cost was covered by a grant from a private foundation.[231][232]

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 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.[233]

In 2015, the average teacher salary in JSASD was $65,188 a year.[234] The District employed 192 teachers with a top salary of $126,383.[235][236] Jersey Shore 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.)[237] 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.[238][239] 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.[240]

In 2011, the average teacher salary in Jersey Shore Area School District was $62,289 a year, while the cost of the benefits teachers receive was $17,238.20 per employee, for a total annual average teacher compensation of $79,527.73.[241] 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.[242]

In 2009, the District reported employing 267 teachers and administrators with a median salary of $61,770 and a top salary of $120,376.[243] The teachers work a 7-hour day (30 minute duty-free lunch), with 197 days in the contract year. Additionally, the teachers receive a defined benefit pension, health insurance, professional development reimbursement, 2 paid personal days, 3 paid bereavement days, 10 paid sick days, 1 emergency day and other benefits. The Union receives 10 paid days per year to conduct union business. Teachers receive additional pay for work required to be done beyond the school day or school year.[244]

In 2007, Jersey Shore Area School District employed 226 teachers.[245] In 2007, Pennsylvania public schools had 151,000 plus public school administrators, teachers and staff. 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.[246]

Administration costs

Jersey Shore Area School District administrative costs per pupil in 2008 was $690.61 per pupil. The lowest administrative cost per pupil in Pennsylvania was $398 per pupil.[247] The Pennsylvania School Boards Association collects and maintains statistics on salaries of public school district employees in Pennsylvania. According to the association's report, the average salary for a superintendent, for the 2007-08 school year, was $122,165. Superintendents and administrators receive a benefit package commensurate with that offered to the district's teachers' union.[248][249]

Per pupil spending

In 2008, the District administration reported that per pupil spending was $11,187 which ranked 380th among Pennsylvania's 501 school districts. In 2010, the per pupil spending had increased to $12,897.91.[250] In 2014, the per pupil spending was reported as $13,720.93.[251] Among the states, Pennsylvania's total per pupil revenue (including all sources) ranked 11th at $15,023 per student, in 2008-09.[252] In 2007, the Pennsylvania per pupil total expenditures was $12,759.[253] The U.S. Census Bureau reports that Pennsylvania spent $8,191 per pupil in school year 2000-01.[254]

Reserves In 2008, Jersey Shore Area School District reported a balance of $4,262,432 in an unreserved-undesignated fund. The unreserved-designated fund balance was reported as zero.[255] In 2010, Jersey Shore Area Administration reported an increase to $3,411,348 in the unreserved-undesignated fund balance and $1,004,198 in its unreserved-designated fund. In 2014-15, Jersey Shore Area School District reported having $2,596,227.00 in unreserved-designated reserves and $4,080,000 in its committed reserved fund.[256]

Pennsylvania 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.[257]

Audit

In August 2012, the Pennsylvania Auditor General conducted a performance audit of the District. The findings were reported to the Jersey Shore Area School Board and the District's administration. This included that two professionals had serious certification deficiencies for several years. The Bureau of School Leadership and Teacher Quality, PDE determined that the JSASD was subject to a subsidy forfeiture of $2,623 for the 2009-10 school year and $3,964 for the 2010-11 school year.[258] The District was audited again in 2016. The findings were reported to the Board.[259]

Tuition Students who live in the Jersey Shore 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 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 2013 tuition rates were Elementary School - $7,618.55, High School - $9,619.39.[260] In 2015, the tuition rates for the District were determined to be: Elementary School - $8,291, High School - $10,905.[261]

Jersey Shore Area School District is funded by a combination of: a local earned tax – 1.6%,[262] a property tax, a real estate transfer tax 0.5%, coupled with substantial funding from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the federal government.[263] Grants can provide an opportunity to supplement school funding without raising local taxes. Interest earnings on accounts also provide 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.[264] The average Pennsylvania public school teacher pension in 2011 exceeded $60,000 a year, plus they receive federal Social Security benefits. Both retirement benefits are free of Pennsylvania state income tax and local income tax which funds local public schools.[265] Effective 2016, active duty military are also exempted from paying the local earned income tax in Pennsylvania.[266][267]

State basic education funding[edit]

According to a report from Representative Todd Stephens office, Jersey Shore Area School District receives 54.7% of its annual revenue from the state.[268] This exceeds some education advocates goal of the state providing 50% of district funding.[269]

In December 2014, the Pennsylvania Education Funding Reform Commission conducted a hearing. Testimony was given regarding state funding at the fastest growing districts and those with the greatest decline in enrollment since 1996. Jersey Shore ASD has experienced a significant decline in enrollment. he 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).[270][271][272]

For the 2016-17 school year, Jersey Shore Area School District received $12,948,853 in Basic Education Funding (BEF) from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. This is a 1.7% increase over 2015-16 state funding to the District. The highest percentage of BEF increase in Lycoming County was 5.4% awarded to Loyalsock Township 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.[273] The state also funded Ready to Learn grants at $250 million and Special Education funding received a $20 million increase.[274] The state also paid $492 million to the school employee social security fund and another $2.064 billion to the teacher’s pension fund.[275] 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 $6,157,103 to Jersey Shore Area School District, in January 2016.[276] This was part of $10.3 billion in school funding withheld from the public schools, by the Governor since the summer of 2015.[277] The dispersement did not follow the new Basic Education Fair Funding formula which had been established by the Pennsylvania General Assembly in June 2015.[278] Ten (10) Pennsylvania school districts received no increase in Basic Education funding under Governor Wolf.[279][280]

In compliance with a legislative mandate that was passed with veto proof majorities in the PA House and Senate,[281] the final BEF funding was determined for 2015-16, in April 2016. Jersey Shore Area School District received $12,736,650 in Basic Education Funds for the 2015-16 school year. This was a 1.29% increase yielding a $161,974 increase over the previous school year Basic Education Funding. The District also received $489,271 in Ready to Learn funding from the state.[282]

For the 2014-15 school year, Jersey Shore Area School District received $12,574,676 in State Basic Education funding. The District received $389,653 in new Ready To Learn Block grant. The State’s enacted Education Budget included $5,526,129,000 for the 2014-2015 Basic Education Funding.[283] 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.[284]

In the 2013-2014 school year, Jersey Shore Area School District received a 1.6% increase or $12,572,780 in Pennsylvania Basic Education Funding. This is $193,838 more than its 2012-13 state BEF to the District. Additionally, Jersey Shore Area School District received $206,359 in Accountability Block Grant funding to focus on academic achievement and level funding for special education services. Among the public school districts in Lycoming County, Loyalsock Township School District received the highest percentage increase in BEF at 2.6%. The District had the option of applying for several other state and federal grants to increase revenues.

For the 2012–13 school year, Jersey Shore Area School District received $12,585,301.[285] 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 is 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 $544.4 million for School Employees’ Social Security and $856 million for School Employees’ Retirement fund called PSERS.[286] This amount is a $21,823,000 increase (0.34%) over the 2011–2012 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 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 the 2011-12 school year, Jersey Shore Area School District received a $12,378,942 allocation, of state Basic Education Funding.[287][288] Additionally, the School District received $206,359 in Accountability Block Grant funding. The enacted Pennsylvania state Education budget included $5,354,629,000 for the 2011–2012 Basic Education Funding appropriation. This amount was a $233,290,000 increase (4.6%) over the enacted State appropriation for 2010–2011.[289] 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.[290] In 2010, the district reported that 1,063 students received free or reduced-price lunches, due to the family meeting the federal poverty level.[291]

In the 2010–2011 budget year, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania provided Jersey Shore Area School District a 2.63% increase in Basic Education Funding for a total of $13,227,985. Among the districts in Lycoming County, the highest increase went to Loyalsock Township School District which got an 8.13% 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.[292] 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 where 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 districts at a far greater rate than others.

In the 2009–2010 budget year, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania provided a 4.12% increase in Basic Education Funding for a total of $12,889,563. Among the districts in Lycoming County, the highest increase went to Loyalsock Township School District which got a 5.94%. Muhlenberg School District in Berks County received the highest, a 22.31% increase in state basic education funding in 2009.[293] The amount of increase each school district received was set by Governor Edward G. Rendell and the Secretary of Education Gerald Zahorchak, as a part of the state budget proposal.[294]

The state Basic Education Funding to the district in 2008-09 was $12,378,939.74. Ninety Pennsylvania public school districts received a 2% increase. 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.[295][296]

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, before or after school tutoring assistance to struggling students. For 2010-11, Jersey Shore Area School District applied for and received $560,111 in addition to all other state and federal funding. The district uses the funding to provide full-day kindergarten.[297][298]

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.[299]

Jersey Shore Area School District received $489,271 in Ready to Learn Grant dollars 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, Math) and paid for teacher training to optimize the computers use. The program was funded from 2006 to 2009. The Jersey Shore Area School District received $83,023 in 2006-07. In 2007-08 it received $300,000. The district received $45,413 in 2008-09. The total funding was $428,436 which was the largest amount given to a Lycoming County public school district.[300] The highest funding statewide was awarded to Philadelphia City School District in Philadelphia County - $9,409,073. In 2010, Classrooms for the Future funding was curtailed statewide due to a massive state financial crisis.

Literacy grant[edit]

Jersey Shore Area School District did not participate in the 2012 literacy grant. The funding was 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, Williamsport Area School District was one of only 148 entities that were invited to submit a full application. In Lycoming County just 1 school district was awarded the first year of funding.[301] 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.

Other grants[edit]

The District did not participate in: Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection's Environmental Education annual grants;[302][303] PA Science Its Elementary grants (discontinued effective with 2009-10 budget by Governor Rendell);[304] Education Assistance Grants; 2013 Safe Schools and Resource Officer grants; 2012 and 2013 Pennsylvania Hybrid Learning Grants;[305] Project 720 High School Reform grants[306] (discontinued effective with 2011-12 budget); nor the federal 21st Century Learning grants.

Federal grants[edit]

The District received an extra $4,202,089 in ARRA – Federal Stimulus money to be used in specific programs like special education and meeting the academic needs of low-income students.[307][308] The funding was limited to the 2009-10 and 2010–2011 school years.[309] Due to the temporary nature of the funding, schools were repeatedly advised, by the Pennsylvania Department of Education, the Pennsylvania Senate Education Committee, Governor Edward Rendell and the Pennsylvania School Board Association, to use the funds for one-time expenditures like acquiring equipment, making repairs to buildings, training teachers to provide more effective instruction or purchasing books and software.

Race to the Top grant[edit]

Jersey Shore Area School District officials did not apply for the federal Race to the Top grant which would have provided over one million dollars in additional federal funding to improve student academic achievement.[310] Participation required the administration, the school board and the local teachers' union to sign an agreement to prioritize improving student academic success. In Pennsylvania, 120 public school districts and 56 charter schools agreed to participate.[311] Pennsylvania was not approved for the grant. The failure of districts to agree to participate was cited as one reason that Pennsylvania was not approved.[312][313][314]

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.[315] The funds are sent to the state Department of Education which distributes them to each school district and charter school.[316] 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, Jersey Shore Area School District received $130,926 in federal Title II funding.[317] In 2014-15, Jersey Shore Area School District applied for and received $123,309.[318]

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.[319] 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.[320][321]

In 2012-13, Jersey Shore Area School District received $272 in Title III funding for English language learners.[322] For 2014-15, Jersey Shore Area School District received $1,141 in Title III funding.[323]

Real estate taxes[edit]

Property tax rates in 2016-17 were set by the school board at 11.8361 mills in Clinton County and 16.7720 mills in Lycoming County.[324]

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.[325] 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.[326] When a school district includes municipalities in two counties as does Jersey Shore Area School District, each of which has different rates of property tax assessment, a state board equalizes the tax rates between the counties.[327] 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.[328]

  • 2015-16 - 11.5320 mills in Clinton County and 16.4141 mills in Lycoming County.
  • 2014-15 - 11.2366 mills in Clinton County and 15.9869 mills in Lycoming County.[329]
  • 2013-14 - 10.9673 mills in Clinton County and 15.6209 mills in Lycoming County.[330]
  • 2012-13 - 11.0289 mills in Clinton County and 15.59.57 mills in Lycoming County.
  • 2011-12 - 11.0796 mills in Clinton County and 15.2658 mills in Lycoming County [331]
  • 2010-11 - 10.8949 mills in Clinton County and 15.1330 mills in Lycoming County [332]
  • 2009-10 - 11.0330 mills in Clinton County and 14.3530 mills in Lycoming County [333]
  • 2008-09 - 51.9140 mills in Clinton County and 14.0220 mills in Lycoming County [334]
  • 2007-08 - 56.5810 mills in Clinton County and 13.7240 mills in Lycoming County.[335]
  • 2006-07 - 53.8050 mills in Clinton County and 13.2240 mills in Lycoming County.[336]
  • 2005-06 - 52.8070 mills in Clinton County and 13.2240 mills in Lycoming County.[337]

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.[338] The average yearly property tax paid by Lycoming County residents amounts to about 3.53% of their yearly income. Lycoming County is ranked 364th of the 3143 United States counties for property taxes as a percentage of median income.[339] 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%).[340]

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 property taxes above that Index unless they either: allow voters to vote by referendum or they seek an exception from the state 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.[341] In June 2011, the Pennsylvania General Assembly eliminated six of the ten exceptions to the Act 1 Index.[342] Several exceptions were maintained: 1) costs to pay interest and principal on indebtedness incurred prior to September 4, 2004 for Act 72 schools and prior to June 27, 2006 for non-Act 72 schools; 2) costs to pay interest and principal on electoral debt; 3) costs incurred in providing special education programs and services (beyond what is already paid by the State); and 4) costs due to increases of more than the Index in the school's share of payments to PSERS (PA school employees pension fund) taking into account the state mandated PSERS contribution rate.[343][344]

The School District Adjusted Index for the Jersey Shore Area School District 2006–2007 through 2011–2012.[345]

For the 2016-17 budget year, Jersey Shore Area School Board did not apply for any exceptions to exceed the District's Act 1 Index limit.[354] 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).[355]

For the 2015-16 budget year, Jersey Shore Area School Board did not apply for any exceptions to exceed their Act 1 Index limit. 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.[356]

For the 2014-15 budget year, Jersey Shore 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).[357] 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.[358]

For the 2013-14 budget year, Jersey Shore Area School Board applied for two exceptions to exceed their Act 1 Index limit, due to rising special education costs and accelerating teacher pension costs. In 2013-14, all Pennsylvania school districts were required to make a 16.93% of payroll payment to the teacher's pension fund (PSERS). 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 pension costs exception, 169 school districts received approval to exceed the Index. For special education costs, 75 districts received approval to exceed their tax limit. Eleven Pennsylvania public school districts received an approval for grandfathered construction debts.[359]

For the 2012–13 budget year, Jersey Shore Area 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. 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.[360]

For the 2011-12 school year, the Jersey Shore Area School Board applied for an exception to exceed the Act 1 Index due to special education costs. Each year, the Jersey Shore 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 published annually, by the Pennsylvania Department of Education.[361]

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.[362]

The Jersey Shore Area School Board did not apply for any exceptions to exceed the Act 1 index for the budget in 2011.[363] For 2009-10 school budget, the board did not apply for exceptions to exceed the Index.[364] 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.[365]

Property tax relief[edit]

In 2012, Jersey Shore Area School District approved homestead residents received $238 for 4,796 approved homesteads.[366] In 2010, property tax relief for 4,819 approved residents of Jersey Shore Area School District was set at $237.[367] In Lycoming County, the highest tax relief went to Williamsport Area School District which was set at $303.[368] The highest property tax relief, among Pennsylvania school districts, went to the homesteads of Chester Upland School District of Delaware County which received $632 per approved homestead in 2010. Chester-Upland School District has consistently been the top recipient since the programs inception.[369] 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 Lycoming County, 69% of eligible property owners applied for property tax relief in 2009.[370]

Additionally, the Pennsylvania Property Tax/Rent Rebate program is provided for low income Jersey Shore 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, consequently people who have an income of substantially more than $35,000 may still qualify for a rebate. Individuals must apply annually for the rebate. This tax rebate can be taken in addition to Homestead/Farmstead Property Tax Relief. In 2012, Pennsylvania Secretary of the Treasury reported issuing more than half a million property tax rebates totaling $238 million.[371] The program is funded by the Pennsylvania Lottery. Property tax rebates are increased by an additional 50 percent for senior households in the state, so long as those households have incomes under $30,000 and pay more than 15% of their income in property taxes.[372]

Closed schools[edit]

Nippenose Valley Elementary School was located at 7190 South Route 44 Highway, Williamsport. The school was closed in June 2013 due to low enrollment.[373] On closure, the school had an enrollment of just 195 pupils in grades kindergarten through 5th.[374] In 2015, the School Board sold the building at auction for $470,000. The Board insisted one term of the sale was that the building could never be used as an educational facility.[375]

According to the National Center for Education Statistics, in 2010, the school reported an enrollment of 251 pupils in grades kindergarten through 5th, with 75 pupils receiving a federal free or reduced-price lunch due to family poverty. The school employed 16 teachers, yielding a student–teacher ratio of 15:1.[376] According to a report by the Pennsylvania Department of Education, 100% of its teachers were rated "Highly Qualified" under No Child Left Behind.[377]

Nippenose Valley Elementary School was a high achieving school. In 2010 through 2012, Nippenose Valley Elementary School achieved AYP status each school year.[378] In 2011, 80% of the students were reading on grade level in grades 3rd through 5th. In math, 91% of the students in 3rd through 5th grades were on grade level and 63% scored advanced. In 4th grade science, 95% of the pupils were on grade level.[379] In 2012, 84% of the students were reading on grade level in grades 3rd through 5th. In math, 91% of the students in 3rd through 5th grades were on grade level and 60% scored advanced. In 4th grade science, 93% of the pupils were on grade level.

Extracurriculars[edit]

The district offers a wide variety of clubs, activities and sports. Eligibility for participation is determined by school board policy.

By Pennsylvania law, all K-12 students residing 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.[380]

Sports[edit]

The District funds:

Junior high school sports
  • According to PIAA directory July 2012 [381]

References[edit]

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External links[edit]