Louis E. Dieruff High School
|Louis E. Dieruff High School|
|815 North Irving Street|
Allentown, Lehigh County, Pennsylvania 18109
|School district||Allentown School District|
|Superintendent||C. Russell Mayo, Ed.D (contract 2012-2017) $170,000 (2012)|
|Faculty||143 teachers 2011|
|Grades||9th - 12th|
|Color(s)||Blue and Gray|
|graduation rate||78% (2013)|
|Website||Official Louis E. Dieruff High School Web Site|
Louis E. Dieruff High School (typically referred to as Dieruff High School) is a large, urban, public high school located in Allentown, Pennsylvania, in the United States. Louis E. Dieruff High school is located at 815 North Irving Street in Allentown. The school serves students in grades nine through 12 from the eastern and southern parts of the city. In 2013, the school reported 1741 pupils, with 86% eligible for a federal free or reduced price lunch due to the family meeting the federal poverty level. Additionally, Louis E. Dieruff High School administration reported that 5% of its pupils were identified as gifted. According to a report by the Pennsylvania Department of Education, several teachers (1%) were rated "Non‐Highly Qualified" under the federal No Child Left Behind Act.
The school's class size is approximately 16 students per teacher, with the Pennsylvania average at 15 per teacher. The student ethnicity is as follows: Hispanic 60%, White 22%, Black 15%, Asian & Pacific Islander 2%, and Native American & Native Alaskan less than 2%. 79% of students are eligible for a free or reduced-price lunch, with the state average at 33%.
Louis E. Dieruff High School students may choose to attend Lehigh Career and Technical Institute for vocational training in the trades. The Schuylkill Intermediate Unit IU29 provides the district with a wide variety of services like specialized education for disabled students and hearing, speech and visual disability services and professional development for staff and faculty.
Allentown's other public high school, William Allen High School (founded in 1858 as Allentown High School), serves students from the western and central parts of the city. Dieruff is the smaller of the two schools.
- 1 History
- 2 Academic achievement
- 3 College Remediation Rate
- 4 Graduation requirements
- 5 Dual enrollment
- 6 SAT scores
- 7 AP courses
- 8 Tuition
- 9 Wellness policy
- 10 District state-wide ranking
- 11 Student accomplishments
- 12 Mascot
- 13 Planetarium
- 14 Athletics
- 15 Clubs and activities
- 16 Notable alumni
- 17 Alma mater
- 18 References
- 19 External links
Founded in 1959, the school building's construction began in 1958 as a prospective junior high school to serve the growing population of Allentown. In 1965 the Allentown School District Planetarium was added to the building. Additional classrooms and the East Branch of the Allentown Public Library (later closed and converted to classrooms) were built in 1970. The school is named after Louis E. Dieruff, a noted educator in the Allentown School District.
The school mascot is an Alaskan husky named “Kiska” in honor of the ten men and women captured by the Japanese on Kiska Island in 1942 during World War II, some of whom were Allentown servicemen.
Under the Allentown School District's Comprehensive Facilities Plan, at a cost of $28 million, the school has seen recent renovation and the addition of the Michael P. Meilinger wing in 2009, used mostly for freshman classes.
On September 7, 2008 just before 3 pm, an EF1 tornado about 50 yards wide touched down causing minor damage to the school.
Opportunity Scholarship Tax Credit Program
In July 2012, the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) released a report identifying seventeen (17) Allentown School District schools as among the lowest achieving schools for reading and mathematics in 2011. Louis E. Dieruff High School was among the 15% lowest achieving schools in the Commonwealth. William Allen High School is also on the list. Parents and students may be eligible for scholarships to transfer to another public or nonpublic school through the state's Opportunity Scholarship Tax Credit Program passed in June 2012. The scholarships are limited to those students whose family's income is less than $60,000 annually, with another $12,000 allowed per dependent. Maximum scholarship award is $8,500, with special education students receiving up to $15,000 for a year's tuition. Parents pay any difference between the scholarship amount and the receiving school's tuition rate. Students may seek admission to neighboring public school districts. Each year the PDE publishes the tuition rate for each individual public school district. Fifty-three public schools in Allegheny County are among the lowest-achieving schools in 2011. According to the report, parents in 414 public schools (74 school districts) were offered access to these scholarships. For the 2012-13 school year, eight public school districts in Pennsylvania had all of their schools placed on the list including: Sto-Rox School District, Chester Upland School District, Clairton City School District, Duquesne City School District, Farrell Area School District, Wilkinsburg Borough School District, William Penn School District and Steelton-Highspire School District. Funding for the scholarships comes from donations by businesses which receive a state tax credit for donating.
In 2013, Louis E. Dieruff High School's graduation rate was 72%. In 2012, the High School's graduation rate was 75%. In 2011, the graduation rate was 65.45%. In 2010, the Pennsylvania Department of Education issued a new, 4-year cohort graduation rate. Louis E. Dieruff High School High School's rate was 72% for 2010.
- According to traditional graduation rate calculations
2013 School Performance Profile
Louis E Dieruff High School achieved 60.3 out of 100. Reflects on grade level reading, mathematics and science achievement. In reading/literature - 51.67% were on grade level. In Algebra 1, 38.42% showed on grade level skills. In Biology, 12.4% showed on grade level science understanding. According to the Pennsylvania Department of Education, 2,181 public schools (less than 73 percent of Pennsylvania public schools), achieved an academic score of 70 or higher. Pennsylvania 11th grade students no longer take the PSSAs. Instead, they now take the Keystone Exams at the end of the associated course.
In 2012, Louis E Dieruff High School declined to Corrective Action II 5th Year AYP status. Effective with Spring 2013, the Pennsylvania Department of Education discontinued administering the PSSA's to 11th graders.
- 2011 - declined to Corrective Action II 4th Year level in AYP status
- 2010 - declined to Corrective Action II 3rd Year level in AYP status due to chronically low student achievement for the past five years. The Pennsylvania Department of Education identified the school as Persistently Low Performing in its application for the 2010 federal School Improvement Grant funding.
- 2009 - declined to Corrective Action II 2nd Year level in AYP status
- 2008 - declined to Corrective Action II 1st Year level in AYP status
- 2007 - declined to Corrective Action I level in AYP status
- 2006 - declined to Corrective Action I level in AYP status
- 2005 - declined to School Improvement Level II status
Under the federal No Child Left Behind Act, the school administration was required to notify parents of the school's poor achievement outcomes and to offer the parent the opportunity to transfer to a successful school within the District. Additionally, Louis E Dieruff High School administration was required by the Pennsylvania Department of Education, to develop a School Improvement Plan to address the school's low student achievement. Under the Pennsylvania Accountability System, the school district must pay for additional tutoring for struggling students. The High School is eligible for special, extra funding under School Improvement Grants which the school must apply for each year.
- 2004 - declined to School Improvement Level I status
- 2003 - Warning AYP status
PSSAs are NCLB related examinations which were administered from 2003 through 2012. In 2013, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania changed its high school assessments to the Keystone Exams in Algebra 1, Reading/literature and Biology1. The exams are given at the end of the course, rather than all in the spring of the student's 11th grade year.
- 11th grade Reading
- 2012 - 35% on grade level, (39% below basic). State - 67% of 11th graders are on grade level.
- 2011 - 41% (37% below basic). State - 69.1%
- 2010 - 49%, State - 67%
- 2009 - 44%, State - 65%
- 2008 - 41%, State - 64%
- 2007 - 42%, State - 65%
- 2006 - 45%, State - 65%
- 2005 - 38%, State - 65%
- 2004 - 43%, State - 61%
- 11th grade Math
- 2012 - 25% on grade level (47% below basic). In Pennsylvania, 59% of 11th graders are on grade level.
- 2011 - 35% (41% below basic). State - 60.3% 
- 2010 - 38%, State - 59%
- 2009 - 37%, State - 55%
- 2008 - 35%, State - 56%
- 2007 - 37%, State - 54%
- 2006 - 33%, State - 52%
- 2005 - 20%, State - 51%
- 2004 - 22%, State - 49%
- 11th grade Science
- 2012 - 9% on grade level (46% below basic). State - 42% of 11th graders were on grade level.
- 2011 - 10% (48% below basic). State - 40%
- 2010 - 14% State - 39%
- 2009 - 12%, State - 40%
- 2008 - 10% (46% below basic), State - 39%
Science in Motion Louis E Dieruff High School took advantage of a state program called Science in Motion which brought college professors and sophisticated science equipment to the school to raise science awareness and to provide inquiry-based experiences for the students. The Science in Motion program was funded by a state appropriation and cost the school nothing to participate. Cedar Crest College provided the science enrichment experiences to schools in the region.
College Remediation Rate
According to a Pennsylvania Department of Education study released in January 2009, 48% of the Allentown School District 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. 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. 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.
The Allentown Area School Board has determined that a student must earn 22.5 credits to graduate, including: English 4 credits, Math 3 credits, Social Studies 3.5 credits, Science 3 credits, Arts and Humanities 2 credits, Physical Education 0.8 credits, Health .5 credits, Computer application .5 credits, graduation project .2 credits and electives 5 credits.
For the Graduating Classes of 2012-2014, students must demonstrate PSSA (Pennsylvania System of School Assessment) proficiency in reading, mathematics, and writing. A student who does not attain proficiency on the 11th grade PSSA tests in reading, mathematics, and writing will graduate if he/she successfully completes one of the alternatives: pass the retest of the PSSAs; score at least 900 as a combined total of the verbal and mathematics sections on the SATs; obtain a senior year grade point average (GPA) of at least 2.0; or achieve the level of proficiency determined through their IEP process.
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. At Allentown School District the requirements include a written paper to be completed by the first semester of the student's senior year and an oral presentation to be given during his/her senior year. 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.
By Pennsylvania School Board regulations, beginning with the class of 2017, public school students must demonstrate successful completion of secondary level course work in Algebra I, Biology, and English Literature by passing the Keystone Exams. The exam is given at the end of the course. Keystone Exams replace the PSSAs for 11th grade.
Students have several opportunities to pass the Keystone Exams. 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. 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. 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. 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.
The Louis E Dieruff 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. The state offered a small grant to assist students in costs for tuition, fees and books. Under the Pennsylvania Transfer and Articulation Agreement, many Pennsylvania colleges and universities accept these credits for students who transfer to their institutions. Under state rules, other students that reside in the district, who attend a private school, a charter school or are homeschooled are eligible to participate in this program. In 2010, Governor Edward Rendell eliminated the grants to students, from the Commonwealth, due to a state budget crisis.
For the 2009-10 funding year, the Allentown School District received a state grant of $34,122 for the program.
In 2013, Louis E Dieruff High School students took the SAT exams. The District's Verbal Average Score was 411. The Math average score was 399. The Writing average score was 392. 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.
In 2012, 160 Louis E Dieruff High School students took the SAT exams. The District's Verbal Average Score was 411. The Math average score was 434. The Writing average score was 397. The statewide Verbal SAT exams results were: Verbal 491, Math 501, Writing 480. In the US, 1.65 million students took the exams achieving scores: Verbal 496, Math 514, Writing 488. According to the College Board the maximum score on each section was 800, and 360 students nationwide scored a perfect 2,400.
In 2011, 175 Louis E Dieruff High School students took the SAT exams. The District's Verbal Average Score was 429. The Math average score was 447. The Writing average score was 403. Pennsylvania ranked 40th among states with SAT scores: Verbal - 493, Math - 501, Writing - 479. 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.
The Pennsylvania Department of Education compared the SAT data of students in rural areas of Pennsylvania to students in urban areas. From 2003 to 2005, the average total SAT score for students in rural Pennsylvania was 992, while urban students averaged 1,006. During the same period, 28 percent of 11th and 12th graders in rural school districts took the exam, compared to 32 percent of urban students in the same grades. The average math and verbal scores were 495 and 497, respectively, for rural students, while urban test-takers averaged 499 and 507, respectively. Pennsylvania's SAT composite score ranked low on the national scale in 2004. The composite SAT score of 1,003 left Pennsylvania ranking 44 out of the 50 states and Washington, DC.
The Pennsylvania Department of Education reported that 71 percent of students in rural areas of Pennsylvania chose to continue their education after high school in 2003, whereas 79 percent of urban high school graduates opted to continue their education.
In 2013, Louis E. Dieruff High School offered 15 Advanced Placement (AP) courses at a higher cost than regular courses. Students have the option of taking College Board approved courses and then taking the College Board's examination in the Spring. Students, who achieve a 3 or better on the exam, may be awarded college credits at US universities and colleges. Each higher education institution sets its own standards about what level of credits are awarded to a student based on their AP exam score. Most higher education award credits for AP exam scores of 4 or 5. Some schools also give credits for scores of 3. High schools give credits towards graduation to students who take the school's AP classes. At Louis E. Dieruff High School just 15% of the students who took an AP course earned a 3 or better on the exam.
Students who live in the Allentown 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 Allentown School District. For these cases, the Pennsylvania Department of Education sets an annual tuition rate for each school district. It is the amount the public school district pays to a charter school for each resident student that attends the charter and it is the amount a nonresident student's parents must pay to attend the District's schools. The 2012 tuition rate at Louis Dieruff High School is $9,858.67.
Allentown School Board established a district wellness policy in 2006. 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.
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. The Pennsylvania Department of Education required the district to submit a copy of the policy for approval.
Louis Dieruff High School 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. The meals are partially funded with federal dollars through the United States Department of Agriculture.
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. 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. In 2014, President Obama ordered a prohibition of advertisements for unhealthy foods on public school campuses during the school day.
Allentown School District's Louis Dieruff High School 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. Nurses also monitor each child's weight.
Highmark Healthy High 5 grant
In 2011, the Allentown School District received funding through a Highmark Healthy High 5 grant. Louis Dieruff High School received $6,953 which was used to implement in-school SPARK program. Beginning in 2006, Highmark Foundation engaged in a 5-year, $100 million program to promote lifelong healthy behaviors in children and adolescents through local nonprofits and schools.
District state-wide ranking
The Allentown School District was ranked 486th out of 498 Pennsylvania school districts by the Pittsburgh Business Times in 2013. The ranking was based on student academic achievement as demonstrated on the last three years of the PSSAs for: reading, writing, math and science. 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. Writing exams were given to children in 5th, 8th and 11th grades.
Dieruff High School has had many students who have won various individual awards and competitions, including:
- Three-Straight 4th Place finishes in the Pennsylvania State "We The People" Competition in Philadelphia (2005–2007)
- Olympiad of the Mind runners-up (2005)
- Three-Straight 1st Place finishes in the Midwest Regional JROTC Drill Competition in Galloway, Ohio
- AFJROTC Drill Midwest Region Champions: 2004-2005-2006
- Two-Straight 1st Place finishes in the Eastern Regional JROTC Drill Competition in Sewell, New Jersey (2005–2006)
- AFJROTC Drill Norhteast Region Champions: 2000-2002-2003-2006
- 2nd Place, Group 1A Marching Band, US Scholastic Band Association's Yamaha Cup. "Best Percussion," and "Best Music" awards, Giants Stadium, East Rutherford, New Jersey, 2006.
- 1st place, Group 1A Marching Band, US Scholastic Band Association's Yamaha Cup. giants Stadium, East Rutherford, New Jersey, 2009
- Dieruff's 2009 yearbook, The 'L Edition, was selected as a national sample and distributed to other schools as a sample of a good yearbook, and was also picked to be featured in the Yearbook Yearbook, a book displaying the best of the best from Taylor Publishing.
- 2013 Air Force National JROTC Drill Championship 2nd Place Armed Regulation Drill
- 2013 Air Force National JROTC Drill Championship 3rd Place Commanders Trophy-C/Major Kevin Nguyen
- 1st Place, Scholastic Scrimmage, 1975.
- 2nd Place, Scholastic Scrimmage, 1987.
The school's mascot, an Alaskan husky, is an actual husky dog named "Kiska V" (now the fifth dog mascot so named by the school since 1959). The husky is named in honor of the 10 men and women captured by the Japanese on Kiska Island in 1942, during World War II, some of whom were Allentown servicemen. Dieruff's teams are known as "Huskies".
Amidst Cold War fears of science education inadequacy and a general interest in astronomy before the Moon landing, the Allentown School District erected a planetarium inside Louis E. Dieruff High School in 1965.
Following an acrimonious budget debate in 1991, wherein all programs that were deemed as "nonessential" were to be removed from the Allentown School District's budget, all funding for the continued operation and upkeep of the planetarium has come from private sources.
The planetarium was closed in 2010.
The Allentown School District board approved a 2016-17 spending plan that added a number of teacher positions, including a planetarium director to reopen the shuttered planetarium at Dieruff High School, however the position was never filled and the Planetarium was never reopened.After an evaluation in September, the district administration determined it would have cost too much to reopen the planetarium and get it up and running.
Dieruff competes in the Lehigh Valley Conference in District XI of the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association (PIAA). The conference is generally considered one of the most competitive in the state and nation and has produced many professional athletes.
- 1961: Lehigh Valley Big 6 Champions
- 1964: Lehigh Valley Big 6 Champions
- 1969: Lehigh Valley Big 8 Tri-Champions
- 1971: Lehigh Valley Big 6 Champions
- 1977: East Penn Conference Champions
- 1979: Undefeated champions (10-0-1), East Penn Conference.
- 1981: Tri-champions with (Emmaus High School and Whitehall High School), East Penn Conference.
- 1992: East Penn Conference Champions
- 1966: District XI Champions/East Penn Conference Champions
- 1967: District XI Champions/East Penn Conference Champions
- 1968: District XI Champions/East Penn Conference Champions
- 1969: District XI Champions
- 1977: District XI Champions
- 1997: East Penn Conference Champions
- 1975: District XI Champions - PIAA State Champions
- 1976: - PIAA State Champions
- 1983: District XI Champions
Clubs and activities
Academic Bowl, Acceptance Club, AFJROTC, Art Club, Art Archives, Band (Marching Band, Jazz Band, Concert Band, etc.), Band Front, Chess Team, Choir, Class Councils, Dance Team, Debate Team, Drama Club, Environmental Club, Future Educators Association, German Honor Society, International Club, Key Club, "The Leader" Newspaper, "Ledannus" Yearbook, National Honor Society, Physical Fitness Club, SADD, Scholastic Scrimmage, School Council, Ski Club, Spanish Honor Society, Stage Crew, Strategic Gaming Club, Student Council, Student Forum, Weightlifting Club, and Sew What Club
- Joseph Atiyeh, Olympic silver medalist in wrestling
- Rick Braun, jazz musician
- Andre Reed, former professional football player, Buffalo Bills and Washington Redskins and 2014 inductee to Pro Football Hall of Fame
Dieruff High School, be our stay, wearing proudly Blue and Gray! May we for thy spirit yearn; Help us e’er to seek and learn. Now, hail our Alma Mater strong And may we proudly say: To you we ever will belong! We salute you, Blue and Gray! Though our days we'll ne'er forget, standards you have firmly set! Hon'ring you we'll always try to live alright o Dieruff high. Now, hail our Alma Mater strong And may we proudly say: To you we ever will belong! We salut you, Blue and Gray!
- Colin McEvoy (January 27, 2012). "Allentown School District hires Russell Mayo as superintendent, approves teachers contract". The Express-Times.
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- The Pennsylvania Basic Education/Higher Education Science and Technology Partnership, Science in Motion annual report, 2012
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- Pittsburgh Business Times, Pennsylvania School District Rankings 2010, May 1, 2010
- Honor Roll Rank - state public districts, Pittsburgh Business Times, June 2008
- Three of the top Districts in state hail from Allegheny County. Pittsburgh Business Times, May 23, 2007
- Official Louis E. Dieruff High School Web Site.
- Louis E. Dieruff High School at Public School Review.
- Louis E. Dieruff High School athletics schedule and scores at HighSchoolSports.net.
- Louis E. Dieruff Page at Lehigh Valley Conference Official Web Site.