Mars Area School District

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Butler Area School Districts
Map of Butler County Pennsylvania School Districts.png
545 Route 228
Mars, Butler County, Pennsylvania 16046
United States
Coordinates 40°41′37″N 79°58′43″W / 40.6936°N 79.9785°W / 40.6936; -79.9785Coordinates: 40°41′37″N 79°58′43″W / 40.6936°N 79.9785°W / 40.6936; -79.9785
Type Public
School board 9 elected members
Superintendent Dr. Wesley Shipley
Principal Mr. Todd Kolson, HS
Principal Mr. Dale Sleva, MS
Principal Mr. Todd R. Lape, MACS
Principal Mr. Robert Zaccari, MAES
Principal Mr. Adam M. Kostewicz, MAPS K-1
Grades K-12
Age 5 years old to 21 years old special education
Pupils 3,257 pupils (2013-2014) 3,237 pupils (2012-2013)[1] 3,161 pupils (2011-12)[2] 3,062 pupils
 • Kindergarten 205
 • Grade 1 245
 • Grade 2 212
 • Grade 3 225
 • Grade 4 261
 • Grade 5 252
 • Grade 6 239
 • Grade 7 228
 • Grade 8 277
 • Grade 9 265
 • Grade 10 230
 • Grade 11 266
 • Grade 12 207
Language English
Color(s) Blue and Gold
Budget $43,491,740 (2014-15)[3]

Mars Area School District is a public school district in Pennsylvania. The district encompasses approximately 46 square miles (120 km2) and serves the communities of Mars and Valencia Boroughs as well as Adams Township and Middlesex Township in Butler County.

The earliest known school in the district was the Denny School, opened in 1796 in Middlesex Township. The current configuration of the district was formed in 1960 when the Mars and Valencia Boroughs combined with Adams and Middlesex Townships to form the Mars Area School District.

The Mars Area School District consists of five schools. The Mars Area Primary Center for students in Kindergarten through 1st grade, the Mars Area Elementary School for students in 2nd through 4th grade, the Mars Area Centennial School for students in 5th through 6th grade, the Mars Area Middle School for students in 7th through 8th grade, and the Mars Area High School for students in 9th through 12th grade.

Mars Area School District was ranked 111th out of the 498 ranked Pennsylvania School Districts in 2008 by the Pittsburgh Business Times. The ranking was based on student academic performance as demonstrated in 3 years of PSSA results.[4]

Academic achievement[edit]

Mars Area High Schools is ranked highly statewide in comparison to other public high schools, in regards to their PSSA scoring:[5]

2014 - 29th out of 580
2013 - 26th out of 591

PSSA Results
11th Grade Reading
2009 - 82% on grade level. In Pennsylvania, 65% of 11th graders on grade level.
2008 - 78%[6]

11th Grade Math:
2009 - 62% on grade level. In Pennsylvania, 56% of 11th graders are on grade level.[7]
2008 - 53%

11th Grade Science:
2009 - 64% on grade level. State: 40% of 11th graders were on grade level.
2008 - 45%

College remediation: According to a Pennsylvania Department of Education study released in January 2009, 26% of Mars Area Senior 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.[8]

Eighth Grade[edit]

In 2009, the 8th grade was ranked 33rd out of 141 western Pennsylvania middle schools based on three years of student academic achievement in PSSAs in: reading, math writing and one year of science.[9] (Includes schools in: Allegheny County, Beaver County, Butler County, Fayette County, Westmoreland County, and Washington County


The district received $1,010,786 in ARRA - Federal Stimulus money to be used in specific programs like special education and meeting the academic needs of low-income students.[10] According to the Pennsylvania Department of Education, Mars Area School District had 271 students receiving free or reduced-price lunches due to low family income in the 2007-2008 school year.

School district officials did not apply for the Race to the Top federal grant which would have brought the district hundreds of thousands in additional federal dollars for improving student academic achievement.[11] The administration, school board and teachers' union prioritized local control over free resources to improve student success.

In the 2009-2010 budget year, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania provided a 2.83% increase in Basic Education funding for $5,756,899. In Butler County, school districts received state education funding increases in a range of 4.54% to 2.75% for the 2009-2010 school year. The state's Basic Education funding to the district in 2008-09 was $5,598,302.49.


  1. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education (October 4, 2013). "School Performance profile Mars Area School District 2013". 
  2. ^ National Center for Education Statistics, Common Core of Data - Mars Area School District, 2012
  3. ^ Sandy Trozzo (May 6, 2014). "Mars school budget won't raise taxes". Pittsburgh Post Gazette. 
  4. ^ Pennsylvania Public School Rankings, Pittsburgh Business Times. May 23, 2007.
  5. ^ EL. "Mars Area Senior High School". Retrieved 10 August 2016. 
  6. ^ Pennsylvania System of School Assessment (PSSA) Results 2008, Pennsylvania Department of Education website.
  7. ^ Mars Area School District Academic Achievement Report 2008-2009
  8. ^ Pennsylvania College Remediation Report[permanent dead link]
  9. ^ The Rankings: Eighth grade, Pittsburgh Business Times, May 15th, 2009.
  10. ^ PA ARRA FUNDING Butler County school districts Archived 2009-04-16 at the Library of Congress
  11. ^ Pennsylvania's 'Race to the Top' Fueled by Effective Reforms, Strong Local Support

External links[edit]