Northern Lebanon School District

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Northern Lebanon School District
Map of Lebanon County Pennsylvania School Districts.png
Address
345 School Drive
Fredericksburg, Pennsylvania, Lebanon County 17026-0100
United States
Information
Type Public
School board 9 locally elected members
Superintendent Dr. Don Bell, since 1999. salary $154,452 (2012)
Administrator

Mr. Daniel Heckman, Director of Business Affairs
Amy Light, Assistant Director of Business Affairs
Yavoich, David , Director of Athletics and Supplemental Activities
Dr. Chad Kinsey, Psychologist/Coordinator of Special Services
Matt Zeller, Transportation Manager
Michele Dreisbach, Coordinator of Food Services

Paul Snyder, Coordinator of Custodian/Maintenance Services
Director Mr. Nathan Byler, Director of Technology
Principal Joshua Kuehner HS July 2013
Principal Robidas, Marian, ES
Principal Yavoich, David, MS
Principal Dr. Christopher Garchinsky, ES
Principal Melissa McInerney, ES
Staff 153 staff
Faculty 167.5 teachers
Grades K-12
Age 5 years old to 21 years old special education
Pupils 2,386 pupils (2011), 2,563 (2009) [1]
 • Kindergarten 223
 • Grade 1 208
 • Grade 2 179
 • Grade 3 201
 • Grade 4 182
 • Grade 5 201
 • Grade 6 182
 • Grade 7 204
 • Grade 8 170
 • Grade 9 185
 • Grade 10 215
 • Grade 11 200
 • Grade 12 213
Budget

$32.2 million 2013-14[2]
$32,204,331 (2012-13)[3]

$31.2 million (2010-11)
Website

The Northern Lebanon School District is a small public school district in Lebanon County. The District is one of the 500 public school districts of Pennsylvania. Northern Lebanon was formed in 1956. The District serves six municipalities: Swatara Township, Union Township, Cold Spring Township, Bethel Township, East Hanover Township, and Jonestown Borough. The district covers an area of 144 square miles (370 km2). According to 2000 federal census data, the District served a resident population of 14,984. By 2010, the resident population grew to 17,435. The enrollment of the district was 2,400 students in 2010. The district students are 96% white, 1% Asian, 1% black and 3% Hispanic.[4] The vision of the Northern Lebanon School District is "Kids First, Progressive Not Perfect, and A Legacy of Unity".

Northern Lebanon School District operates four elementary schools (East Hanover, Jonestown, Fredericksburg, and Lickdale), one middle school and one high school. According to District officials, in school year 2007-08 the North Lebanon School District provided basic educational services to 2,605 pupils through the employment of 188 teachers, 128 full-time and part-time support personnel, and 12 administrators. In school year 2009-10, the Northern Lebanon School District provided basic educational services to 2,364 pupils. The District employed: 189 teachers, 128 full-time and part-time support personnel and 13 administrators. Northern Lebanon School District received more than $11.6 million in state funding in school year 2009-10.

Governance[edit]

The 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.[5] 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, which mandates the district focus resources on student success in acquiring reading and math skills.

The Commonwealth Foundation for Public Policy Alternatives Sunshine Review gave the school board and district administration a "F" for transparency based on a review of "What information can people find on their school district's website". It examined the school district's website for information regarding; taxes, the current budget, meetings, school board members names and terms, contracts, audits, public records information and more.[6]

Academic achievement[edit]

Northern Lebanon School District was ranked 438th out of 500 Pennsylvania school districts by the Pittsburgh Business Times in 2013.[7] The ranking was based on student academic achievement as demonstrated on the last three years of the PSSAs for: reading, writing, math and science.[8] 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.

  • 2012 - 426th[9][10]
  • 2011 - 428th
  • 2010 - 435th[11]
  • 2009 - 431st
  • 2008 - 450th
  • 2007 - 450th out of 501 Pennsylvania school districts in 2007.[12]

In 2013, the Pittsburgh Business Times reported an Overachievers Ranking for 498 Pennsylvania school districts. Northern Lebanon ranked 495th. The paper describes the ranking as: "the 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."[13]

  • 2012 - 496th
  • 2010 - 496th[14]
  • 2009 - 426th

In 2009, the district ranked in the 6th percentile for student academic achievement among Pennsylvania's 500 school districts.[15]

District AYP status history[edit]

In 2012, Northern Lebanon School District achieved AYP status even though 4 of tits six schools did not achieve AYP status.[16] In 2011, Northern Lebanon School District achieved Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP). 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 Pennsylvania public 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.[17] School District achieved AYP status each year from 2004 to 2010, while in 2003 the District was in Warning status due to lagging student achievement.[18]

Graduation rate[edit]

In 2012, the graduation rate at Northern Lebanon School District was 87%.[19] In 2011, the graduation rate was 84%.[20] In 2010, the Pennsylvania Department of Education issued a new, 4-year cohort graduation rate. Northern Lebanon School District's rate was 84% for 2010.[21]

According to traditional graduation rate calculations

Senior high school[edit]

Northern Lebanon High School is located at 345 School Drive in Fredericksburg. In 2010, there were 817 students grades 9th through 12th, with 117 qualified for a federal free or reduced-price lunch due to family poverty. The school employed 57 teachers, yielding a student–teacher ratio of 14:1.[25]

In 2012, Northern Lebanon High School declined to School Improvement Level I AYP status due to chronic, low achievement in reading and mathematics. In both 2011 and 2010, Northern Lebanon Senior High School was in Warning' status due to the chronic, low academic achievement of its students.[26] 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 the 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.[27] The High School is eligible for special, extra funding under School Improvement Grants which the school must apply for each year.[28]

PSSA Results
11th Grade Reading:
  • 2012 - 55% on grade level, (22% below basic). State - 67% of 11th graders are on grade level.[29]
  • 2011 - 59% (16% below basic). State - 69.1%[30]
  • 2010 - 67%, (18% below basic). State - 67% [31]
  • 2009 - 66%, State - 65% [32]
  • 2008 - 60%, State - 65%[33]
  • 2007 - 59%, State - 65% [34]
11th Grade Math:
  • 2012 - 49% on grade level (28% below basic). In Pennsylvania, 59% of 11th graders are on grade level.[35]
  • 2011 - 57% (27% below basic). State - 60.3% [36]
  • 2010 - 46%, (32% below basic). State - 59%
  • 2009 - 50%, State - 56%
  • 2008 - 42%, State - 56%
  • 2007 - 38%, State - 53% [37]
11th Grade Science:
  • 2012 - 35% on grade level (13% below basic). State - 42% of 11th graders were on grade level.[38]
  • 2011 - 38% (11% below basic). State - 40%[39]
  • 2010 - 37% (17% below basic). State - 40% [40]
  • 2009 - 43%, State - 40%[41]
  • 2008 - 33%, State - 39% [42]

Science in Motion Northern Lebanon 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.[43] Elizabethtown College provided the experiences to the region.

Graduation requirements[edit]

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.[44] For the project a journal must be maintained and a prepare a visual of their project such as a poster or booklet with photos, or videotape. Students may also create their own project idea and use a sponsor not listed in the booklet. (Subject to approval) Students involved in clubs or organizations at school as well as outside of school may fulfill their requirements through that participation. Students may work individually or in groups.[45]

By Pennsylvania School Board regulations, for the graduating class of 2016, students must demonstrate successful completion of secondary level course work in Algebra I, Biology, English Composition, and Literature for which the Keystone Exams serve as the final course exams. Students’ Keystone Exam scores shall count for at least one-third of the final course grade.[46][47][48]

Dual enrollment[edit]

The 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, including the graduation ceremony. 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 offers a small grant to assist students in costs for tuition, fees and books.[49] Under the Pennsylvania Transfer and Articulation Agreement, many Pennsylvania colleges and universities accept these credits for students who transfer to their institutions.[50] The Pennsylvania College Credit Transfer System reported in 2009, that students saved nearly $35.4 million by having their transferred credits count towards a degree under the new system.[51] For the 2009-10 funding year, the school district received a state grant of $9,701 for the program.[52]

SAT scores[edit]

From January to June 2011, 97 Northern Lebanon students took the SAT exams. The district's Verbal Average Score was 504. The Math average score was 500. The Writing average score was 476.[53] Pennsylvania ranked 40th among states with SAT scores: Verbal - 493, Math - 501, Writing - 479.[54] 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.[55]

College remediation[edit]

According to a Pennsylvania Department of Education study released in January 2009, 42% of Northern Lebanon School District graduates required remediation in mathematics and or reading before they were prepared to take college level courses in the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education or community colleges.[56] 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.[57] 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.

Middle school[edit]

Northern Lebanon Middle School is located at 345 School Drive, Fredericksburg. In 2010 the school reported 336 pupils in grades 7th and 8th, with 74 students receiving a federal free or reduced price linch due to family poverty. The school employed 27 teachers, yielding a student teach ratio of 12:1. The administration reported there were 41 English Language Learns in the school.[58]

In 2012, Northern Lebanon Middle School declined to Warning AYP status due to lagging student achievement in reading and mathematics.[59] In 2011 the Northern Lebanon Middle School achieved AYP status. In 2010, the school was in Making Progress: in School Improvement II status due to chronic, low student achievement.[60]

8th Grade Reading:
  • 2012 - 82% on grade level (8 below basic). In Pennsylvania, 79% of 8th graders on grade level.[61]
  • 2011 - 82% (9% below basic). State - 81.8%
  • 2010 - 80% (10% below basic). State - 81% [62]
  • 2009 - 67%, State - 80% [63]
  • 2008 - 74%, State - 78% [64]
  • 2007 - 69%, State - 75%

8th Grade Math:

  • 2012 - 70% on grade level (10% below basic). State - 76% [65]
  • 2011 - 78% (9% below basic). State - 76.9%
  • 2010 - 72%, (11% below basic). State - 75%
  • 2009 - 52%, State - 71%
  • 2008 - 66%, State - 70%
  • 2007 - 57%, State - 67%

8th Grade Science:

  • 2012 - 57% on grade level (15% below basic). State - 59%
  • 2011 - 54% (18% below basic). State – 58.3%
  • 2010 - 65%, (20% below basic). State - 57% [66]
  • 2009 - 53%, State - 54%
  • 2008 - 53%, State - 52%

Virtual Academy[edit]

The district provides an online learning program for students grades 7-12. A wide variety of courses are offered. This free, virtual school is an alternative to the traditional brick-and-mortar setting. Content is delivered by highly qualified PA Certified teachers using high end technology. Students achieve the same objectives as a traditional school. The V3 Academy provides the student a flexibility in determining the hours that they attend school. The V3 also allows students to spend more time in areas of need and less time in areas they have already mastered. Students are required to attend 180 days of school. For each school day, students spend a minimum of 1 hour per day, per subject. In accordance with Pennsylvania law, all students in grades 7-12 must attend school a minimum of 990 hours in a given school year. Students in V3 academy receive an increased amount of one-to-one attention. The program is open to residents of the Northern Lebanon School District and members of the partnering districts.[67]

East Hanover Elementary School[edit]

East Hanover Elementary School is located at 1098 School House Road, East Hanover. In 2010 enrollment was 234 pupils grades kindergarten through 6th, with 64 students receiving a federal free or reduced-price lunch due to family poverty. The school is a federally designated Title I school. The school employed 18 teachers, yielding a student–teacher ratio of 13:1.[68]

In 2010 through 2012, East Hanover Elementary School achieved AYP status.[69]

In 2012, 71% of the students in grades 3rd through 6th were reading on grade level. In mathematics, 75% of the students in grades 3rd through 6th were on grade level. In both reading and math the students are below statewide achievement levels. In science, 74% of 4th graders were on grade level.[70]

In 2011, The administration reported that 60% of the students in grades 3rd through 6th were reading on grade level. In mathematics, 70% of the students in grades 3rd through 6th were on grade level. In both reading and math the students are below statewide achievement levels. The 2011 EHES 4th graders had a sharp decline in demonstrated reading skills. In science, 84% of 4th graders were on grade level.[71]

Lickdale Elementary School[edit]

Lickdale Elementary School is located at 40 Fisher Avenue, Jonestown. In 2010, enrollment was 269 pupils grades kindergarten through 6th, with 45 students receiving a federal free or reduced-price lunch due to family poverty. The school is a federally designated Title I school. Lickdale Elementary School employed 18 teachers, yielding a student–teacher ratio of 15:1.[72]

In 2010 through 2012, Lickdale Elementary School achieved AYP status.[73]

In 2012, just 62% of the students in grades 3rd through 6th were reading on grade level. In mathematics, 67% of the students in grades 3rd through 6th were on grade level. In both reading and math the students are below statewide achievement levels. In science, 83% of 4th graders were on grade level.[74]

In 2011, 65% of the students in grades 3rd through 6th were reading on grade level. In mathematics, 68% of the students in grades 3rd through 6th were on grade level. In both reading and math the students are below statewide achievement levels. In science, 84% of 4th graders were on grade level.[75]

Jonestown Elementary School[edit]

Jonestown Elementary School is located at 135 South King Street, Jonestown. In 2010, enrollment was 461 pupils grades kindergarten through 6th, with 75 students receiving a federal free or reduced-price lunch due to family poverty. The school is a federally designated Title I school. Jonestown Elementary School employed 29 teachers, yielding a student–teacher ratio of 16:1.[76] The school hosts a Head Start preschool program open to 3 year olds and 4 year olds and operated by the Lancaster Lebanon IU. The program is funded by state PreK Counts and federal Head Start dollars.[77]

In 2012, Jonestown Elementary School declined to Warning AYP status due to lagging student achievement in both reading and mathematics. In 2010 and 2011, the school achieved AYP status.[78]

In 2012, only 65% of the students at Jonestown Elementary School, in grades 3rd through 6th, were reading on grade level. In mathematics, just 68% of the students in grades 3rd through 6th were on grade level. In both reading and math the students are below statewide achievement levels. In science, 81% of 4th graders were on grade level, which was below the state 84% level.[79]

In 2011, just 62% of the students in grades 3rd through 6th were reading on grade level. The 2011, Jonestown Elementary School 4th graders had a sharp decline in demonstrated reading skills. In mathematics, 63% of the students in grades 3rd through 6th were on grade level. In both reading and math the students are below statewide achievement levels. In science, only 74% of 4th graders were on grade level which was below the state 84% level.[80]

Fredericksburg Elementary School[edit]

Fredericksburg Elementary School is located at 119 E Walnut Street, Fredericksburg. In 2010, enrollment was small with 283 pupils grades kindergarten through 6th, Forty one (41) students received a federal free or reduced-price lunch due to family poverty. The school is a federally designated Title I school. Fredericksburg Elementary School employed 19 teachers, yielding a student–teacher ratio of 15:1.[81]

In 2012, Fredericksburg Elementary School declined to Warning AYP status due to chronic, low student achievement in both reading and mathematics.[82] In 2011, Fredericksburg Elementary School achieved AYP status.[83]

In 2012, just 53% of Fredericksburg Elementary School's students, in grades 3rd through 6th, were reading on grade level. In mathematics, only 54% of the students in grades 3rd through 6th were on grade level. In both reading and math the students are significantly below statewide achievement levels. In science, 94% of 4th graders were on grade level, which was above the statewide achievement level or 82% on grade level.[84]

In 2011, just 64% of Fredericksburg Elementary School's students in grades 3rd through 6th were reading on grade level. In mathematics, 64% of the students in grades 3rd through 6th were on grade level. The 2011 FES 4th graders had a sharp decline in demonstrated math skills. In both reading and math the students are below statewide achievement levels. In science, 85% of 4th graders were on grade level, which was above the statewide achievement level.[85]

Special education[edit]

In December 2012, Northern Lebanon School District reported that 356 pupils or 15% were receiving special education services, with 49% of identified students having a specific learning disability. In December 2008, the district reported that 333 pupils or 13.4% were receiving special education services.[86][87] Northern Lebanon School District provides a wide spectrum of special education services. Services and programs available within the District include learning support, speech/language support, secondary life skills support, occupational therapy, physical therapy, vision, adaptive physical education, ESL/LEP, job training, and alternative education programs at the secondary level. The District contracts with Intermediate Unit 13 to provide classes at various schools in Lebanon County to meet the educational needs of students requiring: life skills support, emotional support, sensory support, physical/MDS support, autistic support, basic occupational skills and transition/school-to-work support. Developmental delays are screened for beginning as early as age 3 by IU13 Early Intervention services.Parents request an evaluation for services in writing. The District is required to conduct child find activities for children who may be eligible for services via Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973.[88]

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 Department of Special Education.

The IDEA 2004 requires each school entity to publish a notice to parents, in newspapers or other media, including the student handbook and website regarding the availability of screening and intervention services and how to access them.

In 2010, the state of Pennsylvania provided $1,026,815,000 for Special Education services.[89] 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.[90] The state requires each district to have a three-year special education plan to meet the unique needs of its special education students.[91] 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.[92]

Northern Lebanon School District received a $1,195,172 supplement for special education services in 2010-11.[93] For the 2011-12, 2012–13, 2013-14 school years, 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.[94]

Gifted education[edit]

The Northern Lebanon School District Administration reported that 111 or 4.63% 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.[95] By law, the district must provide mentally gifted programs at all grade levels. The referral process for a gifted evaluation can be initiated by teachers or parents by contacting the student’s building principal and requesting an evaluation. All requests must be made in writing. To be eligible for mentally gifted programs in Pennsylvania, a student must have a cognitive ability of at least 130 as measured on a standardized ability test by a certified school psychologist. Other factors that indicate giftedness will also be considered for eligibility.[96][97]

Wellness policy[edit]

Northern Lebanon School Board established a district wellness policy in 2006.[98] 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 public school districts identified the superintendent and school foodservice director as responsible for ensuring local wellness policy implementation.[99]

The federal 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.[100] The Pennsylvania Department of Education required the district to submit a copy of the policy for approval.

The District offers a free school breakfast and 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.[101] The meals are partially funded with federal dollars through the United States Department of Agriculture.[102]

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.[103]

Highmark Healthy High 5 grant[edit]

In 2010, the Northern Lebanon School District received funding through a Highmark Healthy High 5 grant. The school district received $50,000 Super+ School Challenge grant.[104] 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.

The District also participated in Highmark Healthy High 5 Health eTools for Schools which enabled mobile data collection of pertinent health and physical fitness screening data on students K-12 in a database held by InnerLink, Inc. in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. Health eTools for Schools also provided interdisciplinary research-based curriculum in nutrition, physical education and physical activity to participating districts. The program was discontinued in 2013.[105]

Bullying policy and school safety[edit]

In 2011, Northern Lebanon School District administration reported no incidents of bullying in the District. There were sixteen (16) incidents involving law enforcement with 8 arrests.[106] In 2009, the administrative reported there was one incident of bullying in the District.[107][108]

The Northern Lebanon School Board adopted a policy in October 2008, which prohibits bullying by district students and the faculty. The policy defines bullying and cyberbullying.[109] The Board directs that complaints of bullying shall be investigated promptly, and corrective action shall be taken when allegations are verified. No reprisals or retaliation shall occur as a result of good faith reports of bullying. The board expects staff members to be responsible to maintain an educational environment free from all forms of bullying. All Pennsylvania schools are required to have an anti-bullying policy incorporated into their Code of Student Conduct. The policy must identify disciplinary actions for bullying and designate a school staff person to receive complaints of bullying. The policy must be available on the school's website and posted in every classroom. All Pennsylvania public schools must provide a copy of its anti-bullying policy to the Office for Safe Schools every year, and shall review their policy every three years. Additionally, the district must conduct an annual review of that policy with students.[110] The Center for Schools and Communities works in partnership with the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime & Delinquency and the Pennsylvania Department of Education to assist schools and communities as they research, select and implement bullying prevention programs and initiatives.[111][112] Education standards relating to student safety and antiharassment programs are described in the 10.3. Safety and Injury Prevention in the Pennsylvania Academic Standards for Health, Safety and Physical Education.[113]

Budget[edit]

Pennsylvania public school districts budget and expend funds according to procedures mandated by the General Assembly and the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE). An annual operating budget is prepared by school district administrative officials. A uniform form is furnished by the PDE and submitted to the board of school directors for approval prior to the beginning of each fiscal year on July 1.

Under Pennsylvania’s Taxpayer Relief Act, Act 1 of the Special Session of 2006, all school districts of the first class A, second class, third class and fourth class must adopt a preliminary budget proposal. The proposal must include estimated revenues and expenditures and the proposed tax rates. This proposed budget must be considered by the Board no later than 90 days prior to the date of the election immediately preceding the fiscal year. The preliminary budget proposal must also be printed and made available for public inspection at least 20 days prior to its adoption. The board of school directors may hold a public hearing on the budget, but are not required to do so. The board must give at least 10 days’ public notice of its intent to adopt the final budget according to Act 1 of 2006.[114]

In 2011, the average teacher salary in Northern Lebanon School District was $59,228 a year, while the cost of the benefits teachers received was $18,588 per employee, for a total annual average teacher compensation of $77,816.[115]

In 2009, Northern Lebanon School District reported employing over 180 teachers with a starting salary of $38,000 to $156,000 for 190 days work per year (181 days for pupil instruction).[116] The average teacher salary is $54,971.[117] Additionally, the teachers receive a defined benefit pension, health insurance, vision insurance, dental insurance, college course reimbursement, 3 paid personal days, sick days - 10, a retirement bonus payment of unused sick days and other benefits. Special education teachers are annually paid an extra $200 plus $25 for each IEP they write. Teachers are paid for extra instructional services at an hourly rate.[118]

In 2007, Northern Lebanon School District employed 154 teachers and the average teacher salary in the district was $51,172 for 190 days worked.[119] 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.[120]

Northern Lebanon School District administrative costs per pupil, in 2008, were $718.99 per pupil. .[121] Northern Lebanon School District is ranked 293rd among Pennsylvania's 500 districts for administrative spending. The lowest administrative cost per pupil in Pennsylvania was $398 per pupil.[122] The Pennsylvania School Boards Association keeps 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.[123] In 2009, Dr. Bell's salary was $151,424. He also received an extensive benefits package and will receive a six figure, defined benefit pension when he retires.[124]

Per pupil spending Northern Lebanon School District administration reported that per pupil spending in 2008 was $10,754 which ranked 416th in the state's 501 school districts.[125] In 2010, the per pupil spending had increased to $11,834.71 [126] Among the states, Pennsylvania’s total per pupil revenue (including all sources) ranked 11th at $15,023 per student, in 2008-09.[127] In 2007, the Pennsylvania per pupil total expenditures was $12,759.[128]

In August 2010, the Pennsylvania Auditor General conducted a performance audit of the Northern Lebanon School District. The findings were reported to the administration and the school board.[129] In February 2012, the District was audited again. Significant findings were reported to the school board. The staff errors resulted in less state funding for the District.[130]

Reserves In 2008, Northern Lebanon School District reported zero in an unreserved-designated fund. The unreserved-undesignated fund balance was reported as $1,965,375. [131] In 2010, Northern Lebanon School District Administration reported $1,906,744.00 in the unreserved-undesignated fund balance. In 2012, the Northern Lebanon School District administration reported that the District had $215,502 in reserves. 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.[132]

Tuition Students who live in the Northern Lebanon 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 Northern Lebanon 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 Northern Lebanon School District's schools. The 2012 tuition rates are Elementary School - $9,325.86, High School - $9,938.04.[133]

Northern Lebanon School District is funded by a combination of: a local earned income tax 1%,[134] a property tax, a real estate transfer tax 0.5%, per capita taxes $10, coupled with substantial funding from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the federal government. 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 personal wealth.[135]

State basic education funding[edit]

For the 2013-14 school year, the Northern Lebanon School District will receive a 1.7% increase or $7,335,853 in Pennsylvania Basic Education Funding. This is $119,589 more than its 2012-13 state BEF to the District. Additionally, Northern Lebanon School District will receive $128,939 in Accountability Block Grant funding to focus on academic achievement and level funding from the state for special education services. Among the public school districts in Lebanon County, Lebanon School District received the highest percentage increase at 6.1%. The District has the option of applying for several other state and federal grants to increase revenues. The Commonwealth’s budget increased Basic Education Funding statewide by $123 million to over $5.5 billion. Most of Pennsylvania’s 500 public school districts received an increase of Basic Education Funding in a range of 0.9% to 4%. Eight public school districts received exceptionally high funding of 10% to 16%. The highest increase in state funding was awarded to Austin Area School District which received a 22.5% increase in Basic Education Funding.[136] The state funded the PSERS (Pennsylvania school employee pension fund) with $1,017,000,000 and Social Security payments for school employees of $495 million.[137]

For the 2012-13 school year, the Northern Lebanon School District received $7,345,203.[138] Additionally, Northern Lebanon School District received $128,939 in Accountability Block Grant funding to focus on academic achievement and level funding from the state for special education services. The Governor's Executive Budget for 2012-2013 included $9.34 billion for kindergarten through 12th grade public education, including $5.4 billion in basic education funding, which was an increase of $49 million over the 2011-12 budget. In addition, the Commonwealth provided $100 million for the Accountability Block Grant (ABG) program. The state also provided a $544.4 million payment for School Employees’ Social Security and $856 million for School Employees’ Retirement fund called PSERS.[139] This amount was 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 have 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 2011-12, Northern Lebanon School District received a $7,216,264 allocation, of state Basic Education Funding.[140][141] Additionally, the Northern Lebanon School District received $128,938 in Accountability Block Grant funding. The enacted Pennsylvania state Education budget includes $5,354,629,000 for the 2011-2012 Basic Education Funding appropriation. This amount is a $233,290,000 increase (4.6%) over the enacted State appropriation for 2010-2011.[142] 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.[143] In 2010, the District reported that 502 students received free or reduced-price lunches, due to the family meeting the federal poverty level.[144]

For the 2010-11 budget year, the Northern Lebanon School District was allotted a 2.06% increase in Basic Education Funding for a total of $7,537,175. Of the six school districts in Lebanon County, Lebanon School District received the highest a 14.46% increase. One hundred fifty Pennsylvania public school districts received the base 2% increase. The highest 2010-11 increase statewide went to Kennett Consolidated School District in Chester County which received a 23.65% increase in state funding.[145] Fifteen (15) Pennsylvania public school districts received a BEF increase of greater than 10%. The state's hold harmless policy regarding state basic education funding continued where each district received at least the same amount as it received the prior school year, even when enrollment had significantly declined. The amount of increase each school district received was set by the Governor Edward G. Rendell and then Secretary of Education Gerald Zahorchak as a part of the state budget proposal given each February.[146]

In the 2009-10 budget year, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania provided a 2.34% increase in Basic Education Funding for a total of $7,385,405. The highest increase, in Basic Education Funding, among school districts in Lebanon County was awarded to Lebanon School District which received an 11.28% increase in funding.[147] The state Basic Education Funding to the district in 2008-09 was $7,216,264. Ninety school districts received a base 2% increase. Muhlenberg School District in Berks County received a 22.31% increase in state basic education funding in 2009.[148]

The state Basic Education Funding to the District in 2008-09 was $7,216,264.45. According to the Pennsylvania Department of Education, 430 students, in the Northern Lebanon School District, received free or reduced-price lunches due to low family income in the 2007-2008 school year.[149]

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, the Northern Lebanon School District applied for and received $349,971 in addition to all other state and federal funding. The District used the funding to provide lower class size K-3rd grades, for tutoring before and after school, and to provide teacher training.[150][151]

Education Assistance grant[edit]

The state's EAP funding provides for the continuing support of tutoring services and other programs to address the academic needs of eligible students. Funds are available to eligible school districts and full-time career and technology centers (CTC) in which one or more schools have failed to meet at least one academic performance target, as provided for in Section 1512-C of the Pennsylvania Public School Code. In 2010-11, the Northern Lebanon School District received $145,461.[152]

Classrooms for the Future grant[edit]

The Classroom for the Future state program provided districts with hundreds of thousands of extra state funding to buy laptop computers for each core curriculum high school class (English, Science, History, Math) and paid for teacher training to optimize the computers use. The program was funded from 2006-2009. Northern Lebanon School District was denied funding in 2006-07 by the PDE. In 2007-08, the District received $300,972 in funding. In 2008-09, Northern Lebanon School District received $54,647 for a total funding of $355,619. Of the 501 public school districts in Pennsylvania, 447 of them received Classrooms for the Future grant awards [153] The highest funding in Lebanon County was awarded to Cornwall-Lebanon School District which received $565,091. The highest funding statewide was awarded to Philadelphia City School District in Philadelphia County - $9,409,073. The Classrooms for the Future grant program was discontinued by Governor Edward Rendell as part of the 2009-10 state budget.

Science It’s Elementary grant[edit]

Jonestown Elementary School successfully applied to participate and received a Science It’s Elementary grant. For the 2008-09 school year, the program was offered in 143 schools reaching 66,973 students across the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.[154] In 2007, the Pennsylvania Department of Education initiated an effort to improve science instruction in the Commonwealth’s public elementary schools. Called Science: It’s Elementary, the program was a hands on instruction approach for elementary science classes that develops problem-solving and critical thinking skills.[155] To encourage schools to adopt the program’s standards aligned curriculum, the state provided a grant to cover the costs of materials and extensive mandatory teacher training.[156] The district was required to develop a three-year implementation plan for the participating school. The school district administration was required to appoint a district liaison who was paid $3,000 by PDE to serve as the conduit of all information between the district and the Department and its agents along with submitting orders and distributing supplies to implementing teachers. For the 2006-07 state education budget, $10 million was allocated for the program. The grant program was expanded to $14.5 million in the 2008-09 budget. The grant was discontinued in the state’s 2010-11 budget by Governor Edward G. Rendell.

Literacy grant[edit]

While Northern Lebanon School District has low reading achievement, the Administration did not participate in a federal competitive literacy grant. The funds were to be used to improve reading skills birth through 12th grade. 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. Successful applicants were 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.[157]

Other grants[edit]

The District did not participate in: Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection's Environmental Education annual grants, nor the federal 21st Century Learning grants.

Federal Stimulus funding[edit]

The Northern Lebanon School District received an extra $1,080,578 in ARRA - Federal Stimulus money to be used in specific programs like special education and meeting the academic needs of low-income students.[158][159] The Pennsylvania Department of Education advised the districts to use the money for nonrecurring expenses like purchasing equipment and teaching resources like books, and software.

Race to the Top grant[edit]

Northern Lebanon School District officials did not apply for the Race to the Top federal grant. When approved for the grant, the District would have received over one million in additional federal dollars for improving student academic achievement.[160] 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. The failure of districts to agree to participate was cited as one reason that Pennsylvania was not approved.[161]

Common Cents state initiative[edit]

The Northern Lebanon School Board did not participate in the Pennsylvania Department of Education Common Cents program. The program called for the state to audit the district, at no cost to local taxpayers, to identify ways the district could save tax dollars.[162] After the review of the information, the district was not required to implement the recommended cost savings changes.

Real estate taxes[edit]

The school board levied a real estate tax of 11.8315 mills in 2013-14. The millage number changed, over the 2012-13 millage, because Lebanon County conducted a property reassessment. The actual cost to the taxpayer remained the same. A mill is $1 of tax for every $1,000 of a property's assessed value. 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. 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. On the local level, Pennsylvania 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.[163]

  • 2012-13 - 91.3600 mills
  • 2011-12 - 86.8500 mills[164]
  • 2010-11 - 85.4000 mills[165]
  • 2009-10 - 82.5000 mills[166]
  • 2008-09 - 79.5000 mills[167]
  • 2007-08 - 77.0000 mills.[168]
  • 2006-07 - 77.0000 mills.[169]
  • 2005-06 - 77.0000 mills.[170]

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 rose again to $11,153,412,490 in 2011.[171] 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%).[172]

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 allowed to raise taxes above that index unless they 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.[173]

The School District Adjusted Index for the Northern Lebanon School District 2006-2007 through 2011-2012.[174]

For the 2013-14 budget year, Northern Lebanon School Board applied for two exceptions to exceed their Act 1 Index limit: teacher pension costs and special education costs. 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 exception for pension costs, 89 school districts received approval to exceed the Index in full while others received a partial approval of their request. For special education costs, 75 districts received approval to exceed their tax limit. For the pension costs exception, 169 school districts received approval to exceed the Index. Eleven Pennsylvania public school districts received an approval for grandfathered construction debts.[177]

For the 2012-13 budget year, Northern Lebanon School Board applied for two exceptions to exceed the Act 1 Index: teacher pension costs and special education costs. 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.[178]

For the 2011-12 school year, the Northern Lebanon School Board did not apply for an exception to exceed the Act 1 Index. Each year, the Northern Lebanon 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.

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.[179]

The Northern Lebanon School Board did not apply for any exceptions to exceed the Act 1 index for the budget in 2010-11.[180] 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.[181]

Property tax relief[edit]

In 2010, the Homestead/Farmstead Property Tax Relief from gambling for the Northern Lebanon School District was $133 per approved permanent primary residence. In the district, 4,859 property owners applied for the tax relief.[182] The highest tax relief provided in Lebanon County went to the Lebanon School District at $397 per homestead/farmstead. The property tax relief was subtracted from the total annual school property tax bill. Property owners apply for the relief through the county Treasurer's office. Farmers can qualify for a farmstead exemption on building used for agricultural purposes. The farm must be at least 10 contiguous acres and must be the primary residence of the owner. Farmers can qualify for both the homestead exemption and the farmstead exemption. Pennsylvania awarded the highest property tax relief to residents of the Chester-Upland School District in Delaware County at $641 per homestead and farmstead in 2010.[183] CUSD was given $632 in 2009. This was the second year they were the top recipient.

A special investigation conducted by the Pennsylvania Auditor General found that 76% of homeowners in Lebanon County had applied for the property tax relief.[184]

Additionally, the Pennsylvania Property Tax/Rent Rebate program is provided for low income Pennsylvanians 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 individuals who have income substantially greater than $35,000, may still qualify for a rebate. Individuals must apply annually for the rebate. This can be taken in addition to Homestead/Farmstead Property Tax Relief.

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%).[185]

Extracurriculars[edit]

The Northern Lebanon School District's students have access to a variety of clubs, activities and an extensive costly sports program. Eligibility for participation is determined by the school board policy.[186][187]

By Pennsylvania law, all K-12 students in the district, including those who attend a private nonpublic school, cyber charter school, charter school and those homeschooled, are eligible to participate in the extracurricular programs, including all athletics. They must meet the same eligibility rules as the students enrolled in the district's schools.[188][189][190]

Sports[edit]

The District funds:

Middle School Sports

According to PIAA directory July 2013 [191]

Intermediate Unit[edit]

Lancaster Lebanon Intermediate Unit (IU#13) region includes: Lebanon County and Lancaster County. The agency provides Northern Lebanon School District, charter schools, the district's home-schooled students and area private schools many services, including special education services, combined purchasing, and instructional technology services. It runs Sail Summer Academy which offers both art and academic strands designed to meet the individual needs of gifted, talented and high achieving students.[192] Additional services include: Curriculum Mapping, Professional Development for school employees, Adult Education, Nonpublic School Services, Business Services, Migrant & ESL (English as a Second Language), Instructional Services, Special Education, Management Services, and Technology Services. The IU 13 offers preemployment screening, including fingerprinting, for prospective public school employees.[193] It also provides a GED program to adults who want to earn a high school diploma and literacy programs. The Lancasert-Lebanon Intermediate Unit is governed by a 22-member Board of Directors, each a member of a local school board from the 22 school districts. Board members are elected by their fellow school directors for three-year terms that begin July 1. There are 29 intermediate units in Pennsylvania. They are funded by school districts, state and federal program specific funding and grants. IUs do not have the power to tax.[194]

Other facts[edit]

Within the district there are over 4,600 acres (19 km2) of public lands, including four golf courses, Fort Indiantown Gap Military Base, two state parks, and many campgrounds. The Appalachian Trail passes through the area. These lands are tax exempt and increase the tax burden on private land owners and local workers/employers. Major industries in the district include: Tyco, SID Tools, Sherwin Williams, Ingram Micro, Farmer’s Pride Inc., BC Natural Chicken, College Hill Poultry Inc. and Swift Trucking.

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  186. ^ Northern Lebanon School Board. "Northern Lebanon School Board Policy Manual Extracurriculars Policy 122". 
  187. ^ Northern Lebanon School Board. "Northern Lebanon School Board Policy Manual Interscholastic Athletics Policy 123". 
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  192. ^ Project SAIL Summer Enrichment Camps
  193. ^ IU13 Clearances Information
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External links[edit]