Northern York County School District

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Northern York County School District
More Color Map of York County Pennsylvania School Districts.png
Address
149 S. Baltimore Street
Dillsburg, Pennsylvania, York County 17019
United States
Information
Type Public
School board 9 locally elected members
Superintendent Dr. Eric Eshbach (begins August 1, 2012, salary $130,000) [1]
Administrator

Ms. Maureen Ross, Secretary to Superintendent and to Supervisor of Administrative Services, Board of Education Secretary
Mr. Jason Beals, Asst Superintendent
Mrs. Denise Powley, Secretary to Asst Superintendent
Mr. Jason Young, Business Manager
Mrs. Theresa Ott, Secretary
Mrs. Vangie Unti, Supervisor of Administrative Services
Mrs. Brenda Hartman, Asst to Business Manager
Mrs. Deanna Swope, Payroll
Mrs. Lynne Wicker, Benefits
Mrs. Holly Andrews, Accounts Payable
Mr. Stephen Briotte, Technology Director
Mrs. Terri Lowery, Secondary Technology Specialist
Mr. Rob Taylor, Director of Buildings & Grounds
Mrs. Darlene Wagner, Transportation
Mrs. Shelly Thomas, Director of Special Services
Mrs. Ursula Nickels, Secretary to the Director of Special Services
Mrs. Leslie Neidig, Secretary to the Psychologists
Dr. Bernard Kniery, School Psychologist
Mrs. Danielle Magnelli, School Psychologist
Mr. Scott Shedlock, Food Services
Mrs. Brenda King, Census/Tax Clerk and District Operator

[2]
Staff 191 non teaching staff member (2015), 204 non teaching staff members[3]
Faculty 230 teachers (2015),[4] 212 teachers (2012), 271 teachers (2010)
Grades K-12
Age 5 years old Kindergarten to 21 years old Special Education
Pupils

3,181 pupils (2016),[5]
3,140 pupils (2014),[6]
3,159 pupils (2012)[7]
3,166 pupils (2011)[8]

3,190 pupils (2006)
 • Kindergarten 254 (2012), 215 (2010)
 • Grade 1 247 (2012), 268
 • Grade 2 256 (2012), 230
 • Grade 3 226 (2012), 240
 • Grade 4 256 (2012), 232
 • Grade 5 218 (2012), 226
 • Grade 6 242 (2012), 247
 • Grade 7 239 (2012), 248
 • Grade 8 253 (2012), 274
 • Grade 9 255 (2012), 224
 • Grade 10 233 (2012), 259
 • Grade 11 257 (2012), 260
 • Grade 12 261 (2012), 245 (2010)
 • Other Enrollment projected to increase to 3,552 pupils by 2019[9]
Language English
Color(s) Purple and White
Slogan Intellectually Prepared, Civically Engaged, Personally Responsible [10]
Mascot Polar Bear
Rival Mechanicsburg
Budget $39,872,981 (2012-13)[11]
Tuition for nonresident and charter school students ES - $7,974.37 and HS - $8,696.86 [12]
Per pupil spending $11,586 in 2008
Website

The Northern York County School District is midsized, suburban public school district in York County, Pennsylvania. It econompasses an area of approximately 92 square miles (240 km2) which includes: the boroughs of Dillsburg, Wellsville, and Franklintown, plus Monaghan Township, Warrington Township, Carroll Township, and Franklin Township. The school district has a population of 20,023, according to a 2005 local census. By 2010, the District's population had increased to 21,108 people.[13] The educational attainment levels for the Northern York County School District population (25 years old and over) were 91.9% high school graduates and 29.8% college graduates.[14]

According to the Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center, 20.6% of the District’s pupils lived at 185% or below the Federal Poverty level as shown by their eligibility for the federal free or reduced price school meal programs in 2012.[15] In 2009, the district residents’ per capita income was $22,758, while the median family income was $55,258.[16] In the Commonwealth, the median family income was $49,501 [17] and the United States median family income was $49,445, in 2010.[18] In York County, the median household income was $58,745.[19] By 2013, the median household income in the United States rose to $52,100.[20]

According to Northern York County School District administrative officials, during the 2005-06 school year, the District provided basic educational services to 3,187 pupils. It employed: 16 administrators, 243 teachers, and 173 full-time and part-time support personnel. In school year 2009-10, the Northern York County School District had 3,207 pupils, employing: 238 teachers, 194 full-time and part-time support personnel, and 17 administrators. Northern York County School District received more than $11.9 million in state funding in school year 2009-10.

Special education was provided by the district and the Capital Area Intermediate Unit #15. Occupational training and adult education in various vocational and technical fields were provided by the district and the Cumberland-Perry Area Vocational-Technical School.

Northern York County School District operates: four K-5th elementary schools: (Dillsburg Elementary School, Northern Elementary School, South Mountain Elementary School, Wellsville Campus); Northern Middle School (6th-8th), and Northern High School (9th-12th). High school students may choose to attend Cumberland Perry Area Vocational Technical School for training in the construction and mechanical trades.

In 2014, neighboring Washington Township residents petitioned the state to permit it to leave the Dover Area School District to join the Northern York County School District.[21] The petitioners cited the superior education outcomes and lower property taxes in Northern County School District as motives for the change request. Estimates project a net gain of $800,000 to $1 million over the next five years to Northern York County School District when the change is approved.[22] In March 2017, the State Board of Education denied the application of Washington Township residents to join the district.[23]

Governance[edit]

Northern York County School District is governed by 9 individually elected, local board members (serve four-year terms), the Pennsylvania State Board of Education, the Pennsylvania Department of Education and the Pennsylvania General Assembly.[24] 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 its resources on student success in acquiring reading and math skills. The Superintendent and Business Manager are appointed by the school board. The Superintendent is the chief administrative officer with overall responsibility for all aspects of operations, including education and finance. The Business Manager is responsible for budget and financial operations. Neither of these officials are voting members of the School Board. The School Board enters into individual employment contracts for these positions. In Pennsylvania, public school districts are required to give 150 days notice to the Superintendent regarding renewal of the employment contract.[25]

The Commonwealth Foundation for Public Policy Alternatives Sunshine Review gave the Northern York County School Board and District Administration a "D" for transparency based on a review of "What information can people find on their school district's website". It examined the school district's website for information regarding; taxes, the current budget, meetings, school board members names and terms, contracts, audits, public records information and more.[26]

Academic achievement[edit]

In 2016, Northern York County School District ranked 199th out of the 493 Pennsylvania public school districts, by the Pittsburgh Business Times. [27] The ranking is based on the last 3 years of student academic achievement as demonstrated by PSSAs results in: reading, writing, math and science and the three Keystone Exams (literature, Algebra 1, Biology I) in high school.[28] Three school districts were excluded because they do not operate high schools (Saint Clair Area School District, Midland Borough School District, Duquesne City School District). The PSSAs are given to all children in grades 3rd through 8th. Adapted PSSA examinations are given to children in the special education programs. Writing exams were given to children in 5th and 8th grades.

  • 2015 - 202nd
  • 2014 - 176th[29]
  • 2013 - 187th[30]
  • 2012 - 191st [31]
  • 2011 - 175th [32]
  • 2010 - 183rd [33]
  • 2009 - 213th
  • 2008 - 199th
  • 2007 - 233rd of 500 school districts in Pennsylvania.[34]
Overachievers Ranking

In 2012, the Pittsburgh Business Times reported an Overachievers Ranking for 498 Pennsylvania school districts. Northern York County School District ranked 464th. The paper describes the ranking as: "a ranking answers the question - which school districts do better than expectations based upon economics? This rank takes the Honor Roll rank and adds the percentage of students in the district eligible for free and reduced-price lunch into the formula. A district finishing high on this rank is smashing expectations, and any district above the median point is exceeding expectations."[35]

  • 2011 - 475th
  • 2010 - 477th
  • 2009 - 464th

In 2009, the academic achievement of the students of Northern York County School District was in the 65th percentile among 500 Pennsylvania school districts. Scale - (0-99; 100 is state best) [36]

District AYP history[edit]

From 2004 through 2012, Northeastern York School District achieved Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) status each school year.[37] In 2011, 94 percent of the 500 Pennsylvania Public School Districts achieved the No Child Left Behind Act progress level of 72% of students reading on grade level and 67% of students demonstrating on grade level math. In 2011, 46.9 percent of Pennsylvania school districts achieved Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) based on student performance. An additional 37.8 percent of school districts made AYP based on a calculated method called safe harbor, 8.2 percent on the growth model and 0.8 percent on a two-year average performance. In 2003, Northern York County School District was in Warning AYP status due to lagging student achievement.

Graduation rate[edit]

In 2014, Northern York School District's graduation rate was 91.63%.[38]

  • 2013 - 92.31%[39]
  • 2012 - 92.9%
  • 2011 - 91%.[40]
  • 2010 - 92.72%, the PDE issued a new, 4-year cohort graduation rate.[41]

According to traditional graduation rate calculations:

Graduation requirements[edit]

The Northern York County School Board has set that a minimum of 23.5 credits, including English 4 credits, Social Studies 4 credits, Math 3 Credits, Science 3 credits, Arts/Humanities 2 credits, PE/Driver's Edu./Health 2 credits and 7.5 Elective credits.[48]

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.[49] Northern High School has developed a four component process for the requirement.[50] 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.[51]

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.[52] The exam is given at the end of the course. Keystone Exams replace the PSSAs for 11th grade.[53]

Students have several opportunities to pass the exam. Schools are mandated to provide targeted assistance to help the student be successful. Those who do not pass after several attempts can perform a project in order to graduate.[54][55] 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.[56] 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.[57] 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.

High school[edit]

Northern High School is located at 653 South Baltimore Street, Dillsburg. In 2014, enrollment was reported as 987 pupils in 9th through 12th grades, with 17% of pupils eligible for a free lunch due to family poverty. Additionally, 11% of pupils received special education services, while 5.4% of pupils were identified as gifted. The school employed 67 teachers.[58] Per the PA Department of Education 100% of the teachers were rated "Highly Qualified" under the federal No Child Left Behind Act.

According to the National Center for Education Statistics, in 2010, the school reported an enrollment of 1,044 pupils in grades 9th through 12th, with 104 pupils eligible for a federal free or reduced-price lunch. The school employed 73 teachers, yielding a student–teacher ratio of 14:1.[59] According to a report by the Pennsylvania Department of Education, 1 teacher was rated "Non‐Highly Qualified" under No Child Left Behind. Additionally, five teachers have emergency certification.[60]

2014 School Performance Profile

Northern High School achieved 72.8 out of 100. Reflects on grade level reading, mathematics and science achievement. In reading/literature - 71.5% were on grade level. In Algebra 1, 62% showed on grade level skills. In Biology, 56% demonstrated on grade level science understanding at the end of the course.[61][62] Statewide, the percentage of high school students who scored proficient and advanced in Algebra I increased to 39.7% to 40.1%. The percentage of high school students who scored proficient and advanced in reading/literature declined to 52.5%. The percentage of high school students who scored proficient and advanced in biology improved from 39.7% to 41.4%.[63]

According to the Pennsylvania Department of Education, 2,134 of 2,947 Pennsylvania public schools (72 percent of Pennsylvania public schools), achieved an academic score of 70 or higher.[64] Fifty-three percent of schools statewide received lower SPP scores compared with last year's, while 46 percent improved. A handful were unchanged.[65][66]

2013 School Performance Profile

Northern High School achieved 74.5 out of 100. Reflects on grade level reading, mathematics and science achievement. In reading/literature - 69.6% were on grade level. In Algebra 1, 63.6% showed on grade level skills. In Biology, 39% showed on grade level science understanding.[67] According to the Pennsylvania Department of Education, 2,181 public schools (less than 73 percent of Pennsylvania public schools), achieved an academic score of 70 or higher. Pennsylvania 11th grade students no longer take the PSSAs. Instead, beginning in 2012, they take the Keystone Exams at the end of the associated course.[68]

AYP history

In 2012, Northern High School remained in School Improvement I AYP status.

  • 2011 - remained in School Improvement I status due to chronic, low student achievement particularly in mathematics.
  • 2010 - School Improvement I due to persistent low student achievement.[69] 2010 was the second year the school was in school improvement status.[70] Under No Child Left Behind, the school was required to notify parents of its poor performance and to offer students to opportunity to transfer to a successful school within the school district. Additionally, the Pennsylvania Department of Education required the Northern High School Administration to develop a school improvement plan and submit it to the PDE for approval.[71]
  • 2009 - declined to School Improvement I due to lagging student academic achievement.
  • 2008 - declined to Warning AYP status
  • 2003 - 2007 - AYP status
PSSA Results

Pennsylvania System of School Assessments, commonly called PSSAs are No Child Left Behind Act related examinations which were administered from 2003 through 2012, in all Pennsylvania public high schools. The exams were administered in the Spring of each school year. The goal was for 100% of students to be on grade level or better in reading and mathematics, by the Spring of 2014. The tests focused on the state's Academic Standards for reading, writing, mathematics and science. The Science exam included content in science, technology, ecology and the environmental studies. The mathematics exam included: algebra I, algebra II, geometry and trigonometry. The standards were first published in 1998 and are mandated by the Pennsylvania State Board of Education.[72] 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.[73]

11th Grade Reading
  • 2012 - 67% on grade level (20% below basic). State - 67% of 11th graders are on grade level
  • 2011 - 73% (14% below basic). State - 69.1%.[74]
  • 2010 - 68% (19% below basic). State - 68% [75]
  • 2009 - 61%, State - 65%
  • 2008 - 58%, State - 65%
  • 2007 - 69%, State - 65.4% [76]
11th Grade Math
  • 2012 - 60% on grade level (24% below basic). In Pennsylvania, 59% of 11th graders are on grade level.[77]
  • 2011 - 56% (21% below basic). State - 60.3%[78]
  • 2010 - 62% (22% below basic). State - 59%
  • 2009 - 48%, State - 56%[79]
  • 2008 - 47%, State - 56% [80]
  • 2007 - 56%, State - 53%
11th Grade Science
  • 2012 - 45% on grade level (9% below basic). State - 42% of 11th graders were on grade level.[81]
  • 2011 - 39% (15% below basic). State - 40% [82]
  • 2010 - 46% (16% below basic). State - 39% [83]
  • 2009 - 46%, State - 40%
  • 2008 - 32%, State - 39% [84]
  • 2007 - Tested, The state did not make the results public.

Science in Motion Northern 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.[85] Gettysburg College provided the science enrichment experiences to schools in the region.

College remediation[edit]

According to a Pennsylvania Department of Education study released in January 2009, 35% of Northern York County 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.[86] 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.[87] Per the Pennsylvania Department of Education, one in three recent high school graduates who attend Pennsylvania's public universities and community colleges takes at least one remedial course in math, reading or English.

Dual enrollment[edit]

The 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, including the graduation ceremony. 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.[88] Under the Pennsylvania Transfer and Articulation Agreement, many Pennsylvania colleges and universities accept these credits for students who transfer to their institutions.[89] For the 2009-10 funding year, the school district received a state grant of $4,257 for the program.[90]

SAT scores[edit]

In 2014, Northern York County School District students took the SAT exams. The District's Verbal Average Score was 528. The Math average score was 529. The Writing average score was 500.[91] Statewide in Pennsylvania, Verbal Average Score was 497. The Math average score was 504. The Writing average score was 480. The College Board also reported that nationwide scores were: 497 in reading, 513 in math and 487 in writing.[92]

In 2013, 157 Northern York County School District students took the SAT exams. The District's Verbal Average Score was 520. The Math average score was 531. The Writing average score was 498. 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.[93]

In 2012, 141 Northern York County School District students took the SAT exams. The District's Verbal Average Score was 516. The Math average score was 531. The Writing average score was 500. The statewide Verbal SAT exams results were: Verbal 491, Math 501, Writing 480. In the USA, 1.65 million students took the exams achieving scores: Verbal 496, Math 514, Writing 488. According to the College Board the maximum score on each section was 800, and 360 students nationwide scored a perfect 2,400.

In 2011, 163 Northern High School students took the SAT exams. The district's Verbal Average Score was 524. The Math average score was 534. The Writing average score was 495.[94] Pennsylvania ranked 40th among states with SAT scores: Verbal - 493, Math - 501, Writing - 479.[95] 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.[96]

Northern Middle School[edit]

Northern Middle School is located at 655 South Baltimore Street, Dillsburg. In 2014, enrollment was pupils, in grades 6th through 8th, with 21% of pupils eligible for a free lunch due to family poverty. Additionally, 14% of pupils received special education services, while 5.4% of pupils were identified as gifted.[97]

According to the National Center for Education Statistics, in 2010, the school reported an enrollment of 740 pupils in grades 6th through 8th, with 121 pupils receiving a federal free or reduced-price lunch due to family poverty. The school employed 54 teachers, yielding a student–teacher ratio of 14:1.[98] In 2010 and 2011 Middle School was in status due to lagging student achievement.[99] According to a report by the Pennsylvania Department of Education, 100% of the teachers were rated "Highly Qualified" under No Child Left Behind.[100]

2014 School Performance Profile

Northern Middle School achieved 75.5 out of 100. Reflects on grade level reading, mathematics and science achievement. In reading/literature - 79.5% were on grade level. In Algebra 1/Math, 81% showed on grade level mathematics skills. In Science, 70% of 8th graders showed on grade level science understanding. In writing, 78% of the 8th grade students demonstrated on grade level writing skills.[101]

2013 School Performance Profile

Northern Middle School achieved 86.2 out of 100. Reflects on grade level reading, writing, mathematics and science achievement. In reading, just 78.7% of the students were on grade level. In Mathematics/Algebra 1, 84.75% of the students showed on grade level skills. In Science, only 73.4% of the 8th graders demonstrated on grade level understanding. In writing, 84% of the 8th grade students demonstrated on grade level writing skills.[102] According to the Pennsylvania Department of Education, 2,181 public schools (less than 73 percent of Pennsylvania public schools), achieved an academic score of 70 or higher.

AYP status

In 2012, Northern Middle School declined to Warning AYP status due to lagging achievement in reading and mathematics.[103] From 2003 through 2011, Northern Middle School achieved AYP status school year.[104]

Eighth Grade Reading:
  • 2012 - 86% on grade level, 62% advanced (5% below basic). In Pennsylvania, 79% of 8th graders on grade level.[77]
  • 2011 - 86%, 64% advanced. State - 81.8%[105]
  • 2010 - 87%, 58% advanced. State - 81%[106]
  • 2009 - 88%, State - 80%
  • 2008 - 82%, State - 78% [107]
Eighth Grade Math:
  • 2012 - 84% on grade level, 57% advanced. State - 76% [108]
  • 2011 - 81%, 52% advanced. State - 76.9%
  • 2010 - 83%, 60% advanced. State - 75%
  • 2009 - 79%, State - 71%[109]
  • 2008 - 78%, State - 70% [110]
Eighth Grade Science:
  • 2012 - 69% on grade level (12% below basic). State - 59%
  • 2011 - 72% (12% below basic). State – 58.3%
  • 2010 - 71% (14% below basic). State - 57%
  • 2009 - 71%, State - 55%.[111]
  • 2008 - 48%, State - 52%

Dillsburg Elementary School[edit]

Dillsburg Elementary School is located at 202 South Chestnut Street, Dillsburg. In 2014, Dillsburg Elementary School's enrollment was 387 pupils in grades kindergarten through 5th, with 16.5% of pupils receiving a federal free or reduced price meals due to family poverty. Additionally, 6% of the pupils receive special education services, while 3.6% are identified as gifted.[112] According to a report by the Pennsylvania Department of Education, 100% of the teachers were rated highly qualified under No Child Left Behind. The school provides half day kindergarten.[113] The school is a federally designated Title I school.

According to the National Center for Education Statistics, in 2010, the school reported an enrollment of 385 pupils in grades kindergarten through 5th, with 46 pupils receiving a federal free or reduced-price lunch due to family poverty. Dillsburg Elementary School employed 26 teachers, yielding a student–teacher ratio of 15:1.[114] According to a report by the Pennsylvania Department of Education, 100% of the teachers were rated "Highly Qualified" under No Child Left Behind.[115]

2014 School Performance Profile

Dillsburg Elementary School achieved a score of 88.2 out of 100. The score reflects on grade level: reading, science, writing and mathematics achievement. In 2013-14, 83% of the students were reading on grade level in grades 3rd through 5th. In 3rd grade, 82% of the pupils were reading on grade level. In math, 88.7% were on grade level (3rd-5th grades). In 4th grade science, 93% of the pupils demonstrated on grade level understanding. In writing, 84% of 5th grade pupils demonstrated on grade level skills.[116]

2013 School Performance Profile

Dillsburg Elementary School achieved a score of 95.8 out of 100. The score reflects on grade level: reading, science, writing and mathematics achievement. In 2012-13, 90.7% of the students were reading on grade level in grades 3rd through 5th. In 3rd grade, 94.6% of the pupils were reading on grade level. In math, 93.5% were on grade level (3rd-5th grades). In 4th grade science, 98.5% of the pupils demonstrated on grade level understanding. In writing, 78% of 5th grade pupils demonstrated on grade level skills.[117]

AYP status

In 2010 through 2012, Dillsburg Elementary School achieved AYP status.[118] In 2012, 88% of the students were reading on grade level in grades 3rd through 5th. In math, 94% of the students in 3rd through 5th grades were on grade level and 66% scored advanced. In 4th grade science, 94% of the pupils were on grade level, with 66% achieving advanced. In 2011, 82% of the students were reading on grade level in grades 3rd through 5th. In math, 96% of the students in 3rd through 5th grades were on grade level and 55% scored advanced. In 4th grade science, 95% of the pupils were on grade level.[119]

PSSA History

Each year, in the Spring, the 3rd graders take the PSSAs in math and reading. The fourth grade is tested in reading, math and science. The fifth grade is evaluated in reading, mathematics and writing. Pennsylvania System of School Assessments, commonly called PSSAs are No Child Left Behind Act related examinations which were administered beginning 2003 to all Pennsylvania public school students in grades 3rd-8th.[120] The goal was for 100% of students to be on grade level or better in reading and mathematics, by the Spring of 2014.[121][122][123] The tests focused on the state's Academic Standards for reading, writing, mathematics and science. The Science exam is given to 4th grades and includes content in science, technology, ecology and the environmental studies.[124]

In 2012, 88% of the students were reading on grade level in grades 3rd through 5th. In math, 95% of the students in 3rd through 5th grades were on grade level and 66% scored advanced. In 4th grade science, 94% of the pupils were on grade level with 66% achieved advanced.[125]

Northern Elementary School[edit]

Northern Elementary School is located at 657 South Baltimore Street, Dillsburg. In 2014, the School's enrollment was 320 pupils in grades kindergarten through 5th, with 28% of pupils receiving a federal free or reduced price meals due to family poverty. Additionally, 12.5% of the pupils receive special education services, while 2% are identified as gifted.[126] According to a report by the Pennsylvania Department of Education, 100% of the teachers were rated highly qualified under No Child Left Behind. The school provides full day kindergarten.[127] The school is a federally designated Title I school.

According to the National Center for Education Statistics, in 2010, the school reported an enrollment of 301 pupils in grades kindergarten through 5th, with 60 pupils receiving a federal free or reduced-price lunch. Northern Elementary School employed 27 teachers, yielding a student–teacher ratio of 11:1.[128] According to a report by the Pennsylvania Department of Education, 100% of the teachers were rated "Highly Qualified" under No Child Left Behind.[129]

2014 School Performance Profile

Northern Elementary School achieved a score of 80.4 out of 100. The score reflects on grade level: reading, science, writing and mathematics achievement. In 2013-14, only 79% of the students were reading on grade level in grades 3rd through 5th. In 3rd grade, 80% of the pupils were reading on grade level. In math, 79% were on grade level (3rd-5th grades). In 4th grade science, 88% of the pupils demonstrated on grade level understanding. In writing, 62% of 5th grade pupils demonstrated on grade level skills.[130]

2013 School Performance Profile

Northern Elementary School achieved a score of 78.6 out of 100. The score reflects on grade level: reading, science, writing and mathematics achievement. In 2012-13, only 78% of the students were reading on grade level in grades 3rd through 5th. In 3rd grade, 83.6% of the pupils were reading on grade level. In math, 78.67% were on grade level (3rd-5th grades). In 4th grade science, just 95.8% of the pupils demonstrated on grade level understanding. In writing, only 69% of 5th grade pupils demonstrated on grade level skills.[131]

AYP history

From 2003 through 2012, Northern Elementary School achieved AYP status.[132] In 2012, only 75% of the students were reading on grade level in grades 3rd through 5th. In math, 86% of the students in 3rd through 5th grades were on grade level and 49% scored advanced. In 4th grade science, 96% of the pupils were on grade level with achieving 67% advanced.[133] In 2011, 81% of the students were reading on grade level in grades 3rd through 5th. In math, 81% of the students in 3rd through 5th grades were on grade level and 44% scored advanced. In 4th grade science, 98% of the pupils were on grade level with achieving 62% advanced.[134]

PSSA result

In 2012, 75% of the students were reading on grade level in grades 3rd through 5th. In math, 86% of the students in 3rd through 5th grades were on grade level and 49% scored advanced. In 4th grade science, 96% of the pupils were on grade level with 67% achieved advanced.[135]

South Mountain Elementary School[edit]

South Mountain Elementary School is located at 711 South Mountain Road, Dillsburg. In 2014, the South Mountain Elementary School's enrollment was 500 pupils in grades kindergarten through 5th, with 16% of pupils receiving a federal free or reduced price meals due to family poverty. Additionally, 10% of the pupils receive special education services, while 2% are identified as gifted.[136] According to a report by the Pennsylvania Department of Education, 100% of the teachers were rated highly qualified under No Child Left Behind. The school provides full day kindergarten.[137] The school is not a federally designated Title I school.

According to the National Center for Education Statistics, in 2010, South Mountain Elementary School reported an enrollment of 479 pupils in grades kindergarten through 5th, with 50 pupils receiving a federal free or reduced-price lunch. South Mountain Elementary School employed 30 teachers, yielding a student–teacher ratio of 16:1.[138] According to a report by the Pennsylvania Department of Education, 100% of the teachers were rated "Highly Qualified" under No Child Left Behind.[139]

2014 School Performance Profile

South Mountain Elementary School achieved a score of 76.3 out of 100. The score reflects on grade level: reading, science, writing and mathematics achievement. In 2013-14, only 72% of the students were reading on grade level in grades 3rd through 5th. In 3rd grade, 77.7% of the pupils were reading on grade level. In math, 78% were on grade level (3rd-5th grades). In 4th grade science, 93% of the pupils demonstrated on grade level understanding. In writing, only 55.8% of 5th grade pupils demonstrated on grade level skills.[140]

2013 School Performance Profile

South Mountain Elementary School achieved a score of out of 100. The score reflects on grade level: reading, science, writing and mathematics achievement. In 2012-13, 79% of the students were reading on grade level in grades 3rd through 5th. In 3rd grade, 78% of the pupils were reading on grade level. In math, 83.9% were on grade level (3rd-5th grades). In 4th grade science, 91% of the pupils demonstrated on grade level understanding. In writing, only 75% of 5th grade pupils demonstrated on grade level skills.[141]

AYP history

From 2003 through 2012, South Mountain Elementary School achieved AYP status each school year.[142] In 2012, just 80% of the students were reading on grade level in grades 3rd through 5th. In math, 85% of the students in 3rd through 6th grades were on grade level and 46% scored advanced. In 4th grade science, 93% of the pupils were on grade level with 62% achieving advanced.[143] In 2011, 82% of the students were reading on grade level in grades 3rd through 5th. In math, 83% of the students in 3rd through 6th grades were on grade level and 46% scored advanced. In 4th grade science, 90% of the pupils were on grade level with 55% achieving advanced.[144]

PSSA history

In 2012, 80% of the students were reading on grade level in grades 3rd through 5th. In math, 85% of the students in 3rd through 5th grades were on grade level and 46% scored advanced. In 4th grade science, 93% of the pupils were on grade level with 62% achieved advanced.[145]

Wellsville Campus[edit]

Wellsville Campus is located at 1060 Zeigler Road, Wellsville. In 2014, the Wellsville Campus' enrollment was 215 pupils in grades kindergarten through 5th, with 27% of pupils receiving a federal free or reduced price meals due to family poverty. Additionally, 11% of the pupils receive special education services, while 3% are identified as gifted.[146] According to a report by the Pennsylvania Department of Education, 100% of the teachers were rated highly qualified under No Child Left Behind. The school provides half day kindergarten.[147] The school is a federally designated Title I school.

According to the National Center for Education Statistics, in 2010, the school reported an enrollment of 218 pupils in grades kindergarten through 5th, with 51 pupils receiving a federal free or reduced-price lunch due to family poverty. Wellsville Campus employed 17 teachers, yielding a student–teacher ratio of 13:1.[148] According to a report by the Pennsylvania Department of Education, 100% of the teachers were rated "Highly Qualified" under No Child Left Behind.[149]

2014 School Performance Profile

Wellsville Campus achieved a score of 86 out of 100. The score reflects on grade level: reading, science, writing and mathematics achievement. In 2013-14, only 78% of the students were reading on grade level in grades 3rd through 5th. In 3rd grade, 84% of the pupils were reading on grade level. In math, 85% were on grade level (3rd-5th grades). In 4th grade science, 100% of the pupils demonstrated on grade level understanding. In writing, only 71% of 5th grade pupils demonstrated on grade level skills.[150]

2013 School Performance Profile

Wellsville Campus achieved a score of 82.9 out of 100. The score reflects on grade level: reading, science, writing and mathematics achievement. In 2012-13, 84.8% of the students were reading on grade level in grades 3rd through 5th. In 3rd grade, 100% of the pupils were reading on grade level. In math, 84.5% were on grade level (3rd-5th grades). In 4th grade science, 91% of the pupils demonstrated on grade level understanding. In writing only 66.6% of 5th grade pupils demonstrated on grade level skills.[151]

AYP history

From 2003 through 2012, Wellsville Campus achieved AYP status each school year.[152]

PSSA history

In 2012, 83% of the students were reading on grade level in grades 3rd through 5th. In math, 89% of the students in 3rd through 5th grades were on grade level and 47% scored advanced. In 4th grade science, 94% of the pupils were on grade level with 61% achieved advanced.[153]

In 2011, only 78% of the students were reading on grade level in grades 3rd through 5th. In math, 80% of the students in 3rd through 5th grades were on grade level and 50% scored advanced. In 4th grade science, 91% of the pupils were on grade level with 58% achieved advanced.[154]

Bullying policy[edit]

The Northern York County School District administration reported five incidents of bullying in 2016, out of a total of thirty-five reported incidents. Additionally, there were ten incidents involving law enforcement, and two total arrests.[155] There were six incidents of bullying reported in the District in 2012. Additionally, there were six incidents of racial intimidation and five sexual incidents involving students. The local law enforcement was involved in seventeen incidents at the schools with one arrest.[156] [157] Each year the school safety data is reported by the district to the Safe School Center which then publishes the compiled reports online. Nationally, nearly 20% of pupils report being bullied at school.[158]

In 2009, Northern York County School District administration reported there were 9 incidents of bullying in the district.[159][160]

Northern York County School Board prohibits bullying by district students and faculty. The board policy 249 (Adopted January 15, 2009) defines bullying and cyberbullying. 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.[161] 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.[162] 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.[163]

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.[164]

Special education[edit]

In December 2010, the Northern York County School District administration reported that 403 pupils or 12.6% of the district's pupils received Special Education services. Of those children identified, 45% had a specific learning disability.[165] Special education services in the Commonwealth are provided to students from ages three years to 21 years old. In the 2010-2011 school year, the total student enrollment was more than 1.78 million students with approximately 275,000 students eligible for special education services. Among these students 18,959 were identified with mental retardation and 21,245 students with autism.[166] The largest group of students are identified as Specific Learning Disabilities 126,026 students (46.9 percent) and Speech or Language Impairments with 43,542 students (16.2 percent).

In December 2010, the Northern York County School District administration reported that 426 pupils or 13.3% of the district's pupils received Special Education services. Of those children identified, 50% had a specific learning disability. In December 2009, the district administration reported that 427 pupils or 13% of the district's pupils received Special Education services.[167]

Northern York County School District engages in several identification procedures to ensure that eligible students receive an appropriate educational program consisting of special education and related services, individualized to meet student needs. At no cost to the parents, these services are provided in compliance with state and federal law; and are reasonably calculated to yield meaningful educational benefit and student progress. To identify students who may be eligible for special education, various screening activities are conducted on an ongoing basis. When a child experiences difficulty within the classroom, screening information will be gathered by the Child Study Team (CST) located within the child’s school to determine his or her specific needs. These screening activities include: review of group-based data (cumulative records, enrollment records, health records, report cards, ability and achievement test scores); hearing, vision, motor, and speech/language screening; and review by the Instructional Support Team or Student Assistance Team. 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 make a written request for a multidisciplinary evaluation to the building principal.[168]

In 2007, Pennsylvania Secretary of Education Gerald Zahorchak testified before the Pennsylvania House Education Committee regarding full day kindergarten. He claimed that districts which offered these programs would see a significant decrease in special education students, due to early identification and early intervention. He asserted the high cost of full day kindergarten would be recouped by Districts in lower special education costs.[169] Northern York County School District has not seen a decrease in the cots of special education students services.

In 2010, the state of Pennsylvania provided $1,026,815,000 for Special Education services. This funding is in addition to the state's basic education per pupil funding, as well as, all other state and federal funding.[170] 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.[171] The state requires each district to have a three-year special education plan to meet the unique needs of its special education students.[172] 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.[173] In 2012, the Obama Administration's US Department of Education issued a directive that schools include students with disabilities in extracurricular activities, including sports.[174]

Northern York County School District received a $1,527,273 supplement for special education services in 2010.[175] For the 2009-10, 2011–12, 2012–13 and 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.[176] For the 2014-2015 school year, Northern York County School District will receive an increase to $1,549,600 from the Commonwealth for special education funding.[177]

Additionally, the state provides supplemental funding for extraordinarily impacted students. The District must apply for this added funding.

Gifted education[edit]

The District Administration reported that 88 or 2.78% of its students were identified as gifted in 2009.[178] 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.[179] The Northern York County School district program consists of enrichment activities designed to broaden students’ academic and creative skills.[180]

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.[181]

In 2013, the average teacher salary in Northern York County School District rose to $51,878 a year, while the cost of the benefits teachers received was $24,511 per employee, for a total annual average teacher compensation of $76,389.[182][183]

In 2011, the average teacher salary in Northern York County School District was $49,895.94 a year, while the cost of the benefits teachers received was $16,059.50 per employee, for a total annual average teacher compensation of $66,955.44.[184]

In 2009, Northern York County School District reported employing 315 teachers with a salary range of $35,000 to $110,000.[185] The average salary in the district is $51,361.[186] According to a study conducted at the American Enterprise Institute, in 2011, public school teachers’ total compensation is roughly 50 percent higher than they would likely receive in the private sector. The study found that the most generous benefits that teachers receive are not accounted for in many studies of compensation, including: pension, retiree health benefits and job security.[187]

In 2007, Northern York County School District employed 209 teachers. The average teacher salary in the District was $47,614 for 180 days worked.[188] 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.[189] Additionally, the district's teachers receive: a defined benefit pension, health insurance, life insurance, vision insurance, dental insurance, college credit reimbursement, paid personal days, 10 paid sick days, paid bereavement days and other benefits.[190] Teachers receive additional pay for extra duties and are paid to attend meetings held outside of regular school hours.

Northern York County School District administrative costs per pupil in 2008 was $672 per pupil. The lowest administrative cost per pupil in Pennsylvania was $398 per pupil.[191] 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. Dr. Linda J. Lemmon was named superintendent in 2009. Superintendents and administrators receive a benefit package commensurate with that offered to the district's teachers' union.[192]

Reserves In 2008, Northern York County School District reported a zero balance in an unreserved-undesignated fund. The designated fund balance was reported as $5,883,065.[193] In 2010, Northern York County Administration reported an increase to $7,036,559.00 in the unreserved-undesignated fund balance. In 2012, The Administration reported $3,147,612 in its undesignated-unreserved fund or 7.7% of its budget amount. 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. By law the state limits the total unreserved-undesignated fund balance at 8% of the annual budget for school districts that have budgets over $19 million a year. According to the Pennsylvania Department of Education, from 2003 to 2010, as a whole, Pennsylvania school districts amassed nearly $3 billion in reserved funds.[194]

Per pupil spending Northern York County School District administration reported that per pupil spending in 2008 was $10,492 which ranked 439th in the state' 501 school districts.[195] In 2010, the per pupil spending had increased to $11,311.43 [196] Among the states, Pennsylvania’s total per pupil revenue (including all sources) ranked 11th at $15,023 per student, in 2008-09.[197] In 2007, the Pennsylvania per pupil total expenditures was $12,759.[198]

Audit In December 2010, the Pennsylvania Auditor General conducted a performance audit of the district. Multiple significant findings were reported to the administration and the school board, including possible conflicts of interests in the actions of board members. The audit found that during calendar years 2002 through 2007 the Northern York County School District purchased a total of $78,774 of preprinted forms and documents from a company that was at least partly owned by a sitting board member. Likewise, the audit revealed that during calendar years 2004 through 2007 the district purchased a total of $29,992 in heating, ventilating, and air conditioning services and repairs from a company in which another sitting board member had an ownership interest.[199] In 2012, another audit was conducted by the Pennsylvania Auditor General. Among the findings were that the Assistant Superintendent and one teacher lacked mandatory certifications for the positions. The situation was reported to the Pennsylvania Bureau of School Leadership and Teacher Quality. The District was fined for the infractions.[200]

Tuition Students who live in the Northern York County 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 York County 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 York County School District's schools. The 2012 tuition rates are Elementary School - $7,974.37, High School - $8,696.86.[201]

Northern York County School District is funded by a combination of: a local earned income tax 1.25%, a property tax, a real estate transfer tax, 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 the level of personal wealth.[202]

APA Study According to an extensive study of York County school districts conducted by APA Associates in 2008, Northern York County School District achieved a -2 rating based on Performance and Relative Efficiency. Central York School District and Northeastern York School District ranked +10. Eleven of 16 York County districts achieved a positive rating.[203]

State basic education funding[edit]

According to a report from Representative Todd Stephens office, Northern York County School District receives 33% of its annual revenue from the state.[204]

For the 2014-15 school year, Northern York County School District will receive $7,091,663 in State Basic Education funding. The District will also receive $299,212 in new Ready To Learn Block grant. The State’s enacted Education Budget includes $5,526,129,000 for the 2014-2015 Basic Education Funding.[205] The Education budget also includes Accountability Block Grant funding at $100 million and $241 million in new Ready to Learn funding for public schools that focus on student achievement and academic success. The State is paying $500.8 million to Social Security on the school employees behalf and another $1.16 billion to the state teachers pension system (PSERS). In total, Pennsylvania’s Education budget for K-12 public schools is $10 billion. This was a $305 million increase over 2013-2014 state spending and the greatest amount ever allotted by the Commonwealth for its public schools.[206]

In the 2013-2014 school year, Northern York County School District received a 2.4% increase or $7,091,663 in Pennsylvania Basic Education Funding. This is $166,811 more than its 2012-13 state BEF to the District. Additionally, Northern York County School District received $142,960 in Accountability Block Grant funding to focus on academic achievement and level funding for special education services. Among the public school districts in York County, Dover Area School District received the highest percentage increase in BEF at 7.5%. 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 increases 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.[207] The highest percent of state spending per student is in the Chester-Upland district, where roughly 78 percent comes from state coffers. In Philadelphia, it is nearly 49 percent.[208] As a part of the education budget, the state provided the PSERS (Pennsylvania school employee pension fund) with $1,017,000,000 and Social Security payments for school employees of $495 million.[209]

For the 2012-13 school year, Northern York County School District received $7,068,485 in state basic education funding.[210] 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 program. Northern York County School District received $142,960. The state also provided a $544.4 million payment for School Employees’ Social Security and $856 million for School Employees’ Retirement fund called PSERS.[211]

For the 2011-12 school year, Northern York County School District received a $6,925,274 allocation, of state Basic Education Funding.[212][213] Additionally, the School District received $142,960 in Accountability Block Grant funding. The enacted Pennsylvania state Education budget included $5,354,629,000 for the 2011-2012 Basic Education Funding appropriation. This amount is a $233,290,000 increase (4.6%) over the enacted State appropriation for 2010-2011.[214] 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.[215] In 2010, the district reported that 394 students received free or reduced-price lunches, due to the family meeting the federal poverty level.[216]

For the 2010-11 budget year, the Northern York County School District received a 3.96% increase in Basic Education Funding for a total of $7,516,567. One hundred fifty Pennsylvania school districts received the base 2% increase. The highest increase in York County was awarded to Hanover Public School District at 8.39%. Among Pennsylvania school districts, the highest increase in 2010-11 went to Kennett Consolidated School District in Chester County which received a 23.65% increase in state funding.[217] 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 determined by then Governor Edward Rendell and the Secretary of Education Gerald Zahorchak, through the allocation set in the state budget proposal made in February each year. This was the second year of Governor Rendell’s policy to fund some districts at a far greater rate than others.[218]

In the 2009-2010 budget year, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania provided a 4.41% increase in Basic Education funding for a total of $7,230,296 to Northern York County School District. Four school districts in York County received increases of over 6% in Basic Education Funding in 2009. The highest increase was awarded to Central York School District which received 12.54% in 2009. In York County, 12 school districts received a less than 6% increase in state basic education funding in 2009 and three districts received the base 2% increase. Ninety school districts in the commonwealth were given the base 2% increase. Among the 500 school districts in Pennsylvania, Muhlenberg School District in Berks County received the highest with a 22.31% increase in funding. The amount of increase each school district received was set by Governor Edward G. Rendell and the Secretary of Education Gerald Zahorchak, as a part of the state budget proposal. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Pennsylvania spent $7,824 Per Pupil in the year 2000. This amount had steadily increased to $12,085 by the year 2008.[219][220]

The state Basic Education funding to Northern York County School District in 2008-09 was $6,925,273.[221] According to the Pennsylvania Department of Education, 429 students, in the district, received free or reduced-price lunches due to low family income in the 2007-2008 school year.[222]

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 York County School District applied for and received $388,030 in addition to all other state and federal funding. The District used the funding to provide extensive teacher training to improve instruction, to use in classroom teacher coaches to train teachers, and to reduce class size K-3rd grade.[223][224]

Ready to Learn grant[edit]

Beginning in the 2014-2015 budget, the State funded a new Ready to Learn Grant for public schools. A total of $100 million is allocated through a formula to districts based on the number of students, level of poverty of community as calculated by its market value/personal income aid ratio (MV/PI AR) and the number of English language learners. Ready to Learn Block Grant funds may be used by the Districts for: school safety; Ready by 3 early childhood intervention programs; individualized learning programs; and science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) programs.[225]

Northern York County School District will receive $299,212 in Ready to Learn Grant dollars in addition to State Basic Education funding, Special Education funding, Accountability Block Grant funding, reimbursement for Social Security payments for employees and other state grants which the district must apply to receive.

Classrooms for the Future grant[edit]

The Classroom for the Future state program provided districts with hundreds of thousands of extra state funding to buy laptop computers for each core curriculum high school class (English, Science, History, Math) and paid for teacher training to optimize the computers use. The program was funded from 2006-2009. Northern York County School District did not apply to participate in 2006-07. In 2007-08 received $369,576 and $67,370 in 2008-09 for a total funding of $436,946.[226]

Project 720[edit]

Project 720 was a high school reform program implemented for three years under the Rendell administration. The intent was to increase academic rigor and improve the instruction of teachers in the Commonwealth’s high schools. Teachers were expected to use data driven instructional practices and to meet the needs of diverse learners.[227] The 720 in the name referred to the number of days a student was in high school in ninth through 12th grades. High school’s applied for funding and were required to agree to report to the PDE their plans, their actions and the outcomes. In 2007-08 budget year, the Commonwealth provided $11 million in funding. Northern York County School District was not one of the 161 PA public school district to apply and received no funding over three years.[228][229] For 2010-11, Project 720 funding was decreased to $1.7 million by Governor Rendell. The grant program was discontinued effective with the 2011-12 state budget.[230]

Other grants[edit]

Northern York County School District did not participate in: Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection's Environmental Education grants;[231][232] PA Science Its Elementary grants (discontinued effective with 2009-10 budget by Governor Rendell);[233] Education Assistance Grants, 2012 Striving Readers Comprehensive Literacy grant;[234] 2013 Safe Schools and Resource Officer grants; 2012 and 2013 Pennsylvania Hybrid Learning Grants;[235] Project 720 High School Reform grants (discontinued effective with 2011-12 budget); nor the 21st Century Learning Grants.

Federal Stimulus funding[edit]

Northern York County School District received an extra $1,042,476 in ARRA - Federal Stimulus money to be used in specific programs like special education and meeting the academic needs of low-income students.[236] The funding was limited to the 2009-10 and 2010-2011 school years.[237] Due to the temporary nature of the funding, schools were repeatedly advised to use the funds for one-time expenditures like acquiring equipment, making repairs to buildings, training teachers to provide more effective instruction or purchasing books and software.

Race to the Top grant[edit]

Northern York County School District officials did not apply for the Race to the Top federal grant. When approved for the grant, the District would have received millions in additional federal dollars for improving student academic achievement.[238] 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. Six York County school districts applied to participate. Pennsylvania was not approved for the grant. The failure of districts to agree to participate was cited as one reason that Pennsylvania was not approved.[239]

Common Cents state initiative[edit]

The Northern York County School Board decided to 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.[240] After the review of the information, the district was not required to implement the recommended cost savings changes.

Real estate taxes[edit]

The Northern York County School Board levied a real estate tax of 15.6296 mills in 2014-15.[241] 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 public school district revenues are dominated by two main sources: 1) Property tax collections, which account for the vast majority (between 75-85%) of local revenues; and 2) Act 511 tax collections, which are around 15% of revenues for school districts.[242] When a Pennsylvania public school district includes municipalities in two counties, each of which has different rates of property tax assessment, a state board called the State Tax Equalization Board (STEB), equalizes the tax rates between the counties.[243] In 2010, miscalculations by the State Tax Equalization Board were widespread in the Commonwealth and adversely impacted funding for many school districts, including those that did not cross county borders.[244]

The average yearly property tax paid by York County residents amounts to about 4.01% of their yearly income. York County ranked 232nd of the 3143 United States counties for property taxes as a percentage of median income.[251] According to a report prepared by the Pennsylvania Department of Education, the total real estate taxes collected by all school districts in Pennsylvania rose from $6,474,133,936 in 1999-00 to $10,438,463,356 in 2008-09 and to $11,153,412,490 in 2011.[252] 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%).[253]

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.[254]

The School District Adjusted Index for the Northern York County School District 2006-2007 through 2011-2012.[255]

For the 2014-15 budget year, Northern York County School Board did not apply for exceptions to exceed their Act 1 Index limit. In 2014-15, all Pennsylvania school districts were required to make a 21.4% of payroll payment to the teacher’s pension fund (PSERS).[260] For the school budget 2014-15, 316 Pennsylvania public school districts adopted a resolution certifying that tax rates would not be increased above its Act 1 Index limit. Another 181 school districts adopted a preliminary budget leaving open the option of exceeding the Index limit. Districts may apply for multiple exceptions each year. For the pension costs exception, 163 school districts received approval to exceed the Index in full, while others received a partial approval of their request. For special education costs, 104 districts received approval to exceed their tax limit. Seven Pennsylvania public school districts received an approval for the grandfathered construction debts exception.[261]

For the 2013-14 budget year, Northern York County School Board did not apply for exceptions to exceed their Act 1 Index limit. In 2013-14, all Pennsylvania school districts were required to make a 16.93% of payroll payment to the teacher’s pension fund (PSERS). For the school budget year 2013-14, 311 Pennsylvania public school districts adopted a resolution certifying that tax rates would not be increased above their index. Another 171 school districts adopted a preliminary budget leaving open the option of exceeded the Index limit. For the pension costs exception, 169 school districts received approval to exceed the Index. For special education costs, 75 districts received approval to exceed their tax limit. Eleven Pennsylvania public school districts received an approval for grandfathered construction debts.[262]

For the 2012-13 budget year, Northern York County School Board did not apply for exceptions to exceed the Act 1 Index. For 2012-2013, 274 school districts adopted a resolution certifying that tax rates would not be increased above their index; 223 school districts adopted a preliminary budget leaving open the option of exceeded the Index limit. For the exception for pension costs, 194 school districts received approval to exceed the Index. For special education costs, 129 districts received approval to exceed the tax limit. For the exception for pension costs, 194 school districts received approval to exceed the Index. For special education costs, 129 districts received approval to exceed the tax limit.[263]

For the 2011-12 school year, Northern York County School Board did not apply for an exception to exceed the Act 1 Index. Each year, the Northern York County School Board has the option of adopting either 1) a resolution in January certifying they will not increase taxes above their index or 2) a preliminary budget in February. A school district adopting the resolution may not apply for referendum exceptions or ask voters for a tax increase above the inflation index. A specific timeline for these decisions is published annually, by the Pennsylvania Department of Education.[264]

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.[265]

The Northern York County School Board did not apply for any exceptions to exceed the Act 1 index for the budget in 2011.[266] 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.[267]

Property tax relief[edit]

In 2010, the Homestead/Farmstead Property Tax Relief from gambling for the Northern York County School District was $119 per approved permanent primary residence. In the district, 6,098 property owners applied for the tax relief.[268] In 2009, the district's property tax relief amount was set at $208 to 6,019 approved homestead owners. In 2010 within York County, the highest amount went to York City School District set at $495 per approved homestead. 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.[269] CUSD was given $632 in 2009. This was the second year they were the top recipient.

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.

Extracurriculars[edit]

Northern York County School District's students have access to a variety of clubs, activities and an extensive, costly sports program.[270] Eligibility for participation is determined by the school board policy.[271] The District is part of the Mid-Penn Conference for sports. In 2011, the district reported spending over $825,000 providing sports to students. York School District spent $74,378 for the transportation of sports teams in 2011-12. The district charged a $20 activity fee to participate in sports.[272] Collectively, York County public schools spent over $9 million on sports budgets (does not include facility costs) in 2011-12.[273] In 2012 the Board eliminated seventh and eighth-grade football and ninth-grade basketball as part of the budget process.[274]

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.[275]

Sports[edit]

Coaches receive compensation as outlined in the teachers' union contract. When athletic competition exceeds the regular season, additional compensation is paid.[276] School District does not provide its athletics disclosure form on its web site.[277] Article XVI-C of the Public School Code requires the disclosure of interscholastic athletic opportunities for all public secondary school entities in Pennsylvania. All school entities with grades 7-12 are required to annually collect data concerning team and financial information for all male and female athletes beginning with the 2012-13 school year and submit the information to the Pennsylvania Department of Education. Beginning with the 2013-14 school year, all non-school (booster club and alumni) contributions and purchases must also be reported to PDE.[278]

According to Pennsylvania’s Safety in Youth Sports Act, all sports coaches, paid and volunteer, are required to annually complete the Concussion Management Certification Training and present the certification before coaching.[279][280]

A joint Pennsylvania School Board Association and Pennsylvania State Athletic Directors Association survey, conducted in 2012, found nearly one third (30%) of public school respondents indicated charging individual students $10 to $250, with a statewide average of $65 per-sport.[281][282]

The District funds:

Middle School Sports

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  278. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education (2013). "Interscholastic Athletic Opportunities Disclosure Form" (PDF). 
  279. ^ PA General Assembly (July 1, 2012). "Senate Bill 200 of Session 2011 Safety in Youth Sports Act". 
  280. ^ UMPC Sports Medicine (2014). "Managing Concussions in Student Athletes: The Safety in Youth Sports Act". 
  281. ^ Pennsylvania School Board Association Education Research & Policy Center, More PA school districts charging student participation fees, May 7, 2012
  282. ^ Pennsylvania School Board Association, Special Report on Pay-to-Play: Fees for Participation in Extracurricular Activities, August 2010

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 40°06′31″N 77°02′06″W / 40.10865°N 77.03502°W / 40.10865; -77.03502