Penn Manor High School

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Penn Manor High School
100 East Cottage Avenue

, ,

School typePublic, secondary
School districtPenn Manor School District
SuperintendentDr. Mike Leichliter[1][2] Salary $165,000 (2014) Contract June 2014 to June 30, 2019[3]
AdministratorPatrick Eichelberger, Special Education Coordinator
Jeff Roth, Athletic Director
PrincipalDr. Philip Gale
Faculty112 teachers (2012),[4] 111 teachers (2011)[5]
Enrollment1,627 (2015-16)[6]
Color(s)Blue and gold
Feeder schoolsMarticville Middle School and Manor Middle School

Penn Manor High School is a large, rural/suburban, public secondary school located in Millersville, Pennsylvania, United States. It is the sole high school operated by the Penn Manor School District. In 2013, enrollment was reported as 1,589 pupils in 9th through 12th grades, with 27% eligible for free lunches due to family poverty. Additionally, 17% received special education services, while 9.3% were identified as gifted. The school employed 112 teachers.[4] Per the PA Department of Education, 3% of the teachers were rated "non‐highly qualified" under the federal No Child Left Behind Act.[7]

According to the National Center for Education Statistics, in 2011, Penn Manor High School reported an enrollment of 1,639 pupils in grades 9 through, with 379 pupils eligible for a federal free or reduced-price lunches due to the family meeting the federal poverty level. In 2011, the school employed 112 teachers, yielding a student-teacher ratio of 14:1.[8] According to a report by the Pennsylvania Department of Education, 41 teachers were rated "non‐highly qualified" under No Child Left Behind.[9]

Virtual High School is available to students in 7th-12th grades. Students who meet graduation requirements receive a Penn Manor diploma. Penn Manor has partnered with Lancaster-Lebanon Intermediate Unit 13, as well as EdisonLearning, to provide this alternative to its students. By Pennsylvania law, all these students have full access to participate in Penn Manor School District's extracurricular activities.


The district offers an alternative education program for high school students. Students are graded in both academics and behavior each day. A student must earn a behavioral grade of 70% to be eligible to return to regular education, participate in program incentive events and field trips, or obtain administrative permission for extracurricular activities.

Graduation rate[edit]

In 2013, Penn Manor School District's graduation rate was 95.6%.[10] In 2012, the graduation rate was 92%.[11] In 2011, the graduation rate was 96%.[12] In 2010, the Pennsylvania Department of Education issued a new, four-year cohort graduation rate. Penn Manor High School's rate was 94% for 2010.[13]

Traditionally calculated graduation rate
  • 2009-2010 - 97% [14]
  • 2008-2009 - 97% [15]
  • 2007-2008 - 96% [16]
  • 2006-2007 - 96% [17]
  • 2005-2006 - 95% [18]
  • 2004-2005 - 93% [19]


2013 school performance profile[edit]

Penn Manor High School achieved 91.8 out of 100. This reflects on-grade level reading, mathematics and science achievement. In reading/literature, 82% were on grade level. In Algebra 1, 79% showed on-grade level math skills at the end of the class. In biology, only 37% showed on-grade level science understanding at the end of the class.[20] 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 PSSA. Instead, beginning in 2012, they take the Keystone Exams at the end of the associated course.[21]

AYP status history[edit]

In 2012, Penn Manor High School remained in "Corrective Action II 1st Year" status due to low graduation rate for low-income students, as well as low achievement of all students in reading and mathematics.[22]

In 2011, the school declined further to "Corrective Action II 1st Year" status due to low student achievement by four sub-groups, especially in math and reading.[23]

  • 2010 - declined to "Corrective Action I" due to chronic low achievement of its 11th grade students.
  • 2009 - declined to "School Improvement II"[24] Under No Child Left Behind, the school must allow students to transfer to a higher performing high school within the district. None is available.
  • 2008 - declined to "School Improvement Level I"
  • 2007 - Warning AYP status
  • 2006 - Achieved AYP status
  • 2005 - Making Progress School Improvement Level I
  • 2004 - Declined to School Improvement Level I
  • 2003 - Warning AYP status

PSSA results[edit]

Pennsylvania System of School Assessments, commonly called PSSAs, are No Child Left Behind Act-related examinations which were administered each spring from 2003 through 2012, in all Pennsylvania public high schools. 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.[25]

In 2013, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania changed its high school assessments to the Keystone Exams in Algebra 1, Reading/literature and Biology 1. The exams are given at the end of the course, rather than all in the spring of the student's 11th grade year.[26]

11th Grade Reading
  • 2011-2012 - 75% on grade level, (11% below basic). State - 67% [27]
  • 2010-2011 - 69% (16% below basic). State - 69.1% of 11th graders were on grade level.[28]
  • 2009-2010 - 71% (16% below basic). State - 66% [29]
  • 2008-2009 - 66% (16% below basic). State - 65% [29]
  • 2007-2008 - 72% (14% below basic). State - 65% [30]
  • 2006-2007 - 74% (13% below basic). State - 65% [31]
  • 2005-2006 - 78% (9% below basic). State - 65%
  • 2004-2005 - 71% (15% below basic). State - 65%
11th Grade Math:
  • 2011-2012 - 69% on grade level (16% below basic). State - 59%[32]
  • 2010-2011 - 60% (17% below basic). State - 60.3%
  • 2009-2010 - 58% (22% below basic). State - 59%
  • 2008-2009 - 58% (20% below basic). State - 56% [33]
  • 2007-2008 - 68% (18% below basic), State - 56% [34]
  • 2006-2007 - 66% (13% below basic). State - 53%
  • 2005-2006 - 71% (12% below basic). State - 52%
  • 2004-2005 - 63% (17% below basic). State - 51%
11th Grade Science:
  • 2011-2012 - 47% on grade level (16% below basic). State - 42% of 11th graders were on grade level.
  • 2010-2011 - 47% (13% below basic). State - 40%[35]
  • 2009-2010 - 45% (10% below basic). State - 39%
  • 2008-2009 - 49% (10% below basic). State - 40%
  • 2007-2008 - 49%, State - 39% [36]

College remediation[edit]

According to a Pennsylvania Department of Education study released in January 2009, 23% of Penn Manor High School graduates required remediation in mathematics and or reading before they were prepared to take college level courses in the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education or community colleges.[37] 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.[38] 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]

Penn Manor 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.[39] Students remain enrolled at their high school. The courses count towards high school graduation requirements and towards earning a college degree. The students continue to have full access to activities and programs at their high school. The college credits are offered at a deeply discounted rate. The state offers a small grant to assist students in costs for tuition, fees and books.[40] Under the Pennsylvania Transfer and Articulation Agreement, many Pennsylvania colleges and universities accept these credits for students who transfer to their institutions.[41] For the 2009-2010 funding year, the school district received a state grant of $13,500 for the program.[42]

Graduation requirements[edit]

The Penn Manor School Board has determined that 28 credits are required for graduation, including English - 4 credits, Social Studies - 4 credits, Science - 4 credits, Math - 4 credits, Physical Education/Safety - 1 credit, and Physical Education/Health - 1 credit. There is also a Family Consumer Science requirement.[43]

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] At Penn Manor School District the project focuses on career development.[45] Students must complete 30 hours of community service as a part of the graduation project. 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.[46]

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.[47] The exam is given at the end of the course. Keystone Exams replace the PSSAs for 11th grade.[48]

Students have several opportunities to pass the exam. Schools are mandated to provide targeted assistance to help the student succeed. Those who do not pass after several attempts can perform a project in order to graduate.[49][50] For the class of 2019, a composition exam will be added. For the class of 2020, a civics and government exam will be added.[51]

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.[52] 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.

Advanced Placement courses[edit]

In 2013, Penn Manor High School offered 15 AP courses, with 87% of pupils earning a 3 or better on the AP exam at the end of the course. The student pays the fee for the exam, which was $89 per test per pupil in 2012. Students have the option of taking College Board approved courses and then taking the College Board's examination in the spring. Students who achieve a 3 or better on the exam, may be awarded college credits at US universities and colleges. Each higher education institution sets its own standards about what level of credits are awarded to a student based on their AP exam score. Most higher education give credits for scores of 4 or 5. Some also give credits for scores of 3. High schools give credits towards graduation to students who take the school's AP class.[53] In 2010-2011, Penn Manor High School offered courses in the following Advanced Placement subjects:

Penn Manor High School also offers honors courses in a variety of subjects. Honors courses have an additional weighting of 0.5 extra quality points, while AP courses have an additional 1.0 extra quality point. Most of these AP courses run for a full academic year. The only AP course that runs in one semester is AP Microeconomics, available in the spring only.

Technology initiatives[edit]

In September 2007, Penn Manor High School was awarded $585,907 as part of the Pennsylvania Classrooms for the Future Project (CFF).[55] CFF funding was used to purchase 60 data projectors, 60 PolyVision interactive whiteboards, and 475 MacBook laptops.[56]

Penn Manor High School received a major technology renovation during the summer of 2009. The "Smart Classroom" renovation provided ceiling mounted data projectors, sound systems, and integrated multimedia switching boxes for most building classrooms. A new Meru wireless N network was also installed.[57]

Since June 2000, Penn Manor has been one of the few Pennsylvania schools to provide a webcast of senior graduation ceremonies. The live commencement webcast has been viewed by hundreds of viewers around the country and around the world.

Launched in July 2007, the Penn Manor Technology Blog [58] documents district instructional technology programs and projects.

Penn Points, the school's student news magazine, launched an online version in October 2009. The school then ceased all paper publications.[59]

The Penn Manor Technology Department is a regional leader in open source software in education. With a fleet of over 3500 classroom Ubuntu laptops, the district's Linux deployment is possibly the largest school implementation in Pennsylvania.[60] In January 2014, the Penn Manor High School launched the state's largest 1:1 laptop program running open source software exclusively.[60] Charlie Reisinger, IT Director, discussed the open source 1:1 laptop program and student technology help desk in a 2014 TEDx Lancaster talk titled "Enabling Students in a Digital Age".[61] Penn Manor High School's student help desk program was the subject of a Red Hat Films documentary, The Power of Open in Education.[62]

Code and programs developed by Penn Manor School District staff and students are shared on GitHub.[63]

Wellness policy[edit]

Penn Manor High School offers both a free school breakfast and a free or reduced-price lunch to children in low-income families. All students attending the school can eat breakfast and lunch. Children from families with incomes at or below 130 percent of the federal poverty level are provided a breakfast and lunch at no cost to the family. Children from families with incomes between 130 and 185 percent of the federal poverty level can be charged no more than 30 cents per breakfast. A foster child whose care and placement is the responsibility of the State or who is placed by a court with a caretaker household is eligible for both a free breakfast and a free lunch. Runaway, homeless and migrant youth are also automatically eligible for free meals.[64] The meals are partially funded with federal dollars through the United States Department of Agriculture.[65]


During the existence of this public high school, it has been known successively as the Manor Township High School, Manor-Millersville High School, and Penn Manor High School. Manor Township High School held its first graduation in 1922 at the Model School on George Street across from Old Main in Millersville, Pennsylvania. In 1932 Millersville became a borough, and the high school was operated jointly by the school directors of Manor Township and Millersville Borough. The school was renamed Manor-Millersville High School. Pupils from Conestoga, Martic and Pequea Townships as well as Washington Boro attended the school on a tuition basis. On July 13, 1953, an agreement was signed by six school boards – Conestoga Township, Manor Township, Martic Township, Millersville Borough, Pequea Township, and Washington Boro – to construct and operate a new junior-senior high school, to be named Penn Manor High School.[66]

Ground was broken on May 24, 1956, and the building was finished on September 4, 1958. The new auditorium, with a seating capacity of 1100, was dedicated on November 9, 1958, to A. Norman Ranck, supervising principal. The library was dedicated to Sanders P. McComsey, former president of the Joint School Board. The capacity of the building was 1500 students, and the cost of construction and equipment was $3,325,000. As described in a 1959 architectural journal, "The ultra-modern Penn Manor High School in traditionally conservative Lancaster County represents an abrupt break with many local building traditions. It also serves as an ingenious solution to a knotty architectural problem. Designing a large building to fit a relatively small site, with a fall of 55 feet in 700 feet, was further complicated by solid ledges of sub-surface rock. The result was a three level plan, molding the building to the contours of the site. Another unusual and interesting example of adapting the building to the site is the flat S-shape of the 600 foot long main corridor – interrupting what would have been an overly long, monotonous, and confining hallway." [67]

Delays were caused by a steel strike and a concrete strike, but the building was completed in September 1958, and the new school opened to 1425 students in grades 7-12.

In March 1961, the old high school building on High School Avenue was razed and the ground graded and seeded to provide additional outdoor physical education facilities. By 1961 the enrollment in grades 7-12 at Penn Manor High School had reached 1730, with an estimated enrollment of 2000 by 1964. The school board arranged to construct a new junior high school on the hill east of the high school for 600 pupils at an estimated cost of $1.2 million.

By 1966, increasing enrollment required another junior high school building in Marticville.[68] This $2.5 million building was dedicated in 1968 and designated as a middle school, housing grades 6-8. The Millersville Junior High was also reorganized as a middle school. The ninth grade remained in the high school, where a four classroom portable building was added. Millersville Middle School became a ninth grade building, and the high school housed grades 10-12. Students routinely crossed the parking tiers to change classes between buildings. As the district population continued to grow, the Penn Manor School Board found it necessary to add a second middle school in the northern end of the district. After acquiring 50 acres of land from the John G. Herr farm at the intersection of Charlestown Road and Ironstone Ridge Road, Manor Middle School[69] was completed in 1994.[70]

As student enrollment continued to grow, another renovation project was planned to increase the capacity of the high school while updating the facilities to better meet students' needs. The two-year project began in 1995 and required the ninth grade students to remain in their respective middle schools another year. Students in grades 10-12 occupied half of the high school while the other half was being renovated. Staff and students then picked up and moved all books, furniture and equipment into the renovated half of the building in 1996, and construction began on the other half. The $30 million renovation project connected the former ninth grade building and the high school. New construction took place over the former parking tiers with a new cafeteria (seating capacity of 600), gymnasium (capacity of 2000), library/media center, and enclosed walkway. All classrooms were reconfigured with additional classrooms located in the former library and cafeteria. The familiar curving hallways remained, but new terrazzo floors, ceiling tiles, and freshly painted lockers were added. Along with updated lab facilities, technology was a huge part of the project, as over 500 computers were added throughout the building.[71]

Penn Manor's switch to a 4 x 4 block schedule coincided with the renovation project. Where a traditional schedule has students moving to eight classes a day, the block schedule has four 90-minute classes in the fall and four different classes in the spring. Considering the size of the building, eight minutes were needed between classes to get from one end of the building to the other. The block schedule decreased the amount of time students spent in the hallways. Study halls were eliminated and graduation requirements were gradually increased from 21 to 28 credits required for graduation. All students are required to take four credits each in English, math, science and social studies. An honors program was developed and Advanced Placement offerings were increased.[72]


Penn Manor School District offers a wide variety of clubs, activities and an extensive sports. Eligibility to participate is set by school board policy.[73][74] All student athletes must be passing all credits with a "C" average to participate in extracurriculars. Tutoring assistance is available and required for struggling students.[75]

By Pennsylvania law, all K-12 students in the district, including those who attend a private nonpublic school, cyber charter school, or charter school, and those who are 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.[76][77][78]

Quiz Bowl[edit]

In 2006, the Quiz Bowl team consisting of members Justin Bradfield, Chelsea Shover, Kevin Brent, and Philip Gruber earned first place honors on WGAL's academic trivia show, BrainBusters.[79] In 2010, the team of Grant Elledge, Brendan Stoeckl, Lars Andersen, Henry Stewart, and Christine Sharp returned to the Brainbusters championship and earned a second-place finish (out of 38 teams).[80] In 2011, the team's lineup of Lars Andersen, Helen Hutchens, Morgan Flood, Garrett Young, and Anthony Cazillo made it to BrainBusters' Final Four, losing to rival Manheim Township.[81] Flood later appeared on Teen Jeopardy, losing in the first televised round.


In 2013, Penn Manor School District reported spending $571,106 on sports (not counting facility costs), and boosters contributed $553,508.[82] According to Pennsylvania's Safety in Youth Sports Act, all sports coaches, paid and volunteer, are required to complete annual Concussion Management Certification Training before coaching.[83][84]

Penn Manor coaches receive compensation as outlined in the teachers' union contract. When athletic competition exceeds the regular season, additional compensation is paid.[85]

The district funds:



PMHS is the home of the Comets sports teams, who compete in section 1 of the Lancaster-Lebanon League.[87] Penn Manor athletic teams have won four state championships. The girls' soccer team won the state title in both 2002 and 2005, and the boys' baseball team was the state champion in 2005. The girls' field hockey team won the state championship in 2008. The class of 2004's baseball team was the first to achieve a sectional championship since 1973. In addition, the wrestling team achieved section champions in 2006.

The girls' track and field teams of 1977 and 1978 were Lancaster County Champions and sent several girls on to compete and win at the District Track and Field Meet. Several girls went on to compete and place at the Pennsylvania State High School Track and Field Meet.

In 2006-07 the boys' basketball team, led by flashy guard Brandon Widener and 6-7 big-man Jordan Gibbs, made it all the way to the District Three Championship. They lost to perennial powerhouse Harrisburg High. They won their first round in states against Liberty, but bowed out in the second round to Philadelphia Public League champion Simon Gratz.

In 2008-2009 the football team had a revival season under new head coach Todd Mealy, going from a 1–9 record in 2007-08 to a 9-3 overall record the following year, bowing out in the second round of playoffs to powerhouse Cumberland Valley. The week four game against section one rival Hempfield saw the Comets defeat the Black Knights, who were led by previous PM coach Bob Forgrave.

The Penn Manor field hockey team made two consecutive state championship appearances in 2007 and 2008 under head coach Matthew Soto, and brought the title home to Millersville in 2008. In 2009, the Comets had an undefeated regular season in the Lancaster Lebanon League and proceeded to win the Section 1, Lancaster Lebanon League, and District III championship titles.


Penn Manor's theatre program, responsible for the fall play and spring musical, is called Penn Manor Productions. [88] The program teaches students how to build sets, hang lights, paint, design sound, apply realistic stage makeup, find scenic props, and assist with costumes. Recently the "techie" program has taken the next step. Students are now trained on all matters of theatre, so that they can run the auditorium for any production (play, musical, or assembly) without assistance. Being one of the largest programs at the school, Penn Manor Theatre offers hundreds of students an opportunity to learn about all aspects of the art of theatre.[89]

Penn Manor's theatre club is International Thespian Society (ITS) Troupe #274.[90] ITS meets once a week during homeroom club period. ITS members earn theatre points for hours spent on theatre work. Upon earning enough points for induction into ITS, students may wear ITS insignia at graduation; however, induction is not required for club participation. ITS activities include an apple dumpling fundraiser, aiding charities such as the TOTS-EAT food drive[91] and Broadway Cares/Equity Fights Aids,[92] attending the state conference,[93] and assisting Penn Manor Productions by serving as ushers for performances. Participation in both ITS and PMP is not required, but most ITS members are active in shows, and most PMP cast/crew are ITS members. ITS Troupe #274 is run by a group of elected student officers supervised by faculty director and advisers.[94]

During the International Thespian Society Conference held in December at Connellsville High School, Penn Manor students Katie Irwin and Charles Blymier were inducted into the 2010 PA Thespian Performance Hall of Fame and Technical Hall of Fame, respectively. In addition, Blymier won a Technical Cash Award, and Irwin was elected to the state board.[95]

National recognition[edit]

Penn Manor and Manor Middle school have participated in Team America Rocketry Challenge (TARC) since 2003. TARC is a national rocketry contest for grades 7-12. The school has reached the national finals every year, and won the national championship in 2004 with a team composed of Cam Aumet, Bob O'Connor, and Benjamin Raush. The Penn Manor Rocket teams have been recognized as among the best TARC programs in the country. In 2010, Penn Manor's TARC team won first place in the nation.[96] The team members were Brendan Stoeckl, Jordan Franssen, Nate Bernhardt, and Tyler Funk. The team traveled to London to compete against the national champions from the U.K. and France in an international rocketry competition at the Farnborough air show. On July 23, 2010, the team defeated the U.K. and France to bring the international title to the United States for the first time in the competition's history.[97]

Penn Manor's Technology Student Association (TSA) chapter has placed first in the nation in events.

Penn Manor's website initiatives and technology programs were selected by Macromedia/Adobe Software for a case study in 2005.[98]


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  98. ^ Adobe - Customer Showcase : Adobe Success Story : Adobe Customer Showcase

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 40°00′07″N 76°21′03″W / 40.0020°N 76.3507°W / 40.0020; -76.3507