Schuylkill Haven Area School District

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Schuylkill Haven Area School District
Map of Schuylkill County Pennsylvania School Districts.png
Address
501 East Main Street
Schuylkill Haven, Pennsylvania, Schuylkill County 17972
United States
Information
Type Public
Closed East Ward ES (1991), South Ward ES (1991)
School board 9 elected members
Superintendent Mrs. Lorraine M. Felker, Contract July 1, 2012- June 30, 2017),[1] salary $106,000 (2013) [2]
Administrator

Kimberly A Umphrey, Business Manager
Dr. Susan E. Morgan, Director of Curriculum, Instruction and Technology

Rene A. Reese, Director of Special Education
Principal Matthew J Horoschak, Schuylkill Haven El Ctr
Principal Matthew W Buletza, MS
Principal

Sarah E Yoder, HS

Dennis Siket, Asst Principal
Staff 95 non teaching staff members (2013)[3]
Faculty 92 (2013)
Grades K-12
Age 5 years old to 21 years old special education
Pupils

1,255 pupils (2015)[4]
1,264 pupils (2013)[5]
1,267 pupils (2012)[6]
1,343 pupils (2009-2010)[7]

1,461 pupils (2005-06)[8]
 • Kindergarten 101 (2013),[9] 107 (2010)
 • Grade 1 90 (2013), 109
 • Grade 2 95 (2013), 109
 • Grade 3 82 (2013), 101
 • Grade 4 98 (2013), 112
 • Grade 5 94 (2013), 94
 • Grade 6 78 (2013), 112
 • Grade 7 104 (2013), 93
 • Grade 8 103 (2013), 98
 • Grade 9 114 (2013), 101
 • Grade 10 101 (2013), 102
 • Grade 11 93 (2013), 111
 • Grade 12 102 (2013), 93 (2010)
 • Other Enrollment projected to decline to 1190 in 2019
Language English
Mascot Hurricanes
Budget

$17,294,797 (2013-14)[10]

$17,620,064 (2012-13)
Per pupil spending

$10,990 (2008)[11]
$12,314.58 (2010)[12]

$13,370.24 (2013)[13]
Website

The Schuylkill Haven Area School District is a small public school district in Schuylkill County, Pennsylvania. It serves the municipalities of Port Clinton, Landingville, Schuylkill Haven, and South Manheim Township. Schuylkill Haven Area encompasses approximately 55 square miles (140 km2). According to 2000 federal census data, it served a resident population of 8,202. By 2010, the District's population increased to 8,412 people.[14] The educational attainment levels for the Schuylkill Haven Area School District population (25 years old and over) were 84.8% high school graduates and 15.8% college graduates.[15] The District is one of the 500 public school districts of Pennsylvania and one of fourteen (14) public school districts in Schuylkill County in 2016.

According to the Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center, 37.7% of the District’s pupils lived at 185% or below the Federal Poverty Level [1] as shown by their eligibility for the federal free or reduced price school meal programs in 2012.[16] In 2009, the district residents’ per capita income was $17,511, while the median family income was $43,737.[17] In the Commonwealth, the median family income was $49,501 [18] and the United States median family income was $49,445, in 2010.[19] In Schuylkill County, the median household income was $45,012.[20] By 2013, the median household income in the United States rose to $52,100.[21] In 2014, the median household income in the USA was $53,700.[22]

According to District officials, in school year 2005-06, the Schuylkill Haven Area School District provided basic educational services to 1,461 pupils through the employment of 96 teachers, 48 full-time and part-time support personnel, and 5 administrators. By school year 2007-08 enrollment was 1,443 pupils. The district employed 106 teachers, 55 full-time and part-time support personnel, and 6 administrators. Schuylkill Haven Area School District received more than $8.1 million in state funding in school year 2007-08. In 2013-14, Schuylkill Haven Area School District administration reported a decline in enrollment to 1,273 pupils. The District employed: 101 teachers, 97 non teaching staff members and 8 administrators. The District received $8,000,927 in state funding in 2013-14.[23]

Schuylkill Haven Area School District operates: one elementary school, one middle school, and one high school. High school students may choose to attend the Schuylkill Technology Center for training in the construction and mechanical trades, as well as other careers. The Schuylkill Intermediate Unit IU29 provides the District with a wide variety of services like: specialized education for disabled students; state mandated training on recognizing and reporting child abuse; speech and visual disability services; criminal background check processing for prospective employees and professional development for staff and faculty.

Governance[edit]

Schuylkill Haven Area School District is governed by a 9-member board that is elected to serve four-year terms (no compensation), 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 President George W. Bush's No Child Left Behind Act, (renamed Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) in December 2015), which mandates the district focus its resources on student success in acquiring reading and math skills.[25] The school board is required by state law to post a financial report on the district in its website by March of each school year.[26]

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. Schuylkill Haven Area School Board enters into individual employment contracts for these positions. These contracts must be in writing and are subject to public discloure under the state’s Right to Know Act. In Pennsylvania, public school districts are required to give 150 days notice to the Superintendent and Business Manager regarding renewal of their employment contracts.[27] Pursuant to Act 141 of 2012 which amended the Pennsylvania School Code, all school districts that have hired superintendents on/after the fall of 2012 are required to develop objective performance standards and post them on the district’s website.[28]

The Commonwealth Foundation for Public Policy Alternatives Sunshine Review gave the school board and district administration a "F" for transparency based on a review of "What information can people find on their school district's website". It examined the school district's website for information regarding; taxes, the current budget, meetings, school board members names and terms, contracts, audits, public records information and more.[29]

Academic achievement[edit]

In 2015, Schuylkill Haven Area School District ranked 280th out of 493 Pennsylvania public school districts, by the Pittsburgh Business Times.[30] 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.[31] 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.[32]

  • 2014 - 273rd[33]
  • 2013 - 308th[34]
  • 2012 - 359th [35]
  • 2011 - 262nd[36]
  • 2010 - 138th[37]
  • 2009 - 149th
  • 2008 - 305th
  • 2007 - 259th of 501 school districts by the Pittsburgh Business Times.[38]

In 2009, the academic achievement, of the students in the Schuylkill Haven Area School District, was in the 50th percentile among all 500 Pennsylvania school districts Scale (0-99; 100 is state best) [39]

District AYP status history[edit]

In 2012, Schuylkill Haven Area School District achieved Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) status.[40] In 2011, Schuylkill Haven Area School District achieved Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP). In 2011, 94 percent of the 500 Pennsylvania public school districts achieved the No Child Left Behind Act progress level of 72% of students reading on grade level and 67% of students demonstrating on grade level math. In 2011, 46.9 percent of Pennsylvania school districts achieved Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) based on student performance. An additional 37.8 percent of Pennsylvania public school districts made AYP based on a calculated method called safe harbor, 8.2 percent on the growth model and 0.8 percent on a two-year average performance.[41][42] Schuylkill Haven Area School District achieved AYP status each year from 2004 to 2010, while in 2003 the District was in Warning status due to lagging student achievement.[43]

Graduation rate[edit]

In 2015, the graduation rate was 93.27%.[44]

  • 2014 - 89.11%
  • 2013 - 90.10%[45]
  • 2012 - 92%
  • 2011 - 93%.[46]
  • 2010 - 80%, the Pennsylvania Department of Education issued a new, 4-year cohort graduation rate.[47]
According to traditional graduation rate calculations

High school[edit]

Schuylkill Haven High School is located at 120 Haven Street, Schuylkill Haven. In 2015, enrollment was reported as 511 pupils in 8th through 12th grades, with 42% of pupils eligible for a free lunch due to the family meeting the federal federal poverty level. Additionally, 20.9% of pupils received special education services, while 3.9% of pupils were identified as gifted.[52] The school employed 34 teachers.[53] Per the PA Department of Education, 100% of the teachers were rated "Highly Qualified" under the federal No Child Left Behind Act.[54]

In 2010, Schuylkill Haven High School enrolled 523 students in grades 8th through 12th, with 172 students qualifying for the federal free or reduced-price lunch due to family poverty. The school reported employing 40 teachers, yielding a student–teacher ratio of 13:1.[55]

2015 School Performance Profile

Schuylkill Haven High School achieved 71.8 out of 100. Reflects on grade level reading, mathematics and science achievement. The PDE reported that 74.7% of the High School’s students were on grade level in reading/literature. In Algebra 1, 68.9% of students showed on grade level skills at the end of the course. In Biology I, 67.9% demonstrated on grade level science understanding at the end of the course. Among eighth graders, 59% demonstrated on grade level reading and writing skills. Just 21% were on grade level in mathematics in eighth grade. In science, 62% showed on grade level science understanding.[56] Statewide, 53 percent of schools with an eleventh grade achieved an academic score of 70 or better. Five percent of the 2,033 schools with 11th grade were scored at 90 and above; 20 percent were scored between 80 and 89; 28 percent between 70 and 79; 25 percent between 60 and 69 and 22 percent below 60. The Keystone Exam results showed: 73 percent of students statewide scored at grade-level in English, 64 percent in Algebra I and 59 percent in biology.[57][58]

2014 School Performance Profile

Schuylkill Haven High School achieved 75 out of 100. Reflects on grade level reading, mathematics and science achievement. In reading/literature - 81% were on grade level. In Algebra 1, 74% showed on grade level skills. In Biology, just 56% demonstrated on grade level science understanding at the end of the course. Among eighth graders, 88.7% demonstrated on grade level writing skills.[59] 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%.[60]

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.[61] Fifty-three percent of schools statewide received lower SPP scores compared with last year's, while 46 percent improved. A handful were unchanged.[62][63]

2013 School Performance Profile

Schuylkill Haven High School achieved 79 out of 100. Reflects on grade level reading, mathematics and science achievement. In reading/literature, 80% were on grade level. In Algebra 1, 69% showed on grade level skills. In Biology, 55.9% showed on grade level science understanding. Among eighth graders, 87% demonstrated on grade level writing skills.[64] 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.[65]

AYP history

In 2012, Schulykill Haven High School improved to achieving Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) status due to safe harbor provisions.[66] Safe Harbor is achieved when a subgroup has greatly improved since the previous year, even though they did not meet the state goal. In 2011, the school declined to Warning status due to low student achievement in reading and math. In 2010, Schuylkill Haven High School achieved AYP.[67] In 2010, the attendance rate was reported at 95%. From 2004 to 2009, Schuylkill Haven HIgh School achieved AYP status each school year. In 2003 the School was in Warning status due to lagging student achievement especially in mathematics.

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.[68]

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 applicable course, rather than all in the spring of the student's 11th grade year.[69]

11th Grade Reading
  • 2012 - 70% on grade level, (12% below basic). State - 67% of 11th graders are on grade level.[70]
  • 2011 - 60% (21% below basic). State - 69.1%[71]
  • 2010 - 61%, (19% below basic). State - 67% [72]
  • 2009 - 73%, State - 65% [73]
  • 2008 - 66%, State - 65%[74]
  • 2007 - 60%, State - 65% [75]
11th Grade Math
  • 2012 - 65% on grade level (19% below basic). In Pennsylvania, 59% of 11th graders are on grade level.[76]
  • 2011 - 54% (32% below basic). State - 60.3%[77]
  • 2010 - 55% (22% below basic). State - 59%
  • 2009 - 68%, State - 56%
  • 2008 - 63%, State - 56% [78]
  • 2007 - 38%, State - 53%
11th Grade Science
  • 2012 - 42% on grade level (9% below basic). State - 42% of 11th graders were on grade level.[79]
  • 2011 - 34% (22% below basic). State - 40%[80]
  • 2010 - 33% (14% below basic). State - 39%
  • 2009 - 40%, State - 40%
  • 2008 - 52%, State - 39%

Science in Motion Schuylkill Haven High School did not 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.[81] 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, 75% of Schuylkill Haven Area 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.[82][83] 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.[84][85] 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]

Schuylkill Haven High School offers the Pennsylvania dual enrollment program. This state program permits high school students to take courses, at local higher education institutions, to earn college credits. Students remain enrolled at their high school. The courses count towards high school graduation requirements and towards earning a college degree. The students continue to have full access to activities and programs at their high school. The college credits are offered at a deeply discounted rate. The School works in cooperation with Penn State Schuylkill to offer the courses. Under the Pennsylvania Transfer and Articulation Agreement, many Pennsylvania colleges and universities accept these credits for students who transfer to their institutions.[86] The Pennsylvania College Credit Transfer System reported in 2009, that students saved nearly $35.4 million by having their transferred credits count towards a degree under the new system.[87]

SAT scores[edit]

In 2014, 78 Schuylkill Haven Area School District students took the SAT exams. The District's Verbal Average Score was 476. The Math average score was 486. The Writing average score was 442.[88][89] 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.[90] In 2014, 1,672,395 students took the SATs in the United States.

In 2013, 72 Schuylkill Haven School District students took the SAT exams. The District's Verbal Average Score was 491. The Math average score was 493. The Writing average score was 441. 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.[91]

In 2012, 67 Schuylkill Haven School District students took the SAT exams. The District's Verbal Average Score was 482. The Math average score was 494. The Writing average score was 451. 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, 74 Schuylkill Haven students took the SAT exams. The district's Verbal Average Score was 472. The Math average score was 487. The Writing average score was 428.[92] Pennsylvania ranked 40th among states with SAT scores: Verbal - 493, Math - 501, Writing - 479.[93] 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.[94]

The Center for Rural Pennsylvania, a research arm of the Pennsylvania General Assembly, compared the SAT data of students in rural areas of Pennsylvania to students in urban areas. From 2003 to 2005, the average total SAT score for students in rural Pennsylvania was 992, while urban students averaged 1,006. During the same period, 28 percent of 11th and 12th graders in rural school districts took the exam, compared to 32 percent of urban students in the same grades. The average math and verbal scores were 495 and 497, respectively, for rural students, while urban test-takers averaged 499 and 507, respectively. Pennsylvania’s SAT composite score ranked low on the national scale in 2004. The composite SAT score of 1,003 left Pennsylvania ranking 44 out of the 50 states and Washington, DC.[95] The Pennsylvania Department of Education reported that 71 percent of students in rural areas of Pennsylvania chose to continue their education after high school in 2003, whereas 79 percent of urban high school graduates opted to continue their education.

Graduation requirements[edit]

The Schuylkill Haven Area School Board has determined that a total of 24.50 credits are required for graduation, including English 4 credits, Science 4 credits, Math 4 credits, Social Studies 4 credits, Physical Education 2 credits, Health/safety 0.50 credits, Art/Music 0.5 credits and more. Students must also complete a community service requirement (minimum 48 hours).[96]

Since 1984, all Pennsylvania secondary school students were required to 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.[97] 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.[98]

By Pennsylvania School Board regulations, for the graduating classes of 2019,[99] students must demonstrate successful completion of secondary level course work in Algebra I, Biology, English Composition, and Literature.[100] 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.[101][102] The exam is given at the end of the course. Keystone Exams replace the PSSAs for 11th grade.[103][104][105] Plans include 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.[106] 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.[107] 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 Individual Education Plan (IEP).

Eighth grade[edit]

8th Grade Reading
  • 2015 - 59% on grade level
  • 2014 - included in high school data
  • 2013 - included in high school data
  • 2012 - 78% on grade level (9% below basic). In Pennsylvania, 79% of 8th graders on grade level.[108]
  • 2011 - 75% (10% below basic). State - 81.8%[109]
  • 2010 - 70% (15% below basic). State - 81%[110]
  • 2009 - 81%, State - 80%[111]
  • 2008 - 78%, State - 78%[112]
  • 2007 - 78%, State - 75%[113]
8th Grade Math
  • 2015 - 21% on grade level
  • 2014 - included in high school data
  • 2013 - included in high school data
  • 2012 - 79% on grade level (9% below basic). State - 76%
  • 2011 - 74% (12% below basic). State - 76.9%
  • 2010 - 67% (18% below basic). State - 75%
  • 2009 - 64%, State - 71%
  • 2008 - 65%, State - 70% [114]
  • 2007 - 65%, State - 67%
8th Grade Science
  • 2015 - 62.8 on grade level
  • 2014 - included in high school data
  • 2013 - included in high school data
  • 2012 - 63% (14% below basic). State – 59% of 8th graders were on grade level.
  • 2011 - 55% (23% below basic). State – 58.3%
  • 2010 - 56% (28% below basic). State: 57%
  • 2009 - 63%, State - 54% [115]
  • 2008 - 52%, State - 52% [116]

Middle school[edit]

Schuylkill Haven Middle School is located at 120 Haven Street, Schuylkill Haven. In 2015, enrollment declined to 276 pupils, in grades 5th through 7th, with 52% of pupils eligible for a free lunch due to family poverty. Additionally, 22% of pupils received special education services, while 1.8% of pupils were identified as gifted.[117] According to a 2014 report by the Pennsylvania Department of Education, 100% of its teachers were rated "Highly Qualified" under No Child Left Behind.[118]

In 2010, Schuylkill Haven Middle School enrolled 310 students in grades 5th through 7th, with 105 pupils receiving a federal free or reduced-price lunch due to family poverty. The school employs 22 teachers, yielding a student–teacher ratio of 13:1.[119] In 2010 and 2011 the school achieved AYP status.[120] The attendance rate in 2010 was 95%.

2015 School Performance Profile

The PDE withheld SPP scores. It was reported that in 7th grade, 51% were on grade level in reading, while just 35% showed on grade level math skills. Among 6th graders, 70% were on grade level in reading and 40% were on grade level in mathematics. Among fifth graders, only 58% of 5th grade students were on grade level in reading. In mathematics, only 26% of 5th grade students showed on grade level skills. No fifth grade writing scores were reported.[121] Statewide, Pennsylvania 7th graders were 58% on grade level in reading and 33% demonstrated on grade level math skills. Among sixth (6th) graders, 60.7% were reading on grade level, while 39.7% demonstrated on grade level math skills. Statewide 61.9% of fifth (5th) graders were on grade level in reading, while 42.8% demonstrated on grade level math skills.[122]

2014 School Performance Profile

Schuylkill Haven Middle School achieved a score of 76.5 out of 100. Reflects on grade level reading, mathematics and writing achievement. In reading/literature - 65% were on grade level. In Algebra 1/Math, 71% showed on grade level mathematics skills. In writing, 84% of the 5th grade students demonstrated on grade level writing skills.[123]

2013 School Performance Profile

Schuylkill Haven Middle School achieved 82.1 out of 100. Reflects on grade level reading, writing, mathematics and writing achievement. In reading, just 69% of the students were on grade level. In Mathematics/Algebra 1, 80% of the students showed on grade level skills. In writing, 69.9% of the 5th grade students demonstrated on grade level writing skills.[124] 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 history

From 2003 to 2012, Schuylkill Haven Middle School achieved Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) status each school year.[125] In 2012, AYP status was awarded despite declining scores through safe harbor.[126]

PSSA results

Sixth and seventh grades have been tested in reading and mathematics since 2006. Fifth grade is tested in reading, math and writing. The goal is for 100% of students to be on grade level or better in reading and mathematics, by the Spring of 2014. The tests focus on the state's Academic Standards for reading, writing, mathematics and science.[127] The standards were published in 1998 and are mandated by the Pennsylvania State Board of Education.[128] In 2014, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania adopted the Pennsylvania Core Standards - Mathematics.[129]

Dropout Early Warning System

In 2013, Schuylkill Haven School District did not implement a no cost dropout prevention Early Warning System and Interventions Catalog at the junior high school.[135] The process identifies students at risk for dropping out by examining the pupil’s: attendance, behavior and course grades. Interventions are implemented to assist at-risk pupils to remain in school. The program is funded by federal and private dollars.[136]

Elementary School[edit]

Schuylkill Haven Elementary Center is located at 701 East Main Street, Schuylkill Haven. In 2015, the Center's enrollment was 466 pupils in grades kindergarten through 4th, with 43% of pupils receiving a federal free or reduced price meals due to family poverty. Additionally, 16.7% of the pupils receive special education services, while 0.4% are identified as gifted.[137] 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.[138] The school is a federally designated Title I school.

In 2013, the Center's enrollment was 450 pupils in grades kindergarten through 4th, with 41% of pupils receiving a federal free or reduced price meals due to family poverty. Additionally, 20% of the pupils receive special education services, while 0.89% are identified as gifted.[139] 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.[140] The school is a federally designated Title I school.

In 2010, Schuylkill Haven Elementary Center enrolled 510 pupils kindergarten through 4th grade, with 216 students receiving a federal free lunch due to family poverty. The school employed 44 teachers, yielding a student–teacher ratio of 11:1.[141] The school has provided full day kindergarten to all its pupils since 2003.[142]

2015 School Performance Profile

According to the Pennsylvania Department of Education, 59% of 4th grade students at Schuylkill Haven Elementary Center were on grade level in reading on the PSSAs given in April 2015. In mathematics, only 26% of 4th grade students showed on grade level skills. In science, 81% of fourth graders showed on grade level understanding. Among third (3rd) graders, 78% were on grade level in reading and just 56% were on grade level in mathematics.[143] Statewide, 4th graders were 58.6% on grade level in reading and 44.4% demonstrated on grade level math skills. In science, 77.3% of fourth graders showed on grade level understanding. Among Pennsylvania third (3rd) graders, 62% were reading on grade level, while 48.5% demonstrated on grade level math skills.[144]

2014 School Performance Profile

Schuylkill Haven Elementary Center achieved a score of 71.5 out of 100. The score reflects on grade level: reading, science and mathematics achievement. In 2013-14, 77% of the students were reading on grade level in grades 3rd and 4th. In 3rd grade, 84% of the pupils were reading on grade level. In math, 80.6% were on grade level (3rd-4th grades). In 4th grade science, just 77.9% of the pupils demonstrated on grade level understanding.[145]

2013 School Performance Profile

Schuylkill Haven Elementary Center achieved a score of 72 out of 100. The score reflects on grade level: reading, science and mathematics achievement. In 2012-13, 75% of the students were reading on grade level in grades 3rd through 4th. In 3rd grade, 82.5% of the pupils were reading on grade level. In math, 83% were on grade level (3rd-4th grades). In 4th grade science, 82% of the pupils demonstrated on grade level understanding.[146] 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 history

In 2003 through 2012, Schuylkill Haven Elementary Center achieved AYP status each school year.[147][148]

PSSA history

Each year, in the Spring, in order to comply with the federal No Child Left Behind Law, the 3rd graders take the PSSAs in math and reading. The fourth grade is tested in reading, math and science. 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.[149] The goal was for 100% of students to be on grade level or better in reading and mathematics, by the Spring of 2014.[150][151][152] 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.[153] The first cohort of children who attended Accountability Block Grant funded full-day kindergarten reached third grade and took the PSSAs in the spring of 2008.

4th Grade Science
  • 2012 - 89%, (2% below basic). State - 82%
  • 2011 - 76%, (6% below basic). State – 82.9%
  • 2010 - 79%, (5% below basic). State - 81%
  • 2009 - 90%, State - 83%[159]
  • 2008 - 86%, State - 81%

Special education[edit]

In December 2013, Schuylkill Haven Area School District administration reported that 243 pupils or 19.9% of the district's pupils received Special Education services, with 53.5% of the identified students having a specific learning disability.[161] In December 2011, the District administration reported that 262 pupils or 19.4% of the district's pupils received Special Education services, with 53.4% of the identified students having a specific learning disability.[162]

In December 2009, Schuylkill Haven Area School District administration reported that 268 pupils or 19.9% of the district's pupils received Special Education services.[163]

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 the program 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.[164] Schuylkill Haven Area School District has provided full day kindergarten since 2008. The District has seen a slight increase in the percentage of special education students it serves, yielding no savings.

The District engages in 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. 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 may verbally request a multidisciplinary evaluation from a professional employee of the District or contact the Supervisor of Special Education.[165] By Pennsylvania law, the District has 60 calendar days, after receiving parental consent, to complete the evaluation.[166][167][168] The IDEA 2004 requires each school entity to publish a notice to parents, in newspapers or other media, including the student handbook and website regarding the availability of screening and intervention services and how to access them.

Students who have an Individual Education Plan (IEP) may take the PSSA-M an alternative math exam rather than the PSSA.[169] Some special education students may take the PASA (Pennsylvania Alternate System of Assessment), rather than the PSSA.[170] Schools are permitted to provide accommodations to some students.[171]

In 2010, the state of Pennsylvania provided $1,026,815 for Special Education services. The funds were distributed to districts based on a state policy which estimates that 16% of the district's pupils are receiving special education services. It also assumes that each student’s needs accrue the same level of costs.[172] Over identification 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] This funding is in addition to the state's basic education per pupil funding, as well as, all other state and federal funding.[174] IDEA funds are appropriated to the state on an annual basis and distributed through intermediate units (IUs) to school districts, while state funds are distributed directly to the districts. Total funds that are received by school districts are calculated through a formula. The Pennsylvania Department of Education oversees four appropriations used to fund students with special needs: Special Education; Approved Private Schools; Pennsylvania Chartered Schools for the Deaf and Blind; and Early Intervention. The state requires each public school district and charter school to have a three-year special education plan to meet the unique needs of its special education students.[175] In 2012, the Obama Administration's US Department of Education issued a directive requiring public schools include students with disabilities in extracurricular activities, including sports.[176]

Schuylkill Haven Area School District received a $683,995 supplement for special education services in 2010.[177] For the 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 was 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.[178][179]

  • 2014-15 school year, SHASD received an increase to $706,839 from the Commonwealth for special education funding.[180]
  • 2016-17 school year, Schuylkill Haven Area School District received a 2.7% increase in state special education funding to $753,142.[181]

Gifted education[edit]

Schuylkill Haven Area School District Administration reported that 39 or 2.90% of its students were gifted in 2009.[182] By law, the district must provide mentally gifted programs at all grade levels. The primary emphasis is on enrichment and acceleration of the regular education curriculum through a push in model with the gifted instructor in the classroom with the regular instructor. This approach permits such specialized instructional strategies as tiered assignments, curriculum compacting, flexible grouping, learning stations, independent projects and independent contracts. Students identified as gifted attending the High School have access to honors and advanced placement courses, and dual enrollment with local colleges. 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.[183]

Bullying and school safety[edit]

The Schuylkill Haven Area School District administration reported there were no incidents of bullying in the district in 2014. There was an assault and an incident of threatening a school official. The police were involved in eight incidents with no arrests made.[184] 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.[185]

The Schuylkill Haven Area School District administration reported there were no incidents of bullying in the district in 2009.[186][187]

The Schuylkill Haven Area School Board has provided the district's antibully policy online. In addition a Bully Tip Line has been established for anonymous reporting.[188] 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.[189] 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.[190] According to the Center for Disease Control’s biannual national study of high school students in 2009, five percent of Pennsylvania students did not go to school for at least one day because they felt unsafe at school or on their way to or from school.[191]

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.[192]

Safe School grant[edit]

In 2012, Schuylkill Haven Area School District was awarded $6,405 in a state Safe Schools Targeted Grant. The maximum of $25,000 grants were awarded through a competitive application process.[193] The funds must be used for research based interventions, like: peer mediation, staff training in managing behavioral issues and creating a positive school climate. In 2013, the District did not receive another Safe Schools grant.[194]

Wellness policy[edit]

Schuylkill Haven Area School Board established a district wellness policy in July 2006.[195] The policy deals with nutritious meals served at school, the control of access to some foods and beverages during school hours, age appropriate nutrition education for all students, and physical education for students K-12. The policy is in response to state mandates and federal legislation (P.L. 108 - 265). The law dictates that each school district participating in a program authorized by the Richard B. Russell National School Lunch Act (42 U.S.C. 1751 et seq) or the Child Nutrition Act of 1966 (42 U.S.C. 1771 et seq) "shall establish a local school wellness policy by School Year 2006."

The legislation placed the responsibility of developing a wellness policy at the local level so the individual needs of each district can be addressed. According to the requirements for the Local Wellness Policy, school districts must set goals for nutrition education, physical activity, campus food provision, and other school-based activities designed to promote student wellness. Additionally, districts were required to involve a broad group of individuals in policy development and to have a plan for measuring policy implementation. Districts were offered a choice of levels of implementation for limiting or prohibiting low nutrition foods on the school campus. In final implementation these regulations prohibit some foods and beverages on the school campus.[196]

The Pennsylvania Department of Education required Schuylkill Haven Area School District to submit a copy of the policy for approval. A study was conducted of the submitted policies (n=499). It found that the majority of districts complied with the mandates of the law. Most districts identified the superintendent and school foodservice director as responsible for ensuring local wellness policy implementation.[197]

Schuylkill Haven Area School District 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.[198] The meals are partially funded with federal dollars through the United States Department of Agriculture.[199]

In 2013, the USDA issued new restrictions to foods in public schools. The rules apply to foods and beverages sold on all public school district campuses during the day. They limit vending machine snacks to a maximum of 200 calories per item. Additionally, all snack foods sold at school must meet competitive nutrient standards, meaning they must have fruits, vegetables, dairy or protein in them or contain at least 10 percent of the daily value of fiber, calcium, potassium, and Vitamin D.[200] In order to comply with the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 all US public school districts are required to raise the price of their school lunches to $2.60 regardless of the actual cost of providing the lunch.[201] The Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 mandates that Districts raise their full pay lunch prices every year until the price of non-subsidized lunches equals the amount the federal government reimburses schools for free meals. That subsidy in 2013-2014 was $2.93. In 2015, federal reimbursement rates were: $3.07 per meal for students who are income-eligible for free lunches and $2.67 for those who qualify for a reduced price. School lunch participation nationally dropped from 31.6 million students in 2012 to 30.4 million in 2014, according to the federal Department of Agriculture. Pennsylvania statistics show school lunch participation dropped by 86,950 students in the same two years, from 1,127,444 in 2012 to 1,040,494 in 2014.[202]

In 2014, President Barack Obama ordered a prohibition of advertisements for unhealthy foods on public school campuses during the school day.[203][204]

The US Department of Agriculture requires that students take milk as their beverage at lunch. In accordance with this law, any student requesting water in place of milk with their lunch must present a written request, signed by a doctor, documenting the need for water instead of milk.[205][206]

Schuylkill Haven Area School District provides health services as mandated by the Commonwealth and the federal government. Nurses are available in each building to conduct annual health screenings (data reported to the PDE and state Department of Health) and to dispense prescribed medications to students during the school day. Students can be excluded from school unless they comply with all the State Department of Health’s extensive immunization mandates. School nurses monitor each pupil for this compliance.[207][208] Nurses also monitor each child's weight.[209]

In 2016, the Pennsylvania Department of Health distributed to each Pennsylvania high school the overdose antidote drug naloxone in a nasal spray. School nurses were also provided with educational materials and training developed by the National Association of School Nurses.[210] The cost was covered by a grant from a private foundation.[211]

Health eTools program

Schuylkill Haven Area School District participated in Highmark Foundation’s Healthy High 5 Health eTools for Schools grant which enabled mobile data collection of pertinent health and physical fitness screening data on students K-12 in a database held by InnerLink, Inc. in Lancaster, Pennsylvania.[212] Health eTools for Schools also provided interdisciplinary research-based curriculum in nutrition, physical education and physical activity to participating districts. The program was discontinued by the company in 2013.[213]

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.[214]

In 2013, the average teacher salary in Schulykill Haven Area School District was $49,286 a year.[215] The District employed 130 teachers with a top salary of $106,000.[216][217] Pennsylvania teacher salaries (2013–14) are searchable in a statewide database provided by TribLive News.[218] Schuylkill Haven Area School District teacher and administrator retirement benefits are equal to at least 2.00% x Final Average Salary x Total Credited Service. (Some teachers benefits utilize a 2.50% benefit factor.)[219] After 40 years of service, Pennsylvania public school teachers and administrators can retire with 100% of the average salary of their final 3 years of employment. 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.[220][221] In 2014-15, the state mandated Schulykill Haven Area School District contribution to the teacher pension fund rose to 21.40% of employee salaries and in 2015-16 it rose again to 25.84% of total District salaries.[222]

In 2009, Schuylkill Haven Area School District reported employing over 96 teachers with a starting salary of $31,000.[223][224] The average teacher salary was $50,487.[225] In Pennsylvania, the average teacher salary for Pennsylvania's 124,100 public school teachers was $54,977 in 2008.[226] 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.[227] Additionally, Schuylkill Haven Area School District teachers receive a defined benefit pension, health insurance, dental insurance, vision insurance, professional development reimbursement, income protection insurance, several paid personal days, and 10 sick days, life insurance and other benefits.[228] According to State Rep. Glen Grell, a trustee of the Pennsylvania Public School Employees’ Retirement System Board, a 40-year educator can retire with a pension equal to 100 percent of their final salary.[229]

Administrative costs

Schuylkill Haven Area School District administrative costs per pupil in 2008 was $692.66 per pupil. The district is ranked 324th out of 500 in Pennsylvania for administrative spending. The lowest administrative cost per pupil in Pennsylvania was $398 per pupil.[230]

Per pupil spending

In 2008, Schuylkill Haven Area School District reported spending $10,990 per pupil. This ranked 397th in the commonwealth.[231] In 2010, the District’s per pupil spending had increased to $12,314.58.[232] In 2013, the per pupil spending was reported as $13,370.24.[233]

In 2011, Pennsylvania’s per pupil spending was $13,467, ranking 6th in the United States.[234] In 2007, the Pennsylvania per pupil total expenditures was reported as $12,759.[235]

The U.S. Census Bureau reported that Pennsylvania spent $8,191 per pupil in school year 2000-01.[236] In 2007, the Pennsylvania per pupil total expenditures was reported as $12,759.[237] Among the fifty states, Pennsylvania’s total per pupil revenue (including all sources) ranked 11th at $15,023 per student, in 2008-09.[238] Pennsylvania’s total revenue per pupil rose to $16,186 ranking 9th in the nation in 2011.[239]

Reserves

In 2009, the district reported a $1,312,012 in an unreserved-undesignated fund balance. The designated fund balance was reported as $1,980,772.00.[240] In 2014-15, Schuylkill Haven Area School District reported having $6,364,867 in combined reserves.[241] This was a substantial increase over the 2013-14 balance of $5,893,222.

Pennsylvania public school district reserve funds are divided into two categories – designated and undesignated. The undesignated funds are not committed to any planned project. Designated funds and any other funds, such as capital reserves, are allocated to specific projects. School districts are required by state law to keep 5 percent of their annual spending in the undesignated reserve funds to preserve bond ratings. According to the Pennsylvania Department of Education, from 2003 to 2010, as a whole, Pennsylvania school districts amassed nearly $3 billion in reserved funds.[242] In 2005, the total reserve funds held by Pennsylvania public school districts was $1.9 billion.[243] By 2013, reserves held by Pennsylvania public school districts, as a whole, had increased to over $3.8 billion.[244][245][246]

Audits

In June 2010, the Pennsylvania Auditor General conducted a performance audit of the district. Findings were reported to the administration and school board.[247]

Tuition

Students who live in the Schuylkill Haven Area 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 Area School District. For these cases, the Pennsylvania Department of Education sets an annual tuition rate for each school district. It is the amount the public school district pays to a charter school for each resident student that attends the charter and it is the amount a nonresident student's parents must pay to attend the District's schools. The 2014 tuition rates are Elementary School - $8,873.11, High School - $8,857.51[248]

Schuylkill Haven Area School District is funded by a combination of: a local earned income tax -1%,[249] a property tax, a real estate transfer tax,[250] coupled with substantial funding from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the federal government. Grants can provide an opportunity to supplement school funding without raising local taxes. In the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, pension and Social Security income are exempted from state personal income tax and local earned income tax regardless of the individual's wealth.[251] The average Pennsylvania public school teacher pension in 2011 exceeded $60,000 a year, plus they receive federal Social Security benefits. Both retirement benefits are free of Pennsylvania state income tax and local income tax which funds local public schools.[252] Effective 2016, active duty military are also exempted from paying the local earned income tax in Pennsylvania.[253][254]

State basic education funding[edit]

According to a report from Representative Todd Stephens office, School District receives 52.5% of its annual revenue from the state.[255] This exceeds some education advocates goal of the state providing 50% of district funding.[256]

In December 2014, the Pennsylvania Education Funding Reform Commission conducted a hearing. Testimony was given regarding state funding at the fastest growing districts and those with the greatest decline in enrollment since 1996.[257][258] The commission developed a new basic education funding formula which sets a new way to distribute state basic education dollars. It abolished the practice of "hold harmless" funding, which gave districts at least the same as they got the previous school year regardless of declining enrollment. The plan became law in June 2016 (House Bill 1552).[259][260][261]

For the 2016-17 school year, Schuylkill Haven Area School District received $6,319,657 in Basic Education Funding from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. This is a 2.2% increase over 2015-16 funding to the District. The highest percentage of BEF increase in Schuylkill County was 3.4% awarded to Saint Clair Area School District under the state’s new Basic Education dollars funding formula. For the school year, Pennsylvania increased its public education spending to a new record high of $5,895 billion. It was a $200 million increase, 3.51% increase over the 2015-16 appropriation.[262] The state also funded Ready to Learn grants at $250 million and Special Education funding received a $20 million increase.[263] The state also paid $492 million for the school employee social security payments to the federal government and another $2.064 billion to the state's teacher pension fund (PSERS).[264]

For the 2015-16 school year, Governor Tom Wolf released a partial Basic Education Funding of $2,948,237 to Schuylkill Haven Area School District, in January 2016.[265] This was part of $10.3 billion in school funding withheld from the public schools, by the Governor since the summer of 2015.[266] The dispersement did not follow the new Basic Education Fair Funding formula which had been established by the Pennsylvania General Assembly in June 2015.[267] Ten (10) Pennsylvania school districts received no increase in Basic Eductaion funding under Governor Wolf.[268][269]

In compliance with a legislative mandate that was passed with veto proof majorities in the PA House and Senate,[270] the final BEF funding was determined for 2015-16, in April 2016. Schuylkill Haven Area School District received $6,182,518 in Basic Education Funds for the 2015-16 school year. This was a 1.72% increase yielding a $104,714 increase over the previous school year funding. The District also received $221,391 in Ready to Learn funding from the state.[271]

For the 2014-15 school year, Schuylkill Haven Area School District received $6,078,618 in State Basic Education funding. The District received $172,422 in new Ready To Learn Block grant. The State’s enacted Education Budget included $5,526,129,000 for the 2014-2015 Basic Education Funding.[272] The Education budget also included 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 paid $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.[273]

In the 2013-14 school year, Schuylkill Haven Area School District received a 1.6% increase or $6,078,879 in Pennsylvania Basic Education Funding. This is $94,675 more than its 2012-13 state BEF to the District. Additionally, Schuylkill Haven Area School District received $82,324 in Accountability Block Grant funding to focus on academic achievement and level funding for special education services. Among the public school districts in Schuylkill County, Blue Mountain School District and Saint Clair Area School District both received the highest percentage increase in BEF at 2.2%. The District had 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.[274] The highest percent of state spending per student is in the Chester-Upland School District, where roughly 78 percent comes from state coffers. In Philadelphia, it is nearly 49 percent.[275] 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.[276]

For the 2012-13 school year, Schuylkill Haven Area School District received $5,984,204 in BEF from the Commonwealth.[277] This was a 1.6% increase over previous Basic Education Funding. The Governor's Executive Budget for 2012-2013 included $9.34 billion for kindergarten through 12th grade public education, including $5.4 billion in basic education funding, which was an increase of $49 million over the 2011-12 budget. In addition, the Commonwealth provided $100 million for the Accountability Block Grant (ABG) program. Schuylkill Haven Area School District received $82,324 in ABG funds. The state also provided a $544.4 million payment for School Employees’ Social Security and $856 million for School Employees’ Retirement fund called PSERS.[278] This amount was a $21,823,000 increase (0.34%) over the 2011-2012 appropriations for Basic Education Funding, School Employees' Social Security, Pupil Transportation, Nonpublic and Charter School Pupil Transportation. Since taking office, Corbett’s first two budgets have restored more than $918 million in support of public schools, compensating for the $1 billion in federal stimulus dollars lost at the end of the 2010-11 school year.

In the 2011-12 school year, Schuylkill Haven Area School District received a $5,985,327 allocation, of state Basic Education Funding.[279][280] Additionally, Schuylkill Haven Area School District received $82,324 in Accountability Block Grant funding. The enacted Pennsylvania state Education budget includes $5,354,629,000 for the 2011-2012 Basic Education Funding appropriation. This amount is a $233,290,000 increase (4.6%) over the enacted State appropriation for 2010-2011.[281] 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.[282] In 2010, Schuylkill Haven Area School District reported that 510 students received free or reduced-price lunches, due to the family meeting the federal poverty level.[283]

For the 2010-11 school year, Schuylkill Haven Area School District received a 3.27% increase in state Basic Education Funding resulting in a $6,635,438 payment.[284] The highest increase in BEF in Schuylkill County went to Minersville Area School District which received a 9.96% increase in state funding. Kennett Consolidated School District in Chester County received the highest increase in the state at 23.65% increase in funding for the 2010-11 school year. The amount of increase each school district receives was determined by the Governor Edward Rendell and the Secretary of Education Gerald Zahorchak through the allocation set in the state budget proposal made in February each year.[285]

In the 2009-10 budget year the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania provided a 7.41% increase in Basic Education Funding to Schuylkill Haven Area School District for a total of $6,425,504. The district also received supplemental funding for English language learners, Title 1 federal funding for low-income students, for district size, a poverty supplement from the commonwealth and more.[286] Shenandoah Valley School District was the highest increase in Schuylkill County with a 14.50% increase in basic education funding, for the 2009-10 school year. Among the 500 school districts in Pennsylvania, Muhlenberg School District in Berks County received the highest with a 22.31% increase in funding.[287] According to the Pennsylvania Department of Education, 458 district students received free or reduced-price lunches due to low family income in the 2007-2008 school year.[288]

In 2008-09 the state Basic Education Funding to the Schuylkill Haven Area School District was $5,982,311. Pennsylvania spent $7,824 Per Pupil in the year 2000. This amount increased up to $12,085 by the year 2008.[289][290]

All Pennsylvania school districts also receive additional funding from the state through multiple funding allocations, including: Reimbursement of Charter School Expenditures; Special Education Funding; Secondary Career & Technical Education Subsidy; PA Accountability Grants; and low achieving schools were eligible for Educational Assistance Program Funding. Plus all Pennsylvania school districts receive federal dollars for various programs including: Special Education funding and Title I funding for children from low income families. In 2010, Pennsylvania spent over $24 billion for public education - local, state and federal dollars combined.[291] By 2015, Pennsylvania was spending over $27 billion on public education (local, state and federal resources combined).[292]

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 school year, Schuylkill Haven Area School District applied for and received $223,447 in addition to all other state and federal funding. The district used the funding to provide full-day kindergarten for the seventh year.[293][294]

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.[295]

Schuylkill Haven Area School District received $172,423 in Ready to Learn Grant dollars in addition to State Basic Education funding, Special Education funding, PreK Counts funding, transportation reimbursement, 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. Schuylkill Haven Area School District was denied funding by the PDE in 2006-07. In 2007-08, the district received $96,619. For the 2008-09, school year the district received $45,413 for a total of $142,032 in state funding. Of the 501 public school districts in Pennsylvania, 447 of them received Classrooms for the Future grant awards.[296] Among the public school districts in Schuylkill County, the highest award was given to North Schuylkill School District which received $245,673. The highest funding statewide was awarded to Philadelphia City School District in Philadelphia County - $9,409,073. The grant program was discontinued by Governor Edward Rendell as part of the 2009-10 state budget.

Science It’s Elementary grant[edit]

Schuylkill Haven Elementary Center successfully applied to participate and received a Science It’s Elemenetary grant in 2008-09. For the 2008-09 school year, the program was offered in 143 schools reaching 2,847 teachers and 66,973 students across Pennsylvania.[297] In 2007, the Pennsylvania Department of Education initiated an effort to improve science instruction in the Commonwealth’s public elementary schools. Called Science: It’s Elementary, the program is a hands on instruction approach for elementary science classes that develops problem-solving and critical thinking skills.[298] To encourage schools to adopt the program’s standards aligned curriculum, the state provided a grant to cover the costs of materials and extensive mandatory teacher training.[299] The district was required to develop a three-year implementation plan for the participating school. They had to appoint a district liaison who was paid $3000 by PDE to serve as the conduit of all information between the district and the Department and its agents along with submitting orders and distributing supplies to implementing teachers. For the 2006-07 state education budget, $10 million was allocated. The 2006-07 State Education Budget provided $635 million in new spending for pre-K through 12th grades for the 2006-07 school year. This marks an 8-percent increase over 2005-06 public school funding.[300] The grant program was expanded to $14.5 million in the 2008-09 budget. The grant was discontinued in the state’s 2011 budget by Governor Edward G. Rendell.

Hybrid Learning grants[edit]

Schuylkill Haven Area School District participated in a pilot year of the state’s Hybrid learning initiative. Pennsylvania Hybrid Learning uses three learning models to increase student achievement: instruction from the teacher, group activities, and self-instruction through digital content. According to state testing results, among the pilot schools, 88 percent achieved higher academic performance in hybrid classes compared to traditional classes in the same district or statewide benchmarks, 75 percent reported better academic achievement, and all of them met or exceeded academic growth.[301] In 2013-14, the state awarded $633,000 in federal Title 2A funds to accelerate teacher training in the implementation of hybrid learning programs in 50 school buildings in 34 school entities. In 2012, $1.1 million was awarded to 15 districts to launch the first hybrid pilot schools in the state that included more than 1,900 students and 48 teachers.[302]

Schuylkill Haven Area School District received $17,500 in 2014-15.[303]

Other state grants[edit]

The District did not participate in: Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection's Environmental Education annual grants;[304][305] Education Assistance Grants; 2012 Striving Readers Comprehensive Literacy grant;[306] 2012 Pennsylvania Hybrid Learning Grants;[307] Project 720 High School Reform grants[308] (discontinued effective with 2011-12 budget); nor the federal 21st Century Learning grants.

Federal grants[edit]

Schuylkill Haven Area School District received an extra $1,612,879 in ARRA - Federal Stimulus money to be used in specific programs like special education and meeting the academic needs of low-income students.[309] The funding was limited to the 2009-10 and 2010-2011 school years.[310] Due to the temporary nature of the funding, schools were repeatedly advised by the Pennsylvania Department of Education, the Pennsylvania Senate Education Committee, then Governor Edward G. Rendell and the Pennsylvania School Board Association 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]

Schuylkill Haven Area School District officials applied for the Race to the Top federal grant which would have brought the district hundreds of thousands of additional federal dollars for improving student academic achievement.[311] 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.[312] 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.[313]

Title II grants[edit]

The Federal government provides annual grants to schools to be used to improve the quality of teacher instructions to pupils. The goal is to provide each child in public schools with “High Quality” teachers and principals as defined by the state.[314] The funds are sent to the state Department of Education which distributes them to each school district and charter school.[315] Beginning in 2002, the federal funding committed to Title II was $3,175,000,000.

Public school district administrations must apply to the state annually for the Title II funds. In 2012-13, Schuylkill Haven Area School District received $45,770 in federal Title II funding.[316] In 2014-15, Schuylkill Haven Area School District applied for and received $43,798.[317]

English language learners grant[edit]

The Federal government provides annual grants to schools to assist in educating immigrant children and children who are identified as limited English proficient.[318] Upon registering for school a language survey is done for all new enrollment pupils, typically in kindergarten or preschool. They identify the primary language spoken at home. This data is collected and submitted to the Pennsylvania Department of Education, which in turn notifies the federal government.[319]

In 2012-13, Schuylkill Haven Area School District received $2,173 in Title III funding for English language learners.[320] For 2014-15, Schuylkill Haven Area School District received $1,996 in Title III funding.[321]

Common Cents state initiative[edit]

The Schuylkill Haven Area School Board did not participate in the Pennsylvania Department of Education Common Cents program. The program called for the state to audit the district, at no cost to local taxpayers, to identify ways the district could save tax dollars.[322] After the review of the information, the district was not required to implement the recommended cost savings changes.

Real estate taxes[edit]

Schuylkill Haven Area School Board set property tax rates in 2016-17 at 40.1920 mills.[323] 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 all government property (local, state and federal). Additionally, service related, disabled US military veterans may seek an exemption from paying property taxes. Unlike other states, under Pennsylvania state tax policy, natural gas and oil pipelines are exempted from property taxes.[324] 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.

Pennsylvania 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 (Local Tax Enabling Act), which are around 15% of revenues for school districts.[325]

The average yearly property tax paid by Schuylkill County residents amounts to about 2.84% of their yearly income. Schuylkill County ranked 700th out of the 3143 United States counties for property taxes as a percentage of median income.[336] 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.[337] 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%).[338] Pennsylvania's 2011 tax burden of 10.35% ranked 10th highest out of 50 states. The tax burden was above the national average of 9.8%. Pennsylvania's taxpayers paid $4,374 per capita in state and local taxes, including school taxes.[339]

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 authorized 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.[340] In June 2011, the Pennsylvania General Assembly eliminated six of the ten the exceptions to the Act 1 Index.[341] The following exceptions were maintained: 1) costs to pay interest and principal on indebtedness incurred prior to September 4, 2004 for Act 72 schools and prior to June 27, 2006 for non-Act 72 schools; 2) costs to pay interest and principal on electoral debt; 3) costs incurred in providing special education programs and services (beyond what is already paid by the State); and 4) costs due to increases of more than the Index in the school’s share of payments to PSERS (PA school employees pension fund) taking into account the state mandated PSERS contribution rate.[342][343]

The School District Adjusted Index for the Schuylkill Haven Area School District 2006-2007 through 2010-2011.[344]

For the 2016-17 budget year, Schuylkill Haven Area School Board did not apply for any exceptions to exceed the District's Act 1 Index limit.[351] Statewide 299 school districts adopted a resolution to not exceed their Act I index in 2016-17.

For the 2015-16 budget year, Schuylkill Haven Area School Board did not apply for any exceptions to exceed their Act 1 Index property tax increase limit. For the school budget 2015-16, 310 Pennsylvania public school districts adopted a resolution certifying that tax rates would not be increased above its Act 1 Index limit. Another 187 school districts adopted a preliminary budget leaving open the option of exceeding the Index limit. Regarding the pension costs exception, 172 school districts received approval to exceed the Index limit in full, while others received a partial approval of their request. For special education costs, 119 districts received approval to exceed their tax limit. No Pennsylvania public school districts received an approval for the grandfathered construction debts exception.[352]

For the 2014-15 budget year, Schuylkill Haven Area 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).[353] 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.[354]

For the 2013-14 budget year, Schuylkill Haven Area 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.[355]

For the 2012-13 budget year, Schuylkill Haven Area School Board did not apply for exceptions to exceed the Act 1 Index. In 2012-13, all Pennsylvania school districts were required to make a 12.36% of payroll payment to the teacher’s pension fund (PSERS). For 2012-2013 budget year, 274 school districts adopted a resolution certifying that tax rates would not be increased above their index; while 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.[356]

For the 2011-12 school year, Schuylkill Haven Area School Board did not apply for an exception to exceed the Act 1 Index. Each year, Schuylkill Haven 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.[357]

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.[358]

The Schuylkill Haven Area School Board did not apply for exceptions to exceed the Act 1 index for the budgets in 2010-11.[359] 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.[360]

Property tax relief[edit]

In 2016, Schuylkill Haven Area School Board approved a slight increase to $201.32 in property tax relief for 2,347 households homestead properties.[361] In 2009, the Homestead/Farmstead Property Tax Relief from gambling for the Schuylkill Haven Area School District was $195 per approved permanent primary residence. In the district, 2,410 property owners applied for the tax relief. This was the highest property tax relief allotted in Schuylkill County for 2009.[362] The tax relief was subtracted from the total annual school property on the individual's 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.[363] Pennsylvania awarded the highest property tax relief to residents of the Chester-Upland School District in Delaware County at $632 per homestead and farmstead in 2010.[364] This was the second year they were the top recipient.

Additionally, the Pennsylvania Property Tax/Rent Rebate program is provided for low income Schuylkill Haven Area residents 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 more 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.[365]

Extracurriculars[edit]

The district offers a variety of clubs, activities and sports. Eligibility to participate is set by school board policies.[366][367]

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.[368]

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