SciTech High

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Coordinates: 40°15′37″N 76°52′51″W / 40.2603°N 76.8809°W / 40.2603; -76.8809

SciTech High
215 Market Street
Harrisburg, Pennsylvania 17101
United States
School type Public Magnet
School district Harrisburg City School District
Superintendent Dr. Sybil Knight-Burney
Principal Ms. Sieta Achampong
Grades 9th - 12th
Age 14 years old to 21 years old special education
Number of students 366 pupils (2012-13),[1] (2009-10) [2][3]
Communities served Harrisburg City
Affiliation Harrisburg University

The Harrisburg University of Science and Technology High School also known as SciTech High, located in downtown Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, welcomed its first students in September 2003. SciTech High is a regional math and science magnet school that attracts students from Harrisburg and neighboring school districts and is affiliated with the Harrisburg University of Science and Technology. Beginning with the 9th grade, SciTech High prepares students for a university curriculum, studying toward degrees in science, engineering and technology. Enrollment is limited to 400 pupils The opportunity to create a unified 9-16 curriculum is unique in the nation and represents a potentially replicable approach to bridging the frequent discontinuity between high school and higher education.[4][5] The School is a federally designated Title I school.

In 2011, the Harrisburg City School District Board changed the name of the School to Harrisburg High School, SciTech Campus.[6]

In 2013, Harrisburg High School, SciTech Campus' enrollment was reported as 366 pupils in 9th through 12th grades, with 60% of pupils eligible for a free lunch due to family poverty. Additionally, 2.7% of pupils received special education services, while 1.9% of pupils were identified as gifted. The school employed 29 teachers.[7] According to the Pennsylvania Department of Education 100% of the teachers were rated "Highly Qualified" under the federal No Child Left Behind Act.

Graduation Rate[edit]

In 2013, SciTech High School's graduation rate was 93%.[8]

  • 2012 - 81% [9]
  • 2011 - 95%
  • 2010 -100% [10]
  • 2009 - 100%
  • 2008 - 98%

Academic achievement[edit]

In 2014, SciTech High School was recognized by US News and World Report as a Bronze level high school in a nationwide school ranking. Among Pennsylvania high schools (traditional, charter and private) 56 achieved gold or silver medals. Another 103 high schools achieved bronze rating out of 698 Pennsylvania high schools reviewed.[11]

2013 School Performance Profile

SciTech High School achieved 69.9 out of 100. Reflects on grade level reading, mathematics and science achievement. In reading/literature - 93% of tested pupils were on grade level. In Algebra 1, 77% showed on grade level Algebra skills at the end of the course. In Biology, only 43% showed on grade level science understanding.[12] 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.[13]

Statistically, SciTech has out performed the other two high schools in the district and is rated highly among polls of high schools in the region.[14]

AYP history[edit]

In 2012, SciTech High School declined to Warning Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) status due to low graduation rate and lagging student academic achievement.[15] In 2011, SciTech High School achieved AYP status under No Child Left Behind.[16] In 2008-2010, the School achieved AYP status each school year. In 2007, the School was in Warning AYP status.[17]

PSSA results[edit]

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.[18]

In 2013, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania changed its high school assessments to the Keystone Exams in Algebra 1, Reading/literature and Biology1. The exams are given at the end of the course, rather than all in the spring of the student's 11th grade year.[19]

Reading achievement[edit]

11th grade Reading on grade level
  • 2012 - 74% (4% below basic. State - 67% [20]
  • 2011 - 79% (4% below basic. State - 69% [21]
  • 2010 - 76%, State - 67%
  • 2009 - 80%, State - 65%[22]
  • 2008 - 57%, State - 65% [23]
  • 2007 - 73%, State - 65%


11th grade Mathematics on grade level
  • 2012 - 72% (11% below basic). State - 59% [24][25]
  • 2011 - 78% (7% below basic). State - 60%
  • 2010 - 78%, State - 59%
  • 2009 - 69%, State - 56% [26]
  • 2008 - 57%, State - 56%
  • 2007 - 38%, State - 53%


11th grade Science on grade level
  • 2012 - 40%, (6% below basic). State - 42%
  • 2011 - 51%, (5% below basic). State - 40% [27]
  • 2010 - 45%, State - 39%
  • 2009 - 51%, State - 40%[28]
  • 2008 - 22%, State - 39%[29]


SciTech High also focuses on the College in High School program, that lets students enroll in college classes while they are still in high school. Students take advanced and engaging science related courses and earn college credit while completing high school graduation requirements. In the past, SciTech has allowed students to take classes at the nearby Harrisburg Area Community College campus as well as Harrisburg University.

Funding for SciTech High comes from a variety of public/private sources. Since 2001, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has provided more than $124 million to support schools across the United States, including SciTech High. The school is a recipient of an Annenberg Foundation Pennsylvania High School Coaching Initiative grant. The initiative places one literacy and one math coach for every 600 students in 24 high-need high schools located in 15 school districts across Pennsylvania, with a total enrollment of over 32,000 students. The PAHSCI model is the nation’s only multi-tiered teacher coaching and mentoring initiative that provides trained teacher-leaders, called coaches, to schools and school districts; coaches and school/district administrators, in turn, receive professional and program support from the initiative’s team of mentors and facilitators.[30]

In 2008 the Board of Control approved a Memo Of Understanding between Harrisburg Area Community College and Sci-Tech High regarding the College in the High School Program/College in the Technical School Program.[31]

Students participate in a monthly Community Partnership Day.[32] This day is used as an external teaching tool with each activity or group monitored by a staff member. Activities include speakers, volunteer events, and career development and exploration opportunities. This type of activity is unique to this high school in the area.

Extra-Curricular Activities[edit]

The school has one of the few active robotics teams in Harrisburg. It is led by one of the school's first teachers, Robert Steps. The members of the robotics team greatly enjoy their time there. The program helps teach teamwork, ingenuity, and how to speak robot C, a code language designed for robots. The team joins in a tournament every year.

Other current and former extra-curricular activities include Math & Music Club, Student Council, Youth & Government, Brainbusters/Quiz Bowl, Choir, Key Club, International Club, and National Honor Society. Student athletes are eligible to compete for the Harrisburg High Cougars with students from the John Harris campus.


2014 Principal = Sieta Achampong


Lisa Waller - Founding Director,[33] namesake of the Friends of Lisa Waller Reading Room [34]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education (December 5, 2013). "Harrisburg High School SciTech School Performance report fast facts". 
  2. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education, Enrollment and Projections by LEA, 2010
  3. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education (2014). "Public School Enrollment Reports". 
  4. ^ SciTech School Administration. "SciTech High application information". 
  5. ^ Harrisburg City Schools administration (November 23, 2009). "Harrisburg City Schools Reform 2001-2009 report". 
  6. ^ Eric Veronikis (July 13, 2011). "Harrisburg School Board changes name of SciTech High School". The Harrisburg Patriot News. 
  7. ^ US News and World Report, Best High Schools, 2013
  8. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education, SciTech High School - School Fast Facts, October 4, 2013
  9. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education (September 21, 2012). "Harrisburg High School - SCITECH CMP School AYP Data Table". 
  10. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education (January 2011). "Harrisburg University Science & Technology High School Academic Achievement Report Card 2010". 
  11. ^ US News and World Report (April 22, 2014). "High School Overview 2014". 
  12. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education (October 4, 2013). Profile/27547 "SciTech High School Academic Performance Data 2013" Check |url= value (help). 
  13. ^ Eleanor Chute and Mary Niederberger (December 11, 2013). "New assessment shows fuller picture of Pa. schools". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. 
  14. ^
  15. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education (September 21, 2012). "Harrisburg ScTech High School AYP Overview 2012". 
  16. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education, Harrisburg High School Science Tech Campus Academic Achievement Report Card 2012, September 29, 2011
  17. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education, AYP status by LEA and School 2003-2012, 2013
  18. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education (2014). "State Academic Standards". 
  19. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education (2014). "State Assessment System". 
  20. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education (September 21, 2012). "Harrisburg High School Science Tech Campus Academic Achievement Report Card 2012" (PDF). 
  21. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education (September 29, 2011). "2010-2011 PSSA and AYP Results". 
  22. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education (March 2009). "Harrisburg University Science & Technology High School Academic Achievement Report Card 2009". 
  23. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education (August 15, 2008). "2007-2008 PSSA and AYP Results". 
  24. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education (September 29, 2012). "2011-2012 PSSA and AYP Results". 
  25. ^ Pittsburgh Post Gazette (October 15, 2012). "How is your school doing?". 
  26. ^ The Times-Tribune (September 14, 2009). "Grading Our Schools database, 2009 PSSA results". 
  27. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education (September 29, 2011). "2010-2011 PSSA results in Science". 
  28. ^ The Times-Tribune (2009). "Grading Our Schools database, 2009 Science PSSA results". 
  29. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education (2008). "Report on PSSA Science results by school and grade 2008". 
  30. ^ The Annenberg Foundation media (January 2011). "The Pennsylvania High School Coaching Initiative". 
  31. ^ "Harrisburg School District BOARD OF CONTROL MEETING AGENDA" (PDF). September 8, 2008. 
  32. ^
  33. ^
  34. ^

External links[edit]