Selinsgrove Area School District

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Selinsgrove Area School District
Map of Snyder County Pennsylvania School Districts.png
Address
401 North Eighteenth Street
Selinsgrove, Pennsylvania, Snyder County 17870
United States
Information
Type Public
Closed Jackson-Penn ES 12/2009
School board 9 members elected at large
Superintendent Chad Cohrs, MS salary $124,664 [1]
Administrator

Mrs. Elaine Sautner, Director Curriculum, Salary $114,767 (2013-14)
Mr. Jeffrey Hummel, Business Manager $101,478 (2013-14
Mrs. Barbara Hayes, Psychologist
Mr. Justin Dively, Psychologist
Mr. Mark Wolfberg, Transportation
Erick Decker, Network Administrator
Mr. Kevin Oswald, Director Food Services

Mr. Troy Beaver, Director of Buildings & Grounds
Director

Dr. Lisa Conrad $87,000 July 1, 2016

Former Charles Longwell, Asst to Super for Special Education effective October 2014 salary $102,659
Principal

Brian Parise, HS (effective February 2016)[2] former Lorinda Krause, salary $105,291 (2013-14)

Paul Roman, Asst Principal
Principal

John C. Bohle Jr., MS 6th - 8th, $98,447 (2013-14)

LeeAnn Ritchie, Asst Principal
Principal

Matthew Conrad, IS 3rd-5th

Michele Garman, assistant principal for K-5
Principal

Jennifer Berry-Propst July 1, 2016 $91,000

former Terry D. Heintzelman, ES K-2nd $111,608 (2013-14)
Staff

153 non teaching staff members

166 nonteaching staff members (2011)[3]
Faculty

167 teacher 2013/2015[4]

191 teachers (2011)[5]
Grades All Day Kindergarten - 12th
Age 5 years old to 21 years old for special education
Pupils

2,709 pupils (2016)[6]
2,694 pupils (2015)[7]
2,708 pupils (2014),[8]
2,732 pupils (2013)
2,717 pupils (2011)

2,780 pupils (2005)[9]
 • Kindergarten 165 (2014),[10] 195 (2012),[11] 205 (2010)
 • Grade 1 224 (2012), 209 (2010)
 • Grade 2 218 (2012), 212
 • Grade 3 203 (2012), 210
 • Grade 4 228 (2012), 210
 • Grade 5 210 (2012), 184
 • Grade 6 214 (2012), 187
 • Grade 7 191 (2012), 188
 • Grade 8 197 (2012), 213
 • Grade 9 197 (2012), 218
 • Grade 10 218 (2012), 216
 • Grade 11 202 (2012), 232
 • Grade 12 235 (2012), 232 (2010)
 • Other Projected to decline to 2,600 pupils in 2020 [12]
Language English
Color(s) blue & red
Team name Seals
Budget

$41.5 million (2016-17)[13][14]
$41.5 million (2015-16)[15]
$39.2 million (2014–15)[16]
$37.47 million (2013–14)[17]
$35,967,856 (2012–13)[18]

$35,005,236 (2011–12)[19]
School fees $50 annual extracurricular fee for sports
Tuition for nonresident and charter school students ES - $8,280.12, HS - $9,380.68[20]
per pupil spending $12,344.84 (2010)
per pupil spending $11,176 (2008)
Website

Selinsgrove Area School District is a mid-sized, suburban/rural public school district centered in Selinsgrove, Pennsylvania in eastern Snyder County, Pennsylvania. The Selinsgrove Area School District encompasses approximately 105 square miles (270 km2). The District is one of the 500 public school districts of Pennsylvania. According to 2000 federal census data, it serves a resident population of 21,015 people. In 2010 the District's population increased to 22,259 people. District enrollment has declined to approximately 2700 students clustered on a campus located in the borough of Selinsgrove.[21] The Pennsylvania Department of Education projected a continued decline in enrollment to 2,500 in 2010.[22] The educational attainment levels for the Selinsgrove Area School District population (25 years old and over) were 85.4% high school graduates and 20.8% college graduates.[23] The District is one of the 500 public school districts of Pennsylvania. In 2014, Superintendent Chad Cohrs reported that 80 children are homeschooled, rather attend district schools.[24]

According to the Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center, 39.5% of the District's pupils lived at 185% or below the Federal Poverty level as shown by their eligibility for the federal free or reduced price school meal programs in 2012.[25] Per the Pennsylvania Department of Education, Selinsgrove Area School District had 784 students receiving free or reduced-price lunches due to low family income in the 2007–08 school year. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, Selinsgrove Area School Districts also had 71 students who were identified as English language learners in 2008.[26] In 2009, the district residents’ per capita income was $17,857, while the median family income was $44,742.[27] In the Commonwealth, the median family income was $49,501[28] and the United States median family income was $49,445, in 2010.[29]

According to District officials, for school year 2009–10, the Selinsgrove Area School District employed 208 teachers, 167 full-time and part-time support personnel, and 13 administrators. Selinsgrove Area School District received more than $11.8 million in state funding in school year 2009–10. In school year 2007–08 the Selinsgrove Area School District had 2,704 pupils. The District employed: 204 teachers, 145 full-time and part-time support personnel, and 13 administrators. SASD received more than $11.6 million in state funding in school year 2007–08.[30] The District enrollment was reported as 2,728 pupils in 2011-12. The District employed: 190 teachers, 129 full-time and part-time support personnel, and twelve (12) administrators during the 2011-12 school year. The District received $12,314,514 in state funding for the 2011-12 school year.

Selinsgrove Area High school students may choose to attend SUN Area Technical Institute, located in New Berlin, for training in the: culinary, allied health, construction and mechanical trades. The Central Susquehanna Intermediate Unit IU16 provides the District with a wide variety of services like specialized education for disabled students and hearing, speech and visual disability services and professional development for staff and faculty.

Governance[edit]

Selinsgrove Area School District is governed by 9 individually elected board members (serving four-year terms), the Pennsylvania State Board of Education, the Pennsylvania Department of Education and the Pennsylvania General Assembly.[31] The federal government controls programs it funds like Title I funding for low-income children in the Elementary and Secondary Education Act and the No Child Left Behind Act (renamed Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) in December 2015) which mandates the district focus resources on student success in acquiring reading and math skills.[32] 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.[33]

The Superintendent and Business Manager are appointed by the Selinsgrove Area School Board. The Superintendent is the chief administrative officer with overall responsibility for all aspects of operations, including education and finance. The Business Manager is responsible for budget and financial operations. Neither of these officials are voting members of the School Board. The School Board enters into individual employment contracts for these positions. In Pennsylvania, public school districts are required to give 150 days notice to the Superintendent regarding renewal of the employment contract.[34] The 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.[34] 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.[35]

The Commonwealth Foundation for Public Policy Alternatives Sunshine Review gave the school board and district administration a "D-" for transparency based on a review of "What information can people find on their school district's website". It examined the school district's website for information regarding; taxes, the current budget, meetings, school board members names and terms, contracts, audits, public records information and more.[36]

In 2009, the Selinsgrove Area School Board adopted a policy to post: all contract, spending and financial reports online. The board followed the policy for 5 months and stopped in August 2009.[37][38]

Schools[edit]

  • Selinsgrove Area High School grades 9–12. The school uses a modified, 5 period, block scheduling program.
  • Selinsgrove Area Middle School serves students in grades 6th, 7th and 8th
  • Selinsgrove Area Intermediate School serves students grades 3rd-5th. Concern was voiced about the lagging reading and math scores at this school in 2006. The scores were below both state and regional averages for several years. In 2007, the Intermediate School students' math and reading scores rose above the State and region's averages.
  • Selinsgrove Area Elementary School serves All Day Kindergarten - 2nd.

In May 2011, the Board voted to realign the schools moving grade 6 to the Intermediate School and shifting the management team.[39] In 2012, the Board approved shifting the sixth grade back to the middle school. Jackson-Penn Elementary School, located in Penn Township, was closed in December 2009. It had served as the District's Kindergarten Center for two years. In 2013, the Board rented the former Jackson-Penn building to a private special needs student school called New Day.

Academic achievement[edit]

In 2016, Selinsgrove Area School District ranking continued to decline to 213th out of 493 Pennsylvania public school districts, by the Pittsburgh Business Times.[40] 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.[41] 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.

In October 2015, Pennsylvania Auditor General DiPasquale reported that one school in the District was among the 561 academically challenged schools that have been overlooked by the Pennsylvania Department of Education. Selinsgrove Area Middle School was on the list.[49][50] He also reported the Pennsylvania Department of Education failed to take any action to remediate the poorly performing schools to raise student academic achievement or to provide them with targeted professional assistance.[51]

District AYP history[edit]

From 2006 through 2012, Selinsgrove Area School District achieved Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) status. In 2005, the District was in Making Progress in School Improvement status, due to lagging student academic achievement. In 2004, the District had declined to School Improvement status due to ongoing low student achievement at the high school and intermediate school. In 2003, the District was in Warning AYP status. In 2011, 94 percent of the 500 Pennsylvania public school districts achieved the No Child Left Behind Act progress level of 72% of students reading on grade level and 67% of students demonstrating on grade level math. In 2011, 46.9 percent of Pennsylvania school districts achieved Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) based on student performance. An additional 37.8 percent of school districts made AYP based on a calculated method called safe harbor, 8.2 percent on the growth model and 0.8 percent on a two-year average performance.[52] School District achieved AYP status each year from 2004 to 2009, while in 2003 the District was in Warning status due to lagging student achievement.[53] "The Daily Item" reported in 2007, Selinsgrove Area School District reached adequate yearly progress standards for the first time since the progress analysis began during the 2002–03 school year.

In December 2007, the school board adopted a new six-year Strategic Plan that was focused on the academic success of each student.[54] Alignment of curriculum to the Pennsylvania Academic Standards is incomplete for several core subjects. This negatively impacts student outcomes as measured by the PSSAs.

Graduation rate[edit]

In 2015, Selinsgrove Area School District's graduation rate increased to 86.14%.[55]

  • 2014 - 86.11%.
  • 2013 - declined again to 80.85%.[56]
  • 2012 - sharply declined to 87%.[57]
  • 2011 - 97%.[58]
  • 2010 - 86%, the Pennsylvania Department of Education issued a new, 4-year cohort graduation rate.[59]
Former AYP graduation rate
  • 2010: 95% [60]
  • 2009: 92% [61]
  • 2008: 91.6%
  • 2007: 96.62%
  • 2006: 94.09%

Selinsgrove Area High School[edit]

Selinsgrove Area High School is located at Broad Street, Selinsgrove. In 2015, enrollment declined further to 789 pupils. In 2013, enrollment was reported as 849 pupils in 9th through 12th grades, with 31.9% of pupils receiving special education services. Additionally, 10% of pupils receive special education services, while 5.65% were identified as being gifted. The school employed 62 teachers.[62] Per the PA Department of Education 100% of the teachers at Selinsgrove Area High School were rated "Highly Qualified" under the federal No Child Left Behind Act. The school uses a modified, 5 period, block scheduling program. In February 2012, the Selinsgrove Area School Board unanimously voted to change the high school's daily schedule to make better use of the faculty's time. The new plan includes a universal preparation period at the beginning of each school day. The common planning period is intended to facilitate better curriculum development and coordination of meetings.[63]

According to the National Center for Education Statistics, in 2011, the school reported an enrollment of 873 pupils in grades 9th through 12th, with 274 pupils eligible for a federal free or reduced price lunch due to the family meeting the federal poverty level. In 2011, the School employed 62 teachers yielding a student-teacher ratio of 14:1.[64] According to a report by the Pennsylvania Department of Education, 100% of the teachers were rated "Highly Qualified" under No Child Left Behind.[65] The high school's enrollment was 934 pupils in 2009–10. In 2006, enrollment at Selinsgrove Area High School was 1,020 pupils (9th-12th).[66]

2016 School Performance Profile

Selinsgrove Area High School Keystone Exams mandated testing results were: 74.7% of students were on grade level in reading.literature and 83% of students demonstrated on grade level in Algebra I. In Biology I 75.9% of pupils demonstrated on grade level science understanding at the end of the Biology course.[67] The requirement that pupils pass the Keystone Exams in reading, Algebra I and Biology I in order to graduate was postponed until 2019 by the Pennsylvania General Assembly because less than 60% of 12 grade pupils statewide would have been eligible for graduation from high school due to failing one or more Keystone Exams.[68]

2015 School Performance Profile

Selinsgrove Area High School School Performance Profile declined to 71.5 out of 100. The PDE reported that 72.6% of Selinsgrove Area High School students were on grade level in reading/literature. In Algebra 1, 73% of students showed on grade level skills at the end of the course. In Biology I, 69% demonstrated on grade level science understanding at the end of the course.[69] 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.[70][71]

2014 School Performance Profile

Selinsgrove Area High School achieved 76.2 out of 100. Reflects on grade level reading, mathematics and science achievement. In reading/literature - 75.9% were on grade level. In Algebra 1, 72% showed on grade level skills at the end of the course. In Biology, only 54% showed on grade level science understanding at the end of the course.[72] 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.[73]

2013 School Performance Profile

Selinsgrove Area High School achieved 81 out of 100. Reflects on grade level reading, mathematics and science achievement. In reading/literature, 75.6% were on grade level. In Algebra 1, 75% showed on grade level skills. In Biology, 48% showed on grade level science understanding.[74] 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.[75]

AYP History

In 2012, Selinsgrove Area High School declined to Warning Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) status due to low graduation rate and missing all academic metrics measured in reading and mathematics.[76] In 2011, Selinsgrove Area High School achieved AYP status.[77] Effective with spring 2013, the Pennsylvania Department of Education discontinued administering the PSSA's to 11th graders.

College Remediation[edit]

According to a Pennsylvania Department of Education study released in January 2009, 24% of Selinsgrove 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.[78] 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.[79] 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.

Graduation requirements[edit]

Graduation requirements are set by the school board in policy and are enumerated in the district's strategic plan. In 2009 the School Board determined that students must earn 28 credits to graduate, including: English 4 credits, Math 4 credits (3 credits when proficient or better on 11th grade Math PSSA), Science 3 credits, Social Studies 3 credits, Health and physical education 2.5 credits, Graduation project 0.5 credit, Child development 0.5 credit, Technology 1 credit, Personal Finance .50 credit, Career Awareness 0.50 credit and Electives credits.[80]

Also essential to graduation is the Pennsylvania state-mandated "Graduation Project." This four-year project often takes on many forms, including entrepreneurship and community service. It is paired with a final paper and presentation to a faculty panel. The panel then decides whether the project is below average, average, or commendable. Students must achieve at least an "average" score on all parts of the project in order to graduate.

Seniors and Juniors may earn physical education credits, for graduation, in three ways: scheduling physical education classes in the regular schedule, taking Phys. Ed. by contract, and/or earning a Phys. Ed. by participating in a school sponsored sport. These alternatives are managed by the guidance office. Contract Phys. Ed. students are required to complete a one-page written report and complete 30 hours of a physical activity. In order for students to take Phys. Ed. by contract or sport participation he or she must meet requirements and prerequisites by the high school principal.[81]

By Pennsylvania School Board regulations, beginning with the class of 2017, public school students must demonstrate successful completion of secondary level course work in Algebra I, Biology, and English Literature by passing the Keystone Exams.[82] The exam is given at the end of the course. Keystone Exams replace the PSSAs for 11th grade.[83]

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.[84][85] 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.[86] 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.[87] Individual student, school or district reports were not made public, although they were reported to district officials by the Pennsylvania Department of Education. Students identified as having special needs and qualifying for an Individual Educational Program (IEP) may graduate by meeting the requirements of their IEP.

Dual enrollment[edit]

Selinsgrove Area School District offers a dual enrollment program. This state-funded 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 at their high school. The college credits are offered at a deeply discounted rate. The state offers a small grant to assist students in costs for tuition, fees and books.[88] Under the Pennsylvania Transfer and Articulation Agreement, many Pennsylvania colleges and universities accept these credits for students who transfer to their institutions.[89] 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.[90] Students may attend Susquehanna University tuition free, Bloomsburg University at a 75% discount and Central Pennsylvania College at a 75% discount.[91] For the 2009–10 funding year, the school district received a state grant of $4,384 for its dual enrollment program.

SAT scores[edit]

In 2014, the District's SAT Verbal Average Score was 508. The Math average score was 508. The Writing average score was 487.[92]

In 2013, over 100 Selinsgrove Area School District students took the SAT exams. The District's Verbal Average Score was 495. The Math average score was 507. The Writing average score was 485. The College Board reported that statewide scores were: 494 in reading, 504 in math and 482 in writing. The nationwide SAT results were the same as in 2012.[93]

In 2012, 148 Selinsgrove Area School District students took the SAT exams. The District's Verbal Average Score was 483. The Math average score was 490. The Writing average score was 459. The statewide Verbal SAT exams results were: Verbal 491, Math 501, Writing 480. In the US, 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, 152 Selinsgrove Area School District students took the SAT exams. The District's Verbal Average Score was 512. The Math average score was 521. The Writing average score was 496.[94] Pennsylvania ranked 40th among states with SAT scores: Verbal - 493, Math - 501, Writing - 479.[95] In the United States, 1.65 million students took the exam in 2011. They averaged 497 (out of 800) verbal, 514 math and 489 in writing.[96]

ACE[edit]

Selinsgrove Area School District students have access to Bloomsburg University's Summer College and Advanced College Experience (ACE) during the summer of their sophomore, junior and senior years (after high school graduation). Tuition is deeply discounted to 75% of the regular student rate.[97] Successful students earn college credits that can be transferred to other Pennsylvania public colleges and universities through the Pennsylvania Transfer and Articulation Center (PA TRAC) system.[98]

Selinsgrove Area Middle School[edit]

Selinsgrove Area Middle School is located at Seals Avenue, Selinsgrove. In 2013, enrollment was 600 pupils, in grades 6th through 8th, with 36% of pupils eligible for a free lunch due to family poverty. Additionally, 13% of pupils received special education services, while 5.6% of pupils were identified as gifted.[99] According to a 2013 report by the Pennsylvania Department of Education, 100% of its teachers were rated "Highly Qualified" under No Child Left Behind.[100]

According to the National Center for Education Statistics, in 2010, the School reported an enrollment of 589 pupils in grades 6th through 8th, with 228 pupils receiving a federal free or reduced-price lunch due to family poverty. The school employed 48 teachers, yielding a student–teacher ratio of 12:1.[101] According to a report by the Pennsylvania Department of Education, 100% of its teachers were rated "Highly Qualified" under No Child Left Behind.[102]

2016 School Performance Profile

Selinsgrove Area Middle School SPP 2016 not released by the PDE. PSSA mandated testing results were: 64.4% of students (grades 6th-8th) were on grade level in reading while 2.75% of students demonstrated on grade level in mathematics. In science 66.8% of eighth grade pupils demonstrated on grade level science understanding.[103] In 7th grade, 64.3% of pupils were on grade level in reading, while just 46.2% demonstrated on grade level math skills. Among 6th graders, 79.8% were on grade level in reading and 55.4% were on grade level in math.

2015 School Performance Profile

The PDE reported that 51% of 8th grade students at Selinsgrove Area Middle School students were on grade level in reading on the PSSAs given in April 2015. In math/Algebra 1, 27% of 8th grade students showed on grade level skills. In science, 68% of the school's 8th graders demonstrated on grade level science understanding. No eighth grade writing scores were reported. In 7th grade, 47% were on grade level in reading, while 33% showed on grade level math skills. Among 6th graders, 65% were on grade level in reading and 52% were on grade level in mathematics.[104] Statewide 58% of eighth (8th) graders were on grade level in reading, while 29% demonstrated on grade level math skills. Pennsylvania 7th graders were58% 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.[105]

2014 School Performance Profile

Selinsgrove Area Middle School achieved 69.7 out of 100. Reflects on grade level reading, mathematics and science achievement. In reading/literature - 73% were on grade level. In Algebra 1/Math, 79% showed on grade level mathematics skills. In Science, only 62% of 8th graders showed on grade level science understanding at the end of the course. In writing, 70% of the 8th grade students demonstrated on grade level writing skills.[106]

2013 School Performance Profile

Selinsgrove Area Middle School achieved 73.8 out of 100. Reflects on grade level reading, writing, mathematics and science achievement. In reading, just 71.9% of the students were on grade level. In Mathematics/Algebra 1, 82.5% of the students showed on grade level skills. In Science, only 72% of the 8th graders demonstrated on grade level understanding. In writing, 78% of the 8th grade students demonstrated on grade level writing skills.[107] 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

Selinsgrove Area Middle School achieved AYP status each school year from 2004 through 2012.[108] In 2003, the school was in Warning AYP status due to lagging student achievement in eighth grade.[109]

PSSA Results

Pennsylvania System of School Assessments, commonly called PSSAs are NCLB related examination given in the spring of each school year. Sixth and seventh grades are tested in reading and mathematics since 2006. Eighth graders are tested in: reading, writing, mathematics and Science. Beginning in the spring of 2013, eighth graders, who are enrolled in Algebra I take the Keystone Exam for Algebra I at the end of the course. The testing of 8th grade in reading and mathematics began in 1999.[110] Testing in science began in 2007. 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. The standards were published in 1998 and are mandated by the Pennsylvania State Board of Education.[111]

8th Grade Reading:'

  • 2012 - 85%, 63% advanced (8% below basic). State - 79% of 8th graders on grade level.[112]
  • 2011 - 83%, 62% advanced (8% below basic) State - 81.8%[113]
  • 2010 - 90%, 63% advanced (5% below basic). State - 81%[114]
  • 2009 - 86%, 67% advanced (7% below basic), State - 80%[115]
  • 2008 - 84% (5% below basic). State - 78%[116]
  • 2007 - 81% (6% below basic). State - 75%
8th Grade Math:
  • 2012 - 88%, 68% advanced (8% below basic). State - 76%[117]
  • 2011 - 85%, 61% advanced (6% below basic). State - 76.9%
  • 2010 - 84%, 63% advanced (8% below basic). State - 75% [118]
  • 2009 - 84%, 51% advanced (6% below basic). State - 71% [119]
  • 2008 - 85.6%, 53% advanced (% below basic). State - 70%
  • 2007 - 82.9%, 59.9% advanced (% below basic). State - 68% [120]
8th Grade Science
  • 2012 - 77% on grade level (9% below basic). State - 59% of 8th graders were on grade level.
  • 2011 - 68% (16% below basic). State – 58.3%
  • 2010 - 70% (18% below basic). State – 57%[121]
  • 2009 - 66% (13% below basic). State - 55% [122]
  • 2008 - 61%, State - 52% [123]
  • 2007 - tested, but results not made public.

The sixth grade moved to the Intermediate School for the 2011–2012 school year. Major renovations were done to the middle school building. The sixth grade returned to the middle school building for 2012–2013. Sixth grade PSSA for 2012 were reported under the Intermediate school.

Dropout Early Warning System

In 2013, Selinsgrove Area School District did not implement a state funded dropout prevention Early Warning System and Interventions Catalog at the middle school.[124] The process identifies students at risk for droping 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.[125]

Selinsgrove Area Intermediate School[edit]

Selinsgrove Area Intermediate School is located at 301 North 18th Street, Selinsgrove. In 2014, the School's enrollment was 669 pupils in grades 3rd through 5th, with 40% of pupils receiving a federal free or reduced price meals due to family poverty.[126] The building was opened in September 1997.[127] The building has 117,000 square feet. It is located directly behind the middle school. The facility has a stage/multipurpose room, a gymnasium, library, and computer labs. The building provides internet access to all rooms, as well as, an internal video studio which is used to do morning announcements.

In 2013, Selinsgrove Area Intermediate School's enrollment was 642 pupils in grades 3rd through 5th, with 40% of pupils receiving a federal free or reduced price meals due to family poverty. Additionally, 6.8% of the pupils receive special education services, while 3% are identified as being gifted.[128] According to a report by the Pennsylvania Department of Education, 100% of the teachers were rated highly qualified under the federal No Child Left Behind Act. The school is a federally designated Title I school.[129] The District has provided full day kindergarten at the Selinsgrove Area Elementary School since 2007.[130]

2016 School Performance Profile

Selinsgrove Area Intermediate School PSSA mandated testing results were: 64.9% of students in 5th were on grade level in reading, while just 51% of fifth students demonstrated on grade level mathematics skills. In 4th grade, 70.3% were on grade level in reading, while 60% demonstrated on grade level math skills. In science, 88.4% of fourth grade pupils demonstrated on grade level understanding of science concepts in the state standards. Among the school's third graders, 69.3% were on grade level in reading and 71.9% showed on grade level mathematics skills.[131][132]

2015 School Performance Profile

According to the Pennsylvania Department of Education, 65% of 5th grade students at Selinsgrove Area Intermediate School were on grade level in reading on the PSSAs given in April 2015. In mathematics, 45% of 5th grade students showed on grade level skills. No fifth grade writing scores were reported. In 4th grade, 66% were on grade level in reading, while 52% showed on grade level math skills. In science, 83% of fourth graders showed on grade level understanding. Among third (3rd) graders, 65% were on grade level in reading and 61% were on grade level in mathematics.[133] Statewide 61.9% of fifth (5th) graders were on grade level in reading, while 42.8% demonstrated on grade level math skills. Pennsylvania 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.[134]

2014 School Performance Profile

Selinsgrove Area Intermediate School achieved a score of 81.3 out of 100. The score reflects on grade level: reading, science, writing and mathematics achievement. In 2013–14, only 69.8% of the students were reading on grade level in grades 3rd through 5th. In 3rd grade, just 67% of the pupils were reading on grade level. In math, 77.7% were on grade level (3rd-5th grades). In 4th grade science, 88% of the pupils demonstrated on grade level understanding. In writing, only 64% of 5th grade pupils demonstrated on grade level writing skills.[135][136]

2013 School Performance Profile

Selinsgrove Area Intermediate School achieved a score of 76.7 out of 100. The score reflects on grade level: reading, science, writing and mathematics achievement. In 2012–13, only 70% of the students were reading on grade level in grades 3rd through 5th. In 3rd grade, 75% of the pupils were reading on grade level. In math, 80% were on grade level (3rd-5th grades). In 4th grade science, 89% of the pupils demonstrated on grade level understanding. In writing, only 60% of 5th grade pupils demonstrated on grade level skills.[137]

AYP History

In 2012, Selinsgrove Area Intermediate School achieved Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) status.[138] In 2011, the School declined to Warning AYP status due to lagging student achievement. In 2010, the school achieved AYP.[139] The attendance rate was 94% in both 2010 and 2011.[140]

PSSA History

Each year, in the spring, the 3rd graders take the PSSAs in math and reading. The fourth grade is tested in reading, math and science. The fifth grade is evaluated in reading, mathematics and writing. Pennsylvania System of School Assessments, commonly called PSSAs are No Child Left Behind Act related examinations which were administered beginning 2003 to all Pennsylvania public school students in grades 3rd-8th.[141] The goal was for 100% of students to be on grade level or better in reading and mathematics, by the spring of 2014.[142][143][144] 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.[145]

4th Grade Science (percent proficient or better)
  • 2012 - 90% (2% below basic). State - 82%
  • 2011 - 94.1% (2% below basic). State - 82.9%
  • 2010 - 90.9%, State - 81.5%
  • 2009 - 90.8%, State - 83%
  • 2008 - 93.3%, State - 82%

Elementary school[edit]

Selinsgrove Area Elementary School is located at 600 North Broad Street, Selinsgrove. In 2013, the School's enrollment was 592 pupils in grades kindergarten through 2nd, with 39% of pupils receiving a federal free or reduced price meals due to family poverty. Additionally, 8% of the pupils receive special education services, while none are identified as gifted.[159] 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.[160] The school is a federally designated Title I school. According to a report by the PDE, 68% of the students are reading on grade level in May 2014.

Special education[edit]

In December 2015, the Selinsgrove Area School District (SASD) Administration reported that 310 pupils or 11.5% of the District's pupils received Special Education services, with 38.7% of identified students having specific learning disability.[161]

In 2012, the SASD Administration reported that 293 pupils or 10.7% of the District's pupils received Special Education services, with 39% of identified students having specific learning disability.[162] In 2011, the Selinsgrove Area School District Administration reported that 291 pupils or 10.6% of the District's pupils received Special Education services, with 43% of identified students having specific learning disability. In December 2010, the District administration reported that 289 pupils or 10.6% of the district's pupils received Special Education services.[163][164] In 2008–09 the District had 320 students or 11.7% of its pupils were identified for special education services.[165]

In 2007, Pennsylvania Secretary of Education Gerald Zahorchak testified before the Pennsylvania House Education Committee regarding full day kindergarten. He claimed that districts which offered these programs would see a significant decrease in special education students due to early identification and early intervention. He asserted the high cost of full day kindergarten would be recouped by Districts in lower special education costs.[166] Selinsgrove Area School District has seen no decrease in the percentage of special education students it serves, yielding no savings. Th District has provided full day kindergarten since the fall of the 2007–08 school year. Additionally, the District's special education costs have risen each school year.[167]

In order to comply with state and federal laws, the school 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.[168] 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 Special Education administration. 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 Assistant to Superintendent for Special Education.[169][170][171] 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.

Selinsgrove Area School District operates a Transitional Apartment Classroom for secondary special education students using a local property to provide direct hands on experiences in activities of daily living and independent living skills.[172]

In 2010, the state of Pennsylvania provided $1,026,815,000 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. This funding is in addition to the state's basic education per pupil funding, as well as, all other state and federal funding.[173] 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 Pennsylvania Special Education funding system assumes that 16% of the district's students receive special education services. It also assumes that each student's needs accrue the same level of costs.[174] 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.[175] 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.[176] In 2012, the Obama Administration's US Department of Education issued a directive requiring schools include students with disabilities in extracurricular activities, including sports.[177]

Selinsgrove Area School District received a $1,421,270 supplement for special education services in 2010.[178] 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 of 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.[179][180] In 2014–15, the District received $1,439,330 in special education funding.[181] In 2016–17, the District received a 1.2% increase to $1,488,483 in special education funding provided by the state. The district also receives annual funding from the federal government.

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

Least Restrictive Environment monitoring In 2009, Selinsgrove Area School District was identified by the Pennsylvania Department of Education for Least Restrictive Environment monitoring. One hundred ninety six schools districts were selected in 2008–09. The district received an alert letter from the PDE - Bureau of Special Education.[182] School districts were placed in one of three categories: Tier 1, Tier 2 or Tier 3. The district was placed in Tier 3 due to students spending more than 60% of the school day, outside of regular education. The monitoring is a product of the PDE addressing its voluntary settlement in Gaskin V. Pennsylvania which ordered that special education students spend most of their school day (80%) in regular education classrooms with supplementary aids and services to assist.[183][184][185] In 2010, the district was assigned to the Tier 3 monitoring list, due to students spending less than 40% of their day in a regular education classroom. The district received a letter of "Warning" letter from the Pennsylvania Department of Education.[186]

Gifted education[edit]

The District Administration reported that 61 or 2.20% of its students were gifted in 2009.[187] By law, the district must provide mentally gifted programs at all grade levels. The referral process for a gifted evaluation can be initiated by teachers or parents by contacting the student's building principal and requesting an evaluation. All requests must be made in writing. To be eligible for mentally gifted programs in Pennsylvania, a student must have a cognitive ability of at least 130 as measured on a standardized ability test by a certified school psychologist. Other factors that indicate giftedness must also be considered for eligibility.[188]

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.[189]

In May 2016, the Selinsgrove Area Teachers Union and the School Board agreed to a four-year contract. The contract limited raises to step increases based on longevity or added credentials of the individual teacher. No annual percentage increases will be awarded. Additionally, the teachers will contribute to their health insurance and pay a deductible which rises each year to a top of $250 a year in the fourth year.[190] Seventeen teachers and administrators announced their retirements at the end of the school year based on the health insurance terms in the contract.[191][192] This retirement on the old contract assured them no contribution to their health insurance, which is totally paid for by the school district taxpayers until the age of 65 years.[193]

In 2013, the average teacher salary in Selinsgrove Area School District was $63,989 a year, while the cost of the benefits teachers received was $25,664 per employee, for a total annual average teacher compensation of $93,654.[194] Pennsylvania teacher salaries (2013–14) are searchable in a statewide database provided by TribLive News.[195] Retired teachers at Selingrove Area School District receive taxpayer paid insurance until the age of 65 years.[196] Selinsgrove 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.)[197] After 40 years of service, a teacher 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.[198] In June 2014, it was reported that Selinsgrove Area School District's total costs for teacher's salaries had risen $17.1 million more than the rate of inflation, since 2001.[199] Selinsgrove's increase was the greatest increase among public schools in the region. Additionally, Selinsgrove teacher and administrator retirees remain on the district's health insurance plan until they reach the age of 65 years. The cost of this benefit now exceeds $1 million a year, with 73 retirees and their families on the plan.[200] The retirees contribute nothing towards the costs of their health insurance.[201] In 2014, the District was required to pay 21.4% of payroll to the PSERS fund for teacher retirement.

In January 2012, School Board President, Paul Spiegel announced the administration was developing a restructuring plan to reduce district expenses. The District faced a shortfall of over $1.04 million after it once again raised property taxes above the Act 1 index limit. Selinsgrove Area School District reports that personal costs are rising substantially, including a 3.7% increase in salaries $644,000; a 48% increase in pension/retirement costs for $737,000 and a 10% increase in health insurance costs $385,000.[202] The teachers declined a pay freeze for one year to head off the cuts until the economy improves. Selinsgrove Area School District teachers, as a group, are the highest paid in the four county area.[203]

In May 2011, the Selinsgrove Area School District administrators agreed to a one-year pay freeze as did the staff. Most of the district's 213 teachers also did not receive the scheduled 2.5% raise, although they did receive step raises and longevity-based raises. It was reported that these salary freezes saved over $750,000 in the 2011–12 budget.[204] Other cuts were made in the teacher's five-year contract, including eliminating several district continuing education programs and summer teacher pay for work. The district staff and administration also worked a 4-day week for the summer months.[205] The board also eliminated the positions of 8 retiring employees.

For the 2012–13 school year the district faced another $1 million budget shortfall. The administration reported that earned income tax revenues were down $200,000. A mill is $245,000. A significant number of commercial properties have successfully appealed their property tax assessment. This has meant an over $300,000, decline in property tax revenues.[206] The teachers' union rejected making any contract concessions.[207] In addition to the payment to the state teacher pension which will increase by $450,000, the district pays for social security for each employee and pays for the health insurance for 71 retired teachers until they qualify for Medicare at a cost of $736,920 a year.[208] The Board unanimously approved restructuring the district eliminating 17 teacher positions and saving an estimated $789,000.[209]

In 2007, the average teacher salary in the Selinsgrove Area School District was $59,654 for 184 days worked. In 2007 the average teacher salary in Pennsylvania was $54,977.[210] 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.[211] Additionally, the teachers receive a defined benefit pension, health insurance, professional development reimbursement, paid personal days, paid sick days, life insurance, retirement bonus and many other benefits.[212] According to Rep. Glen Grell, a trustee of the state teacher retirement fund, a 40-year Pennsylvania public school educator can retire with a pension equal to 100 percent of their final salary.[213]

In 2009, the Selinsgrove Area School District reported that 73 teacher's salaries were $73,000 or more.[214] The maximum teacher salary was reported at $133,227.[215]

Per pupil spending In 2008, the Selinsgrove Area School District administration reported that per pupil spending was $11,176 which ranked 381st among Pennsylvania's 501 school districts. In 2010, the per pupil spending had increased to $12,344.84 [216]

In August 2014, the School Board approved a 3,600 square foot addition to the middle school to add a new food storage facility, along with an added conference room for the administration. The cost of the project is projected to be over $650,000.[217] Selinsgrove Area School District Administrative costs per pupil in 2008 was $597.63 per pupil. The lowest administrative cost per pupil in Pennsylvania was $398 per pupil.[218] In May 2008, the school board renewed the five-year employment contract of Dr. Fredrick Johnson, superintendent, which included a base salary of $130,569.98 and an extensive benefits package.[219] His salary was increased to $147,350 by January 2010. In May 2010, he unexpectedly resigned effective June 30, 2010.[220]

SASD employed 350 people in 2007. Two hundred of the employees are teachers. Seventy percent of spending is allocated to employee costs. The district reports spending $9,800 per pupil in 2007.[221] Jeffrey Hummel, district business manager, cites costs for building projects coupled with salaries, transportation costs and increased charges for energy, as necessitating continued substantial property tax increases.

Reserves In 2008, the District reported an unreserved designated fund balance of $1,630,000.00 and an unreserved-undesignated fund balance of $1,898,597.00.[222] In 2010, the reserves were reported as: $2,571,713 in the unreserved designated fund and the undesignated fund was $1,726,369.00 or a total of $4,298,082. in 2011, the District's reserves were reported as $3,071,713.[223] By 2012, the District reported it had grown its reserves to $5,724,148.[224] 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.[225] In 2005, the total reserve funds held by Pennsylvania public school districts was $1.9 billion.[226] By 2013, reserves held by Pennsylvania public school districts, as a whole, had increased to over $3.8 billion.[227] In 2014, Selinsgrove Area School District (SASD) reported its reserves exceeded $8 million.[228]

Audit In July 2012, the Pennsylvania Auditor General conducted a performance audit of the District. The findings were reported to the Selinsgrove Area School Board and the District's administration. It was found that the District inaccurately reported student data.[229] The District was audited again in 2014.[230]

The District provides space to Selinsgrove Children's Center to provide a preschool in the Selinsgrove Area High School building, leased for free to SUMCD.[231]

Tuition Students who live in the Selinsgrove 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 Selinsgrove 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 Selinsgrove Area School District's schools. The 2012 tuition rates were Elementary School - $8,363.23, High School - $9,507.73.[232] In 2014-15, tuition rates for the District were set at: Elementary School - $8,520.34 and High School - $9,945.74.[233] Forty-three pupils in the district chose to attend a charter school.[6]

The Selinsgrove Area School District is funded by a combination of: a local income tax of 1.6% on earned income (fourth highest in the Commonwealth),[234] a property tax (estimated revenue in 2010–11 of $13, 214, 282), a real estate transfer tax - 0.5%, 2 per capita taxes of $5 each,[235][236] various grants, coupled with substantial funding from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the federal government. In Pennsylvania, pension income and social security income are exempt from Pennsylvania personal income tax and local earned income tax, regardless of the level of wealth of the taxpayer.[237][238] 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 the local public schools.[239] Effective 2016, active duty military are also exempted from paying the local earned income tax in Pennsylvania.[240][241]

State Basic Education funding[edit]

According to a report from Representative Todd Stephens office, Selinsgrove Area School District receives 35% of its annual District revenue from the state.[242]

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. Other issues in funding were also covered.[243] 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).[244][245][246]

For the 2016-17 school year, Selinsgrove Area School District received $7,720,098 in Basic Education Funding from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. This is a 3.5% increase over 2015-16 funding to the District. Both Snyder County public school districts received a 3.5% increase. For the 2016-17 school year, Pennsylvania increased its public education spending to a record high of $5,895 billion. It was a $200 million increase, 3.51% increase over the 2015-16 appropriation.[247] The state also funded Ready to Learn grants at $250 million and Special Education funding received a $20 million increase.[248] The state also paid $492 million to the school employee social security fund and another $2.064 billion to the teacher's pension fund.[249] Statewide Conestoga Valley School District received a 13.3% increase in state BEF funding. Five PA public school districts received an increase of 10% or greater in Basic Education funding over their 2015-16 funding. SASD also received an increase in state special education funding and Ready to Learn Funding.

For the 2015-16 school year, Governor Tom Wolf released a partial Basic Education Funding of $3,648,472 to Selinsgrove Area School District, in January 2016.[250] This was part of $10.3 billion in school funding withheld from the public school, by the Governor since the summer of 2015.[251] The dispersment did not follow the new Basic Education Funding formula which had been established by the Pennsylvania General Assembly in 2015.[252]

In April 2016, Governor Wolf announced his finalized dispersement of 2015-16 state Basic Education Funding. Selinsgrove Area School District received a 1.82% increase for a total funding of $7,375,531.[253] This is $81,093 less than the District was to receive by law under the state's Fair Funding Formula approved in 2015.[254][255] Four hundred and twenty-eight (428) Pennsylvania public school districts received less money under Governor Wolf's plan.[256] Wolf also altered the Ready to Learn Grant distribution. The District received another $352,397 in Ready To Learn grant which was $66,264 less than it would have received under the approved state formula for distribution.

The highest increase in funding statewide was awarded by Governor Wolf to Wilkinsburg Borough School District which got a 44.1% increase in state Basic Education Funding. The average BEF increase among the Commonwealth's 500 public school districts for 2015-16 was 2.21%. In Lackawanna County, the highest percentage increase in state funding was awarded to Old Forge School District - 3.51%. The Pennsylvania education budget is $5.93 billion for basic education, a $200 million or 3.5 percent increase over 2014-15 allocation. Another $1.08 billion was allotted for special education funding, a $30 million or 2.9 percent increase over 2014-15. Additionally, the state paid over $500 million towards school employee social security payments and over $1 billion to the teacher's pension fund (PSERS).[257]

In compliance with a legislative mandate that was passed with veto proof majorities in the PA House and Senate,[258] the final BEF funding was determined for 2015-16, in April 2016. Selinsgrove Area School District received $7,458,344 in Basic Education Funds for the 2015-16 school year. This was a 2.76% increase yielding a $200,312 increase over the previous school year funding. The District also received $418,661 in Ready to Learn funding from the state.[259]

For the 2014–15 school year, Selinsgrove Area School District received $7,241,632 in State Basic Education Funding (BEF). The District also received another $174,900 in Accountability Block Grant funding and $157,929 in the new Ready To Learn Block grant. The State's enacted Education Budget included $5,526,129,000 for the 2014–2015 Basic Education Funding.[260] The Education budget also includes Accountability Block Grant funding at $100 million and $241 million in new Ready to Learn funding for public schools that focus on student achievement and academic success. The State is paying $500.8 million to Social Security on the school employees behalf and another $1.16 billion to the state teachers pension system (PSERS). In total, Pennsylvania's Education budget for K-12 public schools is $10 billion. This was a $305 million increase over 2013–2014 state spending and the greatest amount ever allotted by the Commonwealth for its public schools.[261]

For the 2013–14 school year, Selinsgrove Area School District received a 2.4% increase or $7,243,326 in Pennsylvania Basic Education Funding. This is $166,838 more than its 2012–13 state BEF to the District. Additionally, Selinsgrove Area School District received $174,900 in Accountability Block Grant funding to focus on academic achievement and level funding for special education services. Among the public school districts in Snyder County, Selinsgrove Area School District received the highest percentage increase in BEF. The District has the option of applying for several other state and federal grants to increase revenues. The Commonwealth's budget increased Basic Education Funding statewide by $123 million to over $5.5 billion. Most of Pennsylvania's 500 public school districts received an increase of Basic Education Funding in a range of 0.9% to 4%. Eight public school districts received exceptionally high funding increases of 10% to 16%. The highest increase in state funding was awarded to Austin Area School District which received a 22.5% increase in Basic Education Funding.[262] The highest percent of state spending per student is in the Chester-Upland district, where roughly 78 percent comes from state coffers. In Philadelphia, it is nearly 49 percent.[263] 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.[264]

For the 2012–13 school year, the Selinsgrove Area School District received $7,076,488.[265] 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. Selinsgrove Area School District received $174,900 in Accountability Block Grant funding to focus on academic achievement. The state also provided a $544.4 million payment for School Employees’ Social Security and $856 million for School Employees’ Retirement fund called PSERS.[266] 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.

For the 2011–12 school year, the Selinsgorve Area School District received $7,075,134 in state Basic Education Funding. .[267][268] Additionally, the District received $174,900 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.[269] 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.[270] In 2010, the district reported that 882 students received free or reduced-price lunches, due to the family meeting the federal poverty level.[271] The district reported that 943 students qualified for the federal free or reduced-price lunch due to low family income.

In the 2010–2011 budget year, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania provided a 5.32% increase in Basic Education funding to Selinsgrove Area School District for a total of $7,737,785. This was the highest increase in Snyder County in Basic Education Funding from the state. Among the 500 school districts in the commonwealth, 150 received a base 2% increase, while Kennett Consolidated School District in Chester County received a 23.65% increase for 2010. Fifteen school district received an increase of state basic education funding that was greater than 10%.[272]

In the 2009–2010 budget year, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania provided a 5.53% increase in Basic Education Funding for a total of $7,347,199 to Selinsgrove Area School District.[273] 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.[274] Ninety school district in the Commonwealth received the base 2% funding increase. Among the 500 school districts in Pennsylvania, Muhlenberg School District in Berks County received the highest with a 22.31% increase in funding.[275] The amount of increase each school district receives is determined by the Governor and the Secretary of Education through the allocation set in the state budget proposal made in February each year.[276]

The state Basic Education funding to the District for 2008–09 was $6,962,089.42. According to the Pennsylvania Department of Education, 784 students received free or reduced-price lunches due to low family income in the 2007–2008 school year.[277]

All Pennsylvania school districts also receive additional funding from the state through several other funding allocations, including Reimbursement of Charter School Expenditures; Special Education Funding; Secondary Career & Technical Education Subsidy; PA Accountability Grants and Educational Assistance Program Funding. Additionally, Pennsylvania public school districts receive federal dollars for various programs including Special Education 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.

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 2010–2011, Selinsgrove Area School District applied for and received $474,723 in addition to all other state and federal funding. The District uses the funding to provide full-day kindergarten with a class size under 20 pupils.[278][279]

  • 2009–10 - $474,723 for full-day kindergarten for 200 pupils.[280]
  • 2008–09 - $474,723 for full-day kindergarten and to fund a math coach position at the high school.

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.[281]

Selinsgrove Area School District received $157,929 in Ready to Learn Grant dollars in addition to State Basic Education funding, Special Education funding, Accountability Block Grant funding, reimbursement for Social Security payments for employees and other state grants. For 2016-17 Selinsgrove Area School District received $157,929 in Ready to Learn Grant dollars.[282]

Environmental Education Grant[edit]

The Environmental Education Grant Program was established by the Environmental Education Act of 1993, which mandates that 5 percent of all pollution fines and penalties collected annually by the Department of Environmental Protection be set aside for environmental education. In 2010, Selinsgrove Area School District was awarded $3400 for fifth grade students to participate in an outdoor educational camp.[283]

Literacy Grant[edit]

Selinsgrove Area School District was awarded a $826,148 competitive literacy grant. It is to be used to improve reading skills birth through 12th grade. The District was required to develop a lengthy literacy plan, which included outreach into the community. The funds come from a Striving Readers Comprehensive Literacy grant, also referred to as the Keystones to Opportunity grant It is a five-year, competitive federal grant program designed to assist local education agencies in developing and implementing local comprehensive literacy plans. Of the 329 pre-applications by school districts reviewed by the Pennsylvania Department of Education, Selinsgrove Area School District was one of only 148 entities that were invited to submit a full application. In Snyder County, only one school district was awarded funding for one year.[284] The funds must be used for teacher training, student screening and assessment, targeted interventions for students reading below grade level and research-based methods of improving classroom instruction and practice. Districts must hire literacy coaches. The coaches work with classroom teachers to enhance their literacy teaching skills. Pennsylvania was among six other states, out of the 35 that applied, to be awarded funding. Pennsylvania received $38 million through the federal program. The Department of Education reserved 5% of the grant for administration costs at the state level. The top Pennsylvania grant recipient was Pittsburgh School District which was awarded $1,9983,014.

Project 720[edit]

Project 720 was a high school reform program implemented for three years under the Rendell administration. The intent was to increase academic rigor and improve the instruction of teachers in the Commonwealth's high schools. Teachers were expected to use data driven instructional practices and to meet the needs of diverse learners.[285] The 720 in the name referred to the number of days a student was in high school in ninth through 12th grades.[286] High schools applied for funding and were required to agree to report to the PDE their plans, their actions and the outcomes. In 2007-08 budget year, the Commonwealth provided $11 million in funding. Selinsgrove Area School District was one of 161 PA public school districts to apply, receiving $113,625 funding over three years.[287][288] For 2010-11, Project 720 funding was decreased to $1.7 million by Governor Rendell. The grant program was discontinued effective with the 2011-12 state budget.[289]

Other grants[edit]

The Selinsgrove Area School District did not participate in: PA Science Its Elementary grants (discontinued effective with 2009–10 budget by Governor Rendell); Education Assistance Grants; 2012 and 2013 Pennsylvania Hybrid Learning Grants;[290] nor the federal 21st Century Learning grants.

Federal grants[edit]

Stimulus grant

The Selinsgrove Area School District received an extra $1,590,417 in ARRA - Federal Stimulus money to be used in specific programs like special education and meeting the academic needs of low-income students. This was in addition to all regular state and federal funding.[291] This funding was for 2009–10 and 2010–2011 school years. The funding was limited to the 2009–10 and 2010–2011 school years.[292] Due to the temporary nature of the funding, schools were repeatedly advised to use the funds for one time expenditures like: acquiring equipment, making repairs to buildings, training teachers to provide more effective instruction or purchasing books and software.

Safe Routes to School grant

The district was awarded a Safe Routes to School grant in 2009. A multiyear process calls for a group to decide how the funds will be used.[293][294]

Race to the Top grant[edit]

Selinsgrove Area School District officials did not apply for the Race to the Top federal grant which would have brought the district hundreds of thousands in additional federal dollars for improving student academic achievement.[295] 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.[296] Pennsylvania was not approved in the first round of the grant. The failure of districts to agree to participate was cited as one reason that Pennsylvania was not approved. A second round of state Race to the Top application judging will occur in June 2010.[297]

Title IIA 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 provide each child in public schools with "Highly Quality" teachers and principals as defined by the state.[298] The funds are sent to the state Department of Education which distributes them to each school district and charter school.[299] 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, Selinsgrove Area School District received $147,223 in federal Title IIA funding. In 2014-15, Selinsgrove Area School District applied for and received $140,182.

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.[300] 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.[301]

In 2012-13 - Selinsgrove Area School District received $10,320 in Title III funding for English language learners.[302]

For 2014-15, Selinsgrove Area School District received $6,558 in Title III funding.[303]

Common Cents state initiative[edit]

The Selinsgrove Area School Board rejected twice participating 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.[304] After the review of the information, the district was not required to implement the recommended cost savings changes. The review identified potential annual savings of over $78,000 over a variety of cost centers, including food services, transportation, purchasing and utility costs. Opportunities for savings in food services and utility costs appeared particularly promising for the district. A motion to participate in the program was defeated by the school board, in two consecutive years.[305][306]

Real estate taxes[edit]

Property tax rates were set by the Selinsgrove Area School Board to 64.9900 mills for 2016–17.[13] The Board had raised property taxes every year from 2005 to 2015. A mill is $1 of tax for every $1,000 of a property's assessed value. 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.[307] 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,.[308] Selinsgrove School District is adversely impacted in this way by the Sunbury Pipeline in Shamokin Dam and Monroe Township. Pipeline companies typically prohibit development within the permanent right-of-way, which can be as high as 50 feet, there by limiting future development options for the landowner.[309][310] The District as also permanently lost property tax revenue as the Commonwealth has purchased 108 properties for the major highway project called Central Susquehanna Valley Transportation Project.[311]

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, which are around 15% of revenues for school districts.[312] When a Pennsylvania public school district includes municipalities in two counties, each of which has different rates of property tax assessment, a state board equalizes the tax rates between the counties.[313] In 2010, miscalculations by the State Tax Equalization Board (STEB) were widespread in the Commonwealth and adversely impacted funding for many school districts, including those that did not cross county borders.[314]

It has been several decades since a true property reassessment was conducted in Snyder County. Many large local businesses have been highly successful in challenging their property tax assessment, subsequently lowering their property taxes, including Walmart, KMart, Monroe Marketplace - Icon Reality, LLC, Market Street Manor Associates, Omega Financial Corporation, Middleburg Yarn and Sunbury New Enterprises, Sunbury Generation in Shamokin Dam, Haven Realty, LLC (2012) and Selinsgrove Elderly Housing Association.[329][330][331][332] Kohls store in Monroe Marketplace successfully lowered its real estate tax assessment and payments for years 2014, 2015, 2016, and 2017.[333]

In 2007, the Selinsgrove Area School Board adopted Resolution No. 2007-01 exempting from real property taxation portions of the assessed valuation of improvements and new construction at Sunbury Generation property in Hummels Wharf and Shamokin Dam. The agreement is for 2007 through 2017.[331] In 2014, the plant was shuttered by the company, laying off 90 employees. Additionally, in 2009 the Selinsgrove Area School Board awarded a Keystone Opportunity Expansion Zone tax exempt status to the Pauling Station Business Park on Route 522 in Penn Township. This exempts the property from all state and local taxation, including property and local earned income tax for business owners that locate there.[334][335]

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.[336] The average yearly property tax paid by Snyder County residents amounts to about 2.79% of their yearly income. Snyder County is ranked 728th of the 3143 United States counties for property taxes as a percentage of median income.[337]

Act 1 Adjusted index[edit]

The Act 1 of 2006 Index regulates the rates at which each school district can raise property taxes in Pennsylvania. Districts are not allowed to raise taxes above that index unless they allow voters to vote by referendum, or they seek an exception from the state Department of Education. The base index for the 2011-20112 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 Pennsylvania 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.[338] In June 2011, the Pennsylvania General Assembly eliminated six of the ten the exceptions to the Act 1 Index.[339] 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 taking into account based on the PSERS contribution rate.[340][341] The School District Adjusted Index for the Selinsgrove Area School District 2006–2007 through 2010–2011.[342]

For the 2016-17 budget year, Selinsgrove Area School Board did not apply for exceptions to exceed the District's Act 1 Index limit.[350] Statewide 299 school districts adopted a resolution to not exceed their Act I index in 2016-17.

For the 2015-16 budget year, Selinsgrove Area School Board did not apply for exceptions to exceed their Act 1 Index 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.[351]

For the 2014–15 budget year, Selinsgrove 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).[352] 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.[353]

For the 2013–14 budget year, Selinsgrove Area School Board did not apply for exceptions to exceed their Act 1 Index limit. For the school budget year 2013–14, 311 Pennsylvania public school districts adopted a resolution certifying that tax rates would not be increased above their index. Another 171 school districts adopted a preliminary budget leaving open the option of exceeded the Index limit. For the exception for pension costs, 89 school districts received approval to exceed the Index in full while others received a partial approval of their request. For special education costs, 75 districts received approval to exceed their tax limit. For the pension costs exception, 169 school districts received approval to exceed the Index. Eleven Pennsylvania public school districts received an approval for grandfathered construction debts.[354]

For the 2012–13 budget year, Selinsgrove Area School Board applied for two exceptions to exceed the Act 1 Index: teacher pension costs and Grandfathered School Construction Debt. For 2012–2013, 274 school districts adopted a resolution certifying that tax rates would not be increased above their index; 223 school districts adopted a preliminary budget leaving open the option of exceeded the Index limit. For the exception for pension costs, 194 school districts received approval to exceed the Index. For special education costs, 129 districts received approval to exceed the tax limit.[355]

For the 2011–12 budget, the Selinsgrove Area School Board used a pension costs exception to exceed the District's Act 1 index limit.[356] Under Act 1 of 2006, school districts had the option of adopting either 1) a resolution by January 27 certifying they would not increase taxes above their index or 2) a preliminary budget by February 16. A school district adopting the resolution may not apply for referendum exceptions or ask voters for a tax increase above the inflation index. For 2011–2012, 247 school districts adopted a resolution certifying that tax rates would not be increased above their index; 250 school districts adopted a preliminary budget. In the spring of 2011, 228 Pennsylvania public school district requested at least one exception to exceed their Act 1 Index limit.[357]

The Selinsgrove Area School Board did not use exceptions to exceed the Act 1 index for the budgets in 2009–10 or in 2010–11.[358][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 2014, the Homestead/Farmstead Property Tax Relief from gambling for the Selinsgrove Area School District was $133 per approved permanent primary residence.[361] The number of applicants grew to 5,005 properties in 2014. The relief was subtracted from the total annual school property tax bill. Property owners apply for the relief through the county Treasurer's office. Farmers can qualify for a farmstead exemption on building used for agricultural purposes. The farm must be at least 10 contiguous acres and must be the primary residence of the owner. Farmers can qualify for both the homestead exemption and the farmstead exemption. In Snyder County, 54% of eligible property owners applied for property tax relief in 2009.[362]

  • 2012 - $133, 4,972 property owners applied
  • 2011 - $137, 4,837 approved properties[363]
  • 2010 - $144, 4,611 property owners applied for the tax relief.[364]
  • 2008 - $134, 5,146 approved properties

Additionally, the Pennsylvania Property Tax/Rent Rebate program is provided for low income Pennsylvanians aged 65 and older; widows and widowers aged 50 and older; and people with disabilities age 18 and older living in the Selinsgrove Area School District. 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, so people who make substantially more than $35,000 may still qualify for a rebate. Individuals must apply annually for the rebate. This rebate can be taken in addition to Homestead/Farmstead Property Tax Relief.

Property taxes in Pennsylvania are relatively high on a national scale. According to the Tax Foundation, Pennsylvania ranked 11th in the U.S. in 2008 in terms of property taxes paid as a percentage of home value (1.34%) and 12th in the country in terms of property taxes as a percentage of income (3.55%).[365]

Building Projects[edit]

Primary grades are provided at Selinsgrove Elementary School. The district began providing all-day kindergarten in the 2007–2008 school year in an effort to improve its lagging student academic performance. District officials used the addition of this program as an opportunity to further consolidate the district by renovating and enlarging Selinsgrove Elementary School with the intent to close Jackson-Penn Elementary School. Enrollment in the district is declining and is projected to continue to decline for the next decade. SASD Demographic report Enrollment Projections

In 2005 Selinsgrove Area High School was ranked 306th out of 601 Pennsylvania high schools on the annual state testing. The 3rd grade, located at the Intermediate school, ranked 1215th out of 1779 Pennsylvania third grades.

Several groups have approached the school board wanting to add more costly athletic programs, including swimming, boys and girls lacrosse and girls middle school softball. Additionally, the music program continues to push for a new, state of the art performance center.

Wellness policy[edit]

Selinsgrove Area School Board established a district wellness policy in 2006 - Policy 246.[366] 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.[367] The Pennsylvania Department of Education required the district to submit a copy of the policy for approval.

The Selinsgrove Area School District offers a free school breakfast and free or reduced-price lunch to children in low income families. All students attending the school can eat breakfast and lunch. Children from families with incomes at or below 130 percent of the federal poverty level are provided a breakfast and lunch at no cost to the family. Children from families with incomes between 130 and 185 percent of the federal poverty level can be charged no more than 30 cents per breakfast. A foster child whose care and placement is the responsibility of the State or who is placed by a court with a caretaker household is eligible for both a free breakfast and a free lunch. Runaway, homeless and Migrant Youth are also automatically eligible for free meals.[368] The meals are partially funded with federal dollars through the United States Department of Agriculture.[369]

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.[370] 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.[371]

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.[372][373]

Selinsgrove 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.[374] Nurses also monitor each child's weight.

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.[375] The cost was covered by a grant from a private foundation.[376]

Highmark Healthy High 5 grant[edit]

In 2011, all four schools in the Selinsgrove Area School District received funding through a Highmark Healthy High 5 grant. Selinsgrove Area High School received $10,000 which was used to purchase workout stations for the district-wide fitness trail. Selinsgrove Area Middle School, Selinsgrove Area Intermediate School and Selinsgrove Area Elementary School also received $10,000 each which was used for the district wide fitness trail project.[377] Beginning in 2006, Highmark Foundation engaged in a 5-year, $100 million program to promote lifelong healthy behaviors in children and adolescents through local nonprofits and schools. Student activities

Extracurriculars[edit]

The District offers an extensive variety of clubs, activities and sports. Eligibility for participation is determined by School Board policy. At Selinsgrove Area School District students may be failing up to two courses and continue to participate in activities.[378] Effective 2010, the annual activity participation fee was raised to $40. The fee is charged for students to participate in the athletics program and band. The fee is charged once a school year regardless of how many sports the student joins. Students, who qualify for free and reduced price meals due to family poverty, are exempted from the fee. Paying the fee gives the student access to all school sporting events except Districts and States. For nearly two decades, the fee was $25.[379] The District is noncompliant with state law and its own policy, due to failing to post its Interscholastic Athletic Opportunities Disclosure Form on its website.[380][381]

By Pennsylvania law, all K-12 students who are residing in the District, including those who attend a private school, a public cyber charter school, a public charter school and those who are homeschooled, are eligible to participate in the extracurricular programs, including all athletics. They must meet the same eligibility rules as the students enrolled in the district's schools.[382][383][384]

Clubs and organizations[edit]

Selinsgrove's student life programs include: French Club, Technology Student Association, Forensics (of the National Forensic League), Chess club, FFA, Student Government, German Club, Key Club, SADD Club, Spanish Club, and Web Heads. Students from the school have been notably successful in participating in Pennsylvania History Day and the Pennsylvania Mock Trial Competition.

Music and Performance[edit]

The school's music program offers both band instrumental and voice training. Annual concerts are conducted by programs at the high school and middle school. Students have access to free instrument lessons beginning in the elementary schools.

Band[edit]

The Selinsgrove Area High School Marching Band supports the community by playing at local events like the annual Memorial Day ceremony and the Market Street Festival. Selinsgrove's band also performs each week at the school's football games; they perform in concert form at least once per semester. The band has played at Canadian football games and marched in several Disney World holiday parades.

Chorus[edit]

The Honors Chorus has performed at Carnegie Hall and at the dedication of the National World War II Memorial in Washington, DC as the representative of Pennsylvania. The 2005–2006 chorus premiered Matthew Harris' piece, "Oceanic Eyes".

Theater[edit]

Students can also elect to participate on-stage in Selinsgrove's 2 plays or annual musical. Notable productions in recent years include "The Little Shop of Horrors", "Annie Get Your Gun", Rodgers and Hammerstein's Cinderella, "Jesus Christ Superstar", "Footloose", and "Copacabana".

Athletics[edit]

The interscholastic athletic program offers students a plethora of opportunities to develop sport-related skills. Some sports offer multiple levels beginning the middle school. Several of the school's teams have excelled, including the bowling, field hockey, girls' basketball and football teams. Selinsgrove participates in various sports through the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association and is a founding member of the Pennsylvania Heartland Athletic Conference.[385] The district spent over $650,000 for athletics in 2010, excluding the debt payment on the bonds for the athletic renovations.[386] The District spends over $650,000 a year on funding sports activities.[387]

In 2003–2005, the District spent over $2.5 million to update and extend its athletic facilities. This ambitious project included: a new all-weather track, major renovations to the football stadium, including installing artificial turf, adding locker facilities, office and locker space for referees and a deluxe food service area for the boosters, two new soccer fields, and a renovated field hockey field. Improvements were also made to the baseball and softball facilities.[388]

In 2009, the school's football team captured the PIAA class AAA state football championship by defeating Manheim Central by a score of 10–7 for the school's first state football championship and the second overall championship; the first being Track & Field in 1974.

Several sports' booster clubs have paid for and completed extensive improvements to their facilities. The Soccer program has added several feature to their varsity field in front of the high school. The baseball boosters have upgraded the dugout and benches.

According to Pennsylvania's Safety in Youth Sports Act, all sports coaches, paid and volunteer, are required to annually complete the Concussion Management Certification Training and present the certification before coaching.[389][390]

Coaches receive compensation as outlined in the teachers' union contract. When athletic competition exceeds the regular season, additional compensation is paid.[391]

Lacrosse is a club sport run by volunteers without district funding. In June 2014, the Board's extracurricular committee again rejected changing the Lacrosse Club's status to varsity sport, thereby shifting the costs to the District's taxpayers. The prohibitive costs were cited from the rejected application.[392]

According to PIAA directory July 2013 [393]

Notes and references[edit]

  1. ^ TribReview, Pennsylvania's salaries for school teachers, administrators 2013-14, May 2015
  2. ^ Selinsgrove Area School Board Secretary (February 2016). "Selinsgrove Area School District School Board Meeting February 2016" (PDF). 
  3. ^ National Center for Education Statistics, Common Core of Data - Selinsgrove Area School District, 2010
  4. ^ National Center for Education Statistics, Common Core of Data - Selinsgrove Area School District, 2015
  5. ^ National Center for Education Statistics, Common Core of Data - Selinsgrove Area School District, 2012
  6. ^ a b PDE, Selinsgrove Area School District Fast Facts 2016, October 2016
  7. ^ Robert Stonebeck., School Numbers Take a Dip, The Daily Item, August 17, 2015
  8. ^ PDE (November 6, 2014). "Selinsgrove Area School District Fast Facts 2014". 
  9. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education, Enrollment and Enrollment Projections 2010, July 2010
  10. ^ Rick Dandes, For some, tears flow, The Daily Item, August 19, 2014
  11. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education, Enrollment by LEA and School 2012–13, 2013
  12. ^ Enrollment and Projections by LEA, Pennsylvania Department of Education, July 2010
  13. ^ a b Rick Dandes., School Board Retains Tax Rates, The Daily Item, May 12, 2016
  14. ^ Rick Dandes., Selinsgrove Despite rising costs, no tax increase, The Daily Item, June 15, 2016
  15. ^ WKOK.com, Tax hike expected in Selinsgrove district, May 24, 2015
  16. ^ Ali Stevens (May 13, 2014). "Another tax increase for Selinsgrove district". WKOK News 1070AM. 
  17. ^ The Daily Item, Selinsgrove school board OKs tax hike, June 25, 2013
  18. ^ Selinsgrove Area School Board Secretary, Selinsgrove Area School Board Meeting Minutes, June 2012
  19. ^ Selinsgrove Area School Board Secretary, Selinsgrove Area School Board Meeting Minutes, June 20, 2011
  20. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education, Tuition rates per LEA, 2011
  21. ^ Common Care of Data NCES (2010). "District Directory Information Selinsgrove ASD". 
  22. ^ PreK-12 Statistics July 2007 Enrollment Projections
  23. ^ proximityone (2014). "School District Comparative Analysis Profiles". 
  24. ^ Marcia Moore, State loosens rules for homeschoolers, The Daily Item, November 9, 2014
  25. ^ Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center, Education Facts Student Poverty Concentration by LEA, 2012
  26. ^ "Common Core Data - Selinsgrove Area School District". ies - National Center for Education Statistics. Retrieved June 17, 2010. 
  27. ^ US Census Bureau, American Fact Finder, 2009
  28. ^ US Census Bureau (2010). "American Fact Finder, State and County quick facts". 
  29. ^ US Census Bureau (September 2011). "Income, Poverty, and Health Insurance Coverage in the United States: 2010" (PDF). 
  30. ^ Pennsylvania Auditor General Office, Audit of Selinsgrove Area School District, April 12, 2010
  31. ^ Pennsylvania General Assembly, Pennsylvania Public School Code Governance 2010
  32. ^ US Department of Education (2015). "Every Student Succeeds Act". 
  33. ^ Pennsylvania General Assembly (2012). "Act of Jul. 12, 2012, P.L. 1142, No. 141 Section 921-A". 
  34. ^ a b Pennsylvania General Assembly, Pennsylvania School Code, 2013
  35. ^ Pennsylvania General Assembly (2012). "Act of Jul. 12, 2012, P.L. 1142, No. 141". 
  36. ^ The Commonwealth Foundation for Public Policy Alternatives, The Pennsylvania Project, May 20, 2010
  37. ^ Selinsgrove Area School Board meeting minutes April 20, 2009
  38. ^ Selinsgrove Area School District website. Retrieved June 2010.
  39. ^ Secretary Selinsgrove Area School Board, May 2011 Board meeting Minutes, May 2011
  40. ^ Pittsburgh Business Times (April 12, 2016). "Chester County district leads statewide Honor Roll 2016". 
  41. ^ Pittsburgh Business Times (April 11, 2014). "What makes up a district's School Performance Profile score?". 
  42. ^ Pittsburgh Business Times (April 10, 2015). "Guide to Pennsylvania Schools Statewide School District Ranking 2015". 
  43. ^ Pittsburgh Business Times, Guide to Pennsylvania School Statewide Honor Roll Rankings 2014, April 11, 2014
  44. ^ Pittsburgh Business Times, Guide to Pennsylvania School Statewide Honor Roll Rankings 2013, April 5, 2013
  45. ^ Pittsburgh Business Times, Statewide Honor Roll Rankings 2012, April 4, 2012
  46. ^ Pittsburgh Business Times, Statewide Honor Roll Rankings 2011, April 2011
  47. ^ Pittsburgh Business Times (May 6, 2010). "Statewide Honor Roll Rankings". 
  48. ^ "Three of top school districts in state hail from Allegheny County". Pittsburgh Business Times. May 23, 2007. 
  49. ^ Pennsylvania Auditor General Office (October 6, 2015). "561 Academically Challenged Schools Overlooked by the Department of Education" (PDF). 
  50. ^ Joe Sylvester (October 7, 2015). "8 schools in Valley jilted, audit reveals". The Daily Item. 
  51. ^ Pennsylvania Auditor General Office (October 7, 2015). "Special Performance Audit Report - Pennsylvania Department of Education" (PDF). 
  52. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education, Pennsylvania Public School District AYP History, 2011
  53. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education, Pennsylvania District AYP History 2003–2010, 2011
  54. ^ Selinsgrove Area School Board, Selinsgrove Area School District Strategic Plan 2007, 2007
  55. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education (December 4, 2016). "Selinsgrove Area HIgh School Fast Facts 2015". 
  56. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education, School Performance Profile Other Academic Indicators - Selinsgrove Area High School, October 4, 2013
  57. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education, Selinsgrove Area School District AYP Table 2012, September 21, 2012
  58. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education (September 29, 2011). "SELINSGROVE AREA SD - District AYP Data Table". 
  59. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education (March 15, 2011). "New 4-year Cohort Graduation Rate Calculation Now Being Implemented". 
  60. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education, Selinsgrove Area School District Academic Achievement Report Card 2010, September 14, 2010
  61. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education (2009). "Selinsgrove Area School District Report Card 2009 data". 
  62. ^ U.S. News & World Report, Best High Schools, 2013
  63. ^ Moore, Marcia, Board cuts 17 teachers, The Daily Item, February 22, 2012
  64. ^ National Center for Education Statistics, Common Core Data - Selinsgrove Area High School, 2011
  65. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education, Professional Qualifications of Teachers Selinsgrove Area High School 2012, September 21, 2012
  66. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education, Enrollment and Projections by LEA and School, July 2010
  67. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education (September 29, 2016). "2016 PSSA AND KEYSTONE Results". 
  68. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education (August 2016). "Findings and Recommendations Pursuant to Act 1 of 2016" (PDF). 
  69. ^ Pennsylvania Departemtn of Education (November 4, 2015). "Selinsgrove Area High School School Performance Profile 2015". 
  70. ^ Jan Murphy (November 4, 2015). "Report card for state's high schools show overall decline". Pennlive.com. 
  71. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education (November 4, 2015). "2015 Keystone Exam School Level Data". 
  72. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education (November 6, 2014). "Selinsgrove Area High School Academic Performance Data 2014". 
  73. ^ Acting Secretary of Education Carolyn Dumaresq, Acting Secretary of Education Announces Results of 2013–14 School Performance Profile; Strong Performance in 72 Percent of Schools, November 6, 2014
  74. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education (October 4, 2013). "High School Academic Performance Data 2013". 
  75. ^ Eleanor Chute; Mary Niederberger (December 11, 2013). "New assessment shows fuller picture of Pa. schools". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. 
  76. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education (September 21, 2012). "Selinsgrove Area High School AYP Overview 2012". 
  77. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education, Selinsgrove Area High School AYP Overview 2011, September 29, 2011
  78. ^ "Pennsylvania College Remediation Report, Pennsylvania Department of Education. January 2009". Retrieved May 1, 2010. 
  79. ^ National Center for Education Statistics, IPEDS 2008
  80. ^ Selinsgrove Area School Board (January 2012). "Graduation Requirements Policy 217" (PDF). 
  81. ^ Selinsgrove Area High School Student Handbook 2009, Selinsgrove Area High School Administration, 2009
  82. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education (2010). "Keystone Exam Overview" (PDF). 
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  383. ^ Selinsgrove Area School Board (October 3, 2005). "EXTRACURRICULAR PARTICIPATION BY CHARTER-CYBER CHARTER STUDENTS Policy 140.1". 
  384. ^ Selinsgrove Area School Board (October 3, 2005). "EXTRACURRICULAR PARTICIPATION BY HOME EDUCATION STUDENTS Policy 137.1". 
  385. ^ Stafford, Todd "New athletic League becomes a reality", The Daily Item, May 19, 2007.
  386. ^ Selinsgrove Area School Board, Athletic Fund Budget report, June 2010
  387. ^ Selinsgrove Area School Board, Selinsgrove Area School District General Fund Budget 2008, June 2008
  388. ^ Reed Construction Data (2006). "Selinsgrove Area School District Athletic Facility Project". 
  389. ^ PA General Assembly (July 1, 2012). "Senate Bill 200 of Session 2011 Safety in Youth Sports Act". 
  390. ^ UMPC Sports Medicine (2014). "Managing Concussions in Student Athletes: The Safety in Youth Sports Act". 
  391. ^ Selinsgrove Area School Board, Selinsgrove Area School District Teacher Union Contract, July 2014
  392. ^ Selinsgrove Area School Board Extracurricular Committee, Meeting report to Selinsgrove Area School Board, June 23, 2014
  393. ^ Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletics Association (2013). "PIAA School Directory".