Stroudsburg Area School District

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Stroudsburg Area School District
Map of Monroe County Pennsylvania School Districts.png
Address
123 Linden Street
Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania, Monroe County 18360
United States
Information
Type Public education
Closed Ramsey Elementary School (K-2) June 2014, Clearview Elementary School June 2015[1]
School board 9 locally elected members
Superintendent

Dr Cosmas C Curry, (contract October 19, 2015 to June 30, 2019) salary $167,000[2]

Dr. John A. Toleno (contract 2001 through August 19, 2014) salary $192,000 with claimed but unapproved bonus[3] Terminated by board in January 2015[4]
Administrator

Michael J Sokoloski, Business manager
Stephen G Brodmerkel, Asst Superintendent

Wanda L Lesoine, Asst Superintendent
Grades K-12
Number of students

4,959 pupils (2016),[5]

5,178 pupils (2013-14)[6] 5,763 pupils (2009-10),[7] 5,891 pupils (2006-07)[8]
Color(s) maroon and white          
Mascot Mountaineer
Budget

$104,423,400 (2016-17)[9]
$106,797,632 (2015-16)[10]
$105,117,296 (2013-14),
$95,672,702.00 (2012-13),[11]

$92,784,917 (2011-12)[12]
Website

Stroudsburg Area School District is a large, suburban/rural public school district located in the Poconos of northeast Pennsylvania. The headquarters are located on West Main Street in the Borough of Stroudsburg in Monroe County. Stroudsburg Area School District encompasses approximately 73 square miles (190 km2). According to 2000 federal census data, it served a resident population of 30,713 . By 2010, the district's population increased to 36,502 people, by 2015 it had declined to 35,787.[13] In 2009, the District residents’ per capita income was $22,137, while the median family income was $56,546.[14] In the Commonwealth, the median family income was $49,501[15] and the United States median family income was $49,445, in 2010.[16] The District is one of the 500 public school districts of Pennsylvania.

According to the Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center, 44.1% of the District’s pupils lived at 185% or below the Federal Poverty Level [1] as shown by their eligibility for the federal free or reduced price school meal programs in 2012.[17] In 2013 the Pennsylvania Department of Education, reported that 60 students in the Stroudsburg Area School District were homeless.[18]

Per District officials, in school year 2007-08 the Stroudsburg Area School District provided basic educational services to 5,906 pupils through the employment of 426 teachers, 364 full-time and part-time support personnel, and 24 administrators. Stroudsburg Area School District received more than $18.9 million in state funding in school year 2007-08. The Superintendent of Schools was Dr. John A. Toleno. In school year 2009-10, Stroudsburg Area School District provided basic educational services to 5,641 pupils. It employed: 415 teachers, 362 full-time and part-time support personnel, and 25 administrators. Stroudsburg Area School District received more than $21.3 million in state funding in school year 2009-10. In February 2017, Superintendent Cosmas Curry reported the district employed 379 classroom teachers and student enrollment was 5,087 students.

Schools[edit]

The Stroudsburg Area School District consists of five elementary schools, an intermediate elementary school, a middle school, a junior high, and a high school. There are four elementary principals as well as one at each of the other four school buildings. The Intermediate School has one assistant principal, Junior High 1.5 assistant principals, and the High School has three assistant principals.

Stroudsburg High School students may choose to attend Monroe Career & Tech Institute for training in the trades. The Colonial Intermediate Unit IU20 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.

W.H. Ramsey Elementary was closed by the School Board due to declining enrollment district-wide, effective June 2014, followed by Clearview Elementary the following year.

Governance[edit]

The Stroudsburg Area School District is governed by 9 individually elected board members (serve four-year terms), the Pennsylvania State Board of Education, the Pennsylvania Department of Education and the Pennsylvania General Assembly.[19] 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 its resources on student success in acquiring reading and math skills.[20] 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.[21]

The Superintendent and Business Manager are appointed by the school board. The Superintendent is the chief administrative officer with overall responsibility for all aspects of operations, including education and finance. The Business Manager is responsible for budget and financial operations. Neither of these officials are voting members of the School Board. The School Board enters into individual employment contracts for these positions. In Pennsylvania, public school districts are required to give 150 days notice to the Superintendent regarding renewal of the employment contract.[22] These contracts must be in writing and are subject to public discloure under the state’s Right to Know Act. 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.[23]

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.[24] In 2014, Stroudsburg Area School Board reports spending over $100,00 on Board functions including $18,000 for memberships in organizations like Pennsylvania School Board Association (PSBA).[25]

Academic achievement[edit]

In 2016, Stroudsburg Area School District's academic ranking slipped further to 209th out of 493 Pennsylvania public school districts, by the Pittsburgh Business Times.[26] 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.[27] 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.

Overachievers Ranking

In 2012, the Pittsburgh Business Times also reported an Overachievers Ranking for 498 Pennsylvania school districts. Stroudsburg Area School District ranked 147th. The editor describes the ranking as: "a ranking answers the question - which school districts do better than expectations based upon economics? This rank takes the Honor Roll rank and adds the percentage of students in the district eligible for free and reduced-price lunch into the formula. A district finishing high on this rank is smashing expectations, and any district above the median point is exceeding expectations."[34]

  • 2011 - 343rd
  • 2010 - 302nd

In 2009, the academic achievement of the students of Stroudsburg Area School District was in the 43rd percentile among 500 Pennsylvania school districts. Scale - (0-99; 100 is state best)[35]

District AYP status history[edit]

In 2012, Stroudsburg Area School District achieved Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) status.[36] While the District did achieve AYP status, most of its individual schools did not achieve AYP status and in fact declined in status.[37]

In 2011, Stroudsburg Area School District achieved Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP). In 2011, 94 percent of the 500 Pennsylvania public school districts achieved the No Child Left Behind Act progress level of 72% of students reading on grade level and 67% of students demonstrating on grade level math. In 2011, 46.9 percent of Pennsylvania school districts achieved Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) based on student performance. An additional 37.8 percent of Pennsylvania public school districts made AYP based on a calculated method called safe harbor, 8.2 percent on the growth model and 0.8 percent on a two-year average performance.[38][39] School District achieved AYP status each year from 2004 to 2010, while in 2003 the District was in Warning status due to lagging student achievement.[40]

  • 2010 - achieved AYP status[41]
  • 2009 - achieved AYP status[42]
  • 2008 - Warning AYP status due to lagging student achievement and low graduation rate[43]
  • 2007 - achieved AYP status[44]
  • 2006 - achieved AYP status[45]
  • 2005 - Warning AYP status due to lagging student achievement and low graduation rate
  • 2004 - achieved AYP status
  • 2003 - Warning AYP status due to lagging student achievement

Graduation rate[edit]

In 2016, the Stroudsburg Area School District’s graduation rate was 90.23%.[46]

Stroudsburg High School[edit]

Stroudsburg High School is located at 1100 West Main, Stroudsburg. In 2013, the School's enrollment was reported as 1,341 pupils in 10th through 12th grades, with 36.36% of pupils eligible for a free or reduced price lunch due to family poverty.[57] Additionally, 11.8% of pupils receiving special education services, with 1.6% of pupils were identified as being gifted. The school employed 99 teachers.[58] Per the PA Department of Education 6 of the teachers were rated "Non‐Highly Qualified" under the federal No Child Left Behind Act. Stroudsburg High School is the only high school in the Stroudsburg Area School District. The school is not a federally designated Title I school.

According to the National Center for Education Statistics, in 2010, the school reported an enrollment of 1,615 pupils in grades 10th through 12th, with 324 pupils eligible for a federal free or reduced-price lunch. The school employed 103 teachers, yielding a student–teacher ratio or 15:1.[59] In 2012, the administration reports employing 110 teachers and administrators as well as 35 support staff. According to a report to the PDE, 14 teachers had emergency certification and 29 classes were taught by Non‐Highly Qualified Teachers.[60]

2016 School Performance Profile

SPP 94.9 out of 100. Stroudsburg Area High School Keystone Exams mandated testing results were: 87% of students were on grade level in reading.literature and 78% of students demonstrated on grade level in Algebra I. In Biology I, 74.8% of pupils demonstrated on grade level science understanding at the end of the Biology course.[61] 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.[62] Fifty-four percent of the 2,676 public schools in Pennsylvania achieved a passing score of 70 or better.[63]

2015 School Performance Profile

The PDE reported that 82% of Sttroudsburg High School’s students were on grade level in reading/literature. In Algebra 1, 70% of students showed on grade level skills at the end of the course. In Biology I, 72% demonstrated on grade level science understanding at the end of the course.[64][65] 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.[66][67]

2014 School Performance Profile

Stroudsburg High School achieved 88.9 out of 100. Reflects on grade level reading, mathematics and science achievement. In reading/literature 80% were on grade level. In Algebra 1, 63% showed on grade level skills. In Biology, 70% demonstrated on grade level science understanding at the end of the course.[68][69] Statewide, the percentage of high school students who scored proficient and advanced in Algebra I increased to 39.7% to 40.1%. The percentage of high school students who scored proficient and advanced in reading/literature declined to 52.5%. The percentage of high school students who scored proficient and advanced in biology improved from 39.7% to 41.4%.[70]

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.[71] Fifty-three percent of schools statewide received lower SPP scores compared with last year's, while 46 percent improved. A handful were unchanged.[72][73]

2013 School Performance Profile

Stroudsburg High School achieved 86.2 out of 100. Reflects on grade level reading, mathematics and science achievement. In reading/literature - 80% of pupils tested were on grade level. In Algebra 1, only 67.8% showed on grade level Algebra skills. In Biology, just 54% 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

Stroudsburg High School never achieved Adequate Yearly progress from 2003 through 2012 inclusive. In 2012, Stroudsburg High School declined to Corrective Action II 5th Year due to low graduation rate and poor math and reading achievement.[76] Due to its low academic performance, Stroudsburg High School administration was required by the federal No Child Left Behind law to offer the opportunity to students to transfer to a successful high school in the district. Letters were sent to each student's parents informing them of the School's low outcomes. The School's administration was required to develop a School Improvement Plan and submit it to the Pennsylvania Department of Education for approval. The school was eligible for federal School Improvement Grants funding each year.

  • 2011 - Making Progress: in Corrective Action II status due to lagging student achievement especially among male students.
  • 2010 - declined to Corrective Action II 4th Year status due to chronic, low student achievement in reading and math.[77]
  • 2009 - declined to Corrective Action II 3rd Year status[78]
  • 2008 - declined to Corrective Action II 2nd Year status
  • 2007 - declined to Corrective Action II 1st Year status
  • 2006 - declined to Corrective Action I status
  • 2005 - declined to School Improvement level II status
  • 2004 - declined to School Improvement level I status
  • 2003 - Warning AYP status due to lagging student achievement in reading and math and a low graduation rate
PSSA results

Pennsylvania System of School Assessments, commonly called PSSAs are No Child Left Behind Act related examinations which were administered from 2003 through 2012, in all Pennsylvania public high schools. The exams were administered in the Spring of each school year. The goal was for 100% of students to be on grade level or better in reading and mathematics, by the Spring of 2014. The tests focused on the state's Academic Standards for reading, writing, mathematics and science. The Science exam included content in science, technology, ecology and the environmental studies. The mathematics exam included: algebra I, algebra II, geometry and trigonometry. The standards were first published in 1998 and are mandated by the Pennsylvania State Board of Education.[79]

In 2013, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania changed its high school assessments to the Keystone Exams in Algebra 1, Reading/literature and Biology1. The exams are given at the end of the course, rather than all in the spring of the student's 11th grade year.[80]

11th Grade Reading
  • 2012 - 79% on grade level (8% below basic). State - 67% of 11th graders are on grade level.[81]
  • 2011 - 78% (10% below basic). State - 69.1%[82]
  • 2010 - 74% (14% below basic). State - 66%[83]
  • 2009 - 67% (17% below basic). State - 65%[84]
  • 2008 - 67% (15% below basic). State - 65%[85]
  • 2007 - 72% (11% below basic). State - 65%[86]

11th Grade Math:

  • 2012 - 66% on grade level (19% below basic). In Pennsylvania, 59% of 11th graders are on grade level.[87]
  • 2011 - 65% (16% below basic). In Pennsylvania, 60.3% of 11th graders are on grade level.[88]
  • 2010 - 58% (23% below basic). State - 59% [89]
  • 2009 - 53% (27% below basic). State - 56%[90]
  • 2008 - 49% (29% below basic). State - 56% [91]
  • 2007 - 48% (24% below basic). State - 53% [92]

11th Grade Science:

  • 2012 - 51% on grade level (10% below basic). State - 42% of 11th graders were on grade level.[93]
  • 2011 - 47% (11% below basic). State - 40%[94]
  • 2010 - 42% (15% below basic). State - 39%
  • 2009 - 44% (13% below basic). State - 40%[95]
  • 2008 - 41% (12% below basic). State - 39% [96]

Science in Motion Stroudsburg High School did not utilize a state program called Science in Motion which brought college professors and sophisticated science equipment to the school to raise science awareness and to provide inquiry-based experiences for the students. The Science in Motion program was funded by a state appropriation and cost the school nothing to participate.[97] Wilkes University provided the science enrichment experiences to schools in the region.

College remediation rate[edit]

According to a Pennsylvania Department of Education study released in January 2009, 19% of the Stroudsburg 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.[98] 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.[99] Per the Pennsylvania Department of Education, one in three recent high school graduates who attend Pennsylvania's public universities and community colleges takes at least one remedial course in math, reading or English.

Dual enrollment[edit]

Since 2006, the high school offers a dual enrollment program. This state program permits high school students to take courses, at local higher education institutions, to earn college credits. Students remain enrolled at their high school. The courses count towards high school graduation requirements and towards earning a college degree. The students continue to have full access to activities and programs at their high school. The college credits are offered at a deeply discounted rate.[100] Stroudsburg Area School District has entered into a dual enrollment partnership with Northampton Community College. Under the Pennsylvania Transfer and Articulation Agreement, many Pennsylvania colleges and universities accept these credits for students who transfer to their institutions.[101]

Graduation requirements[edit]

Stroudsburg Area School Board has determined that a pupil must earn 25 credits to graduate, including: Math 4 credits, English 4 credits, social studies 4 credits, science 4 credits, Physical Education 2 credits, Arts and Humanities 2 credits, Career planning 0.5 credit, Survey of Ecology and Engineering 0.5 credits and electives 4 credits,. In addition, students must demonstrate proficiency in the PSSA tests for reading, writing, and mathematics in order to qualify for a high school diploma: a score of proficient or better on PSSA tests in grade 11 or a score of proficient or better on PSSA senior year make-up tests.

By law, all Pennsylvania secondary school students must complete a project as a part of their eligibility to graduate from high school. The type of project, its rigor and its expectations are set by the individual school district.[102] At SHS the Graduation Project is focused on life planning and career exploration.

By Pennsylvania School Board regulations, beginning with the graduating class of 2016, students must demonstrate successful completion of secondary level course work in Algebra I, Biology, English Composition, and Literature for which the Keystone Exams serve as the final course exams. Students’ Keystone Exam scores shall count for at least one-third of the final course grade.[103][104][105] In 2011, Pennsylvania high school students field tested the Algebra 1, Biology and English Lit exams. The statewide results were: Algebra 1 38% of high school students were on grade level, Biology 35% on grade level and English Literature - 49% on grade level.[106] Individual student, school or district reports were not made public, although they were reported to district officials, by the Pennsylvania Department of Education.

AP Courses[edit]

In 2013, Stroudsburg High School offered 4 Advanced Placement (AP) courses at a higher cost than regular courses. Students have the option of taking College Board approved courses and then taking the College Board's examination in the Spring. Students, who achieve a 3 or better on the exam, may be awarded college credits at US universities and colleges. Each higher education institution sets its own standards about what level of credits are awarded to a student based on their AP exam score. Most higher education give credits for scores of 4 or 5. Some schools also give credits for scores of 3. Stroudsburg High School gives credits towards graduation to students who take the school's AP class. At Stroudsburg High School 15% of students who took an AP course earned a 3 or better on the exam.[107]

SAT scores[edit]

In 2015, 304 Stroudsburg Area School District students took the SAT exams. The District's Verbal Average Score was 503. The Math average score was 494. The Writing average score was 472.[108] The College Board also reported that statewide 96,826 pupils took the exams with average scores declining in all three measurers to: 495 in reading, 511 in math and 484 in writing.[109]

In 2014, 326 Stroudsburg Area School District students took the SAT exams. The District's Verbal Average Score was 490. The Math average score was 483. The Writing average score was 462.[110][111] Statewide in Pennsylvania, Verbal Average Score was 497. The Math average score was 504. The Writing average score was 480. The College Board reported that nationwide scores were: 497 in reading, 513 in math and 487 in writing.[112] In 2014, 1,672,395 students took the SATs in the United States.

In 2013, Stroudsburg Area School District students took the SAT exams. The District's Verbal Average Score was 495. The Math average score was 493. The Writing average score was 477. 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.[113]

In 2012, Stroudsburg Area School District students took the SAT exams. The District's Verbal Average Score was 490. The Math average score was 489. The Writing average score was 472. The statewide Verbal SAT exams results were: Verbal 491, Math 501, Writing 480. In the USA, 1.65 million students took the exams achieving scores: Verbal 496, Math 514, Writing 488. According to the College Board the maximum score on each section was 800, and 360 students nationwide scored a perfect 2,400.

In 2011, 327 Stroudsburg High School students took the SAT exams. The District's Verbal Average Score was 492. The Math average score was 499. The Writing average score was 474.[114] Pennsylvania ranked 40th among states with SAT scores: Verbal - 493, Math - 501, Writing - 479.[115] 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.[116]

Stroudsburg Junior High School[edit]

Stroudsburg Junior High School is located at 1198 Chipperfield Drive, Stroudsburg. In 2016, enrollment had declined further to 839 in grades 8th and 9th. In 2013, enrollment declined to 877 pupils, in grades 8th and 9th, with 39% of pupils eligible for a free lunch due to family poverty. Additionally, 16.7% of pupils received special education services, while 2.28% of pupils were identified as gifted.[117] According to a 2013 report by the Pennsylvania Department of Education, 10% of its teachers were rated "Non Highly Qualified" under No Child Left Behind.[118] The school is not a federally designated Title I school.

In 2010, Stroudsburg Junior High School had 942 students enrolled in grades 8th and 9th, with 267 pupils receiving a federal free or reduced-price lunch due to family poverty. The school employed 75 teachers, yielding a student–teacher ratio of 12:1.[119] According to a report to the PDE, 7 teachers had emergency certification and 18 classes were taught by "Non‐Highly Qualified" Teachers.[120]

2016 School Performance Profile

SPP 77.8 out of 100 points. Stroudsburg Junior HIgh School PSSA mandated testing results were: just 65% of students in 8th grade were on grade level in reading, while only 30% of students demonstrated on grade level in mathematics. In science, 61% of eighth grade pupils demonstrated on grade level science understanding.[121]

2015 School Performance Profile

The PDE withheld SPP scores due to low results. It was reported that 63% of 8th grade students at Stroudsburg Junior High School students were on grade level in reading on the PSSAs given in April 2015. In math/Algebra 1, only 25% of 8th grade students showed on grade level skills. In science, just 60% of the school’s 8th graders demonstrated on grade level science understanding. No eighth grade writing scores were reported.

2014 School Performance Profile

Stroudsburg Junior High School achieved 87.5 out of 100. Reflects on grade level reading, mathematics and science achievement. In reading/literature 89.64% were on grade level. In Algebra 1/Math, 79.79% showed on grade level mathematics skills. In Science, 70% of 8th graders showed on grade level science understanding. In writing, % of the 8th grade students demonstrated on grade level writing skills.[122]

2013 School Performance Profile

Stroudsburg Junior High School achieved 87.3 out of 100. Reflects on grade level reading, writing, mathematics and science achievement. In reading, 88.6% of the students were on grade level. In Mathematics/Algebra 1, 83% of the students showed on grade level skills. In Science, only 67% of the 8th graders demonstrated on grade level understanding. In writing, 78% of the 8th grade students demonstrated on grade level writing skills.[123]

AYP History

In 2012, Stroudsburg Junior High School declined to School Improvement II level AYP status.[124] The school was mandated by the Pennsylvania Department of Education to develop a school Improvement Plan to address the poor academic achievement. The school was eligible for additional federal school improvement grants.

  • 2011 - Making Progress: in School Improvement II status due to lagging student achievement.
  • 2010 - School Improvement II status due to chronic, low student achievement especially among special education students.[125] Due to its low academic performance, the Junior High School Administration was required by the federal No Child Left Behind law to offer the opportunity to students to transfer to a successful school in the district. Letters were sent to each student's parents. The school's administration was required to develop a School Improvement Plan and submit it to the Pennsylvania Department of Education for approval. The school was eligible for federal School Improvement funding.
  • 2009 - Making Progress: in School Improvement I
  • 2008 - declined to School Improvement I level status due to lagging student achievement.[126]
  • 2007 - declined to School Improvement I [127]
  • 2006 - declined to Warning[128]
  • 2005 - achieved AYP status[129]
PSSA Results

Pennsylvania System of School Assessments (PSSAs) are given in the Spring of each school year. 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.[130] 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.[131]

8th Grade Science:

  • 2012 - 63% on grade level (14% below basic). State - 59% [139]
  • 2011 - 63% (18% below basic). State – 58.3%
  • 2010 - 60% (22% below basic). State – 57%[140]
  • 2009 - 60% (16% below basic). State - 55%[141]
  • 2008 - 59% (15% below basic). State - 52%[142]

Stroudsburg Middle School[edit]

Stroudsburg Middle School is located at 200 Pocono Commons, Stroudsburg. In 2016, enrollment declined further to 1,103 pupils in grades 5th-7th. In 2013, enrollment declined to 1,202 pupils, in grades 5th through 7th, with 42% of pupils eligible for a free lunch due to family poverty. Additionally, 15.7% of pupils received special education services, while 2.58% of pupils were identified as gifted.[143] According to a 2013 report by the Pennsylvania Department of Education, 6% of its teachers were rated "Non Highly Qualified" under the federal No Child Left Behind Act.[144]

In 2010, Stroudsburg Middle School enrollment was 1,305 students in grades 5th through 7th, with 411 pupils receiving a federal free or reduced-price lunch due to family poverty. The school employed 101 teachers, yielding a student–teacher ratio of 12.86:1.[145] According to a report to the PDE, 29 classes were taught by "Non‐Highly Qualified" Teachers.[146] Due to its low academic performance, the Stroudsburg Middle School Administration was required by the federal No Child Left Behind law to offer the opportunity to students to transfer to a successful middle school in the district. Letters were sent to each student's parents. The school's administration was also required to develop a School Improvement Plan and submit it to the Pennsylvania Department of education for approval. The school was eligible for targeted federal School Improvement funding.

2016 School Performance Profile

SPP 81.7 out of 100 points. Stroudsburg Middle School PSSA mandated testing results were: 60% of 7th grade pupils were on grade level in reading, while just 33% demonstrated on grade level math skills. Among 6th graders, 77% were on grade level in reading and only 45% were on grade level in math. In 2016, 64% of 5th grade students were on grade level in reading. In mathematics, just 39% of 5th grade students showed on grade level math skills. No fifth grade writing scores were reported.[147]

2015 School Performance Profile

The PDE withheld SPP scores. In 7th grade, 67% were on grade level in reading, while 32% showed on grade level math skills. Among 6th graders, 63% were on grade level in reading and 34% were on grade level in mathematics. Among fifth graders, 70% of 5th grade students were on grade level in reading. In mathematics, 37% of 5th grade students showed on grade level skills. No fifth grade writing scores were reported.[148] Pennsylvania 7th graders were 58% on grade level in reading and 33% demonstrated on grade level math skills. Among sixth (6th) graders, 60.7% were reading on grade level, while 39.7% demonstrated on grade level math skills. Statewide 61.9% of fifth (5th) graders were on grade level in reading, while 42.8% demonstrated on grade level math skills.[149]

2014 School Performance Profile

Stroudsburg Middle School achieved 81.4 out of 100. Reflects on grade level reading and mathematics achievement. In reading/literature 69% were on grade level. In Algebra 1/Math, 72% showed on grade level mathematics skills.[150]

2013 School Performance Profile

Stroudsburg Middle School achieved 82.9 out of 100. Reflects on grade level reading, writing, mathematics and science achievement. In reading, just 70% of the students were on grade level. In Mathematics/Algebra 1, 81% of the students showed on grade level skills. In writing, just 69% of the 5th grade students demonstrated on grade level writing skills.[151]

AYP History

In 2012, Stroudsburg Middle School declined further to Corrective Action I level AYP status due to chronic low academic achievement of the pupils.[152]

  • 2011 - Making Progress: in Corrective Action I status due to low student achievement.
  • 2010 - declined to Corrective Action I status due to chronic, low student achievement of special education students and low-income students.[153]
  • 2009 - Making Progress - School Improvement Level II[154]
  • 2008 - declined to School Improvement Level II due to chronic student underachievement[155]
  • 2007 - declined to School Improvement Level I[156]
  • 2006 - Warning AYP status due to lagging student achievement.[157]

PSSA Results: PSSAs are given in the Spring of each school year. Sixth and seventh grades have been tested in reading and mathematics since 2006. The fifth grade is tested in reading, writing and mathematics.[158] 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, and mathematics.[159] The standards were published in 1998 and are mandated by the Pennsylvania State Board of Education. In 2014, the Commonwealth adopted the Pennsylvania Core Standards - Mathematics.[160]

Stroudsburg Intermediate Elementary School[edit]

Stroudsburg Intermediate Elementary School is located at 2000 Chipperfield Drive, Stroudsburg. In 2013, Stroudsburg Intermediate Elementary School reported a decline of enrollment to 736 pupils in grades 3rd and 4th, with 43%.6 of pupils receiving a free or reduced price lunch due to family poverty. Additionally, 15.6% of the pupils receive special education services, while 2.58% are identified as gifted.[167] According to a report to the PDE, all the classes were taught by teachers who were Highly Qualified Teachers.[168] The school is a federally designated Title I school.

In 2010, Stroudsburg Intermediate Elementary School had 820 students enrolled in third and fourth grade, with 276 pupils receiving a federal free or reduced-price lunch due to family poverty. The school employed 69 teachers, yielding a student–teacher ratio of 11:1.[169] According to a report to the PDE, all the classes were taught by teachers who were Highly Qualified Teachers.[170]

2013 School Performance Profile

Stroudsburg Intermediate Elementary School achieved a score of 70.7 out of 100. The score reflects on grade level: reading, science, and mathematics achievement. In 2012-13, only 69.5% of the students were reading on grade level in grades 3rd and 4th. In 3rd grade, 73% of the pupils were reading on grade level. In math, 84% were on grade level (3rd and 4th grades). In 4th grade science, 84% of the pupils demonstrated on grade level understanding in science.[171]

AYP History

Stroudsburg Intermediate Elementary School declined again to Wanring AYP status due to low reading achievement in all groups.[172]

  • 2011 - achieved AYP status
  • 2010 - Warning status.[173]
PSSA Results

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.[174] The goal was for 100% of students to be on grade level or better in reading and mathematics, by the Spring of 2014.[175][176][177] 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.[178]

4th Grade Science
  • 2012 - 88%, (1% below basic). State - 82%
  • 2011 - 86%, (3% below basic), State – 82.9%
  • 2010 - 83%, (6% below basic), State - 81%
  • 2009 - 82%, (2% below basic), State - 83%
  • 2008 - 82%, (4% below basic), State - 81%

Arlington Heights Elementary School[edit]

Arlington Heights Elementary School is located at 1100 North 9th Street, Stroudsburg. In 2016, the School's enrollment was 267 pupils in grades kindergarten through 4th, with 58% of pupils receiving a federal free or reduced price meals due to family poverty. Additionally, 13.8% of the pupils receive special education services, while less than 1% are identified as gifted.[186] 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.[187] The school is a federally designated Title I school.

In 2013, Arlington Heights Elementary School's enrollment was 267 pupils in grades kindergarten through 2nd with 48% of pupils receiving a federal free or reduced price meals due to family poverty. Additionally, 12.35% of the pupils receive special education services, while 0.37% are identified as gifted.[188] 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.[189] The District reports the school had 12 classroom teachers, a full-time ESL teacher, plus a complement of supplementals: art, music, library, physical education/health teacher, 3 reading specialists, and 1 math specialist.[190]

In 2010, Arlington Heights Elementary School had 257 students enrolled in kindergarten through second grade, with 100 pupils receiving a federal free or reduced-price lunch due to family poverty. The school employed 22 teachers, yielding a student–teacher ratio of 11:1.[191] According to a report to the PDE, all the classes were taught by teachers who were Highly Qualified Teachers.[192] In 2011, the attendance rate was 95%.[193]

2016 School Performance Profile

SPP 70.8 out of 100 points. Arlington Heights Elementary School PSSA mandated testing results were: just 50% of students in 4th grade were on grade level in reading, while only 41% of students demonstrated on grade level mathematics skills. In science, 75% of fourth grade pupils demonstrated on grade level understanding of science concepts in the state standards. Among the school's third graders, 57% were on grade level in reading and 44% showed on grade level mathematics skills.[194][195]

B F Morey Elementary School[edit]

B F Morey Elementary School is located at 1044 W Main Street, Stroudsburg. In 2016, the school's enrollment was 233 pupils in grades kindergarten through 4th with 49% of pupils receiving a federal free or reduced price meals due to family poverty. Additionally, 19.7% of the pupils receive special education services, while 1.2% are identified as gifted.[196] 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.[197] The school is a fecerally designated Title I school.

In 2013, B F Morey Elementary School's enrollment was 193 pupils in grades kindergarten through 2nd with 51% of pupils receiving a federal free or reduced price meals due to family poverty. Additionally, 20% of the pupils receive special education services, while 1% are identified as gifted.[198] 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.[199] The school is a fecerally designated Title I school. The District reports the school had 9 classroom teachers, a full-time ESL teacher, plus a complement of supplementals: art, music, library, physical education/health teacher, 2 reading specialists, and a math specialist.

In 2010, the school had 196 students enrolled in kindergarten through second grade, with 83 pupils receiving a federal free or reduced-price lunch due to family poverty. The school employed 19 teachers, yielding a student–teacher ratio of 10:1.[200] According to a report to the PDE, all the classes were taught by teachers who were Highly Qualified Teachers.[201] In 2011, the attendance rate was 95%.[202]

2016 School Performance Profile

SPP 64.6 out of 100 points. B F Morey Elementary School PSSA mandated testing results were: in 4th grade, 64% were on grade level in reading, while just 47% demonstrated on grade level math skills. In science, 83% of fourth grade pupils demonstrated on grade level understanding of science concepts in the state standards. Among the school's third graders, 25% were on grade level in reading and 28% showed on grade level mathematics skills.[203][204]

Chipperfield Elementary School[edit]

Chipperfield Elementary School is located at 2000 Chipperfield Drive, Stroudsburg. In 2016, the school's enrollment was 820 pupils in grades kindergarten through 4th with 48% of pupils receiving a federal free or reduced price meals due to family poverty. Additionally, 19% of the pupils receive special education services, while 1.7% are identified as gifted.[205] 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.[206] The school is a federally designated Title I school.

2016 School Performance Profile

SPP 82.3 out of 100 points. Chipperfield Elementary School PSSA mandated testing results were: 60% of students in 4th grade were on grade level in reading, while 50% of students demonstrated on grade level mathematics skills. In science, 78% of 4th graders were on grade level in science. Among the school's third graders, 65.9% were on grade level in reading and 52.9% showed on grade level mathematics skills.[207][208]

Clearview Elementary School[edit]

Clearview Elementary School is located at 2000 North 5th Street, Stroudsburg. The school was closed in 2015 due to declining enrollment and district wide financial struggles. In 2013, the school's enrollment was just 180 pupils in grades kindergarten through 2nd with 36% of pupils receiving a federal free or reduced price meals due to family poverty. Additionally, 12.7% of the pupils receive special education services, while 1% are identified as gifted.[209] 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.[210] The school is not a Title I school. The District reports the school had 9 classroom teachers, an ESL teacher, plus a complement of supplementals: art, music, library, physical education/health teacher, 2 reading specialists, and 1 math specialist.

In 2010, Clearview Elementary School had 203 students enrolled in kindergarten through second grade, with 53 pupils receiving a federal free or reduced-price lunch due to family poverty. The school employed 17 teachers, yielding a student–teacher ratio of 11:1.[211] According to a report to the PDE, all the classes were taught by teachers who were Highly Qualified Teachers.[212] In 2011, the attendance rate was 95%.[213]

Hamilton Township Elementary School[edit]

Hamilton Township Elementary School was located at Hamilton S. Business Rte 209, Sciota. The school was closed in 2015 due to declining enrollment and district wide financial struggles. In 2013, the School's enrollment was 255 pupils in grades kindergarten through 2nd with 32.9% of pupils receiving a federal free or reduced price meals due to family poverty. Additionally, 15% of the pupils receive special education services, while 0.76% are identified as gifted.[214] According to a report by the Pennsylvania Department of Education, 100% of the teachers were rated highly qualified under the No Child Left Behind Act. The school provides full day kindergarten.[215] The school is not a federally designated Title I school. The District reports the school had 11 classroom teachers, a full-time ESL teacher, plus a complement of supplementals: art, music, library, physical education/health teacher, 3 reading specialists, and 1 math specialist.

In 2010, Hamilton Township Elementary School had 262 students enrolled in kindergarten through second grade, with 69 pupils receiving a federal free or reduced-price lunch due to family poverty. The school employed 26 teachers, yielding a student–teacher ratio of 9:1.[216] According to a report to the PDE, all the classes were taught by teachers who were Highly Qualified Teachers.[217] In 2011, the attendance rate was 96%.[218]

W H Ramsey Elementary School[edit]

W H Ramsey Elementary School is located at 528 Thomas Street, Stroudsburg. In 2013, the school's enrollment declined to 133 pupils in grades kindergarten through 2nd with 54% of pupils receiving a federal free or reduced price meals due to family poverty. Additionally, 11% of the pupils receive special education services, while 3% are identified as gifted.[219] 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.[220] The school is a federally designated title I school. The District reports the school had 6 classroom teachers, a full-time ESL teacher, plus a complement of supplementals: art, music, library, physical education/health teacher, 2 reading specialists, and 1 math specialist. In May 2014, the Stroudsburg Area School Board voted to close the school at the end of the school year due to declining enrollment district wide. Closed in 2014 due to declining enrollment.

In 2010, W H Ramsey Elementary School had 163 students enrolled in kindergarten through second grade, with 63 pupils receiving a federal free or reduced-price lunch due to family poverty. The school employed 14 teachers, yielding a student–teacher ratio of 11:1.[221] According to a report to the PDE, all the classes were taught by teachers who were Highly Qualified Teachers.[222] In 2011, the attendance rate was 95%.[223]

Special education[edit]

In December 2015, Stroudsburg Area School District administration reported that 807 pupils or 16.1% of the district's pupils received Special Education services, with 35.1% of the identified students having a specific learning disability.[224]

In 2007, Pennsylvania Secretary of Education Gerald Zahorchak testified before the Pennsylvania House Education Committee regarding full day kindergarten. He claimed that districts which offered the program would see a significant decrease in special education students due to early identification and early intervention. He asserted the high cost of full day kindergarten would be recouped by Districts in lower special education costs.[225] Stroudsburg Area School District has provided full day kindergarten since 2003. The District has seen an increase in the percentage of special education students it serves, yielding no savings.

In 2013, the District administration reported that 756 pupils or 14.9% of the district's pupils received Special Education services, with 38% of the identified students having a specific learning disability.[226]

In 2011, Stroudsburg Area School District administration reported that 765 pupils or 13.9% of the District's pupils received Special Education services, with 43.8% of the identified students having a specific learning disability.[227] Six psychologists are employed by the district, primarily for services to or identification of special education students.

In 2010, the District administration reported that 789 pupils or 13.6% of the District's pupils received Special Education services. Fifty one percent of the students had specific learning disabilities.[228] In 2009, the administration reported 826 or 14% of the district's pupils received special education services. Fifty three percent of the students had specific learning disabilities.[229]

In order to comply with state and federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act rules and regulations, 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 .[230] To identify students who may be eligible for special education services, 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 district's Special Education Department.[231][232] 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.

In 2010, the state of Pennsylvania provided $1,026,815,000 for special education services. This funding is in addition to the state's basic education per pupil funding, as well as, all other state and federal funding.[233] 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.[234] The state requires each district to have a three-year special education plan to meet the unique needs of its special education students.[235] Overidentification of students, in order to increase state funding, has been an issue in the Commonwealth. Some districts have more than 20% of its students receiving special education services while others have 10% supported through special education.[236] In 2012, the Obama Administration's US Department of Education issued a directive requiring schools include students with disabilities in extracurricular activities, including sports.[237]

Students at Stroudsburg Area who have an Individual Education Plan (IEP) may take the PSSA-M an alternative math exam rather than the PSSA.[238] Some special education students may take the PASA (Pennsylvania Alternate System of Assessment), rather than the PSSA.[239] Schools are permitted to provide accommodations to some students.[240]

The Stroudsburg Area School District received a $2,606,470 supplement for special education services in 2010.[241] For the 2011-12, 2012–13 and 2013-14 school years, all Pennsylvania public school districts received the same level of funding for special education that they received in 2010-11. This level funding is provided regardless of changes in the number of pupils who need special education services and regardless of the level of services the respective students required.[242][243] Additionally, the state provides supplemental funding for extraordinarily impacted students. The District must apply for this added funding.

  • 2014-2015 school year, Stroudsburg Area School District received an increase to $2,662,080 from the Commonwealth for special education funding.[244]
  • 2016-17 school year, Stroudsburg Area School District received a 2.7% increase in state special education funding to $2,761,255.[245]

Gifted education[edit]

The District Administration reported that 92 or 1.54% of its students were gifted in 2009.[246] By law, the district must provide mentally gifted programs at all grade levels. The referral process for a gifted evaluation can be initiated by teachers or parents by contacting the student’s building principal and requesting an evaluation. All requests must be made in writing. To be eligible for mentally gifted programs in Pennsylvania, a student must have a cognitive ability of at least 130 as measured on a standardized ability test by a certified school psychologist. Other factors that indicate giftedness will also be considered for eligibility.[247][248]

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.[249]

Teacher strike

In February 2017, Stroudsburg's teacher union declared a strike for February 6.[250] The dispute centers around salary and benefits. In 2017, several PA teacher unions declared a strike including Palmerton Area School District. State law gives the Pennsylvania Department of Education the power to order the teachers to return so that students will complete 180 days of instruction, by June 15.[251] There were multiple teacher union strikes in Pennsylvania in 2016, including: Shamokin Area School District, Highlands School District[252] Montrose Area School District,[253] Ambridge Area School District,[254] Athens Area School District, Warren County School District,[255] Dallas School District.[256] and Sayre Area School District.[257] Of the nearly 140 teacher strikes that occurred nationally between 2000 and 2007, 60 percent took place in Pennsylvania, according to a report released in August 2012, by the Allegheny Institute for Public Policy.[258] Pennsylvania is one of 13 states in which teacher strikes are legal. Pennsylvania has the highest rate of teacher strikes in the United States.[259]

In 2015, the average teacher salary in Stroudsburg Area School District had risen to $74,796 a year. The District employed 420 teachers and administrators.[260] The highest salary was over $150,000 per year. In November 2016, the teachers' union issued a strike threat to the Board.[261]

In 2013, the average teacher salary in Stroudsburg Area School District was $63,424 a year, while the cost of the benefits teachers received was $28,988.41 per employee (among the highest in Pennsylvania public school districts), for a total annual average teacher compensation of $92,432.39.[262] The District faced a $4.5 million budget shortfall in 2014.[263] The cost of the teacher's benefits rose to $28.8 million for 2014.[264]

In 2012, Stroudsburg Area School District reported having 539 teachers and administrators, with an average teacher salary of $76,110 and a top salary of $176,210.[265]

In 2009, Stroudsburg Area School District reported employing 621 teachers and administrators with a salary range of $42,346 to $154,412.[266] Additionally, the teachers and administrators receive a defined benefit pension, health insurance, dental insurance, vision insurance, professional development reimbursement, paid personal days, 10 paid sick days, and other benefits.[267][268]

In 2007, Stroudsburg Area School District employed 405 teachers. The average teacher salary in the district was $51,487 for 180 days worked.[269] 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.[270]

Administration spending Stroudsburg Area School District administrative costs per pupil in 2008 was $739.84 per pupil. The lowest administrative cost per pupil in Pennsylvania was $398 per pupil.[271] The Pennsylvania School Boards Association maintains statistics on salaries of public school district employees in Pennsylvania. According to the association's report, the average salary for a superintendent, for the 2007-08 school year, was $122,165. Superintendents and administrators receive a benefit package commensurate with that offered to the district's teachers' union.[272] At Stroudsburg Area, eleven administrators earn more than $100,000 per year, in 2010.[273] The superintendent contract includes 20 paid vacation days annually plus paid sick days which accumulate. The superintendent transferred 57 sick days from his previous employment. He will be paid for all unused sick days upon severance. He also receives 4 personal days per year which also accumulate without limitation. The school district pays for the superintendent's membership in the following groups:National School Board Association, the Pennsylvania School Board Association, the American Association of School Administrators, the Pennsylvania Association of School Administrators, the American Association of Supervision and Curriculum Development, the Pennsylvania Association of Supervision and Curriculum Development.[274] By 2013, the Superintendent's salary had risen to $176,210 a year. Additionally, fifteen administrators were paid over $100,000 a year including both assistant superintendents receiving over $130,000 each.[275] On August 5, 2009, the Stroudsburg Area School District and board of school directors (Board) entered into employee agreements (Agreement) with all of the District’s administration (except business manager). The Agreements have a term of five years, from July 1, 2009, through June 30, 2014. The Agreement states that an administrator who is eligible for a sabbatical, even though he/she has received a prior sabbatical in the past from the District, and who does not exercise that option of a paid sabbatical from the District may choose to exchange a sabbatical leave for a monetary escrow upon retirement from the District. The former Superintendent’s calculated escrow amount is $72,265, two former Assistant Superintendents are $67,442, the former Special Education Director is $36,626, former Principal $38,829, former Director of Curriculum $38,261 and former Technology Director $39,588. The total amount in escrow for these seven administrators is $293,011.[276]

Contract with Superintendent In May 2014, it was revealed that Superintendent Toleno's current employment contract was invalid. Toleno was initially hired in 2007. His contract was for four years. Rather than approve a new contract as required by law, the Board awarded extensions which were illegal under state Public School Code.[277]

Per pupil spending

In 2008, Stroudsburg Area School District Administration reported that per pupil spending was $12,725 which ranked 194th among Pennsylvania's 501 school districts. In 2010, the per pupil spending increased to $14,923.43[278] Among the states, Pennsylvania’s total per pupil revenue (including all sources) ranked 11th at $15,023 per student, in 2008-09.[279] In 2007, the Pennsylvania per pupil total expenditures was $12,759.[280] In 2014-15, per pupil spending at Stroudsburg Area School District was $18,236.77.[281]

Reserves In 2008, Stroudsburg Area School District reported a balance of zero in an unreserved-designated fund. The unreserved-undesignated fund balance was reported as $2,202,409.[282] In 2010, Stroudsburg Area Schools Administration reported an increase to $3,948,635.00 in the unreserved-undesignated fund balance. The unreserved-designated fund remained at zero. In 2012, Stroudsburg Area School District reported $9,382,711 in reserve accounts.[283] Pennsylvania school district reserve funds are divided into two categories – designated and undesignated. The undesignated funds are not committed to any planned project. Designated funds and any other funds, such as capital reserves, are allocated to specific projects. School districts are required by state law to keep 5 percent of their annual spending in the undesignated reserve funds to preserve bond ratings. According to the Pennsylvania Department of Education, from 2003 to 2010, as a whole, Pennsylvania school districts amassed nearly $3 billion in reserved funds.[284]

Debt The District reports having amassed $147,627,410 in bond debt, requiring an annual payment of $11,829,753 (principal and interest) in June 2012. As of June 2014, the District's debt was $138,126,748, requiring $14,253,772 in annual payments.

Tuition Students who live in the Stroudsburg 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 Stroudsburg Area School District. For these cases, the Pennsylvania Department of Education sets an annual tuition rate for each school district. It is the amount the public school district pays to a charter school for each resident student that attends the charter and it is the amount a nonresident student's parents must pay to attend the District's schools. The 2012 tuition rates for Stroudsburg Area School District were Elementary School - $11,739.10, High School - $11,883.72.[285] The tuition rate increased to $12,655 for Stroudsburg High School, in 2013. The elementary school tuition was raised to $12,674.

Audit In March 2010, the Pennsylvania Auditor General conducted a performance audit of the Stroudsburg Area School District. The multiple significant findings were reported to the school board and administration.[286]

Stroudsburg Area School District is funded by a combination of: a local earned income tax of 0.5%,[287] a property tax, a real estate transfer tax 0.5%, coupled with substantial funding from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and about 10% from the federal government. In the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, pension income and Social Security income are exempted from state personal income tax and local earned income tax, regardless of the level of the individual’s personal wealth.[288] 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 exempted from both Pennsylvania state income tax and local income tax which fund local public schools.[289] Effective 2016, active duty military are also exempted from paying the local earned income tax in Pennsylvania.[290][291]

State basic education funding[edit]

According to a report from Representative Todd Stephens office, Stroudsburg Area School District receives 23.5% of its annual revenue from the state.[292]

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. 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).[293][294][295]

For the 2016-17 school year, Stroudsburg Area School District received $13,718,063 in Basic Education Funding from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. This is a 4.4% increase over 2015-16 funding to the District. The highest percentage of BEF increase in Monroe County was 7.2% awarded to East Stroudsburg Area School District under the state’s Basic Education Funding formula. 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.[296] The state also funded Ready to Learn grants at $250 million and Special Education funding received a $20 million increase.[297] The state also paid $492 million to the school employee social security fund and another $2.064 billion to the teacher’s pension fund.[298] 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.

For the 2015-16 school year, Governor Tom Wolf released a partial Basic Education Funding of $6,500,277 to Stroudsburg Area School District, in January 2016.[299] This was part of $10.3 billion in school funding withheld from the public schools, by the Governor since the summer of 2015.[300] The dispersement did not follow the new Basic Education Fair Funding formula which had been established by the Pennsylvania General Assembly in June 2015.[301] Ten (10) Pennsylvania school districts received no increase in Basic Eductaion funding under Governor Wolf.[302][303]

In compliance with a legislative mandate that was passed with veto proof majorities in the PA House and Senate,[304] the final BEF funding was determined for 2015-16, in April 2016. Stroudsburg Area School District received $13,139,595 in Basic Education Funds for the 2015-16 school year. This was a 3.48% increase yielding a $441,467 increase over the previous school year funding. The District also received $776,707 in Ready to Learn funding from the state.[305]

For the 2014-15 school year, Stroudsburg Area School District received $12,698,145.19 in State Basic Education funding. The District received $612,762 in new Ready To Learn Block grant. The State’s enacted Education Budget included $5,526,129,000 for the 2014-2015 Basic Education Funding.[306] The Education budget also included Accountability Block Grant funding at $100 million and $241 million in new Ready to Learn funding for public schools that focus on student achievement and academic success. The State paid $500.8 million to Social Security on the school employees behalf and another $1.16 billion to the state teachers pension system (PSERS). In total, Pennsylvania’s Education budget for K-12 public schools is $10 billion. This was a $305 million increase over 2013-2014 state spending and the greatest amount ever allotted by the Commonwealth for its public schools.[307]

For the 2013-14 school year, Stroudsburg Area School District received a 16.7% increase or $12,700,794 in Pennsylvania Basic Education Funding. This is $1,818,142 more than its 2012-13 state BEF to the District. Additionally, Stroudsburg Area School District received $311,108 in Accountability Block Grant funding to focus on academic achievement and level funding for special education services. Among the public school districts in Monroe County, Stroudsburg Area School District received the highest percentage increase in BEF in 2013. The District also 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.[308] 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.[309] 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.[310]

For the 2012-13 school year, Stroudsburg Area District received $10,882,652.[311] 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. The state also provided a $544.4 million payment for School Employees’ Social Security and $856 million for School Employees’ Retirement fund called PSERS.[312] This amount was a $21,823,000 increase (0.34%) over the 2011-2012 appropriations for Basic Education Funding, School Employees' Social Security, Pupil Transportation, Nonpublic and Charter School Pupil Transportation. Since taking office, Corbett’s first two budgets have restored more than $918 million in support of public schools, compensating for the $1 billion in federal stimulus dollars lost at the end of the 2010-11 school year.

In 2011-12 school year, Stroudsburg Area School District received a $9,384,244, allocation, of state Basic Education Funding.[313][314] Additionally, the School District received $311,108 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.[315] 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.[316] In 2010, the District reported that 1,933 students received free or reduced-price lunches, due to the family meeting the federal poverty level.[317]

In the 2010-11 budget year, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania provided a 2% increase in Basic Education Funding (BEF) for a total of $10,000,084. Among the districts in Monroe County, the highest increase went to East Stroudsburg Area School District which got a 7.50% increase. One hundred fifty Pennsylvania school districts received the base 2% increase. The highest increase in 2010-11 went to Kennett Consolidated School District in Chester County which received a 23.65% increase in state funding.[318] Fifteen (15) Pennsylvania public school districts received a BEF increase of greater than 10%. The state's hold harmless policy regarding state basic education funding continued where a district received at least the same amount as the year before, even where enrollment had significantly declined. The amount of increase each school district receives was set by Governor Edward G. Rendell and then Secretary of Education Gerald Zahorchak, as a part of the state budget proposal given each February. This was the second year of the Governors policy to fund some public school districts at a far greater rate than others.[319]

In the 2009-10 budget year, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania provided a 6.34% increase in Basic Education Funding for a total of $9,807,886. Among the districts in Monroe County, the highest increase went to Stroudsburg Area School District. Ninety school districts received a 2% increase. Muhlenberg School District in Berks County received a 22.31% increase in state basic education funding in 2009.[320] The amount of increase each school district received was set by Governor Edward G. Rendell and the Secretary of Education Gerald Zahorchak, as a part of the state budget proposal.[321]

The state Basic Education Funding to the District in 2008-09 was $9,223,181. According to the Pennsylvania Department of Education, 1,422 district students received free or reduced- price lunches due to low family income in the 2007–2008 school year.[322] According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Pennsylvania spent $7,824 Per Pupil in the year 2000. This amount increased up to $12,085 by the year 2008.[323][324]

Accountability Block Grants[edit]

Beginning in 2004-2005, the state launched the Accountability Block Grant school funding. This program has provided $1.5 billion to Pennsylvania’s school districts. The Accountability Block Grant program requires that its taxpayer dollars are focused on specific interventions that are most likely to increase student academic achievement. These interventions include: teacher training, all-day kindergarten, lower class size K-3rd grade, literacy and math coaching programs that provide teachers with individualized job-embedded professional development to improve their instruction, before or after school tutoring assistance to struggling students. For 2010-11, the district applied for and received $844,426 in addition to all other state and federal funding. The district uses the funding to provide full-day kindergarten, to provide tutoring before/after school to 224 students and provide health or social services.[325][326]

Classrooms for the Future grant[edit]

The Classroom for the Future state program provided districts with hundreds of thousands of extra state funding to buy laptop computers for each core curriculum high school class (English, Science, History, Math) and paid for teacher training to optimize the computers use. The program was funded from 2006-2009. The Stroudsburg Area School District received $407,573 in 2006-07. In 2007-08, it received $300,000. The district received $29,300 in 2008-09 for a total funding of $736,873.[327] In Monroe County, the highest award was given to Pocono Mountain School District at $1,419,802. The highest funding statewide was awarded to Philadelphia City School District in Philadelphia County - $9,409,073.

Education Assistance grant[edit]

The state's EAP funding provides for the continuing support of tutoring services and other programs to address the academic needs of eligible students. Funds are available to eligible school districts and full-time career and technology centers (CTC) in which one or more schools have failed to meet at least one academic performance target, as provided for in Section 1512-C of the Pennsylvania Public School Code. In 2010-11 the School District received $125,013.[328]

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 2011, Stroudsburg Area School District was awarded $7,500 to build an outdoor teaching space that will provide hands-on learning for students.[329] In April 2012, the District received another $7,500 grant.[330]

Other grants[edit]

Stroudsburg Area School District did not participate in: PA Science Its Elementary grants (discontinued effective with 2009-10 budget by Governor Rendell),[331] 2012 Striving Readers Comprehensive Literacy grant,[332] 2013 Safe Schools and Resource Officer grants, 2012 and 2013 Pennsylvania Hybrid Learning Grants,[333] nor the federal 21st Century Learning grants.

Federal grants[edit]

The Stroudsburg Area School District received an extra $3,364,597 in ARRA - Federal Stimulus money to be used in specific programs like special education and meeting the academic needs of low-income students.[334] The funding was limited to the 2009-10 and 2010-2011 school years.[335] 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.

Edu Jobs Fund[edit]

The purpose of the federal Education Jobs Fund is to provide assistance to States to save or create education jobs for the 2010-2011 school year. Stroudsburg received $671,578.

Race to the Top grant[edit]

Stroudsburg Area School District officials did not apply for the federal Race to the Top grant which would have provided over one million dollars in additional federal funding to improve student academic achievement.[336] 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.[337] Pennsylvania was not approved for the grant. The failure of districts to agree to participate was cited as one reason that Pennsylvania was not approved.[338][339][340]

Title II grants[edit]

The Federal government provides annual grants to schools to be used to improve the quality of teacher instructions to pupils. The goal is to provide each child in public schools with “High Quality” teachers and principals as defined by the state.[341] The funds are sent to the state Department of Education which distributes them to each school district and charter school.[342] 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, Stroudsburg Area School District received $175,088 in federal Title II funding.[343] In 2014-15, Stroudsburg Area School District applied for and received $166,393.[344]

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.[345] 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.[346][347]

In 2012-13, Stroudsburg Area School District received $38,565 in Title III funding for English language learners.[348] For 2014-15, Stroudsburg Area School District received $46,764 in Title III funding.[349]

Common Cents state initiative[edit]

The Stroudsburg Area School Board elected to not participate in the Pennsylvania Department of Education Common Cents program. The program called for the state to audit the district, at no cost to local taxpayers, to identify ways the district could save tax dollars.[350] After the review of the information, the district was not required to implement the recommended cost savings changes.

Real estate taxes[edit]

Property tax rates in 2016-17 were set by the Stroudsburg Area School Board at 163.3000 mills.[351] 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.[352] Property taxes, in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, apply only to real estate - land and buildings. The property tax is not levied on cars, business inventory, or other personal property. Certain types of property are exempt from property taxes, including: places of worship, places of burial, private social clubs, charitable and educational institutions and government property. Additionally, service related, disabled US military veterans may seek an exemption from paying property taxes. 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.[353] The county includes school districts with municipalities in two counties, each of which has different rates of property tax assessment, necessitating a state board equalization of the tax rates between the counties.[354] In 2010, miscalculations by the board were widespread in the Commonwealth and adversely impacted funding for many school districts.[355]

The average yearly property tax paid by Monroe County residents amounts to about 5.52% of their yearly income. Monroe County ranked 53rd out of the 3143 United States counties for property taxes as a percentage of median income.[364]

According to a report prepared by the Pennsylvania Department of Education, the total real estate taxes collected by all school districts in Pennsylvania rose from $6,474,133,936 in 1999-00 to $10,438,463,356 in 2008-09 and to $11,153,412,490 in 2011.[365] 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%).[366]

Act 1 Adjusted Index[edit]

The Act 1 of 2006 Index regulates the rates at which each school district can raise property taxes in Pennsylvania. Districts are not allowed to raise taxes above that index unless they allow voters to vote by referendum, or they seek an exception from the state Department of Education. The base index for the 2011-2012 school year is 1.4 percent, but the Act 1 Index can be adjusted higher, depending on a number of factors, such as property values and the personal income of district residents. Act 1 included 10 exceptions, including: increasing pension costs, increases in special education costs, a catastrophe like a fire or flood, increase in health insurance costs for contracts in effect in 2006 or dwindling tax bases. The base index is the average of the percentage increase in the statewide average weekly wage, as determined by the PA Department of Labor and Industry, for the preceding calendar year and the percentage increase in the Employment Cost Index for Elementary and Secondary Schools, as determined by the Bureau of Labor Statistics in the U.S. Department of Labor, for the previous 12-month period ending June 30. For a school district with a market value/personal income aid ratio (MV/PI AR) greater than 0.4000, its index equals the base index multiplied by the sum of .75 and its MV/PI AR for the current year.[367] In June 2011, the Pennsylvania General Assembly eliminated six of the ten the exceptions to the Act 1 Index.[368] The following exceptions were maintained: 1) costs to pay interest and principal on indebtedness incurred prior to September 4, 2004 for Act 72 schools and prior to June 27, 2006 for non-Act 72 schools; 2) costs to pay interest and principal on electoral debt; 3) costs incurred in providing special education programs and services (beyond what is already paid by the State); and 4) costs due to increases of more than the Index in the school’s share of payments to PSERS (PA school employees pension fund) taking into account the state mandated PSERS contribution rate.[369][370]

The School District Adjusted Index for the Stroudsburg Area School District 2006-2007 through 2011-2012.[371]

For the 2016-17 budget year, Stroudsburg Area School Board applied for two exceptions to exceed the District's Act 1 Index limit, due to rising special education costs and rapidly escalating teacher pension costs.[380] Statewide 299 school districts adopted a resolution to not exceed their Act I index in 2016-17. In 2016-17, all Pennsylvania public school districts were required to make a 30.03% of payroll payment to the teacher’s pension fund (PSERS).[381] This was in addition to the 6.02% social security employer match payment.[382]

For the 2015-16 budget year, Stroudsburg Area School Board did not apply for any 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. Regarding the pension costs exception, 172 school districts received approval to exceed the Index limit in full, while others received a partial approval of their request. For special education costs, 119 districts received approval to exceed their tax limit. No Pennsylvania public school districts received an approval for the grandfathered construction debts exception.[383]

For the 2014-15 budget year, Stroudsburg Area School Board applied for two exceptions to exceed their Act 1 Index limit: special education costs and rapidly rising teacher pension costs. In 2014-15, all Pennsylvania school districts were required to make a 21.4% of payroll payment to the teacher’s pension fund (PSERS).[384] 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.[385]

For the 2013-14 budget year, Stroudsburg Area School Board applied for two exceptions to exceed their Act 1 Index limit: special education cots and escalating teacher pension costs. In 2013-14, all Pennsylvania school districts were required to make a 16.93% of payroll payment to the teacher’s pension fund (PSERS). For the school budget year 2013-14, 311 Pennsylvania public school districts adopted a resolution certifying that tax rates would not be increased above their index. Another 171 school districts adopted a preliminary budget leaving open the option of exceeded the Index limit. For the pension costs exception, 169 school districts received approval to exceed the Index. For special education costs, 75 districts received approval to exceed their tax limit. Eleven Pennsylvania public school districts received an approval for grandfathered construction debts.[386]

For the 2012-13 budget year, Stroudsburg Area School Board applied for two exceptions to exceed the Act 1 Index: PSERS pension costs and special education costs. For 2012-2013, 274 school districts adopted a resolution certifying that tax rates would not be increased above their index; 223 school districts adopted a preliminary budget leaving open the option of exceeded the Index limit. For the exception for pension costs, 194 school districts received approval to exceed the Index. For special education costs, 129 districts received approval to exceed the tax limit. For the exception for pension costs, 194 school districts received approval to exceed the Index. For special education costs, 129 districts received approval to exceed the tax limit. At Stroudsburg Area School District the approved real estate tax rate Increase due to exceptions was 1.5127 mills.[387]

For the 2011-12 school year, the Stroudsburg Area School Board applied for two exceptions to exceed the Act 1 Index: School Construction Grandfathered Debt and teacher pension costs. Each year, the School Board has the option of adopting either 1) a resolution in January certifying they will not increase taxes above their index or 2) a preliminary budget in February. A school district adopting the resolution may not apply for referendum exceptions or ask voters for a tax increase above the inflation index. A specific timeline for these decisions is published annually, by the Pennsylvania Department of Education.[388]

According to a state report, for the 2011-2012 school year budgets, 247 school districts adopted a resolution certifying that tax rates would not be increased above their index; 250 school districts adopted a preliminary budget. Of the 250 school districts that adopted a preliminary budget, 231 adopted real estate tax rates that exceeded their index. Tax rate increases in the other 19 school districts that adopted a preliminary budget did not exceed the school district’s index. Of the districts who sought exceptions: 221 used the pension costs exemption and 171 sought a Special Education costs exemption. Only 1 school district sought an exemption for Nonacademic School Construction Project, while 1 sought an exception for Electoral debt for school construction.[389]

In 2009-10 school year, the Stroudsburg Area School Board applied for three exceptions to exceed the Act 1 index for the budget in 2011: teacher pension costs, special education costs and School Construction Grandfathered Debt.[390] For 2009-10 school budget, the board applied for two exceptions to exceed the Index: Maintenance of Local Tax Revenue and Special Education costs.[391] 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.[392]

Property tax relief[edit]

In 2016, Stroudsburg Area School District approved 7,386 homestead properties to receive $360.[393] The amount increased due to a decline in the number of properties participating. In 2015, Stroudsburg Area's tax relief was set at $354 for 7,508 approved homesteads.[394] In Monroe County, the highest amount of tax relief in 2016, went to property owners in Pleasant Valley School District at $473 per homestead. The relief is 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 (40,000 m2) and must be the primary residence of the owner. Farmers can qualify for both the homestead exemption and the farmstead exemption. The tax relief was started by Governor Edward G. Rendell with passage of the state gaming law in 2004. Rendell promised taxpayers substantial property tax relief from legalized gambling.[395]

In 2011, the Homestead/Farmstead Property Tax Relief from gambling for Stroudsburg School District was $332 per approved permanent primary residence.[396] In 2009, the Homestead/Farmstead Property Tax Relief from gambling for Stroudsburg School District was $337 per approved permanent primary residence. In the District, 7,903 property owners applied for the tax relief.[397] In Monroe County, 57.91% of eligible property owners applied for property tax relief in 2009.[398] The highest property tax relief in Pennsylvania went to the residents of Chester Upland School District of Delaware County who received $632 per approved homestead.[399] This was the third year they were the top recipient.

Stroudsburg Area School District offers a property tax rebate to low income senior citizens of up to $500. They must apply for the rebate each year.[400]

Additionally, the Pennsylvania Property Tax/Rent Rebate program is provided for low income Pennsylvanians aged 65 and older; widows and widowers aged 50 and older; and people with disabilities age 18 and older. The income limit is $35,000 for homeowners. The maximum rebate for both homeowners and renters is $650. Applicants can exclude one-half (1/2) of their Social Security income, consequently, individual with income much more than $35,000 may still qualify for a rebate. Individuals must apply annually for the rebate. This can be taken in addition to Homestead/Farmstead Property Tax Relief.[401]

Dress Code[edit]

The school district's colors are maroon, white, black, and gray. The school district has issued a dress code consisting of the school colors starting in the 2008-2009 school year, which has upset a large part of the student body. Protests (such as sit-ins, or walkouts) have been rumored amongst the student body, but none have been tried. Stroudsburg Area School District school board took a vote for the dress code, which resulted in a close vote of 5 to 4. The dress code mainly consists of maroon, grey, black, and white polos; polos must not have a logo on it (excluding Stroudsburg, or Mounties logos). Tops and bottoms must be of contrasting colors, for example wearing a black polo and black pants are not permitted. Polos must not go lower than the pocket area, or the polo must be tucked in. Pants must be colored black or khaki; students cannot wear skin tight jeans or skinny jeans. Shoes must be primarily black, white, grey or brown; shoelaces cannot be colored. Students must not wear hooded sweaters, or sweaters not of the school colors (maroon, grey, black, and white). Each student is given three warnings if the dress code is not followed. After the fourth offense, the student is given In-School Suspension (known as A.C.E. in the district, instead of ISS). Occasionally, the dress code is slightly lifted due to the cold weather. Stroudsburg Area School District teachers are also required to wear a dress code, but is different from the student dress code.

Food Fights[edit]

In the 2007-2008 school year, 7th graders in the Stroudsburg Middle School participated in a food fight on the last day of school with lunch, which resulted in one teacher fracturing her leg and one student with a concussion. After this incident, more security guards have been dispatched into the Stroudsburg Intermediate Elementary School, Stroudsburg Middle School, Stroudsburg Junior High School, and Stroudsburg High School during lunch periods. Schools have threatened students who participate in a food fight with suspension or expulsion.

Wellness policy[edit]

Stroudsburg Area School Board established a district-wide wellness policy in 2006.[402] 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." Most districts identified the superintendent and school foodservice director as responsible for ensuring local wellness policy implementation.[403]

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.[404] The Pennsylvania Department of Education required the district to submit a copy of the policy for approval.

Stroudsburg Area School District offers both a free school breakfast and a free or reduced-price lunch to children in low income families. All students attending the school can eat breakfast and lunch. Children from families with incomes at or below 130 percent of the federal poverty level are provided a breakfast and lunch at no cost to the family. Children from families with incomes between 130 and 185 percent of the federal poverty level can be charged no more than 30 cents per breakfast. A foster child whose care and placement is the responsibility of the State or who is placed by a court with a caretaker household is eligible for both a free breakfast and a free lunch. Runaway, homeless and Migrant Youth are also automatically eligible for free meals.[405] The meals are partially funded with federal dollars through the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).[406]

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.[407] 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.[408] In 2014, President Obama ordered a prohibition of advertisements for unhealthy foods on public school campuses during the school day.[409] The Food and Drug Administration 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.[410]

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.[411][412]

Stroudsburg Area School District provides health services as mandated by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania 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 Pennsylvania Department of Health’s extensive immunization mandates. School nurses monitor each pupil for this compliance.[413][414] Nurses also monitor each child's weight.

In 2016, the Pennsylvania Department of Health made available 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.[415] The cost was covered by a grant from a private foundation.[416][417]

Extracurriculars[edit]

Stroudsburg Area School District offers a wide variety of clubs, activities and an extensive sports program.The Board reports spending $893,620 to provide sports activities (excluding facility costs)[418] and another $223,513 to provide all clubs/other activities. Eligibility for participation is determined by school board policy.[419] The Board uses the eligibility standards set by the Constitution of the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association which permits a students to be failing 2 core academic classes and still play sports.[420]

By Pennsylvania law, all K-12 students residing in the district, including those who attend a private nonpublic school, cyber charter school, charter school and those homeschooled, are eligible to participate in the extracurricular programs, including all athletics. They must meet the same eligibility rules as the students enrolled in the district's schools.[421][422][423]

Sports[edit]

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.[424][425]

Coaches receive compensation as outlined in the teachers' union contract. When athletic competition exceeds the regular season, additional compensation is paid.[426]

The District funds:

Varsity
Junior High Middle School Sports

According to PIAA directory July 2013 [427]

References[edit]

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External links[edit]

Coordinates: 40°59′03″N 75°12′27″W / 40.98426°N 75.20744°W / 40.98426; -75.20744