Upper Adams School District

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Upper Adams School District
Map of Adams County Pennsylvania School Districts.png
Address
161 North Main Street
Biglerville, Pennsylvania, Adams County 17307-9228
United States
Information
Type Public
School board 9 locally elected members
Superintendent Dr. Wesley T Doll (August 2012)
Administrator

Lawrence, Michael, Business Manager, $102,185 (2012)
Cope, Dennis, Supervisor $102,108 (2012)
Van Dyke, James, Info Management, $88,882 (2012)
Corwell, Anne, Director of Student Services Section 504 Coordinator, $84,840 (2012)
Kane, Cynthia, Assistant to the Principal $72,102 (2012)

Graham, Anthony, Athletic Director
Principal Sterner, Richard, HS $110,742 (2012)
Principal Zinn, Dave, UAMS, $99,504 (2012)
Principal Denise J. Sharp, Biglerville ES, $98,159 (2012)
Principal Wolfe, Ann, Bendersville ES $89,134 (2012)
Principal Kerstetter, Jamie, AES $87,593 (2012)
Staff 132 non teaching staff
Faculty 118 teachers
Grades K-12
Age 5 years old to 21 years old for special education
Pupils 1,669pupils (2013), 1,724 pupils (2009-10) [1]
 • Kindergarten 143
 • Grade 1 113
 • Grade 2 154
 • Grade 3 125
 • Grade 4 117
 • Grade 5 125
 • Grade 6 128
 • Grade 7 140
 • Grade 8 127
 • Grade 9 136
 • Grade 10 147
 • Grade 11 125
 • Grade 12 144
Athletics conference PIAA
Budget

$24,579,000 (2013-14)
$23,583,000 (2012-13)[2]

$23,265,925 in 2011[3]
Per pupil spending $11,755 in 2008
Per pupil spending $12,836.57 in 2010
Website

The Upper Adams School District is a small, rural public school district serving parts of Adams County, Pennsylvania. The boroughs of Bendersville, Biglerville, Arendtsville. It also serves the residents of: Tyrone Township, Butler Township, and Menallen Township. Upper Adams School District encompasses approximately 90 square miles (230 km2). By 2010, the district's population rose to 10,836 people.[5] According to 2000 federal census data, it served a resident population of 9,693. In 2009, the District residents' per capita income was $17,278, while the median family income was $44,835.[6] and the United States median family income was $49,445, in 2010.[7] By 2013, the median household income in the United States rose to $52,100.[8]

According to District officials, in school year 2007–08, Upper Adams School District provided basic educational services to 1,776 pupils. It employed 136 teachers, 95 full-time and part-time support personnel, and 11 administrators. Upper Adams School District received more than $8.7 million in state funding in school year 2007–08. Per District officials, Upper Adams School District provided basic educational services to 1,706 pupils through the employment of 141 teachers, 100 full-time and part-time support personnel, and 12 administrators during the 2009–10 school year. Upper Adams School District received $9.6 million in state funding in the 2009–10 school year.

Upper Adams School District operates: Biglerville Elementary School (K–3), Bendersville Elementary School (4–6) and Arendtsville Elementary School (4–6), Upper Adams Middle School (7–8), and Biglerville High School (9–12). High school students may choose to attend Cumberland Perry Vocational Technical School for vocational training. The Lincoln Intermediate Unit IU12 provides the district with a wide variety of services like specialized education for disabled students and hearing, speech and visual disability services and professional development for staff and faculty.

Governance[edit]

Upper Adams 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.[9] 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, which mandates the district focus resources on student success in acquiring reading and math skills.

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.[10]

Open records contact information is posted on the district's web site as are some school board meeting agendas and minutes.

Academic achievement[edit]

The Upper Adams School District was ranked 276th out of 498 Pennsylvania school districts, in 2013, by the Pittsburgh Business Times.[11] The ranking was based on student academic achievement as demonstrated on the last three years of the PSSAs for: reading, writing, math and science.[12] The PSSAs are given to all children in grades 3rd through 8th and the 11th grade in high school. Adapted examinations are given to children in the special education programs. Writing exams were given to children in 5th, 8th and 11th grades.

  • 2011 – 274th[13]
  • 2010 – 270th [14]
  • 2009 – 279th
  • 2008 – 268th
  • 2007 – 272nd of 501 school districts.[15]
Overachiever statewide ranking

In 2013, the Pittsburgh Business Times also reported an Overachievers Ranking for 498 Pennsylvania school districts. Upper Adams School District ranked 102nd. In 2012, the District was ranked 130th.[16] 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."[17]

District AYP status history[edit]

In 2012, Upper Adams School District achieved AYP status.[18] In 2011, 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.[19] Upper Adams School District achieved AYP status each year from 2006 to 2010,[20]

  • 2005 – Making Progress School Improvement Level I
  • 2004 – Declined to School Improvement Level I due to low student achievement
  • 2003 – Warning status due to lagging student achievement.

Graduation rate[edit]

In 2013, Upper Adams School District graduation rate was 91%.[21] In 2012, the District's graduation rate was 88.11%.[22] The graduation rate for the Class of 2011 was 88%.[23] In 2011, the Pennsylvania Department of Education issued a new, four-year cohort graduation rate. Upper Adams School District's rate was 91% for 2010.[24]

According to traditional graduation rate calculations:

Biglerville High School[edit]

Biglerville High School is located at 161 N Main Street, Biglerville. In 2013, the School's enrollment was 517 pupils, with 38.5% coming from low income homes. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, in 2011, the school reported an enrollment of 542 pupils in grades 9th through 12th, with 176 pupils eligible for a federal free or reduced price lunch due to the family meeting the federal poverty level. The Biglerville High School employed 36.5 teachers yielding a student-teacher ratio of 15:1.[29] According to a report by the Pennsylvania Department of Education, 1 teacher was rated "Non‐Highly Qualified" under the federal No Child Left Behind Act.[30]

2013 School Performance Profile

Biglerville High School achieved 73.6 out of 100. Reflects on grade level reading, mathematics and science achievement. In reading/literature, 78.7% were on grade level. In Algebra 1, only 64% showed on grade level skills. In Biology, just 45% showed on grade level science understanding.[31] 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, they now take the Keystone Exams at the end of the associated course.

AYP History

In 2012, Biglerville High School declined to Warning Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) status due to lagging student achievement.[32] In 2011 and 2010, the school achieved AYP status.[33] In 2009, Biglerville High School was in Warning level for lagging student achievement.

PSSA Results

PSSAs are NCLB related examinations which were administered from 2003 through 2012. 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.

11th Grade Reading:
  • 2012 – 70% on grade level, (8% below basic). State – 67% of 11th graders are on grade level.[34]
  • 2011 – 75% (6% below basic). State – 69.1% [35]
  • 2010 – 65%, State – 67% [36]
  • 2009 – 67%, State – 65%
  • 2008 – 66%, State – 65% [37]
  • 2007 – 64%, State – 65% [38]
11th Grade Math:
  • 2012 – 59% on grade level (15% below basic). In Pennsylvania, 59% of 11th graders are on grade level.[39]
  • 2011 – 64%, (15% below basic). State – 60.3%
  • 2010 – 54%, State – 59% [40]
  • 2009 – 60%, State – 56% [41]
  • 2008 – 52%, State – 56%
  • 2007 – 49%, State – 53%
11th Grade Science:
  • 2012 – 56% on grade level (2% below basic). State – 42% of 11th graders were on grade level.[42]
  • 2011 – 56% on grade level (4% below basic). State – 40% of 11th graders were on grade level.
  • 2010 – 45%, State – 39% [43]
  • 2009 – 41%, State – 40%
  • 2008 – 40%, State – 39%

Science in Motion Biglerville High School did not take advantage of a state program called Science in Motion which brought college professors and sophisticated science equipment to the school to raise science awareness and to provide inquiry-based experiences for the students. The Science in Motion program was funded by a state appropriation and cost the school nothing to participate.[44] Gettysburg College provided the science enrichment experiences to schools in the region. Both Ardentsville Elementary School and Bendersville Elementary School did participate in the program.

College Remediation[edit]

According to a Pennsylvania Department of Education study released in January 2009, 31% of Upper Adams 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.[45] 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.[46] 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]

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. The state offers a small grant to assist students in costs for tuition, fees and books.[47] Under the Pennsylvania Transfer and Articulation Agreement, many Pennsylvania colleges and universities accept these credits for students who transfer to their institutions.[48] The Pennsylvania College Credit Transfer System reported in 2009, that students saved nearly $35.4 million by having their transferred credits count towards a degree under the new system.[49] Students who attend a private nonpublic school, cyber charter school, charter school and those homeschooled, are eligible to participate in the district's dual enrollment program by Pennsylvania law. For the 2009-10 funding year, the school district received a state grant of $4,193 for the program.

Graduation requirements[edit]

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.[50] Effective with the graduating class of 2017, the Pennsylvania State Board of Education eliminated the state mandate that students complete a culminating project in order to graduate.[51]

By Pennsylvania School Board regulations, beginning with the class of 2017, public school students must demonstrate successful completion of secondary level course work in Algebra I, Biology, and English Literature by passing the Keystone Exams.[52] The exam is given at the end of the course. Keystone Exams replace the PSSAs for 11th grade.[53]

Students have several opportunities to pass the exam. Those who do not pass after several attempts can perform a project in order to graduate.[54][55] For the class of 2019, a Composition exam will be added. For the class of 2020, passing a civics and government exam will be added to the graduation requirements.[56] In 2011, Pennsylvania high school students field tested the Algebra 1, Biology and English Lit exams. The statewide results were: Algebra 1 38% on grade level, Biology 35% on grade level and English Lit - 49% on grade level.[57] Individual student, school or district reports were not made public, although they were reported to district officials by the Pennsylvania Department of Education. Students identified as having special needs and qualifying for an Individual Educational Program (IEP) may graduate by meeting the requirements of their IEP.

SAT scores[edit]

In 2013, Upper Adams School District students took the SAT exams. The District's Verbal Average Score was 477. The Math average score was 481. The Writing average score was 454. 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.[58]

In 2012, 101 Upper Adams School District students took the SAT exams. The District's Verbal Average Score was 457. The Math average score was 476. The Writing average score was 449. 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, 75 Upper Adams School District students took the SAT exams. The District's Verbal Average Score was 473. The Math average score was 487. The Writing average score was 462.[59] Pennsylvania ranked 40th among states with SAT scores: Verbal - 493, Math - 501, Writing - 479.[60] 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.[61]

The Pennsylvania Department of Education compared the SAT data of students in rural areas of Pennsylvania to students in urban areas. From 2003 to 2005, the average total SAT score for students in rural Pennsylvania was 992, while urban students averaged 1,006. During the same period, 28 percent of 11th and 12th graders in rural school districts took the exam, compared to 32 percent of urban students in the same grades. The average math and verbal scores were 495 and 497, respectively, for rural students, while urban test-takers averaged 499 and 507, respectively. Pennsylvania’s SAT composite score ranked low on the national scale in 2004. The composite SAT score of 1,003 left Pennsylvania ranking 44 out of the 50 states and Washington, DC.[62]

AP Courses[edit]

In 2013, Biglerville High School does not offer Advanced Placement (AP) courses.

Upper Adams Middle School[edit]

Upper Adams Middle School is located at 161 N Main Street, Biglerville. In 2013, the school's enrollment was 246 pupils, with 46.7% coming from a low income home.[63] According to the National Center for Education Statistics, in 2011, the school reported an enrollment of 256 pupils in grades 7th and 8th, with 120 pupils receiving a federal free or reduced price lunch due to family poverty. The school employed 19.5 teachers yielding a student-teacher ratio of 13:1.[64] According to a report by the Pennsylvania Department of Education, 6 of its teachers were rated "Non-Highly Qualified" under the federal No Child Left Behind Act.[65]

2013 School Performance Profile

Upper Adams Middle School achieved 78 out of 100. Reflects on grade level reading, writing, mathematics and science achievement. In reading, 80% of the students were on grade level. In Mathematics, 84% of the students showed on grade level skills. In Science, 66% of the 8th graders demonstrated on grade level understanding. In writing, 66% of the 8th grade students demonstrated on grade level writing skills.[66]

AYP History

In 2010 through 2012, Upper Adams Middle School achieved AYP status.[67]

  • 2009 - Making Progress School Improvement Level I status[68]
  • 2008 - declined to School Improvement Level I status due to low student achievement[69]
  • 2007 - Warning status due to lagging student achievement.[70]
  • 2003-2006 - achieved AYP status

The attendance rate in 2009 and 2010 school years was 95%.[71]

PSSA History
8th Grade Science:
  • 2012 - 65% on grade level (13% below basic). State - 59%
  • 2011 - 61% on grade level (9% below basic). State – 58.3% of 8th graders were on grade level.
  • 2010 - 68%, State - 57%
  • 2009 - 66%, State - 55%
  • 2008 - 52%, State - 53%

Arendtsville Elementary School[edit]

Arendtsville Elementary School is located at 136 Fohl Street, Arendtsville. In 2013, the Arendtsville Elementary School's enrollment was 212 pupils in grades 4th through 6th, with 42% of pupils receiving a federal free or reduced price meals due to family poverty. According to a report by the Pennsylvania Department of Education, 100% of the teachers were rated highly qualified under the federal No Child Left Behind Act.[77] In 2011, the school had an enrollment of 184 pupils, with 94 pupils from low income homes. The school employed 14 teachers yielding a student-teacher ratio of 13:1.[78] According to a report by the Pennsylvania Department of Education, 100% of its teachers were rated "Highly Qualified" under the federal No Child Left Behind Act.[79]

2013 School Performance Profile

Arendtsville Elementary School achieved a score of 74.9 out of 100. The score reflects on grade level: reading, science, writing and mathematics achievement. In 2012-13, only 66% of the students were reading on grade level in grades 4th through 6th. In math, 71% were on grade level (4th-6th grades). In 4th grade science, just 76% of the pupils demonstrated on grade level understanding. In writing, only 59% of 5th grade pupils demonstrated on grade level writing skills.[80]

PSSA Results;
4th Grade Science
  • 2012 - 89%, (3% below basic). State - 82%
  • 2011 - 94%, (0% below basic). State - 82.9%

Bendersville Elementary School[edit]

Bendersville Elementary School is located at 137 Rampike Hill Road, Bendersville. In 2013, the school's enrollment was 175 pupils with 44.5% of pupils receiving a federal free or reduced price meals due to family poverty. According to a report by the Pennsylvania Department of Education, 100% of the teachers were rated highly qualified under No Child Left Behind.[83] In 2011, Bendersville Elementary School enrollment was 182 pupils, with 70 pupils receiving a free lunch due to family poverty. The school employed 14 teachers yielding a student-teacher ratio of 13:1.[84]

2013 School Performance Profile

Bendersville Elementary School achieved a score of 83 out of 100. The score reflects on grade level: reading, science, writing and mathematics achievement. In 2012-13, only 59% of the students were reading on grade level in grades 4th through 6th. In math, just 72% were on grade level (4th through 6th grades). In 4th grade science, 80% of the pupils demonstrated on grade level understanding. In writing only 68% of 5th grade pupils demonstrated on grade level writing skills.[85]

AYP History

From 2003 through 2012, Bendersville Elementary School achieved Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) status each year.[86]

PSSA
4th Grade Science
  • 2012 - 83%, (5% below basic). State - 82%
  • 2011 - 84%, (4% below basic). State - 82.9%

Biglerville Elementary School[edit]

Biglerville Elementary School is located at 3270 Biglerville Road, Biglerville. In 2013, the school's enrollment was 519 pupils with 52% of pupils receiving a federal free or reduced price meals due to family poverty. 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.[89] The school is a federally designated Title I school. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, in 2011, Biglerville Elementary School had 541 pupils with 280 coming from low income homes. The school employed 33 teachers yielding a student-teacher ratio of 16:1.[90]

2013 School Performance Profile

Biglerville Elementary School achieved a score of 78 out of 100. The score reflects on grade level: reading, science, writing and mathematics achievement. For 2012-13, in 3rd grade, 73.88% of the pupils were reading on grade level. In math, 74% were on grade level in 3rd grade.[91]

AYP History

In 2012, Biglerville Elementary School declined to Warning AYP status due to its lagging student academic achievement especially in reading. In 2011, Biglerville Elementary School achieved AYP status.[92]

PSSA History

Wellness policy[edit]

Upper Adams School Board established a district wellness policy in 2006 - Policy 246.[100] The policy deals with nutritious meals served at school, the control of access to some foods and beverages during school hours, age appropriate nutrition education for all students, and physical education for students K-12. The policy is in response to state mandates and federal legislation (P.L. 108 - 265). The law dictates that each school district participating in a program authorized by the Richard B. Russell National School Lunch Act (42 U.S.C. 1751 et seq) or the Child Nutrition Act of 1966 (42 U.S.C. 1771 et seq) "shall establish a local school wellness policy by School Year 2006." The Superintendent is required to report to the school board annually regarding the effectiveness of the policy.

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 and physical education that are aligned with the Pennsylvania State Academic Standards for Health, Safety and Physical Education, 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.[101] The Pennsylvania Department of Education required the district to submit a copy of the policy for approval.

The Upper Adams School District offers a free school breakfast and free or reduced-price lunch to children in low income families. All students attending the school can eat breakfast and lunch. Children from families with incomes at or below 130 percent of the federal poverty level are provided a breakfast and lunch at no cost to the family. Children from families with incomes between 130 and 185 percent of the federal poverty level can be charged no more than 30 cents per breakfast. A foster child whose care and placement is the responsibility of the State or who is placed by a court with a caretaker household is eligible for both a free breakfast and a free lunch. Runaway, homeless and Migrant Youth are also automatically eligible for free meals.[102] The meals are partially funded with federal dollars through the United States Department of Agriculture.[103]

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.[104] 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.[105]

Upper Adams School District provides health services as mandated by the Commonwealth and the federal government. Nurses are available in each building to conduct annual health screenings (data reported to the PDE and state Department of Health) and to dispense prescribed medications to students during the school day. Students can be excluded from school unless they comply with all the State Department of Health’s extensive immunization mandates. School nurses monitor each pupil for this compliance.[106] Nurses also monitor each child's weight.

The Upper Adams School District participated in Highmark Healthy High 5 Health eTools for Schools which enabled mobile data collection of pertinent health and physical fitness screening data on students K-12 in a database held by InnerLink, Inc. in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. Health eTools for Schools also provided interdisciplinary research-based curriculum in nutrition, physical education and physical activity to participating districts. The program was discontinued in 2013.[107]

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.[108]

In 2012, the average teacher salary in Upper Adams School District was $55,347.83 a year, while the cost of the benefits teachers received was $15,690 per employee, for a total annual average teacher compensation of $71,038.[109] in 2011, the Upper Adams School District employed 140 teachers with an average salary of $58,452 and a top salary of $129,280.[110]

In 2009, Upper Adams School District employed 149 teachers. The average teacher salary was $54,659. The highest salary was $113,302 while the starting salary was $38,280.[111] The work day is 7 hours 30 minutes, including a 30-minute period for duty-free lunch. Teachers receive planning periods each week. Benefits for teachers include up to 5 paid bereavement days, up to 12 paid sick days (which accumulate), 3 paid personal days and reimbursement for professional development. The teachers union president receives 6 paid days to conduct union business. Each teacher receives to four paid instructional days of educational meetings, conferences, and/or professional days for the purpose of maintaining and/or improving professional competency. Teachers with the district more than 5 years can take a sabbatical leave at 50% of their salary for one year. After ten years in the Upper Adams School District the teacher will be paid for unused sick days up to $4,500 lump sum. The teachers' benefits include: life insurance, Major Medical/Hospitalization Insurance, and Vision and Dental Insurance. Some retirees receive health insurance until the age of 65.[112]

In 2007, the Upper Adams School District employed 108 teachers. The average teacher salary in the district was $50,182 for 187 days worked.[113]

Per pupil spending Upper Adams School District's administrative costs per pupil was $944.80 in 2008, ranking 91st out of 501 school districts. The lowest administrative cost per pupil in Pennsylvania was $398 per pupil.[114] Upper Dauphin ranks 80th of 501 school districts for administrative spending. In July 2004, the school board awarded a five-year contract to Eric C. Eshbach, as superintendent with an initial salary of $92,796. The contract had an extensive benefits package including life insurance, health insurance, and a one-year notice for termination.[115] Eric Eshbach's salary was $129,280 when he left the district for a position at Northern York County School District in July 2012. Dr. Wesley Doll was promoted to Superintendent in August 2012.[116] The Assistant Superintendent position he vacated was not refilled saving the District $159,000 a year.

In 2008, Upper Adams School District reported spending $11,755 per pupil. This ranked 301st in the commonwealth.[117] In 2010, Upper Adams School District reported spending $13,225.80 per pupil.[118] In 2011, Pennsylvania’s per pupil spending was $13,467, ranking 6th in the United States.[119] In 2007, the Pennsylvania per pupil total expenditures was reported as $12,759.[120]

The U.S. Census Bureau reported that Pennsylvania spent $8,191 per pupil in school year 2000-01.[121] In 2007, the Pennsylvania per pupil total expenditures was reported as $12,759.[122] Among the fifty states, Pennsylvania’s total per pupil revenue (including all sources) ranked 11th at $15,023 per student, in 2008-09.[123] Pennsylvania’s total revenue per pupil rose to $16,186 ranking 9th in the nation in 2011.[124]

Reserves In 2008, Upper Adams School District reported an unreserved designated fund balance of zero and an unreserved-undesignated fund balance of $1,493,428.00.[125] In 2010, Upper Adams School District Administration reported an increase to $1,624,619 in the unreserved-undesignated fund balance. The District also reported zero in its unreserved-designated fund in 2010. Pennsylvania public school district reserve funds are divided into two categories – designated and undesignated. The undesignated funds are not committed to any planned project. Designated funds and any other funds, such as capital reserves, are allocated to specific projects. School districts are required by state law to keep 5 percent of their annual spending in the undesignated reserve funds to preserve bond ratings. According to the Pennsylvania Department of Education, from 2003 to 2010, as a whole, Pennsylvania school districts amassed nearly $3 billion in reserved funds.[126] In 2005, the total reserve funds held by Pennsylvania public school districts was $1.9 billion.[127] By 2013, reserves held by Pennsylvania public school districts, as a whole, had increased to over $3.8 billion.[128]

Audit In June 2010, the Pennsylvania Auditor General released a Performance Audit of the school district.[129] It found that the district has failed to take corrective action on teacher certifications. In 2013, the District was audited again. It was found the District had continued to fail to require teachers to be certified.

Tuition Students who live in the 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 Upper Adams 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 are Elementary School - $9,182.51, High School - $8,949.98.[130]

Upper Adams School District is funded by a combination of: a local earned income tax 1.1%, per capita taxes 2 - $5, a property tax, a real estate transfer tax - 0.5%, coupled with substantial funding from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the federal government. Grants can provide an opportunity to supplement school funding without raising local taxes. In the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, pension and Social Security income are exempted from state personal income tax and local earned income tax, regardless of the level of wealth.[131]

State basic education funding[edit]

According to a report from Representative Todd Stephens office, School District receives 43.2% of its annual revenue from the state.[132]

For the 2013-14 school year, the Upper Adams School District received a 1.9% increase or $6,063,982 in Pennsylvania Basic Education Funding. This is $111,519 more than its 2012-13 state BEF to the District. Additionally, Upper Adams School District received $99,751 in Accountability Block Grant funding to focus on academic achievement and level funding for special education services. Among the public school districts in Adams County, Conewago Valley School District received the highest percentage increase in BEF at 3.2%. The District has the option of applying for several other state and federal grants to increase revenues. The Commonwealth’s budget increased Basic Education Funding statewide by $123 million to over $5.5 billion. Most of Pennsylvania’s 500 public school districts received an increase of Basic Education Funding in a range of 0.9% to 4%. Eight public school districts received exceptionally high funding increases of 10% to 16%. The highest increase in state funding was awarded to Austin Area School District which received a 22.5% increase in Basic Education Funding.[133] 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.[134] 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.[135]

'For the 2012-13 school year, Upper Adams School District received $.$5,952,463.[136] 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. Upper Adams School District received $99,751 in Accountability Block Grant funding to focus on academic achievement and level funding. The state also provided a $544.4 million payment for School Employees’ Social Security and $856 million for School Employees’ Retirement fund called PSERS.[137] 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, Upper Adams School District received $5,951,703 in state Basic Education Funding.[138] Additionally, the Upper Adams School District will receive $99,751 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. The highest increase in state basic education funding to districts in Adams County, was awarded to Gettysburg Area School District which received an over 8.40% increase. The highest increase in state basic education funding was awarded to Duquesne City School District which received an over 49% increase.[139]

According to the Pennsylvania Department of Education, 716 students in the Upper Adams School District received free or reduced-price lunches due to low family income in the 2009-2010 school year.[140]

For the 2010-11 school year, the state provided Upper Adams School District a 2.84% increase in basic education funding, for a total of $5,574,007.[141] Among Adams County public school districts, the highest increase was allotted to Conewago Valley School District which received a 9.66% increase in 2010. In Pennsylvania, 150 school districts received a 2% base increase. Fifteen (15) Pennsylvania public school districts received a BEF increase of greater than 10%. The highest increase in Pennsylvania was given to Kennett Consolidated School District in Chester County which was given a 23.65% increase in state BEF. The state's hold harmless policy regarding state basic education funding continued where each district received at least the same amount as it received the prior school year, even when enrollment had significantly declined. The amount of increase each school district received was set by Governor Edward 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 Governor Rendell’s policy to fund some public school districts at a far greater rate than others.[142]

In the 2009-2010 budget year, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania provided an 8.14% increase in Basic Education funding for Upper Adams School District a total of $6,234,683. The highest increase in Adams County went to Conewago Valley School District which received a 9.48% increase in 2009-10. Muhlenberg School District of Berks County received the highest basic education funding increase of 22.31 percent. Sixteen school districts received an increase in funding of over 10 percent in 2009.[143] 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.[144]

The state Basic Education funding to the District in 2008-09 was $5,765,350.55. In 2009, the district reported that 619 students received a federal free or reduced-price lunch due to low family income.[145] 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.[146][147]

Accountability Block Grant[edit]

The state provides supplemental funding in the form of accountability block grants. The use of these funds is strictly focused on specific, state approved, student academic achievement focused programs and processes. Upper Adams School District uses its $270,748 to fund full-day kindergarten for the 7th year. These annual grant funds are in addition to the state's basic education funding.[148] School districts must apply each year for Accountability Block Grants.[149] The 2009-10 school year, the state provided $271.4 million in Accountability Block grants $199.5 million went to providing all-day kindergartens.[150]

Classrooms for the Future Grant[edit]

The Upper Adams School District received a grant from the Pennsylvania Department of Education to purchase equipment to help reform the high school's core subjects instruction and to prepare students for future employment by using cutting-edge equipment and software. The district used the funds to purchase laptops for students, laptops for teachers, laptop carts and other digital equipment. The grant provided additional funding for a technology coach to instruct teachers in using the equipment to improve instruction. In 2006-07 and 2007-08 the district did not apply for funding. In 2008-09, Upper Adams School District received $104,861 in funding.[151] Beginning in 2006, Pennsylvania's Classrooms for the Future program distributed more than $150 million for laptops, interactive boards and other high-tech tools to 543 Pennsylvania high schools. In 2009, the Classrooms For the Future funding program was terminated, by Governor Rendell due to a deep state revenue shortfall.[152]

Environmental Education Grant[edit]

The Environmental Education Grant Program was established by the Environmental Education Act of 1993, which mandates that 5 percent of all pollution fines and penalties collected annually by the Department of Environmental Protection be set aside for environmental education. In 2010, Upper Adams School District was awarded $3,750.[153]

Other grants[edit]

The District did not participate in: PA Science Its Elementary grants (discontinued effective with 2009-10 budget by Governor Rendell), Education Assistance Grants, 2012 Striving Readers Comprehensive Literacy grant, nor the 2012 and 2013 Pennsylvania Hybrid Learning Grants.[154]

Federal Stimulus grant[edit]

Upper Adams School District received an extra $1,198,178 in ARRA - Federal Stimulus money to be used only in specific programs like special education and meeting the academic needs of low-income students.[155]

Race to the Top grant[edit]

School district officials did not apply for the Race to the Top federal grant which would have brought the district hundreds of thousands of additional federal dollars for improving student academic achievement.[156] Participation required the administration, the school board and the local teachers' union to sign an agreement to prioritize improving student academic success.[157] In Pennsylvania, 120 public school districts and 56 charter schools agreed to participate.[158] 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.[159]

21st Century learning grant[edit]

In 2004, Upper Adams School District received a federal grant which is run by the PDE. The grant calls for the establishment and sustainability of community learning centers that provide additional educational services to students in high-poverty and low-performing schools. The grant was competitive. Applications for the grants were reviewed and scored by a panel of representatives from the educational field and professional grant writers. The District received $466,620. While 101 entities applied for the funding, only 66 were approved including eight charter schools. The funding is for the 2012-13 fiscal year.[160]

Real estate taxes[edit]

Upper Adams School District property tax rates in 2013-14 were set by the school board at 11.8850 mills.[161] A mill is $1 of tax for every $1,000 of a property's assessed value. Property taxes in 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. 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. Additionally, service related, disabled US military veterans may seek an exemption from paying property taxes. Pennsylvania 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.[162] In 2008, the total amount of property tax collected by Pennsylvania public school districts collected statewide declined for the first time since 1980.[163] In 2010 Adams County engaged in a property value reassessment that resulted in a reduced millage rate that yielded the same amount to the government in tax revenues.[164]

The average yearly property tax paid by Adams County residents amounts to about 3.33% of their yearly income. Schuylkill County ranked 444th out of the 3143 United States counties for property taxes as a percentage of median income.[173] 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.[174] 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%).[175]

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 it 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: increases in pension costs, increases in special education costs, a catastrophe like a fire or flood, increased 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.[176]

The School District Adjusted Index for the Upper Adams School District 2006-2007 through 2011-2012.[177]

For the 2013-14 budget year, Upper Adams School Board applied for an exception to exceed their Act 1 Index limit due to the escalating costs of the teachers' pensions. For the school budget year 2013-14, 311 Pennsylvania public school districts adopted a resolution certifying that tax rates would not be increased above their index. Another 171 school districts adopted a preliminary budget leaving open the option of exceeded the Index limit. For the exception for pension costs, 89 school districts received approval to exceed the Index in full while others received a partial approval of their request. For special education costs, 75 districts received approval to exceed their tax limit. For the pension costs exception, 169 school districts received approval to exceed the Index. Eleven Pennsylvania public school districts received an approval for grandfathered construction debts.[183]

For the 2012-13 budget year, Upper Adams School Board applied for an exception to exceed the Act 1 Index due the high cost of the teachers pensions. 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.[184]

For the 2011-12 school year, the Upper Adams School Board applied for an exception to exceed the Act 1 Index due to pension costs increase of $170,873. The request was partially approved for $152,855. Each year, the Upper Adams 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 publisher each year by the Pennsylvania Department of Education.[185]

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.[186]

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.[187]

Property tax relief[edit]

In 2014, the Homestead/Farmstead Property Tax Relief from gambling for the Upper Adams School District was $273 per approved permanent primary residence. In the District, 2,989 property owners applied for the tax relief. This was the highest property tax relief given to the public school districts in Adams County in 2014.[188] In 2009, the Homestead/Farmstead Property Tax Relief from gambling for the Upper Adams School District was $279 per approved permanent primary residence. In the district, 2921 property owners applied for the tax relief. This was the highest property tax relief given to districts in Adams County in 2009.[189] Pennsylvania awarded the highest property tax relief to residents of the Chester-Upland School District in Delaware County at $632 per homestead and farmstead in 2010.[190] This was the second year CUSD was the top recipient. The relief was subtracted from the total annual school property tax bill. Property owners apply for the relief through the county Treasurer's office. Farmers can qualify for a farmstead exemption on building used for agricultural purposes. The farm must be at least 10 contiguous acres and must be the primary residence of the owner. Farmers can qualify for both the homestead exemption and the farmstead exemption. In Adams County, 74% of eligible property owners applied for property tax relief in 2009.[191]

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, people with income far 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.

Special education[edit]

In December 2011, the Upper Adams School District administration reported that 221 pupils or 13% of the district's pupils received Special Education services, with 69% of the identified students having a specific learning disability.[192] In December 2009, the district administration reported that 255 pupils or 14.8% of the district's pupils received Special Education services.[193][194] Special education services in the Commonwealth are provided to students from ages three years to 21 years old. In the 2010-11 school year, the total student enrollment was more than 1.78 million students with approximately 275,000 students eligible for special education services. Among these students 18,959 were identified with mental retardation and 21,245 students with autism.[195] The largest group of students are identified as Specific Learning Disabilities 126,026 students (46.9 percent) and Speech or Language Impairments with 43,542 students (16.2 percent). The Commonwealth delivers the services to all students including those enrolled in traditional public schools, public charter schools, cyber charter schools, children enrolled in private schools and home schooled children.

The Upper Adams School District provides a wide variety of special services to students with special needs.[196] Parents may request in writing that their child be evaluated for gifted education services. 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 .[197] 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.[198][199] 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. The funds were distributed to districts based on a state policy which estimates that 16% of the district's pupils are receiving special education services. This funding is in addition to the state's basic education per pupil funding, as well as, all other state and federal funding.[200] The Special Education funding structure is through the federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) funds and state appropriations. IDEA funds are appropriated to the state on an annual basis and distributed through intermediate units (IUs) to school districts, while state funds are distributed directly to the districts. Total funds that are received by school districts are calculated through a formula. The Pennsylvania Department of Education oversees four appropriations used to fund students with special needs: Special Education; Approved Private Schools; Pennsylvania Chartered Schools for the Deaf and Blind; and Early Intervention. The 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.[201] Over identification of students, in order to increase state funding, has been an issue in the Commonwealth. Some districts have more than 20% of its students receiving special education services while others have 10% supported through special education.[202] The state requires each public school district and charter school to have a three-year special education plan to meet the unique needs of its special education students.[203] In 2012, the Obama Administration's US Department of Education issued a directive that schools include students with disabilities in extracurricular activities, including sports.[204]

Upper Adams School District received a $933,760 supplement for special education services in 2010.[205] 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.[206][207] Additionally, the state provides supplemental funding for extraordinarily impacted students. The District must apply for this added funding.

Gifted education[edit]

The District Administration reported that 55 or 3.11% of its students were gifted in 2009.[208] 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.[209]

Extracurriculars[edit]

The district offers a variety of clubs, activities and sports. The Upper Adams School Board determines eligibility policies to participate in these programs.[210] The sports program is extensive extending into the middle school.

By Pennsylvania law, all K-12 students in the district, including those who attend a private nonpublic school, cyber charter school, charter school and those homeschooled, are eligible to participate in the extracurricular programs, including all athletics. They must meet the same eligibility rules as the students enrolled in the district's schools.[211][212]

In 2011, the school board eliminated 15 assistant coaching positions in the high school and junior high school sports programs. There was also a 22% cut in funding for sports.[213]

Sports[edit]

The District funds:

Varsity
Middle School Sports

According to PIAA directory July 2013[214]

References[edit]

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