Turkeyfoot Valley Area School District
|Turkeyfoot Valley Area School District|
172 Turkeyfoot Road
|Area trustee||Miss Maddie Bender|
|Principal||Mr. Jeffrey S. Malispino|
|Headteacher||Miss Carrissa Colflesh|
|• Grade 1||32|
|• Grade 2||48|
|• Grade 3||23|
|• Grade 4||30|
|• Grade 5||29|
|• Grade 6||24|
|• Grade 7||25|
|• Grade 8||30|
|• Grade 9||28|
|• Grade 10||28|
|• Grade 11||30|
|• Grade 12||19|
|Color(s)||Blue and Gold|
|Sports||Basketball, Baseball, Softball, Football|
|Team name||Turkeyfoot Rams|
The Turkeyfoot Valley Area School District is a small, rural school district located in the Southwestern portion of Somerset County, Pennsylvania. The school district serves the municipalities of Addison, Addison Township, Confluence, Lower Turkeyfoot Township and Ursina. It encompasses approximately 102 square miles. According to 2000 federal census data, it serves a resident population of 3,093. in 2009, the per capita income was $14,042 while the median family income was $31,825. Per school district officials, in school year 2007-08 the Turkey Valley Area School District provided basic educational services to 399 pupils through the employment of 39 teachers, 3 full-time and part-time support personnel, and 2 administrators.
- 1 School District History
- 2 Schools
- 3 Academic achievement
- 4 Bullying policy
- 5 Special education
- 6 Governance
- 7 Budget
- 7.1 State basic education funding
- 7.2 Common Cents state initiative
- 7.3 Enrollment and Consolidation
- 7.4 Real estate taxes
- 8 Extracurriculars
- 9 References
School District History
In 1950, the jointure of the Addison Borough, Addison Township, Confluence Borough, Lower Turkeyfoot Township and Ursina Borough school districts were formed to create the Turkeyfoot Valley Area School District.TVASD History Page
All students attend school in one building, which is called Turkeyfoot Valley Area School, located on State Route 523 in the village of Harnedsville. This Structure was built in 1956 and only housed grades 7-12 at the time, the 1956 brick, concrete and steel building was $658,584.22. In 1967, the new elementary building was added to the high school. The cost of construction was $864,876.22. The campus was renovated in 1996.
|School Name||Grade Level|
|Turkeyfoot Valley Area Elementary School||K-6|
|Turkeyfoot Valley Area Junior/Senior High School||7-12|
Turkeyfoot Valley Area School District was ranked 482nd out of 493 Pennsylvania school districts in 2010 by the Pittsburgh Business Times. The ranking was based on five years of student academic performance on the reading, writing, math and three years of science on the PSSAs.
- 2010 - 477th 
- 2009 - 473rd
- 2008 - 464th out of 497 school districts
- 2007 - 453rd out of 501 school districts.
In 2009, the academic achievement of the students of the Turkeyfoot Valley Area School District was in the 3rd percentile among 500 Pennsylvania school districts. Scale - (0-99; 100 is state best) 
In 2010, the Pennsylvania Department of Education issued a new, 4-year cohort graduation rate. Turkeyfoot Valley Area Junior Senior High School's rate was 92% for 2010.
According to traditional graduation rate calculations:
Turkeyfoot Valley Area Junior-Senior High School
- 11th Grade Reading
- 2010 - 42% on grade level. In Pennsylvania, 67% of 11th graders on grade level. (23 pupils enrolled) 
- 2009 - 39%, State - 65% (23 pupils enrolled)
- 2008 - 37%, State - 65% 
11th Grade Math:
- 2010 - 38% on grade level. In Pennsylvania, 59% of 11th graders on grade level.
- 2009 - 26%, State - 56%
- 2008 - 31%, State - 56%
11th Grade Science:
- 2010 - 21% on grade level. State - 39% of 11th graders were on grade level.
- 2009 - 25%, State - 40% 
- 2008 - 14%, State - 39% 
The Challenge Program, Inc. offers $250.00 cash incentives to Turkeyfoot Valley Area Junior Senior High School juniors, and seniors who excel in the categories of: Academic Improvement, Attendance, Community Service and Academic Excellence. The program partners with businesses to motivate students both in and out of the classroom by encouraging good habits in students that will last throughout their education and into their future careers. For the 2010-2011 school year, the top 10% of students in each of the categories will be eligible to win $250.00.
College remediation rate
According to a Pennsylvania Department of Education study released in January 2009, 13% of the Turkeyfoot Valley Area Junior Senior 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. 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. 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.
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. Under the Pennsylvania Transfer and Articulation Agreement, many Pennsylvania colleges and universities accept these credits for students who transfer to their institutions.
For the 2009-10 funding year, the school district received a state grant of $4,863 for the program.
The Turkeyfoot Valley Area School Board has determined that a pupil must earn 24 credits to graduate, including: Math 4 credits, English 4 credits, Social Studies 3 credits, Science 3 credits, Physical Education/Health 1 credit, Arts and Humanities 2 credits and 6 electives. Credits earned in Dual Enrollment count towards high school graduation. Additionally, students must earn either a proficient or advanced score in reading/language arts and math on the eleventh grade PSSA 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. Culminating project guidelines include community service.
Beginning with the class of 2015, students must take the Keystone Exams in reading and math.
- 2010 - 65% on grade level. In Pennsylvania, 81% of 8th graders on grade level. (32 pupils enrolled)
- 2009 - 70%, State - 80%
- 2008 - 62%, State - 78%
- 2010 - 53% on grade level. In Pennsylvania, 75% of 8th graders are on grade level.
- 2009 - 48%, State - 71%
- 2008 - 70%, State - 70%
- 2010 - 59% on grade level. State - 57% of 8th graders were on grade level.
- 2009 - 66%, State - 55%.
- 2008 - 61%, State - 52%
- 2010 - 68% on grade level. In Pennsylvania, 73% of 7th graders are on grade level. (25 pupils enrolled)
- 2009 - 50%, State - 71%
- 2008 - 70%, State - 70%
- 2010 - 56% on grade level. In Pennsylvania, 77% of 7th graders are on grade level.
- 2009 - 53%, State - 75%
- 2008 - 74%, State - 70%
6th Grade Reading:
- 2010 - 45% on grade level. State: 68% of 6th graders were on grade level. (24 pupils enrolled)
- 2009 - 62%, State - 67%
- 2008 - 58%, State - 67%
6th Grade Math:
- 2010 - 54% on grade level. State - 78% of 6th graders were on grade level
- 2009 - 79%, State - 75%
- 2008 - 58%, State -72%
5th Grade Reading:
- 2010 - 36% on grade level. State - 64% of 5th graders were on grade level. (30 pupils enrolled)
- 2009 - 43%, State - 64%
- 2008 - 52%, State - 61%
5th Grade Math:
- 2010 - 37% on grade level. State - 74% of 5th graders were on grade level.
- 2009 - 60%, State - 73%
- 2008 - 72%, State - 73%
4th Grade Reading:
- 2010 - 32% on grade level. State - 72% of 4th graders were on grade level. (31 pupils enrolled)
- 2009 - 34%, State - 72%
- 2008 - 56%, State - 70%
4th Grade Math:
- 2010 - 63% on grade level. State - 84% of 4th graders were on grade level.
- 2009 - 62%, State - 81%
- 2008 - 80%, State - 79%
4th Grade Science:
- 2010 - 80% on grade level. State - 81% of 4th graders were on grade level.
- 2009 - 72%, State - 83%
- 2008 - 79%, State - 81%
3rd Grade Reading:
- 2010 - 65% on grade level. State - 75% of 3rd graders were on grade level. (23 pupils enrolled)
- 2009 - 50%, State - 77%
- 2008 - 80%, State - 77%
3rd Grade Math:
- 2010 - 100% on grade level. State - 84% of 3rd graders were on grade level.
- 2009 - 80%, State - 81%
- 2008 - 84%, State - 80%
The Turkeyfoot Valley Area School Board prohibits bullying by district students and faculty. The policy defines bullying and cyberbullying. The Board directs that complaints of bullying shall be investigated promptly, and corrective action shall be taken when allegations are verified. No reprisals or retaliation shall occur as a result of good faith reports of bullying. The board expects staff members to be responsible to maintain an educational environment free from all forms of bullying. All Pennsylvania schools are required to have an anti-bullying policy incorporated into their Code of Student Conduct. The policy must identify disciplinary actions for bullying and designate a school staff person to receive complaints of bullying. The policy must be available on the school's website and posted in every classroom. All Pennsylvania public schools must provide a copy of its anti-bullying policy to the Office for Safe Schools every year, and shall review their policy every three years. Additionally, the district must conduct an annual review of that policy with students. The Center for Schools and Communities works in partnership with the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime & Delinquency and the Pennsylvania Department of Education to assist schools and communities as they research, select and implement bullying prevention programs and initiatives.
Education standards relating to student safety and antiharassment programs are described in the 10.3. Safety and Injury Prevention in the Pennsylvania Academic Standards for Health, Safety and Physical Education.
In December 2009, the district administration reported that 65 pupils or 16.8% of the district's pupils received Special Education services.
The District engages in identification procedures to ensure that eligible students receive an appropriate educational program consisting of special education and related services, individualized to meet student needs. At no cost to the parents, these services are provided in compliance with state and federal law; and are reasonably calculated to yield meaningful educational benefit and student progress. To identify students who may be eligible for special education, various screening activities are conducted on an ongoing basis. These screening activities include: review of group-based data (cumulative records, enrollment records, health records, report cards, ability and achievement test scores); hearing, vision, motor, and speech/language screening; and review by the Instructional Support Team or Student Assistance Team. When screening results suggest that the student may be eligible, the District seeks parental consent to conduct a multidisciplinary evaluation. Parents who suspect their child is eligible may verbally request a multidisciplinary evaluation from a professional employee of the District or contact the Department of Special Education.
The 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. 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 "F" for transparency based on a review of "What information can people find on their school district's website". It examined the school district's website for information regarding; taxes, the current budget, meetings, school board members names and terms, contracts, audits, public records information and more.
In 2009, the district reported employing 46 teachers with a salary range of $31,000 to $65,000.
In 2007, the district employed 33 teachers. The average teacher salary in the district was $34,893 for 180 days worked. 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. Additionally, the teachers receive a defined benefit pension, health insurance, professional development reimbursement, personal days, sick days, and other benefits.
Turkeyfoot Valley Area School District administrative costs per pupil in 2008 was $1,118.02 per pupil. This ranked 38th for per pupil administrative spending in the state. The lowest administrative cost per pupil in Pennsylvania was $398 per pupil. The Pennsylvania School Boards Association keeps 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. On July 1, 2010 the Turkeyfoot Valley Area School District approved the hiring of Ms. Darlene Pritt as Superintendent of the district at a salary of $85,000 for the first year.
In 2008, the district administration reported spending $12,946 per pupil which ranked 178th among Pennsylvania's 501 school districts.
In December 2009, the Pennsylvania Auditor General conducted a performance audit of the district. The findings were reported to the administration and the school board. Teaching certificate irregularities were noted.
Reserves In 2008, the district reported a $474,016 in an unreserved-undesignated fund balance. The designated fund balance was reported as zero.
The district is funded by a combination of: a local income tax, a property tax, a real estate transfer tax, coupled with substantial funding from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and 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 person's wealth.
State basic education funding
For the 2010-11 budget year, the Turkeyfoot Valley Area School District was allotted a 2.64% increase in Basic Education Funding for a total of $2,280,328. The highest increase in Somerset County was provided to North Star School District and Somerset Area School District both of which received a 2.82% 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. The amount of increase each school district receives is set by the Governor and the Secretary of Education as a part of the state budget proposal given each February.
In the 2009-2010 budget year, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania provided a 2% increase in Basic Education Funding for a total of $2,221,630. Somerset Area School District got a 4.87%. The state Basic Education Funding to the district in 2008-09 was $2,187,068. Ninety Pennsylvania school districts received a 2% increase. Muhlenberg School District in Berks County received a 22.31% increase in state basic education funding in 2009.
Accountability Block Grants
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 $78,554 in addition to all other state and federal funding. The Turkeyfoot Valley Area School District uses the funding to provide all-day kindergarten to 21 pupils and to provide teacher training to improve instruction.
Education Assistance grant
The state's Education Assistance Program 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 Turkeyfoot Valley Area District received $28,091.
School Improvement Grant
Turkeyfoot Valley Area Junior Senior High School was approved for Transformation with a $898,000 School Improvement Grant. The Transformation model includes the use of rigorous, transparent, and equitable evaluation systems for teachers and principals, high-quality professional development and design and development of curriculum with teacher and principal involvement. Schools eligible for SIG included the lowest-performing Title I schools whose Adequate Yearly Progress status is School Improvement or Corrective Action, and Title I-eligible schools that are the lowest-achieving and have not made satisfactory progress on state assessments. Title I-eligible schools are those that have a high percentage of economically disadvantaged students.
Federal Stimulus grant
The district received an extra $317,514 in ARRA - Federal Stimulus money to be used in specific programs like special education and meeting the academic needs of low-income students. The funding is for the 2009–10 and 2010-2011 school years.
Race to the Top grant
District officials applied for the federal Race to the Top grant which would have provided hundreds of thousands in additional federal dollars to improve student academic achievement. The district was identified as a turnaround district meaning it would receive $750 per pupil more than the base grant funding. 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. 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.
Classrooms for the Future grant
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. Turkeyfoot Valley Area School District did not apply in 2006-07. In 2007-08 the school received $60,790 and in 2008-09 it received $36,608 for a total of $97,398.
Common Cents state initiative
The Turkeyfoot Valley Area School Board decided 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. After the review of the information, the district was not required to implement the recommended cost savings changes.
Enrollment and Consolidation
The district's enrollment is in the bottom 5% in Pennsylvania.
A study was done in 2004, examining consolidating Turkeyfoot Valley Area School District with neighboring Rockwood Area School District. It was estimated that there would be nearly $700,000 in savings would be achieved. The study noted that consolidation could significantly decrease administrative costs for both communities while improving offerings to students. Consolidation of school district administrations does not require the consolidation of schools.
Over the next 10 years, rural Pennsylvania school enrollment is projected to decrease 8 percent. The most significant enrollment decline is projected to be in western Pennsylvania, where rural school districts may have a 16 percent decline. More than 40 percent of elementary schools and more than 60 percent of secondary schools in western Pennsylvania are projected to experience significant enrollment decreases (15 percent or greater). Statewide, there are 187 districts that are projected to have an enrollment decline of 15 percent or greater. Geographically, these districts are clustered in western Pennsylvania and in the state’s northern tier.
Pennsylvania has one of the highest numbers of school districts in the nation. In Pennsylvania, 80% of the school districts serve student populations under 5,000, and 40% serve less than 2,000. Less than 95 of Pennsylvania's 501 school districts have enrollment below 1250 students, in 2007.
Real estate taxes
Property tax rates in 2010-11 were set by the school board at 23.5000 mills. 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.
Act 1 Adjusted Index
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.
The School District Adjusted Index for the Turkeyfoot Valley Area School District 2006-2007 through 2011-2012.
2006-07 - 5.3%, Base 3.9%
2007-08 - 4.5%, Base 3.4%
2008-09 - 6.0%, Base 4.4%
2009-10 - 5.5%, Base 4.1%
2010-11 - 3.9%, Base 2.9%
2011-12 - 1.9%, Base 1.4%
The Turkeyfoot Valley Area School Board applied for several exceptions to exceed the Act 1 Index for the budget in 2010-2011, including pension obligations, maintenance of local effort and employee health insurance costs. 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.
Property tax relief
In 2010, the Homestead/Farmstead Property Tax Relief from gambling for the Turkeyfoot Valley Area School District was $148 per approved permanent primary residence. In the district, 687 property owners applied for the tax relief. 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 Somerset County, 47% of eligible property owners applied for property tax relief in 2009. In Somerset County, the highest amount of tax relief in 2010, went to Shanksville-Stonycreek School District at $211. 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. This was the third year they were the top recipient.
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.
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%).
The district offers a variety of clubs, activities and sports. Eligibility for participation is determined by school board policy. To be eligible for extracurricular activities a pupil must pursue a curriculum defined and approved by the principal as a full-time curriculum. When required, this curriculum or its equivalent must be approved by, and conform to, the regulations of the State Board of Education and the Pennsylvania School Code, P.I.A.A., as well as any local policies established by the local school board. The pupil must be passing the core academic areas. Eligibility shall be cumulative from the 15th day of school and reported on a weekly basis. In cases where a student’s cumulative work for those areas does not as of any Thursday meet the standards provided for in this section, he/she shall be ineligible from the immediately following Sunday through the following Saturday unless the tutorial program policies are followed.
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.
All student athletes must maintain a 2.0 overall grade point average to be eligible for games.
|Sport(Grades)||Boys (PIAA Class)||Girls(PIAA Class)|
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- TURKEYFOOT VALLEY AREA JUNIOR-SENIOR HIGH SCHOOL STUDENT/ATHLETE HANDBOOK
- Home-Schooled, Charter School Children Can Participate in School District Extracurricular Activities, Pennsylvania Office of the Governor Press Release, November 10, 2005 Archived October 23, 2014, at the Wayback Machine