Trisha Shetty (Editor)

Blue Ridge High School (Pennsylvania)

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School type  Public high school
Grades  9-12
Blue Ridge High School (Pennsylvania)
School board  9 locally elected members
Superintendent  Mr. Matthew Button, (contract July 1, 2015 to June 29, 2019) Salary $105,000 (2015) Mr. Robert McTiernan (2010-2015) Salary $112,519 (2013) Mr. Joseph Chris Dyer (2008-2010)
Principal  Pete Supko MS and HS (2015) Matthew Nebzydoski, Principal of Curriculum and Instruction
Pupils  315 pupils (2015) 283 pupils (2014) 277 pupils (2010) 430 pupils (2006)
District  Blue Ridge School District

Blue Ridge High School is a small, rural public high school located in New Milford , Susquehanna County, Pennsylvania. It is the sole high school operated by Blue Ridge School District. In 2015, enrollment was reported as 315 pupils in 9th through 12th grades, with 45.4% of pupils eligible for a free lunch due to the family meeting the federal federal poverty level. Additionally, 11.75% of pupils received special education services, while 11.75% of pupils were identified as gifted. The school employed 29 teachers. Per the Pennsylvania Department of Education, 100% of the teachers were rated "Highly Qualified" under the federal No Child Left Behind Act.

Contents

In 2013, Blue Ridge High School reported an enrollment of 315 pupils in grades 9th through 12th, with 127 pupils eligible for a free lunch due to the family meeting the federal poverty levels. The School employed 26 teachers yielding a student:teacher ratio of 11.9 to 1. Blue Ridge High School was not a federally designated Title I school.

According to the National Center for Education Statistics, in 2010, Blue Ridge High School reported an enrollment of 377 pupils in grades 9th through 12th, with 166 pupils eligible for a federal free or reduced price lunch due to family poverty. The school employed 30 teachers yielding a student teacher ratio of 12:1. According to a report by the Pennsylvania Department of Education, 5 teachers had emergency certification.

Graduation rate

In 2015, Blue Ridge School District’s graduation rate was 90.67%.

  • 2014 - 85.5%
  • 2013 - 88.4%
  • 2012 - 81%
  • 2011 - 75%.
  • 2010 - 73%, the Pennsylvania Department of Education issued a new, 4-year cohort graduation rate.
  • According to traditional graduation rate calculations
  • 2010 - 89%
  • 2009 - 85%
  • 2008 - 89%
  • 2007 - 89%
  • 2015 School Performance Profile

    Blue Ridge High School achieved a 75.8 score out of 100. Reflects on grade level reading, algebra and science achievement. The PDE reported that 76% of the High School’s students were on grade level in reading/literature. In Algebra 1, only 66% of students showed on grade level skills at the end of the course. In Biology I, just 47% demonstrated on grade level science understanding at the end of the course. 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.

    2014 School Performance Profile

    Blue Ridge High School achieved a 74.3 score out of 100. Reflects on grade level reading, mathematics and science achievement. In reading/literature, 77% were on grade level. In Algebra 1, 69.7% showed on grade level skills. In Biology, 54% demonstrated on grade level science understanding at the end of the course. 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%.

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

    2013 School Performance Profile

    Blue Ridge High School achieved a score of 77.5 out of 100. Reflects on grade level reading, mathematics and science achievement. In reading/literature, 77% were on grade level. In Algebra 1, 70% showed on grade level skills. In Biology, 40.5% showed on grade level science understanding. 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.

    AYP History

    From 2010 through 2012, Blue Ridge High School achieved Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) statususing safe harbor provisions. From 2003 to 2009, Blue Ridge High School achieved AYP status each school year.

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

    11th Grade Reading
  • 2012 - 68% on grade level, (11% below basic). State - 67% of 11th graders are on grade level.
  • 2011 - 64%, (15% below basic). State - 69.1%
  • 2010 - 69% (14% below basic). State - 66%
  • 2009 - 61% (21% below basic), State - 65%
  • 2008 - 73% (16% below basic), State - 65%
  • 2007 - 59% (16% below basic), State - 65%
  • 11th Grade Math
  • 2012 - 67% on grade level (16% below basic). In Pennsylvania, 59% of 11th graders are on grade level.
  • 2011 - 60% (19% below basic). State - 60.3%
  • 2010 - 64% (18% below basic). State - 59%
  • 2009 - 49% (30% below basic). State - 56%
  • 2008 - 64% (23% below basic). State - 56%
  • 2007 - 54% (21% below basic). State - 53%
  • 11th Grade Science
  • 2012 - 46% on grade level (7% below basic). State - 42% of 11th graders were on grade level.
  • 2011 - 18% on grade level (11% below basic). State - 40% of 11th graders were on grade level.
  • 2010 - 50% (8% below basic), State - 39%
  • 2009 - 37% (17% below basic). State - 40%
  • 2008 - 37% (16% below basic). State - 39%
  • 2007 - tested, results withheld by the PDE.
  • Science in Motion Blue Ridge 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. Wilkes University provided the science enrichment experiences to schools in the region.

    College remediation

    According to a Pennsylvania Department of Education study released in January 2009, 17% of Blue Ridge 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.

    Dual enrollment

    Blue Ridge High School offers the Pennsylvania Dual Enrollment program. This state program permits high school students to take courses, at local higher education institutions, to earn college credits. 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. 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. In 2010, the district received a $19,363 state grant to be used to assist students with tuition, fees and books.

    SAT Scores

    In 2014, 41 Blue RIdge School District students took the SAT exams. The District's Verbal Average Score was 476. The Math average score was 478. The Writing average score was 441. Statewide in Pennsylvania, Verbal Average Score was 497. The Math average score was 504. The Writing average score was 480. The College Board also reported that nationwide scores were: 497 in reading, 513 in math and 487 in writing. In 2014, 1,672,395 students took the SATs in the United States.

    In 2013, 48 Blue Ridge School District students took the SAT exams. The District's Verbal Average Score was 482. The Math average score was 493. The Writing average score was 458. 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.

    In 2012, 46 Blue Ridge School District students took the SAT exams. The District's Verbal Average Score was 467. The Math average score was 456. The Writing average score was 442. 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, 60 Blue Ridge School District students took the SAT exams. The district's Verbal Average Score was 491. The Math average score was 488. The Writing average score was 468. Pennsylvania ranked 40th among states with SAT scores: Verbal - 493, Math - 501, Writing - 479. 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.

    AP Courses

    In 2015, Blue Ridge High School offered 5 Advanced Placement (AP) courses at a higher cost than regular courses. The fee for each AP Exam is $91 (2014). The school normally retains $9 of that fee as a rebate to help with administrative costs. In 2012, the fee was $89 per test per pupil. 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. High schools give credits towards graduation to students who take the school's AP class. At Blue Ridge High School only 28.74% of the students who took an AP course earned a 3 or better on the associated AP exam.

    In 2014, Blue Ridge High School offered 5 AP courses, with just 28.5% of pupils achieving a 3 or better on the AP exam. The 2013 data was withheld by the Pennsylvania Department of Education due to low student participation numbers.

    For 2015-16 the School offers the following with sufficient enrollment:

  • AP Macroeconomics
  • AP US Government & Politics
  • American History AP
  • AP Biology
  • AP English Literature and Composition
  • AP Calculus AB
  • Graduation requirements

    Blue Ridge School Board requires that each student earn twenty-five credits, or have met the requirements of their Individualized Education Plan. The following course requirements must be met in earning the 25 credits: 4 credits of English, 4 credits of Social Studies, 3 credits of Science, 3 credits of Mathematics, 2 credits of Physical Education, .5 credits of Health, .5 credits of Independent Living, .5 credits of Desktop Applications, .25 credits of Keys to Careers, and 7.25 credits of Electives. The students must also pass the Keystone Exams in: English Language Arts, Algebra I and Biology I. Pupils who fail the exam repeatedly may complete a project at the discretion of the Superintendent.

    Additionally, all students must complete a graduation project as required by Pennsylvania School Code prior to the end of their senior year. 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. Blue Ridge continues to require the project which focuses on career planning and job shadowing.

    By Pennsylvania State School Board regulations, beginning with the class of 2019, public school students must demonstrate successful completion of secondary level course work in Algebra I, Biology, and English Literature by passing the respective Keystone Exams for each course. The exam is given at the end of the course. Keystone Exams replace the PSSAs for 11th grade.

    Students have several opportunities to pass the exam. Schools are mandated to provide targeted assistance to help the student be successful. Those who do not pass after several attempts can perform a project in order to graduate. 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. 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. 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.

    Freshman Academy

    The school has a Freshman Academy which is designed to help freshmen experience a smooth and supportive transition from the academic expectations of middle school to the greater academic demands set forth in high school. Small group mentoring and academic assistance are provided.

    Grants

    Blue Ridge High School did not participate in the following state grants: Project 720 HIgh School improvement grants; Education Assistance Grants; 2012 Striving Readers Comprehensive Literacy grant; 2013 Safe Schools and Resource Officer grants; nor the 2012 and 2013 Pennsylvania Hybrid Learning Grants.

    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. Blue Ridge High School did not apply for funding in 2006-07. In 2007-08, Blue Ridge School District received $151,622. For the 2008-09, school year the district received $45,413 for a total of $197,035. Of the 501 public school districts in Pennsylvania, 447 of them received Classrooms for the Future grant awards. Among the public school districts in Susquehanna County, the highest award was given to Montrose Area School District which received $337,927. The highest funding statewide was awarded to Philadelphia City School District in Philadelphia County - $9,409,073. The grant program was discontinued by Governor Edward Rendell as part of the 2009-10 state budget.

    Wellness policy

    Blue Ridge School Board established a district-wide Wellness Policy in 2005. 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.

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

    Blue Ridge HIgh School 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. The meals are partially funded with federal dollars through the United States Department of Agriculture.

    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. 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. The Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 mandates that Districts raise their full pay lunch prices every year until the price of non-subsidized lunches equals the amount the federal government reimburses schools for free meals. That subsidy in 2013-2014 was $2.93. In 2015, federal reimbursement rates were: $3.07 per meal for students who are income-eligible for free lunches and $2.67 for those who qualify for a reduced price. School lunch participation nationally dropped from 31.6 million students in 2012 to 30.4 million in 2014, according to the federal Department of Agriculture. Pennsylvania statistics show school lunch participation dropped by 86,950 students in the same two years, from 1,127,444 in 2012 to 1,040,494 in 2014.

    In 2014, President Barack Obama ordered a prohibition of advertisements for unhealthy foods on public school campuses during the school day.

    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.

    Blue Ridge High School provides health services as mandated by the Commonwealth and the federal government. A nurse is available in the 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. Nurses also monitor each child's weight.

    In 2016, the Pennsylvania Department of Health distributed to each Pennsylvania high school the overdose antidote drug naloxone in a nasal spray. School nurses were also provided with educational materials and training developed by the National Association of School Nurses. The cost was covered by a grant from a private foundation.

    Extracurriculars

    The Blue Ridge School District offers a wide variety of clubs, activities and an extensive sports program. Eligibility to participate is set by school board policies, in compliance with PIAA rules. The PIAA mandates that student athletes must be passing at least four full-credit subjects to participate in sports. At Blue Ridge, students must maintain an overall GPA of 77 and may be failing no more than one core class.

    In 2012, the Blue Ridge High School Envirothon Team won the county-wide Envirothon contest. In the regional Stock Market Game Competition, the Blue Ridge team took first place in 2012.

    The School offers the following clubs: National Honor Society, Student Council, Leo Club and Middle School and High School Yearbook. Students can earn one English credit working on the yearbook.

    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 home schooled, 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.

    According to Pennsylvania Child Abuse Recognition and Reporting Act 126 of 2014, all volunteer coaches and all those who assist in student activities, must have criminal background checks. Like all school district employees, they must also attend an anti child abuse training once every three years.

    Sports

    Coaches receive compensation as outlined in the teachers' union contract. When athletic competition exceeds the regular season, additional compensation is paid. Blue Ridge School District provides its athletics disclosure form on its web site. Article XVI-C of the Public School Code requires the disclosure of interscholastic athletic opportunities for all public secondary school entities in Pennsylvania. All school entities with grades 7-12 are required to annually collect data concerning team and financial information for all male and female athletes beginning with the 2012-13 school year and submit the information to the Pennsylvania Department of Education. Beginning with the 2013-14 school year, all non-school (booster club and alumni) contributions and purchases must also be reported to PDE. Blue Ridge School District provides its 2013 report online.

    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.

    The District funds:

    Varsity
    Middle School Sports

    According to PIAA directory July 2015

    References

    Blue Ridge High School (Pennsylvania) Wikipedia


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