Suvarna Garge (Editor)

James Buchanan High School

Updated on
Share on FacebookTweet on TwitterShare on LinkedInShare on Reddit
Type  Public
President  Clifford A. Smith
Grades  9-12
Lowest grade  Ninth grade
School board  9 elected members
Principal  Rodney Benedick
District  Tuscarora School District
Faculty  53
James Buchanan High School schoolassetss3amazonawscomlogos226226png
Superintendent  Dr. Charles Prijatelj contract March 15, 2013 to March 14, 2016, salary $102,000 (2012)
Headquarters  Mercersburg, Pennsylvania, United States

James buchanan high school co op program

James Buchanan High School is a small, rural public high school. The School is located in Mercersburg, Pennsylvania and is part of the Tuscarora School District. James Buchanan High School was named after the 15th president of the United States, James Buchanan. In 2013, enrollment was reported as 785 pupils in 9th through 12th grades, with 27% of pupils eligible for a free lunch due to family poverty. Additionally, 15% of pupils received special education services, while 1% of pupils were identified as gifted. The school employed 48 teachers. Per the PA Department of Education 100% of the teachers were rated "Highly Qualified" under the federal No Child Left Behind Act.


In 2011, 215 pupils eligible for a federal free or reduced-price lunch due to the family meeting the federal poverty level. The school is not a federally designated Title I school. James Buchanan Senior High School employed 53 teachers, yielding a student–teacher ratio of 14:1. According to a report by the Pennsylvania Department of Education, 1 teacher was rated "Non‐Highly Qualified" under No Child Left Behind. There were 816 students enrolled in 2009.

Bye bye birdie behind the scene james buchanan high school 2014

Graduation rate

In 2013, Tuscarora School District's graduation rate was 87%. In 2012, Tuscarora School District's graduation rate was 87%. In 2011, the District's graduation rate was 81%. In 2010, the Pennsylvania Department of Education issued a new, 4-year cohort graduation rate. Tuscarora School District's rate was 81% for 2010.

Former calculation graduation rate
  • 2010 - 89%
  • 2009 - 92%
  • 2008 - 96%
  • 2007 - 96%
  • Academics

    2013 School Performance Profile

    James Buchanan High School achieved 67.5 out of 100. Reflects on grade level reading, mathematics and science achievement. In reading/literature - 70% were on grade level. In Algebra 1, only 51% showed on grade level math skills. In Biology, 51% 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.

    In 2012, James Buchanan Senior High School achieved AYP status, even though math and reading scores remained low. In 2011, James Buchanan Senior High School is in Making Progress: in School Improvement II status due to lagging student achievement. In 2010, James Buchanan High School was in 'School Improvement II due to chronically low student achievement. Under the federal No Child Left Behind Act, the school administration was required to notify parents of the school's poor achievement outcomes and to offer the parent the opportunity to transfer to a successful school within the District. Additionally the school administration was required by the Pennsylvania Department of Education, to develop a School Improvement Plan to address the school's low student achievement. Under the Pennsylvania Accountability System, the school district must pay for additional tutoring for struggling students. The High School was eligible for special, extra funding under School Improvement Grants which the school must apply for each year.

  • 2009 - Making Progress School Improvement I
  • 2008 - declined to School Improvement I, due to low student achievement
  • 2007 - declined to Warning AYP status
  • 2003 - 2006 - achieved Adequate Yearly Progress status
  • PSSA history

    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 content from: 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 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 (18% below basic). State - 67% of 11th graders are on grade level.
  • 2011 - 71% (14% below basic). State - 69%
  • 2010 - 63% (21% below basic). State - 66%
  • 2009 - 59% (23% below basic), State - 65%
  • 2008 - 43% (31% below basic), State - 65%
  • 2007 - 51% (24% below basic), State - 65%
  • 11th Grade Math
  • 2012 - 58% on grade level (23% below basic). In Pennsylvania, 59% of 11th graders are on grade level.
  • 2011 - 55% (23% below basic). State - 60.3%
  • 2010 - 50% (30% below basic). State - 59%
  • 2009 - 55% (24% below basic). State - 56%
  • 2008 - 52% (24% below basic). State - 56%
  • 2007 - 41% (32% below basic). State - 53%
  • 11th Grade Science
  • 2012 - 34% on grade level (14% below basic). State - 42%
  • 2011 - 36% (14% below basic). State - 40%
  • 2010 - 34% (18% below basic). State - 39%
  • 2009 - 35% (20% below basic). State - 40%
  • 2008 - 22% (26% below basic), State - 39%
  • Science in Motion James Buchanan Senior 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.Gettysburg College provides the experiences to schools in the region.

    College Remediation

    According to a Pennsylvania Department of Education study released in January 2009, 11% of Tuscarora School District 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

    James Buchanan Senior 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, including the graduation ceremony. 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 offered 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.

    For the 2009-10 funding year, the Tuscarora School District received a state grant of $7,968 for the program. In 2010, Governor Edward Rendell eliminated the grants to students, from the Commonwealth, due to a state budget crisis.

    Graduation requirements

    The Tuscarora School Board has determined that, in order to graduate, a student must earn 23.5 credits, including: 4 Credits of English; 3 Credits of Math; 3.5 Credits of Social Science; 3 Credits of Science; 2 Credits of Physical Education; Tech Exploration 0.5 credits;; 0.5 Credit Units of Driver’s Education; 0.5 Credits Of Family Economics and Development.

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

    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. 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.

    SAT scores

    In 2013, Tuscarora School District students took the SAT exams. The District's Verbal Average Score was 469. The Math average score was 482. The Writing average score was 467. 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, 81 Tuscarora School District students took the SAT exams. The District's Verbal Average Score was 484. The Math average score was 499. The Writing average score was 468. 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, 86 Tuscarora School District students took the SAT exams. The District's Verbal Average Score was 472. The Math average score was 485. The Writing average score was 454. 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.

    Summer program

    James Buchanan Senior High School offers a Summer Credit Recovery Program for students. The 4 week program offers both online instruction and face to face assistance for struggling students. James Buchanan Senior High School's credit recovery program is only available to students who have attended school regularly and who have failed to pass a required course

    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. Tuscarora School District Administration did not apply for funding in any of the three years of the program. The highest award in Franklin County was given to Greencastle-Antrim School District which received $165,458. 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.

    Education Assistance Program

    The EAP initiative provides extended learning opportunities and is designed to boost student achievement and help all students succeed by utilizing evidenced-based instructional models. The funding provides tutoring in Math and Reading for students in grades 7-12. Tutoring is provided during the school day, during study halls and after school. In 2010-11, the Tuscarora School District received $61,355.


    Students who live in the Tuscarora School District's attendance area may choose to attend one of Pennsylvania's 157 public charter schools. A student living in a neighboring public school district or a foreign exchange student may seek admission to Tuscarora School District. For these cases, the Pennsylvania Department of Education sets an annual tuition rate for each school district. It is the amount the public school district pays to a charter school for each resident student that attends the charter and it is the amount a nonresident student's parents must pay to attend the District's schools. The 2012 tuition rates for James Buchanan Senior High School were $10,000.17.

    School safety and bullying

    Tuscarora School District administration reported there were zero incidents of bullying in the HIgh School in 2012. Additionally, there were and no sexual incidents involving students. There were three weapon incidents: one gun and two knives. The local law enforcement was involved in seven incidents at the schools. Each year the school safety data is reported by the district to the Safe School Center which then publishes the compiled reports online. Nationally, nearly 20% of pupils report being bullied at school.

    The School Board has provided the district's antibully policy online. 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 anti harassment programs are described in the 10.3. Safety and Injury Prevention in the Pennsylvania Academic Standards for Health, Safety and Physical Education.

    Wellness policy

    Tuscarora School Board established a district wellness policy in 2007. 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, UA public school 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. The Board chose to establish a Wellness Committee to oversee the District's efforts.

    James Buchanan High School offers both 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. The meals are partially funded with federal dollars through the United States Department of Agriculture. In the summer of 2013, the District is providing free lunches to children to age 18 year at St. Thomas and Mercersburg Elementary Schools. This is the second year the District provided free lunches in the summer. 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 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 2014, President 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.

    Tuscarora School District provides health services as mandated by the Commonwealth and the federal government. Nurses are available in the James Buchanan High School 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.


    Tuscarora School District offers a wide variety of clubs, activities and an extensive, costly sports program. Eligibility for participation is determined by school board policy and in compliance with standards set by the Pennsylvania interscholastic Athletics Association (PIAA). The District also operates a costly indoor pool system with staffing and a weight room, which is open to students some weekday evenings. The District engaged in a capital campaign to raise over $1.9 million for sports facilities.

    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.


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

    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:

    According to PIAA directory July 2013


    James Buchanan High School Wikipedia

    Similar Topics
    Warwick Anderson
    Jason Martin (rugby league)
    Jerome Sinclair