Suvarna Garge

Western Beaver County School District

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Type  Public
Founded  1963
Faculty  54
Established  1963
Staff  61.8 (2013)
Kindergartens  50
Western Beaver County School District wwwwesternbeaverorgcmslib8PA01916676Centrici
Closed  Snyder Elementary School (2011)
School board  9 locally elected members
Superintendent  Dr Robert H Postupac, salary $119,232 (2013 0, (contract July 1, 2013 - June 30, 2018), M.Ed ($101,920 in 2010)
School number  (724) 643-9310, ext. 1006
Enrollment  Enrollment projected to be 500 in 2019
Tuition  for nonresident and charter school students ES - $8,947.39, HS - $12,168.72
Head teacher  Karin Pilarski, Supervisor of Curriculum and Instruction, salary $77,611

Dr rob postupac superintendent western beaver county school district


The Western Beaver County School District is a diminutive, rural, public school district serving the boroughs of Industry, Pennsylvania, Glasgow, Pennsylvania and Ohioville, Pennsylvania. Western Beaver County School District encompasses approximately 34.5 square miles (89 km2). According to 2000 federal census data, it served a resident population of 5,743. By 2010, the District's population declined to 5,429 people. The educational attainment levels for theWestern Beaver County School District population (25 years old and over) were 92.5% high school graduates and 14.4% college graduates. The District is one of the 500 public school districts of Pennsylvania.

Contents

Map of Western Beaver County School District, PA, USA

According to the Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center, 36.5% of the District’s pupils lived at 185% or below the Federal Poverty Level [1] as shown by their eligibility for the federal free or reduced price school meal programs in 2012. In 2009, the district residents’ per capita income was $18,006, while the median family income was $46,433. In the Commonwealth, the median family income was $49,501 and the United States median family income was $49,445, in 2010. In Beaver County, the median household income was $49,217. By 2013, the median household income in the United States rose to $52,100. In 2014, the median household income in the USA was $53,700.

According to school district administrative officials, during the 2009-10 school year, Western Beaver County School District provided basic educational services to 806 pupils through the employment of 8 administrators, 73 teachers, and 63 full-time and part-time support personnel. The district's staff is included a librarian, a library aide, two reading specialists, a gifted coordinator and gifted support teacher, 15 teachers' aides, and a technology coordinator. The average teacher to student ratio is 1:16. In 2011-12, the District enrollment declined to 718 pupils. It employed: 65 teachers, 46 full-time and part-time support personnel, and 5 administrators. The Western Beaver County School District received $7.5 million in state funding in the 2011-12 school year.

Special education services are provided by the district and the Beaver Valley Intermediate Unit #27. Occupational training and adult education in various vocational and technical fields were provided by the district and the Beaver County Career & Technology Center.

Western Beaver County School District operates just two schools: Western Beaver Junior Senior High School (6th grade through 12th grade) and Fairview Elementary School (Preschool through 5th grade).

Governance

Western Beaver County 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. The Superintendent and Business Manager are appointed by the school board. The Superintendent is the chief administrative officer with overall responsibility for all aspects of operations, including education and finance. The Business Manager is responsible for budget and financial operations. Neither of these officials are voting members of the School Board. Western Beaver County School Board enters into individual employment contracts for these positions. In Pennsylvania, public school districts are required to give 150 days notice to the Superintendent regarding renewal of the employment contract.

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. A review in 2015 found non of the information was available in the district web site. Additionally, school board policies are linked online.

Academic achievement

Western Beaver County School District was ranked 193rd out of 493 Pennsylvania school districts by the Pittsburgh Business Times in 2015. The ranking was based on student academic achievement as demonstrated on the last three years of the PSSAs for: reading, writing math and science. Three school districts were excluded because they do not operate high schools (Saint Clair Area School District, Midland Borough School District, Duquesne City School District). The PSSAs are given to all children in grades 3rd through 8th. Adapted PSSA examinations are given to children in the special education programs. Writing exams were given to children in 5th and 8th grades.

In 2012, the Pittsburgh Business Times (PBT) also reported an Overachievers Ranking for 498 Pennsylvania school districts. Western Beaver County School District ranked 68th. In 2011, the district was 81st. 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."

Western Pennsylvania region ranking by PBT

(includes 104 districts in: Allegheny, Armstrong, Beaver, Butler, Fayette, Washington and Westmoreland Counties excludes Duquesne City SD and Midland Borough SD due to no high school)

  • 2015 - 43rd
  • 2014 - 44th
  • 2012 - 40th
  • 2011 - 52nd
  • 2010 - 53rd
  • 2009 - 60th
  • In 2009, the academic achievement of the students of Western Beaver County School District was in the 57th percentile among 500 Pennsylvania school districts. Scale - (0-99; 100 is state best)

    Adequate Yearly Progress

    Western Beaver County School District achieved AYP status in 2010, 2011 and 2012. In 2011, 94 percent of the 500 Pennsylvania Public School Districts achieved the No Child Left Behind Act AYP progress level. In 2011, just 46.9% of Pennsylvania public school districts achieved Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) based on student performance (72% of students reading on grade level and 67% of students demonstrating on grade level math). An additional 37.8% of Pennsylvania public school districts achieved AYP recognition 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. From 2003 through 2009, Western Beaver County School District achieved AYP status each school year.

    Graduation rate

    In 2015, Western Beaver County School District graduation rate was 95.89%.

  • 2014 - 100%
  • 2013 - 96.55%
  • 2012 - 94.37%
  • 2011 - 96%
  • 2010 - 94.37%, the Pennsylvania Department of Education issued a new, 4-year cohort graduation rate.
  • According to traditional graduation rate calculations
  • 2010 - 96%
  • 2009 - 96%
  • 2008 - 95%
  • 2007 - 95%
  • Junior Senior High School

    Western Beaver County Junior Senior High School is located at 216 Engle Road, Industry. In 2015, enrollment was reported as 384 pupils in 6th through 12th grades, with 39.84% of pupils eligible for a free lunch due to family poverty. Additionally, 17.7% of pupils received special education services, while 3.9% of pupils were identified as gifted. The school employed 35 teachers. Per the PA Department of Education, 100% of the teachers were rated "Highly Qualified" under the federal No Child Left Behind Act. In 2012, the school reported an enrollment of 421 in grades 6th through 12th.

    According to the National Center for Education Statistics, in 2010, the school reported an enrollment of 381 pupils in grades 7th through 12th, with 137 pupils eligible for a federal free or reduced-price lunch. The school employed 37 teachers, yielding a student–teacher ratio of 10:1. According to a report by the Pennsylvania Department of Education, 13 teachers were rated "Non‐Highly Qualified" under No Child Left Behind Act.

    Academics

    Western PA region academic ranking

    In 2015 Western Beaver County Senior High School's 11th grade ranked 79th out of 104 high schools in the western Pennsylvania region.

  • 2014 - 74th
  • 2012 - 63rd
  • 2011 - 62nd.
  • 2010 - 55th out of 105 western Pennsylvania high schools based on three years of results in PSSAs on: reading, math writing and science.
  • 2015 School Performance Profile

    Western Beaver County Junior Senior High School achieved 66 out of 100. Reflects on grade level reading, mathematics and science achievement.The PDE reported that 73% of the High School’s students were on grade level in reading/literature. In Algebra 1/math, just 68% of students showed on grade level skills at the end of the course. In Biology I/science, only 62% 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

    Western Beaver County Junior Senior High School achieved 81 out of 100. Reflects on grade level reading, mathematics and science achievement. In reading/literature, 85.7% were on grade level. In Algebra 1/math, 88% showed on grade level skills. In Biology/science, 67.6% demonstrated on grade level science understanding. 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

    Western Beaver County Junior Senior High School achieved 78.6 out of 100. Reflects on grade level reading, mathematics and science achievement. In reading/literature - 71% were on grade level. In Algebra 1/math, 82% showed on grade level skills. In Biology/science, 49% 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 2008 to 2012, Western Beaver County Junior Senior High School achieved Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP). In 2006, Western Beaver County Junior Senior High School declined to Warning AYP status due to lagging student achievement. From 2003 to 2005, the School achieved AYP status each school year.

    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: 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 - 76% on grade level, (15% below basic). State - 67% of 11th graders are on grade level.
  • 2011 - 73% (12% below basic). State - 69.1%
  • 2010 - 73% (10% below basic). State - 66%
  • 2009 - 54% (19% below basic). State - 65%
  • 2008 - 72% (13% below basic). State - 65%
  • 2007 - 65% (17% below basic). State - 65%
  • 11th Grade Math
  • 2012 - 67% on grade level (18% below basic). In Pennsylvania, 59% of 11th graders are on grade level.
  • 2011 - 67% (15% below basic). State - 60.3%
  • 2010 - 68% (10% below basic). State - 59%
  • 2009 - 57% (15% below basic). State - 56%.
  • 2008 - 69% (12% below basic). State - 56%
  • 2007 - 41% (42% below basic). State - 53%
  • 11th Grade Science
  • 2012 - 38% on grade level (26% below basic). State - 42% of 11th graders were on grade level.
  • 2011 - 36% (27% below basic). State - 40%
  • 2010 - 25% (14% below basic). State - 39%
  • 2009 - 39% (18% below basic). State - 40%
  • 2008 - 41% (11% below basic). State - 39%
  • College remediation rate

    According to a Pennsylvania Department of Education study released in January 2009, 32% of the Western Beaver County 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.

    Dual enrollment

    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. Pennsylvania State University and University of Pittsburgh offered courses at the High School with seniors getting priority for scheduling. Students may also attend courses at Community College of Beaver County and Clarion University (online courses). 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. For the 2009-10 funding year, Western Beaver County School District received a state grant of $19,125 for the program.

    AP courses

    The school offers the following AP courses through district faculty: AP Literature, AP Language, AP Government and AP Environmental Science. Students have the opportunity to take the AP Exam for each course. Students who earn a 3 or better on that exam may be awarded credits in accordance with individual college and university policies. In 2015, the school offered 2 AP courses. In 2014, 23.9% passed the AP exam with a 3 or better.

    Regional Choice Initiative

    Through the Regional Choice Initiative (a federally funded program), students have access to many additional course offerings that may be available through different Beaver County high schools, both on-site and through Interactive Video Conferencing. Students are able to participate through interactive video conferencing, full-day transfer or partial-day transfer. The program is run by Beaver Valley Intermediate Unit 27. Just 29% of the pupils who took the courses achieved a 3 or better on the AP exam given by the College Board.

    Online Academy

    In an effort to retain students who are migrating to Pennsylvania cyber charter schools, the high school offers an online course option. Students take courses offered with flexible scheduling that includes online core coursework (social studies, math, science and English) and classroom electives. Students may complete their coursework at the school building, from home or a combination of both.

    Graduation requirements

    The Western Beaver County School Board has determined that a pupil must earn 24 credits to graduate, including: Math - 4 credits (Algebra 1 required), English - 4 credits, social studies 4 credits, science 3 credits, Physical Education 1.5 credits, Health .5 credit and electives 6 credits which must include 1.5 technology credits. Vo-tech students receive a math credit for vo-tech during their senior year.

    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. Students earn one credit toward graduation when they complete their graduation project. 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.

    By Pennsylvania School Board regulations, for the graduating class of 2018, students must demonstrate successful completion of secondary level course work in Algebra I, Biology, English Composition, and Literature for which the Keystone Exams serve as the final course exams. 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. 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.

    SAT scores

    In 2014, 33 Western Beaver County School District students took the SAT exams. The District's Verbal Average Score was 478. The Math average score was 493. The Writing average score was 445. 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, 35 Western Beaver County School District students took the SAT exams. The District's Verbal Average Score was 467. The Math average score was 488. The Writing average score was 465. 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, Western Beaver County School District students took the SAT exams. The District's Verbal Average Score was 470. The Math average score was 517. The Writing average score was 456. 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, 35 Western Beaver County School District students took the SAT exams. The district's Verbal Average Score was 463. The Math average score was 481. The Writing average score was 455. 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.

    Junior HIgh School

    Sixth and seventh grades have been tested in reading and mathematics since 2006. Eighth graders are tested in: reading, writing, mathematics and Science. Beginning in the Spring of 2013, eighth graders, who are enrolled in Algebra I take the Keystone Exam for Algebra I at the end of the course. The testing of 8th grade in reading and mathematics began in 1999, as a state initiative. Testing in science began in 2007. The goal is for 100% of students to be on grade level or better in reading and mathematics, by the Spring of 2014. The tests focus on the state's Academic Standards for reading, writing, mathematics and science. The standards were published in 1998 and are mandated by the Pennsylvania State Board of Education. In 2014, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania adopted the Pennsylvania Core Standards - Mathematics.

    PSSA Results
    8th Grade Science
  • 2012 - 69% on grade level (15% below basic). State - 59%
  • 2011 - 68% (8% below basic). State – 58.3%
  • 2010 - 46% (29% below basic). State – 57%
  • 2009 - 57% (19% below basic). State - 55%
  • 2008 - 48% (20% below basic). State - 52%
  • Seventh grade
    Dropout Early Warning System

    In 2013, Western Beaver County School District did not implement a free state dropout prevention Early Warning System and Interventions Catalog at the junior high school. The process identifies students at risk for dropping out by examining the pupil’s: attendance, behavior and course grades. Interventions are implemented to assist at-risk pupils to remain in school. The program is funded by federal and private dollars.

    Fairview Elementary School

    Fairview Elementary School is located at 343 Ridgemont Drive, Midland. In 2015, the School's enrollment was 331 pupils in preschool through 5th grade, with 45.9% of pupils receiving a federal free or reduced price meals due to family poverty. Additionally, 11.4% of the pupils receive special education services, while 1.5% are identified as gifted. According to a report by the Pennsylvania Department of Education, 100% of the teachers were rated highly qualified under No Child Left Behind. Fairview Elementary School provides full day kindergarten to all its pupils. The school is a federally designated Title I school.

    According to the National Center for Education Statistics, in 2010, the school reported an enrollment of 293 pupils in grades preschool through 5th, with 127 pupils receiving a federal free or reduced-price lunch. The school employed 25 teachers, yielding a student–teacher ratio of 11:1. According to a report by the Pennsylvania Department of Education, 100% of the school's teachers were rated "Highly Qualified" under No Child Left Behind. In 2006, The school provided preschool and full day kindergarten to at-risk students.

    2015 School Performance Profile

    According to the Pennsylvania Department of Education, 82% of 5th grade students at Fairview Elementary School were on grade level in reading on the PSSAs given in April 2015. In mathematics, 31% of 5th grade students showed on grade level skills. Fifth grade writing scores were withheld by the state. In 4th grade, 69% were on grade level in reading, while 49% showed on grade level math skills. In science, 93% of fourth graders showed on grade level understanding. Among third (3rd) graders, 55% were on grade level in reading and 41% were on grade level in mathematics. Statewide 61.9% of fifth (5th) graders were on grade level in reading, while 42.8% demonstrated on grade level math skills. Pennsylvania 4th graders were 58.6% on grade level in reading and 44.4% demonstrated on grade level math skills. In science, 77.3% of fourth graders showed on grade level understanding. Among Pennsylvania third (3rd) graders, 62% were reading on grade level, while 48.5% demonstrated on grade level math skills.

    2014 School Performance Profile

    Fairview Elementary School achieved a score of 81.3 out of 100. The score reflects on grade level: reading, science, writing and mathematics achievement. In 2013-14, 77.7% of the students were reading on grade level in grades 3rd through 5th. In 3rd grade, 78.5% of the pupils were reading on grade level. In math, 78.8% were on grade level (3rd-5th grades). In 4th grade science, 97.9% of the pupils demonstrated on grade level understanding. In writing, only 62% of 5th grade pupils demonstrated on grade level skills.

    2013 School Performance Profile

    Fairview Elementary School achieved a score of 83.9 out of 100. The score reflects on grade level: reading, science, writing and mathematics achievement. In 2012-13, 76% of the students were reading on grade level in grades 3rd through 5th. In 3rd grade, 81% of the pupils were reading on grade level. In math, 90% were on grade level (3rd-5th grades). In 4th grade science, 89% of the pupils demonstrated on grade level understanding. In writing, 88.8% of 5th grade pupils demonstrated on grade level skills. 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.

    Adequate Yearly Progress

    In 2010 through 2012, Fairview Elementary School achieved AYP status each school year. From 2004 to 2009, the school achieved Adequate Yearly Progress status each school year.

    PSSA Results

    Each year, in the Spring, in order to comply with the federal No Child Left Behind Law, the 3rd graders take the PSSAs in math and reading. The fourth grade is tested in reading, math and science. The fifth grade is evaluated in reading, mathematics and writing. Pennsylvania System of School Assessments, commonly called PSSAs are No Child Left Behind Act related examinations which were administered beginning 2003 to all Pennsylvania public school students in grades 3rd-8th. 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 is given to 4th grades and includes content in science, technology, ecology and the environmental studies. The first cohort of children who attended Accountability Block Grant funded full-day kindergarten reached third grade and took the PSSAs in the spring of 2008.

    4th Grade Science
  • 2012 - 96%, (2% below basic). State - 82%
  • 2011 - 98%, 69% advanced. State – 82.9%
  • 2010 - 92%, 73% advanced. State - 81%
  • 2009 - 96%, 71% advanced. State - 83%
  • 2008 - 95%, 56% advanced. State - 81%
  • The school offers 2 classrooms of taxpayer funded preschool for 4 year olds. The program is funded locally and through a state PreK Counts grant.

    Special education

    In December 2013, the District administration reported that 112 pupils or 16.1% of the district's pupils received Special Education services, with 55% of the identified students having a specific learning disability. In December 2010, Western Beaver County School District administration reported that 119 pupils or 14.9% of the district's pupils received Special Education services. In December 2009, the District administration reported that 118 pupils or 14.5% of the district's pupils received state and federally funded Special Education services. Of those identified 57% had a specific learning disability. The other 43% have no disability in learning or functioning and are allowed to pass through every class with the help of Western's wonderful teacher's aids. These students will absorb very little knowledge and pass only because these aids did the work for them.

    In 2007, Pennsylvania Secretary of Education Gerald Zahorchak testified before the Pennsylvania House Education Committee regarding full day kindergarten. He claimed that districts which offered the program would see a significant decrease in special education students due to early identification and early intervention. He asserted the high cost of full day kindergarten would be recouped by Districts in lower special education costs. Western Beaver County School District has provided full day kindergarten since 2008. The District has seen a slight decrease in the percentage of special education students it serves, yielding no savings.

    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 . 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.

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

    In 2010, the state of Pennsylvania provided $1,026,815,000 for special education services. This funding was in addition to the state's basic education per pupil funding, as well as, all other state and federal funding. 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. The state requires each district to have a three-year special education plan to meet the unique needs of its special education students. Overidentification of students, in order to increase state funding, has been an issue in the Commonwealth. Some districts have more than 20% of its students receiving special education services while others have 10% supported through special education. 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.

    Western Beaver County School District received a $578,197 supplement for special education services in 2010. 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. For the 2014-2015 school year, Western Beaver County School District received an increase to $588,848 from the Commonwealth for special education funding. Additionally, the state provides supplemental funding for extraordinarily impacted students. The District must apply for this added funding.

    Gifted education

    The District Administration reported that 47 or 5.23% of its students were gifted in 2009. 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.

    Enrollment

    According to Pennsylvania Department of Education enrollment reports, there were less than 770 students enrolled in K-12 in 2009–10 school year at Western Beaver County School District. There were 59 students in the Class of 2009. The district's class of 2010 had 56 students. Enrollment is projected to decline to 575 students by 2020. According to a report from the local intermediate unit showed that the total enrollment in all Beaver County public school districts in 1971-72 was 48,536 children. The countywide public school enrollment had declined to 25,002 children, in 2006-07. In 2008, the Western Beaver County School District administration costs had risen to $1,040.22 per pupil. The lowest administrative cost per pupil in Pennsylvania was $398 per pupil. A study of Pennsylvania public school spending, conducted by Standard and Poor's, examined the consolidation of Western Beaver County School Administration with 2 neighboring districts: South Side Area School District and Midland Borough School District. The study found that consolidation of the administration with an adjacent school district administration would achieve substantial local cost savings.

    According to a 2009 school district administration consolidation proposal by Governor Edward G. Rendell, the excessive administrative overhead dollars could be redirected to improve lagging academic achievement, to enrich the academic programs or to reduce property taxes. Consolidation of two central administrations into one would not require the closing of any schools. The Governor's proposal called for the savings to be redirected to improving lagging reading and science achievement, to enriching the academic programs or to reducing residents' property taxes.

    Beginning in 2000, many rural Pennsylvania school district's enrollment decreased by 8 percent or more. As the enrollment declined, per pupil administrative costs of the schools continued to rise. In March 2011, the Pennsylvania Institute of Certified Public Accountants released a report finding that the state would save hundreds of millions of tax dollars, by cutting the number of school administrations in half through consolidation, with no impact on programs offered to students.

    In Beaver County, two small districts voluntarily merge into Central Valley School District in 2009: Monaca School District and Center Area School District. Student achievement and available programs have risen since the merger. In 2012, no public school district in Beaver County has an enrollment of 3000 pupils or more. The enrollment in the three county public charter schools has risen steadily since their founding: Lincoln Park Performing Arts Charter School, Beaver Area Academic Charter School and Pennsylvania Cyber Charter School. In 2007, Western Beaver County School District brought a lawsuit against the Midland Borough School District, alleging that the district was owed about $260,000 for Midland Borough School District students that were attending Western Beaver County High School during the 2004-05 and 2005-06 school years. Western Beaver County School District also accepted tuition high school students from Lincoln Park Performing Arts Center in 2006.

    The Commonwealth of 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. This results in excessive school administration bureaucracy and not enough course diversity. In a survey of 88 superintendents of small districts like Western Beaver County School District, 42% of the 49 respondents stated that they thought consolidation would save money without closing any schools.

    Budget

    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.

    In 2013, the average teacher salary in Western Beaver County School District was $59,048 a year. The District employed 70 teachers and administrators with a top salary of $119,232. Pennsylvania teacher salaries (2013–14) are searchable in a statewide database provided by TribLive News. Western Beaver County School District teacher and administrator retirement benefits are equal to at least 2.00% x Final Average Salary x Total Credited Service. (Some teachers benefits utilize a 2.50% benefit factor.) After 40 years of service, Pennsylvania public school teachers and administrators can retire with 100% of the average salary of their final 3 years of employment. According to a study conducted at the American Enterprise Institute, in 2011, public school teachers’ total compensation is roughly 50 percent higher than they would likely receive in the private sector. The study found that the most generous benefits that teachers receive are not accounted for in many studies of compensation including: pension, retiree health benefits and job security. In 2014-15, Pennsylvania public school district mandated teacher pension contribution rose to 21.40% of employee salaries and in 2015-16 it rose again to 25.84% of total salaries. In 2014-15, the state mandated District contribution to the teacher pension fund rose to 21.40% of employee salaries and in 2015-16 it rose again to 25.84% of total District salaries.

    In 2011, the average teacher salary in Western Beaver County School District was $54,242 a year. The District employed 71 teachers and administrators with a top salary of $110,237.

    In 2009, Western Beaver County School District reported employing 91 teachers and administrators with an average salary range of $52,657 and a top salary of $101,920. Teachers work 185 days with 7 hours 40 minutes per day, including a duty-free lunch and a daily preparation period. The teachers receive substantial benefit compensation, including a defined benefit pension, health insurance, vision insurance, dental insurance, professional development reimbursement, paid personal days, 10 paid sick days, and other benefits. Each year, five teachers are entitled to visit another public school district for a day without loss of pay. In 2011, the average teacher salary in WBCSD was $51,388 a year, while the cost of the benefits teachers receive was $17,168 per employee, for a total annual average teacher compensation of $68,556. According to a study conducted at the American Enterprise Institute, in 2011, public school teachers’ total compensation is roughly 50 percent higher than they would likely receive in the private sector. The study found that the most generous benefits that teachers receive are not accounted for in many studies of compensation, including: pension, retiree health benefits and job security.

    In 2007, Western Beaver County School District employed 73 teachers. The average teacher salary in the District was $45,072 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.

    Administration spending

    Western Beaver County School District administrative costs per pupil in 2008 was $1,040.22 per pupil. This ranked 46th out of Pennsylvania's 501 public school districts. 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.

    Per pupil spending

    In 2008, Westen Beaver County School District administration reported that per pupil spending was $13,000 which ranked 175th among Pennsylvania's 501 school districts. In 2010, the District's per pupil spending had increased to $13,587.36 Among the states, Pennsylvania’s total per pupil revenue (including all sources) ranked 11th at $15,023 per student, in 2008-09. In 2007, the Pennsylvania per pupil total expenditures was $12,759.

    Reserves In 2008, Western Beaver County School District reported a balance of zero in its unreserved-designated fund. The unreserved-undesignated fund balance was reported as $558,102.00. In 2010, Western Beaver County School District Administration reported $404,104.00 in the unreserved-undesignated fund. In 2012, Western Beaver County School District Administration reported $491,493 in its unreserved-undesignated fund. Pennsylvania school district reserve funds are divided into two categories – designated and undesignated. The undesignated funds are not committed to any planned project. Designated funds and any other funds, such as capital reserves, are allocated to specific projects. School districts are required by state law to keep 5 percent of their annual spending in the undesignated reserve funds to preserve bond ratings. According to the Pennsylvania Department of Education, from 2003 to 2010, as a whole, Pennsylvania school districts amassed nearly $3 billion in reserved funds.

    Audits In June 2008, the Pennsylvania Auditor General conducted a performance audit of the district. The findings were reported to the school board and administration. In a 2015 state audit the Auditor General expressed concerns about the District's finances.

    In September 2008, the school board accepted a settlement in a lawsuit it had against Oliver Land and Timber Company for $16,000.

    The District was the victim of a trojan horse cyber attack in 2009 on its ESB bank account. According to District officials, its accounts had 74 unauthorized bank transfer which took $704,610 over a 4-day period. The bank restored $263,413. The District sued the bank to restore all the missing taxpayer funds. The District sued the bank to recover all the stolen funds.

    Tuition Students who live in the Western Beaver County 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 Western Beaver County 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 2013 tuition rates are Elementary School - $9,763.14, High School - $11,568.98.

    Western Beaver County School District is funded by a combination of: a local earned income tax 0.5%, a property tax, a real estate transfer tax 0.5%, 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 level of the individual’s personal wealth.

    State basic education funding

    According to a report from Representative Todd Stephens office, Western Beaver County School District receives 68.2% of its annual revenue from the state. This exceeds some education advocates goal of the state providing 50% of district funding.

    For the 2014-15 school year, Western Beaver County School District received $5,347,719 in State Basic Education funding. The District received $113,160 in new Ready To Learn Block grant. The State’s enacted Education Budget includes $5,526,129,000 for the 2014-2015 Basic Education Funding. The Education budget also includes Accountability Block Grant funding at $100 million and $241 million in new Ready to Learn funding for public schools that focus on student achievement and academic success. The State is paying $500.8 million to Social Security on the school employees behalf and another $1.16 billion to the state teachers pension system (PSERS). In total, Pennsylvania’s Education budget for K-12 public schools is $10 billion. This was a $305 million increase over 2013-2014 state spending and the greatest amount ever allotted by the Commonwealth for its public schools.

    In the 2013-14 school year, Western Beaver County School District received a 1.1% increase or $5,348,010 in Pennsylvania Basic Education Funding. This is $56,086 more than its 2012-13 state BEF to the District. Additionally, Western Beaver County School District received $61,464 in Accountability Block Grant funding to focus on academic achievement and level funding for special education services. Among the public school districts in Beaver County, Midland Borough School District received the highest percentage increase in BEF at 10.2%. The District had 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. The highest percent of state spending per student is in the Chester-Upland School District, where roughly 78 percent comes from state coffers. In Philadelphia, it is nearly 49 percent. 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.

    In the 2012-13 school year, Western Beaver County School District received $$5,291,924. The Governor's Executive Budget for 2012-2013 included $9.34 billion for kindergarten through 12th grade public education, including $5.4 billion in basic education funding, which was an increase of $49 million over the 2011-12 budget. In addition, the Commonwealth provided $100 million for the Accountability Block Grant (ABG) program. The state also provided a $544.4 million payment for School Employees’ Social Security and $856 million for School Employees’ Retirement fund called PSERS. 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 the 2011-12 school year, Western Beaver County School District received a $5,291,924 allocation, of state Basic Education Funding. Additionally, the Western Beaver County School District received $61,464 in Accountability Block Grant funding. The enacted Pennsylvania state Education budget included $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 was awarded to Duquesne City School District, which got a 49% increase in state funding for 2011-12. In 2010, the district reported that 330 students received free or reduced-price lunches, due to the family meeting the federal poverty level. Some Pennsylvania public school districts experienced a reduction of total funding due to the termination of federal stimulus funding which ended in 2011.

    In the 2010–11 budget year, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania provided a 2.21% increase in Basic Education Funding for a total of $5,516,944. Among the public districts in Beaver County, the highest increase went to Midland Borough School District which got a 7.57% 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 state's hold harmless policy regarding state basic education funding continued where each school district received at least the same amount as the year before, even where 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 districts at a far greater rate than others.

    In the 2009-10 budget year, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania provided a 2% increase in Basic Education Funding for a total of $5,397,763 to Western Beaver County School District. Among the public school districts in Beaver County, the highest increase went to Big Beaver Falls Area School District which got a 5.26%. Ninety Pennsylvania public school districts received a base 2% increase. Muhlenberg School District in Berks County received a 22.31% increase in state basic education funding in 2009. The amount of increase each school district received was set by Governor Edward G. Rendell and then Secretary of Education Gerald Zahorchak, as a part of the state budget proposal.

    In 2008-09 budget year, the state Basic Education Funding to Western Beaver County School District was $5,291,924.10.

    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, Western Beaver County School District applied for and received $166,830 in addition to all other state and federal funding. The district used the funding to provide after school tutoring and intensive instruction of struggling students during the school day.

    Ready to Learn grant

    Beginning in the 2014-2015 budget, the State funded a new Ready to Learn Grant for public schools. A total of $100 million is allocated through a formula to districts based on the number of students, level of poverty of community as calculated by its market value/personal income aid ratio (MV/PI AR) and the number of English language learners. Ready to Learn Block Grant funds may be used by the Districts for: school safety; Ready by 3 early childhood intervention programs; individualized learning programs; and science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) programs.

    Western Beaver County School District received $113,160 in Ready to Learn Grant dollars in addition to State Basic Education funding, Special Education funding, PreK Counts funding, transportation reimbursement, reimbursement for Social Security payments for employees and other state grants which the district must apply to receive.

    PreK Counts grant

    Western Beaver County School District receives state funding to provide preschool at Fairview Elementary School. For the 2011 school year, Pre-K Counts was funded at the 2010 levels of $83.6 million statewide in Gov. Tom Corbett's proposed budget,. The state also supplements the federal Head Start preschool program with an additional $37.6 million. Pre-K Counts funding was initiated during the Rendell administration. In 2007-08 the state funded Pre-K Counts at $75 million. School District received funding in 2007-08. In 2009-10 the district received $209,350 to provide preschool to 52 children.

    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 to 2009. Western Beaver County School District did not apply to participate in any of the three years of the grant program. In County the highest award was given to Freedom Area School District at $476,723. The highest funding statewide was awarded to Philadelphia City School District in Philadelphia County - $9,409,073. In 2010, Classrooms for the Future funding was curtailed statewide due to a massive state financial crisis.

    Science It’s Elementary grant

    Fairview Elementary School successfully applied to participate and received a Science It’s Elementary grant in 2008-09. For the 2008-09 school year, the program was offered in 143 schools reaching 66,973 students across the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. In 2007, the Pennsylvania Department of Education initiated an effort to improve science instruction in the Commonwealth’s public elementary schools. Called Science: It’s Elementary, the program was a hands on instruction approach for elementary science classes that develops problem-solving and critical thinking skills. To encourage schools to adopt the program’s standards aligned curriculum, the state provided a grant to cover the costs of materials and extensive mandatory teacher training. The district was required to develop a three-year implementation plan for the participating school. The school district administration was required to appoint a district liaison who was paid $3,000 by PDE to serve as the conduit of all information between the district and the Department and its agents along with submitting orders and distributing supplies to implementing teachers. For the 2006-07 state education budget, $10 million was allocated for the program. The grant program was expanded to $14.5 million in the 2008-09 budget. The grant was discontinued in the state’s 2011 budget by Governor Edward G. Rendell.

    Other grants

    The District did not participate in: Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection's Environmental Education annual grants; 2012 Striving Readers Comprehensive Literacy grant; 2013 Safe Schools and Resource Officer grants; 2012 and 2013 Pennsylvania Hybrid Learning Grants; Project 720 High School Reform grants (discontinued effective with 2011-12 budget); nor the federal 21st Century Learning grants.

    Federal Stimulus grant

    Western Beaver County School District received an extra $1.3 million 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 was limited to the 2009–10 and 2010–11 school years. Due to the temporary nature of the funding, schools were repeatedly advised to use the funds for one-time expenditures like acquiring equipment, making repairs to buildings, training teachers to provide more effective instruction or purchasing books and software.

    Race to the Top grant

    Western Beaver County School District officials did not apply for the federal Race to the Top grant which would have provided over one half million dollar in additional federal funding to improve student academic achievement. 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.

    Title II grants

    The Federal government provides annual grants to schools to be used to improve the quality of teacher instructions to pupils. The goal is provide each child in public schools with "Highly Quality" teachers and principals as defined by the state. The funds are sent to the state Department of Education which distributes them to each school district and charter school. Beginning in 2002, the federal funding committed to Title II was $3,175,000,000.

    Public school district administrations must apply to the state annually for the Title II funds. In 2012-13, Western Beaver County School District received $41,571 in federal Title II funding. In 2014-15, Western Beaver County School District applied for and received $41,571.

    Real estate taxes

    Property tax rates in 2015-16 were set by the school board at 54.000 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. Property taxes, in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, apply only to real estate - land and buildings. The property tax is not levied on cars, business inventory, or other personal property. Certain types of property are exempt from property taxes, including: places of worship, places of burial, private social clubs, charitable and educational institutions and government property. Additionally, service related, disabled US military veterans may seek an exemption from paying property taxes. Pennsylvania school district revenues are dominated by two main sources: 1) Property tax collections, which account for the vast majority (between 75-85%) of local revenues; and 2) Act 511 tax collections, which are around 15% of revenues for school districts. When the school district includes municipalities in two counties, each of which has different rates of property tax assessment, a state board equalizes the tax rates between the counties. In 2010, miscalculations by the board were widespread in the Commonwealth and adversely impacted funding for many school districts.

    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. In June 2011, the Pennsylvania General Assembly eliminated six of the ten exceptions to the Act 1 Index. The following exceptions were maintained: 1) costs to pay interest and principal on indebtedness incurred prior to September 4, 2004 for Act 72 schools and prior to June 27, 2006 for non-Act 72 schools; 2) costs to pay interest and principal on electoral debt; 3) costs incurred in providing special education programs and services (beyond what is already paid by the State); and 4) costs due to increases of more than the Index in the school’s share of payments to PSERS (PA school employees pension fund) taking into account the state mandated PSERS contribution rate.

    The School District Adjusted Index for the Western Beaver County School District 2006–2007 through 2011–2012.

    For the 2015-16 budget year, Western Beaver County School Board applied for two exceptions to exceed their Act 1 Index limit: for special education costs and for its rapidly rising teacher pension costs. For the school budget 2015-16, 310 Pennsylvania public school districts adopted a resolution certifying that tax rates would not be increased above its Act 1 Index limit. Another 187 school districts adopted a preliminary budget leaving open the option of exceeding the Index limit. Regarding the pension costs exception, 172 school districts received approval to exceed the Index limit in full, while others received a partial approval of their request. For special education costs, 119 districts received approval to exceed their tax limit. No Pennsylvania public school districts received an approval for the grandfathered construction debts exception.

    For the 2014-15 budget year, Western Beaver County School Board applied for two exceptions to exceed their Act 1 Index limit: for growing special education services and escalating teacher pension costs. In 2014-15, all Pennsylvania school districts were required to make a 21.4% of payroll payment to the teacher’s pension fund (PSERS). For the school budget 2014-15, 316 Pennsylvania public school districts adopted a resolution certifying that tax rates would not be increased above its Act 1 Index limit. Another 181 school districts adopted a preliminary budget leaving open the option of exceeding the Index limit. Districts may apply for multiple exceptions each year. For the pension costs exception, 163 school districts received approval to exceed the Index in full, while others received a partial approval of their request. For special education costs, 104 districts received approval to exceed their tax limit. Seven Pennsylvania public school districts received an approval for the grandfathered construction debts exception.

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

    For the 2012-13 budget year, Western Beaver County School Board applied for two exceptions to exceed the Act 1 Index: special education costs and teacher pension costs. For 2012–2013, 274 school districts adopted a resolution certifying that tax rates would not be increased above their index; 223 school districts adopted a preliminary budget leaving open the option of exceeded the Index limit. For the exception for pension costs, 194 school districts received approval to exceed the Index. For special education costs, 129 districts received approval to exceed the tax limit. For the exception for pension costs, 194 school districts received approval to exceed the Index. For special education costs, 129 districts received approval to exceed the tax limit.

    For the 2011-12 school year, the Western Beaver County School Board did not apply for an exception to exceed the Act 1 Index. Each year, the Western Beaver County School Board has the option of adopting either 1) a resolution in January certifying they will not increase taxes above their index or 2) a preliminary budget in February. A school district adopting the resolution may not apply for referendum exceptions or ask voters for a tax increase above the inflation index. A specific timeline for these decisions is published annually, by the Pennsylvania Department of Education.

    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.

    Western Beaver County School Board did not apply for any exceptions to exceed the Act 1 index for the budget in 2010–2011. For 2009-10 school budget, the board did not apply for exceptions to exceed the Index. 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 2012, Western Beaver County School District approved 1,574 homestead properties to receive $186. The amount received by the District must be divided equally among all approved residences.

    In 2010, the Homestead/Farmstead Property Tax Relief from gambling for the Western Beaver County School District was $188 per approved permanent primary residence. In the Western Beaver County School District, 1,554 residential 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 (40,000 m2) and must be the primary residence of the owner. Farmers can qualify for both the homestead exemption and the farmstead exemption. In Beaver County, 64% of eligible property owners applied for property tax relief in 2009. Among Beaver County public school districts, the highest amount of property tax relief goes to property owners in Big Beaver Falls Area School District who received $352 in 2010. 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. Residents of Chester Upland School District have been the top recipients each year, since the program began.

    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%).

    Extracurriculars

    Western Beaver County School District offers a variety of clubs, activities and sports. Eligibility for participation is determined by school board policy. The District is noncompliant with state law, due to failing to post its Interscholastic Athletic Opportunities Disclosure Form on its website.

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

    Western Beaver High School presented the musical Seussical in March 2012. The school runs: a choir, a Marching Band and Color Guard.

    According to PA 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

    Any violation of the Districts Drug and Alcohol policy may result in suspension from athletics for the remainder of the season. Additionally, the District prohibits the use of anabolic steroids. The use of tobacco or tobacco products is strictly prohibited by student-athletes. The District is a Western Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletics League member school and the PIAA. Students have access to taxpayer funded: Football (Varsity, Junior Varsity, Junior High), Volleyball Girls (Varsity, Junior Varsity, Junior High), Varsity Golf, Basketball: Boys and Girls (Varsity, Junior Varsity, Junior High - 7th & 8th grade teams), Baseball: (Varsity, Junior Varsity), Softball (Varsity, Junior Varsity), Track & Field Boys and Girls varsity, Cheerleading, and Bowling.

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

    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.

    Closed school

    Snyder Elementary School offered 5th and sixth grades. It operated until 2011, when it was closed due to declining enrollment districtwide. The sixth grade was moved to the junior senior high building, while the 5th grade was relocated to Fairview Elementary School. In 2010, Snyder Elementary School achieved AYP status.

    6th Grade Reading:

  • 2010 - 84% (1% below basic). State - 68% (70 pupils)
  • 2009 - 82% (6% below basic), State - 67% (50 pupils)
  • 2008 - 79% (10% below basic), State - 67% (64 pupils)
  • 2007 - 70% (16% below basic), State - 63% (67 pupils)
  • 6th Grade Math:

  • 2010 - 83% (9% below basic). State - 78%
  • 2009 - 84% (12% below basic), State - 75%
  • 2008 - 71% (9% below basic), State - 72%
  • 2007 - 64% (12% below basic), State - 69%
  • 5th Grade Reading:

  • 2010 - 82% (4% below basic). State – 64% (51 pupils)
  • 2009 - 69% (13% below basic), State - 64% (69 pupils)
  • 2008 - 74% (8% below basic), State - 62% (50 pupils)
  • 2007 - 59% (18% below basic), State - 60% (64 pupils)
  • 5th Grade Math:

  • 2010 - 89% (2% below basic). State - 76.3%
  • 2009 - 78% (5% below basic), State - 73%
  • 2008 - 76% (4% below basic), State - 73%
  • 2007 - 50% (10% below basic), State - 71%
  • References

    Western Beaver County School District Wikipedia


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