Reading High School (Reading, Pennsylvania)

Reading High School (Reading, Pennsylvania)

Reading High School
Dic cur hic (tell me why you are here)[1]
801 North 13th Street
Type Public secondary
Established 1927[1]
School district Reading School District
Superintendent Dr. Carlinda Purcell[2]
Principal Eric B. Turman[3]
Grades 10th, 11th and 12th
Number of students 3,364 students (2012-13)[4]
Color(s) Red and black
Athletics Basketball, Football, Baseball, Softball, Field Hockey, Swimming, Water Polo, Track and Field, Cross Country, Wrestling, Soccer, Bowling, Golf, Marching Band
Mascot Red Knight

Reading High School (colloquially known as "The Castle on the Hill") is home to over 3,000 students from grades 10 through 12 from within the Reading School District. Reading High students complete grades 8 through 9 at Reading Intermediate High School. The school is both ethnically and academically diverse; a broad spectrum of nationalities are represented within the school’s population, and a multitude of unique electives and varied extracurricular activities are offered. In 2011, the school employed 157 teachers, yielding a student teacher ratio of 18:1.[5]


The Pennsylvania Department of Education lists Reading High School and most other schools in the Reading School District as among the lowest 15% achieving schools for reading and mathematics in the commonwealth. Parents and students may be eligible for scholarships to transfer to another public or nonpublic school through the state's Opportunity Scholarship Tax Credit Program passed in June 2012.[6]

Graduation Rate

In 2012, Reading School District’s graduation rate was 61%.[7] In 2011, the graduation rate was 56%.[8] In 2010, the Pennsylvania Department of Education issued a new, 4 year cohort graduation rate. High School's rate was 53.7% for 2010.[9]

According to traditional graduation rate calculations:

Drop out rate

Reading Senior High School administration reports annual dropout rates.[14]

  • 2011 - 13.19%, Berks County - 1.89%, PA - 1.28%
  • 2010 - 9.61%, Berks County - 2.13%, PA - 1.49%
  • 2009 - 10.0%, Berks County - 2.20%, PA - 1.60%
  • 2008 - 8.10%, Berks County - 2.00%, PA - 1.70%
  • 2007 - 7.50%, Berks County - 1.90%, PA - 1.60%

AYP Status

In 2012, Reading Senior High School declined to School Improvement II AYP status due to missing 12 of 14 academic metric measured. In 2011, Reading Senior High School was in School Improvement Level 1 AYP status due to missing 13 out of 14 metrics measured.[15] 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 must pay for additional tutoring for struggling students.[16] The High School is eligible for special, extra funding under School Improvement Grants which the school must apply for each year.[17]

PSSA results

11th Grade Reading:

  • 2012 - 36% on grade level, (37% below basic). State - 67% of 11th graders are on grade level.[18]
  • 2011 - 41% (36% below basic). State - 69.1% [19]
  • 2010 - 42% (38% below basic). State - 66% [20]
  • 2009 - 37% (36% below basic). State - 65% [21]
  • 2008 - 32% (45% below basic). State - 65% [22]
  • 2007 - 37% (44% below basic). State - 65% [23]

11th Grade Math:

  • 2012 - 29% on grade level (48% below basic). In Pennsylvania, 59% of 11th graders are on grade level.[24]
  • 2011 - 26% (48% below basic). State - 60.3% [25]
  • 2010 - 25% (54% below basic). State - 59% [26]
  • 2009 - 28% (49% below basic). State - 56%.[27]
  • 2008 - 22% (58% below basic). State - 56% [28]
  • 2007 - 21% (59% below basic). State - 53% [29]

11th Grade Science:

  • 2012 - 8% on grade level (46% below basic). State - 42% of 11th graders were on grade level.[30]
  • 2011 - 13% (45% below basic). State - 40% [31]
  • 2010 - 12% (42% below basic). State - 39%
  • 2009 - 11% (43% below basic). State - 40% [32]
  • 2008 - 11% (43% below basic). State - 39% [33]

College Remediation Rate

According to a Pennsylvania Department of Education study released in January 2009, 68% of the Reading 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.[34] 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.[35] 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.

SAT Scores

In 2012, 410 Reading Senior High School District students took the SAT exams. The District's Verbal Average Score was 397. The Math average score was 395. The Writing average score was 375. 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, 446 Reading Senior School District students took the SAT exams. The District's Verbal Average Score was 402. The Math average score was 398. The Writing average score was 357.[36] Pennsylvania ranked 40th among states with SAT scores: Verbal - 493, Math - 501, Writing - 479.[37] 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.[38]

Graduation requirements

Among Pennsylvania's 500 public school districts, graduation requirements widely vary. The Reading School Board has determined that a pupil must earn 23 credits to graduate, including: English 4.00 credits, Mathematics - 4.00 credits, Science - 3.00 credits, Social Studies 3.00 credits, Physical Education 1.32 credits, Wellness .50 credits, Safety/First Aid .18 credits, Computer/Career Awareness .50 credits, and Electives - 6.50 credits.[39]

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.[40] 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.[41]

By Pennsylvania School Board regulations, for the graduating class of 2017, 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.[42][43][44] 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.[45] 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.

Dual enrollment

The Reading 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. 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.[46] Under the Pennsylvania Transfer and Articulation Agreement, many Pennsylvania colleges and universities accept these credits for students who transfer to their institutions.[47]

For the 2009-10 funding year, the school district received a state grant of $79,544 for the program.[48]

AP Courses

Reading High School offers an extensive AP course program which permits successful students to earn college credits when they achieve score of 3 or better on the final examination offered by the College Board.[49]

TV Studio

The school has received a great deal of broadcasting and recording equipment from Bob Seidel, Vice President of CBS Engineering and Advanced Technology, who is an alumnus of Reading High School. Students who are members of Knight Life, the school's television club, produce live morning announcements and a live, twice-a-month, two-hour-long television show on a local Public-access television channel. They also participate, along with several other county schools, in a show called Bridging the Generation Gap, co-produced with Berks County Television (BCTV). Besides the Monday night Knight Life shows, Knight Life members also take part in recording the spring and winter music concerts, the school show and live coverage of boys and girls basketball, wrestling, volleyball and soccer.


The German American Exchange Program provides a yearly activity that affords Reading High School students the opportunity to travel to Germany and live in the culture for two weeks and then reciprocate in the spring when the German students come to Pennsylvania for two weeks.

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. The Reading School District received $407,573 in 2006-07. In 2007-08, the HIgh School received $558,533. The district received another $328,391 in 2008-09.[50] In Berks County the highest award was given to Reading School District - $1,294,497. The highest funding state wide was awarded to Philadelphia City School District in Philadelphia County - $9,409,073. In 2010, Classrooms for the Future funding was curtailed statewide by then Governor Edward Rendell, due to a massive state financial crisis.


The Reading School District offers a variety of clubs, activities and ancostly, extensive sports program. Eligibility for participation is determined by school board policy and the regulations of the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association.

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.[51]


The District funds:

According to PIAA directory July 2012 [52]

Notable alumni

  • Thomas Caltagirone – Politician – Pennsylvania House of Representatives[53]
  • Donyell Marshall – NBA Player, Philadelphia 76ers
  • Stu Jackson – NBA Executive, and former head coach of the New York Knicks and Vancouver Grizzlies.
  • Lenny Moore – Professional Football Player with the Baltimore Colts.
  • Lawrence Santoro – Multiple Bram Stoker-nominated horror/fantasy author.
  • Stephen Mull – Ambassador to Lithuania.
  • James Bryant – Professional Football Player
  • Sam Bryant – Semi-Professional Football Player


External links

  • Reading High School
  • RHS Youtube

Template:Reading, Pennsylvania Template:Berks County, Pennsylvania School Districts

Coordinates: 40°20′52″N 75°54′39″W / 40.3477°N 75.9107°W / 40.3477; -75.9107