Rochester Area School District
Address
540 Reno Street
Rochester, Pennsylvania, Beaver County, 15074
United States
Information
Type Public
Superintendent Carolyn Wilkovich
Grades K-12
Number of students 823 (2009-2010)
 • Kindergarten 64
 • Grade 1 69
 • Grade 2 51
 • Grade 3 53
 • Grade 4 52
 • Grade 5 58
 • Grade 6 49
 • Grade 7 66
 • Grade 8 69
 • Grade 9 78
 • Grade 10 69
 • Grade 11 74
 • Grade 12 71[1]
 • Other Enrollment is projected to decline to 686 by 2019[2]
Tuition for nonresident and charter school students ES - $9,563.44, HS - $10,546.22[3]
Website

The Rochester Area School District is a small, urban public school district in Beaver County, Pennsylvania. It serves the boroughs of Rochester and East Rochester, and the township of Rochester Township. Rochester Area School District encompasses approximately 5 square miles (13 km2). According to 2000 federal census data, it serves a resident population of 8,075 people. In 2009, the district residents’ per capita income was $16,567, while the median family income was $40,386.[4] In the Commonwealth, the median family income was $49,501[5] and the United States median family income was $49,445, in 2010.[6] According to District officials, in school year 2007-08, the Rochester Area School District provided basic educational services to 973 pupils. It employed: 86 teachers, 72 full-time and part-time support personnel, and 7 administrators. Rochester Area School District received more than $8.1 million in state funding in school year 2007-08.

The district operates two schools: Rochester Jr-Sr High School (7th-12th) and Rochester Elementary School (K-6th).

Academic achievement

Rochester Area School District was ranked 428th out of 498 Pennsylvania school districts by the Pittsburgh Business Times in 2012. The ranking was based on student academic achievement as demonstrated on five years of the PSSAs for: reading, writing math and three years of science.[7]

  • 2011 - 403rd[8]
  • 2010 - 422nd[9]
  • 2009 - 457th
  • 2008 - 390th
  • 2007 - 438th out of 501 school districts.[10]
Western Pennsylvania Region School ranking

The Rochester Area School District was ranked 88th out of 105 Western Pennsylvania School Districts in 2012 by the Pittsburgh Business Times. The ranking was based on the last three years of student academic performance on the PSSAs for: math, reading, writing and science.[11]

  • 2011 - 84th
  • 2010 - 88th[12]
  • 2009 - 95th[13]
  • 2008 - 80th

In 2012, the Pittsburgh Business Times also reported an Overachievers Ranking for 498 Pennsylvania school districts. Rochester Area School District ranked 39th. 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."[14]

  • 2010 - 43rd
  • 2009 - 81st[15]

In 2009, the academic achievement of the students of Rochester Area School District was in the 24th percentile among 500 Pennsylvania school districts. Scale - (0-99; 100 is state best)[16]

Graduation rate

In 2011, the graduation rate was 84%.[17] In 2010, the Pennsylvania Department of Education issued a new, 4-year cohort graduation rate. Rochester Area High School's rate was 74.26% for 2010.[18]

According to traditional graduation rate calculations

High school

Rochester Area High School is located at 540 Reno Street, Rochester. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, in 2010, the school reported an enrollment of 469 pupils in grades 7th through 12th, with 263 pupils eligible for a federal free or reduced-price lunch due to family poverty. The school employed 42.5 teachers, yielding a student–teacher ratio of 11:1.[22] According to a report by the Pennsylvania Department of Education, 14 teachers were rated "Non‐Highly Qualified" under No Child Left Behind.[23]

Local Region Academic Ranking

The Rochester Area Junior Senior High School's 11th grade ranked 108th out of 123 western Pennsylvania high schools based on three years of results in PSSAs on: reading, math writing and one year of science.[24]

In 2011, Rochester Area High School declined to School Improvement AYP status due to chronically low student achievement in reading and especially mathematics.[25] Under No Child Left Behind, the school administration was required to notify parents of the schools low achievement and to offer the students an opportunity to transfer to a successful school. Additionally, the Pennsylvania Department of Education required the high school administration to develop and submit for approval, a plan to raise student achievement in reading and math. Due to the low achievement the school was eligible to apply for federal School Improvement Grants. In 2010 the school was in the third year of Warning status due to lagging student achievement.

PSSA Results
11th Grade Reading
  • 2011 - 57% on grade level, (29% below basic). State - 69.1% of 11th graders are on grade level.[26]
  • 2010 - 60% on grade level (22% below basic). State - 66%[27]
  • 2009 - 62% on grade level. State - 65%
  • 2008 - 47%, State - 65%
  • 2007 - 64%, State - 65%[28]
  • 2006 - 55% (28% below basic). State - 65%
  • 2005 - 61% (29% below basic). State - 65%
11th Grade Math
  • 2011 - 37% on grade level (33% below basic). In Pennsylvania, 60.3% of 11th graders are on grade level.[29]
  • 2010 - 53% (35% below basic). State - 59%
  • 2009 - 50% State - 56%[30]
  • 2008 - 30%, State - 56%
  • 2007 - 45%, State - 53%
  • 2006 - 30%, (45% below basic). State - 52%[31]
  • 2005 - 24%, (44% below basic). State - 52%
11th Grade Science
  • 2011 - 18% on grade level (32% below basic). State - 40% of 11th graders were on grade level.[32]
  • 2010 - 38% (20% below basic). State - 39%
  • 2009 - 34%, State - 40%
  • 2008 - 11%, State - 39%[33]
  • 2007 - tested - scores not publicly released.

College remediation

According to a Pennsylvania Department of Education study released in January 2009, 33% of Rochester Area 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.[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.

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 at their high school. The college credits are offered at a deeply discounted rate. The state offers a small grant to assist students in costs for tuition, fees and books.[36] Under the Pennsylvania Transfer and Articulation Agreement, many Pennsylvania colleges and universities accept these credits for students who transfer to their institutions.[37] For the 2009-10 funding year, the school district received a state grant of $18,529 for the program.

Graduation requirements

The Rochester Area School Board has determined that a pupil must earn 27.5 credits to graduate, including: a required class every year in math 4 credits, English 4 credits, social studies 3 credits, science 4 credits, Physical Education 1 credit, Health 0.5 credit, Arts and Humanities 2 credits, Computers/Business 3 credits, Senior project 1 credit and electives 5 credits.[38]

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.[39]

Beaver County Career and Technical School students take a modified graduation plan. Students enrolled in a 2-year course must pass 12th Grade – English, Mathematics and Science and in 11th Grade – English, Mathematics, Science and The Holocaust.

By Pennsylvania School Board regulations, beginning with the graduating class of 2016, 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. Students’ Keystone Exam scores shall count for at least one-third of the final course grade.[40][41][42] 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.[43] Individual student, school or district reports were not made public, although they were reported to district officials by the Pennsylvania Department of Education.

AP courses

The school offers several AP courses: AP Chemistry, AP Calculus and AP English. The courses are weighted in regards to GPA and school ranking.

SAT scores

From January to June 2011, 50 Rochester Area School District students took the SAT exams. The district's Verbal Average Score was 432. The Math average score was 465. The Writing average score was 417.[44] Pennsylvania ranked 40th among states with SAT scores: Verbal - 493, Math - 501, Writing - 479.[45] 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.[46]

8th grade

In 2009, the 8th grade was ranked 110th out of 141 western Pennsylvania middle schools based on three years of student academic achievement in PSSAs in: reading, math writing and one year of science.[47] (Includes schools in: Allegheny County, Beaver County, Butler County, Fayette County, Westmoreland County, and Washington County

PSSA Results

8th Grade Science:

  • 2011 - 38% on grade level (36% below basic). State – 58.3% of 8th graders were on grade level.
  • 2010 - 40% (37% below basic). State – 57%[51]
  • 2009 - 57% (25% below basic). State - 55%[52]
  • 2008 - 33% (40% below basic). State - 52%[53]
  • 2007 - tested, but results not made public.

7th grade

Reading
  • 2011 - 55% on grade level (17% below basic). State – 76%
  • 2010 - 57% (17% below basic). State - 73%
  • 2009 - 52% (15% below basic). State - 71%
  • 2008 - 60% (16% below basic). State - 70%
  • 2007 - 40% (38% below basic). State - 67%
Math
  • 2011 - 62% on grade level (13% below basic). State - 78.6%
  • 2010 - 69% (14% below basic). State - 77%
  • 2009 - 63% (15% below basic), State - 75%
  • 2008 - 62% (21% below basic), State - 71%
  • 2007 - 57% (26% below basic), State - 67%

6th grade

Sixth grade was moved to the elementary school in 2009.

Reading
  • 2008 - 61% (19% below basic), State - 71%
  • 2007 - % (% below basic), State - 67%
Math
  • 2008 - 59% (22% below basic), State - 72%
  • 2007 - % (% below basic), State - 69%

Elementary school

Rochester Area Elementary School is located at 540 Reno Street, Rochester. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, in 2010, the school reported an enrollment of 454 pupils in grades kindergarten through 6th, with 318 pupils receiving a federal free or reduced-price lunch due to family poverty. The school employed 37 teachers, yielding a student–teacher ratio of 12:1.[54] According to a report by the Pennsylvania Department of Education, 100% of the teachers were rated "Highly Qualified" under No Child Left Behind.[55]

Local region ranking: In 2012, Rochester Area Elementary School fifth grade ranked 172nd out of 281 5th grades in the Western Pennsylvania region. The fourth grade ranked 240th out of 308 fourth grades and the Third grade ranked 128th out of 322nd third grades located in Western Pennsylvania region.[56]

In 2011, Rochester Area Elementary School declined to Warning AYP status due to chronic, lagging student achievement in reading. In 2010, Rochester Area Elementary School achieved AYP status.[57]

4th Grade Science
  • 2011 - 85%, (3% below basic), State – 82.9%
  • 2010 - 77%, (9% below basic), State - 81%
  • 2009 - 86%, (3% below basic), State - 83%
  • 2008 - 68%, (10% below basic), State - 81%
3rd Grade Reading
  • 2011 - 75%, (8% below basic), State – 77%
  • 2010 - 87%, (4% below basic), State - 75%
  • 2009 - 94%, (2% below basic), State - 77%
  • 2008 - 85%, (8% below basic), State - 70%
  • 2007 - 66%, (8% below basic), State - 72%
3rd Grade Math
  • 2011 - 88%, (2% below basic), State – 83%
  • 2010 - 91%, 54% advanced (1% below basic), State - 84%
  • 2009 - 88%, 44% advanced (0% below basic), State - 81%
  • 2008 - 83%, 40% advanced (3% below basic), State - 80%
  • 2007 - 64%, 235 advanced (19% below basic), State - 78%

Special education

In December 2010, the district administration reported that 204 pupils or 21% of the district's pupils received Special Education services. In December 2009, the district administration reported that 210 pupils or 24.1% of the district's pupils received Special Education services with 54% identified as having a specific learning disability.[63]

In 2010, the state of Pennsylvania provided $1,026,815,000 for Special Education services. This funding is in addition to the state's basic education per pupil funding, as well as, all other state and federal funding.[64] The Pennsylvania Special Education funding system assumes that 16% of the district’s students receive special education services. The state's funding formula also assumes that each student’s needs accrue the same level of costs.[65] The state requires each district to have a three-year special education plan to meet the unique needs of its special education students.[66] Overidentification of students, in order to increase state funding, has been an issue in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Some districts like Rochester Area School District have more than 20% of its students receiving special education services. Other Pennsylvania school districts have 10% of their supported through special education.[67]

Rochester Area School District received a $648,534 supplement for special education services in 2010 from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.[68] For the 2011-12 school year, 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.[69]

In 2009, Rochester Area School District was identified by the Pennsylvania Department of Education Bureau of Special Education for Least Restrictive Environment monitoring. One hundred ninety six schools districts were selected in 2008-09. The district received an alert letter from the PDE - Bureau of Special Education.[70] School districts were placed in one of three categories: Tier 1, Tier 2 or Tier 3. The district was placed in Tier 2 due to students placed in settings outside regular schools. The monitoring is a product of the Pennsylvania Department of Education addressing its voluntary settlement in Gaskin V. Pennsylvania. The settlement requires that special education students spend most of their school day (80%) in regular education classrooms with supplementary aids and services to assist them.[71][72][73] In 2010, the district was assigned to the Tier 1 monitoring list, due to students placed in other settings outside the school. Rochester Area School District was one of 20 school so cited in 2010. The district received a letter of “Alert” from the Pennsylvania Department of Education. Tier 1 districts received on-site monitoring by the Bureau of Special Education, in the spring of 2010.[74]

Budget

In 2007, the district employed 83 teachers with the average teacher salary in the district at $43,847 for 180 days worked.[75]

Rochester Area School District per pupil administrative costs were $963.62 per pupil in 2008. The district ranked 68th out of 500 school districts, for administrative spending per pupil in 2008. The lowest administrative cost per pupil in Pennsylvania was $398 per pupil.[76] In 2009, the superintendent, who has a Master's degree, was paid $103,750 in salary.

In 2008 the district administration reported that per pupil spending was $13,243 which ranked 158th among Pennsylvania's 501 school districts. In 2010, the per pupil spending had increased to $15,681.02 ranking 79th among all Pennsylvania public school districts.[77] Among the states, Pennsylvania’s total per pupil revenue (including all sources) ranked 11th at $15,023 per student, in 2008-09.[78] In 2007, the Pennsylvania per pupil total expenditures was $12,759.[79]

Reserves In 2008, the district reported a balance of $1,121,548 in an unreserved-designated fund. The unreserved-undesignated fund balance was reported as $289,000.[80] In 2010, Rochester Area Administration reported an increase to $1,082,589 in its unreserved-undesignated fund balance with $177,227 in the district's unreserved-designated 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.[81]

In November 2009, the Pennsylvania Auditor General's Office conducted a performance audit of the district. The findings were reported to the school board and administration.[82]

The district levies the following taxes: a property tax, a local earned income tax and a real estate transfer tax 0.5%. The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania exempts pension income and social security income from state income tax and local earned income tax regardless of the level of income.

State education funding

In 2011-12, the district received a $5,968,174, allocation, of state Basic Education Funding.[83][84] Additionally, Rochester Area School District received $86,839 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.[85] 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.[86] In 2010, the district reported that 593 students received free or reduced-price lunches, due to the family meeting the federal poverty level.[87]

In the 2010-2011 budget year, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania provided a % increase in Basic Education Funding for a total of $6,250,399. Among the 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, including seven Beaver County school districts. The highest increase in 2010-11 went to Kennett Consolidated School District in Chester County which received a 23.65% increase in state funding.[88] The state's hold harmless policy regarding state basic education funding continued where a 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 2009-2010 budget year, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania provided a 2.68% increase in Basic Education Funding for a total of $6,127,842. Among the districts in Beaver County, the highest increase went to Big Beaver Falls Area School District which got a 5.26%. The state Basic Education Funding to Rochester Area School District in 2008-09 was $5,968,174.01. Ninety school districts received a 2% increase, including six Beaver County school districts. Muhlenberg School District in Berks County received a 22.31% increase in state basic education funding in 2009.[89] The amount of increase each school district receives was set by Governor Edward G. Rendell and the Secretary of Education Gerald Zahorchak, as a part of the state budget proposal.[90]

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, Rochester Area School District applied for and received $235,704 in addition to all other state and federal funding. The district used the funding to provide full-day kindergarten and to fund teacher training to improve instruction.[91][92]

Education Assistance grant

The state's EAP funding provides for the continuing support of tutoring services and other programs to address the academic needs of eligible students. Funds are available to eligible school districts and full-time career and technology centers (CTC) in which one or more schools have failed to meet at least one academic performance target, as provided for in Section 1512-C of the Pennsylvania Public School Code. In 2010-11 Rochester Area School District received $27,332.[93]

Science It’s Elementary grant

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 2,847 teachers and 66,973 students across Pennsylvania.[94] 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 is a hands on instruction approach for elementary science classes that develops problem-solving and critical thinking skills.[95] 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.[96] The district was required to develop a three-year implementation plan for the participating school. They had to appoint a district liaison who was paid $3000 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. The 2006-07 State Education Budget provided $635 million in new spending for pre-K through 12th grades for the 2006-07 school year. This marks an 8-percent increase over 2005-06 public school funding.[97] The grant program was expanded to $14.5 million in the 2008-09 budget.

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. Rochester Area School District did not apply to participate in 2006-07 or in 2007-08. The district received $76,351 in 2008-09.[98] In County the highest award was given to area School District. 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.

Federal funding

The district received $1,193,135 in Federal Stimulus ARRA funds in 2009-2011. This was in addition to all regular state and federal funding.[99] These dollars must be focused on programs to improve the academic achievement of students receiving free and reduced-price lunch or special education students. According to the Pennsylvania Department of Education, 574 RASD students qualified for free or reduced-price lunch due to low family income in 2008.[100] The funding was limited to the 2009-10 and 2010-2011 school years.[101] 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

District officials did not apply for the federal Race to the Top grant which would have provided over one million dollars in additional federal funding to improve student academic achievement.[102] 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.[103] 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.[104][105][106]

Common Cents state initiative

Rochester School Board elected to not participate in the Pennsylvania Department of Education Common Cents program. Several Beaver County school districts did participate in the program. The program called for the state to audit the district, at no cost to local taxpayers, to identify ways the district could save tax dollars.[107] After the review of the information, the district was not required to implement the recommended cost savings changes.

Real estate taxes

Property tax rates in 2011-12 were set by the school board at 55.1799 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.[108] 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.[109]

  • 2010-11 - 55.1799 mills[110]
  • 2009-10 - 53.1799 mills.[111]
  • 2008-09 - 53.1800 mills.[112]
  • 2007-08 - 49.9900 mills.[113]
  • 20006-07 - 49.9900 mills.[114]

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.[115] In June 2011, the Pennsylvania General Assembly eliminated six of the ten exceptions to the Act 1 Index.[116] 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.[117][118]

The School District Adjusted Index for the Rochester Area School District 2006-2007 through 2011-2012.[119]

  • 2006-07 - 5.7%, Base 3.9%
  • 2007-08 - 5.0%, Base 3.4%
  • 2008-09 - 6.4%, Base 4.4%
  • 2009-10 - 6.0%, Base 4.1%
  • 2010-11 - 4.3%, Base 2.9%
  • 2011-12 - 2.1%, Base 1.4%
  • 2012-13 - 2.5%, Base 1.7%[120]

For the 2012-13 budget year, Rochester Area School Board did not apply for exceptions to exceed the Act 1 Index. 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.[121]

For the 2011-12 school year, the Rochester Area School Board did not apply for an exception to exceed the Act 1 Index. Each year, the 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.[122]

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.[123]

Rochester Area School Board did not apply for an exception to exceed the Act 1 index for the budget in 2011.[124] For the 2009-10 school budget, Rochester Area School Board also did not apply for an exception to exceed the Index.[125] 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.[126]

Extracurriculars

The district offers a variety of clubs, activities and sports. Eligibility to participate are determine in school board policy. Students who fail to complete summer school remediate classes can be denied participation in extracurriculars.

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.[127]

References

  1. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education, Rochester Area School District Enrollment and Projections, January 2009
  2. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education, Rochester Area School District Enrollment and Projections, July 2010
  3. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education, Tuition rates per LEA, 2011
  4. ^ US Census Bureau, American Fact Finder, 2009
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  12. ^ Pittsburgh Business Times, Local Honor Roll ranking, 2010
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  20. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education, Rochester Area School District Academic Achievement Report Card 2009, 2009
  21. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education, Rochester Area School District Academic Achievement Report Card 2008, 2008
  22. ^ National Center for Education Statistics, Common Care Data - Rochester Area High School, 2010
  23. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education, Professional Qualifications of Teachers Rochester Area High School, September 29, 2011
  24. ^ The Rankings: 11th grade, Pittsburgh Business Times, May 15th, 2009. http://pittsburgh.bizjournals.com/pittsburgh/stories/2009/05/18/focus16.html
  25. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education, Rochester Area High School AYP Overview, September 29, 2011
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  28. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education, PSSA Math and Reading results by School 2007, 2007
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  30. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education, 2009 PSSAs: Reading, Math, Writing and Science Results, September 14, 2009
  31. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education, Rochester Area High School Academic Report Card 2006, 20006
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  34. ^
  35. ^ National Center for Education Statistics, IPEDS Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System, 2008
  36. ^ http://www.scribd.com/doc/24901214/Pennsylvania-Department-of-Education-Dual-Enrollment-Guidelines-2010-2011 Pennsylvania Department of Education - Dual Enrollment Guidelines.
  37. ^
  38. ^ Rochester Area High School Administration, Rochester Area School District - 2011-12 Course of Studies, 2011
  39. ^ Pennsylvania Code §4.24 (a) High school graduation requirements
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  99. ^ Federal Stimulus funding for Rochester School District
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