North Star School District


North Star School District
North Star School District
Location
Somerset County, Pennsylvania
Information
Established 1969
Superintendent Mr. Dennis Leyman
Grades K-12
Athletics conference PIAA District V
Mascot Cougars
Website

The North Star School District in Boswell, Somerset County, Pennsylvania in the United States was formed in 1969 with the merger of predecssors Jenner-Boswell and Forbes school districts. The district includes the boroughs of Boswell, Stoystown, Jennerstown, and Hooversville and the townships Jenner and Quemahoning in Somerset County, Pennsylvania. The name North Star is taken from U.S. Route 219, the North Star Way, which runs through the District. That name for the highway has since fallen out of favor. The district encompasses approximately 102 square miles. According to 2000 federal census data, it serves a resident population of 9,519. According to District officials, in school year 2007-08 the NSSD provided basic educational services to 1,261 pupils through the employment of 114 teachers, 69 full-time and part-time support personnel, and 10 administrators.

Contents

Schools

  • North Star High School - Grades 9-12
400 Ohio St.
Boswell, Pennsylvania 15531
  • North Star Middle School - Grades 5-8
3598 Whistler Rd.
Stoystown, Pennsylvania 15563
  • North Star Elementary School - Grades K-4
1215 Morris Ave.
Boswell, Pennsylvania 15531

Academic achievement

North Star School District was ranked 295th out of 493 Pennsylvania school districts in 2010 by the Pittsburgh Business Times. The ranking was based on three years of student academic performance on the reading, writing, math and two years of science PSSAs.[1]

2009 - 294th
2008 - 308th out of 497 school districts
2007 - 357th out of 501 school districts.[2]

In 2009, the academic achievement of the students of the North Star School DIstrict was in the 51st percentile among 500 Pennsylvania School Districts. Scale - (0-99; 100 is state best)[3]

Graduation Rate

  • 2010 - 95%[4]
  • 2009 - 93%
  • 2007 - 96%[5]

North Star High School

In 2010 the high school is in '"Making Progress: in School Improvement I"' AYP Status due to lagging student achievement.

PSSA Results

11th Grade Reading

2010 - 62% on grade level. In Pennsylvania, 67% of 11th graders on grade level. (111 pupils enrolled)[6]
2009 - 60%, State - 65% (115 pupils enrolled)
2008 - 66%, State - 65% (108 pupils enrolled)[7]

11th Grade Math:

2010 - 51% on grade level. In Pennsylvania, 59% of 11th graders on grade level.
2009 - 45%, State - 56%[8]
2008 - 37%, State - 56%

11th Grade Science:

2010 - 30% on grade level. State - 39% of 11th graders were on grade level.
2009 - 38%, State - 40%[9]
2008 - 27%, State - 39%[10]

Challenge Program

The Challenge Program, Inc. offers $250.00 cash incentives to North Star SD sophomores, juniors, and seniors who excel in the categories of: Academic Improvement, Attendance, Community Service and Academic Excellence. The program partners with businesses to motivate students both in and out of the classroom by encouraging good habits in students that will last throughout their education and into their future careers. For the 2010-2011 school year, the top 10% of students in each of the categories will be eligible to win $250.00.[11]

College Remediation Rate

According to a Pennsylvania Department of Education study released in January 2009, 15% of the North Star 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.[12] 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.[13] 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. The state offers a small grant to assist students in costs for tuition, fees and books.[14] Under the Pennsylvania Transfer and Articulation Agreement, many Pennsylvania colleges and universities accept these credits for students who transfer to their institutions.[15]

For the 2009-10 funding year, the school district received a state grant of $8,950 for the program.[16]

Graduation requirements

The North Star School Board requires students to earn 24 credits to graduate including: English 4 credits, Mathematics 3 credits, Science 3 credits, Social Studies 4 credits, Arts and Humanities 1 credit, Physical Education/Health 1 credit, Computer Application 0.75 credit, Driver Ed 0.25 credit and Electives 7 credits.[17] Students must also score Advanced or Proficient in required areas of the PSSA test. Students not scoring at the Advanced or Proficient level on the PSSA retest area required to: attend a conference with a parent and to take the North Star Equivalency Test which is administered periodically during the second semester of the senior year and must pass it with a score of at least 60%.

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.[18] Projects must be community service or career oriented. The student must make a formal presentation of the project. Presentations must include a verbal presentation and one or more of the following: video, visual media, written material.[19]

Beginning with the class of 2015, students must take the Keystone Exams in reading and math.[20]

North Star Middle School

Eight Grade

Reading

2010 - 88% on grade level. In Pennsylvania, 81% of 8th graders on grade level. (111 pupils enrolled)
2009 - 79%, State - 80% (91 pupils)
2008 - 87%, State - 78% (111 pupils)

Math:

2010 - 85% on grade level. In Pennsylvania, 75% of 8th graders are on grade level.
2009 - 75%, State - 71%[21]
2008 - 82%, State - 70%

Science:

2010 - 57% on grade level. State - 57% of 8th graders were on grade level.
2009 - 36%, State - 55%.
2008 - 48%, State - 52%

Seventh Grade

Reading:

2010 - 80% on grade level. In Pennsylvania, 73% of 7th graders are on grade level. (82 pupils enrolled)
2009 - 78%, State - 71% (53 pupils enrolled)
2008 - 72%, State - 70% (63 pupils enrolled)

Math:

2010 - 93% on grade level. In Pennsylvania, 77% of 7th graders are on grade level.
2009 - 81%, State - 75%
2008 - 64%, State - 70%

Sixth Grade:'

6th Grade Reading:

2010 - 80% on grade level. State: 68% of 6th graders were on grade level. (94 pupils enrolled)
2009 - 71%, State - 67%
2008 - 87%, State - 67%

6th Grade Math:

2010 - 92% on grade level. State - 78% of 6th graders were on grade level.
2009 - 86%, State - 75%
2008 - 75%, State -72%

5th Grade Reading:

2010 - 65% on grade level. State - 64% of 5th graders were on grade level. (73 pupils enrolled)
2009 - 61%, State - 64%
2008 - 65%, State - 61%

5th Grade Math:

2010 - 83% on grade level. State - 74% of 5th graders were on grade level.
2009 - 92%, State - 73%
2008 - 79%, State - 73%

North Star Central Elementary School

NCES Student Handbook 2010 [1]

4th Grade Reading:

2010 - 72% on grade level. State - 72% of 4th graders were on grade level. (84 pupils enrolled)
2009 - 76%, State - 72% (69 pupils enrolled)
2008 - 72%, State - 70%

4th Grade Math:

2010 - 95% on grade level. State - 84% of 4th graders were on grade level.
2009 - 89%, State - 81
2008 - 93%, State - 79%

4th Grade Science:

2010 - 95% on grade level. State - 81% of 4th graders were on grade level.
2009 - 94%, State - 83%
2008 - 91%, State - 81%

3rd Grade Reading:

2010 - 85% on grade level. State - 75% of 3rd graders were on grade level. (76 pupils enrolled)
2009 - 84%, State - 77%
2008 - 84%, State - 77%

3rd Grade Math:

2010 - 93% on grade level. State - 84% of 3rd graders were on grade level.
2009 - 90%, State - 81%
2008 - 90%, State - 80%

Bullying policy

In 2009, the administrative reported there were one incident of bullying in the district.[22][23]

The North Star School Board Has not provided the bullying policy online.[24] All Pennsylvania schools are required to have an anti-bullying policy incorporated into their Code of Student Conduct. The policy must identify disciplinary actions for bullying and designate a school staff person to receive complaints of bullying. The policy must be available on the school's website and posted in every classroom. All Pennsylvania public schools must provide a copy of its anti-bullying policy to the Office for Safe Schools every year, and shall review their policy every three years. Additionally, the district must conduct an annual review of that policy with students.[25] The Center for Schools and Communities works in partnership with the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime & Delinquency and the Pennsylvania Department of Education to assist schools and communities as they research, select and implement bullying prevention programs and initiatives.[26]

Education standards relating to student safety and antiharassment programs are described in the 10.3. Safety and Injury Prevention in the Pennsylvania Academic Standards for Health, Safety and Physical Education.[27]

Special Education

In December 2009, the district administration reported that 221 pupils or 17% of the district's pupils received Special Education services.[28]

The 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.[29] 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, 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 Instructional Support Team or Student Assistance Team. 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 Department of Special Education.

Governance

The 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.[30] 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.[31]

Wellness policy

North Star School Board established a district wellness policy in August 2007 - Policy 246.[32] The policy deals with nutritious meals served at school, the control of access to some foods and beverages during school hours, age appropriate nutrition education for all students, and physical education for students K-12. The policy is in response to state mandates and federal legislation (P.L. 108 - 265). The law dictates that each school district participating in a program authorized by the Richard B. Russell National School Lunch Act (42 U.S.C. 1751 et seq) or the Child Nutrition Act of 1966 (42 U.S.C. 1771 et seq) "shall establish a local school wellness policy by School Year 2006."

The legislation placed the responsibility of developing a wellness policy at the local level so the individual needs of each district can be addressed. According to the requirements for the Local Wellness Policy, school districts must set goals for nutrition education and physical education that are aligned with the Pennsylvania State Academic Standards for Health, Safety and Physical Education, campus food provision, and other school-based activities designed to promote student wellness. Additionally, districts were required to involve a broad group of individuals in policy development and to have a plan for measuring policy implementation. Districts were offered a choice of levels of implementation for limiting or prohibiting low nutrition foods on the school campus. In final implementation these regulations prohibit some foods and beverages on the school campus.[33] Competitive foods are defined as foods offered at school other than through the National School Lunch or School Breakfast Programs and include a la carte foods, snacks and beverages; vending foods, snacks and beverages; fundraisers; classroom parties; holiday celebrations. The policy requires that the Superintendent or designee shall report to the Board on the district’s compliance with law and policies related to student wellness.

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

Enrollment

The district's enrollment is in the bottom 10% in Pennsylvania. According to the Pennsylvania Department of Education, there are fewer than 1100 students enrolled in K-12. The senior class of 2011 has 111 students, while the 7th grade has 73 students. Enrollment is projected to continue to decline by another 150 students by the 2018 academic year.[34] The administrative infrastructure and mandate related costs per pupil are very high. With limited local taxation resources, opportunities for students are limited.[35]

Consolidation with an adjacent school district would achieve substantial cost savings. These savings could be redirected to improving lagging student achievement, to enriching the academic programs or to reducing property taxes. In 1994, a consolidation study was conducted at the request of district officials. Based on the findings, the school board favored consolidation with Salisbury-Elk Lick School District which is experiencing a very low enrollment.[36] No action was taken.

Another study was done in 2004, examining consolidating school administrations of North Star School District with neighboring: Conemaugh Township Area School District saving over $1,000,000.[37] The study noted that consolidation could significantly decrease administrative costs for both communities while improving offerings to students.

Rural Pennsylvania school enrollment is projected to decrease 8 percent by 2011. The most significant enrollment decline is projected to be in western Pennsylvania, where rural school districts may have a 16 percent decline. More than 40 percent of elementary schools and more than 60 percent of secondary schools in western Pennsylvania are projected to experience significant enrollment decreases (15 percent or greater).[38]

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. Less than 95 of Pennsylvania's 501 school districts have enrollment below 1250 students, in 2007.[39] This results in excessive school administration bureaucracy and not enough course diversity.[40] In a survey of 88 superintendents of small districts, 42% of the 49 respondents stated that they thought consolidation would save money without closing any schools.[41]

Budget

In 2009, the district reported employing over 100 teachers with a salary range of $27,000 to $85,900 for 180 days. The median teacher salary is $51,750.[42] Additionally, teachers receive an extensive benefits package including: life insurance, health insurance, defined benefit pension, paid professional development, paid sick days and paid personal days.[43]

In 2007, the district employed 65 teachers. The average teacher salary in the district was $47,258 for 180 days worked.[44] 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.[45]

North Star School District administrative costs per pupil in 2008 was $659.77 per pupil. This ranked 369th for per pupil administrative spending in the state. The lowest administrative cost per pupil in Pennsylvania was $398 per pupil.[46] In July 2009, the school board awarded a 3 year contract to Shawn Kovac, for Superintendent, with a starting salary of $92,500.[47] 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.[48]

Per Pupil spending In 2008, the district reported spending $12,522 per pupil which ranked 217th among Pennsylvania's 500 school districts..[49]

Reserves In 2008, the district reported a $4,334,351 in a unreserved-undesignated fund balance. The designated fund balance was reported as zero.[50]

In March 2010, the Pennsylvania auditor General conducted a performance audit of the district. The findings were reported to the school board and the administration. It was concluded that the District did take appropriate corrective action to address the deficit fund balance of 2006.[51]

The district is funded by a combination of: a local income tax, a property tax, a real estate transfer tax, 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 person's wealth.[52]

State basic education funding

For the 2010-11 budget year, the North Star School District was allotted a 2.82% increase in Basic Education Funding for a total of $7,715,289. The highest increase in Somerset County was provided to North Star School District and Somerset Area School District both of which received a 2.82% 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.[53] The amount of increase each school district receives is set by the Governor and the Secretary of Education as a part of the state budget proposal given each February.[54]

In the 2009-2010 budget year, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania provided the district with a 3.22% increase in Basic Education Funding for a total of $7,503,837.[55] Somerset Area School District received a 4.87%, the county's highest increase. The state Basic Education Funding to the district in 2008-09 was $3,230,215. Ninety Pennsylvania school districts received a 2% increase. Muhlenberg School District in Berks County received a 22.31% increase in state basic education funding in 2009.[56]

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 the district applied for and received $254,868 in addition to all other state and federal funding. The North Star School District uses the funding to provide training for teachers to improve their instruction through teacher coaches, to increase instructional time for students through before and after school tutoring, to implement research based instruction changes.[57][58]

Education Assistance Grant

The state's Education Assistance Program 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 the North Star District received $28,598.[59]

Classrooms for the Future grant

North Star School District officials did not apply for funding in any of the three funding years. Fifty school districts failed to participate in this state funding. 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.[60]

Federal Stimulus grant

The district received an extra $1,039,361 in ARRA - Federal Stimulus money to be used in specific programs like special education and meeting the academic needs of low income students.[61] The funding is for the 2009-10 and 2010-2011 school years.[62]

According to the Pennsylvania Department of Education, 603 students qualified for free or reduced lunch due to low family income in 2008.[63]

Race to the Top Grant

School district officials did not apply for the Race to the Top federal grant which would have meant hundreds of thousands of additional federal dollars for improving student academic achievement.[64] The administration, school board and teachers' union prioritized free resources to improve student success over local control. 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.[65][66][67]

Common Cents state initiative

The North Star School Board declined to not participate in the Pennsylvania Department of Education Common Cents 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.[68] 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 2010 were set at 31.1000 mills.[69] 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 the region.

  • 2009 - 31.1000 mills.[70]
  • 2008 - 31.1000 mills[71]

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.[72]

The School District Adjusted Index for the North Star School District 2006-2007 through 2011-2012.[73]

2006-07 - 5.6%, Base 3.9%
2007-08 - 4.9%, Base 3.4%
2008-09 - 6.3%, Base 4.4%
2009-10 - 5.9%, Base 4.1%
2010-11 - 4.2%, Base 2.9%
2011-12 - 2.0%, Base 1.4%

The North Star School Board did not apply for exceptions to exceed the Act 1 Index for the budget year 2010-2011.[74] 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.[75]

Property tax relief

In 2010, the Homestead/Farmstead Property Tax Relief from gambling for the North Star School District was $159 per approved permanent primary residence. In the district, 2,417 property owners applied for the tax relief.[76] 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 and must be the primary residence of the owner. Farmers can qualify for both the homestead exemption and the farmstead exemption. In Somerset County, 47% of eligible property owners applied for property tax relief in 2009.[77] In Somerset County, the highest amount of tax relief in 2010, went to Shanksville-Stonycreek School District at $211. 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.[78] This was the third year they were the top recipient.

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.[79]

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%).[80]

Extracurriculars

The district offers a variety of clubs, activities and sports. Eligibility for participation is determined by school board policy.[81]

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.[82][83]

Athletics

Notable alumni

Joseph Darby , who in April 2004 The Pentagon credited as the lone soldier who came forward to halt and expose the Abu Ghraib prisoner-of-war abuse scandal in Baghdad, Iraq, is a graduate of North Star High School. Darby received the 2005 Profile in Courage Award from the John F. Kennedy Foundation.

References

  1. ^ Statewide Honor Roll Rankings 2010, Pittsburgh Business Times, April 30, 2010.
  2. ^ USC Ranked Best School District In Pa.; Complete List, WTAE, May 17, 2007.
  3. ^ 2009 PSSA RESULTS North Star SD, The Morning Call, 2009
  4. ^ North Star School District Academic Achievement Report Card Data table
  5. ^ Pennsylvania Partnerships for Children - High School Graduation rate 2007
  6. ^ 2009-2010 PSSA and AYP Results
  7. ^ 2007-2008 PSSA and AYP Results
  8. ^ 2009 PSSAs: Reading, Math, Writing and Science Results
  9. ^ 2008-09 School Level Science PSSA Results
  10. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education Report on Science PSSAs 2008, released August 2008.
  11. ^ The Challenge Program Participating Districts 2010
  12. ^ Pennsylvania College Remediation Report, Pennsylvania Department of Education January 20, 2009
  13. ^ National Center for Education Statistics, IPEDS 2008
  14. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education - Dual Enrollment Guidelines.
  15. ^ Pennsylvania Transfer and Articulation Agreement. site accessed March 2010.
  16. ^ Pennsylvania Dual Enrollment Grants 2009 10 Fall Grants by School District
  17. ^ North Star Schools Student Handbook page 26
  18. ^ Pennsylvania Code §4.24 (a) High school graduation requirements
  19. ^ North Star Graduation Project Packet 2010
  20. ^ Pennsylvania’s New Graduation Requirements
  21. ^ 2009 PSSAs: Reading, Math, Writing and Science Results Pennsylvania Department of Education Report
  22. ^ North Star SD School Safety Annual Report 2008 - 2009
  23. ^ Pennsylvania Safe Schools Online Reports
  24. ^ North Star School District Policies web page accessed Dec 14, 2010.
  25. ^ Regular Session 2007-2008 House Bill 1067, Act 61 Section 6 page 8
  26. ^ Center for Safe Schools of Pennsylvania, Bullying Prevention advisory
  27. ^ Pennsylvania Academic Standards
  28. ^ North Star SD Special Education Data Report LEA Performance on State Performance Plan (SPP) Targets School Year 2008-2009
  29. ^ http://district.nscougars.com/administration/special%20education%20information.html North Star SD Annual Public Notice of Special Education Services and Programs 2010]
  30. ^ Pennsylvania Public School Code Governance 2010
  31. ^ The Commonwealth Foundation for Public Policy Alternatives. "The Pennsylvania Project". http://sunshinereview.org/index.php/Pennsylvania_school_districts. Retrieved May 20, 2010. 
  32. ^ North Star School District Policy Manual
  33. ^ Nutrition Standards for Competitive Foods in Pennsylvania Schools for the School Nutrition Incentive, Pennsylvania Department of Education — Division of Food and Nutrition. July 2008
  34. ^ Pennsylvania Public School Enrollments
  35. ^ School District Consolidation Fact Sheet
  36. ^ Pennsylvania Economy League, School Consolidation Study 1994.
  37. ^ Pennsylvania Legislative Budget and Finance Committee, Study of the Cost Effectiveness of Consolidating Pennsylvania School Districts, 2007 Part 2 page 68.
  38. ^ "Research Analyzes Rural School District Enrollment and Building Capacity", The Center for Rural Pennsylvania. October 2009
  39. ^ Pennsylvania Legislative Budget and Finance Committee, Study of the Cost Effectiveness of Consolidating Pennsylvania School Districts, 2007.
  40. ^ Rendell, E. & Soderberg, M. (2009). Pennsylvania school district consolidation. 2009-10 Executive Budget Fast Facts. Pennsylvania Office of the Governor.
  41. ^ Study of the cost-effectiveness of consolidating Pennsylvania districts. New York: Standard & Poor’s School Evaluation Services. 2007, p. 6.
  42. ^ Pa. Public School Salaries, Asbury Park Press 2009
  43. ^ North Star School District Teachers Union Contract
  44. ^ Fenton, Jacob, Average classroom teacher salary in Somerset County, 2006-07. The Morning Call. accessed March 2009.
  45. ^ Teachers need to know enough is enough, PaDelcoTimes, April 20, 2010.
  46. ^ Fenton, Jacob. Pennsylvania School District Data: Will School Consolidation Save Money?, The Morning Call, Feb 2009.
  47. ^ Kuhne, Michael, North Star hires new superintendent. Daily American. October 21, 2009
  48. ^ Public School Salaries 11th Annual, Pennsylvania School Board Association, October 2009
  49. ^ Per Pupil Spending in Pennsylvania Public Schools in 2008 Sort Spending
  50. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education report on Fund Balances by Local Education Agency 1997 to 2008
  51. ^ NORTH STAR SCHOOL DISTRICT SOMERSET COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA PERFORMANCE AUDIT REPORT AUGUST 2009
  52. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Revenue Personal Income Taxation Guidelines. accessed April 2010
  53. ^ PA Basic Education Funding-Printout2 2010-2011 Pennsylvania House Appropriations Committee Education Budget information.
  54. ^ Governor's Budget Proposal 2009, The Pennsylvania Department of Education Budget Proposal 2009, Office of Budget, February 2009.
  55. ^ Pennsylvania Basic Education Funding 2009-2010 October 2009
  56. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education - Funding Allocations by district, October 2009
  57. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education - Accountability Block Grant report 2010, Grantee list 2010
  58. ^ Accountability Block Grant Mid Year report
  59. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education - Educational Assistance Program Funding 2010-2011 Fiscal Year
  60. ^ Pennsylvania Auditor General CFF grants audit 12/22/08
  61. ^ Somerset County ARRA FUNDING
  62. ^ School stimulus money, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, March 12, 2009.
  63. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education School District Funding Report. October 2009.
  64. ^ Pennsylvania's 'Race to the Top' Fueled by Effective Reforms, Strong Local Support
  65. ^ Race to the Top Fund, U.S. Department of Education, March 29, 2010.
  66. ^ Pennsylvania Race to the Top Letter to Superintendents
  67. ^ Pennsylvania Race to the Top -School Districts Title I Allocations 2009-10
  68. ^ Common Cents program - Making Every Dollar Count
  69. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education Finances_Real Estate Tax Rates 2010-11
  70. ^ Real Estate Tax Millage by School District, Pennsylvania Department of Finance. 2009
  71. ^ Pennsylvania School District Real Estate Tax Rates 2008-09
  72. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education 2010-11 Act 1 of 2006 Referendum Exception Guidelines.
  73. ^ Special Session Act 1 of 2006 School District Adjusted Index for 2006-2007 through 2010-2011, Report prepared by Pennsylvania Department of Education, May 2010.
  74. ^ Pennsylvania SSAct1_Act1 Exceptions Report 2010-2011 April 2010
  75. ^ Scarcella, Frank and Pursell, Tricia, Local school tax assessments exceed state averages. The Daily Item, May 25, 2010
  76. ^ SSAct1_Property Tax Relief Per HomeStead_5!1!10 Pennsylvania
  77. ^ Special Report Pennsylvania Property Tax Relief, Pennsylvania Auditor General Office, 2-23-2010.
  78. ^ Tax Relief per Homestead 2009, Pennsylvania Department of Education Report May 1, 2010
  79. ^ Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program
  80. ^ New Census Data on Property Taxes on Homeowners, Tax Foundation, September 22, 2009.
  81. ^ North Star School District Policy Manual Extracurricular Policy 122 and Interscholastic Athletics Policy 123
  82. ^ Home-Schooled, Charter School Children Can Participate in School District Extracurricular Activities, Pennsylvania Office of the Governor Press Release, November 10, 2005
  83. ^ Extracurricular Participation By Home Education Students Policy 137.1

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