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Wellsboro Area School District | Tioga Freedomist
Wellsboro Area School District
Wellsboro Area School District

Wellsboro Area School Board Candidate John Hoover answers our questions:

What will you do differently that the current office holders are not already doing?

I would communicate more openly with the community, looking for their input through surveys and through longer School Board meetings that share more openly with the public. I would allow the community to be part of the discussions that create board policy, from the beginning, not just in the end.

What makes you most uniquely qualified for the position for which you are running?

I am a 4th-grade teacher in the Southern Tioga School District. Being a teacher in the thick of meeting the rigorous PA Common Core demands allows me to relate to the needs of students and teachers.


In 100 words or less, what is the most important information about yourself and your campaign that you would want to share with our readers?

I have been a Wellsboro resident for 15 years. I have two children attending WASD. I am a 4th-grade teacher in Southern Tioga School District.


After the passage of the resolution to fund the new athletic facilities by restricting and refinancing public bonds, where do you stand with the school board decision?

I am disappointed that the current school board directors did not keep their promise to not use public funds. I am also disappointed that the current school board did not listen to the voices of the community when making their decision. Unfortunately, the hands of a new school board may be tied by the decisions of a previous board. I will move forward with a positive attitude, working positively with administration and the rest of the school board to make responsible decisions for the community and the students.


Would you take a vow to not raise taxes to fund the new athletic facilities?

Yes. I will not raise taxes solely to fund a new athletic facility.


Do you support Common Core in our schools? If yes, why?   If no, what would you do to lessen its presence in the schools?

I do support Common Core in our schools. The PA Common Core works toward creating students that think at a higher level to analyze and solve problems. The Common Core asks students to study a subject closely and deeply and to then apply their knowledge.


Last year, a student was punished for having a paintball gun in his car. Do you believe the student faced a fair punishment for this infraction? If so, why? If not, would you have supported a stronger punishment or a more lenient punishment or would you have punished the student at all?

I am not aware of all the details in this case. However, I do believe that consistency is important when disciplining students. There are policies that must have zero tolerance. Safety is the number one priority in today’s educational environment.

John Hoover is a part of a group calling themselves “Vote 4 Positive Change”. You can view their Facebook page here.  These four are Duane Cotner, John Hoover Tim McCratic and Denise Sherman.

To see more of the candidates on video, go to Wellsboro Home Page.

Duane Cotner is a challenger in the Wellsboro Area School Board race.  The incumbents up for re-election are Carl Chambers, Chris Gastrock, Steve Kramer, John Peropat, and Lana Shabloski.  The challengers are Duane Cotner, John Hoover, Blake Maxson, Denise Sherman and Craig West.  Here are his answers:

What will you do differently that the current office holders are not already doing?   I would listen to the public and would like the school board to be transparent. I feel our current school board chooses not to hear what the public is saying. The latest example is the stadium project. I would like to see the committee meetings moved from the middle of the day when most people are working to the evening. This way the public can attend

What makes you most uniquely qualified for the position you are running for?  I feel I am qualified for the School Board Director because because I have 2 children in the district, a concerned taxpayer as I watch school taxes being raised to index, and I believe in representing the voters who put me in office. I consider myself as someone who has the same views, beliefs and work ethic as the general community. I don’t believe we should live above our means.

In 100 words or less, what is the most important information about yourself and your campaign that you would want to share with our readers? The campaign is all about making positive change to the current school board. We need a school board that is transparent and takes into consideration the impact their decisions makes on the taxpayer and community. The current board members who voted yes for the stadium project are not concerned about adding $7.2 million and 5 more years to the districts debt. They are playing a “shell game” by telling us we are saving now but in the end we are have more debt for a longer period of time. This is the same board and superintendent that promised not to use taxpayers funds to build the stadium. If elected I would hold true to my commitments to the community. I would like to to see more invested in technical classes, music and the arts, and supplying our teachers with the tools they need to make an impact on the future graduates.

Do you see defending our civil rights as granted by the Bill of Right as a priority?  Please explain your position:  Yes. As it pertains to the daily functions of the Wellsboro Area School District.

Do you believe in trying to reduce regulations or increase regulations?  Please explain your position.  After the passage of the resolution to fund the new athletic facilities by restricting and refinancing public bonds, where do you stand with the school board decision? The district should of chose to refinance the bonds which would of lowered our debt payments and provided us with a refund of $800,000. We could of added the $355,000 from the foundation and still been able to utilize the RACP grant. By doing this we could of made the repairs to the track and the field. We could of changed the lighting, bathrooms, bleachers, and etc. as the foundation raised the money. If elected I would do what I can to make sure the project has minimal effect on the taxpayer. It is not too late to still hold the commitment to our community.

Would you take a vow to not raise taxes to fund the new athletic facilities? I don’t feel it is right that we are seeing a tax increase this year at the index, building a new stadium, and we still have a deficit for next year’s school budget of over $600,000 which the district is covering with the reserve account. At what point will the reserve account run out. At the last school board meeting one our school board members made the comment we can expect school taxes to be raised to index every year going forward. To me this means we are living above our means and don’t need to be adding more debt. We do not need to be using taxpayers money to build the stadium. The superintendent committed to the community to not use tax dollars to build or maintain the field after it is built. That was to be done by the foundation. We need to honor that commitment to the community.

Do you support common core in your school?  If yes, why?   If no, what would you do to lessen its presence in the school? Yes. Common core defines the knowledge and skills students should have to be successful following graduation.

Last year, a student was punished for having a paintball gun in his car.  Do you believe the student faced a fair punishment for this infraction?  If so, why?  If not, would you have supported a stronger punishment or a more lenient punishment or would you have punished the student at all?  I feel the situation was handled poorly. The administration hastily made a decision that could have altered the student’s life dramatically. The superintendent met with the family to discuss expulsion prior to meeting with the board. I would have asked for all the details then recommended some lower level of action without upsetting the family and taking the chance of altering the student’s future.

Duane Cotner is a part of a group calling themselves “Vote 4 Positive Change”. You can view their Facebook page here.  These four are Duane Cotner, John Hoover Tim McCratic and Denise Sherman.

To see more of the candidates on video, go to Wellsboro Home Page.



STAFF WRITER-  Tioga Freedomist was asked by one of our followers to share this Facebook page so that everyone is aware of options leading up to the May primary in Wellsboro.  These are some of the candidates for WASD School Board.

You may follow their Facebook page by going here and clicking the “Like” button: https://www.facebook.com/Vote4PositiveChange?fref=ts.

vote4positivechange WASD 2015


The Wellsboro School Board meeting preparing to vote on one of the two resolutions.
The Wellsboro School Board meeting preparing to vote on one of the two resolutions.
The Wellsboro School Board meeting preparing to vote on one of the two resolutions.

Editor’s Note:  We are still working on the article about last night’s school board meeting, but we wanted to share some highlights of the article we will post later this evening;

Diane Eaton- The $3.5 million “stadium” project now has a new funding source following action taken by the Wellsboro Area Board of Education during their regular meeting on Tuesday, April 14.

By a vote of 5-4, the board approved two separate resolutions. Voting in favor of both were: Carl Chambers, Stewart Burrous, Steven Kramer, John Peropat and Lanna Shabloski. Voting no to both resolutions were: Chris Gastrock, Wayne Hackett, Matthew Feil and Susan Rudy……

Les Bear, public finance managing director for Robert W. Baird & Co. of Exton, Pa., said the debt service would include the money the school district needed for permanent financing for the athletic facility improvements some of which is covered by donations and the $1 million Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program grant, which can only be used to fund the project once the work is completed…..

John Shaffer, Wellsboro boys’ soccer head coach and Matt Hildebrand, Wellsboro head football coach, each cited reasons why improvements should be made. Shaffer said that because of the conditions on the field, five players – two from Wellsboro and three from visiting teams – suffered serious noncontact injuries this year. “Visiting teams will not want to come to the facility and put their students in danger of being injured. The facility has to be fixed. Even if minor repairs are done to the field, it will quickly go back to its previous condition unless major structural changes are made.”

Wellsboro resident Mike Wood said at Tuesday’s meeting of the Wellsboro Area Board of Education, “If you take $1 million for the stadium, you are going to pay an extra $1 million in interest on that loan. You people stated in the beginning that no tax money would be used for this facility. What are you telling the kids when the school board does an about face and tries to use tax money to pay for it?”

Editor’s Note: A petition has already been created to call the school board to reverse its decision.  The petition was started on change.org and states, “Taxes are already high enough, with many in the community barely making ends meet without receiving an increase in taxes to fund an unnecessary new sports complex when the initial plan was to build one with private funding. Just because they’ve spent time planning this complex, and were unable to meet their end of the bargain with their private funding, no taxpayer should be liable for their shortcoming. Even after public outcry against taxpayers dollars being used to make up the remaining difference, the school board voted in favor of it. Please help us wake up our school board members, and remind them that frivolous spending with others money will not be tolerated.”

We have much more on this which we will share later.

Here is a link to that petition- Click Here

SUSAN LAURIE GRAVER-  Tioga Freedomist is excited to share news of two scholarship opportunities for 2015 graduating seniors of Wellsboro High School and for home schooled students:

American Legion $1000 Scholarship

The American Legion W. Earle Champaign Post 84 of Wellsboro invites all graduating seniors of Wellsboro High School and home schooled students graduating in 2015 to compete for their annual $1000.00 scholarship. Competitors should submit a minimum 500-word essay on the subject “What does patriotism mean to me?”

American Flag and Eagle

Veterans of Foreign Wars $1000 Scholarship

The Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) Post 4907 of Wellsboro invites all graduating seniors of Wellsboro High School and home schooled students graduating in 2015 to compete for their annual $1000.00 scholarship. Competitors should submit a minimum 500-word essay on the subject “How did the Vietnam War experience influence today’s society?”

The packets describing the requirements for each essay contest is available at the Wellsboro High School guidance office or by contacting Clare R. Emery at paalpost84@yahoo.com.

The essays must be completed and returned to the WHS guidance office no later than Friday, May 1, 2015. The members of Legion Post 84 and VFW Post 4907 will select the winners for their scholarships and award the scholarships at Wellsboro High School’s graduation ceremony.


Lady Tigers win Districts, one of several local teams moving on to the first round of the PIAA State Playoffs
Lady Tigers win Districts, one of several local teams moving on to the first round of the PIAA State Playoffs
Lady Tigers win Districts, one of several local teams moving on to the first round of the PIAA State Playoffs

Susan Laurie Graver- Local High School basketball teams are making some moves into this year’s state playoffs, with one team winning a district championship.  First, let’s look at the results of some of the big district games, then we’ll let you know which schools are playing, when and where in the first  round of the state playoffs.

North Penn Mansfield girls beat Millville 55-47 to capture first D4 Class A championship since 2006. Mariah Berguson had 18 points and Ali Hillson 16. Kaitlyn Garverick scored her 1000th point in the win. Congratulations to NPM as they play on in States.

Loyalsock captured the D4 Class AA title, beating Wellsboro 54-35. Both teams move on to state playoffs.

North Penn Mansfield boys beat Cowanesque Valley 52-45 to claim third place in D4 Class A action. Bo Burleigh had 24 in the game for NPM. The Tigers have punched their ticket for state playoffs. Well done, NPM!

Sayre girls fell to Lourdes 58-36 in Class A girls’ 3rd place district game.

Athens girls fell to Lewisburg 38-33 in AAA D4 final. Athens also moves on to States.

Towanda boys defeated Danville 67-61 in OT, for third place in D4 Class AA. Noah Huff had  44 points in Towanda’s victory. The team now moves on to the State playoffs. Congrats!

Now here’s the upcoming PIAA State Basketball Playoff schedule for our local teams:

– Mansfield boys Class Al state playoff game has been changed. They will now be playing Millersburg High School on Friday, March 6 at 5:00 p.m. at Harrisburg High School.

All  of the following games are held on Saturday, March 7th.

– Wellsboro boys take on Mahanoy Area in AA State playoff at 2:30PM at Martz Hall in Pottsville.

– Towanda boys take on Mid-Valley at 1PM in AA action at Lackawanna College.

– Mansfield girls versus Halifax in round one of Class A States at 2PM at Williamsport HS.

– Athens girls take on Conrad Weiser at 1:30PM at Governor Mifflin School.

Tioga Freedomist wishes good luck to all these fine athletes in States and encourages you to plan to attend some games & support our local teams – You are sure to see some excellent basketball!

SUSAN LAURIE GRAVER-  For those of you who like to attend/follow local sports, here is the playoff schedule for District 4 basketball playoffs:





  • North Penn Mansfield will play Millville for the Class A district championship on Saturday at Montoursville, 6 PM
  • Sayre will  play Lourdes Regional on Saturday at 1 PM at Sullivan County for third place in the district in Class A.
  • Athens will play Lewisburg in the AAA district final at Noon Saturday at Montoursville.


  • Wellsboro Hornets will play Loyalsock for the Class AA district championship at Montoursville on Saturday at 8 PM
  • North Penn Mansfield will play Cowanesque Valley on Saturday at Noon at Wellsboro for third place in the district in Class A.
  • St. John Neumann will play Meadowbrook Christian for the Class A district championship on Saturday at Montoursville at 2 PM.
  • Towanda will play Danville on Friday at Loyalsock at 7 PM for third place in the district in Class AA.

We encourage you to come out this weekend and support these fine local teams from our area.  Good luck to one and all from Tioga Freedomist!

Susan Laurie Graver-  The Wellsboro Hornets boys’ basketball team was down 20-36 at halftime tonight and fought back for their 52-48 victory versus Towanda at MU.  They will play Loyalsock for the D4 Class AA championship!!!

wellsboro hornet

Kieron Smethers scored 25 points in the win (20 in 2nd half) and Pietropola had 17.

Tioga Freedomist will be cheering you on as you advance to the final district game and beyond.  Good luck, Hornets!

tioga freedomist sports watch logo

Paul Gordon Collier- The Hornets’ Senior QB, Michael Pietropola, received Class A All-State honors for the second year in a row.  He was voted onto the team by the Pennsylvania Football Writers.  ieitropola finished the year with over 2,000 yards passing, racking up a Wellsboro Hornets’ record 6,150 passing yards for his high school career.

As Peitropola accepted the award,, he said, “It’s an honor to be an all state quarterback and to do it two times is an awesome feeling.  Being named all-state puts you among the very elite players in the state of Pennsylvania and to be named with them is an amazing feeling. I wouldn’t be here today with out my great teammates, my great coaches, and my great family. They all do so much for me and without them none of this would be possible so I would like to thank everyone that has helped me get here. I am very blessed to receive this honor.”

Bryce Zaparzynski,  Senior Running Back/Defensive Back for North Penn-Mansfiel, also was voted on to the All-star team as a defensive back. Zaparzynski also excelled as a running back, rushing for over 1000 yards this season and scoring 15 touchdowns.  As a Defensive Back, Zaparzynski snagged 5 interceptions, blocked two field goals, and registered 37 tackles.

By Bill Collier, Editor- The Wellsboro Area School District has announced a dramatic change to their transportation policy which some parents are rather concerned about, based on the number of inquiries we have had. First, the actual release from Wellsboro School District, followed by the concerns raised by our readers:

Taken from this website…

Safety – The Driving Force of Transportation Policy Change Wellsboro Area School District announces a transportation policy revision for the 2014-15 school year citing safety as the motivation.   

WELLSBORO, PA –  Effective the start of the 2014-15 school year, Wellsboro Area School District will be operating under a newly revised transportation policy which will apply to all students riding school buses to/from school.

This school board approved revision represents a step toward greater student safety and school district accountability.  According to Brian Kennedy, Transportation Coordinator, “When transporting students, we are held to the highest standard and we cannot afford to make mistakes.  Such a great responsibility must be accompanied by stringent guidance to make the business of transporting students safer and more manageable.”   

The revised policy will allow students one consistent pick-up location in the morning and one consistent drop-off location in the afternoon (a student’s morning and afternoon stops may be different locations).  Bus stops must be outside the walk zone and must be a home, daycare, or meeting spot as directed by the school district.  
Students are permitted to ride only their assigned bus to and from their approved stops; bus passes, giving permission to ride a bus other than assigned, will be used only in the case of emergency at the discretion of building principals.   

Over the years, schedules of stop locations have become increasingly complicated, varying from day to day and week to week, putting excessive pressure on drivers, staff, and faculty to get students to the correct location on the correct day. 

Accommodating these ever-changing stop requests and variable schedules takes a great deal of time and creates an additional demand on drivers’ attention.  Under the new policy, drivers can be more focused on safely traveling roads and managing a safe environment on the bus.   

“This policy revision will require some adjustment from parents”, added Kennedy, “but I’m confident the transition will be made smoothly, particularly as parents understand the safety of their children is at the heart of this decision.  Ultimately, it’s a choice between convenience and safety.  Safety is clearly the priority.”    For a look at the complete transportation policy, Click HERE  Questions may be directed to the offices of each school building or to the administrative office, 570-724-4424.


Now on to the concerns.

The new policy allows parents to set one consistent stop in the morning and one stop for returning home. The return stop can be different than the morning stop, but it has to stay the same all year.

Often, students do not simply go home: they go to friend’s houses because the parents are not around due to work, they may come from a split home and go to another parent’s house on alternating weeks, or they may go to a baby sitter’s house until the parents get off from work but only a few days a week.

While the policy will certainly simplify life for the school officials and bus drivers, it is argued that is could make hash of parent’s schedules.

The argument for the policy seems to be that with so many changes in schedules kids can get let off at the wrong place or they can not get on the bus and that is missed because it is assumed that they took a different bus home. A confusing schedule could help students skip school, it might be argued, or go home with a friend instead of home against their parent’s wishes. They could forge a parental permission slip, for instance.

But for many parents who need to have their children ride a different bus home on different days (if they work only three weekdays and need to have their child go to a baby sitter those days and come home the other two days, for instance) for legitimate needs this policy allows no flexibility. It is the same bus stop to school, and the same bus stop home, and even though the morning and afternoon stops can be different, the schedule cannot change- the same bus you ride to school is your only bus, the same bus you ride home is your only bus all year, period.

The counter argument to the school’s safety concerns is that now a good number of children might have to come home to empty houses or might have to go to a baby sitter’s or a friend’s house even when their parents are home because the parents or parent work different schedules, and for single parents this could force them to find a different job. So for those parents, the argument is that this effort to make kids safer might make their children less safe.

You decide: is this the right policy? Contact the school and attend school board meetings to ask questions, show suport, or oppose the new policy.


wellsboro high school graduation 6 12 14

The Wellsboro Home Page covered the 2014 Wellsboro Baccalaureate.  They produced a highlight video we are sure our readers will enjoy.

From the Wellsboro Home Page:
Today on Wellsboro Home Page we feature highlights from the Baccalaureate Service held last night at  Wellsboro High School.  The service included personal reflections from a number of students, including our own Morgan Koziar of Wellsboro Home Page.  Other personal reflections were shared by Katie Benelli, Blake Gamble, Harley Heichel, and Blair Carson.  The service began with a processional to music titled “Tranquility” by author and pianist Elise Becker.  The welcome was handled by Alexis Whittle, Senior Class President.  The invocation was presented by Joanna Wagner.

Go to the Wellsboro Home Page to watch the highlights and read more.


This Thursday, December 12th, there will be a concert at the Wellsboro High School featuring John Berry.  The concert will be held at 7pn.  The concert is being sponsored by KC101.  It is being held to raise funds for their “Charity of Choice”.

This year, KC101 has chosen the Animal Care Sanctuary as their “Charity of Choice”.  Animal Care Sanctuary could use your help in spreading the word about the concert, as well as your support.  They will be at the concert, selling a number of items, including concessions.  Some of the items include ‘dog and cat goodies’ and ACS apparel.

The concert is also being sponsored by the Deane Center.

christmas with john berry


Sayre finishes strong to finish off the Hornets in a Varsity Boys Basketball showdown.  Sayre led early and held the lead throughout the game.  The closest Wellsboro got after Sayre’s initial 17-10 run to start the game was to get within 6 at the end of the 3rd quarter in a 38-32 score.  Nate Williams of Sayre led all scorers with 21 points while Senior Joey Doganiero led the Hornets with 14 points.  Wellsboro falls to 1-1 as they prepare for a showdown with North Penn tomorrow night (December 12th).

Teams at work. By Lonny Frost
North Penn Panthers receive a lot of hometown love and support.  Photo by Lonny Frost
North Penn Panthers receive a lot of hometown love and support. Photo by Lonny Frost

Wellsboro Goes Undefeated As Hundreds of North Penn Fans Support Their Panthers

By Lonny Frost

Blossburg’s North Penn Panthers took the field in style as a crowd of over 1,000 came to watch what some believe is the last Panther game in town.

The Panthers were the first to score with 6-0 shortly into the first quarter.  However, the Wellsboro Hornets scored in the second quarter and took the lead with 6-7.

This blurry shot was taken as the Panthers were the first to score.  Photo by Lonny Frost
This blurry shot was taken as the Panthers were the first to score. Photo by Lonny Frost

The Hornets continued to score repeatedly through the rest of the game claiming the win with a score of 42 over the Panthers score of 6.  This means that Wellsboro is still undefeated and will be heading into the District 4 playoffs.

Getting ready for the throw.  Photo by Lonny Frost
Getting ready for the throw. Photo by Lonny Frost

Although the Panthers lost, they still have a chance to secure a bid to the Eastern Conference playoffs, which is a tournament the Panthers won in 2011.


Here is our Sports Editor’s take on the game:

Varsity Football- Hornets crush Panthers

Paul Gordon Collier

In a game with the Morton F. Jones trophy on the line, the undefeated Wellsboro Hornets and the surprisingly hot North Penn Panthers engaged in what many saw as a potential epic battle between two talented teams.  The Hornets were playing for an undefeated season while the Panthers were playing for a chance to secure a place in the playoffs.

Things started off in the right way for the Panthers, who scored first to take an early 6-0 lead.  The score remained that way until 8 minutes into the second quarter, when Senior Jermain Brooks broke into the end zone from 4 yards out.  The extra point gave the Hornets a lead they would never relinquish.

Five minutes later, Brooks struck again, this time with a 36 yard TD run that gave the Hornets a 14-6 lead.  The half would end with a touchdown pass from Junior Michael Pietropola to Senior Dylan Prough.  From that point on, the game was never in doubt as the Hornets finished off North Penn 42-6.record

The star of the game for the Hornets was Jermain Brooks, who scored 4 touchdowns on the night.  It was also a breaking night for Senior Wide Out Brandon Owlett, who became the first Hornets receiver to catch for over 1000 yards in a season.  He also passed Dave Gibson for first place in TD receptions in a single season with 17.

The Hornets’ D was stifling, holding the explosive Panthers to 132 yards.  North Penn stand-out Bryce Zaparzynski accounted for 46 of those yards on the ground, finishing up with over 1,000 rushing yards on the season.  The win secured their first NTL title in 36 years.

Up next for the Hornets is a class IVA playoff showdown with South Williamsport at Mansfield University Thursday, November 7th.  The Panthers will have to wait to see if they get an at-large bid to the Eastern Conference playoffs.






School performance information is now available online for the 2012-2013 school year for many Pennsylvania schools. Pennsylvania schools are given an academic score ranging from 0 to 100. There are also 7 additional extra credit points possible. Over 2300 public schools have their performance information available publicly online, though the scores for 600 schools are not available. Cowanesque Valley’s score, for instance, will not be accessible until January 2014.

The scores come with a price, however. It cost a whopping $2.7 million in all to build the school scoring system. The yearly maintenance cost? A cool $838,000 a year.

Links and press release below for more information:

PA State Government- PA Governor Tom Corbett

After school officials questioned the accuracy of information, the state Department of Education went ahead Friday with releasing its new School Performance Profiles for more than 2,300 public schools but withheld scores for about 600 others.

The profiles include first-time academic scores — based on a range of 0 to 100, plus up to 7 more points for extra credit — which are the closest Pennsylvania has ever come to giving grades to schools.

The state spent $2.7 million over three years developing the system, which is expected to cost $838,000 a year to maintain.


Department of Education Releases 2012-13 School Performance Profile


Tioga County- http://paschoolperformance.org/59/Districts

Wellsboro School District- http://paschoolperformance.org/494/Schools

Wellsboro High School- 83.8 Academic Performance- http://paschoolperformance.org/Profile/5866

Southern Tioga School District- http://paschoolperformance.org/436/Schools

Liberty Jr/Sr High School – 66.8 Academic Performance- http://paschoolperformance.org/Profile/585

Mansfield Jr/Sr High School-  76.8 Academic Performance- http://paschoolperformance.org/Profile/5860

North Penn Jr/Sr High School- 63.5- http://paschoolperformance.org/Profile/5861

Northern Tioga School District- http://paschoolperformance.org/321/Schools

William High School- 67.8 Academic Performance – http://paschoolperformance.org/Profile/5856

Cowanesque Valley- Academic Performance Not Available- http://paschoolperformance.org/Profile/5852

“Academic Performance Data is not currently available due to corrections the school will make in its end-of-course designations for students taking the Keystone Exams. This school’s School Performance Profile (SPP) academic performance data will be available by January 2014. Current data, not corrected for the end-of-course designations, may be available sooner upon request from the Local Education Agency (LEA).”

News for Immediate Release
Oct. 4, 2013
Department of Education Releases 2012-13 School Performance Profile
Harrisburg – The Pennsylvania Department of Education today released the new School Performance Profile that will show the academic performance of the state’s public schools.
Today’s launch includes a profile for nearly 2,400 of Pennsylvania’s 3,000 public schools that reported accurate and timely data to the department, said Acting Secretary of Education Carolyn C. Dumaresq.
For the first time, parents, taxpayers and educators will have access to a comprehensive, straight-forward and user-friendly resource that will provide detailed information on the quality of public schools, including traditional public schools, brick-and-mortar and cyber charter schools, as well as career and technology centers.
“This new system brings together multiple academic indicators that are proven to provide a full overview of academic growth and achievement in our public schools,” Dumaresq said. “I am very pleased to see that many of our public schools are doing well by students and providing them with educational programs that will lead them to be successful in higher education, the workforce and the military.”
The reason for this partial release is to accommodate the requests of 626 schools that reported errors in their Keystone Exams’ student growth measurements. The department determined that as a result of a lack of accurate data reported from these schools, their full performance profile will be suppressed until mid-December to allow for data corrections.
The affected schools will have an opportunity to make corrections to their Keystone Exams growth data prior to the School Performance Profile being available for all of Pennsylvania’s public schools in December.
In addition, the compare feature in the School Performance Profile will not be available until the December update.
Purpose of the School Performance Profile
The School Performance Profile serves several purposes: to provide the public with comprehensive information about the academic performance of public schools; to satisfy requirements of Pennsylvania’s approved federal No Child Left Behind waiver; and to be used as a required component of Pennsylvania’s new educator evaluation system, which was signed into law in 2012.
Dumaresq noted that the profile does not only rely on static achievement results of the third- to eighth-grade Pennsylvania System of School Assessments (PSSA) and end-of-course Keystone Exams, but considers other measures of student academic achievement.
Additional indicators include how much a student grows academically from one school year to the next, as shown by the Pennsylvania Value Added Assessment System; graduation rate; attendance rate; promotion rate; and how a school focuses on increasing the achievement of all students, including historically underperforming students, such as English language learners and economically disadvantaged students.
“We cannot lose sight of the fact that the mission of our public schools is to help all students become successful adults,” Dumaresq said. “The School Performance Profile will not only highlight areas of excellence but will focus on areas where attention is needed to increase student achievement.”
Approved No Child Left Behind Waiver
In August, the U.S. Department of Education approved the state’s No Child Left Behind waiver request to improve Pennsylvania’s public education system in three areas: making sure all of our students are college and career ready; developing recognition and accountability standards for all public schools; and improving and supporting effective classroom teachers and building principals.
“It is imperative for the future of Pennsylvania that students graduate high school with college- and career-ready credentials regardless of their career path,” Dumaresq said. “The state has developed high-quality assessments to make sure students achieve those academic standards.’’
Recognizing academic achievement and holding public schools accountable are essential to ensuring that taxpayer dollars are being invested in education programs that benefit students.
Through the use of the School Performance Profile, Pennsylvania citizens will be able to determine the quality of the educational programs in their schools and how students are performing.
New Educator Evaluation System
The new educator evaluation system, signed into law last year by Governor Tom Corbett, will assess educators on multiple measures of student achievement, including the School Performance Profile; provide schools with access to comprehensive resources to improve classroom instruction; and provide information for schools to target resources for professional development of educators.
The new evaluation system is in place this year for classroom teachers and will be in place in the 2014-15 school year for principals and specialists.
Adequate Yearly Progress Eliminated
Pennsylvania’s federal No Child Left Behind waiver eliminated the adequate yearly progress designation – a single measure of success – for each school building and school district. The School Performance Profile, which uses multiple measures of student achievement, takes its place and will be used to measure academic progress of all public schools.
Title I schools, those with a high percentage of low-income students, will receive a federal designation of “Priority,” “Focus” or “Reward” based on four annual measurable objectives:
 Student participation on the math and reading PSSAs and the algebra I, biology and literature Keystone Exams;
 Student graduation or attendance rate;
 Closing the achievement gap of all students – reducing by 50 percent the number of students who score below grade level on the PSSA, Keystone Exams and the Pennsylvania Alternate System of Assessment (PASA) over a six-year period; and
 Closing the achievement gap of historically underperforming students – reducing by 50 percent the number of students with disabilities, economically disadvantaged and English language learners who score below grade level on the PSSA, Keystone Exams and the PASA over a six-year period.
“Reward” schools are the highest performing Title I schools based on the PSSAs and Keystone Exams and met each of the Annual Measurable Objectives. These schools will receive the Keystone Award and be eligible to compete for collaboration and/or innovation grants.
Schools designated as “Priority” or “Focus” will have access to intervention and support services through the state Department of Education to assist them in improving student achievement.
Non-Title I schools will receive a School Performance Profiles score rather than a federal designation, but will also have access to all the interventions and supports available.
Governor Corbett’s Commitment to Student Achievement
Under Corbett’s leadership during the last three years, the department has developed and implemented resources and support systems for voluntary use by all public schools to help all students succeed, Dumaresq said.
The Standards Aligned System (SAS) – www.pdesas.org – is a comprehensive, researched-based resource developed to improve student achievement. This web-based system identifies six components that impact student academic success: standards, assessments, curriculum framework, instruction, materials and resources, as well as safe and supportive schools.
SAS offers a broad range of resources, such as voluntary model curriculum; curriculum mapping and alignment with academic standards; learning progressions, which provide guidance on when subject-specific concepts should be introduced to students based on grade level; professional development resources; best practices; and the ability for educators statewide to share materials and strategies to raise student achievement.
To date, nearly 160,000 users have registered to access the site with a total of more than 33 million visits.
Also available on SAS is a Classroom Diagnostic Tool, which is a voluntary online assessment, designed to provide educators with information about student achievement in reading, math and science in grades 3 to 12. Results of the assessment are designed to provide educators with information in order to guide classroom instruction, remediation and enrichment.
As part of the state’s approved federal No Child Left Behind waiver, the department will deploy Academic Recovery Liaisons to federally designated “Priority” schools in an effort to improve education in Pennsylvania’s lowest-performing schools.
These individuals will play an important role in improving student performance by working with school leaders and teachers to assist them in identifying and using resources available through Pennsylvania’s 29 intermediate units, the department’s Training and Technical Assistance Network, institutions of higher education, and other education associations and groups.
School improvement strategies will focus on the effective use of data, implementing college- and career-ready standards through alignment of curriculum and assessments, employing educator effectiveness protocols, creating a positive school climate and increasing family engagement.
In partnership with First Lady Susan Corbett, the department has developed an Opening Doors Early Warning System to be used by schools to assist in identifying students who may be at risk for dropping out of school.
This voluntary computer-based system will analyze three key indicators that may indicate that a student is at risk for dropping out of school: attendance, behavior and academic record.
The critical piece to the system is a catalog of school- and community-based intervention resources that schools can steer students toward to stay on track to graduate.
In the current school year, four school districts are piloting the Early Warning System. It is planned for the system to be available to all public schools across the state in the 2014-15 school year.
“Governor Corbett is committed to ensuring that academically struggling schools have access to high-quality resources to drive quality instruction, thus improving
student achievement,” Dumaresq said. “The School Performance profile highlights areas of need and matches them with interventions and resources.”
The School Performance Profile can be accessed by visiting the department’s website at www.education.state.pa.us and clicking on the “PA School Performance Profile” icon.
Media contact: Tim Eller, 717-783-9802

From the PA Governor’s Office

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The Lady Hornets remain undefeated thanks to a 3-1 victory over rival Cowanesque Valley.  The volleyball match started out well for the Lady Indians, who beat Wellsboro 25-21, only to be blown out in the next 3 games, 25-8, 25-9, and 25-13.  The star of the game for Wellsboro was Senior Kaelyn Keane, who notched 12 kills, 4 blocks, 12 digs, and 9 points.

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North Penn and Wellsboro engaged in what would turn out to be an epic girls’ tennis match, with the final victory coming at the end of a super-tie-breaker.  The teams battled back and forth, trading victories, coming down to the last and deciding match, a doubles match, between Jourdyn Buckheit and Savannah Alexyn of North Penn and Bailey Corse and Maddy Clemens of Wellsboro.  North Penn won the first set 6-3, with Wellsboro taking the second set 7-5.  The tiebreaker went to North Penn, 10-6, with the win delivering the match as well.  The loss for Wellsboro moves them to a disappointing 0-6.

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Wellsboro Hornets coach Matt Hildebrand will be holding parent meetings this week.  This is a significant week for Hildebrand and the parents as this is the coach’s inaugural year at the helm of the Hornets’ Varsity Football Program.

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First year head football coach Matt Hildebrand will hold his mandatory parent meeting this week.

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If you are part of the Wellsboro School District and have a property valued at $100,000 or more, expect to pay more in taxes. Wellsboro Area School Board passed a new budget for next year that would increase the real estate mileage by 1.46 in Tioga County. The net result is that those with property valued at $100,000 could face $146 per year more in real estate taxes.

The board voted unanimously in favor of the tax increase, with one board member, Glenn Poirier, absent.

Even after the tax increase, the Budget was projected to have a $36,102 shortfall, which was met by drawing funds from the general fund committed reserves for future retirement expenses and  the general fund committed reserves for future health insurance expenses.  Each fund contributed $18,501 to meet the deficit.

The budget follows a 1.8 percent tax increase in 2011 and and 1.4 percent tax increase in 2012.