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Parent displeased with ranking of Shippensburg Area Senior High School

26 February 2013 No Comment


SHIPPENSBURG — A Shippensburg area parent took exception to the inclusion of Shippensburg Area Senior High School on a list of the state’s lowest performing schools.

Duane Mowery of Newburg spoke Monday during the public comment section near the conclusion of a Shippensburg Area school board meeting.

“Evidently, the high school is underperforming compared to its peers,” said Mowery. “In fact, 85 percent of high schools are performing better than our high school. Because I’m not being paid to determined why and because I’m paying thousands of dollars each year for someone else to be concerned and knowledgeable about that, I have an expectation that this situation would not have occurred.”

Students attending SASHS have the option of attending another school at no charge. The Opportunity Tax Scholarship Program identifies schools performing in the bottom 15 percent of elementary or secondary schools in the state based on Pennsylvania System of School Assessment scores of the previous years.

The purpose of the program is to provide students in these low-performing schools the opportunity to apply for a scholarship to attend a participating public school or nonpublic school of their choice.

In addition to SASHS, the list included Chambersburg Area School District’s Benjamin Chambers and Thaddaeus Stevens elementary schools, Tuscarora School District’s St. Thomas Elementary School and Fannett-Metal School District’s middle school.

The list is in effect for the 2013-14 school year.

During Monday’s meeting, Assistant Superintendent Beth Bender updated the board about district officials’ latest meeting with Don Smith of the Center for Safe Schools. A meeting Monday included members from every department across the district and the inclusion of emergency services personnel in the region. The goal is to continue to update the district’s safety plan.

The board approved the Capital Area Intermediate Unit operating budget for 2013-14. Shippensburg’s portion of the bill is $33,986.

The board also voted 9-0 to “exclude” an unidentified student for the remainder of the 2012-13 school year. During the period of the exclusion, the student is not permitted on school property for any reason. The parent of the student waived their right to a formal student disciplinary hearing with the school board.

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