Back to school/East: Your school, from enrollment to taxes


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School is back in session, and in many east suburban public school districts that means new faces, new programs, new curricula and new technology. For some, it even means new or updated buildings.

Here are some highlights of this new school year, along with key facts -- including tax information -- about each district. Note that student enrollment figures are still in flux.

Not all districts could provide complete information.

For details on a specific district, contact that district's business office

Derry Area

2,000 students started Aug. 27.

Employees: 300

Buildings: Three

2012-13 budget: $31.76 million

There were no tax hikes or program cuts, but some programs were downsized.

Average tax bill: $1,045

New this year: A 6,000-square-foot fitness center at the high school.

There are ongoing upgrades to the stadium complex (new scoreboard, press box and track resurfacing). Roofs on the maintenance building and barn used for the agricultural programs were replaced.

New superintendent is David Welling; new assistant superintendent is Cheryl Walters; new middle school principal is Jeff Metzger; new elementary school associate principal is Rod Bisi; and new middle school dean of students is Lisa Dubich.

The district received a $964,000 federal Keystones to Opportunity grant for curriculum development and teacher training.

Website: derryasd.schoolwires.com

East Allegheny

1,760 students started Tuesday.

Employees: 250

Buildings: Three

2012-13 budget: $30.32 million

The tax rate has stayed at 27.54 mills since 2010, but home economics classes were cut this year.

Average tax bill: $1,200

New this year: Graphics has been reinstated as a high school elective.

Two new assistant principals, Angela McEwan and Betsy D'Emidio, were added to administrative staff.

The district will participate in the Pennsylvania Youth Survey through the Violence Prevention Task Force of the Allegheny Intermediate Unit and the Office of the District Attorney.

Website: www.eawildcats.net

Franklin Regional

School started Aug. 27 for 3,661 students.

Employees: 415

Buildings: Five

2012-13 budget: $47.90 million

The budget includes a 1-mill tax hike but no program cuts.

Average tax bill: $2,841

Website: www.franklinregional.k12.pa.us

Gateway

Opening day for the district's 3,600 students was Aug. 28.

Employees: 600

Buildings: Eight

2012-13 budget: $64.25 million

The district saw an 0.83-mill tax increase to 21.85 mills and no program cuts.

Average tax bill: Not available

New this year: Full-day kindergarten; new acting principal at Greene Elementary is Rocco Kelli.

Website: www.gatewayk12.org

Greensburg Salem

Opening day for the district's 2,631 students was Aug. 29.

Employees: 275

Buildings: Five

2012-13 budget: $39.66 million

A 1.72-mill tax increase was implemented and staff was reduced at both administrative and teacher levels.

Also cut was number of hours in after-school program.

Average tax bill: $1,312

New this year: E-Pride, the E-Academy for online learning and the Seventh Grade Academy, a career, college and community readiness program.

Website: www.greensburgsalem.org

Hempfield Area

Opening day for the district's 6,600 students was Aug. 27.

Employees: 890

Buildings: 11

2012-13 budget: $83.13 million.

A 1.47-mill tax hike was implemented this year to 71.6 mills, but no programs were cut.

Average tax bill: Not available

New this year: Renovations ongoing at Wendover Middle School; new lab at the high school arts program; district switched to Google for its email and will transition by January to Google applications.

Website: www.hempfieldarea.k12.pa.us

Jeannette

Opening day for the district's 1,110 students was Aug. 27.

Employees: 102

Buildings: Three

2012-13 budget: $17.2 million

Taxes increased by 1-mill, and no programs were cut.

Average tax bill: $673

New this year: Superintendent Matthew Hutcheson; high school principal Shelly Muti; and elementary school principal Pat Rozycki.

Website: www.jeannette.k12.pa.us

Greater Latrobe

Opening day for 4,195 students was Aug. 27.

Employees: 450

Buildings: Six

2012-13 budget: $48.96 million

The budget included a 1.5-mill tax hike to a total of 76 mills. No programs were cut.

Average tax bill: $1,946

Website: www.glsd.k12.pa.us

Norwin

Opening day for the district's 5,200 students was Aug. 21.

Employees: 625

Buildings: Seven

2012-13 budget: $58.92 million

This includes a tax increase of 1.45 mills to 67.25 mills. No programs were cut.

Average tax bill: $1,735

New this year: A new English Language Learners/English as a Second Language program. A new teacher has also been added to the curriculum, which uses traditional lessons along with technologies.

The district has also implemented a paperless report card and progress report system that sends the reports to parents and guardians electronically.

The district hired 20 new elementary, secondary and special education teachers.

Website: www.norwinsd.org

Penn Hills

3,829 students started school Aug. 28.

Employees: 785

Buildings: Five

2012-13 budget: $72.39 million

The district saw neither tax hikes, nor program cuts.

Average tax bill: Not available

New this year: The athletic field at the senior high school and soccer field at the middle school are being turfed.

In January, students will move into a new senior high school building.

The district started the academic year with a ninth-grade program to help students entering the high school with transition to a new building.

Website: www.phsd.k12.pa.us

Penn-Trafford

School opened Aug. 23 for 4,111 students.

Employees: 350

Buildings: Nine

2012-13 budget: $48.67 million

The budget includes a 1.6-mill tax hike to a total of 74.85 mills, but no program cuts.

Average tax bill: $1,860

New this year: Three elementary schools are piloting programs aimed at customizing student learning.

Middle school social studies classes will use iPads instead of textbooks.

Website: www.penntrafford.org

Woodland Hills

School opened Aug. 27 for 3,997 students.

Employees: 491

Buildings: 10

2012-13 budget: $82.07 million

The budget includes 1.2-mill tax hike and cuts to technology education at the junior high school and reduced staff in art, physical education and family consumer science.

Also, it cut back significantly the one-on-one reading program in the elementary school.

Average tax bill: Not available

New this year: Reopened the Rankin Elementary School and moved the Wolverine Promise Program, an alternative education program, to the facility and extended it to cover students in grades 1 to 12.

Website: www.whsd.k12.pa.us

education - neigh_east - neigh_westmoreland


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