Downingtown Area School District, Pennsylvania

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Downingtown Area School District
Downingtown, PA
DASD logo.png
District Profile
Superintendent:Dr. Lawrence Mussoline
Graduation rate:95.9%
Number of schools:16
Budget: $182.4 million
Website:School Home Page
Board of Education
Board president:Jane Bertone
Board members:9
Term length:4
Downingtown Area School District is a school district in Pennsylvania that serves the city of Downingtown. It is the 11th largest school district in Pennsylvania, serving 11,779 students in nine schools with an operating budget of $182.4 million.[1]

About the district

Downingtown Area School District is located in Chester County, Pennsylvania
Downingtown Area School District is located in Chester County, Pennsylvania. The county seat of Chester County is West Chester. According to the 2010 US Census, Chester County is home to 506,575 residents.[2]


Chester County outperformed the rest of Pennsylvania in terms of its average median rates of household income, poverty rate and higher education achievement in 2011. The median household income in Chester County was $86,264 compared to $51,651 for the state of Pennsylvania. The poverty rate in Chester County was 6.1% compared to 12.6% for the entire state. The US Census also found that 48.1% of Chester County residents aged 25 years and older attained a Bachelor's degree compared to 26.7% in Pennsylvania.[2]

Racial Demographics, 2012[2]
Race Chester County (%) Pennsylvania (%)
White 87.4 83.5
Black or African American 6.4 11.4
American Indian and Alaska Native 0.3 0.3
Asian 4.3 3.0
Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander 0.1 0.1
Two or More Races 1.6 1.7
Hispanic or Latino 6.8 6.1

Party Affiliation, 2013[3]
Party Chester County Registered Voters  % of Total
Republican 147,576 44.49
Democratic 125,440 37.81
Libertarian 2,094 0.63
Other 56,627 17.07

Note: The United States Census Bureau considers "Hispanic or Latino" to be a place of origin, not a race. Therefore, the Census allows citizens to report both their race and that they are from a "Hispanic or Latino" place of origin simultaneously. As a result, the percentages in each column of the racial demographics table will exceed 100.0%. Each column will add up to 100.0% after removing the "Hispanic or Latino" place of origin percentages.[4]


Dr. Lawrence Mussoline has been the superintendent of Downingtown Area School District since 2009. Mussoline has worked in various positions of Pennsylvania public education since 1979. He was previously the superintendent at Wilson School District and Pine Grove Area School District. Mussoline has also served as a college professor, a principal, an assistant principal, a coach and a teacher.[5]

School board

The Downingtown Area School Board is composed of nine members serving four-year terms.[6]

Pocono Mountain School District
Jackie Fenn Region 1 2015
Barbara Hurt-Simmons Region 2 2017
Carl K. Croft Region 3 2015
Bob Yorczyk Region 4 2017
Colleen Cranney Region 5 2015
Suzanne DiVito Simonelli Region 6 2017
Jane Bertone Region 7 2015
Barbara Albright Region 8 2017
Jaime Mehler Region 9 2015

School board elections

See also: Downingtown Area School District elections (2013)

Members of the Downingtown Area School Board are elected to four-year terms. Each election is held on the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November of odd-numbered years. Five seats are up for election in November 2015 and four seats are up for election in November 2017.

Public participation in board meetings

The Downingtown Area School Board maintains the following policy on public testimony during board meetings:[7]

Whenever issues identified by the participant are subject to remediation under policies and procedures of the Board, they shall be dealt with in accordance with those policies and procedures.

The Board requires that public participants be:

  • residents or taxpayers of this District or
  • anyone having registered a legitimate interest in a contemplated action of the Board.
  • anyone representing a group in the community or school district.
  • any representative of a firm eligible to bid on materials or services solicited by the Board.
  • any district employee.
  • any district student.

All individuals wishing to participate in a public Board meeting shall register their intent with the Board Secretary 10 days in advance of the meeting and shall include the name and address of the participant, topic to be addressed and group affiliation.

Participants must be recognized by the presiding officer and must preface their comments by an announcement of their name, address and group affiliation if applicable.

Each statement made by a participant shall be limited to 5 minutes duration.

No participant may speak more than once on the same topic, unless all others who wish to speak on that topic have been heard.

All statements shall be directed to the presiding office; no participant may address or question Board members individually.

The presiding officer may

  • interrupt or terminate a participant’s statement when the statement is too lengthy, personally directed, abusive, obscene, or irrelevant.
  • request any individual to leave the meeting when that person does not observe reasonable decorum
  • request the assistant of law enforcement officers to remove a disorderly person when his/her conduct interferes with the orderly progress of the meeting.
  • call a recess or adjournment to another time when the lack of public decorum interferes with the orderly conduct of the meeting.
  • waive these rules with the approval of the Board.

The portion of the meeting during which participation of the public is invited shall be limited to 40 minutes – unless a special exception has been made in advance of the meeting by the Board.

Electronic recording devices and cameras, other than those used as official recording devices, shall be permitted at public meetings under guidelines established by the Board.

No placards or banners will be permitted within the meeting room without prior approval.

The meeting agenda and all pertinent documents shall be distributed to the press and public at the meetings. [8]


Downingtown Area School District published its annual budget on their district website.[9]

Expenditures by Category
School Year Staff Expenses Student Services Operational Expenses Debt Service Other Budget Total
Total % of Budget Total % of Budget Total % of Budget Total % of Budget Total % of Budget
2012-2013 $111,392,720 61.1% $12,983,824 7.1% $11,694,446 6.4% $27,185,883 14.9% $19,143,326 10.5% $182,400,199
Averages: $111,392,720 61% $12,983,824 7% $11,694,446 6% $27,185,883 15% $19,143,326 10% $182,400,199

Teacher salaries

Teacher salaries are categorized based on higher education achievement, professional development and years of service. A teacher with a Bachelor's degree can earn higher salaries by pursuing graduate courses. The salary schedule also accounts for graduate degrees by providing higher starting salaries and greater potential salaries. The following table details the current salary schedule negotiated between the district and the Downingtown Area Education Association:[10]

Pocono Mountain Teacher Salaries
Salary structure Minimum salary ($) Maximum salary ($)
BA 46,250 71,509
BA + 24 47,700 72,965
MA 50,100 85,567
MA + 15 51,300 86,767
MA + 30 52,400 87,917
MA + 45 53,400 88,817
MA + 60 54,500 90,017
D 62,500 98,002

Schools in Dowingtown Area School District


The district served 11,779 K-12 students during the 2011-2012 school year. It has not published more recent enrollment statistics. The district experienced an 0.62% decrease in enrollment between 2007 and 2011. The following chart details enrollment in the district between 2007 and 2011:

Total enrollment[11]
Year Enrollment Year-to-year change (%)
2007-2008 11,707
2008-2009 11,827 1.03
2009-2010 11,823 -0.03
2010-2011 11,813 -0.08
2011-2012 11,779 -0.29

District schools

Downingtown Area School District operates 16 schools listed below in alphabetical order:[12]

Downingtown School District
Beaver Creek Elementary
Bradford Heights Elementary School
Brandywine Wallace Elementary School
Downington High School-West
Downingtown High School-East
Downingtown Middle School
Downingtown STEM Academy
East Ward Elementary School
Lionville Elementary School
Lionville Middle School
Pickering Valley Elementary School
Shamona Creek Elementary School
Springton Manor Elementary School
Uwchlan Hills Elementary School
West Bradford Elementary School

Academic performance

Adequate Yearly Progress

Academic performance statistics for the district are available via Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) reports. These reports provide measurements defined by the federal No Child Left Behind Act, which allow the U.S. Department of Education to determine the academic performance of every public school and school district across the country. In Pennsylvania, AYP measures student results for three indicators: attendance (for schools without a high school graduating class) or graduation rate (for schools with a high school graduating class), academic performance on standardized tests and test participation.

In order to be proficient in attendance, schools much achieve a 90% attendance rate or meet a target set in the previous year. The graduation rate measure has a goal of 85%, or a 10% reduction of the difference between the previous year's graduation rate and an 85% rate. For academic performance, the state goals for the 2011-2012 school year were 78% of students scoring at proficient or higher in mathematics and 81% of students scoring at proficient or higher in reading. For test preparation, at least 95% of all students in each subgroup must take the standardized tests.[13] Downingtown Area School District made AYP in 2011, but did not make AYP in 2012.[14]

District AYP scores
Performance Indicators 2011 2012
Attendance Y
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Graduation Rate Y
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Academic Performance Y
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Test Preparation Y
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Contact information

DASD logo.png
Downingtown Area School District

126 Wallace Ave
Downingtown, PA

Phone: (610) 269-8460

Website evaluation

Elected Officials
Administrative Officials
Audits N
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Public Records
Academics N
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Background Checks N
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School district websitesGuide.png
Transparency grading process

Last rated in April 2009.

The good

  • The names and contact information for all administrative officials are provided.[15]
  • The current budget is published.[16]
  • Information on taxes is provided.[17]
  • Information on bids is provided.[18]
  • School Employment contracts are posted.[19]
  • The names and contact information for all school board members are provided.[20]
  • School Board meeting schedules, agendas, and minutes are published.[21][22]
  • Information on public records is provided.[23]

The bad

  • There is no information on lobbying, academic performance, background checks, and audits.

See also

External links

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