Pocono Mountain School District, Pennsylvania

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Pocono Mountain School District
Swiftwater, PA
PMSD logo.jpg
District Profile
Superintendent:Dr. Elizabeth Robinson
Graduation rate:83%
Number of schools:9
Budget: $197.9 million
Website:School Home Page
Board of Education
Board president:Meg Dilger
Board members:9
Term length:4
Pocono Mountain School District is a school district in Pennsylvania that serves the city of Swiftwater. It is the 16th largest school district in Pennsylvania, serving 10,176 students in nine schools with an operating budget of $197.9 million.[1]

About the district

Pocono Mountain School District is located in Monroe County, Pennsylvania
Pocono Mountain School District is located in Monroe County in eastern Pennsylvania. According to the 2010 United States Census, Monroe County is home to 168,798 residents.[2]


Monroe County underperformed in comparison to the rest of Pennsylvania in terms of higher education achievement in 2011. The United States Census Bureau found that 23.2% of Monroe County residents aged 25 years and older had attained a Bachelor's degree compared to 27.0% for Pennsylvania as a whole. The median household income in Monroe County was $57,773 compared to $52,267 for the state of Pennsylvania. The poverty rate in Monroe County was 11.7% compared to 13.1% for the entire state.[2]

Racial Demographics, 2012[2]
Race Monroe County (%) Pennsylvania (%)
White 80.3 83.5
Black or African American 14.5 11.4
American Indian and Alaska Native 0.5 0.3
Asian 2.3 2.7
Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander 0.1 0.1
Two or More Races 2.4 1.7
Hispanic or Latino 14.0 6.1

Presidential Voting Pattern[3]
Year Democratic Vote (%) Republican Vote (%)
2012 56.4 42.3
2008 58.0 41.0
2004 49.7 49.6
2000 49.6 46.8

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 percent. Each column will add up to 100 percent after removing the "Hispanic or Latino" place of origin percentages.[4]


The superintendent of Pocono Mountain School District is Dr. Elizabeth Robinson. Robinson previously served as Pocono Mountain School District's deputy superintendent and has held a number of educational positions within the district, ranging from elementary school principal to reading specialist.[5]

School board

The Pocono Mountain Board of Education is composed of nine members serving four-year terms.[6]

Pocono Mountain School District
Annabella Lastowski Region 1 Cross filed 2017
Meg Dilger Region 1 Cross filed 2015
Dawn Wood Region 1 Cross filed 2017
Ricky D. Smith Region 2 Cross filed 2017
John Coyle Region 2 Cross filed 2017
Rusty Johnson Region 2 Republican 2015
Michael A. Stern Region 3 Democratic 2017
Jacquelyn Leonard Region 3 Cross filed 2015
John Davis Region 3 Cross filed 2015

School board elections

See also: Pocono Mountain School District elections (2013)

Members of the Pocono Mountain Board of Education are elected to four-year terms. Each election is held on the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November of odd-numbered years. Four seats are up for election in November 2015 and five seats are up for election in November 2017.

Public participation in board meetings

The Pocono Mountain Board of Education maintains the following policy on public testimony during board meetings:[7]

1. Purpose

The Board recognizes the value to school governance of public comment on educational issues and the importance of involving members of the public in Board meetings.

2. Authority

In order to permit fair and orderly expression of such comment, the Board will provide a period for public participation and adopts the rules set forth herein to govern such public participation in Board meetings.

Public participation on agenda items only shall be permitted prior to consideration by the Board of agenda items listed for formal action. Public participation on nonagenda items shall be permitted following Board action on agenda items and prior to the meeting being adjourned. Individual participation or comments shall be limited to three (3) minutes.

3. Delegation of Responsibility

The presiding officer at each public Board meeting will follow the rules of the Board for conduct of public meetings in accordance with this policy and Policy 006.

The presiding officer shall be guided by the following rules:

  • 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 these policies and procedures.
  • Where existing policies and procedures provide for referral of items to the administration, teaching staff or others prior to consideration by the Board, the presiding officer may require such referral prior to direct presentation to the Board at a public meeting.
  • The Board requires that public participants be residents or taxpayers of this district.
  • Participants must be recognized by the presiding officer and must preface their comments by an announcement of their name, address, and group affiliation if appropriate.
  • 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 officer; 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, repetitive of previous statements, or irrelevant.
  • Request any individual to leave the meeting when that person does not observe reasonable decorum.
  • Request the assistance of law enforcement officers in the removal of a disorderly person when that person's conduct interferes with the orderly progress of the meeting.
  • Call a recess or an adjournment to another time when the lack of public decorum so interferes with the orderly conduct of the meeting as to warrant such action.

Electronic recording devices and cameras other than those used as official recording devices will be permitted at meetings providing that the use of the same does not unduly interfere with, interrupt or inconvenience the conduct of the meeting as determined by the presiding officer.

No placards or banners will be permitted within the meeting room or on school grounds without prior approval of the Superintendent.

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


Pocono Mountain School District's annual budget can be found on the school district's 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
2013-2014 $167,457,701 84.6% $2,453,209 1.2% $999,800 0.5% $19,095,741 9.6% $7,918,549 4% $197,925,000
Averages: $167,457,701 85% $2,453,209 1% $999,800 1% $19,095,741 10% $7,918,549 4% $197,925,000

Teacher salaries

Pocono Mountain School District employed 1,065 teachers during the 2013-2014 school year. 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 Pocono Mountain Education Association:[10]

Salary structure
Education achievement Minimum salary ($) Maximum salary ($)
BA 24,482 51,199
B.A. + 6 40,059 41,090
B.A. + 12 40,981 53,331
B.A. + 24 44,288 66,638
B.A. + 30 45,354 67,704
MA 45,044 68,770
MA + 6 47,486 69,836
MA + 12 48,552 70,902
MA + 24 50,340 73,034
MA + 30 51,606 74,100
MA + 48 54,947 77,297
MA + 54 58,248 78,363
MA + 60 59,314 79,429
D 77,194 81,664

Schools in Pocono Mountain School District


The district served 10,176 K-12 students during the 2011-2012 school year. It has not published more recent enrollment statistics. The district experienced an 11.6% 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 11,506
2008-2009 11,260 -2.1
2009-2010 10,929 -2.9
2010-2011 10,693 -2.2
2011-2012 10,176 -4.8

District schools

Pocono Mountain School District operates nine schools listed below in alphabetical order:[12]

Pocono Mountain School District
Clear Run Elementary Center
Clear Run Intermediate School
East High School
East Junior High School
Swiftwater Elementary Center
Swiftwater Intermediate School
Tobyhanna Elementary Center
West High School
West Junior High 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] Pocono Mountain 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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600px-Red x.png
Academic Performance Y
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Test Preparation Y
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State audit

An audit performed in 2013 found a number of issues within the Pocono Mountain School District. Primarily, the report noted that the district received too much money from the state because of inaccurate data keeping. The district received approximately $165,000 more than it should have from the state because of miscalculated enrollment numbers. According to the Pocono Record, similar mistakes were discovered in the district's previous audit. The audit report also noted an extreme budget deficit in the district. It found a general fund deficit of nearly $12 million for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2012, nearly $19 million for 2011 and about $3.5 million for 2010. The report attributes the problem to declining revenues from property taxes and declining enrollment because of area unemployment.

A third observation found that previous superintendent Dwight Pfennig received a $12,162 payment to his tax sheltered annuity retirement plan that was neither in his contract nor approved by the board. According to district spokeswoman Wendy Frable, the board approved the superintendent to defer a portion of his salary to a 403(b) account to maximize tax savings for both him and for the district. The amount matched an approved amount from the previous year and the board approved it again. However, the documentation does not reflect the breakdown between the salary amount and the annuity amount, which was an oversight by the district.[15]

Contact information

PMSD logo.jpg
Pocono Mountain School District

135 Pocono Mountain School Road
Swiftwater, PA 18370

Phone: (570) 839-7121

Website evaluation

Last rated on April 6, 2009.

Taxes N
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Elected Officials
Administrative Officials
Contracts N
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Audits N
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Public Records
Academics N
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Background Checks

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Transparency grading process

The good

  • The current budget is published.[16]
  • The names and contact information for all administrative officials are provided.[17]
  • The names and contact information for all school board members are provided.[18]
  • Information on public records is provided.[19]
  • School board meeting schedules, agendas, and minutes are published.[20]
  • Information on required background checks is provided.[21]

The bad

  • There is no information on taxes, academic performance, audits, and contracts.

See also

External links

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  1. Pocono Mountain School District, "Home," accessed January 6, 2014
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 United States Census Bureau, "Monroe County, Pennsylvania," accessed January 7, 2014
  3. The New York Times, "Election Results," accessed September 26, 2013
  4. United States Census Bureau, "Frequently Asked Questions," accessed April 21, 2014
  5. Pocono Record, "Pocono Mountain School District names new superintendent," July 14, 2011
  6. Pocono Mountain School District, "Board of Education," accessed January 6, 2014
  7. Pocono Mountain School District, "Board Policies," accessed January 6, 2013
  8. Note: This text is quoted verbatim from the original source. Any inconsistencies are attributed to the original source.
  9. Pocono Mountain School District, "Final FY2013 Budget," accessed December 11, 2013
  10. Pocono Mountain School District, "Board Docs," accessed January 6, 2014
  11. Pennsylvania Department of Education, "Public School Enrollment Reports," accessed January 6, 2014
  12. Pocono Mountain School District, "Schools," accessed January 6, 2014
  13. Pennsylvania Department of Education, "About AYP in Pennsylvania," accessed August 6, 2013
  14. Pennsylvania Department of Education, "Pocono Mountain SD AYP Report Card," accessed January 6, 2014
  15. Jenna Ebersole, Pocono Record, "State audit finds problems in Pocono Mountain School District," October 11, 2013
  16. Pocono Mountain School District, "Budget," accessed April 6, 2009
  17. Pocono Mountain School District, "Administration," accessed April 6, 2009
  18. Pocono Mountain School District, "School Board," accessed April 6, 2009
  19. Pocono Mountain School District, "Public records," accessed April 6, 2009
  20. Meetings Pocono Mountain School District, "Board Docs," accessed April 6, 2009
  21. 'Pocono Mountain School District, "Background checks," accessed April 6, 2009
  22. 'Pocono Mountain School District, "School Board," accessed April 6, 2009