West Chester Area School District, Pennsylvania

From Ballotpedia
Jump to: navigation, search
West Chester Area School District
West Chester, PA
WCASD logo.jpg
District Profile
Superintendent:Dr. James R. Scanlon
Graduation rate:94.1%
Budget: $208.4 million
Website:School Home Page
Board of Education
Board president:Ricky Swalm
Board members:9
Term length:4
West Chester Area School District is a school district in Pennsylvania that serves the city of West Chester. It is the 11th largest school district in Pennsylvania, serving 11,827 students in 16 schools with an operating budget of $208.4 million.[1][2]

About the district

West Chester Area School District is located in Chester County, Pennsylvania
West Chester 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.[3]


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.[3]

Racial Demographics, 2012[3]
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[4]
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: Each column will add up to 100 percent after removing the "Hispanic or Latino" percentage, although rounding by the Census Bureau may make the total one- or two-tenths off. Read more about race and ethnicity in the Census here.[5]


Dr. James R. Scanlon has been the superintendent of West Chester Area School District since 2009. He was previously the superintendent of Brandywine School District and Quakertown Community School District. Scanlon earned his B.S. from the University of Pittsburg, his M.A. from Temple University and his Ed.D from Temple University.[6]

School board

The West Chester Area school board is composed of nine members serving four-year terms.[7]

West Chester Area School Board
Ricky L. Swalm At-Large 2017
Chris McCune At-Large 2017
Joyce Chester At-Large 2017
Robin Kaliner At-Large 2017
Vince Murphy At-Large 2015
Linda Raileanu At-Large 2015
Maureen Snook At-Large 2017
Sue Tiernan At-Large 2015
Bret Binder At-Large 2015

School board elections

See also: West Chester Area School District elections (2015)

Members of the West Chester 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 West Chester Area school board maintains the following policy on public testimony during board meetings:[8]

Board Committee Meetings or Work Sessions
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. Public comment is an opportunity for the Board to hear comments from the public. It is not meant to be a question and answer period.

2. Authority

The Board shall establish guidelines to govern public participation in Board meetings necessary to conduct its meeting and to maintain order.

In order to permit fair and orderly expression of public comment, the Board shall provide an opportunity at each open meeting of the Board for residents and taxpayers to comment on matters of concern, official action or deliberation before the Board prior to official action by the Board.

If the Board determines there is not sufficient time at a meeting for public comments, the comment period may be deferred to the next regular meeting or to a special meeting occurring before the next regular meeting.

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 BCBF.

4. Meeting Guidelines

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.

Board Business Meetings.

As set forth in Board Policy BCBF:

  • There will be a public comment section at the beginning of the meeting for agenda items only.
  • There will be a public comment section at the end of the meeting for any

non-agenda items.

Board Committee Meetings or Work Sessions.

The Purpose of the Board Committee Meeting or work session is to review items to be placed on the agenda for the upcoming business meeting and also to discuss other appropriate items.

There will be a public comment period at the end of each committee meeting or work session on agenda items only. If the presiding officer determines that a topic needs time for comments, he or she will establish that time during the meeting.

Procedural Guidelines

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 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 sign in at the beginning of the meeting and shall include the name and address of the participant and topic to be addressed.

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 speaker must limit his or her comments to two minutes or less.

All comments shall be directed to the entire board. No participant may address or question individual Board members.

The presiding officer may:

  • Interrupt or terminate a participant’s statement when the statement istoo lengthy, repetitive, personally directed, abusive, obscene orirrelevant.
  • Request any individual to leave the meeting when that person does notobserve reasonable decorum.
  • Request the assistance of law enforcement officers to remove a disorderly person when his/her conduct interferes with the orderly progress of the meeting.
  • Establish a time limit on public comment as part of the meeting.

The meeting agenda and all pertinent documents shall be distributed to the press and public at all meetings. [9]


The table below displays the budget for West Chester Area School District:[2]

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
2010-2011 $119,014,233 58.6% $27,556,702 13.6% $31,602,760 15.6% $23,961,310 11.8% $941,636 0.5% $203,076,641
2011-2012 $118,023,582 58.5% $26,809,507 13.3% $30,525,584 15.1% $25,308,894 12.6% $984,299 0.5% $201,651,866
2012-2013 $118,172,956 58.6% $26,939,793 13.4% $30,141,919 14.9% $25,582,919 12.7% $955,820 0.5% $201,793,407
2013-2014 $121,631,971 58.4% $27,702,721 13.3% $30,571,281 14.7% $24,976,962 12% $3,525,723 1.7% $208,408,658
Averages: $119,210,685.5 59% $27,252,180.75 13% $30,710,386 15% $24,957,521.25 12% $1,601,869.5 1% $203,732,643

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 West Chester Area Education Association:[10]

West Chester Area Teacher Salaries
Salary structure Minimum salary ($) Maximum salary ($)
BA 43,050 82,596
B.A. + 15 44,690 84,236
B.A. + 30 46,330 85,876
MA 47,760 87,306
MA + 15 49,400 88,946
MA + 30 51,040 90,586
MA + 45 52,680 92,226
D 54,320 93,866

Schools in West Chester Area School District


The district served 11,827 K-12 students during the 2011-2012 school year. It has not published more recent enrollment statistics. The district experienced an 0.06% 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 11,835
2008-2009 11,654 -1.5
2009-2010 11,800 1.2
2010-2011 11,825 0.2
2011-2012 11,827 0.01

District schools

West Chester Area School District operates nine schools listed below in alphabetical order:[12]

West Chester Area School District
East Bradford Elementary
East Goshen Elementary
East High School
Exton Elementary
Fern Hill Elementary
Fugett Middle School
Glen Acres Elementary
Henderson High School
Hillsdale Elementary
Mary C. Howse Elementary
Peirce Middle School
Penn Wood Elementary
Rustin High School
Sarah Starkweather Elementary
Stetson Middle School
Westtown-Thornbury Elementary

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] West Chester Area School District made AYP in 2011, but did not make AYP in 2012.[14]

District AYP scores
Performance Indicators 2011 2012
Attendance Y
600px-Yes check.png
600px-Yes check.png
Graduation Rate Y
600px-Yes check.png
600px-Red x.png
Academic Performance Y
600px-Yes check.png
600px-Yes check.png
Test Preparation Y
600px-Yes check.png
600px-Yes check.png

Contact information

WCASD logo.jpg
West Chester Area School District

829 Paoli Pike
West Chester, PA 19380

Phone: (484)-266-1000

Website evaluation

Elected Officials
Administrative Officials
Public Records
Background Checks N
600px-Red x.png

School district websitesGuide.png
Transparency grading process

Last rated on March 4, 2013.

The good

  • Budget
    • The most current budget is listed.
    • Budgets are archived for 3 years.[15]
  • Administrative Officials
    • Department heads are listed for each department.[16]
    • Contact information for administrative officials is provided including a mailing address, phone number, and personalized email.
  • Elected Officials
    • Elected officials are listed with a mailing address, phone number and personalized email.[17]
  • Meetings
    • Meeting minutes are archived for 4 years.
    • Meeting agendas are archived for 4 years.[18]
    • A meeting calendar is available and names the times and locations of public meetings.
  • Audits
    • The most recent audit is posted.
    • Audits dating back to 1992 are available.[19]
  • Contracts
    • Bids and RFPs are posted online.[20]
    • Approved contract statements are provided for vendors.[21]
    • Employee contracts are provided.[22]
  • Public Records
    • The public information officer is identified and maintained by the Board Secretary. This person provides a mailing address, phone number and personalized email.[23]
    • A public records form is provided.
    • A fee schedule for documents is provided.
    • 2012 requests are posted.
  • Taxes
    • Tax revenues are broken down by federal, state, and local funding in the budget.
    • Local taxes, like property taxes, are available online.[24]
  • Academics
    • Academic performance reports for the school are posted online.[25]

The bad

  • Background Checks
    • The criminal background check policy and teacher certification requirements are not posted online for district teachers.

See also

External links

Suggest a link


  1. West Chester Area School District, "Home," accessed January 13, 2014
  2. 2.0 2.1 West Chester Area School District, "Fact Book for 2013-14 (financial)," accessed December 12, 2014
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 United States Census Bureau, "Chester County, Pennsylvania," accessed October 31, 2013
  4. Pennsylvania Department of State, "Voter Registration Statistics," accessed October 23, 2013
  5. United States Census Bureau, "Frequently Asked Questions," accessed April 21, 2014
  6. Linked In, "Jim Scanlon," accessed January 13, 2014
  7. West Chester Area School District, "Board," accessed January 13, 2014
  8. West Chester Area School District, "Policies," accessed January 13, 2013
  9. Note: This text is quoted verbatim from the original source. Any inconsistencies are attributed to the original source.
  10. OpenPAGov.org, "Union Contracts, accessed January 14, 2014
  11. Pennsylvania Department of Education, "Public School Enrollment Reports," accessed January 14, 2014
  12. West Chester Area School District, "Schools," accessed January 14, 2014
  13. Pennsylvania Department of Education, "About AYP in Pennsylvania," accessed August 6, 2013
  14. Pennsylvania Department of Education, "West Chester Area SD AYP Report Card," accessed January 6, 2014
  15. West Chester Area School District, Budgets, Accessed: March 4, 2013
  16. West Chester Area School District, Staff Directory, Accessed: March 4, 2013
  17. West Chester Area School District, Elected Officials, Accessed: March 4, 2013
  18. West Chester Area School District, Meeting Minutes and Agendas, Accessed: March 4, 2013
  19. West Chester Area School District, Audits, Accessed: March 4, 2013
  20. West Chester Area School District, Bids, Accessed: March 4, 2013
  21. West Chester Area School District, Purchasing Bids, Accessed: March 4, 2013
  22. West Chester Area School District, Employee Contracts, Accessed: March 4, 2013
  23. West Chester Area School District, Open Records, Accessed: March 4, 2013
  24. West Chester Area School District, Real Estate Taxes, Accessed: March 4, 2013
  25. West Chester Area School District, Student Achivement Reports, Accessed: March 4, 2013