• Retention rates

    When administrators and teachers identify a student at Bellefonte Area School District having trouble with academics, as many options as possible are provided to help that child succeed. It includes additional counseling and tutoring services, alternative education options, night school, cyber education and more.

    With 2,626 students attending schools within the district during the 2018-19 school year, 20 students were retained, including 15 students who qualified for special education services and some who opted to attend high school up to the age of 21 as a choice to further build life skills.

    According to school data, some of those students transitioned to BASD from a charter school, but with inadequate credits to place him or her in the appropriate grade level. Other students retained had also attended Merakey Education and Autism Center, which the district works with to provide services for students with autism and other special education-type needs.

    The student population at Bellefonte Area High School was 876; the student population at Bellefonte Area Middle School was 634.

    Of 39 students living within the boundaries of BASD who attended cyber charter schools, however, 10 – or more than 25 percent – were retained. That included all students who attended Central Pennsylvania Digital Charter School, nearly 30 percent of students who attended PA Cyber Charter School and a third of students who attended Agora Cyber Charter School.

    *The district is still working on sorting through statistics to see the total retention rate of students from within district boundaries who attend brick and mortar charter schools. In the 2018-19 school year, Bellefonte Area School District paid charter school tuition for 151 students in the amount of $2,523,124.48.

    BAHS is operated on a 25-credit system, which means students must have that amount of credits to graduate. That doesn’t mean, however, just because a student is retained during one of those years, he or she won’t graduate on time. Principal Mike Fedisson said a student may have the opportunity to make up those lost credits in the following years during regular school hours, summer school or other opportunities. If he or she makes up enough credits, then they may graduate on time. See a breakdown of the credit system, here: https://www.basd.net/Page/14279. (See page 5)

    Saying “education is a priority,” Fedisson added that a plethora of services are offered at the district to help students succeed.

    *By Brit Milazzo, public relations director, BASD

  • tutoring 19

    That includes, but not limited to:

    • Fulltime math and literacy tutors who are certified teachers within the district
    • Free afterschool tutoring four days a week for regular and special education students
    • Supported study hall throughout the day
    • Students with an IEP have the option to be placed in an alternative testing area in a smaller setting
    • AEOP – Alternative Education Opportunities Program where students can enroll in one-on-one instructions to get extra academic and behavioral supports.
    • BeLA – Bellefonte eLearning Academy, which offers district-sponsored online learning for students.
    • Night school, which allows students to meet after school five nights a week
      • A different core subject is conducted each night with the fifth night as physical education
      • Students accumulate enough hours studying the core subjects during the evening and work with a certified teacher from the district
      • It can also include a blended experience of online and traditional class work
    • Nittany Learning Services in Pleasant Gap for students identified for a state program called AEDY – Alterative Education for Disruptive Youth
      • The state requires structured academic and counseling services for students during a 45-day period
        • Students must meet specific goals to transition back to the middle or high school
      • Counseling services
      • SAP – Student Assistance Program
      • A three-tier model intervention program. See this link for more information: http://www.rtinetwork.org/learn/what/whatisrti
      • Transition and vocational programs
      • Regularly-scheduled parent-teacher conferences
      • Online enrichment where high school student can take online classes at their own cost throughout the summer. Each credit is about $600.
      • Online support
        • Parent portal
        • Online access to grades
        • Teacher-provided information through class webpages