About Our District
A Culture of Learning
Success Starts Here - Showcasing Pennsylvania's Public Schools - Success Starts Here
Bellefonte Area School District - www.basd.net
When you step into any Bellefonte Area School District building, you will be greeted by a family of people working hard to create a welcoming atmosphere. The sense of community influences our beliefs and values - we are passionate about education and dedicated to supporting the development of the whole child. We believe that education should be shaped by a sense of purpose. We believe in equitable learning experiences that encourage all children to challenge themselves and meet with success. Additionally, we believe learning embraces a respect for diversity and development of skills and attributes children need to be successful in an ever-changing global society. Our curriculum has been designed to reflect this belief.
Yet, hand in hand with our global vision, you will find deeply embedded values of kindness, dignity, and respect for others. Working with parents and our community, we strive to develop each student’s intellectual, physical, moral, emotional, creative, and social character. Through these efforts, we can meet our goal of producing alumni who will become responsible members of home, community, and society while leading a positive, enriched life.
BASD consists of four elementary buildings (Bellefonte, Benner, Marion-Walker, and Pleasant Gap), one middle school, and one high school. The district currently serves 2,695 students and employs 425 administrative, professional, and support staff members.
Our curriculum and learning experiences are robust. Below is a list highlighting a few of our exciting curricular programs, extra/co-curricular opportunities, and community events.
BASD is proud to offer students 16 College in the High School courses. Ranging from Calculus to MOS/Advanced Computer Applications, to Chemistry, to History, to Spanish and many other options in between. BAHS students, in partnership with the University of Pittsburgh, Seton Hill, and Saint Francis, earn 3 college credits for each course they successfully complete. BASD also offers an articulation agreement with Delaware Valley University in Agricultural Science. Additionally, we offer:
24 AP courses (in the fall of 2015, BASD was recognized by the College Board as one of 425 districts across North America for programming participation and performance and was again recognized in 2019), Project Lead the Way and Gateway in Engineering, Science curriculum aligned with NGSS, STEAM initiatives including Hour of Coding and development of innovative spaces. Rigorous Mathematics, English/ELA, and Social Studies/History core classes and electives, a spectrum of learning opportunities available through electives in agriculture, the fine arts, theatre, physical education, multimedia, and world languages (including elementary and secondary opportunities in Spanish, French, and Mandarin Chinese), K-12 technology and business programming, Senior Institute (where students look at how art inspires literature, literature inspires art, and charity inspires them both), and BeLA - Bellefonte eLearning Academy - an online and hybrid learning environment for students in grades 5-12.
We are excited, in partnership with Bald Eagle Area SD, Penns Valley Area SD, and the Central Pennsylvania Institute of Science and Technology to be designated as one of three Youth Innovation Hubs within the state of Pennsylvania. IDEA Hub is set to launch later this year. In conjunction with our Hub, we are also developing an entrepreneurial pathway utilizing a humanitarian entrepreneurship curriculum for our collective students. In collaboration with ENGINE (the Central region STEM ecosystem), Penn State Univerisity, and community and business partners we anticipate offering our first cohort in the fall of 2020.
BASD's middles school was selected as one of 5 schools from across the nation to make contact with the International Space Station in the spring of 2018. BAMS in Space!
An award winning district, BASD was awarded a Magna Honor for their One Book-One Bellefonte program Bellefonte READS. Benner Elementary Principal Mr. Vancas has earned the honor of distinguished principal of the year for Pennsylvania and (former) superintendent Dr. Saylor has been honored as a national Leader to Learn From in Global Education.
Global Learning: International and Domestic travel with embedded service and home stays; global components and learning experiences integrated into the curriculum; Sister school partnerships with schools in China, and, collaborative learning experiences for both students and staff that engage a global community.
Mindfulness: Students and staff learn and practice mindfulness strategies and techniques to build awareness, reduce stress, improve self-regulation and emotional wellbeing, and increase focus.
Service- There is an emphasis on giving back and realizing that all of us are part of a larger whole. As contributing citizens our students regularly engage in serving others as volunteers within the community and beyond. Our students are engaged in service learning locally, regionally, and globally. The 2019 graduating class, alone, had an excess of 11,635 service hours.
Career Exploration: Comprehensive guidance and support frameworks and career and college readiness plans, CentreREADY - BASD is a founding partner of the regional employment readiness program and is proud to share their first CentreREADY students graduated in 2019. RED Talks (designed to bring the “real world” to our students and spawn reflection and creativity), internships and mentorships, collaboration with and career development opportunities available through the Central Pennsylvania Science and Technology Center (including a 9th grade option).
Community: Strong and supportive Parent Teacher organizations/associations, Family Science (STEM) events, Family Math events, Bellefonte READS (a community literacy event supporting a One book One Bellefonte initiative and promoting family engagement in reading/which won a National MAGNA award), Partners with numerous community businesses and organizations including Penn State University and Bellefonte Keystone Community development.
Technology Integration: Chromebooks (1:1), iPads/iBooks (industry specific), Promethean Boards, 3D Printers, software and technology to support collaborative and innovative learning, Makerspaces and innovation and design integrated into curriculum, BYOB (bring your own device program at the secondary level).
Clubs: TSA (Technology Student Association), Rachel’s Challenge - Acts of kindness, Drama and Theatre, and many other clubs, intramural, music and fine arts, and PIAA opportunities.
Safety: School Gate Guardian system - monitored entry, two School Resource Officers, SWPBS (School Wide Positive Behavior Support), ISF (Interconnected Systems Framework), Upstanders program, and Safety Management Software (in addition to many other infrastructure and program elements).
Bellefonte Area School District is honored to be part of the Bellefonte Community - a rural, suburban, and small town atmosphere populated by multiple generations and characterized by historic sites and Victorian architecture. Bellefonte is the geographical center of the commonwealth. The district boundaries encompass 118 square miles and include the Borough of Bellefonte and four townships: Spring, Walker, Marion, and Benner. Bellefonte is the County Seat, home to seven previous Governors (five of Pennsylvania) - the “Birthplace of Governors,” and national headquarters of the Philatelic Society. Fisherman's Paradise is one of the premier fishing venues in the world. The “Big Spring” produces over eleven million gallons of water daily and was important to the locating and naming of the town. Bellefonte, meaning “beautiful fountain” in French, still relies on the spring for all its water needs.
Interstates 80 and 99 provide easy access to the light industry, scientific manufacturing, and agriculture that support the local economy. The surrounding mines produce one of the highest grades of limestone in the world. The political, industrial, and educational arenas continue to play important roles within the region and the world.
The Bellefonte Area School District community continually strives to “Inspire and Prepare Today’s Learners to Embrace Tomorrow’s Challenges.”
BE Informed • BE Involved • BE Connected • BElong in BEllefonte