The mission of the West Chester Area School District is
to educate and inspire our students
to achieve their personal best.
WEST CHESTER AREA SCHOOL DISTRICT SERVES a 75-square-mile suburban, urban and rural area in central Chester County, Pennsylvania known for its many diversified businesses and beautiful historic countryside. The district is comprised of the West Chester Borough and the surrounding townships of East Goshen, West Goshen, East Bradford, West Whiteland, Westtown and Thornbury in Chester County, as well as Thornbury Township in neighboring Delaware County.
A $225.7 MILLION BUDGET for 2015-16 supports close to 11,600 students in ten elementary schools (kindergarten through grade 5), three middle schools (grades 6 through 8), and three high schools (grades 9 through 12). The district also provides services to nearly 4,000 non-public school students
THE PROFESSIONAL STAFF, headed by Superintendent Dr. James R. Scanlon, numbers nearly 1,000. Seventy percent hold a master’s degree or higher. Teachers, librarians, reading specialists, guidance counselors, nurses, psychologists, and specialists in art, music and physical education comprise the instructional staff. An administrative staff works in the schools and at the Central Office level.
THE STUDENT BODY has an ethnic distribution of 80% Caucasian, 7.3% Asian, 6.3% Hispanic, 5.3% African-American, and 1.1% Multiracial. The district strives for diversity at each school. Class size averages 25 students.
STUDENT ACHIEVEMENT is evident by the CollegeBoard SAT scores our students receive which are consistently above state and national averages. In the Pennsylvania System of School Assessment (PSSA) and Pennsylvania Keystone tests administered annually in the areas of reading, writing, mathematics and science, our students consistently score above state averages with the majority of students scoring advanced. Approximately 94% of our graduates seek higher education.
GOVERNOR'S SCHOOL OF EXCELLENCE awards were received by 10 of our 16 schools in 2014 in recognition of receiving a 90% or higher score on the 2012-13 School Performance Profiles that rate the academic performance of every Pennsylvania school.
BLUE RIBBON SCHOOL awards have been presented by the U.S. Department of Education to East and Henderson High Schools, Fugett Middle School, and Hillsdale, Mary C. Howse, and Sarah Starkweather Elementary Schools. Mary C. Howse received the award three times, and East High School received it twice.
CURRICULUM IN ALL SUBJECT AREAS is based on national, state and local standards and reviewed on a regular basis. Curriculum development is coordinated from kindergarten through grade twelve to ensure continuity across schools and grades. District and state assessments measure how well the curriculum is mastered.
GIFTED PROGRAMS are provided for those individuals who possess outstanding intellectual and creative abilities as defined by state mandates. Each year, individual programs are developed for students that provide enrichment and/or acceleration in specific areas when the student's needs are not met through the regular education environment.
SPECIAL EDUCATION programs are provided for all exceptionalities through district-run classes, private entities, and the Chester County Intermediate Unit.
AN EXTENDED DAY KINDERGARTEN PROGRAM is available to students chosen on the basis of various assessment tools. Other kindergarten students attend half-day sessions. In addition, a special clinical teaching team works with kindergarten through fifth grade children to overcome early learning difficulties. Other clinical specialists are available as needed. A summer learning program is provided to K-5 students who require skill reinforcement over the summer months.
HIGH SCHOOL PROGRAMS reflect the diversity of the student body. College-bound students enroll in Advanced Placement courses and in seminar, honors, and academic-level classes, depending upon ability and commitment to study. Students also study business, distributive education, family and consumer sciences, music, and art. Other options are available at the Chester County Technical College High School, Brandywine Campus operated by the Chester County Intermediate Unit.
A WORLD LANGUAGE PROGRAM is available to students starting in seventh grade who meet certain criteria. These students may begin studying French I or Spanish I in seventh grade, and either continue with French II or Spanish II, or change to another language in eighth grade. All students may begin studying French, German, Italian, Latin or Spanish in eighth grade. The high school program provides five or six years’ study including Advanced Placement courses in French, Spanish, German and Latin.
TECHNOLOGY resources are used extensively throughout the district to enhance teaching and learning. Wireless technology mediates flexible connection to the Internet in all schools and interactive whiteboards, laptops and iPads are used to create a dynamic learning environment. This September, students in grades 8 and 9 will receive laptop computers to use 24/7 as part of the district’s 1:1 computing initiative. The Bring Your Own Technology program permits any student to use his/her personal computer in school.
COMMUNITY VOLUNTEERS assist the District in myriad ways. Included are parents who serve in the Parent Teacher Organizations, and Home and School Associations, in each school. The business community is another important source of support.Through the West Chester Area Education Foundation, partnerships with area businesses enhance our educational programs and provide students valuable business experiences and opportunities to explore career options. Many senior citizens participate in the district’s RSVP Program, which provides up to $560 in return for volunteer service. In addition, West Chester University makes its resources available to the District in a variety of ways.