Capital Area School for the Arts
The Capital Area School for the Arts (CASA) is a 9th to 12th grade, public charter school located in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, Dauphin County, Pennsylvania, USA. The School began as an arts magnet school, which was founded in 2001 as a partnership between the Capital Area Intermediate Unit and Open Stage of Harrisburg (a regional professional theater group). After first moving through several sites in downtown Harrisburg, the school now resides in its permanent location in the first floor of Strawberry Square. Capital Area School for the Arts Charter School utilizes a 21st-century, hybrid model of teaching and learning. The curriculum is designed to meet all of the Pennsylvania Core State Standards. In 2013, the School received charter status and converted to an intensive, all-day academic and arts high school. CASA Charter School was approved in May 2013 for five years.
|Capital Area School for the Arts Charter School|
|Type||Public Arts High school|
|Oversight||Harrisburg City School District, Pennsylvania Department of Education|
|President||David B. Skerpon, President of BOT|
|Principal||Timothy R. Wendling - Chief Executive Officer & Principal|
|Teaching staff||15 teachers 2014|
|Grades||9–12 (High school)|
|Number of students||200 pupils (2016)|
|Accreditation||Pennsylvania Department of Education|
|Affiliations||Capital Area IU, Temple University|
The school is funded by: grants, tuition and donations. Tuition is paid by the public school district where the student resides. The amount of the tuition varies by school district and is set annually by the Pennsylvania Department of Education. By state law, transportation must be provided to CASA if the student's home school district provides transportation to its pupils. Students apply to attend the school, with an audition required. If more applications are made than the slots available, the school is required by law to conduct a lottery for admission. Students from public schools in Dauphin County, Cumberland County and Perry County have attended the school in the past.
CASA is located in the downtown area of the City of Harrisburg. The students have the opportunity to use the city as the "classroom", including the numerous resources the offered (such as the nearby Susquehanna Art Museum and the Whitaker Center for Science and the Arts. Students must attend 1 of 2 sessions daily and choose one of five artistic areas such as; visual arts, film, music, dance, or theater. Beginning in the 2010-2011 school year, a creative writing discipline was added for PM classes. Morning classes are studio-based while afternoon classes focus on collaborative interdisciplinary work. The culmination of the afternoon classes' work is a one-night student-produced performance at the nearby Whitaker Center for Science and the Arts.
In 2015, enrollment grew to 178 pupils in 9th through 12th grades, with 17% of pupils eligible for a free lunch due to family poverty. Additionally, 8% of pupils received special education services, while none of pupils were identified as gifted. Per the Pennsylvania Department of Education 7.5% of the teachers were rated "Non‐Highly Qualified" under the federal No Child Left Behind Act.
In 2014, Capital Area School for the Arts enrollment was 133 pupils in grades 9th through 12th, with 20% of pupils receiving a free or reduced price lunch due to family poverty. None of the pupils received special education services and none of pupils were identified as gifted. The School employs 13 teachers. Per the Pennsylvania Department of Education, 89.66% of the teachers were rated "Highly Qualified" under the federal No Child Left Behind Act. In 2013, enrollment was 100 pupils. In 2010, the total enrollment of the magnet school was 150 students from 5 counties and 25 school districts in 2010.
Capital Area School for the Arts is one of 4 public charter schools operating in Dauphin County in 2013. (Infinity Charter School, Sylvan Heights Science Charter School, and Pennsylvania Distance and Electronic Learning Charter School)
Capital Area School for the Arts is governed by an 11-member individually selected Board of Trustees, the local public school board, the Pennsylvania State Board of Education, the Pennsylvania Department of Education and the Pennsylvania General Assembly. The federal government controls programs it funds like: Title I funding for low income children in the Elementary and Secondary Education Act and the No Child Left Behind Act, which mandates the school focus resources on student success in acquiring adequate reading and mathematics skills.
In Pennsylvania, charter schools are initially approved and subsequently overseen by the local school board, In this case, Harrisburg School District (Pennsylvania) school board oversees the school. They make in depth, annual reports to the Pennsylvania Department of Education. In Pennsylvania, charter schools are a public school alternative the local public schools. Pennsylvania charter schools have the same academic accountability as traditional public schools and must give the PSSAs and/or Keystone Exams to their pupils each year.
2015 School Performance ProfileEdit
Capital Area School for the Arts achieved 86 out of 100. Reflects on grade level reading, mathematics and science achievement. This was the second highest achieving high school in Dauphin County. The PDE reported that 90% of the Capital Area School for the Arts students were on grade level in reading/literature. In Algebra 1, 76% of students showed on grade level skills at the end of the course. In Biology I, 76% demonstrated on grade level science understanding at the end of the course. Statewide, 53 percent of schools with an eleventh grade achieved an academic score of 70 or better. Five percent of the 2,033 schools with 11th grade were scored at 90 and above; 20 percent were scored between 80 and 89; 28 percent between 70 and 79; 25 percent between 60 and 69 and 22 percent below 60. The Keystone Exam results showed: 73 percent of students statewide scored at grade-level in English, 64 percent in Algebra I and 59 percent in biology.
In 2015, the graduation rate was 90%.
2014 School Performance ProfileEdit
Capital Area School for the Arts achieved 68.4 out of 100. Reflects on grade level reading, mathematics and science achievement. In reading/literature - 80.5% were on grade level. In Algebra 1, 54% showed on grade level skills. In Biology, 56.76% demonstrated on grade level science understanding at the end of the course. Statewide, the percentage of high school students who scored proficient and advanced in Algebra I increased to 39.7% to 40.1%. The percentage of high school students who scored proficient and advanced in reading/literature declined to 52.5%. The percentage of high school students who scored proficient and advanced in biology improved from 39.7% to 41.4%.
In 2014, Capital Area School for the Arts students took the SAT exams. The District's Verbal Average Score was 680. The Math average score was 505. The Writing average score was 515. Statewide in Pennsylvania, Verbal Average Score was 497. The Math average score was 504. The Writing average score was 480. The College Board also reported that nationwide scores were: 497 in reading, 513 in math and 487 in writing.
In 2014, Capital Area School for the Arts offered 8 Advanced Placement (AP) courses. The fee for each AP Exam is $91 (2014). The school normally retains $9 of that fee as a rebate to help with administrative costs. In 2012, the fee was $89 per test per pupil. Students have the option of taking College Board approved courses and then taking the College Board's examination in the Spring. Students, who achieve a 3 or better on the exam, may be awarded college credits at US universities and colleges. Each higher education institution sets its own standards about what level of credits are awarded to a student based on their AP exam score. Most higher education give credits for scores of 4 or 5. Some higher education institutions also give credits for scores of 3. High schools give credits towards graduation to students who take the school's AP class. At Capital Area School for the Arts, 22.32% of students who took an AP course earned a 3 or better on the exam.
Students of Capital Area School for the Arts Charter School must complete a minimum of 25 credits to graduate, including: English – 4 credits; Mathematics – 3 credits; Science – 3 credits; Social Studies – 3 credits; CASA Art – 2 credits per year while enrolled at CASA; Health – 1 credit; Physical Education – 1 credit and Electives – 6 credits.
Students must also demonstrate proficiency via their Keystone Exam results or the resultant proficiency project experiences by the end of their senior year. During the 2014-2015 school year, three (3) Keystone Exams are given: Algebra 1, Literature, and Biology. Beginning with the class of 2017, students must demonstrate proficiency on all Keystone Exams as a graduation requirement. Remediation classes are mandatory for non-proficient students.
The charter school's first graduating class had 19 students.
Students who live in any local public school district's attendance area may choose to attend one of Pennsylvania's 157 public charter schools. A student living in a neighboring public school district or a foreign exchange student may seek admission to any other public school district. For these cases, the Pennsylvania Department of Education sets an annual tuition rate for each school district. It is the amount the public school district pays to a charter school for each resident student that attends the charter and it is the amount a nonresident student's parents must pay to attend the district's schools. The 2013 tuition rate for Harrisburg City School District for High School students was $10,160.93. For Steelton-Highspire School District - $9,216; for Central Dauphin School District tuition was set at $10,375.68. For Middleton Area School District the tuition was $10,399.93. For Susquehanna Township School District the tuition was $10,440.29. Where the student receives special education services, the home district pays more tuition to cover the costs to the charter school.
The Board has provided the school's antibully policy online. All Pennsylvania schools are required to have an anti-bullying policy incorporated into their Code of Student Conduct. The policy must identify disciplinary actions for bullying and designate a school staff person to receive complaints of bullying. The policy must be available on the school's website and posted in every classroom. All Pennsylvania public schools must provide a copy of its anti-bullying policy to the Office for Safe Schools every year, and must review their policy every three years. Additionally, the School must conduct an annual review of that policy with students. The Center for Schools and Communities works in partnership with the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime & Delinquency and the Pennsylvania Department of Education to assist schools and communities as they research, select and implement bullying prevention programs and initiatives.
Education standards relating to student safety and anti harassment programs are described in the 10.3. Safety and Injury Prevention in the Pennsylvania Academic Standards for Health, Safety and Physical Education.
- Pennsylvania Department of Education (November 6, 2014). "Capital Area School for the Arts Charter School Fast Facts 2014".
- Capital Area School for the Arts Administration, CASA Charter School 2014‐2015 Approved Budget, June 20, 2014
- David N. Dunkle (March 26, 2013). "Harrisburg's CASA faces many changes as it transitions into charter school". Pennlive.com.
- Capital Area School for the Art Administration (2014). "CASA FAQ".
- Pennsylvania Department of Education (November 4, 2015). "Capital Area School for the Arts Fast Facts 2015".
- Pennsylvania Public School Code Governance 2010
- Pennsylvania Department of Education (2014). "Charter Schools".
- Pennsylvania Department of Education (2014). "Charter School Regulations".
- Pennsylvania Department of Education (November 4, 2015). "Capital Area School for the Arts School Performance Profile 2015".
- Jan Murphy (November 4, 2015). "Report card for state's high schools show overall decline". Pennlive.com.
- Pennsylvania Department of Education (November 4, 2015). "2015 Keystone Exam School Level Data".
- Pennsylvania Department of Education (November 6, 2014). "Capital Area School for the Arts Academic Performance Data 2014".
- Evamarie Socha (November 6, 2014). "Half of Valley districts see state test scores decline". The Daily Item.
- Eleanor Chute (November 21, 2014). "Pennsylvania student scores declined with reduced funding, test results show". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
- PDE, CASA School Performance profile, November 6, 2014
- College Board (2014). "2014 College-Bound Seniors State Profile Report" (PDF).
- College Board (2014). "Exam Fees and Reductions: 2015". Archived from the original on 2014-12-27.
- PDE, School Performance Profile - Academic Performance Data - Capital Area School for the Arts, December 2014
- Board of Trustees, Capital Area School for the Arts graduation requirements, 2014
- Mark Pynes (June 6, 2014). "Capital Area School for the Arts: 2014 graduation". Pennlive.com.
- Pennsylvania Department of Education (May 2013). "Pennsylvania Public School District Tuition Rates".
- Capital Area School for the Arts Charter School Board, Bullying/Cyberbullying Policy 249, June 10, 2013
- Capital Area School for the Arts Charter School Administration, Student Handbook 2014-14, 2014
- Pennsylvania General Assembly (2006). "Regular Session 2007–2008 House Bill 1067, Act 61 Section 6 page 8".
- Center for Safe Schools of Pennsylvania (2006). "Bullying Prevention advisory".
- Pennsylvania Department of Education (2012). "Bullying, Hazing, and Harassment Resources". Archived from the original on 2011-11-21. Retrieved 2014-12-09.
- Pennsylvania State Board of Education (January 11, 2003). "Pennsylvania Academic Standards Health, Safety and Physical Education".