ABOUT OUR DISTRICT
The Bald Eagle Area School District is located in the northern portion of Centre County, extending north to the western branch of the Susquehanna River. Formed in 1952, the district is the largest, geographically, of the four school districts located entirely in Centre County. The District is comprised of the boroughs of Howard, Milesburg, Port Matilda, Snow Shoe and Unionville, and the townships of Boggs, Burnside, Howard, Huston, Snow Shoe, Union and Worth, and encompasses 342.6 square miles of majestic hills, rolling farmlands, and surrounds 80,000 acres of state forest. The district serves a population of 16,751 residents, who occupy in approximately 5,768 housing units.
Spend a little time in the Bald Eagle Area School District, and you will soon find that our schools are often at the forefront of instituting exciting new educational programs and innovative initiatives. We have an excellent staff and all of our facilities are top-notch, even though we have the lowest tax base in Centre County. Our students simply “shine” – there is no other word for it! We regularly receive comments from visiting consultants, substitute teachers, and area employers, who say that BEA students are hard working, kind, compassionate, polite, and well-behaved individuals. The fact that our community, students, parents, staff and local businesses all feel that they are an important part of the “BEA Family” is the most special feature of our District.
Because of our large, rural area, 98 percent of our students are bused to our Middle/High School and four elementary schools – Howard Elementary, Port Matilda Elementary, Mountaintop Area Elementary, and Wingate Elementary. Currently, the District utilizes over 59 contracted vehicles (32 buses and 20 vans/cars) from 8 different transportation contractors. For the safety of our students, we have currently placed two cameras on the outside of our buses, to discourage bus stop traffic violations.
The Bald Eagle Area School District has implemented an automated pupil transportation management system. BusTracks Transportation Management Software includes an automated interface with the District’s pupil accounting system that eliminates unnecessary data entry. The new system also assists with the assignment of students to buses and helps manage the evaluation of current and future bus routes.
BEA implemented Everyday Mathematics in Grades K-2 in the 2007-2008 school year and moved to Everyday Mathematics in grades 3 through 6 in the following year. The transition to Everyday Mathematics was positive; parent support has been abundant, and the BEA staff showed much hard work and dedication during this curricular change. We are proud to report that in 2010, McGraw-Hill chose the Bald Eagle Area School District to be a National Success Story for Everyday Mathematics. They will continue to provide our entire staff with a free luncheon every year, and our school district will be featured as a success story on their web page.
Kindergarten and Pre-K
A full-day kindergarten program provides a literacy intensive learning environment, and strong instructional elements such as Kid Writing and Imagination Station. In a partnership with Cen-Clear Child Services, using State funding, BEA now offers Pre-K programs at the Mountaintop Area, Port Matilda, and Wingate Elementary schools.
Full Option Science System (FOSS)
Another elementary initiative has been a science partnership with Lock Haven University (LHU). The Bald Eagle Area School District has, via district funding and a science foundation grant with Lock Haven University, provided Full Option Science System (FOSS) kits and the professional staff development necessary to implement an inquiry-based science program in our K-6 classrooms. K-2 students engage in active learning activities with three different FOSS units each year. In grades 3-6, students are immersed in four FOSS learning modules.
A balanced comprehensive reading and writing program has been implemented in the District since 1999. The District has trained nearly all K-3 classroom teachers in the Reading Recovery method. To prepare students for a constantly changing technological society, all children receive instruction in the computer labs located in each of the elementary schools. In 2009, Bald Eagle Area was approved as a Reading Recovery Training site, and one of the BEA staff members, trained to be a teacher-leader, will provide Reading Recovery training to BEA teachers, as well as to teachers in the surrounding counties.
Bald Eagle Area made the switch from the Accelerated Reading Program, most commonly referred to as “AR” to Scholastic Reading Counts. This change helps align our District to the new PA State Standards, and will allow us to offer several excellent intervention programs to children who are struggling with learning to read. These programs are Scholastic Read 180 and System 44, which are designed to help accelerate reading achievement for those readers that are not making the benchmarks for their grade level.The primary goal for these changes is for all students to be successful readers.
Scholastic Reading Counts is an independent reading program very similar to AR.What's different is that most books are leveled by the Lexile system. (BEA Reading Lexile Chart.) This will be the most notable change for all involved. The State recommends Lexiles as one of the quantitative measures used to level books for students, rather than the traditional grade-level measures that have been used before.This gives students a wider selection of books to read, usually covering at least a grade span of two years. It also gives the teacher a consistent measure to help differentiate instruction to the students. Appropriate individualized support is provided to help special needs students reach the standards. The District has implemented two research-based reading programs, SpellRead, a phonetically based program, and Read 180, to accelerate low readers to become grade level readers.
Elementary Foreign Language Program
Beginning with the 2010-11 school year, Bald Eagle Area began using the “Español Divertido” Elementary Spanish program, which means “Fun Spanish.” The name of the program is certainly appropriate because BEA elementary students in grades 3-6 students are learning to speak Spanish in a fun, innovative way. Students in grades K-2 are learning Spanish using the Salsa program.
Additional programs that the District has implemented are differentiated instruction, Number Worlds, Professional Learning Communities, E-Suite, Co-Teaching Model for Mathematics Instruction, Power Teaching in Mathematics, Study Island, and a School-wide Positive Behavior Support Program.
Dual Enrollment/Career Counseling
At the secondary level, qualifying juniors and seniors have the opportunity to enroll in college credit courses at Clarion University, Pennsylvania State University, and Lock Haven University, as a means of enriching and individualizing their education opportunities. Students may also take online courses, if they desire. The District Dual Enrollment Grant pays some of the expenses for students enrolled in postsecondary courses. Also, Bald Eagle Area holds an annual Middle/Senior High School Career/College Fair. This Career/College Fair is designed to allow local employers and postsecondary training providers (colleges, universities, and the military) to provide information regarding staffing patterns, job demand, employer recruitments, postsecondary program availability, and military opportunities to BEA students in grades 7-12. A Career Counselor position was created at the secondary level to help facilitate the transition from high school to college or other post-secondary opportunities.
Project Lead the Way Engineering
The District added the Project Lead the Way engineering courses to its high school curriculum in 2002. Project Lead the Way is a national program forming partnerships among public schools, higher education institutions, and the private sector to increase the quantity and quality of engineers and engineering-related vocations graduating from the educational system. Project Lead the Way is designed to assist students in transitioning from high school into demanding postsecondary programs. Courses in this series are Introduction to Engineering Design, Principles of Engineering, Digital Electronics, Computer Integrated Manufacturing, and Engineering Design and Development.
High School Laptop Initiative
The District received a $215,494 Pennsylvania State Classrooms for the Future (CFF) grant in 2007, a $45,000 grant in 2008, and a $25,000 grant in 2009. CFF is a three-year investment to provide laptop computers, high-speed Internet access, and state-of-the-art software to high school classrooms across the state. Two hundred seventy-five student laptop computers, and digital projectors, cameras, and video camcorders, wireless access points, and interactive smart boards (a very large computer screen visible to the entire classroom, where the instructor uses his/her finger as the mouse) were part of the grant, as well as training for a CFF coach. Instructors from each of the four core areas - language arts, math, reading, and science – have volunteered to participate in this project.
BEA’s middle school, a "school-within-a-school,” is designed to more effectively address students’ academic and social needs. Seventh and Eighth grade levels have two teams that have flexibility to adapt their schedules to accommodate extended learning projects, presentations, and field trips. Some opportunities for seventh and eighth graders include girls and boys junior high soccer and track and field programs, which were initiated in 2008. Sixth grade students are now a part of our Middle School. A teacher team approach is being utilized for the sixth graders. There are three teams of two teachers, who will each provide instruction and support for about 50 students. Math and Language Arts will be taught in a 90-minute block period with Science and Social Studies each receiving 58-minute periods every other day. Additional teacher support is available, as needed, in the afternoon, as well as other subjects including Physical Education, Music, Art, and Keyboarding. Students have exploratory courses available in Consumer Science and Spanish.
The renovation of the Wingate Elementary School and Bald Eagle Middle High School is nearing completion. A groundbreaking ceremony was held on August 13, 2009 for the $26,000,000 project, which includes new 30-year built up asphalt roofs (with extra insulation) on both buildings, upgrades to the plumbing and electrical systems in both buildings, and expanded parking facilities. Four new classrooms were added to the Middle-High School, along with a fitness center, and Large Group Instruction Room (LGI) with a 70-person seating capacity. The LGI will be used for board meetings and other community meetings, along with student presentations and group meetings. The beautiful new main gymnasium, which seats 1200 and connects Wingate Elementary with the Middle-High School, is a source of great pride to our community. The Middle-High School auditorium is scheduled to be completely renovated this summer.
Going Green – Geothermal
Geothermal heating and cooling systems were installed at the Middle-High School and Wingate Elementary in 2010, partially using the funding from a $500,000 Pennsylvania Energy Harvest Grant. A geothermal system was also installed at Mountaintop Elementary in 2010. Port Matilda Elementary has had a geothermal heating and cooling system for the past 15 years. At Howard Elementary, an HVAC retrofit to a 4-pipe system was also completed in 2010. All Bald Eagle Area facilities, including classrooms, auditoriums, gymnasiums, cafeterias, libraries, and offices are now totally air-conditioned.
Going Green - Solar
SEC BESD Solar One LLC, the special purpose Limited Liability Corporation formed for the Bald Eagle School District solar projects by Smart Energy Capital, will receive a $995,440 solar energy program grant to purchase and install a 650 kW rooftop solar photovoltaic system for the Bald Eagle Middle-High School, and a $445,280 solar energy program grant for the purchase and installation of a 280 kW solar photovoltaic system for the Wingate Elementary School.
The solar PV system at the Middle-High School will produce about 670,000 kWh of solar electricity annually, and the system at Wingate Elementary will produce about 299,000 kWh annually. The systems will provide more than 50 percent of the electricity demands for the schools. The total costs for the projects are $2.7 million and $1.2 million, respectively.
Smart Energy will own the photovoltaic system and sell power to the Bald Eagle Area schools under a long-term power purchase agreement at a fixed rate of 4.9 cents per kWh for 20 years. At the end of the 20-year term, the solar PV systems will be owned by the Bald Eagle Area School District.
There will be no costs incurred by the Bald Eagle Area School District to have these systems installed or maintained and structural studies were done to assure the newly renovated roofs on the Wingate Elementary and Middle-High School will be able to sustain the additional weight of the photovoltaic panels.
Data Management System
A data management system, OnHand Schools (which was designed by a Bald Eagle graduate) has been utilized since the 2009-10 school year. The program empowers instructional staff to address student needs individually, as opposed to addressing areas that are not applicable to many students.
SchoolReach Phone Notification System/AESOP Substitute System
BEA uses an automated phone notification system for school closings and announcements, and uses an automated system to obtain substitutes for teachers and staff. These computerized systems not only save time and money, but offer better, and friendlier, communications to the public and to BEA’s substitute teaching staff.
Eagle Pride District Newsletter
To improve communications with our public, BEA bi-annually publishes Eagle Pride, the District’s newsletter, which is mailed to all households in the District. When BEA unveiled its new updated newsletter, we received calls from every school district in Centre County (and also surrounding counties) asking for information about this publication!
New Extracurricular Activities
At BEA, we believe that keeping students engaged in extra-curricular activities is a way to keep students, who are less than enthusiastic about school, involved in the educational process. The Bald Eagle Area Board of Education approved the establishment of a co-educational Power Lifting team for the 2008-09 school year. Other recently established clubs are the Botball Team, Bookends, a Drum Line and an Art Club. A Sport Fishing Club began during the 2009-10 school year and was extremely well-received by our students. The District funds a late bus, which runs during each school day, to transport students home from afterschool practices and club participation.
Our on-site Environmental Center was erected during the 2009-10 school year. This is one of BEA’s newest exciting initiatives! The center was built near a two-thirds acre pond located at the rear of the Middle/High School. With the help of community and district volunteers, and through grant funding, BEA constructed an outdoor classroom and a walking pier/dock at the pond for research and activities in environmental studies at this location.
The Eagle Ambassadors Alumni Foundation has been established to create a culture of support for Academics, Arts, and Athletics at BEA.
Independent Living Facility
In 2011, the Independent Living Facility will begin operation. The facility will help our special education students better transition from the “world of school” to the “world of work and independent living.”
Bald Eagle Area Cyber Academy
BEA has created the Bald Eagle Area Cyber Academy to meet the needs of our students who prefer a non-traditional school setting, or who are recovering from serious illnesses or other problems. The Cyber Academy provides a free and appropriate course of study to the children in the Bald Eagle Area School District using high-quality courses, certified caring teachers, and state-of-the-art technology. Students receive one-on-one help, if needed, from certified teachers.
BEA’s recent Science, Math, and Reading initiatives, Elementary Foreign Language Program, Cyber Academy, Environmental Center, our extensive renovation project at Wingate Elementary and the Middle-High School, and even our relatively new synthetic turf field and six-lane track at Alumni Stadium, along with our newly renovated baseball and softball fields, demonstrate that the Bald Eagle Area School District practices wise fiscal management of its resources, yet continually updates and improves its facilities and services.
The Bald Eagle Area School District, a PIAA Double A school, is small enough to offer our students a personal, nurturing educational experience, under the direction of a dedicated Board of Education, administration, and professional and support staff. The District is proud to offer an academically-challenging educational experience that will prepare BEA students for any career they may wish to pursue. In short, Bald Eagle Area walks its talk in BEA’s guiding slogan, "We Teach for Success."
The mission of the Bald Eagle Area School District is to provide all students with academically-challenging educational experiences and opportunities to grow into responsible lifelong learners and productive contributors to our global society.
BEA ALMA MATER
Beneath these spacious skies so blue,
Our Alma Mater stands so true.
Surrounded by God's lovely land,
Protected by his guiding hand.
Dear Bald Eagle's hallowed halls,
Encircle us with loving walls.
Blue and Gold our colors bright,
We owe to thee our strength and might.
Spurred on by hope to Victory,
Our courage lives eternally.
Within our hearts to guide us on,
Protect us, help us, lead us home.
Give to us our life's desire,
And keep within our hearts a fire.
Blue and Gold our colors bright,
We owe to thee our strength and might.
The Bald Eagle Area School District does not discriminate in its educational programs, activities or employment practices based on race, color, national origin, sex, disability, age, religion, ancestry or any other legally protected classification. This policy is in accordance with state and federal laws, including Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, Sections 503 and 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the Age Discrimination Act of 1975, the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, and the Pennsylvania Human Relations Act. Information relative to special accommodation, grievance procedure, and the designated responsible official for compliance with Title VI, Title IX, and Section 504 may be obtained by contacting the school district office.
For information regarding civil rights or grievance procedures, and services, activities and facilities that are both accessible and usable by disabled persons, contact the Business Manager, who is the Title IX and Section 504 Coordinator, at 751 South Eagle Valley Road, Wingate, PA 16823 (814) 355-5515.