The Shippensburg Area School District is nestled in the rolling hills of the Cumberland Valley among picturesque mountains and fertile valleys. This south-central Pennsylvania community offers a wealth of educational, family and entertainment opportunities to its residents and tourists. Rich in tradition and enhanced by a dedicated group of directors, staff and administration, the Shippensburg Area School District offers a diverse program of opportunities to the school and community populations.
The Shippensburg Area School District includes approximately 129 square miles and provides transportation for nearly 90% of its approximately 3,200 students in grades K-12.
The Shippensburg Area School District operates five educational facilities organized on a K-3, 4-5, 6-8, and 9-12 plan. Each of these facilities includes updated technology including automated library circulation systems and computers and internet access in each classroom. Computer laboratories are located in each secondary building and an Integrated Learning System is networked in each elementary building. Specific to our buildings are gymnasiums, specialized rooms for music and art K-12, current and appropriate library media facilities to support the educational process, a modern swimming facility, a planetarium, as well as athletic and recreational facilities including an all-weather track. Additionally, the district and Shippensburg University jointly operate the Grace B. Luhrs University Elementary School, a K-5 elementary school on the campus of Shippensburg University.
Reading and mathematics programs at the elementary level are offered at the educational level of the student with periodic evaluations to assure continuity. In addition, individualized and small group assistance for students having difficulty is provided by certificated educational specialists. A cadre of well trained reading specialists provide small group assistance to first-grade students who are identified as being “at risk” of not being successful in reading. This intensive instruction is designed to bring students up to the average or above-average level of their classmates, thus preventing the need for long-term remediation. All instruction in the areas of library science, art, vocal and instrumental music, and physical education is provided by specialists. Choral and instrumental programs are provided for students wishing to begin instruction, or to pursue advanced musical groups. Public performances are a key component of the music program.
The academic program provided in the middle school is a carefully articulated bridge between the experiences of the elementary program and the requirements of the senior high school. Students are grouped in teams to enhance their learning opportunities and to permit instruction to take place at a level where each student can be challenged and experience success. Students participate in exploratory subjects of computer technology, art, music, health and physical education, as well as have access to a well-equipped media center. Students also have opportunities to participate in band, orchestra, and choral groups. Interscholastic athletics are offered at the 7th and 8th grade. The learning environment at this school has numerous features to assist our students in growing not only academically, but also as human beings. Character Counts emphasis along with implementing a rigorous reading and math program that is standards-based provides many opportunities for students to reach their full potential. Additionally, technology integration into the content area is a strong component utilized by staff and students alike. Finally, teamwork and collaboration is modeled by our professional staff with programmatic decisions based upon what’s best for students.
The Shippensburg Area Senior High School offers academic programs for students of all abilities and interests. College preparatory programs are enhanced by eight advanced placement courses, accelerated programs in science, English, math, and a choice of three foreign language programs. The proximity of the Shippensburg University permits the district to offer students the opportunity to enroll in college level courses to supplement their educational program. Computer laboratories are available for use by the students. The business and agricultural programs offer instruction leading to higher education as well as employment. Students are also offered the opportunity to participate in the variety of the offerings provided by the Franklin County Career and Technology Center. Students have the opportunity to participate in 13 interscholastic sports, as well as band, orchestra, chorus, theatrical performances, intramurals, various clubs and service organizations.
The Shippensburg Area School District also provides services for students with exceptional educational needs. Programs and services are administered by the District, the Capital Area Intermediate Unit and the Lincoln Intermediate Unit. The district employs teachers, teacher assistants, and a supervisor. The life skills, emotional support, learning support and gifted programs offer specially designed instruction, special materials and equipment. A unique transition program is available for many life skills students at the Timothy House. The annual Shippensburg Area Special Education Track and Field Meet is the highlight of the year for many students. A Student Assistance Program (SAP) is available at both the middle and high schools. The SAP provides consultation and assessment services for students experiencing problems with substance abuse and/or mental illness. Child Study Teams (CST) are available in each elementary school to assist students who may be experiencing learning problems. Alternative educational programs are available to secondary students through MANITO, a private school, located in nearby Chambersburg. Advanced placement courses are available for the gifted and talented at the high school, as well as, undergraduate courses at Shippensburg University, and community mentorships.