About the WCASD
The mission of the West Chester Area School District is
to educate and inspire our students to achieve their personal best.
The West Chester Area School District serves a 75-square-mile suburban, urban, and rural region in central Chester County, Pennsylvania known for its many diversified businesses and beautiful historic countryside. The district is comprised of 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 Delaware County.
A $269.8 MILLION BUDGET for 2020-21 supports more than 11,950 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 STAFF, headed by Superintendent Dr. Jim Scanlon, includes more than 950 teachers, 60 administrators and 400 support staff. More than 70% of our certified teaching staff, and 100% of our administrative staff hold advanced degrees.
THE STUDENT BODY is diverse consisting of: 76.6% white, 6.9% Hispanic, 4.5% Black, 9.1% Asian/Pacific Islander, and 2.9% Multi-Racial.
STUDENT ACHIEVEMENT is the primary focus in the district as it is consistently ranked among the best in the state and nation, with 93%of its graduates attending college after graduation. 2017 recognition includes US News and World Report, and Newsweek’s Best Public High Schools in the nation. Niche, a national database of public schools rated the district as 31 out of 500 Pennsylvania school districts, and The National Music Merchants rated the District as one of 37 districts in the state and 570 in the nation as Best Communities in Education.
SAT scores are consistently above state and national averages, and more students are taking advanced placement courses so much that the College Board has recognized the district as an AP Scholars District in six of the last seven years.
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. The district is committed to high standards and meeting the needs of all students. The high schools offer programing in dual enrollment for college credit, blended learning (online courses), and career exploration programs. The middle schools are structured into small learning communities with teams of teachers working with student teams in a diverse curriculum setting. Our elementary program begins with a full day kindergarten program that incorporates play as an integral component, and concludes with a standards-based fifth grade curriculum preparing students for the middle years.
COMMUNITY SERVICE is emphasized in all of our schools. Students and staff participate in service projects that benefit charities such as the United Way, American Heart Association, Red Cross, American Cancer Society, the Chester County Food Bank, homeless shelters, and many other organizations. Each high school offers more than 30 service clubs for students to participate.
EQUITY TEAMS – Each school has an Equity Team to foster a district-wide and site-based climate and culture that demands and supports systemic equity and improved student achievement for every student. Since 2009, the district has been recognized for its work to close the academic achievement gap between students of high performing groups, and historically underperforming groups of students.
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 to 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 students who learn in different ways. Our programs have been recognized regionally and internationally for meeting the needs of all learners and providing educational programs in the least restrictive, inclusive environment.
FULL-DAY KINDERGARTEN PROGRAM is a dynamic, hands-on program that allows children time to play – in both directed and non-directed ways – as a critical part of their school day. With consultation from child development expert and author Dr. Kathy Hirsh-Pasek (author of Einstein Never Used Flashcards), our kindergarten curriculum was built with the knowledge that play is a central component of children’s growth. We believe that play-based learning forms the foundation for future academic success by helping our youngest students develop language skills, social and emotional skills, problem solving skills, and the ability to work effectively in groups.
HIGH SCHOOL PROGRAMS reflect the diversity of the student body. The district offers more than 200 courses, and 24 Advanced Placement opportunities. Students can take classes in business, technology, science, distributive education, music, and art courses, among many others, as well as enroll in advanced placement, accelerated honors, honors and academic-level courses.
In addition, students can take college level courses through the new dual enrollment program collaboration with West Chester University, where they can earn high school advanced placement credit and college credit at the same time. The District also offers blended learning courses, where students learn part of the time at school and part of the time through the online delivery of content and instruction. Other educational options are available at the Chester County Intermediate Unit’s Technical College High School, which helps prepare students for a variety of careers.
A WORLD LANGUAGE PROGRAM is available to students starting in seventh grade who meet certain criteria. Five different world languages are offered. Students have the opportunity to study French, German, Italian, Latin or Spanish in eighth grade, and can begin studying a language as early as seventh grade. The high school program provides an additional four years of study including Advanced Placement courses in French, Spanish, German and Latin.
WORLD WIDE WEST CHESTER -Technology resources are used extensively throughout the district to enhance teaching and learning. Wireless technology mediates flexible connection to the Internet in all schools. Interactive whiteboard projection, laptops and iPad devices are used to create dynamic learning environments. Every student in grades K through 5 receives an iPad. Students in grades 6 through 12 receive laptop computers to use both at school and at home as part of the district’s 1:1 computing environment. The Bring Your Own Technology program permits any student to use his or her personal computer in school.
COMMUNITY VOLUNTEERS assist the District in many 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 Retiree Substitute Volunteer Program (RSVP), which provides up to $560 to help offset real estate tax bills, in return for volunteer service.