The Big Spring School District is a midsized, rural, public school district which serves the residents of the Borough of Newville and Cooke Township, Lower Frankford Township, Lower Mifflin Township, North Newton Township, Penn Township, South Newton Township, Upper Frankford Township, Upper Mifflin Township and West Pennsboro Township in Cumberland County, Pennsylvania. Big Spring School District encompasses approximately 198 square miles (510 km2). According to 2008 local census data it serves a resident population of 18,665. In 2009, the resident's per capita income was $18,057, while the median family income was $47,347. According to District officials, in school year 2007-08, the Big Spring School District provided basic educational services to 3,082 pupils through the employment of 257 teachers, 175 full-time and part-time support personnel, and 18 administrators.
The district completed construction of a new high school (grades 9-12) in 2003, a new middle school (grades 6-8) in 2005, and operates four elementary schools (grades K-5). One of these elementary schools has recently been renovated, being the middle school, now being an elementary school. Total enrollment as of 2005-06 was 3,200 students. Enrollment declined to 3064 in 2009. Enrollment ia projected to further decline to 2561 by 2019. In June 2011, the district closed Plainfield Elementary School.
In 2011, the district agreed to participate in a pilot program to develop a new way to evaluate teachers that, in part, takes into account student achievement. Several other Cumberland County school districts are also participating including: Cumberland Valley School District, Carlisle Area School District, East Pennsboro Area Elementary School, Cumberland Perry AVTS, and Camp HIll School District. The pilot program had 104 K-12 entities, including: nine career and technical centers, nine charter schools and nine intermediate units. Beginning in January 2012, Cumberland County schools will use the new evaluation method and provide feedback to the Department of Education. This new evaluation will not be used to determine an educator’s official 2011-12 assessment.
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