Phoenixville Area School District (PASD) participates in the CollegeBoard® Advanced Placement Program. The AP program serves the Phoenixville Area High School (PAHS) students who are capable of pursuing college level studies, have met the prerequisites for the chosen course, and are interested in working at an advanced level. PCEF makes grant funds available to PASD to help economically-disadvantaged students offset the cost of these test fees.
AFJrROTC began in 2015 at the Phoenixville Area High School. This national program is designed to educate and train high school cadets in the fundamentals of the U.S. Air Force’s core values of “integrity first, service before self, and excellence in all we do.” The cadets support their school community and the community at large through service hours while maintaining the required academic standards.
The Envirothon Club at Phoenixville Area Middle School involves the students in a spring program that focuses on our community’s environmental health issues. Specialized instructors from Green Valleys Association give participants the knowledge and information they need to make lasting changes in their community.
Defined STEM is an initiative put in place at the Phoenixville Area Middle School. Teachers are asked to have lessons that are engaging and relevant, cross-curricular, focus on 21st century skills, differentiate learning, incorporate non-fiction reading and writing and provide an authentic assessment of their students’ understanding. We see this as the core fundamental of what STEM education is all about and Defined STEM strives to bring this type of learning to each teacher and student in a school.
Defined STEM’s Performance Tasks are built from the UBD (Understanding By Design) framework and present a real-world problem within the context of a career/industry. The career based videos frame the task, which allows the students to see the task through the career lens. These video lessons show the students the practical application of the educational concepts they are learning in school.
This Phoenixville Area High School program is designed to engage and motivate high-potential, mostly first-generation students to pursue opportunities in higher education. These students have the opportunity to work with a college professor, college student mentors and counselors. Through the program, the students participate in a college tour, visiting schools of various sizes, both public and private. Higher education scholarship awards are presented to students who complete participation in the program.
High school students have an opportunity to gain college credit prior to graduation through this program. The Phoenixville Area School District (PASD) is partnering with Delaware County Community College and Montgomery County Community College so students will be able to take courses for high school and college credit. Tuition assistance is provided to students with financial need.
Model UN is an extracurricular club at the high school. The students gain invaluable skills in research, public speaking, negotiation and leadership, while competing with their peers from around the world. Students participating in this program thoroughly research a given country, its viewpoints, and its political initiatives in preparation for attendance at a regional conference. During conferences, participants learn to examine international disputes and negotiate with allies and adversaries to resolve conflicts and assemble international cooperation.
Olweus is a whole-school program that has been proven to prevent or reduce bullying in the school setting. PASD has incorporated this program at the Phoenixville Area Middle School. Through teacher training and student participation, the program is designed to reduce existing bullying problems, prevent the development of new bullying and improve peer relations, thereby making the school a safer and more positive place for students to learn and develop. SWPBP is a complementary program that emphasizes positive behavior on the part of the school community.
The Post-Prom event is a volunteer led effort to provide a safe environment to our students on the evening after the prom. Students spend the night in the high school enjoying games, entertainment and refreshments. Donations to this effort are made through PCEF and PCEF also provides funding for the event.
The Pack-A-Backpack program provides grade-appropriate school supplies and backpacks to students in need in the Phoenixville area. Students are identified either through the free and reduced lunch program or recommended for the program through the guidance office at the schools. This program ensures that all students start the school year with the supplies they need to be successful in the classroom.
Summer Academics For Enrichment offers youth in grades 2 through 5 a free six-week enrichment camp that provides a supportive and structured environment to practice academic skills over the summer months. Participants develop self-esteem and positive social skills through healthy interactions and recreational activities. PCEF supports this program by securing and dedicating funds to pay for Friday fieldtrips.
The Pennsylvania Junior Academy of Science (PJAS) is a statewide organization designed to stimulate and promote interest in science among its members through the development of original research projects and investigations. This project encourages students to actively participate in science and math by following a scientific method to select a project, research the background, formulate a hypothesis, develop an experiment to prove or disprove the hypothesis, and to collect and analyze data from their experiment. Students prepare a written report and give an oral presentation including audiovisuals at a regional competition, and if awarded a red or blue ribbon, move on to the state competition hosted at The Pennsylvania State University – University Park.
The Phantom Food Packs program provides weekend food packs for PASD students living with food insecurity in Kindergarten through 5th grades. The students are identified by the school counselors and their families are invited to participate in the program. The Food Packs ensure that our youngest students are receiving the proper nutrition throughout the weekend.
Phoenixville Robot Works is a program offered to Phoenixville Area High School students to inspire them to be science and technology leaders. It encourages them to put their math and science skills to full use by engaging them in exciting programs that build science, engineering and technology skills. Robot Works also promotes self-confidence, communication, collaboration and leadership. Students design, build and program robots to perform set tasks assigned by the FIRST Robotics National Organization. Once built, the students attend competitions to test their robots against other high school teams.
The high school Physics Team provides students with a love of science and physics the opportunity to work on high level, open-ended physics problems. The students research a problem, conduct experiments, and draw conclusions that will advance scientific understanding. The team participates in the U.S. Young Physicists Tournament where they present and debate their research and conclusions in front of renowned scientists and their peers from high schools around the country.
Four Phoenixville Area School District college-bound seniors receive PCEF scholarship awards (currently $2000 each) annually upon graduation from high school. PCEF also facilitates the awarding of scholarships to graduating seniors for local organizations or individuals.
In addition, PCEF administers a growing number of scholarships funded by alumni or community members.
The Stepping Up Summer Literacy Program is an invitation-only, tuition-free, four-week program designed for students in the district who have completed grades K though 5. Eligible students are reading below grade-level (as indicated in the mid-year DRA and/or DIBELS data) and are at risk of losing reading skills over the summer. Eligible students receive the literacy support they need to prevent the ‘summer slide.’
Each year PCEF sets aside funds for special requests that are brought to the board by PASD faculty and administration. These are projects/programs that were not built into the annual budget and are typically new initiatives.
Phoenixville Area High School hosts a fully functional television studio as well as equipment for ‘on the spot’ reporting and coverage of events. Students and specialized instructors handle all aspects of running the Phantom TV studio and programming is broadcast through a local cable channel into the community. The studio requires student participation before and after school as well as on weekends, and year round, including the summer. Funding is used to purchase additional and/or updated technology to produce professional quality broadcasts. The high school also uses the studio to teach multiple courses in broadcasting and production; it provides students with an invaluable learning and possible career development opportunity.