Beware of Fake News about Charter and Cyber Schools

If it’s on the internet it must be true?  If you see an advertisement for a “FREE” public school education that promises to be “the best education available in the State of Pennsylvania,” you better stop and check the facts.

In recent months the term “fake news” has gained much needed attention.  The challenge, however, is when is the news true and factual, and when is the news false?  One old-time adage to guide your reasoning should be, ‘if it’s too good to be true, it most likely is not.’  You might want to check multiple sources before you believe the story.  A case in point is the alleged success of Pennsylvania’s cyber and charter schools. Go directly to

A quick look at York County students in cyber and charter schools will show you academic failure by the same metrics used to measure academic success in our school district elementary, middle and high schools.  In one local charter school, only 19% of students are proficient or better in reading. In another local charter school, only 40% are proficient in mathematics.  Results for third grade reading proficiency is only 41%.   Students from York County, who are enrolled in Agora Cyber School, Commonwealth Connections Cyber School, PA Cyber Charter or most of the other 11 “Pennsylvania Approved” schools surprisingly demonstrate even worse academic performance: one cyber program reports only 34% proficient or better in mathematics and 27% proficient or better in reading at the third grade level.  The one exception to these poor results would be the York Academy Regional Charter school, however only 40% of students score proficient or better in mathematics.

This is not fake news – these are public records for your review.

Part two of the cyber – charter news scam is they are “free.”  Too good to be true?  The school property taxes paid locally pay the tuition for every local cyber and charter school student.  In the York Suburban School District, we budget nearly $1.2 MILLION for the “free” education.  To compound the absurdity of the PA Laws protecting cyber and charter schools, no publicly elected school board officials have the power to say no to programs or services chosen by these cyber or charter families.

Again, this is not fake news – these are public records for your review.

As the Pennsylvania State Legislature begins a new budget debate to determine how limited education funds will be distributed to school districts, it is imperative that accountability for school choice becomes a high priority.  The public schools in York County are providing a top quality education for ALL students who live in our communities and local property taxes should go to those successful public schools first.

Dr. Larry Redding

Acting Superintendent

Stanford Researchers Demonstrate Value of York Suburban Education

Submitted by Dr. Brian Ellis

A group of researchers from Stanford University under the direction of Dr. Sean Reardon analyzed the assessment results of Grades 3-8 students from over 11,000 districts in the country. The researchers contrasted what is often a significant difference between looking at the performance of students (achievement and test scores) and the growth that students in one district experience relative to those in another district. For each district, they calculated the average amount of growth in the five years between Grades 3 and 8. When looking at the results of York Suburban, the researchers found that our students actually experience 6.0 years of growth in the five years, which ranks in the 97th percentile nationally! It is yet another example of the value of a York Suburban education. To read more about Dr. Reardon’s research you can access his paper at: or read a New York Times article by Emily Badger and Kevin Quealy that talks about the research and how different school systems nationally have performed, “How Effective Is Your School District? A New Measure Shows Where Students Learn the Most “.


York Suburban Ranked in top 50 Public Schools for Athletics in Pennsylvania

Submitted by Matt Marshall, Athletic Director

York Suburban High School is one of two York-Adams schools represented on the list of “Pennsylvania Top 50 Public Schools for Athletics” according to and is #40 in the state, the highest ranking received by a YAIAA school.

This is a great accomplishment and well-deserved recognition for our coaches, student-athletes, faculty, and community supporters who all take pride in the programs, and development of York Suburban students and athletics. The commitment and sacrifices made by all are extremely appreciated.  

We  look forward to not only remaining in the top 50, but the continued progress and success of the district athletic programs. Thank you for all you do in support of York Suburban athletics!

Link to article, York Dispatch: PA Top 50 Public School for Athletics


Education Foundation is Calling All Teachers!

Submitted by Laura Horowitz, YSEF 

The deadline for submitting grant applications to York Suburban Education Foundation (YSEF) is February 1. We welcome your creative ideas and we want to fund them. So go to, select the “Grants” tab and then select “Grant Guidelines and Application” from the dropdown menu. There you will find everything you need to complete an application to give your students new experiences.

Do you have fidgety students? You might want to apply for adaptive furniture. Or teach them yoga. Or lead them through a Brain Gym.

Would your students benefit from a field trip? We’ve sent groups to Broadway, and to visit college campuses, and to attend a Science Olympiad.

Is there a unique program you’ve heard of that your students might enjoy? We’ve funded tanks for raising trout for all of the 7th grade science classrooms, and greenhouses for 3rd graders, and drums for all elementary students.

Bring us your best ideas and let us help you bring them to fruition.

Mock Interviews at York Suburban High School

Submitted by Mrs. Theresa Jackson

On January 11, 165 York Suburban seniors participated in mock interviews. Twenty community members from various fields volunteered their time to create this authentic experience for the students. The interviewers gave students valuable feedback on their answers, resumes, and attire.

Prior to the interviews, seniors prepared by creating resumes and answering practice interview questions. The preparation helped, but some seniors were quite nervous on the day of the interviews. “I never thought I would do great in a interview, but I found that I’ve exceeded my own expectations,” stated Steve Turner.

Many students felt the experience was valuable and allowed them to gain confidence in their ability to sell themselves. Tracy Carr, a senior who is new to YS this year stated,  “Overall it was a great learning experience for the future, and I can look back and reflect on this to keep making strides in my interviewing skills.”  

Middle School Adds Up at MathCounts

Submitted by Mrs. Karen Campbell

York Suburban Middle School students competed in the York County MathCounts Competition on Tuesday, January 9. Participants included:

8th graders

Noah West, Leo Chen, Jordan Weaver, Gelisse Seidel, Amanda Sargen, Jacqueline Kouma, Matthew Aulthouse, and Ellen Boldt

7th graders

Edward Lulo, Lydia Wilt, Rachel Potts, and Abigail Miller

6th graders

Ty Pridgen, Jake Foremsky, Ann Sargen, and Kyan Stockman

Individually, Edward Lulo ranked 7th and the team of West, Chen, Weaver, and Lulo ranked 4th​.


Teaming Up for the Community




From the end of November through mid-December, students and staff at York Suburban collected canned and boxed food items for the York County Food Bank’s (YCFB) annual Give A Meal food drive. This year, Apple Subaru provided extra incentive for participating school districts to collect items for the community by offering cash donations to districts that  generated the greatest weight in collected items.  Lead in total donations by the middle school, York Suburban collected over 5,800 pounds of food to earn first place in the competition. The $1000 prize will be donated to the York Suburban Education Foundation to support the many programs in district buildings providing for students and families in need.  

The Give A Meal program created an opportunity for a coordinated effort among district students and staff to give back to the community. Several volunteers packed boxes at the YCFB, Impact Foundation members bagged and donated personal care items, and local churches teamed with elementary buidings to provide additional support through the Food for Thought programs to help make the holiday season special for all York Suburban families.

Foundation Students Making an IMPACT

Submitted by Isobel Smith (Senior) , Sweeta Rasiyan (Junior)

This past holiday season has been full of events involving the Impact Foundation (IF), a student-led committee of the York Suburban Education Foundation. IF has one goal: York Suburban students helping students. Activities included the collection of food, attending the YSEF alumni events, creating stocking stuffer bags, managing the Impact Closets located in each district building, and operating Food for Thought – a weekend food backpack program. These events have been extremely impactful during the holiday season in helping York Suburban families in need feel a sense of security.  

Collection of Food: Over the holiday season, the collection of food was a major priority for IF. At the November YSEF alumni event, former York Suburban students and teachers donated 160 food items for IF’s Food for Thought weekend backpack program. IF student members also collected and donated over 300 additional items that were used to pack bonus food backpacks for families to use over long holidays breaks.

Holiday Stocking Stuffer Bags: IF students packed 80 goodie bags filled with toothpaste, toothbrushes, soaps, floss, and knitted hats using products donated to the Impact Closets.  These bags were then sent home with YSSD Give a Meal holiday boxes.

Student members of the Impact Foundation work many hours inside and outside of school to help York Suburban students and their families.  The IF students appreciate the support from the York Suburban community and staff. For example, we thank the district administrative staff at the Education Center who collected products needed for IF’s Impact Closets used to support families who need an extra helping hand. To learn more about how you can support IF’s continuing efforts, visit and follow York Suburban Education Foundation on Facebook.

Thank you!

Middle School Students Chosen for County Honors Band

Submitted by Mr. Judson Brill

The York Suburban Music Department is proud to announce the following students were selected for the York County Middle School Honors Band to perform at Central York Middle School in March: Emma Lim, Luke Wagner, Ava Michalski, Sarah Stark, Nicholas Hoke, Noah West, Cade Fogdall, and Avery Meyers. These students were chosen not only for their musical ability but their commitment to the middle school music department. Please join York Suburban Middle School  in congratulating these musicians on their selection.

Back Row: (left to right) Noah West, Luke Wagner, Cade Fogdall, Nick Hoke Front Row: (left to right) Avery Meyers, Sarah Stark, Emma Lim, Ava Michalski


Be Mindful

Submitted by Mrs. Stephanie Crumbling

As the Mindfulness Committee chairperson at Indian Rock Elementary, Mrs. Stephanie Crumbling is interested in learning how other schools in the area teach mindfulness and incorporate the lessons and activities into their classrooms.

Recently, she visited Dillsburg Elementary School,(DES) where mindfulness is part of the curriculum. Mindfulness lessons are taught by the guidance counselor to every second grader. Mrs. Crumbling shadowed the guidance counselor, Mrs. Kimberly Landauer for the day to interview her and observe small group lessons for at-risk students. She even met the DES service dog, Rory!

After each small group lesson, Mrs. Crumbling asked some of the students, many who have attention and focusing issues, how they felt about mindfulness lessons and activities. They reported that the mindfulness lessons help them focus and feel calmer, especially before a test. Mrs. Landauer feels that the greatest benefit to students is that they have a toolkit that enables them to put aside their worries, be present in the moment, and focus on the task at hand.

Stay tuned to see how mindfulness comes to The Rock.