Downingtown Area School District

Superintendent Welcome

Welcome to DASD!

At Downingtown, we believe that students learn best when they are engaged. To foster true understanding and mastery of new concepts and subjects, our talented faculty help students connect with lessons in inspiring, imaginative, and differentiated ways. Known as one of the best districts in the Philadelphia metropolitan area as well as throughout the Commonwealth or Pennsylvania, we are committed to creating digitally blended learning environments that will take the weight off traditional 2x4x8x180 structures of teaching and learning.

Two covers to a book, four walls to a classroom, and eight periods in a day for 180 days is an ‘old-school’ way of teaching and learning. What we know today, in 2015-16, is that all learning is blended. We read books with two covers and we read books on tablets and phones, we learn in rooms with four walls and we learn on-line, in remote locations, anytime and anywhere. We like the comfortable structure of an eight period day for 180 days without change but we know we live and work in a non-linear, flexible world. Inflexibility in the daily schedule doesn’t align to strong interventions, strong remediation, or strong extensions of learning. It doesn’t customize the learning for children. Last, we know that some children learn ‘on grade level content’ in 180 days and some don’t. The old time bound, 20th century, Industrial mindset to school was for that era. Today’s Information Age, calls for Information Age mindsets.

Examples of DASD reimaging the 2x4x8x180 Industrial Age mindset to the mass customized Information Age mindset in our schools is as follows:  

  • All of our K-5 children are exposed to digital learning in school and at home through an innovative take at exploring world language through Rosetta Stone.

  • This year we have two instructional technology coaches supporting our elementary in a 1:2/4 classroom I-pad initiative where elementary students are using digital learning platforms throughout the school day to master core content.

  • At our Marsh Creek 6th Grade Center we provide every student with an I-Pad and they are using that personal device to create content, publish content, collaborate through google docs and Schoology, and are being exposed to more on-line content alongside textbooks.

  • In our two middle school programs, students will continue the 1:1 platform using I-Pads and (for this year only) laptops to mirror the digitally blended environment created at Marsh Creek.

  • Our two comprehensive high schools are in the second year of a very robust blended course program where students meet for class 2 or 3 days out of a 6 day cycle further dismantling the notion of a 2x4x8x180 routinized schedule. Our blended course enrollment at East and West HS in 2014-15 was 422 students and enrollment in 2015-16 is 613 students. In 2014-15 we offered 50 HS blended courses and in 2015-16 we are offering 86.

  • At our magnet STEM Academy high school program, the top ranked school in Pennsylvania for 2013 and 2014, we have totally imploded the 2x4x8x180 concept by creating a malleable daily schedule, flexible movement around the building with no study halls, a Knowledge Commons instead of a library, collaboration rooms for students to work on projects as Project Based Learning is the preferred method of instruction, no course leveling, and where all 800 STEM students are immersed in the liberal arts International Baccalaureate curriculum. At STEM they create a mass customized environment through their STEM pathway program tied to mandatory individualized internships in STEM corporations, many of whom serve on the Academy’s prestigious STEM Advisory Board.

  • Both DASD flagship high schools, East and West High Schools, were recognized as two of the top 1000 high schools in America by Newsweek magazine in June of 2012, 2013, and 2014. Downingtown East HS was recognized in Newsweek’s top 500 high school programs in 2015.

  • East and West High Schools were both recognized by US News and World Report in their 2014 rankings of America’s Top High School programs. The STEM Academy made the US News listing in 2015.

  • In the spring of 2015, The Washington Post listed the Most Rigorous High School Programs in the United States and the STEM Academy program was listed as the top program in Pennsylvania, the 6th ranked most rigorous program in the Northeast, and the 95th ranked program in the United States. Only 36 Pennsylvania high schools made the Washington Post list and the Downingtown Area School District found itself the only multiple high school district in Pennsylvania where all three high schools were on the Washington Post’s Most Rigorous list for 2015. East HS was ranked 21st and West HS ranked 31 on the prestigious Post list.

  • The District itself was ranked 8th out of 500 Districts in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania based on the state’s School Student performance on the state PSSA exam in the fall of 2012.

Downingtown is proud of the fact that 96% of all graduates go on to college. The Downingtown Area School District is known for its excellent schools, hard-working students, dedicated teachers, involved and caring parents, and a supportive community. However, rather than me telling you about our schools, the best way to get to know us is to visit. I encourage you to meet our warm, supportive school community for yourself.

Please call us to schedule a visit or simply ask a question. Please e-mail our Public Information Director,, or call us at (610)269-8460. On behalf of the Board of Education and everyone at DASD, thank you for visiting our Web site and we look forward to meeting you.

Dr. Lawrence Mussoline
Lawrence Mussoline, Ph.D.
(610)269-8460; 6112
Ginny Warihay
Executive Assistant
(610)269-8460; 6112