School Counts



Student Commitment Card

The Forest Area School District, in conjunction with area businesses, The Oil Region Alliance, the Forest County Business Alliance and Forest County Community & Economic Development has developed the School Counts! Employability Certificate and its application process to help students compete effectively for employment. Forest Area School District administrators, faculty and staff work hard to prepare students to be ready to meet the high standards expected of them in their futures.  Now we are ready to provide a process that will prepare our students for employment and also provide evidence that they have met the standards for earning an employability certificate.  It is our hope that in working to earn this certificate, students will begin to realize the importance of dependability, responsibility and trust – the non-tangible but critical skills necessary in today’s world of work.  What is an Employability Certificate?
An employability certificate is a document that certifies that a student has met specific academic and workplace standards.  The School Counts! Employability Certificate indicates that a student has met the criteria that have been developed by our schools and the local business community.  It is recognized throughout Forest and Venango Counties and will be issued to students who apply and successfully meet the criteria.The Employability Certificate can help prove to employers that you are a hard working student.  There are five certificates that you can earn in grades 9-12.  You will have the chance to be issued an Employability Certificate each year in grades 9-12 that certifies you have met the stated criteria.  If you earn all four annual certificates, you will also earn the School Counts! Master Certificate.  Who Is Eligible to Apply for a School Counts! Employability Certificate?
All students in grades 9-12 in the Forest Area School District are encouraged to apply. Requirements for Earning a School Counts! Employability Certificate:

  • Obtain a grade of “C” or better in every course.
  • Achieve a 95% attendance rate and punctuality record. 
    • Students may qualify with up to 9 absences and 5 tardies during a year.
    • Excused and unexcused absences will be counted.
    • Days missed due to a death in the family, school sponsored trips, college visits, court hearings or medical visits will not be counted.
  • Complete high school in eight consecutive semesters to earn a Master Certificate.
    • Students who drop out of school for a period of time or repeat a grade level for any reason are ineligible for the Master Certificate.
    • If a student has an IEP that demands more than four years to complete high school, they will be eligible.
  • Take more than the minimum graduation requirements. 
  • Demonstrate positive behavior, including no suspensions from school.
  • Pass random drug tests.

This program requires no extra time commitment on your part.  Students just need to keep their grades up, come to school every day and arrive on time.  Schedule a variety of challenging classes and do your very best in those courses.  Your high school years are very important – make the most of them by participating in the School Counts! program!

How do I apply?
1.  Read and understand the requirements as presented and commit yourself to the effort it will take to meet those expectations.
2.  Complete the Student Commitment and Application Form and return it to your homeroom teacher or the guidance office in your school.
3.  Meet or exceed the program requirements to earn your Employability Certificate.

 I’ve Earned an Employability Certificate, Now What?
The Employability Certificate sends two important messages – one to you, congratulating you on your attitude and work ethic and another one to employers indicate that YOU are the person with that attitude and work ethic they want. 

Your School Counts! Employability Certifcate can be used as part of your application for a part-time position during high school or as part of a career portfolio.  You may also include your certifcate in applications for college and other post secondary educational opportunities.

Take the School Counts! Employability Certificate with you when you go to a job interview (either a part-time job during school or a full-time job after graduation) to show your potential employer that you have earned the certificate.  The certificate will tell them that you have the skills they want!  


School Counts! is an initiative that encourages employers to use high school performance records as one of the criteria to evaluate high school job applicants.  The program also demonstrates the importance of building a strong work ethic in high school, as it will directly affect your future employment.

The program was originally adapted from the New Jersey Chamber of Commerce’s School Counts! Program by the Tri-Chamber Foundation, a business-education partnership centered in Columbia and Montour counties in 2003.  Since then it has gone regional and is now offered to students and businesses throughout Pennsylvania. 

For more information on the School Counts! program, please contact:


 Shirley Edmondson
Guidance Counselor
Forest Area School District
(814) 755-3302
(814) 927-6688

School Counts Business Partners
84 Lumber
Action Auto Services
Baillie Lumber Co.
Barr’s Insurance
BSI Financial Services, Inc.
Burger King – Franklin & Titusville
Caldwell Printing
Changing Times Telephone ServiceCharter Plastics
Child Development Centers, Inc.
Cranberry Arby’s
Cranberry Area School District
CS Technologies Plus
Cyphert’s Tree Service
Eckert Chiropractic
Edward Jones
Farmer’s National Bank – Titusville
Forest County Business Alliance
Forest Ridge Cabins and Campground
Franklin Industries
Galaxy Federal Credit Union
Gonstead Chiropractic
Grand Valley Manufacturing Company
Hagan Business Machines
Hoss’s Restaurant
Industrial Timber & Lumber
Klapec Trucking
Liberty Electronics
Lightning Strike Productions
Matric Limited
Moxie Media
Northwest Savings Bank – Titusville Office
Oil Creek Plastics, Inc.
Oil Region Alliance of Business, Industry & Tourism
Pepsi Cola Bottling Company
Pretzel Plus of Cranberry
Rocco’s PIzzzeria
Shoup’s True Value
Specialty Fabrication and Powder Coating
Titusville Redevelopment Authority
UPMC Northwest
Venango Training and Development Center
Wagner Family Eyecare
Webco Industries, Inc.
Yeany’s Maple