York holds meeting on school redistricting plan

The York City School District held a town hall meeting Thursday night at William Penn High School to give parents the opportunity to ask questions regarding the new redistricting plan for next year.

The district is expecting to acquire 624 new students now that New Hope Academy has been forced to close. With high class sizes now, Superintendent Eric Holmes says the district has decided to reopen Hannah Penn to serve as a K-8 school for 2014-2015.

“We noticed as we took a look at some of our classes the numbers were high,” Holmes said.

The target amount of students is 550-650 in each school. Goode K-8 and McKinley K-8 will have fewer students from last year. Shouldering that load will be Hannah Penn, with demographic made up from pieces of the Davis, Jackson and Ferguson schools.

“Opening Hannah Penn and spreading out those students in that area will reduce the class size and just improve education overall,” said Holmes.

To help each student who will be making a transition, the district will provide mentors.

“When students are uprooted, you want to make sure they are comfortable with their new placement, so what we wanted to do is give them a soft landing and give them an opportunity to talk, too,” said Holmes.

With an influx of new students and the opening of Hannah Penn, the district will be looking to hire nearly 30 new teachers.

“We have held two job fairs within the district and we have had 70-80 candidates come to each of those job fairs interviewing, and we are currently in the process of hiring people for Hanna Penn,” Holmes said.

Parents who could not make it out for Thursday night’s town hall meeting should expect a letter detailing the redistricting plan by next week.

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