York City School District prepares for New Hope students

Written by Ben Allen, General Assignment Reporter | May 7, 2014 4:54 AM

(York) -- The York City School District will have a different look next fall, as it absorbs students from a soon-to-be-shuttered charter school.

Hannah Penn is getting re-opened as a Kindergarten through 8th grade school, and new boundaries will be drawn within the district to keep school sizes as close to equal.

New Hope Charter School rally

Superintendent Eric Holmes says the plan was put in place last October, when the state’s Charter Appeals Board first ruled the New Hope Charter School must close. A panel of Commonwealth Court judges recently upheld that ruling.

He says of the 800 New Hope students, about three-fourths are in high school.

Some parents have praised staff at New Hope for their attention to students, but Holmes say it’s no different at the district's high school.

"William Penn is a family. Wiliam Penn has that touch. I would stack my staff at William Penn and administration at William Penn against any other school in the county."

Holmes says the district is also planning to re-start an arts program at William Penn High School, re-open Hannah Penn to accommodate students, and alter its existing boundaries to keep class sizes in balance.

"We're going to show through our test scores, through our student growth and progress, through the programs that we're offering, that we have the resources that are necessary for the students to be successful," says Holmes.

A town hall meeting is scheduled at Hannah Penn school Thursday night starting at 6:30, and two Saturday registration sessions are also on the calendar to get students’ paperwork in order. The registration sessions will be held on May 10th and May 31st, from 10 am until noon at William Penn High School.

The state Charter Appeals Board ordered New Hope closed because of mediocre standardized test scores and questions about conflicts of interest involving its board and the founder of the school.

Published in News, York

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