West York Area
West York Area School District
Blue & White News

We’ll be including the latest district news here on this page. Be sure to check in often, as we’ll be updating this information frequently. For the latest in what is happening in the community outside of our schools, please check out our Community Corner page.

Board Member's View

--Mr. Rodney Drawbaugh, President

Serving on a school board is both rewarding and challenging. It is rewarding for me to be a part of the governing body that provides our children, including four of my own, with educational successes in an increasingly changing environment. I believe West York's Board has done an effective job of providing our administration, faculty, and staff with the resources they need to provide our children with programs of academic and cocurricular excellence. The most significant challenges, however, are financial and stem from Pennsylvania's decrease in public education funding, tax assessment appeals, and dramatically increasing special education costs. The result? West York must furlough teachers, lay off support personnel, and reduce our cocurricular offerings.

Many people have asked this Board why we are investing in our buildings when we are reducing staff, or could we have done something other than furlough teachers. The answer to why we are investing in our buildings is straightforward. All of our students deserve a safe and well-maintained learning environment. Capital investments in our schools will ultimately help maintain our home values, attract highly qualified teachers, and foster a positive learning environment for our children. (Please visit our FAQs for more information.) However, the answer regarding our ability to do something other than furlough teachers requires more explanation. The short answer is, no. For years we diligently worked to be conservative with budgeted monies and squirreled away savings to amass a sizable fund balance to pay for unforeseen expenses and carry us through difficult times. This has helped us either avoid or at least minimize tax increases during some years, and delay furloughs by one full school year. Over the course of the last four years we cut $4.3 million out of our operating budget. It has not been easy, and it caused us to trim or eliminate many resources that used to be available for staff and students. Employees across the District, including superintendents, administrators, faculty, and staff have gone without salary increases one or two years. Every position that became open was carefully scrutinized and often eliminated or reconfigured to save money. Despite our efforts, it was not enough. We must furlough teachers and lay off staff at the end of this school year. The seriousness of these actions and the impact on our academic program, as well as the personal hardships caused by loss of employment, do not escape this Board. The decisions were excruciating. I assure you that if there was anything else that could have been done, we would have unanimously voted to do it.

We must look forward. To that end I remain optimistic that boardsmanship rewards will outweigh the challenges. I believe the Bulldogs, myself included, are stronger than our challenges.  Now is the time to be resourceful and use our talents to bridge the gap until our state-wide public education funding problems are rectified and we rebuild to a leaner, stronger, and smarter West York.

Invitation to Bid

Please see the attached document for an Invitation to Bid on Additions and Renovations to Wallace Elementary School.

Ms. Catalano Receives Award for Excellence

WYASD is proud to announce that Ms. Pamela Catalano, one of our nurses who works at both the Middle School and Trimmer Elementary, has been chosen to receive the School Nurse Excellence Award for the South Central Region of Pennsylvania for 2014. The Pennsylvania Association of School Nurses and Practitioners (PASNAP) awards this honor annually to a school nurse who has demonstrated excellence in school nursing practice and leadership in school health. The award also entitles Ms. Catalano to be eligible for the prestigious National Association of School Nurses 2015 Pennsylvania School Nurse of the Year Award. PASNAP will be presenting the School Nurse Excellence Award to Ms. Catalano at their annual awards banquet at the Penn Stater Conference Center in State College, Pennsylvania. Congratulations, Ms. Catalano, on receiving this well-deserved recognition!

Welcome, New Bulldogs!

West York Area School District would like to welcome the following new members of our staff:

Lisa M. Armold - Food Service Aide, Wallace Elementary
Vincent J. Fattorusso - Technology Education Long-Term Substitute, High School

April Message from PennDOT

April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month! Learn more at http://www.justdrivepa.org/Traffic-Safety-Information-Center/Distracted-Driving/.

Questions and Answers from February's Board Meeting

During February's School Board Meeting, questions were addressed regarding current events in the district, including impending furloughs and construction projects. Please read the attached notes from the meeting for answers to these questions.

Snow Make-Up Days

Due to school closures caused by extreme weather conditions, school will be in session on the following dates:

  • April 21
  • June 9
  • June 10
  • June 11

Parents, please remember when planning summer activities that June 12-13 are designated for possible use as snow/emergency make-up days. Please Note: Final exams for 12th grade, as well as commencement activities, will remain as previously scheduled. Final exams for high school seniors are still scheduled for May 28th and 29th, and high school graduation will still be held on June 6th.

Snow Make-Up Dates Affect Half Day Schedule

Our last three days of school are scheduled as half days. Since the original dates of June 4th, 5th, and 6th are no longer the last three days of school, those days will now be full days. The new half days are June 9th, 10th, and 11th. If our school year is extended past June 11th to make up for any future extreme weather closings, those half days will move once again to the last three days of school. If you have any questions about the new schedule, please let us know!

PUBLIC NOTICE - Referendum Exceptions

Notice is hereby given that the West York Area School District Board of Directors intends to seek approval from the Pennsylvania Department of Education for referendum exceptions under Section 333 of Act 1 of Special Session 2006. The District intends to seek approval for the following exceptions: Special Education 333(f)(2)(v) and Retirement Contributions 333(n).

George W. Fike Jr., Board Secretary

Sports Physicals

The Athletic Department will host sports physicals for the 2014/2015 school year on Thursday, June 12th and Tuesday, August 5th from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. in the high school cafeteria. There will be a $20 fee for physicals.

Reconfiguration Update

The Board of Directors voted in favor of the elementary grade level reconfiguration. This means that beginning in August of 2014 (next school year) all second and third grade students will attend Lincolnway Elementary and all fourth and fifth grade students will attend Trimmer Elementary. With this vote, we understand that many questions will arise regarding transition, classroom assignments, transportation, classroom moves, parent/student communication etc. Now that the vote is finalized, we will be in touch to share the planning process with you for these transitions. Throughout the spring you will receive updates as the plans progress. This move holds limitless potential and opportunity for our faculty and students. We can encourage our students and ease their transition by maintaining a positive outlook and delivering a message that promotes the opportunities and adventure that lie before us. Thank you for your support and patience as we prepare for an amazing 2014-2015 school year! Answers to frequently asked questions are posted below.

Elementary Reconfiguration FAQs

For more information about the elementary reconfiguration proposal, please see the attached list of frequently asked questions and their answers. Thank you to all of you for your consideration in submitting questions and your continued support as we work to meet the needs of our West York Bulldogs.

Kindergarten Registration

The West York Area School District is currently accepting Kindergarten registration. To be eligible for Kindergarten, a child must be five years of age before September 1, 2014. You may register your child for Kindergarten by calling Ms. Ramp at 717-845-1671 ext. 3016 to schedule an appointment. Please bring to your appointment completed copies of registration forms available on the district website. Paper copies of the same forms can be obtained in the school office at either Loucks or Wallace Elementary Schools.

Please also bring with you the child’s birth certificate, record of immunization dates, and two proofs of residency when registering. One form of residency must be a current tax bill, an original mortgage, an agreement of sale, or a lease or rental agreement, signed by both parties, proving residency at the West York Area School District address. These forms must list the correct address in the parent or guardian’s name. For the second proof of residency, photo ID is preferred. Acceptable documents, showing the identical name and West York address, should be either a valid driver’s license, a valid vehicle owner’s card, a current utility or tax bill, a bank statement, or a paycheck stub.

Kindergarten and first grade classrooms for the District are located at Loucks and Wallace Elementary Schools.

Secondary Day-to-Day Substitutes Needed

The West York Area School District is currently seeking day-to-day substitutes holding PDE certification at a secondary level. To apply, please submit an application by selecting Online Application for Employment.

Coaching Vacancies

West York Area School District currently has the following coaching vacancies:

  • Varsity Head Basketball Cheerleading Coach
  • Junior High Head Boys Basketball Coach 
  • Junior High Assistant Boys Basketball Coach

Applications for these positions will be accepted online on our Employment Opportunities Page.

Dr. Lonardi Named 2014 PA Superintendent of the Year

West York Area School District’s own, Dr. Emilie Lonardi, has been named the 2014 Pennsylvania Superintendent of the Year by the Pennsylvania Association of School Administrators (PASA). According to the PASA website, this prestigious awards program, established in 1988, “recognizes outstanding individuals on the frontiers of educational leadership.”

Dr. Lonardi, who has served as Superintendent of the West York Area School District in York County for 16 years, is being recognized for her “innovative leadership.” This includes initiating programs that encourage high achievement rates, student accountability and motivation, effective staff evaluation and professional development, and cost-cutting through a campaign called the “West York Way,” which saved the district over $3 million in the last two years. In 2001-2002, she began an initiative based on creating a professional culture that builds teacher capacity and enhances both day-to-day instruction and student growth through a collaborative model that focuses solely on student work.

Dr. Lonardi keeps her constituencies focused on the district’s strategic plan, which provides a clear and consistent message regarding the long- and short-term goals, academic vision, and direction of the district. According to one of her peers, Dr. Lonardi is “a leader who challenges convention, stirs others into action and encourages staff to stretch to the edge of their competence.” 

A special PASA luncheon was held on Friday, November 15th, in Harrisburg to honor Dr. Lonardi’s achievement. She will also be attending the American Association of School Administrators National Conference on Education in Nashville, Tennessee, along with the 49 other state honorees.

Academic Performance Improves

Recently, Dr. Emilie M. Lonardi, Superintendent, presented longitudinal data regarding student performance on state-mandated standardized tests. It is not uncommon for schools that have decreased personal wealth in its population to see a similar decrease in student academic performance. Despite the district's declining wealth, our students' Reading and Math scores continue to trend upward, as these graphs demonstrate. The district attributes this success to hard working students, parents, teachers and administrators who remain focused on student academic success, and West York's strong curriculum and intervention programs.

Are You an Alumnus of West York?

We are in the process of creating website resources for our West York alumni. If you would like to receive information about future alumni events, sign up here.>>>

Facilities Improvements Projects FAQs

The School Board wants its constituents and staff to understand why reinvesting funds into its facilities will provide long-term benefits for our next generation of students. To that end, please click here to review FAQs about Facilities Improvement Projects.

Education Foundation for the WYASD

Like all Districts within the state, the West York Area School District (WYASD) faces the prospect of tighter budgets moving forward. In an effort to be proactive, the District has assisted in the formation of an educational foundation. The purpose of the Foundation is to secure private, tax-deductible donations and grant money to help fund District programs and resources. The Foundation will operate as an independent entity from the District and receive its governance from its own Board of Directors. Naturally, the Foundation will work in a strong collaborative effort with the School District’s Board. I am honored that the District's Board of Directors elected me to serve as its first representative on the Foundation's Board. I look forward to working side-by-side with Mr. Larry Richardson, Mr. Joseph Connolly, Ms. Lori Toth, Mr. Mark Keim, and Mr. Thomas Eyster, who are all members of the community and are parents of current or former West York students. Mr. Eyster is also a West York alumnus and retired teacher. Administrators from the District have agreed to serve on the Foundation’s Board to assist in providing information and guidance as needed. Dr. Emile Lonardi, Superintendent; Mr. George Fike, Business Manager; and Mr. David Peck, Assistant Business Manager, agreed to serve in this capacity.

The Foundation will be actively seeking corporate support through the Pennsylvania Educational Improvement Tax Credit Program (EITC).  Mr. Richardson was elected President of the Foundation Board. Mr. Connolly was elected Vice President, and he will chair the Fund Development Committee which will focus heavily on the EITC program as well as identifying major funding sources. Ms. Toth was elected Secretary, and she will chair the Publication and Marketing Committee. Mr. Eyster will chair the Alumni Committee, and Mr. Peck will serve as Treasurer. As the Foundation grows, we anticipate needing other committees, including an Audit & Finance Committee and Allocations Committee. That is where you come in! We are in need of volunteers to organize and serve on various committees to help us market the Foundation and attract benefactors, as well as develop action plans. If you are a member of the WYASD community and have a passion for providing students with enhanced programs, we encourage you to call us at (717) 792 2796 for more information on volunteering, or email us at bulldogmail@wyasd.k12.pa.us.

- By Mr. Rodney Drawbaugh, Board President

LIU Summer Academy

The LIU Summer Academy is an enrichment program for students in grades 3-8, offering courses in both the arts and academic strands. The program is held at both Gettysburg High School and Central York Middle School during specific weeks in June and July. If you are interested in having your student attend, please go to www.iu12.org.