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District History

Our History

A Brief Overview and Timeline of Significant Events
in Central York School District's History

Central York School District traces its beginning to 1952, when representatives of North York Borough, Manchester Township and a portion of Springettsbury Township joined to form the Central Joint School System of York County. The following timeline provides a brief overview of the development of Central York School District.**


  • 1952: Articles of Agreement are signed, forming a district of about 29 square miles. The district includes the existing North York High School. The Central Joint Municipal School Authority of York County is created. Plans to add on to the high school are under way. The Springettsbury School is opened.
  • 1954: The Central Joint School System is reorganized to the Union School District, and three individual Boards of Directors are merged into one. The Central High School opens. The first graduating class contains 86 students. 
  • 1955: Pleasureville Elementary School is completed. 
  • 1957: North Hills Elementary School is completed. 
  • 1959: The district completes an addition to Wilson Elementary School Building.


  • 1960: North Hills Junior High School is completed, providing a second school for district students in grades 7-9.
  • 1962: A structure containing restrooms and concessions stands is completed at the Central High Athletic Complex. 
  • 1966: The Central York Union School District becomes the Central York School District, as part of a statewide reorganization of school districts. C. Clinton Ruby, former supervising principal, is appointed as Superintendent. Stony Brook Elementary School opens, and the district operates its first kindergarten. 
  • 1967: Central York School District joins with other districts to form the York County Area Vocational Technical School.


  • 1970: Dr. C. Clinton Ruby, the first Superintendent of Central York School District, retires. Dr. H. Richard Brothers, the incumbent Assistant Superintendent, is elected to replace Dr. Ruby. In September of 1970, an addition to the Hayshire Elementary School is completed to accommodate growth in the George Street area.
  • 1973: Construction begins on an addition to Central High School. 
  • 1975: The addition to Central High School is completed, and the ninth grade is moved to the Senior High School. 
  • 1976: The graduating class of Central High School is its largest in history, with 302 members. 
  • 1977: The district experiences a reduction in growth that leads to the closing of school buildings. The Springettsbury School building is closed to pupil enrollment. 
  • 1978-1979: Assistant Superintendent Dr. Lewis Jury resigns and is replaced by Dr. Walter Rudy.
  • 1979: District Superintendent Dr. Brothers resigns and is replaced by Dr. William C. Snyder.


  • 1980: The Lightner Elementary School building is closed and is leased to the LIU to house special programs. The School Board implements a Student Board member program to provide for student involvement in the decision-making program.
  • 1981: The Wilson Elementary School, built in 1911, is closed. The building is sold to the Yorktowne Business Institute. The School Board develops a Long Range Plan for School Improvement, and is one of the first Districts in Pennsylvania to receive registration status with the state Department of Education. A Citizen's Advisory Council is created as part of this project. 
  • 1982: The Pleasureville Elementary School is closed. The North Hills Junior High School becomes the Central York Middle School. The sixth grades are moved to that building. 
  • 1985: The District institutes the Central Academy of Teaching and Learning to deliver meaningful staff development as part of the 1985-1990 Long Range Plan. 
  • 1986: Enrollment begins to grow again, prompting the district to initiate a Building Feasibility Study to review the age and condition of all buildings and determine their potential for future use. 
  • 1988: A committee comprised of Board members, administrators, staff and community members recommends restructuring the elementary grades to provide for a district-wide school serving grades 4-5 and three schools serving grades K-3.


  • 1990: The former Pleasureville School Building is converted to to the current Educational Service Center. The ESC houses district administrators and support staff.
  • 1991: North Hills Elementary School renovations are completed, and a new Roundtown Elementary School is completed and opened to students. A teacher strike that will last 21 days begins on the second day of the 1991-1992 school year. 
  • 1992: The School Board and Central York Education Association agree upon a teacher's contract in early January. The District begins a Comprehensive Curriculum Review and Rewrite to ensure all curriculum areas in the District reflect the State Board of Education revised Curriculum Standards.
  • 1993: During 1993 and 1994, the Central York High School staff participates in a study of the ways the school should be restructured to meet the needs of 21st century students. The School Board authorizes block scheduling to allow for more time for focused study of fewer subjects.
  • 1994: The School Board commissions a Technology Study to determine the degree and extent to which technology should be used in classroom instruction throughout the District. A Distance Learning Laboratory is established on the Central York High School campus. The access to technology enables students to study subjects not typically included in a high school curriculum. 
  • 1996: The addition and renovation project at Central York Middle School is completed for the opening of school. The project increases the size and capacity of the school, and provides students with access to technology resources in support of the curriculum. The School Board adopts a Strategic Plan for 1996-2001. The plan includes a focus on actions the District can take to prepare each student to succeed in a post-secondary world that requires high-tech skills and workforce knowledge. 
  • 1997: The district approves the concept of a Career Academy program at Central York High School. The program will focus students in a career academy that relates to a broad cluster of professional and technical occupations. The School Board commissions a Pennsylvania Economy League (PEL) Demographic Study that projects an increase of 22.2% in a 10-year-period. The School Board authorizes an analysis of the Central York High School to determine when additional space will be necessary to educate students within the building. 
  • 1998: Dr. William C. Snyder retires as the third Superintendent of the District. Dr. Linda E. Estep, the Assistant Superintendent, is elected to replace him. Mrs. Gretchen McFarland is appointed Assistant Superintendent in June of 1998. Because of additional student population growth and anticipated new construction, the District begins to study ways to increase capacity at Roundtown Elementary. The District acquires land adjacent to Central York High School from the Topflight Company to provide additional space as High School student enrollment continues to grow.


  • 2000: The District initiates a Feasibility Study to examine how to address the growing population and limited capacity of the existing Central York High School. Through a series of public input sessions, the District receives community feedback in support of building a new high school.
  • 2001: The District purchases a 137-acre tract of land on Mundis Mill Road for the new high school. 
  • 2003: Construction of the new high school begins. 
  • 2004: The District begins renovations to its three K-3 elementary schools to accommodate the growing district population and subsequently increased student enrollment. The renovations will provide each school with the capacity to house 750 students.
  • 2005: The new Central York High School opens its doors to students. It has the capacity to serve 1,650 students. The new High School is constructed to support the Career Academy Model offered to Central York High School students. Several artifacts from the former school are built into the new High School's architecture, including stained glass windows and gargoyles featured in the new school's atrium. The District hosts a Dedication Ceremony in early fall of 2005 to provide community members with an opportunity to tour and become acquainted with the new building. The District introduces a College Preparatory Math (CPM) curriculum designed to prepare students to excel in mathematics in high school and post-secondary academic environments.
  • 2006: The District restructures the elementary grade levels, so that students are grouped in grades K-3 and 4-6. The Central York Middle School will house students in grades 7-8. The District initiates a Feasibility Study Advisory Group to help recommend solutions for managing the growing student population. Newly renovated Hayshire, Roundtown and Stony Brook Elementary Schools are opened for the start of the 2006-2007 school year. The District's minority student population continues to grow and the Administration and School Board study programs and resources needed to support the District's growing diverse population. 
  • 2007: Growing student enrollment prompts the District to plan for an expansion of the new Central York High School. Construction begins in August 2007, and the plans include a Central York Community Natatorium. Central York High School is named one of the state's first "Classrooms for the Future" when the program launches statewide in early 2007. The District launches a Diversity Education Program and hires three Diversity Education Specialists to work with students, faculty and staff. The District hosts its first "Diversity Celebration," an event encouraging students and families throughout the District to celebrate their differences and learn more about other cultures. Mrs. Gretchen McFarland retires from the position of Assistant Superintendent, and Dr. Michael Snell is appointed.
  • 2008: Construction is completed on an expansion at Central York High School that includes 22 new classroom spaces, an expanded cafeteria space and the Central York Community Natatorium. The Pennsylvania School Board Association names the District one of four "Schools of Excellence in Technology" in the state.  A group of independent auditors studying resource use in public education designates Central York School District "most efficient and effective" in terms of cost spent to educate each student compared to student performance on statewide standardized assessments.  The District completes a Strategic Plan for 2008-2014.
  • 2009: Dr. Linda Estep retires from the District on January 1. Dr. Michael Snell, Assistant Superintendent, is appointed Superintendent. Mr. Robert Grove is hired as Assistant Superintendent. Student enrollment in certain elementary attendance areas begins to grow and raise concern for classroom size and building capacity at Hayshire Elementary (K-3) and Sinking Springs Elementary (4-6). The School Board and Administration study ways to manage this growth in a cost-effective manner. The student population continues to grow in diversity, with the minority population reaching its highest percentage yet (23.2%).  
  • 2010:  The District realigns elementary school attendance areas to manage growth at Hayshire and Sinking Springs Elementary Schools. Students in Grades K-3 who would have previously attended Hayshire will now attend Roundtown Elementary. Students in the North York Borough of the District will now attend North Hills Elementary School for Grades 4-6 instead of Sinking Springs Elementary School. The District proposes a "Learning With Technology Initiative" that will provide each student at Central York High School with a laptop for classroom and at home use. The initiative is an outgrowth of the District's Strategic Plan, which calls for the Administration to explore expanding access to technology resources to meet students' 21st century learning needs. After a series of public meetings and discussions, the School Board votes not to implement the initiative due to the challenging economic times facing the District and nation.
  • 2011: The impact of the nation's tough economic times can be felt within Central York School District. Nearly 1/4 of the student population now qualifies to receive free and reduced breakfast or lunch through the national program. The state's budget difficulties trickle down and, for the first time in District history, the Board and Administration are planning for a school year that includes an increase in projected expenses and a decrease in projected revenues. The District conducts a series of public meetings and work sessions to involve the community in budget discussions. In June of 2011, the School Board adopts a General Fund Budget that does not include a tax increase, and does not use any fund balance or special exceptions as allowed by the Pennsylvania Department of Education. 

    **With Special Thanks To: Dr. William C. Snyder, Retired Superintendent, Central York School District, who wrote "A History and Chronology of The Central York School District." His work has been abridged within this document and used to provide historical information from 1950 through 1998. 
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