July 30, 2008

York County High School Adds Campus in New Oxford

By Andrew Shaw, The York Dispatch, Pa.

Jul. 30--York County High School, based in the West Manchester Mall, will be much more accessible to students in the Hanover area this fall.

A satellite campus will open in September at the Brethren Home on Route 30 at Cross Keys, making it more convenient for 17- to 20-year-old students who dropped out of Hanover or South Western high schools, or any of the Adams County high schools, to get their diploma. The Brethren Home is a religiously affiliated retirement community.

York County High School lets high-school drop-outs make up credits they need to graduate, taking only those courses to speed up the process. The new campus will operate the same and will be overseen by officials at the main campus.

About 40-50 students are expected to enroll this fall at the satellite campus.

"The big high school setting is not for everybody," said South Western Superintendent Barbara Rupp.

The school might get those students unable or unwilling to drive to the mall location to get their diploma, she said. Busing is not provided.

"It's a little far for kids here," she said of the main campus. Home schooling isn't always appealing either, she said. The new campus will get her closer to her goal. "That would be a dream come true for me, if we have every kid graduate. ... Getting a high school diploma is so critical."

Each school district will pay a pro-rated share of the estimated $240,000 operating cost for the school year, based on how many students it sends, according to Dan Trimmer, superintendent of Conewago Valley School District in New Oxford.

South Western will probably have 10 seats, and Hanover will have four; the cost was included in each district's budget for 2008-09.

Considering the alternative to funding the school is having students never get their diploma, creating the satellite campus is a "no-brainer," Trimmer said.

"There is nothing like that in the Adams-Hanover area. There's no option for [students] to get a diploma beyond a traditional high school setting ... and for most of those kids, the traditional high school setting wasn't working," Trimmer said.

Spending a few thousand per student is wise, he said.

"That was certainly a reasonable investment to make. ... This is a proven program that's reasonably cost," Trimmer said.

To register or get more information, students should contact their home district.


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