Beginning at about the time of Pennsylvania’s first Public School Act of 1834, one
room schools began to dot the landscape in the Northeastern section of York County. As
the area in population increased after the Civil War, the number of those schools
Before the public school system was accepted, a local plan was adopted and so called
"free schools" were established. They did not however, afford equal privileges to all
classes. The poorer children were neglected. The state education legislative act of 1848
was to be enforced in the area and a board of directors were elected. (This was during
the time when Manchester Borough and East Manchester was a part of Manchester
Township.) A conflict arose in the town of Liverpool (now Manchester Borough). A large
number of people assembled. Most of them came for the purpose of objecting to the
idea of schools opened to the total public in the area and the longer school term. After
some of the directors conferred, all except two resigned. Daniel Rodes with Jacob Kirk
began to force the system. They appointed John Bower to be the tax collector. In some
cases he was obliged to levy on personal property in order to collect the school tax. The
opposition was very violent at times. However, the system some proved to be successful.
As the different municipalities formed from Manchester Township, they each created
their own school board and public system.
The first schools in the area was in the old Mennonite Meeting House, which is still
standing on Meeting House Road and the Methodist Meeting House in New Holland. In
1870, a school board was organized for Manchester Borough. The first Manchester
Borough school, built in 1905, was a three room school situated in back of Christ
Lutheran Church. Classes were also held in Fraternity Hall on Main Street.
The first school in Mount Wolf opened during the early 1850’s in a one room log
house at the corner of Walnut and Main Streets. It was used for nearly 25 years. In
1876, a new brick school was built on Center and Second Street. In 1909, the building
was torn down and a new one was built. In 1910, Mount Wolf elected its first school
board. In 1914, a newer school was built on South Third Street and was used as a
school until 1958 when the Mount Wolf Junior High building was changed to be Mount
Typical elementary grades were first thru eighth, until Mt Wolf provided a Junior High
School, in1930, for grades seven and eight to which grade nine was added in 1950. For
several years after it was constructed, the State Department of Education directed
prospective High School builders to come see what they consider the finest of its kind
and size in the State. The Senior High School had its inception in 1908. Its classes met
in rented or donated spaces until 1927 when the first high school building was occupied
on Liverpool Street in Manchester Borough.
In 1952, a jointure was effected between the present area municipalities. A
combined Junior Senior High School was begun by the jointure in 1953. A new
elementary school in Conewago Township and York Haven was built which allowed 28
one-room schools to close.
The present school district was formed and made an official part of the county in
1954. The present High School was built in 1958 with the Junior High opened in 1963.
Another elementary school was built in 1970. In 2009, a newer Junior High was build
and the older Junior High was combined with the High School. Two intermediate schools
were built in 2000 and 2007.