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 increased.
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 Wolf Elementary.
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
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.