Details About William Penn Senior High School Evacuation

Details about response to accident involving district school bus

This morning, a bus transporting students from William Penn Senior High School to the Edgar Fahs Smith STEAM Academy was involved in an accident. Six students were transported to the hospital for assessment of possible injuries. As of 3 p.m., each of the students had been treated and released from the hospital. The driver of the school bus was also transported to the hospital. All other students on the bus were evaluated by school nurses.

The school district contacted parents of the affected students and will report more information to the public when it is available. The safety and well-being of our students is always our top priority. We appreciate the community’s support and patience as we continue to investigate.

Friday, Jan. 4: Girls JV basketball game at Boiling Springs canceled

Due to a flu outbreak at Boiling Springs High School, the girls' JV basketball game has been canceled. However, the varsity teams will still play. Game time is 7 p.m. at Boiling Springs. Get well soon, Boiling Springs! And good luck, Bearcats!

William Penn

Class of 2021 hosting Panera fundraiser Friday, April 5

Posted on April 1st, 2019

Support the Class of 2021 on Friday, April 5 by making a purchase at Panera Bread, 1221 Carlisle Road in York.

From 4 to 8 p.m., a portion of the proceeds will be donated to the Class of 2021.

Show the cashier the flyer below when you place your order. For online ordering, use the PRFUND promo code.

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FAFSA Completion Night scheduled for February 27

Posted on February 11th, 2019

Class of 2019 students and parents/guardians:

Don’t miss FAFSA Completion Night on Wednesday, Feb. 27! Event will be held in the William Penn library from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m.

Bring the following:

  • Federal Student Aid ID. Go to to create your FSA ID
  • Your driver’s license number (optional)
  • Alien Registration number if you are not a U.S. citizen
  • W-2 Forms for 2017
  • 2017 Tax Return or Transcripts (if without W-2s)

For more information, call (717) 849-1218, extension 1199. Or, email Alana Barnes at or Raven Charleston at

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William Penn seniors: Sign up for Instant Decision Day on January 18

Posted on January 4th, 2019

Representatives from nine institutions of higher education will visit William Penn Senior High School on Friday, Jan. 18 to interview students and potentially extend offers of admission.

In order to receive an “instant decision” of admission from an institution, students must complete that institution’s application before their appointment. Representatives will also consider a student’s GPA, transcript and SAT score in deciding whether to offer admission.

Students can request appointments to meet with representatives for feedback on an application not yet submitted.

The following institutions will send representatives to meet with students on Instant Decision Day:

Wilson College
Harrisburg Area Community College
Edinboro University
Alvernia University
York College of Pennsylvania
Cheyney University of Pennsylvania
Millersville University
Bloomsburg University
Shippensburg University

Students can choose to meet with multiple representatives on Jan. 18 and potentially receive multiple offers of admission. In most cases, students should choose whether to accept an offer of admission by May 1.

The Instant Decision Day opportunity is open to any senior interested in pursuing higher education.

To participate, students must sign up with Raven Charleston, who is a College and Career Adviser at William Penn. She can be contacted at

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After school, William Penn Culinary Club gets cooking

Posted on November 5th, 2018

Dynasty Emory knows she loves to cook. The William Penn Senior High School junior also knows her culinary skills are limited.

That’s why she and about a dozen other students are staying after school once a week to learn everything they can from Michael Breeland and other volunteers.

On a recent Tuesday, Alan Thoman delivered a lesson on knife safety: Don’t try to catch a falling knife. Always walk with the blade down. Placing a knife in a sink of soapy water is a bad idea.

Thoman, the district’s assistant food service director, ended with a demonstration of culinary uses for different knives. In the background, Breeland kept an eye on a pot of not-yet-boiling water. That day, the students would be making chicken alfredo.

Breeland is a lifelong cook who said the kitchen keeps him connected to his roots. He is also a member of the district’s Board of School Directors.

“I have always cooked for family members and friends and use food as a means of showing love and appreciation,” Breeland said.

Through the Culinary Club, Breeland said he wants students to learn life skills that will help them support their own families. Culinary skills make life less stressful and broaden options, he said.

A dedicated group of students show up each week.

“The students consistently show up as they find a place where they fit in and are connected to a caring community,” Breeland said.

Tatyana Thompson, a junior, said she also loves to cook but was never really taught at home.

“Here, I can learn more things to cook and experience,” she said.

Emory said she knows she could be doing something else after school. But this is a way to try new foods, and she’s learning how she can save money by cooking more at home.

“It’s better for our future,” Emory said.

William Penn students to perform ‘Middletown’ musical Nov. 10 and 11

Posted on November 2nd, 2018


The William Penn Senior High School Fine Arts Academy fall play, ‘Middletown,’ is a reminder that each of us has a story, a life. Set in a small town called Middletown — and also outer space — it shows us everyday people.

The characters in the town are always in the middle of something – fixing a sink or a spaceship, planting a tree, sleeping out on the street, having a baby, or a drink. The play is about life, all of life, from birth to death and everything in between.

Our process to put up this show has been very fast-paced. After auditions, our first rehearsal was a read-through, where each character read their part from the script.

Then, we spent a few days as a cast playing games and getting to know each other. Near the end of September, the actors began to learn their blocking — where the actors will stand and move on stage.

After rehearsing that for about 10 rehearsals, the actors really began to find their characters and their stories – trying to bring the lines to life.

About two weeks away from the opening of the play is our off-book date. That is the day that actors can no longer rehearse their lines with their script. They need to be memorized!  For a few days after that, characters can call for a line. But, soon, even that stops.

Around that time, the stage crew joined our process, helping to move the set and props around. Our show would not exist without them. They begin the job before the actors do, getting ready for the top of a show. And they stay later – cleaning up and putting things away.

Throughout this process, Mr. Ryan has led a group of fantastic students in creating our beautiful set. I believe our set really does create our ‘Middletown.’ It is as beautiful, yet humble, as the citizens that play on it.

We also had a fantastic costumer, Ms. Ballasy, go out and buy, make, and alter clothing for the actors. To make sure everything fit, each actor was measured. Based on the personality and job of the character, and the time or place they are in, different clothing was chosen.

This play is not like most plays in that many of the props are everyday objects, like pens, paper, books and phones. However, Ms. Raven, our props master, had to find medical equipment, which is not easy to come by. She had to make many calls and emails to get things done, but she was able to locate so many items we needed.

‘Middletown’ is a celebration of life, the UN-extraordinary, the everyday, good, bad, both, and neither. It is a reminder that we need to stop and smell the roses — but also that those roses have thorns (or do thorns have roses?).

Either way, you get both, whether you asked for it or not.  It is a reminder that we all have a backstory and baggage, that the people you see every day are people, individuals, just like you and me!

We hope you come out to see the play – not just because it will be entertaining but also to support the students at William Penn.

They have worked so hard to bring these difficult characters to life.

Our performances are scheduled for Saturday, Nov. 10 at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, Nov. 11 at 2 p.m. in the William Penn Senior High School auditorium. Admission is free!

State Rep. Carol Hill-Evans picks William Penn music teacher for honor

Posted on October 27th, 2018

State Rep. Carol Hill-Evans visited William Penn Senior High School on Friday to surprise music teacher Don Carn with a proclamation from the Pennsylvania House of Representatives declaring November as “American Music Month” in the state.

Hill-Evans said she chose to recognize Carn for his many years of service to York City’s students and music programs.

Students choose to focus Homecoming on service, not popularity

Posted on October 22nd, 2018

They were the first students of William Penn Senior High School’s new Freshman Academy, and now the Class of 2019 is the first to prioritize community service over popularity in its Homecoming festivities.

This summer, class advisers Edalmira Rivera and Kiersten Cunningham pitched an idea to their class officers: What if we made Homecoming a fundraising contest rather than a popularity contest?

They expected push-back, “But the class officers were like ‘Yes!'” Ms. Rivera said.

At the Homecoming football game on Oct. 12, the community saw tradition meet innovation when the top fundraisers of the senior class — Diontae Wilson and Jacqueline Vargas — were named Homecoming King and Queen. Four other girls and three boys were also recognized as part of the Homecoming Court.

Together, the students raised $1,200. The Class of 2019 decided to donate $450 of the proceeds to PINK Partners York, which is an organization that helps people battling breast cancer. The rest of the money will help offset the cost of prom tickets for the Class of 2019.

“This is the culture that we want in our schools,” Ms. Rivera said. “I’m very proud of them.”

Athletic Office selling tickets in advance of Friday’s football game

Posted on October 22nd, 2018

Skip the long lines and get your tickets to Friday’s football game against Central York in advance!

Tickets for the Oct. 26 game will be for sale in the William Penn Senior High School Athletic Office starting Tuesday, Oct. 23. The office is open from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

On Friday, the office will close at 1 p.m.

Tickets are $4 for adults and $2 for students.

Guidance counselor, local business give students the gift of clear vision

Posted on October 21st, 2018

William Penn Guidance Counselor Lisa Albright is no rookie when it comes to meeting the needs of students. But even she was surprised at the number of students who jumped at the chance for free eye exams and glasses.

It started with a conversation between neighbors. Albright, the 9th grade guidance counselor at the high school, said she knew her neighbor worked for LensCrafters in the York Galleria.

And she knew the need of students at William Penn, where eye exams conducted by the high school’s nurse last year revealed many students with untreated vision problems. So she asked: What would it take to get free glasses for her students struggling to see clearly?

On Thursday, Oct. 11, Albright got her answer. Through an international initiative called World Sight Day, the local LensCrafters store gave eye exams to 20 students — many of whom had never visited an eye doctor.

One student, she said, could read only the “E” at the top of the chart. Another student’s exam revealed early signs of glaucoma.

Each student picked out a set of frames. One girl, when she tried them on, “I never saw her smile like that,” Albright said.

The glasses — with lenses customized to individual vision needs — will be delivered this week.

Albright was not surprised at the results of the eye exams. She’d asked teachers for suggestions of students in need, then secured parent permission for the trip to LensCrafters.

“There is a definite need, and the teachers recognize it,” Albright said. “I have a list now of 30 more kids.”

Albright said she and LensCrafters plan to continue working together to serve William Penn students.

Interested students and parents can contact Albright at for more information.

Food News: Burger Blitz is the October “FUEL” promotion

Posted on October 1st, 2018

FUEL is Aramark’s monthly “promotion” of different menu items that gives students at William Penn Senior High School a change in cafeteria options.

October’s FUEL is “Burger Blitz” from Oct. 15 to Oct. 19. Promotion will begin with samples the week before.  November’s FUEL promotion is “Mac Hacks” with mac and cheese.

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