West York Area High School is a high school located in York, York County in south central Pennsylvania. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, the school reported an enrollment of 952 students in grades 9 through 12 in 2010, with 255 students eligible for a federal free or reduced-price lunch. The school employed 71 teachers, yielding a student–teacher ratio of 13:1. According to a report by the Pennsylvania Department of Education, one teacher was rated "Non‐Highly Qualified" under No Child Left Behind.
Part of the West York Area School District, the school serves children in grades nine through twelve. It operates on a two-semester, six term year with block scheduling of four-period days, each period lasting 80 minutes. Students may attend the local technical school or specialized center on a part-time basis. Career internships and diversified occupations programs are also available for seniors. Minimum credit levels for graduation from each grade are 6 credits in the 10th grade, 13 in the 11th and 20.5 in the 12th.
In 2009, the West York Area School Board began the process of upgrading the facilities at the school, beginning with the opening of a new gym in October 2014. The development was completed in 2016 when a new two-story wing was added that includes eight additional classrooms and a large group instruction/meeting room. The existing science labs were renovated and three new labs were added. A new choral room was provided, along with a new guidance suite and the school auditorium was equipped with upgraded stage rigging, lights and sound systems.
In 2012, West York Area High School declined to "Warning" AYP status due to low reading and mathematics scores of 11th graders. In 2010, West York Area High School achieved AYP status.
The school offers the core curriculum, plus electives including arts and humanities, business education, technology education, family and consumer science, and world languages. Students are encouraged to choose courses which will help them succeed in the career of their choice; the majority of studentss go on to post-secondary education or specialized training; many others enter the work force or the military.
West York Area High School offers a dual enrollment program, a state program which enables high school students to take courses at local higher education institutions to earn college credits. Students remain enrolled at their high school during the program. The courses count towards high school graduation requirements and towards earning a college degree. Students continue to have full access to activities and programs at their high school, including the graduation ceremony. The college credits are offered at a deeply discounted rate and the state offers a small grant to assist students in costs for tuition, fees and books. Under the Pennsylvania Transfer and Articulation Agreement, many Pennsylvania colleges and universities accept these credits for students who transfer to their institutions.
For the 2009-10 funding year, West York Area School District received a state grant of $5,684 for the program.
In 2010, the Pennsylvania Department of Education issued a new, 4-year cohort graduation rate. The graduation rate at West York Area High School was 88% in 2012. The West York Area School Board has set 28.5 credits as the minimum requirement for graduation, to include: English—4 credits; Social Studies—4 credits; Math—4 credits; Science—3 credits; Arts/Humanities—3 credits; Physical Education—2; Health—1; Parenting—0.5 credits.
In addition, by law, all Pennsylvania secondary school students were obliged to complete a project as a part of their eligibility to graduate from high school. The type of project, its rigor and its expectations was set by the individual school district. In the spring of the junior year, students presented their projects to an assessment panel, comprising teachers from grades K through 12. Students earned 0.5 credit upon successful completion of their Graduation Project. Effective with the graduating class of 2017, the Pennsylvania Board of Education has eliminated the state mandate that students complete the project.
As of 2017, public school students must demonstrate successful completion of secondary level course work in Algebra I, Biology, and English Literature by passing the Keystone Exams. For the class of 2019, a composition exam will be added and, in 2020, a civics and government exam. Students qualifying for an Individual Educational Program (IEP) may graduate by meeting the requirements of their IEP.
A Pennsylvania Department of Education study released in January 2009 notes that "34% of West York Area School District graduates required remediation in mathematics and or reading" before they were prepared to take college-level courses in the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education or community colleges. Less than 66% of Pennsylvania high school graduates, who enroll in a four-year college in Pennsylvania, will earn a bachelor's degree within six years. Among Pennsylvania high school graduates pursuing an associate degree, only one in three graduates in three years. The Pennsylvania Department of Education states that one in three recent high school graduates who attend Pennsylvania's public universities and community colleges takes at least one remedial course in math or English.
West York Area High School students have access to a wide variety of clubs, activities, and an extensive sports program. Eligibility for participation is determined by the school board policy and Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association regulations.
By Pennsylvania law, all K-12 students in the district, including those who attend a private school, cyber charter school, charter school, and those home-schooled, are eligible to participate in the extracurricular programs, including athletics. They must meet the same eligibility rules as the students enrolled in the district's schools.
The school uses navy blue and white as spirit colors, and its mascot is a Bulldog. The school is a member of PIAA AAA athletics class. In 2008, the school's football team won their Division with a 9-1 regular season record. They went on to become the first team from YAIAA to win an AA or AAA district championship, when they won the District III Championship in Hershey. The Bulldogs' 2008 season came to an end, though, on December 5 at Altoona's Mansion Park Stadium, where the Bulldogs fell 49-21 to defending state champions, Thomas Jefferson High School. West York's final record was 13-2, the best in school history.
The school produces a musical each year; recent productions have included Crazy for You in 2012, Brigadoon in 2011 and Thoroughly Modern Millie in 2010.
The school's marching band has been directed by Rod Meckely since 2012. The band show each year is themed; recent themes have included the music of Ray Charles in 2012-13 and Elvis Presley]] in 2011-12. Previous themes have included American Tapestry, Island Pulse and the songs of Billy Joel.