Buses, students, and teachers now have to wait for traffic to clear before leaving Solanco High School at the end of the day.
Sixth graders face big changes when they move up from elementary schools, but teachers and administrators are ready to help kids, and their parents, make the transition.
That's the message Swift Middle School assistant principal John Dolan brought to incoming sixth graders and their parents during orientation sessions last week.
Keeping special needs students occupied on a long bus ride can be a challenge.
Now the Solanco School District has modified one of its mini-buses to do just that.
The bus is one of four that transports special needs students from the district to the Chester County Career and Development Center in Coatesville.
"We picked the bus that has the most challenging students," said district transportation director Jason McClune.
Black trousers, white shirt, black tie, and a cardigan sweater.
That's how Hiram G. Troop dressed toward the end of his 45 years of teaching in schools throughout Bart Township.
And that's what Barry Girvin will wear when he portrays the township's iconic teacher next month.
Troop was the personification of higher education in the township.
When the new school year begins next month, the Amish community will have two new schools.
Those schools are under construction in Providence and Little Britain townships. A third is under consideration in Eden Township.
What started as a way to recruit distance runners for the school's track team has become one of Solanco's most successful sports.
"I did it to create interest in the running program," said former coach Lee Rhoads of the start of the school's cross country program.
The first year, 1965, cross country was a club, he recalled.
"The school district wanted to be sure there was an interest in it before they committed to making it a varsity sport."
That happened in 1966, when about half the schools in Lancaster County had cross country teams.
Kyle Munro didn't miss a day of school during his last semester at Solanco High School.
But what he learned during the three hours before he headed off to class in his final semester at Solanco reinforced his decision about how he will spend much of his adult life.
Munro will go to Lebanon Valley College in August where he will begin studying criminal justice.
The world Solanco officials began planning for seven years ago is not the world the district faces today.
Those plans included making Smith Middle School large enough to accommodate all the district's middle school students. Clermont Elementary School could then be expanded into the former Swift Middle School.
By late last week, property owners still owed the Solanco School District $1.3 million in real estate taxes.
That's about normal for this time of the year, said Dr. Timothy Shrom, the district's business manager.
"By the end of the year, it's not unreasonable to believe we will have all but two and a half percent of the money, or about $500,000, in," Dr. Shrom said.
Most of the remaining money will be paid in the last two weeks of the year.
Danielle Drumm found what she was looking for.
"I just need to remember to bring money to buy them," the sixth grader said of the books she wanted to buy at Smith Middle School's annual book fair.
Santa will be making an early trip this month.
Instead of a sleigh and eight tiny reindeer, she will be driving south on I-95 to Baltimore.
When she arrives, Santa will have a car full of toys for children who will be in Johns Hopkins Hospital on Christmas.
Solanco's students have begun using the district's newest physical education equipment.
They started working out in the high school's new weight room earlier this month.
The room is used by team members after school and is part of the district's regular physical education curriculum.
A contractor started tearing down a house on Quarryville's Park Ave. this week to give children in the adjacent elementary school more room to play.
The project will also give the Solanco School District additional parking space for Quarryville Elementary School and the district's administration office.
The faculty of Swift Middle School has announced the names of students earning honor roll distinction for the first marking period of the 2014-15 school year.
AJ Beyer knows pressure.
Beyer, who will play the title role in Solanco High School's performance of Sherlock Holmes, realizes he is just the latest in a long line of actors to play one of fiction's best-known detectives.
Organizers are hoping to bag their fundraising goal for Swift Middle School.
"We would like to raise $12,000 but even $9,000 would be nice," teacher Theresa Sosko said last week.
Sosko and fellow teachers Alison McPherson and Melissa Tucker are helping guide the project which will bring in money to help fund school activities.
When they take to the stage this week, Smith Middle School students will help their audience dig its way through ancient civilizations.
In Dig It!, adventurers Taki (Hannah Hargraves) and Tut (Nicole Kudia) start with an exploration of Ethiopia. There they encounter a skeleton (Sophia Steinhauer) who wakes up and takes them on a journey through the cultures that created the modern world.
After a hiatus, the Mr. Solanco pageant will return to the high school.
The pageant pits senior boys in a structured competition for the title. Funds raised are used to help pay for incentives for the school's Renaissance Program.
A month into its new truancy prevention program, Solanco's teachers and principals are starting to identify kids who don't come to school as often as they should. Now they're working with families to keep the problem from getting worse.
One of the first steps the school takes is to work with parents or guardians to set up a truancy elimination plan. The plan outlines how families can get their kids to school every day, sets goals, and establishes rewards for the students who achieve them.
It's new but it's not hard.
That's Bart-Colerain Elementary School third grader Destiny Zimmerman's assessment of the skill she's learning.
When Solanco students begin third grade, they also start the transition from printing to cursive handwriting.
Hundreds of Clermont Elementary School students raced around a rectangular course on Friday, October 3, to raise money for school programs.
This year's event had a Wild Safari theme, highlighted by stuffed tigers and lions on two course turns, a safari Jeep, and volunteers wearing safari hats.
There were prizes for the most laps recorded by a girl and by a boy at each grade level. All participants got an apple from Musser's Market and a bag of chips from Herr Foods.
The school's Parent Teacher Organization sponsored the annual Race for Education.
Solanco won't be filling one of its top administrative posts this school year. The district will not hire a director of pupil services, a position left vacant when Dr. Rob Dangler was promoted from that post to assistant superintendent.
"We opened three searches and could not fill the post," Dr. Dangler said last Friday morning.
A former Quarryville Elementary student has begun a project to revive the school's Discovery Garden.
Quintin Robinson, a Solanco High School sophomore and a Life Scout with Troop 58, started cleaning out the old garden on Saturday afternoon, September 13.
He came up with the idea a year ago.
"I was at the school and a custodian came up to me and asked me if I knew anyone who needed an Eagle project," he said.
Twenty Solanco High School students will be in the Homecoming Court on Friday, October 3.
Ten girls will compete for the title of Homecoming Queen; 10 boys will compete for the title of Homecoming King. The queen will be crowned at the October 3 football game; the king will be crowned at the homecoming dance on Saturday, October 4.
This year's candidates are:
There are many opportunities for families and their children in the Solanco community.
Early next week, Smith Middle School will be helping those families connect with organizations that offer a wide range of services and opportunities, assistant principal David Beard said.
Those opportunities range from programs offered by the Southern End Community Association to volunteer opportunities at area non-profits. There are also sports programs for kids who like to play football, basketball, or baseball; dance schools, martial arts, and scouting.