The Bulldog Minute

What's Happening in WYASD Student Services, Fall 2022

Student Services Department

West York Area School District offers a number of services to students and their families to support their academic experience. Services include Special Education, Social Work, School Health Room, School Counseling, and other linkages to support academic and social needs of our students. You can learn more about the student services department through your child's school building or checking out our website:

Audit Results

During the 2021-2022 school year, WYASD participated in the Bureau of Special Education Compliance Monitoring Review. Based on the approximate 3,500 specific areas of review, the district only had received 2 areas of improvement. The auditors described our performance as, “a very clean audit,” and commended the department for their hard work and continued efforts.

The District will develop a plan to continue to ensure students are in the Least Restrictive Environment with appropriate supports for their identified areas of need. WYASD will also develop a plan to continue to review the exceptionality categories to align district percentages with state percentages.

For further information, you can review the entire Audit results at PA Department of Education's website:

What's Happening In Our Buildings??

Flu Shot Day!

On September 27, 2022, all WYASD students had the opportunity to receive their annual Flu Vaccine. Healthcare Heroes in conjunction with WYASD Healthroom Staff made for a successful day with over 300 students receiving the 2022 flu vaccine. As seen below, the students were very brave and even left with a smile on their face!

We would love to give a special shout out to our school nurse health team, including Jennifer Ferber, Cindy Rose, Melissa Franklin, Linda Green, Sam Foltz, and Bonnie Stone (Maxim Healthcare Services).

Professional Development Opportunities for Paraprofessional Staff

Did you know Instructional Aides (Paraprofessional Staff) are required to complete 20 hours of training to maintain certification? Instructional Advisors, Jen Swope and Jen Clemons, have taken the lead on providing meaningful opportunities to enhance skills in the classroom. Topics include: Technology (provided by Donna Meeks, Technology Coach), Trauma Informed Practices (provided by Laurel Life), Autism, De-escalation Strategies, Inclusion Practices, PSSA/Keystone Trainings, and many more! The trainings have been engaging and enjoyable for all who participate!

Bulldog Buddies In the House!

Each year, students from the secondary levels are selected to mentor students in the elementary schools. This year kicked off with the High School Bulldog Buddies participating with students at Wallace Elementary. While the elementary students are happy participating in activities with their new mentors, the secondary students are responsible for planning activities, facilitating them, and interacting with the little Bulldogs, in order to continue to develop leadership skills.

Throughout the year, secondary students from both the High School and Middle School will participate with all 3 elementary schools, Trimmer, Wallace, and Lincolnway. The School Counselors and Student Service teams in each building select the mentors and mentees and pair them based on interests and personalities.

Occupational Therapy Partners With Kindergarten Classrooms

Ms. Connolly, Occupational Therapist, is taking on a new initiative this year by supporting all Kindergarten Classrooms. Research indicates that there is a connection between fine motor skills and academic success in the early elementary grades. Kindergarten teachers in the West York District, as well as across the nation, report that children are entering kindergarten with less ability for classroom fine motor skills such as coloring, cutting, holding a pencil or zipping a coat. This can often be attributed to lack of exposure or practice. This was occurring prior to 2020 and Covid has increased these problems. To help address these areas the kindergarten teachers and occupational therapist teamed up to develop an 8-week program designed to reach all of the kindergarten students and their parents. Each week the OT taught a lesson to each class with the teacher's support. These lessons focused on the correct way to hold and use crayons, pencils and scissors as well as exercises and activities that were left in the classroom to provide extra practice activities throughout the week. The sessions ended with “Jacket boot camp” where each student had to show they could put on and zip up their coat by themself. The students learned how to help themselves be a great student, including exercise, healthy foods, and getting lots of sleep. Each week a parent newsletter was sent home to provide information and suggestions for at home play activities to support fine motor skills. The program was a big success with the kindergarten teachers reporting benefits from weekly collaboration with OT. The students demonstrated a carryover of skills in the classroom and definitely enjoyed having time to play the games.

Want to learn more about Occupational Therapy and how to support your child's needs? Check out Ms. Connolly's website for more information and strategies:

Team Building Opportunities!

Ms. Chelsee Shaub (WYAMS Emotional Support Teacher) and Ms. Amanda Snyder (WYASD Behavior Specialist) provide many team based learning opportunities for the students. Students are provided with opportunities to grow their academic, social, and emotional skills in a variety of environments, both inside and outside of the traditional classroom setting.

Valley Youth House

The Valley Youth House is an agency we partner with to provide. the LIFE program for grades 7-12. This is the fourth school year we have partnered with the Valley Youth House LIFE classes. It has since extended to the Middle School this current school year. It is a grant funded program through Children, Youth, and Families of York County. It is targeted for students who have identified risk factors. There will be a second semester class starting in Spring of 2023. In addition to the skills learned in the LIFE program, some highlights include:

- Classes are provided immediately after school (10 weeks for Middle School, 15 weeks at High School)

- Dinner and Transportation are provided

- Students have the opportunity to earn a stipend based upon attendance

- There is a weekly gift card raffle

Looking for more information on about the program or eligibility? Please contact Kristen Kopp, Social Services Coordinator, at

Parent Resources

West York Community Corner

Be sure to check out West York Area School District's Community Corner for lists of upcoming events and local agencies available to support our students and families.

PA Secondary Transition

Have a student who is 14 or older with an IEP? Check out the newly updated PA Secondary Transition Site to learn more about Transition planning and supporting students with IEPs through this process.

Early Intervention (Programming for Children Ages 3-5)

What is Early Intervention?

Early Intervention consists of educational services and supports designed to help families who have children ages 3-5 who have educational delays. While all children grow and change at their own rate, some children can experience delays in their development. Sometimes this can be cause for concern. The LIU 12 Preschool/EI Program provides supports and services to young children and their families/caregivers to help the child grow and develop.

For more information, contact Early Intervention through LIU 12 at:

Phone: (717) 624-6491


Upcoming Family Events

WYASD Bulldog Pantry

The Bulldog Pantry is a non-perishable food center located in the High School, open to ALL District families, Kindergarten through 12th-grade.

The Pantry will be open from 5 p.m. - 6 p.m. on the following dates:
January 12, 2023
February 9, 2023
March 9, 2023
April 13, 2023
May 11, 2023

The Bulldog Pantry is located at:
West York Area High School
1800 Bannister Street
York, PA 17404

If you are interested in donating to the Bulldog Pantry, please contact
Ms. Amanda Burt, Life Skills Teacher

Resources and Refreshments (For Families of Students in Grades K-5)

Ms. Hickey, WYASD Social Worker, is offering sessions to learn about mental health resources, school supports, and community resources.

Sessions are offered from 9am - 11am on the following dates:







Wallace Elementary School

2065 High Street

York, PA 17408

Contact Information:

Juliana Hickey, LSW