Chanceford Township, one of first in York County to open one-room schools, one of last to close them
York County one-room schools have been closed for some time, but there are a still a lot of York County people that at least started their education in one. There are even some former teachers around that taught in one-room schools.
Chanceford Township was one of the last to build a “consolidated school.” As can be seen here in a clipping from the Gazette and Daily, which I found in the Chanceford Township file at York County Heritage Trust, the school was dedicated at the end of August 1958, just in time for the new school year.
The photo below shows teacher Keith Robinson and his students at St. James school in the spring of 1958. The article says that it one of the 14 one-room schools in Chanceford Township replaced by the new school. Chanceford is one of the larger York County townships and is said to cover 48.5 square miles. That isn’t a lot of schools for so large an area, so many students had a substantial walk to school.
The article also states: “When the new school’s doors open for the first classes next Thursday, it will mark the end of the township’s 125 year history of one-room school operation under the Pennsylvania Public School law.” That’s true; it was up to the townships and boroughs to decide if and when to start operation under the 1834 law. Chanceford was one of only six York County municipalities to approve operating under the new school law the first year.
Chanceford Elementary closed at the end of the 2009 school year. That doesn’t mean that the Red Lion Area School District might not need to reopen it in the future as enrollment increases in the district. I seem to recall they did that with Windsor Manor Elementary a few years ago.