In an effort to reduce classroom sizes and accommodate students transitioning from New Hope Academy Charter School, the York City School District is drawing new geographic boundaries for each of its seven K-8 schools.

The cornerstone of the proposal is a plan to re-open Hannah Penn, a former middle school, as a K-8 building in the fall.

Superintendent Eric Holmes presented the redistricting idea to members of the district's school board Monday.

The new boundaries — which have not yet been approved and are subject to change — would relieve some pressure at Devers, McKinley and Ferguson, where the student-to-teacher ratio is particularly high.

For example, about 680 students currently attend McKinley. That number will decrease to about 600 if the plan is approved as proposed.

"You can't have 34 students in a kindergarten class. That's unacceptable," Holmes said.

Holmes said the new boundaries will mean about 730 students would attend Hannah Penn next year.

New Hope: About 225 in grades K-8 currently attend New Hope, he said.

The proposed boundaries assume that all of those students will attend district schools next year and that no current students leave, Holmes said.

"You have to plan it that way," he said. "We may be overbooked in some schools."

Devers: About 40 students live within the city's boundary north of Route 30. Because they have to cross a busy highway to get to Devers, those students are bused to school.

Holmes is proposing to bus those students to Hannah Penn as a method of relieving pressure at Devers.

He said the district will also pursue adding crossing guards at intersections where more students may have to cross to get to school.

Holmes said he will address parents' questions and concerns about redistricting at an upcoming town-hall meeting scheduled for 6:30 p.m. Thursday, May 29, at the high school.

Holmes is also proposing a mentoring program to ease the transition for former New Hope students and district students affected by redistricting.

Each student new to the building would be assigned to a staff member who would meet with the student weekly.

— Reach Erin James at ejames@yorkdispatch.com.