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Transitioning into high school can be a difficult time for students, so the York City School District is inviting members of the community to welcome and support William Penn High School's newest students.

York City residents, workers, and community members of all kinds are asked to come out to the high school on West College Avenue sporting the school's colors, orange and blue, at 7:30 a.m. to show students that their being educated matters.

"It's an opportunity for the community to come together so that these students can see that they are supported," said William Penn Principal Brandon Carter. "This will allow them to see that people other than their parents, their guardians, people other than who they feel like have to care, are thinking of them."

Carter said the idea for the event was inspired by "Hoodies for the Holidays," in which a relationship was developed between the district and the community to raise funds to purchase each high school student a hoodie for the colder months.

"There was so much positivity there and we didn't want to lost that momentum and relationship," Carter said, noting that the importance of a mutually strong relationship between the students and their community.

York City School officials are hoping that the community will come out and clap and shake the hands of the class of 2019 on their first day of school to get them started on a strong note.

"We want to get them thinking positively, we want to start them off in a positive and supported place," Carter said. "And we want the community to see how great our students are, we want them to have this real perception that our students are awesome."

The district this year will also implement at program called the Freshman Academy to further ease the transition into high school and to help students adjust to the more rigorous work load they will be taking on.

"We don't want out students to ever feel discouraged and if they do we want them to be able to look back on this day and remember that support," Carter said. "We're preparing for great things this year and we are going to be very deliberate in offering opportunities; that's all it takes. We want these students seeing that people do believe in them."

— Reach Jessica Schladebeck at jschladebeck@yorkdispatch.com.

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