Wednesday, May 1

On Wednesday, May 1, 2019, the Ephrata Area School District has a scheduled early dismissal for Professional Development. Lunch will be served.

The following are the dismissal times:

  • High School: 11:35 AM
  • Middle School: 11:42 AM
  • Intermediate School: 12:15 PM
  • Elementary Schools: 12:30 PM
    • Morning Kindergarten Hours: 8:55 – 10:20 AM
    • Afternoon Kindergarten Hours: 11:10 AM – 12:30 PM

Please contact your child’s building if you have any questions.

Friday, June 7

The following are the dismissal times for students in Grades 1-11 for the last day of school on Friday, June 7. Breakfast and lunch will NOT be served on the last day of school.

  • High School — 11:05 AM
  • Middle School — 11:12 AM
  • Intermediate School — 11:45 AM
  • Elementary schools — noon

State Geography Bee

Jacob Huntington will compete at the National Geographic State Bee on Friday, March 29 at the State Museum of Pennsylvania in Harrisburg.  As the top finisher of the Ephrata Middle School Geography Bee in February, he qualified to take a written exam and scored high enough to earn the opportunity to compete in the state competition.  The winner of the state competition will receive a $1,000 prize and a trip to Washington D.C. to compete in the National Championship.  Jacob will be recognized at an upcoming School Board meeting with a School Board Resolution acknowledging this achievement and his years of dedication, practice, and hard work.

Students’ Video Receives “Most Creative” Award

Students’ “What’s So Cool About Manufacturing?” Video Receives “Most Creative” Award in Regional Competition Students will now compete at the state level

Do you have an answer to the question, “What’s So Cool About Manufacturing?”  If not, watching the award-winning video created by a team of five Ephrata Middle School students may help you find the answer.

The team, comprised of Melany Bedoya, Elizabeth Foard, Sawyer Jones, Arkadiy Khomich, and Hannah Logue, created a 2.5-minute video to highlight why manufacturing is “so cool” as part of a regional video contest.   After competing among 21 area middle schools, the Ephrata Middle School team received the “Most Creative” award, one of the top three awards that advances the team to the state level of competition.

When the students decided to participate in the competition, they knew exactly where to turn, Astro Machine Works.  “We began the process in October with a tour of Astro.  Then, we went back to do interviews,” explained Elizabeth Foard.  The group agreed to share the responsibility of each task, from writing the interview questions and filming video footage to editing content and marketing the video on social media.

Despite a few minor setbacks during the production process, the students continued to collaborate and use their creativity to come up with a finished product.  “The editing took much longer than we thought because we ran into some glitches with the audio,” said Hannah Logue.  Melany Bedoya also explained how the initial theme of the video was to focus around Astro’s Seven Core Values; however, after obtaining their footage, the group decided to go another route.  “After being at Astro in person and hearing each person’s interview, we thought it was better to tell the story of how manufacturing has changed over time.”

Once the video was complete, it was reviewed by a panel of judges from Thaddeus Stevens College of Technology, SCPa Works, and Purpose 1 and voted on by the public.  Hundreds of students, family members, staff, and contributing company representatives attended the awards ceremony at the Appell Center in York on March 6.  While nine awards were given out, only three award recipient teams – including Ephrata Middle School – will advance to the state competition at The Forum in Harrisburg on April 30.

“The passion exhibited by these students has obviously been well rewarded. Astro will be cheering and wishing the team the best of luck as they move on to the state competition,” said Astro Machine Works President Eric Blow.

To see the videos, visit

Coordinated by MANTEC, the purpose of the “What’s So Cool About Manufacturing” contest is to raise awareness among students and parents about today’s advanced manufacturing environment and the rewarding and engaging career paths and high pay scale available in the manufacturing sector.  The project was funded in part by a grant from the Powder Mill Foundation.  Additional funding was provided by Thaddeus Stevens College of Technology and nine additional manufacturing supporters.  

You Be The Chemist Challenge

Ephrata Area School District students in grades 5 – 8 recently participated in the Lancaster County You Be The Chemist competition, an interactive question-and-answer challenge developed for students to enhance their science education

After multiple rounds of competition, Ephrata Middle School student Lillian Sharpe was named the third place winner.  Lillian is an eight-grader and will be participating in the state level of competition at Penn State University on April 27.  Seventh-grader Nathan Buehler finished in fourth place and is an alternate for the state competition.

Ephrata Intermediate School participants: Breelyn Beyer, Drew DiCicco, Nadia Drobot, Alex Diegel, Max Herman, Andrew Ingham, Alex Wilson

Ephrata Middle School participants:  Nathan Buehler, Desiree Buitrago, Natalie Newswanger, Nicolas Romaniw, Lillian Sharpe, Sophia Slater

“The You Be the Chemist Challenge gives students the opportunity to explore their chemistry interests outside the classroom.  Our students were strong throughout the challenges, and we are proud of their efforts and accomplishments in the program.  It is exciting to see the program expanding each year, due in part to the volunteer efforts of Brenntag North America,” said Miss Jennifer Trout, Ephrata Middle School teacher and You Be the Chemist Coordinator.

Ephrata Intermediate/Middle School students have been meeting after school to review science topics, including the scientific method, properties of matter, chemical formulas and equations, chemistry in the human body, and much more to prepare.

The You Be the Chemist Challenge was created by the Chemical Educational Foundation (CEF), a national non-profit organization dedicated to fostering a greater understanding of the value of chemistry.  The program is sponsored locally by Brenntag North America, a chemical distributor in Reading.

North Museum Science & Engineering Fair

High School Awards

Animal Science

  • 1st Place: Maxine Bodnari


Earth and Environmental Sciences

  • Honorable Mention: Abigail Zorrilla


Environmental and Mechanical Engineering

  • 2nd Place: Micah Weaver


Material Sciences

  • 1st Place: Ciara Deemer



  • 1st Place: Reagan McCarty



  • Honorable Mention: Sarah Pereverzoff


Plant Science

  • 2nd Place: Aubree High
  • 3rd Place: Katelyn Sauder
  • Honorable Mention: Kali Holloway


Robotics, Systems Software and Embedded Systems

  • Honorable Mention: Chandler Eby
  • Honorable Mention: Loi Nguyen


High School Auxiliary Awards

  • Clara Bollinger: Lancaster County Ag Council
  • Chandler Eby: IOLC, Indian Organization of Lancaster County and Society of Manufacturing of Engineers, Honorable Mention
  • Henry Gallagher: American Meteorological Society
  • Reagen McCarty: Millersville Alpha Theta Award
  • Loi Nguyen: Society of Manufacturing of Engineers, Honorable Mention
  • Katelyn Sauder: Farm and Home Foundation of Lancaster County, 3rd Place
  • Micah Weaver: Society of Manufacturing of Engineers, 3rd Place
  • Abigail Zorrilla: Lancaster County Solid Waste Management Authority


Middle School Auxiliary Awards

  • Hayden Leonhard: Lancaster County Fireman’s Association Award
  • Matthew Mathias: Lemelson Early Inventor Prize

Middle School Team Places First in STEM Competition

Students at Ephrata Middle School formed a team to participate in the annual IU13 STEM Student Competition and recently found out they received first prize in the grade 7-9 category.

The winning team of seventh-graders Tegan Grim, Gavin Haupt, Parker Loose, Montgomery Sensenig, and Lance Wilson proposed an idea to make the pedestrian crossing safer at the Route 272 and Academy Drive/Old Mill Road intersection.  They recognized how frequently students walk across the busy intersection, and suggested an overpass be created that would make it easier to walk from the campuses of the middle school and high school.

The students’ proposed solution was in response to the specific challenge of the competition – to identify and improve an area of their community.  The solution was to directly address an issue associated with community infrastructure and challenged students to think beyond “something as simple as adding an additional lane for traffic or faster internet.”

The students researched data, created a cardboard prototype of the overpass, and produced a video explaining their rationale and specifics of their proposed project.  All items were reviewed by a panel of IU13 judges before being selected as the winner.

Each winning student received a gift card valued at $100 and a certificate of recognition.

The STEM Student Competition is organized by STEM Solutions at Lancaster-Lebanon Intermediate Unit 13. The contest, for students in grades 4-9 from schools that are members of the IU13 STEM Consortium, aims to increase STEM-related educational opportunities for students within the region.  In addition, the IU13 STEM Consortium intends to raise awareness of the importance of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics through this consortium activity. 

Shadow A Student Challenge

Ephrata Area School District Leaders Shadow Students

How does it feel to be a student for a day?  After participating in the nationwide School Retool Shadow A Student Challenge for the fourth year in a row, Ephrata Area School District administrators are able to speak from their own experiences to answer this question.  District and building leaders will shadow students in secondary schools on Tuesday, February 19 and elementary schools on Wednesday, February 20 to experience a school day as a student first-hand and gain a new perspective on learning.

District administrators are encouraged to participate with empathy and an open mind to feel what it is like to truly adopt a student’s point of view.  “As part of the District theme to embody a growth mindset and a desire for continued improvement, administrators are trying to fully immerse themselves in student life for a day with the goal to better understand the students we serve,” said District Superintendent Dr. Brian Troop.

Administrators have been asked to keep a variety of questions in mind while shadowing students, including:

  • How does it feel to be a student for a day?
  • What is your student’s favorite moment of the day, and what makes it special?
  • What do you notice makes your student feel uncomfortable, anxious, or bored? Why?
  • When is your student engaged in learning?
  • As you go through your day, what opportunities do you notice for use of critical thinking, creativity, problem solving, collaboration, and effective communication skills?

Following the events, administrators will reflect on their insights to compare students’ experiences with the learning and skills necessary for success through their academic careers.

EIMS Geography Bee Winners

Students at Ephrata Intermediate and Middle Schools recently participated in the annual school Geography Bees.

  • The Ephrata Intermediate School winner was sixth grader Kimo Washington, and the runner-up was sixth grader Hayden Cline.
  • The Ephrata Middle School winner was eighth grader Jacob Huntington, and the runner-up was seventh grader Christopher Timasonravichkit.

As top finishers, the students will now take a written exam and attempt to qualify for the state competition held at the State Museum of Pennsylvania in Harrisburg.

The school and state competitions are stepping stones to ultimately qualifying for the National Geographic Bee. National competitors are granted an all-expenses paid trip to Washington, D.C. to participate in the national championship in May 2019. The national champion will receive a

$50,000 college scholarship; a lifetime membership in the Society, including a subscription to National Geographic magazine; and a National Geographic Expeditions trip to a national park in recognition of the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service. The national finals will be televised on the National Geographic Channel and PBS stations.