Downingtown Area School District – The Downingtown Area School District is a school district based in Downingtown, in Chester County, Pennsylvania, in the United States. The district operates 10 Elementary Schools, 3 Middle Schools and 3 High Schools.
The district educates approximately 12,000 students, making it the largest school district in Chester County. The Downingtown STEM Academy, DHS East and DHS West all appear on the Washington Post’s 2017 list of America’s Most Challenging High School programs. Only 35 Pennsylvania high schools achieved this honor with DASD being the only multi-high school Pennsylvania school district to have all of its district high schools nationally ranked. All 3 High Schools also made US News and World Report “Best of” list for 2017. DHS East had initially been left off the list but a data error was discovered and the scores were recalculated. Both East and West scored a silver recognition (earning high scores for AP participation). Congrats to the students and staff at all three high schools!
Effective July 1, 2017, Dr. Emilie Lonardi will take over as superintendent of the Downingtown Area School District, succeeding Dr. Lawrence Mussoline.
- Beaver Creek Elementary
- Bradford Heights Elementary School
- Brandywine Wallace Elementary School
- East Ward Elementary School
- Lionville Elementary School
- Pickering Valley Elementary School
- Shamona Creek Elementary School
- Springton Manor Elementary School
- Uwchlan Hills Elementary School
- West Bradford Elementary School
- Downingtown Middle School
- Lionville Middle School
- Sixth Grade Center
- Downingtown High School – Downingtown High School is split into two campuses: Downingtown East (Uwchlan Twp.) and Downingtown West (Downingtown). While still legally considered to be one school, East and West are generally regarded as being separate entities.
- Downingtown STEM Academy (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) – A magnet high school opened Fall 2011.
The district, located in central Chester County serves all of the following municipalities, Township Information – View township information by clicking on the link below
- Downingtown Borough
- East Brandywine Twp.
- East Caln Twp.
- Upper Uwchlan Twp.
- Uwchlan Twp.
- Wallace Twp.
- West Bradford Twp.
- West Pikeland Twp.
Downingtown’s origins are of a small village located midway between Philadelphia and Lancaster. The village was first known as Milltown since it was the location of the last mills on the edge of the unsettled western frontier. Thomas Moore erected ‘a water corn mill’ in 1716 and Roger Hunt established a grist mill in 1739. The deteriorated structure of the Roger Hunt mill and mill race still survives in Downingtown to this day, and was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1979. In 1761, John Downing opened a tavern on the east side of the Brandywine Creek which was first known as the Downing Mill Inn; not long thereafter, his father, Thomas, developed an industrial complex of mills on the Lancaster Road in Milltown.
Around the time of the American Revolution, Milltown began being known as Downing’s Town. During the Revolution, the town was used as a location for storage of food supplies; a forage magazine was constructed in Downing’s Town to hold provisions for the troops. During the time of the Revolution, Richard Downing, son of Thomas, continued to operate and expand the families mill complex and the Downing family continued to prosper in the small village.
After the war of 1812, the village name of Downing’s Town was changed to Downingtown. The development of stage coach service from Philadelphia to Pittsburgh through Downingtown influenced the villages growth and prosperity. As transportation changed from stage to railroads, Downingtown embraced the changes. New jobs became available and the population grew. The Industrial Revolution also affected the growth of Downingtown, industry and manufacturing facilities located in Downingtown because of its central location and good access to rail transportation corridors.
In the 1920’s, many municipal improvements were undertaken such as the beginning of trash collection, erecting the Municipal Building and creating the Dr. Edward Kerr Memorial Park. A newly appointed park commission solicited funds for the planned park. The commission depended on public subscriptions plus annual contributions from the school board and the Borough Council to maintain the park.
Downingtown’s rich history is readily apparent to the resident and visitor alike as they travel along East Lancaster Avenue where numerous historic structures line the street. The East Lancaster Avenue Historic District was placed on the national Register of Historic Places in 1979 and there are 20 historic structures within the district.
Today the Borough of Downingtown has a council-manager form of government established by ordinance in 1953. The Borough is governed by a six member Borough Council who are elected three each from two wards with overlapping four year terms. The President of the Borough Council is a member of and elected by entire Borough Council. The mayor is elected by the Borough at large. Borough Council oversees all functions of Borough administration as well as the following citizen boards and commissions: Historical and Parks Commission, Planning Commission, Zoning Hearing Board, and the Main Street Program.
About Chester County
Chester County is a county located in the U.S. state of Pennsylvania. As of the 2010 census, the population was 498,886, with an estimated population of 500,182 in 2011. The county seat is West Chester. It is the highest-income county in Pennsylvania and 24th highest in the nation as measured by median household income (as of 2010). Eastern Chester County is home to many communities that comprise the Main Line western suburbs of Philadelphia, while part of its southernmost portion is considered suburban Wilmington, Delaware, along with southwest Delaware County. Source: Wikipedia
Chester County was one of the three original Pennsylvania counties created by William Penn in 1682. It was named for Chester, England. It is part of the Delaware Valley region and is the only county in Philadelphia’s Pennsylvania suburbs that does not border Philadelphia.