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Our Rich History

Coatesville Area School district is one of the oldest educational establishments in Chester County.  Though our district can be traced further back into the late 18th century, the first documented school in Coatesville with a board of directors was established in 1814.  Only after the generosity of Joseph Ridgeway, who donate the land on the corner of South Third and Harmony Street.  This school was known as the "Little Red School House".  


In 1867, the same year Coatesville became a borough, a new six-room building (in the same spot where Benner now stands) was completed and ready for students on sept. 2nd. This was the home of Coatesville first high school, Coatesville High School (CHS).   


The first graduating class at Coatesville High School was the class of 1878.  The commencement was held on June 12, 1878, and the four graduates were Laura Suydam, Sallie Thompson, Ella Dean, and Annie Stoat. 


In 1885 Coatesville public school was the first school in Chester County and the second in Pennsylvania to have a person of color graduate from high school.


On March 11th, 1912 around seven o'clock, the high school building caught fire because of a blown-out electric light switch. The fire was kept within the four walls of the main, middle structure which was entirely destroyed. Even then our community found a way to rally.