The History of Avon Grove School District

The Avon Grove School District’s roots date back to Colonial times, including ties to our founding fathers and the nation’s independence.

Historic New London Township is home to the former New London Academy building, which now houses New London Township offices. Thomas McKean, George Read, and James Smith, all signers of the Declaration of Independence, attended New London Academy. Thomas McKean went on to be governor of Pennsylvania from 1799-1808. In addition, Charles Thomson, a New London Academy graduate, was secretary of the Continental Congress.

The first school was established in 1743 by Revered Francis Alison, pastor of the New London Presbyterian Church. Francis Alison was headmaster from 1743 to 1752. Reverend Alexander McDowell took over and moved the school to Cecil County, Maryland, and then finally to Newark, Delaware. The school returned to New London at various times.

The first multi-roomed schools were opened in Avondale in 1894 and in West Grove in 1896. The first high school in what is now the Avon Grove School District opened in 1896 in West Grove and in 1900 in Avondale. There was a small two-year high school in New London prior to the consolidation of West Grove and Avondale High Schools.

These schools marked the beginning of the story of public school education in the Avon Grove School District Area.

The Free School Act of Pennsylvania in 1834 required every township to provide an opportunity for every child to go to school. The need to consolidate efforts is what caused the school district to develop into what it is today – a community of five townships and two boroughs bound by a common interest in education.

1790 - The Locust Grove School opened was used until 1928.

1838 - The East Grove School and was the first school under the Free School Act of 1834.

1928 - Avon Grove Consolidated School System built a high school which opened on February 28.

1953 - New London, Penn, Franklin, and London Britain joined to form the Avon Grove School District.

1956 - Kemblesville Elementary School opened (now operating as Avon Grove Charter School’s early learning center).

1957 - The Avon Grove High School (now the Avon Grove Middle School) opened.

1965 - The final merger of five townships and two boroughs into Avon Grove School District was completed.

1970 - Fred S. Engle Middle School (now closed) opened.

1991 - Penn London Elementary School opened.

2003 - Avon Grove Intermediate School opened.

2022 - The new Avon Grove High School opened.

2023 - The renovated Avon Grove Middle School (formerly Avon Grove High School) opened.