School Story
The History of EHS– In 1855, the population of Emmaus Borough was 277, and a school was organized there with the title Lehigh County High School. All the elementary grades, together with the secondary subjects of mathematics, Latin, French, German and music, were taught in this very small institution.

Beginning in 1861, Emmaus is mentioned in written archives as a separate school district. At that time, the district employed two teachers to instruct 109 pupils for a school term of five months. All of the schools were housed in one four–room building on Main Street.

Eventually, population growth led to the construction of new facilities, and by 1914, the school was located on North Street. In addition to traditional instruction in academic subject areas, the school offered manual training and domestic arts departments, a library, a gymnasium and an auditorium with a seating capacity of 748.

In 1946, the school district expanded by joining with its neighbors, thereby combining assets and providing more comprehensive facilities to effect an efficient and unified school system. After successive meetings, proposals and counter proposals, offers and rejections, Emmaus joined with the boroughs of Macungie and Alburtis and the Township of Lower Macungie to form the East Penn Union School District on July 7, 1952. The area of the district was further extended on July 5, 1955 when Upper Milford Township officially joined.

Emmaus High School opened its doors to students on October 7, 1955. The original building was designed to house 710 students in grades 10 through 12, but has been renovated and expanded several times since. By 1978, a music area, additional academic wings, a new library and additional cafeteria had raised the practical pupil capacity of the building to 1,472. By 1997, a new science wing, cafeteria, and administration wing were added and ninth graders were added to the high school population. In 2003, a new technology wing opened featuring mounted projectors and SmartBoards in all classrooms. The renovation also included a multimedia room, making possible distance learning and remote conferencing for our high school classes. The final phase addition enlarged the square feet of the school to 410,000.

Today, East Penn School District comprises approximately 50 square miles, and the entire district is served by Emmaus High School (EHS). Though it has a rural heritage, over the past 30 years the district has transformed into a suburban environment. Recently, the Rodale Foundation donated half the cost of the new track in the stadium which can be used by the community any time there is not a track and field meet. Memorial Field, a new turf soccer and field hockey field was donated by the boys and girls soccer boosters, the field hockey boosters, and the Gray Family in memory of their son Tommy. The Landis and Muntz families donated a memorial wall located in Memorial Field where bricks and plates can be purchased in memory of a person who worked or attended the East Penn School District. All three, Memorial Field, the new track, and the Memorial Wall, were dedicated in October of 2009.

Emmaus High School boasts a long tradition of academic excellence. EHS is a four–year comprehensive high school. Students enrolled in trade and technical courses have their laboratory work at the Lehigh Career and Technical Institute. Learning to Succeed (LTS) is the alternative education program of the East Penn School District. It is designed to help students in grades eleven and twelve, who, for various reasons, have shown that they are unable to succeed in a traditional school setting. Emmaus High School has a partnership with Lehigh Carbon Community College to provide dual enrollment opportunities for students to earn college credits.

81% percent of 2016 EHS graduates continued their educations at post–secondary institutions. 54% attended 4–year colleges or universities; 26% attended 2–year colleges; 1% attended business, nursing or technical schools and 19% entered the workforce or military. The graduating class of 2016 had 6 National Merit Scholarship Semifinalists and 10 National Merit Commended students. During the 2016–2017 school year, 1,719 students were enrolled in honors courses and 899 students were enrolled in advanced placement courses. 80% of students scored 3 or higher on AP examinations.

Honors and AP courses are offered in the following academic areas:

Honors Advanced Placement (AP)
Advanced Data Structure Art History
Advanced Comp. Sc. Topics Biology
Advanced Calculus Topics Calculus AB
Algebra 2 Calculus BC
Algebra 3 & Trigonometry Chemistry
American Studies 1 Computer Science
American Studies 2 Economics
Biology 1 English Literature
Chemistry 1 Environmental Science
Chemistry 2 European History
English 9 French
English 10 German
English 11 Government & Politics US
French 4 Music Theory
Geometry Physics 1C
Genetics/Microbiology Physics 2C
German 4 Physics C
History of Western Philosophy Spanish
Humanities Statistics
Quest for Distant Past Studio Art
Spanish 4 U.S. History
World Studies  
Emmaus students consistently perform well on national standardized testing. The Class of 2016 averaged scores of 550, 539, and 527 on the SAT Critical Reading, Math, and Writing, respectively.

Emmaus High School is accredited by the Commission of Secondary Schools, the Middle States Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools, and the Department of Education of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

The graduation requirements for Emmaus High School are indicative of the high expectations and rigor of the high school program. The graduation requirements are as follows:

A student must earn a total of 21 full year courses (2 semester courses are equal to 1 full year course) in grades 9 through 12. The courses must be distributed as follows:

Course of Study Credits Required
English 4
American Studies 2
World Studies or European Studies 1
Senior Year Social Studies 1
Science 3
Mathematics 3
Wellness and Fitness 1
Family Consumer Science .5
Computer Applications .5
Driver Education .25
Arts and Humanities 2
Health .5
Electives 2.25
Keystone Exams* Proficiency


*Beginning with the class of 2019, students are required to demonstrate proficiency on the Pennsylvania Keystone exams as a graduation requirement.

Emmaus High School was recognized as one of Newsweek’s “America’s Top High Schools” for 2014 ranking number 280 out of more than 14,000 schools considered. According to Newsweek, the “2014 Rankings highlight schools that do the absolute best job of preparing students for college. This year, our methodology is more stringent than ever with new measures of quality and a higher standard for data.”

In addition to challenging academics, Emmaus High School hosts nearly 50 clubs and organizations that coordinate and program activities, events, and fundraisers throughout the course of the school year.

Emmaus High School is a vibrant and active community of leaders and learners that are committed to academic achievement and school and community involvement. The many successes listed herein are just some of the many, many awards, recognitions, and accomplishments of the students of EHS.




© 2010 East Penn School District