A Grand Opening
Updated: Sep 22, 2021
Brigadier General Anna Mae Hays was a trailblazer. The Allentown native served overseas during World War II, was the first woman to earn the brigadier general rank, and was influential in determining military policy in regards to women. Most importantly, she is the namesake for Allentown’s newest institution and one of Communities In Schools of Eastern Pennsylvania’s (CISEasternPA) Community Schools, Brigadier General Anna Mae Hays (Hays) Elementary School.
The $43 million Hays Elementary is officially opening in person for the 2021-2022 school year. While the building was ready for a ceremonious opening in fall 2020, remote learning kept the classrooms empty until a shift to hybrid learning in April 2021. On August 24, the Allentown School District held a long-awaited ribbon-cutting ceremony.
“Communities In Schools of Eastern Pennsylvania is thrilled to celebrate Allentown’s first new school officially joining the community in more than a decade,” said President and CEO of CISEasternPA Tim Mulligan. “Hays Elementary represents the future of education in our region, and CISEasternPA looks forward to positively impacting the students and families that need our support the most.”
CISEastern PA’s Community School Coordinator Amanda Madea has been assisting the new school community through virtual events, meal distribution, and other distanced activities for the last year. She is prepared to continue to connect families to programs, resources, and basic essentials that will empower parents to strengthen their role as partners in education.
“After a difficult year of feeling disconnected, I’m excited to see all students return to the classroom in person and build valuable relationships with teachers and staff,” said Madea. “My goal is to inspire lifelong learners and leaders, one student at a time, and the modern facility will be a valuable asset.”
Approximately 800 students will have access to state-of-the-art technology and amenities, but Hays Elementary is more than just a school. It is also a community resource with a wing dedicated to a food pantry, a healthcare center, and areas for adult learning courses and early childhood care. The public facilities are cordoned off from the school and have their own entrances.