The present economy might be a dark cloud hovering, but Conewago Valley School District officials are realizing that getting more bids for advertised contracts - and perhaps better prices - might be the cloud's silver lining.

At a recent district meeting, the district's solicitor Gary Hartman said Conewago Valley received more than two dozen sealed bids for technology contracts, which includes equipment for wood shop, and materials for photography and other tech classes.

The contract for athletic equipment received more than three dozen sealed bids, said Hartman, and bids for both contracts came in from all over the United States.

Quite a few of the bids were from Pennsylvania, including from vendors in New Oxford, Dallastown and York. But bids also came in from companies in New York, Ohio, Maryland, Iowa, Illinois, New Jersey, Connecticut, Rhode Island, North Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Minnesota, Kansas, Wisconsin and California.

Superintendent Daniel Trimmer said that although the district normally attracts "a fair share" of bidders for equipment contracts, the number this year was higher even than last year, when an "unusually high" number of bids came in.

Trimmer said that district officials and Hartman will review this year's bids to make sure they meet required specifications before awarding the contracts to the lowest bidder at the May school board meeting.

In other business, Conewago Valley officials say it looks like a banner year of college acceptances for New Oxford High School students.

Principal Kevin Thomas told the school board that nearly 94 among the 308-member senior class have been accepted into colleges, universities or other institutes of higher learning.

"That's nearly 30 percent of our senior class," said Thomas. "We are really proud of them all."

The accepted students have also been offered a total of $3,016,760 in scholarships, said Thomas, adding that some students received offers from several schools.

Thomas noted that more New Oxford seniors will probably be announcing their college acceptances in the next few weeks.