Lancaster Country Day School

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Lancaster Country Day School
Lancaster Country Day School.jpg
'"Fax mentis et cordis incendium gloriae"
(The spark that kindles the mind and heart illuminates a lifetime.)[1]
Lancaster, Pennsylvania, United States
Type Private, secular, coeducational college prep school
Established 1908
Head of School Steven D. Lisk[2]
Enrollment 600 (PK-12)[3]
Average class size 14 students[3]
Student to teacher ratio 8:1[3]
Campus Suburban, 26 acres
Color(s)     Maroon
Athletics Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association
Mascot Cougar

Lancaster Country Day School (LCDS) is a private, secular, coeducational college preparatory school in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. It serves 600 students in preschool through twelfth grade.[3] All grades are housed under one roof, similar to schools of the 19th century. The school encourages each student’s growth with a rigorous curriculum and supportive faculty that inspires passion for learning, joy in accomplishment, and a commitment to community. The faculty value creative expression in the arts and athletic excellence, and emphasize personal integrity, mutual respect and social responsibility.


The school was founded in 1908 as a girls' school known as The Shippen School for Girls, the result of a merger between Lancaster College and Miss Stahr's School.[4] In 1943, with the closing of nearby Franklin and Marshall Academy for Boys, the Shippen School changed its charter to become coeducational and adopted its current name. In 1949, it moved to its current location on Hamilton Road.[5]

A facilities renovation and expansion project was undertaken in 2005, including demolition of existing facilities and construction of a new two-story classroom wing that houses 23 classrooms, administrative offices and board room, computer labs, lecture hall, student lounges, conference rooms, book store, kitchen, and dining commons area.


LCDS takes pride in its small class sizes (averaging 14 students)[3] and its programs in the arts.[6] The LCDS lower school program (preschool through fifth grade)[3] includes skill-based grouping for math and reading instruction, and emphasizes art, music and physical education in parallel with academics. Spanish language instruction begins in preschool.[7] In the middle school (grades six to eight),[3] French joins Spanish as a foreign language, and students are encouraged to participate in the fine and performing arts, including art, chorus, instrumental music ensemble, theatre, and animation art.[8] In the upper school, Advanced Placement courses are offered in 11 subjects,[9] and the foreign languages taught are French, Latin, Chinese, and Spanish.[9] Many opportunities are offered for upper school students wanting to do advanced work beyond the curriculum.[9] The school has maintained a 100% acceptance rate to four year colleges/universities by its graduating seniors.[3]

Extracurricular activities[edit]

Since 1980, LCDS has regularly sent senior students to The Hague for International Model United Nations conferences. In 2009 it was one of just six U.S. schools invited to participate in this annual program.[9][10]


LCDS competes in the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association.[3] The school sponsors the following sports:[11]




It has a cooperative agreement with the School District of Lancaster where LCDS students can participate in football, volleyball, bowling, cross country, swimming, track and field, and wrestling for McCaskey.[3] The school mascot is a cougar, and the school colors are maroon and grey.

Their small athletic program is fairly successful. Teams from the school have competed for districts and states. The girls basketball team have made it to the district finals. Their soccer program is always strong. The teams are dedicated to playing their very best when they are competing against larger schools in the area. The squash team has gone to nationals two years in a row now. There is a co-op with Lancaster Catholic and McCaskey so their students can play lacrosse in the LCDS program.[3]

Community involvement and outreach[edit]

LCDS participates in Children Deserve a Chance, a program organized to offer educational opportunity to young African-American children. The school also has a partnership with Schreiber Pediatric. Community service is a large part of the LCDS life from early years. In the Middle School, grades vote on a class project for the year, which could include tutoring/mentoring younger children or performing skits at senior citizen centers. In the past, eighth graders have volunteered weekly at Milagro House, a facility for homeless mothers and children. In the Upper School, there are a variety of service oriented clubs, such as Community Service Club, Peer Mentoring Club and Free the Children. Students are encouraged and supported in their efforts to volunteer for regional charities targeting a diverse range of causes, such as animal welfare, education, green issues, health, hunger, political activism and poverty.

Notable alumni[edit]

  • Melanie Allen '92—Former Rockette
  • Alice Rebecca Appenzeller (1885–1950), who served as president of Ewha College, graduated from Miss Stahr's School and taught at The Shippen School.
  • Barbara Barlow, M.D. ’56, professor emerita of surgery in epidemiology Columbia University and recipient of the 2011 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Foundation Hero Award.
  • Frank Birney '55—Actor: Boston Legal, The Practice
  • Daniele Campbell ‘85—Vice President Marketing & Business Development at MTV Networks
  • Michael Deibert '92—Journalist and author
  • Carrie Garber ‘01—Founder of Cambodia’s Children Education Fund
  • Victoria Gardner Coates '89—Author and former director of research for Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld
  • Joe Goetz ‘03—On-air personality for Vermont Public Radio
  • Patti Hassler '73—Former executive editor of 60 Minutes and currently vice president of communications and outreach at Children's Defense Fund
  • Mark Ibold '80—Rock musician (bass guitarist), formerly of Pavement and currently Sonic Youth
  • Carla Kihlstedt '89—Musician (violinist, vocalist)
  • Rya Kihlstedt '87—Actress: Nashville, Dexter
  • Andrew Porter '90—Author


  1. ^ "About LCDS: Mission and Philosophy". Lancaster Country Day School. Retrieved July 20, 2014. 
  2. ^ "Head of School Welcome". Lancaster Country Day School. Retrieved July 20, 2014. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k "About LCDS: Fast Facts". Lancaster Country Day School. Retrieved July 20, 2014. 
  4. ^ Porter Sargent (1916) The Handbook of Private Schools, retrieved from Google Books, January 25, 2009
  5. ^ "About LCDS: School History". Lancaster Country Day School. Retrieved July 20, 2014. 
  6. ^ "The Arts: Overview". Lancaster Country Day School. Retrieved July 20, 2014. 
  7. ^ "LCDS Lower School". Lancaster Country Day School. Retrieved July 20, 2014. 
  8. ^ "LCDS Middle School". Lancaster Country Day School. Retrieved July 20, 2014. 
  9. ^ a b c d "LCDS Upper School". Lancaster Country Day School. Retrieved July 20, 2014. 
  10. ^ "The International Model United Nations". THIMUN. Retrieved July 20, 2014. 
  11. ^ "Athletics Team Pages". Lancaster Country Day School. Retrieved July 20, 2014. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 40°03′03″N 76°19′40″W / 40.0508°N 76.3278°W / 40.0508; -76.3278