Lancaster Country Day School

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Lancaster Country Day School
Lancaster Country Day School.jpg
725 Hamilton Road, Lancaster, PA 17603

Other nameLCDS
TypePrivate, secular, coeducational college prep school
Motto'"Fax mentis et cordis incendium gloriae."
(The spark that kindles the mind and heart illuminates a lifetime.)[4]
Religious affiliation(s)Secular
CEEB code392115
Head of SchoolSteven D. Lisk[1]
Enrollment575 (PK-12)[2]
Average class size14 students[3]
Student to teacher ratio8:1[3]
CampusSuburban, 26 acres
Color(s)     Maroon
AthleticsPennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association

Lancaster Country Day School (LCDS) is a private, secular, coeducational college preparatory school in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, United States. The school has 600 students in preschool through twelfth grade.[2][3]



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.[5] 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 present location on Hamilton Road.[6]


  • Eleanor Fitzpatrick, 1943-1945[7]
  • Rebecca Walton Griest, 1945-1946[7]
  • Robert Holt Iglehart, 1946-1949[7]
  • John L. Byerly, 1949-1962[7]
  • Carl Denlinger, 1962[7]
  • Nathaniel Saltonstall II, 1962-1965[7]
  • John Jarvis, 1965-1990[6][7][8]
  • Richard Johnson, 1991-1999[7][9]
  • Mike Mersky, 1999-2007.[7][9]
  • Daphna Ben-Chaim (interim), 2007-2008[7][9][10]
  • Steven D. Lisk, 2008-present[3][7]

School seal[edit]

Lancaster Country Day School has a circular seal done in red ink which illustrates the Red Rose of Lancaster County. Bordering the seal is LCDS' motto in Latin, "Fax mentis et cordis incendium gloriae," meaning "The spark that kindles the mind and heart illuminates a lifetime."

School Statistics[edit]


84% of LCDS faculty and staff have advanced degrees.[11]


34% of students identify as students of color.[12]


33% of LCDS students receive need-based financial aid.[13]


LCDS' class size averages 12 students.[11] Country Day's Lower School (preschool through fifth grade)[3] includes skill-based grouping for math and reading, and emphasizes art, music, and physical education in parallel with academics. Spanish language instruction begins in preschool.[14] In Middle School,[3] Mandarin Chinese, Spanish, and Latin are offered, and students are encouraged to participate in the fine and performing arts.[15] In the Upper School, Advanced Placement courses are offered in 15 subjects.[16]

Advanced Placement courses offered at LCDS (2019) [16]
Mathematics Science Computer Science Language English History
Calculus AB Biology Computer Science Principles French Language and Culture Literature and Composition Human Geography
Calculus BC Chemistry Computer Science A Spanish Language and Culture Language and Composition United States History
Statistics Physics 1
Physics 2

Upper School foreign language courses include Latin, Chinese, French, and Spanish, all of which continue to advanced levels.[16] One hundred percent of the school's graduates are accepted to four-year colleges and universities.[3]

The school provides iPads to students from seventh through twelfth grade. The school retains the ability to view all information on every iPad and to remotely disable certain features. Seventh and eighth graders receive iPads without access to the App Store and with limited Safari functionality.[17]

Harkness discussions[edit]

Originally developed at Phillips Exeter Academy, the Harkess table method is used to encourage students to challenge their reasoning and discussion skills with minimal teacher intervention.[18] Open discussion and collaboration between students is common for all courses at LCDS, but the Harkness method is most often used in the humanities. Common Harkness activities at LCDS include book discussions and debates.

Standardized testing[edit]

LCDS places above the national average in standardized testing. Nationally, the average SAT score is 1068 and average ACT is 20.8.[19][20] Pennsylvania's average SAT score is 1086 and ACT score is 23.7.[19][20] As of 2018, LCDS' average SAT score is 1288 and average ACT score is 29.

Co-curricular activities[edit]

Model United Nations[edit]

Since 1980, LCDS has regularly sent senior students to The Hague for International Model United Nations conferences. In 2018 it was one of just seven U.S. schools invited to participate in this annual program and in 2019 they were the only U.S. school to attend an international conference in Qatar.[16][21]


LCDS competes in District III of the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association[3] (PIAA) and is a member of the Lancaster-Lebanon League. The school sponsors the following sports:[22]




The school has a cooperative agreement with the School District of Lancaster, through which LCDS students can participate in baseball, football, bowling, cross country, swimming, track and field, and wrestling for McCaskey.[3] LCDS students can compete on Lancaster Catholic High School's girls' volleyball team, while students from Lancaster Catholic may join the LCDS boys' and girls' lacrosse teams.

The school mascot is a cougar, and the school colors are maroon and gray. Teams from the school have competed in the PIAA District III and PIAA State playoffs.



Lancaster Country Day School sits on 26 acres of land in the School Lane Hills neighborhood at 725 Hamilton Road.[23] The original nine-acre campus was donated to Lancaster Country Day School in 1949. The academic section of the school consists of three wings. One wing houses the Lower School, constructed in two phases in the 1950s and 1960s; another wing houses the Science Department, constructed in 1960; the third wing houses the Upper School and dining commons as well as several conference rooms, constructed in 2005. The school partners with a local tennis club to allow for the cooperative use of tennis courts on campus. Additionally, the school has five athletics fields, used for various sports and events. A theater, constructed in 1971, sits between the Science Wing and the newer Upper School wing. The school has two gymnasiums, one built in 1975 and the other built in 1991.[6]

Expansion plans[edit]

In 2016, the school completed a round of facility improvements, including a new parking lot and Lower School renovations; new, more welcoming Lower School entrance; air conditioning for the Lower School, science wing and arts center; and a new driveway entrance off N. President Avenue via Clay Street.

In 2017, the school completed a new Physical Education & Athletic Center, which includes new locker rooms, a sports medicine and trainer room, visitor restrooms, fitness center, concessions, a multipurpose dance/yoga/early-childhood studio, and five regulation squash courts with seating for fans. [24]

Previous plans to construct a new theatre were postponed. On January 5, 2016, the school received approval from Manheim Township to build a new theater during a later construction phase.[25] The construction of the new phase was announced August 2019, with the groundbreaking taking place in September 2019. [26]

Community outreach[edit]

  • Beginning in the summer of 2015, Lancaster Country Day School began offering the national Horizons program to low-income elementary school students from the school district of Lancaster.[27][28] Horizons partners with independent schools and colleges to help students keep pace with their peers by minimizing the amount of information they forget during summer vacation.[29]
  • Lancaster Country Day's work with Lancaster Area Habitat for Humanity began in 2001 and continues to grow, with the school winning Habitat's 2013 Humanitarian of The Year Award, presented in a celebration dinner on World Habitat Day.[30]
  • In addition to time Upper Schoolers spend volunteering at the center, in 2014 the boys' lacrosse team raised more than $1,000 for the Schreiber Pediatric Center in Lancaster.[30]
  • The Bangla-Dash fundraiser and race benefiting the Carter Academy in Bangladesh was conceived and implemented by the class of 2017.[30]

Notable alumni[edit]


  1. ^ "Head of School Welcome". Lancaster Country Day School. Retrieved July 20, 2014.
  2. ^ a b "Lancaster Country Day School considers $21 million construction project". LancasterOnline. Retrieved 2015-12-07.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i "Fast Facts | Lancaster Country Day School". Retrieved 2015-12-07.
  4. ^ "About LCDS: Mission and Philosophy". Lancaster Country Day School. Retrieved July 20, 2014.
  5. ^ Porter Sargent (1916) The Handbook of Private Schools, retrieved from Google Books, January 25, 2009
  6. ^ a b c "School History". Retrieved 2015-12-07.
  7. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k "Heads of School". Retrieved 2015-12-28.
  8. ^ "John A. Jarvis". LancasterOnline. Retrieved 2015-12-28.
  9. ^ a b c "Country Day School head quits". LancasterOnline. Retrieved 2015-12-28.
  10. ^ "Change roils Country Day". LancasterOnline. Retrieved 2015-12-28.
  11. ^ a b "Lancaster Country Day School | Lancaster Country Day School at a Glance". Retrieved 2019-10-11.
  12. ^ "Lancaster Country Day School | Lancaster Country Day School at a Glance". Retrieved 2019-10-11.
  13. ^ "Lancaster Country Day School | Tuition Assistance at Lancaster Country Day School". Retrieved 2019-10-11.
  14. ^ "LCDS Lower School". Lancaster Country Day School. Retrieved July 20, 2014.
  15. ^ "LCDS Middle School". Lancaster Country Day School. Retrieved July 20, 2014.
  16. ^ a b c d "LCDS Upper School". Lancaster Country Day School. Retrieved July 20, 2014.
  17. ^ "iPad Program". Retrieved 2015-12-25.
  18. ^ "Harkness table", Wikipedia, 2019-09-14, retrieved 2019-09-14
  19. ^ a b
  20. ^ a b
  21. ^ "The International Model United Nations". THIMUN. Retrieved July 20, 2014.
  22. ^ "Athletics Team Pages". Lancaster Country Day School. Retrieved July 20, 2014.
  23. ^ "The Campus | Lancaster Country Day School". Retrieved 2015-12-25.
  24. ^ =|accessdate = 2016-01-07
  25. ^ [1]
  26. ^ [2]
  27. ^ "Program works to stop the 'summer slide'". WGAL. Retrieved 2016-01-28.
  28. ^ Writer, By KARA NEWHOUSE | Staff. "School's in for summer: Horizons program keeps Lancaster kids on track for first grade". LancasterOnline. Retrieved 2016-01-28.
  29. ^ "About The Horizons Approach & Our Program | Horizons National". Retrieved 2016-01-28.
  30. ^ a b c SCHOOL, LANCASTER COUNTRY DAY. "Service projects at Lancaster Country Day School help students give back". LancasterOnline. Retrieved 2016-01-28.
  31. ^ Davies, Daniel (1992). "Henry G. Appenzeller: Pioneer Missionary and Reformer in Korea" (PDF). Methodist History. 30 (4): 195–205. Retrieved 22 July 2015.
  32. ^ Kroehler, Kent. "A Century After: The Legacy of the Appenzellers, Pioneer Missionaries to Korea" (PDF). Journal of the Historical Society of the EPA Conference: 31–33. Archived from the original (PDF) on 23 July 2015. Retrieved 22 July 2015.
  33. ^ Writer, SAM JANESCH | Staff. "Ted Cruz's top national security adviser is a Lancaster native and art historian". LancasterOnline. Retrieved 2016-02-23.
  34. ^ "Notes from the Last Testament: The Struggle for Haiti". Seven Stories Press. Retrieved 22 July 2015.

External links[edit]

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