Lancaster Mennonite School
|Lancaster Mennonite School|
|Funding type||Private school|
|Color(s)||Black and gold|
|Athletics||16 interscholastic sports|
|Athletics conference||Lancaster-Lebanon League|
Lancaster Mennonite School is a private Christian school with five campuses in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, United States, and one in Hershey, Dauphin County. The Lancaster Campus, east of the city of Lancaster, Pennsylvania, serves students in grades six through twelve. The high school on the Lancaster Campus is known as Lancaster Mennonite High School. The nearby Locust Grove Campus provides pre-kindergarten through eighth grade. To the southwest of Lancaster city, the New Danville Campus offers pre-kindergarten through fifth grade. In northwest Lancaster County, the Kraybill Campus has students in pre-kindergarten through eighth grade. The Hershey Campus, in Hummelstown, offers kindergarten through high school. Altogether, the school had a total enrollment of approximately 1,462 students at the end of the 2016-17 school year.
Lancaster Mennonite School is now composed of six campuses, founded as separate schools.
Locust Grove Mennonite School was founded in 1939, and New Danville Mennonite School in 1940, to offer grades one through eight. The Lancaster Conference of the Mennonite Church began the development of a Christian high school, Lancaster Mennonite School, on the site of the former Yeates School in 1942. To better serve families in northwest Lancaster County, Lancaster Mennonite School then helped to start Kraybill Mennonite School in 1949, which originally provided first through tenth grade.
Although each school was founded independently, the schools shared a common mission, values, and constituency, and eventually decided to work together as a comprehensive PreK-12 system under the name of Lancaster Mennonite School. New Danville merged with Lancaster in 2001, followed by Locust Grove in 2003 and Kraybill in 2006. Hershey Christian School was acquired in February, 2015. Saint James School -- an LM early childhood education program -- was established in downtown Lancaster through a partnership with Saint James Episcopal Church for the 2017-18 school year, initially offering prekindergarten.
- Locust Grove Mennonite School (now Locust Grove Campus) was founded.
- New Danville Mennonite School (now New Danville Campus) was founded.
- Lancaster Mennonite School was founded.
- Kraybill Mennonite School (now Kraybill Campus) was founded in the Kraybill Meetinghouse with grades 1-10 in cooperation with Lancaster Mennonite School.
- LMS built a junior high building on the Kraybill Campus.
- Lancaster Mennonite School was renamed Lancaster Mennonite High School to emphasize that it offered grades 9-12
- Middle school (grades 6-8) started on the Lancaster Campus.
- New Danville Mennonite School merged to form Lancaster Mennonite School, one K-12 school with two campuses.
- Locust Grove Mennonite School (PreK-8) merged with Lancaster Mennonite School and became the Locust Grove Campus (now PreK-6).
- Kraybill Mennonite School (K-8) merged with Lancaster Mennonite School and became the Kraybill Campus (PreK-8).
- Hershey Christian School (K-12) was acquired.
- Saint James School - an LM Early Childhood Education Center - was established in downtown Lancaster at Saint James Episcopal Church.
The Lancaster Campus has two residence halls for boarding students that together house about 60 out-of-state and international students attending Lancaster Mennonite High School. Millstream Hall, completed in February, 2015, holds the majority of students, with some choosing the older Graybill Hall.
The G. Parke Book Building, renovated in 2004, is home to specialized agriculture and technology classrooms. The Calvin and Janet High Fine Arts Center contains an 1,168-seat auditorium, music rooms and art rooms.
A two-story building provides classroom space for the middle school on the lower level and the high school on the upper level, along with the Alumni Dining Hall and library.
In 2008, the Rutt Academic Center was added, including classrooms for mathematics, business classes, sciences, and family and consumer sciences. The building also houses a welcome center and administrative offices for the Lancaster Mennonite School System.
For athletics, the Lancaster Campus has two gymnasiums, an artificial-turf soccer and field hockey field and stadium, a lighted baseball stadium, softball diamonds, and tennis courts. The school completed a new eight-lane track and field facility in the fall of 2009.
The Lancaster Mennonite High School sports program competes in the Lancaster-Lebanon League (local public school league) and the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association. The Hershey Campus high school competes in the Commonwealth Christian Athletic Conference (CCAC).The Kraybill Campus also offers middle school (grades 6-8) teams in the Commonwealth Christian Athletic Conference.
The following high school sports are offered by Lancaster Mennonite High School:
- boys' and girls' cross country, girls' field hockey, golf, boys' and girls' soccer, girls' volleyball, gtrls' Tennis, football through a partnership with Lancaster Catholic High School
- girls' basketball, boys' basketball, chess team, quiz bowl
- baseball, softball, boys' tennis, boys' volleyball, track & field, boys' lacrosse
Lancaster Mennonite's most successful athletic program is the boys' soccer team. Since 1986, they have won seven PIAA District 3 titles. Since 1991, the program has claimed eight Lancaster-Lebanon League titles. In 2011, they won their first PIAA State Championship. In 2012 and 2014 the Blazers returned to the PIAA state title game but came up short both times. In 2016-17, the LMH boys' basketball team placed second in District III and advanced to the state quarterfinals.
At the elementary level, Lancaster Mennonite School formed the Mennonite Sports Organization as an alternative to community leagues for basketball, soccer and field hockey.
Lancaster Mennonite High School offers concert band, jazz band, orchestra and various choral groups. Junior Chorale, Vocal Ensemble, Men's Chorus and Campus Chorale perform concerts at the school and in local congregations. Through another partnership program, students who desire a special music focus can take classes in Millersville University's Pre-college Music Division. Lancaster Mennonite School provides the residential program and general education courses for students from all over the world who wish to study music at the university. Successfully completed courses are added to the students' high school transcripts.
Chapel services provide another opportunity for students to share musical abilities as they assist in worship. The elementary and middle school music programs also provide many opportunities for vocal and instrumental instruction and performance.
School literature maintains that spiritual life involves every activity of the school, including student and teacher behavior in and out of the classroom. The school offers many specific and intentional activities to highlight the spiritual dimension of life. Elementary students receive daily Bible instruction and attend a weekly chapel service at their level of understanding. Middle school students generally attend Bible class twice every week, a weekly chapel service, and have extended times for focusing on their relationship with God. All high school students attend daily chapel services and take a theology or Bible class each year. The school expects all teachers to integrate a Christian perspective into all subject areas.
According to the school's admissions office, students need not subscribe to a particular creed or doctrinal statement. The school's official hiring policies do not require faculty to attend a Mennonite congregation, but they must agree to teach in harmony with the Confession of Faith from a Mennonite Perspective. This document emphasizes a personal relationship with God through Christ, salvation through faith, and a commitment to following Christ's example and teachings. School promotional literature states that following Christ involves having his global perspective and commitment to justice for all people in addition to personal morality.
Originally, the promotional literature of the schools that today form Lancaster Mennonite School indicated an objective of academic parity with the best local public schools, but with a spiritual dimension. More recently, promotional literature has stressed "educational excellence."
The school's Guidance Office prepares an annual Academic Profile document that accompanies transcripts sent to colleges. According to this document, the average standardized test scores of Lancaster Mennonite School students are consistently superior to local and state averages for public and church-related schools. The reported SAT scores of Lancaster Mennonite High School students are consistently on a par with the best public schools in Lancaster County.
Annually, the school publishes an extensive Curriculum Guide for current and prospective students. According to the 2017-18 guide, numerous courses are offered in many academic disciplines, including 12 Advanced Placement courses and 11 Honors courses. The high school has an agriculture program with an FFA (formerly Future Farmers of America) chapter and a number of technology classes such as welding and small engine repair. In addition to formal classes, the Curriculum Guide indicates that high school students can develop advanced practical skills through the website team, the stage crew, yearbook staff and other opportunities.
The school does not have a selective admissions policy, but accepts a wide cross-section of abilities. The school offers many courses that are vocationally-oriented in business, agriculture, family and consumer science, etc., and provides for students who need learning support.
The Millstream is the student newspaper for Lancaster Mennonite High School. The Tributary is the Lancaster Mennonite Middle School newspaper. Silhouette is a student literary magazine that publishes the creative work of students. Laurel Wreath is the yearbook for Lancaster Mennonite High School. The school also publishes Bridges magazine for alumni, school families and others interested in the school.
- Taylor Kinney, star of Chicago Fire, Lady Gaga's fiancee, class of 2001
- Keegan Rosenberry, professional soccer player for the Philadelphia Union, class of 2012 
- J. Lowell Stoltzfus, Maryland state senator (1967)
- Denison Witmer, singer
- Mennonite Sports Organization
- Lady Gaga blends in during visit to Lancaster County – News. LancasterOnline.com (March 28, 2013). Retrieved on 2013-07-24.
- Writer, PAULA WOLF | Staff. "Lancaster County's Keegan Rosenberry taken third overall in MLS draft". LancasterOnline. Retrieved 2016-03-10.
- Kraybill, Donald B. Passing on the Faith: The Story of a Mennonite School. Good Books, 1991.