With a new school year days away, the faculty and staff at Lancaster Mennonite are preparing to welcome students back to our four campuses with several new developments in curriculum, facilities and technology as LMS continues to strive to be a leader in Christ-centered education.
Early this fall, students at all campuses will be introduced to an all-school chapel theme that will be further explored and developed throughout the year. The theme, “Who is my neighbor?” stems from a question that was asked of Jesus during his ministry. His answer surprised and challenged his followers and continues to challenge believers today as it is applied to everyday life. A task force will be working with students to find ways to put this theme into practice in daily school life through classroom meetings for elementary and middle school students and in advisory groups in the high school.
There are several curriculum additions this year for learners of all ages at LMS. The New Danville Campus will be piloting a new active learning before school care program that allows students to spend 30 minutes before school actively engaging their body and minds. The program is based on research that shows activity during the school day leads to greater academic progress. The program will feature five active learning stations directly linked to what is being taught in the classroom that will also give students a chance to be energized.
The Spanish Immersion program at LMS is also growing this year due to demand. The integrative teaching model will expand to fourth grade and add a kindergarten component to help bolster the early learning portion of the program. A second first grade class has also been added to match demand. Teachers Karen Maddox and Emily Zimmerman join the LMS team in the expanded program.
Students at the high school will have the chance to further develop their drafting skills with the new Drafting Technology II class. The new course builds off of what is taught in Drafting and Technology I and will help provide a strong foundation for students hoping to study engineering and architecture in college.
The long-awaited start of the new residence hall construction will begin this month with a hopeful completion date in January. It will be able to house 50 students coming to LMS from elsewhere in Pennsylvania, surrounding states and other countries. The new residence hall is expected to be ready for use by the second half of the school year. In addition to updated rooms, the residence hall will include study rooms, music practice rooms and a great room.
The Academic Support rooms at the Lancaster Campus have also received a facelift for the new school year. Two rooms were renovated and expanded this summer to better accommodate classroom activities. The renovations create a more comfortable and pleasant atmosphere for students and are up to current standards.
A WIFI system was installed at the Kraybill and Locust Grove campuses during the summer, allowing for more technology integration in the traditional classrooms. Instead of needing to take their students to a designated computer lab, teachers can now bring computers into their classrooms to aid their instruction.
Finally, several new faculty and staff members are joining LMS this year, with many new faces in the music department. Michael Jamanis will be leading the strings and orchestra while Nathan Sheffer will take over as the new band director. Evan Zimmerman also joins LMS as an instrumental music teacher.
Jared Yoder, a 2003 alum, returns to LMS to serve as the new athletic director this year. Other new staff include English teacher Elizabeth Weaver-Kreider and Academic Support teacher JoAnna Martinez.