News For Immediate Release
Pam Tieszen, Superintendent
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Aubrey Kreider, Director of Marketing & Communications
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Unanimous Administrative, finance committee and board of directors’ decision to close Hershey Campus of Lancaster Mennonite (LM)
Over four years ago, Lancaster Mennonite (LM) school and Hershey Christian school entered into negotiations and a planning process for Lancaster Mennonite to acquire Hershey Christian. The enrollment at the Hershey campus of Lancaster Mennonite has been tenuous since the acquisition. After four years of operation, the Lancaster Mennonite Board of Directors, Finance Committee and Administration determined sustainability of the Hershey campus of Lancaster Mennonite is no longer viable due to enrollment decline.
Lancaster Mennonite has experienced enrollment decline for over 10 years and is in the process of creating a sustainable financial model for the future. LM will be transitioning 2 campuses; Kraybill will operate independently July 1, 2019 and Hershey will close at the end of the 2018-19 school year; and reducing of staff at other campuses. This consolidation effort reduces the amount of square footage maintained compared to student enrollment numbers.
“We acknowledge the positive influence and history of Hershey Christian and LM in the lives of alumni and current students,” said Pam Tieszen, LM Superintendent. She continues, “Dedicated teachers and staff prepared students and gave a gift that will continue to live on. Lives have been shaped and transformed.”
The sustainable model for the future includes a healthy endowment that creates a solid foundation for New Danville (ND), Locust Grove (LG), Lancaster Mennonite Middle School (LMMS), and Lancaster Mennonite High School (LMH). Current cash endowment is $9 million with an additional $3 million in non-school properties. Endowment reserves remain strong and in place preserving ND, LG, LMMS and LMH campuses. Each campus is moving toward a stronger independent financial health position, yet remaining part of the larger LM system.
“Lancaster Mennonite maintains a strong academic and faith development program, an expectation embedded in the history of the school. The board of directors and administration are using the financial restructure as an opportunity to envision a new future with a strong core. We look with optimism at the many bright spots at LM!” said Tieszen.
LM is implementing a STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art, math) focus system wide. On the elementary level, MakerSpaces are part of ND, and will be part of the LG campus curriculums in the 2019-20 academic year. MakerSpaces provide students the opportunity to solve real world problems with 21st century skills, demonstrating critical thinking, collaboration and creativity.
The Lancaster Mennonite Middle School (LMMSConnect!) offers a project-based learning (PBL) curriculum model that also engages 7th and 8th graders with 4 core themes each year. Again, this model solves current day issues with a 21st century skill set. The PBL model is in its 4th year of operation and students transition into LMH with a new mind set on how to approach more advanced high school curriculum and thrive in the “real world”.