November 21, 2023
Head of School Update
By: Allyson Harmon, Head of School
Lititz Christian School held its annual member meeting last Tuesday evening. This was an opportunity to gather as a community and celebrate all that God is doing at Lititz Christian. The meeting, which included the appointment of three new board members—Kyle Keen, Dennis Jordan, and Ross Adams—also provided an opportunity to reflect on commendations and recommendations outlined in the recent report from the Association of Christian Schools International (ACSI). These recommendations and commendations are listed below.
1. Engage in board professional development that promotes the creation of both a board policy manual that defines its role and its written policies and a strategic plan that comprehensively advances the mission of the school. (Indicators 3.2, 3.3) Developing a strategic plan can promote the advancement of LCS in multiple ways. Strategic planning can further unite the LCS community as they create a vision of what the campus and classroom learning environment can look like over the next 3-5 years. (Board and administrative interviews; self-study Resources domain; self-study Purpose domain)
2. Engage in long-range planning that incorporates educational trends and financial planning to promote the school’s vitality and longevity. (Indicator 15.1)
3. Utilize curriculum documentation to ensure that alignment exists between expected student outcomes and classroom instruction, identifying and correcting potential gaps within the curriculum.(Indicators 8.1, 8.3) LCS has allocated time for teachers to review curriculum documentation throughout the year and would benefit from targeted goals in the collaborative review process. (Faculty interviews; curriculum documentation)
4. Enhance the written security and crisis management plans that take into consideration the multiple access points, the frequency of non-school volunteers and the building layout. (Indicator 18.1) The facilities are well maintained and staff are on duty at entrances during high traffic hours. Raptor technology has been implemented for visitors and emergencies, along with FOB access points. Security cameras have been installed in multiple locations. During the school day, however, non-school volunteers access and depart from multiple doors. The use of the site as both a church volunteer organization and a school present unique security realities. A full review and training of all who have access to the facilities is essential to strengthen safety and security. (Observations; self-study Well-being domain; administration interview)
5. Create a systematic professional development program that includes all faculty and promotes teacher growth, implementation of best practices and equips teachers to meet the diverse needs of students. (Indicators 10.1, 10.2, 10.3)
1. LCS cultivates strong, Christ-like relationships throughout the school community. Students are known and supported by the faculty and staff, who are committed to the student’s social, emotional, academic, spiritual and physical growth. (Indicators 4.1, 4.2) Students, parents and board members stated that they are supported and valued by the faculty and staff, who provide a professional, compassionate atmosphere. (Parent, student and board interviews; surveys; classroom observations; self-study relationships domain)
2. LCS provides all personnel with a Christ-centered work environment characterized by positive relationships, mutual encouragement, prayer support and Christian community. Policies and practices related to employee well-being set healthy and realistic expectations with a focus on work-life balance. (Indicator 19.1, 19.3) The work environment at LCS has a high standard for biblically- based relationships. There is a high level of godly culture amongst the personnel. The LCS faculty and staff actively seek to display the fruits of the spirit in all interactions. The administration strives to honor team members through fostering peer to peer relationships, flexible leave options and realistic expectations. The longevity and resilience of the faculty and staff is a credit to the thriving environment established by the administration. (Self-study Well-Being Domain; observations; faculty/staff and parent interviews; policies regarding leave time)
3. LCS places a strong emphasis on Bible instruction and integrating biblical worldview principles in a holistic framework through all subject matter. Teachers are passionate about kingdom education as they engage students in critical-thinking skills and learning experiences across subjects. (Indicators 7.1, 7.5) Classroom teachers are intentional about incorporating biblical worldview integration authentically throughout their lesson plans and in classroom interactions with students. Students are genuinely excited about sharing what they are learning in their classrooms about Jesus and the Bible. (Student, parent, and faculty/staff interviews; teacher lesson plans; classroom observations)
4. LCS has created a growing Academic Success program that assists the school in identifying and meeting the individual needs of student learners. (Indicator 13.3) LCS truly values all students and works to meet their individual needs through the vision and implementation of the Academic Success program. The program helps to foster this environment as it encourages teachers to differentiate classroom instruction to meet the needs of the various learners. (Interviews with parents and faculty/staff; self study expertise domain; observations)
We recognize the importance of growth and improvement and are committed to embracing these recommendations. We are also grateful for the commendations we received, such as the emphasis on Christ-like relationships, a Christ-centered work environment, and the commitment to Bible instruction. These commendations underscore the unique and spiritually nurturing environment that Lititz Christian provides for its students and staff.
As we enter this season of Thanksgiving, I would like to take a moment to express my gratitude for the Lititz Christian community. In Colossians 2:7 we are reminded to be “rooted and built up in Christ, strengthened in faith and overflowing with thankfulness. This verse paints a picture of what our community is about-a sturdy foundation grounded in Christ, an ongoing journey of growth and an abundance of gratitude. I am genuinely grateful to be part of this incredible community with all of you.
November 7, 2023
School Board Update
by: Jeff Gerard, School Board Chair
Wow! Every year I'm more and more in awe of the fall color! Ecclesiastes 3:11 says that "God has made everything beautiful in His time."
Did you ever ask yourself why color exists at all? It certainly makes very little sense that it just evolved from nothingness. While there are rational reasons for much of the color that we see in nature, I am sure that God gave all of this color just for me, and you, of course. I am convinced that the primary purpose of color is simply to bring us joy and to bring God glory. No other reason is necessary.
As we think about God's glory in this expression of beauty, let's be thankful for all that He has given.
This includes some fantastic news-- we successfully completed the ACSI reaccreditation visit and were recommended for full reaccreditation by the Association of Christian Schools International. Our dedicated administration, faculty and staff put in a tremendous amount of effort to achieve this accomplishment. It's hard to say which was more demanding, the move to LCOB or the reacceditation process within all the transition, but they completed both with excellence. Please take a moment to thank and congratulate the faculty and staff when you have the opportunity.
We have many insights to share about the reaccreditation process, including recommendations from ACSI to enhance our School Board. We'd love to delve into these details at our Member Meeting on Tuesday, November 14th, at 6 PM during our Bingo, BBQ, and Board night. All school families from ELC through grade 12 are encouraged to attend. RSVP for BBQ HERE.
The Member Meeting is an annual informational gathering during which we vote on new board members. This year, we have four positions and four potential candidates. Each candidate has been nominated and vetted by the Board, and they are prepared to serve at the pleasure of the school membership (parents or guardians of our students) following a simple majority vote. Additionally, we will be voting on Board officers. This meeting is not a formal School Board meeting but will include a financial report and other essential information. We would greatly appreciate your participation.
Please see the brief bios HERE for our potential Board members. These include Josh Antes (returning member), Ross Adams, Dennis Jordan, and Kyle Keen.
I look forward to seeing you at the meeting, and trust that your Autumn Season will be full of blessing and thanksgiving.
October 17, 2023
Fall Field Trips
High School By: Jenn Balmer, HS Department Lead
Lititz Christian School values and places heavy importance on the hands-on learning that takes place on field trips! Our high schoolers have been busy participating in the following various off-campus experiences:
- 9th graders enjoyed a walking tour of Lancaster City including stops by both markets, the public library, the courthouse, and the Demuth Museum. Learning focused around an impactful naturalization ceremony and a map navigation lesson to find pianos and murals downtown.
- 11th and 12th graders blasted back into the Renaissance time period at the Renaissance Faire in Manheim, PA! Students participated in the School Days at the Faire which included food, activities, costumes, and “celebrities” realistic to the 1600s which directly connects to our British Literature course this year. Highlights included interviewing Shakespeare, finding and taking a selfie with the Queen, watching a joust, and discussing the differences of our Christian faith then and now.
- 10th and 11th graders just returned from their two day adventure in New York City! Students learned about art and theater at the Met and on Broadway while watching Hamilton, they experienced the busyness of city life at Times Square, and they contemplated important historical realizations at the 9/11 Museum.
- 10th grade will head to Camp Swatara this week to jump into some outdoor experiences for the purpose of introducing the Lord of the Flies unit in their World Literature course. Students will learn how to build a fire and the importance of fire safety, plan out a meal and cook over the fire, and navigate the outdoor adventure course to highlight the importance of teamwork and communication skills.
Other high school field trips scheduled for the year include experiences in France, the Fulton Theater, Longwood Gardens, Millersville University, Messiah College, Foreign Language Museum Trip, Guatemala, and Lancaster Bible College.
Middle School Fall Field Trips
By: Austen Hannis, Middle School Department Lead
Through the fall, the middle school has focused on facilitating purposeful field trip opportunities that foster teamwork, service, and community:
During the third week of school, all middle school students spent most of the day at Gretna Glen Camp & Retreat Center in Lebanon, PA. Students performed tasks that promoted trust, communication, team, and leadership. Several low ropes elements were incorporated by the Gretna Glen facilitators to complete challenges that could not be completed individually. In addition, students were able to challenge themselves at their comfort level with the support of their classmates spotting each step at the personal challenge course.
In addition to promoting our sense of team, the sixth through eighth grades are ushering in the season of giving by spending this Friday at Blessings of Hope in Leola, PA. After being able to focus on developing our internal community, this service opportunity is about fostering a servant’s heart in our students by serving our local community.
Elementary School Fall Field Trips
By: Aggie Lawler, Elementary Department Lead
From the excitement of riding the bus (which is always a hit!) to enjoying a picnic lunch with friends on a beautiful fall day, the Elementary students enjoyed a full day of hands-on educational fun at Lancaster County Park. Throughout the day, students cycled through the following four stations led by four experienced naturalists:
Backyard Animals: Birds
The students learned about local birds and the naturalist invited students to touch bird feathers, skulls, and feet. Students then used binoculars to observe birds in the park. One group even spotted a bird flying by with a fish in its mouth! Finally, students made their own recycled bird feeders.
Students learned about the tribes native to the Lancaster County area and got to play some of the games the Native American children would have played which helped them learn skills they would have needed! The students enjoyed games like: Corn Cob Darts, Sly Fox and a Chief game. After each game, the naturalist asked students how the game would prepare children to live in their tribe.The students loved the games and have already requested to play them at recess and at their Thanksgiving parties!
Trees and Fall Foliage
Students were each given a bag to collect fall treasures as they hiked through the beautiful forest. The naturalist stopped along the way to explain various trees and their unique characteristics. Students learned about trees such as: Pin Oak vs White Oak; White Pine, Sycamore, and Maple. The highlight of the hike was what the naturalist called the "danger zone" where she had them cover their heads to avoid possible falling walnuts. (seen here with all the bags on their heads haha!).
Diary of a Worm
First the Naturalist read the story Diary of a Worm and then students moved through different stations where they could interact with real worms! They learned how worms: react to water and vinegar; move on smooth paper compared to sandpaper; and respond to light! The students loved this station and most were willing to touch the worms!
October 6, 2023
by: Amy Hurst, Communications Manager
Lititz Christian faculty and staff recently had the privilege of honoring our longest tenured teacher, Ms. Lori Mickel. A breakfast reception was held in her honor. Gifts and cards of appreciation were given, and past and present faculty and staff shared their praises of Lori’s talents and commitment to Christian education.
For the past 40 years, Lori has been an integral team member at Lititz Christian School. She began teaching in 1983 when she took on her coveted role as 3rd grade teacher. Her desire as a teacher had always been to teach 3rd grade, so when the position for that grade opened at LCS, she knew it was God in His faithfulness leading her here.
Like many teachers and staff at LCS, Lori has worn multiple “hats” in addition to 3rd grade teacher, such as 4th and 5th grade PE teacher and coach. In her second year of teaching, Lori had the privilege of helping to launch the Athletics Program at Lititz Christian. As an athlete herself and an avid sports fan, this suited her and the school well as she took on the role of coach for the middle school girls basketball and softball teams. Later, as LCS added high school grades, she continued to coach the high school softball team for many years. She also kept the stats and scoreboard records for the high school girls basketball team, and then coached high school volleyball for a couple years.
Notably, Lori was one among several faculty and staff who advocated for the school to start our chapter of the National Honor Society. She served on the committee for a number of years, focusing attention on the scholarship, leadership, character, and service of the students representing LCS in the society.
Lititz Christian School thanks Lori for her devotion and commitment, her many contributions to advancing academic and extracurricular programs over the years, and her passion and shared vision in bringing a Christ-centered education to all Lititz Christian students. Undoubtedly, she has touched and impacted many student lives over the years. We certainly know she has touched and changed ours!
September 14, 2023
Early Learning Center Update
by: Jess Daugherty, ELC Director
New school year, new location, new teachers… ALL in a day’s work for the Early Learning Center! If you haven’t heard we opened an ADDITIONAL location within the Manheim Central School District. This year we’ve partnered with Manheim Central School District to offer afterschool care for both Baron and Doe Run Elementary. With over 45 student enrolled we were able to hire 4 additional teachers for that location. The Doe Run team is getting adjusted to all the fun of having a new campus and learning new students along with seeing some familiar faces. Ms. Gwen Nafe is the site coordinator who has 2 children, Nola and Amos who attend Lititz Christian. Ms. Gwen with her staff of Ms. Karla, Ms. Jenn and Miss Sophia work daily to ensure the students have an amazing time in the afterschool program. We’ve heard quite a few “I don’t want to leave” comments at pick up times which is always a good indicator of students enjoying their time with us!
With all of the changes to the Early Learning Center over the last few years this was such a great addition to our programing and our communities. Through this endeavor we also gained additional families to our Preschool and Prek rooms. Our amazing team of teachers have adapted to the challenges and changes with grace and willingness to lend a hand to their co-workers. As we begin to plan for the summer of 2024 (yes we start this early), we anticipate gaining additional families into our summer camp experience! We still have a few employment opportunities, so if you have interest or know someone who might be interested in working with our Early Learning Center please send them my way!
Have an amazing day!
August 31, 2023
LC Marketing Team Update
The Lititz Christian marketing team has been working hard to get the word out about our second annual Day of Plenty to be held the weekend of September 29 & 30. The primary purposes for this weekend are to fundraise for the school’s annual fund and to bring our community together. This year we kick off the Day of Plenty with Homecoming games and a chicken BBQ on Friday, Sept 29. On Saturday we invite the whole town to our huge Harvest Fest from 10am-2pm, then we close out the Day of Plenty on Saturday night with the Fall Ball for high school students and their guests.
Day of Plenty is the first of the three major fundraisers in our school year, and we rely heavily on you, our LC family to both participate and assist, especially with the Harvest Fest. Below is a timeline of the weekend along with links for more information, making donations, and ordering chicken BBQ meals. In the near future we’ll be sending out requests for items and helpers for these events. Please prayerfully consider giving of your time and talents to the Day of Plenty. Invite your friends and family to enjoy this weekend full of fun, food, and fellowship!
August 22, 2023
School Board Update
by: Jeff Gerard, Board Chair
I'm not sure about you, but I'm getting excited about the upcoming school year. I trust that you have all enjoyed the beaches, mountains, rivers, theme parks, camping trips, Grand Canyons, or museums that you visited this summer. Maybe ‘vacation’ took the form of an AC unit that needed to be replaced, or a wedding that took place. Regardless, these are gifts from God. “Every good and perfect gift is from above and comes down from the Father of lights.” Hopefully, your summer was filled with rest and encouragement.
As we prepare to start the new school year, the faculty and staff is working tirelessly to prepare. I'm sure everyone is thankful that this summer we DO NOT have to move an entire school building! We continue to be grateful for our school home at Lititz Church of the Brethren.
As the staff and administration ramp up for the 23-24 school year, the Board of Directors is also preparing. Within the next several weeks, we hope to be interviewing potential Board member for 3 openings on our Board this year. There will be a vote for those members at our annual LCS Family Meeting this fall. Rodney Bert, after almost 15 years of service at Lititz Christian School, is stepping away from his Board responsibilities. His knowledge, wisdom, and financial guidance has been critical in the life of LCS. Fortunately, our acting Treasurer, Josh Antes, has agreed to stay. His continued presence remains a blessing to our Board and school. Please be praying for the Board of Directors as we oversee the function, mission, and vision at Lititz Christian. Of course, please submit any nominations for membership in the Board of Directors to the Board email address at: email@example.com.
In addition to preparing for the upcoming year, our team at LCS, including the Board, is preparing for ACSI (Association of Christian Schools International) re-certification this fall. The Board will have a substantial part to play in that process as the ACSI team will be interviewing the Board at a meeting in October. Preparation for ACSI re-accreditation is grueling and involves all faculty and staff. The ACSI seal of approval doesn't make us a fantastic school, but it does highlight our excellence, and helps us understand potential areas for improvement.
While we continue to enjoy the hospitality of LCOB, we are also very aware that we need a more permanent solution for our school home. Please continue to pray and give as we continue to seek that long-term location.
So, remember to be thankful, remember also that school is starting soon! God has given us abundantly more than we can ask or think. Have a great week and see you soon!
Anticipating a fantastic year,
Dr. Jeff Gerard, LCS Board of Directors Chairperson
August 9, 2023
by: Allyson Harmon, Head of School
As we gear up for the new academic year, we are thrilled to announce the addition of some outstanding individuals the team at Lititz Christian.
We are delighted to welcome Mr. Ryan McCracken back to Lititz Christian in his new role as Facilities Coordinator and Assistant Athletic Director. Ryan returned to Lititz Christian at the beginning of July and has done a fantastic job ensuring our building is ready for the start of the new school year.
We are also delighted to welcome Mrs. Karla Santiago back to the United States after her remarkable tenure teaching elementary music in Bolivia for the last 10 years. Mrs. Santiago will share her passion for music and education with our preschool through 4th-grade students. Additionally, she will play an integral role in our new after-school program at Doe Run Elementary in Manheim Central.
We are excited that Mr. Matthew Boyer is joining the middle school team as the Middle School Science Teacher. Mr. Boyer come to us from the Warwick School District where he taught fourth grade. Mr. Boyer's experience and enthusiasm for teaching will undoubtedly contribute to an engaging and inspiring learning environment. We are also happy to share that the Boyer's two sons will be joining our student body, adding to the sense of community and family at Lititz Christian.
Lastly, we are thrilled to introduce Mrs. Jennifer Placeway, who will be joining our academic success team as a part-time academic success teacher. Many of you may already be familiar with Mrs. Placeway as she has been actively involved with Lititz Christian, having served as a substitute teacher for the past few years. Her expertise as a reading interventionist and dedication to student success will prove invaluable in assisting our students in achieving their full potential.
With such talented and passionate individuals joining our team, we are confident that the upcoming school year will be one filled with growth, learning, and lasting memories. We extend our heartfelt gratitude to all of you for entrusting your children's education to Lititz Christian, and we look forward to an incredible school year.
We pray you enjoy the final few weeks of summer!