Dock, Penn View schools announce merger

The boards of Penn View Christian School (Souderton, Pennsylvania) and Christopher Dock Mennonite High School (Lansdale, Pennsylvania) announced that they have unanimously agreed to pursue a plan to create a unified school system. The two schools have entered a formal process to outline the details of integration, with a goal of implementing the plan in the 2015-16 school year. The process is expected to last around three months.

Christopher Dock principal Conrad Swartzentruber speaks to students in chapel. In addition to providing space, the move will also allow more regular interaction between students, pastors and conference staff.
Christopher Dock principal Conrad Swartzentruber speaks to students in chapel.

The action taken by the boards is the culmination of many years of collaboration between Penn View and Christopher Dock. Throughout the discernment process, both boards have sought input from Mennonite Education Agency, and Mennonite Health Services also provided consulting support. Dr. Conrad Swartzendruber will serve as the “Staff Integration Officer.” He was jointly appointed by both boards and will oversee communication and planning during the formal three-month integration process.

“Throughout our histories, the schools’ stories have been interwoven, as Mennonites responded to God’s call to provide high-quality, Anabaptist-infused primary and secondary education,” said Warren L. Tyson, chairman of the Christopher Dock board. “Our vision is to build on that history and extend the impact of Christ-centered Mennonite education by creating a unified school system guided by Anabaptist values.”

In 2006, the schools partnered with Franconia Mennonite Conference and Eastern District Conference to develop GPS 2012, a strategic planning document that has been used by both schools to guide decision-making and growth initiatives.

“We believe that the integrated school system will enhance our ability to further realize the GPS 2012 goals of connections, accessibility, educational excellence and impact,” said Penn View Board Chair Mark Bergey. “Together, we can create a fully integrated curriculum and a streamlined transition process for students, while enhancing educational and administrative specialties across the system.” Penn View currently has 565 students in early childhood through eighth grade, while Christopher Dock has 353 students in grades nine through twelve.