This article was originally published by Mennonite World Review

Philadelphia Mennonite High School joins The City School

Philadelphia Mennonite High School has merged with another Christian school in the city, retaining the smaller school’s Mennonite affiliation and the larger school’s name.

The City School opened its academic year Sept. 3 as former PMHS students joined their peers at The City School’s high school campus in the heart of Philadelphia.

The old PMHS building opened as a second elementary school campus for The City School. It will also house the school’s first preschool class beginning next fall.

Since its beginning in 1998, the Mennonite high school had worked with The City School, according to former PMHS principal Barbara Moses.

“This year it became clear that we could honor God and serve his people better together than we ever did apart,” Moses wrote in a press release.

Moses said an effort was made to honor the Mennonite heritage of PMHS. The City School was received as a member of Mennonite Education Agency.

“We will continue to cultivate relationships in the Mennonite community and draw inspiration from the rich social and theological distinctives of the Mennonite church,” she said.

With the merger, the City School adopted five core commitments: to Jesus, the city, shalom, excellence and accessibility.

“Our commitment to shalom, in particular, is inspired by our Mennonite heritage,” Moses said. “The great theme of peacemaking, which was central to our identity as PMHS, lives on in this commitment.”

MEA senior director Elaine Moyer said: “We are pleased to support their merger with The City School and look forward to all that God has in store as we partner together as disciples of Jesus Christ.”

Moyer is working with The City School to pilot a program for students with learning difficulties. The City School hired a full-time learning support coordinator for this program.

“This is new territory for us, and it is a testament to the blessings that follow our decision to grow and merge,” Moses said.

Many of the teachers and staff from PMHS have transitioned into positions at The City School. Moses will continue as an adviser and community liaison.

Moyer said Moses should be celebrated as the founding administrator of PMHS.

“She inspired the ways of peace, discipleship, stewardship and community that formed the Anabaptist culture at PMHS,” Moyer said.

Twenty-eight former PMHS students now attend The City School’s high school. The City School also includes a middle school in addition to the two elementary schools. There are a total of 273 students.

A former PMHS student, Taylor Paris, is glad for the change.

“PMHS was tiny,” she said. “I am excited about having more people to get to know and a more culturally diverse school. It hasn’t been awkward. The City School students have been very friendly and accepting of us.”

Gabriella Chang, a junior, said she didn’t know what to expect from the merger.

“I prayed to God and he changed my perspective,” she said. “I realized that this merger was about having faith in God. I believe that since our two schools humbled themselves to come together, God will prosper us.”

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