The Christopher Dock community has a rich history to both its campus and the compassionate school teacher for which this school is named after: Christopher Dock, for whom their high school founded in the 1950’s had been named.
Most students come from the North Penn, Souderton, and Pennridge areas. Twenty public school districts are represented at Dock.
Christopher Dock welcomes students of diverse academic backgrounds and strives to maximize the potential of each student.
With highly-qualified teachers, small class sizes, and about 40 advanced, honors and AP classes, the curriculum provides opportunities in all disciplines for advanced learning. Our students perform well above state and national averages on AP and SAT tests and are well prepared for college and career choices.
The school focuses on the following goals as high priority.
• Competency in the basic disciplines
• Ability to think critically and creatively
• Understanding and acceptance of other cultures
• Appreciation of the arts
• Development of effective communication skills
• Preparation for life-long learning and problem solving
Whether your passion is music, visual art, or theater, you will have opportunities to learn and participate here that you won’t find at many other schools. As in academics and athletics, our focus in the arts is on excellence.
345 students, grades 9 - 12, in a coeducational setting
Christopher Dock has a student/faculty ratio of under 12 to 1.
30 Mennonite congregations and many alumni, parents, grandparents, businesses, and friends provide vision, encouragement, and funding for the school’s program. The student body has connections to over 90 different congregations of various denominations.
Dock students enroll in a wide variety of colleges, including highly selective, regional, faith-based, and specialized schools, i.e. Princeton University, Brown University, Penn State Univerisity, NYU, Boston College, College of William and Mary, Georgetown University, James Madison University.
Average SAT scores
Area Dock 3 year average PA National
Verbal 527 491 496
Math 555 501 514
Writing 527 480 488
AP Test Results for 2014
(The highest score on AP tests is a 5. Scores over 3 are passing and generally eligible for college credit.)
• About 1/3 of Dock students take and pass at least one AP exam during high school.
• Over the past three years, Dock students have consistently passed the AP tests at higher rates than PA and Global test-takers.
• Tests in 2013 were taken in the areas of Music Theory, English Language and Composition, Macroeconomics, Microeconomics, Psychology, US Government and Politics, US History, Calculus AB, Calculus BC, Statistics, and Biology
Dock State of PA Global
All Scores 3.45 3.15 2.87
AP Calculus (AB) 3.83 3.20 2.96
AP Statistics 4.00 3.18 2.80
AP English Language and Composition 3.36 3.19 2.77
AP Biology 4.20 3.02 2.88
ESL Orientation (applies only for new international students) We greatly value our international students and the way that they enrich our school and culture through great diversity. We require all new international students attend a new student and English as a second language orientation which takes place the week before school begins (please refer to school calendar). Orientation highlights include the following: • Welcome to Dock from Dr. Conrad Swartzentruber, Principal • Intensive English instruction: reading and comprehension, writing, speaking • Interaction with Dock faculty and students • An introduction to plagiarism and how to avoid it through proper citation • Session with Mr. Darwin Zehr, Director of Technology, to learn and review iPad education applications • Campus tour and schedule “dry run” for each student with Mr. Doug Hackman, Director of Admissions
Special and Annual Events at Christopher Dock Annual Events by Calendar Months (August) Freshmen Orientation All 9th grade students participate in Freshmen Orientation during the first week of school. Activities are planned for the students to learn more about Christopher Dock and their classmates. (August) Senior Pictures Seniors will schedule appointments to have their senior pictures taken. These pictures will be used for the school yearbook, and students will be given the option of purchasing copies. Usually by November or December proofs will be available for viewing and you can decide if you would like to purchase pictures. The House Parents at Dock House can assist your child with scheduling an appointment once they arrive. 9 (September) Sophomore Field Trip All 10th grade students will be chaperoned by train to Philadelphia for sophomore field trip. The social studies department supervises a tour of historical sites with a meal in China town before returning home. Extra spending money is not required but might be helpful. (October) Service Day Every other year, a service day is scheduled for the entire school. Students volunteer at organizations throughout the area.
(January) Senior Experience Week All 12th grade students are required to take a week “off” of regular classes in January, and shadow person(s) at work for a week. This is an opportunity to investigate possible career choices. An alternative to job shadowing is to volunteer locally or globally. Detailed information will be given to 12th grade students at the beginning of the school year, and it is important to note planning should start early in the school year. (January) Senior Class Trip All 12th grade students will travel to Lancaster after the senior experience week in January. The students will have opportunity to discuss senior experience week with their advisors. Fun activities are also planned. Extra spending money is not required but might be helpful. (February) Arts Day Arts Day is an entire day dedicated to celebrating the Arts. Students in each grade prepare works of music, drama, art, culinary, and other categories and perform and display their works for their classmates. A public performance is held in the evening featuring some of the performances and works created by the students. (May) Junior-Senior Banquet All 11th and 12th grade students are invited to attend the school’s spring banquet. Your children will be encouraged to dress up formally. There is no cost for students of Christopher Dock, but guests will need a ticket which costs $35.00 to $50.00. (May) All-School Social After attending abbreviated classes during the morning, students participate in student led activities on campus. Activities include basketball, volleyball, badminton tournament, stickball, and a Physic students’ boat race on the school’s pond. (June) Graduation Week Senior Presentations Senior presentations are scheduled for Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday afternoons and evenings.
Students are taken care of primarily by the House Parents. There is a nurse is on duty at
Christopher Dock one day a week (Thursdays). There is 24-hour physician and emergency care
in the Harleysville-Souderton area. The nearest hospital is in Sellersville, which is about 20
minutes from the Dock House. There are also several orthodontists and dentists available in
the immediate area.
Guidance services, provided to help students experience a wholesome and more successful
high school career, include counseling, as well as remedial and tutorial services. If it is
determined that a child needs counseling only the people directly involved will be made aware
of it and the counseling sessions themselves will be kept in strict confidence. No child will
receive professional, ongoing counseling without parental permission. Students may come to
the guidance office to:
- receive help in selecting courses
- discuss coursework and grades
- get help in improving study habits
- check on graduation requirements
- discuss future career plans
- plan for college admission
- discuss standardized test results
- ask for remedial or tutorial help
- get help in applying for college financial aid
- apply for taking college entrance exams
- discuss personal problems
- discuss spiritual and Christian life concerns
- seek professional counseling resources
Throughout the year … (Fall, Winter, Spring) Junior Social Issues Trip All 11th grade students are required to take the social studies course Social Issues. As a part of this course, your child will travel to Washington D.C. with their classmates, chaperoned by teachers and other adults. The trip is from Sunday morning to Tuesday afternoon. The trips are scheduled throughout the year. Extra spending money is not required but might be helpful. (Fall, Winter, Spring) Concerts and Drama Each school year there are three concerts. Most or all of the students taking music lessons will be involved in one or all of them. In addition, there is a fall musical and spring drama each school year. Please check the school calendar for the dates if you are planning a visit and know your child is involved in one of these events. (Fall, Winter, Spring) Athletics Christopher Dock has several options for students who like to play team sports. Girls may try out for cross country, soccer, tennis or volleyball in the fall, basketball in the winter, and softball or track and field in the spring. Boys maybe try out for cross country or soccer in the fall, basketball in the winter, and baseball or track and field in the spring. In order to participate in any of the sports teams the student will need a physical exam. This should be done before the students arrive at school. Students that would like to participate in athletics must provide the completed forms found on the Christopher Dock website:
Letter grades are based on the following scale:
B-Above Average 86-93
D-Below Average 70-76
F-Failure Below 70
WP/WF Withdrawn Passing/Withdrawn Failing
Student Academic Progress
Access to student academic information is provided to all students and parents. Your online
account should be checked regularly for homework and grade updates.
Honor roll recognition is given to students who earn a “B” average (3.0 GPA) with no grade
lower than C.
The Christopher Dock community values integrity in all aspects of the learning process.
Teachers design activities and projects that promote critical thinking, problem-solving skills,
creativity, and personal investment in learning. Students are expected to demonstrate honesty,
respect, and responsibility in all their work. Plagiarism and other forms of cheating are
considered violations of the Covenant Statement. (See the Academic Integrity Policy in the
Curriculum Guide for more detail.)
Participation in co-curricular activities requires a satisfactory academic record as well as
positive school citizenship. Unsatisfactory conduct or poor grades may serve to revoke eligibility.
The Schul Andenken (school yearbook) is published each August.
Coed sports (boys and girls) include cross country, bowling and track and field; boys’ sports are
soccer, golf, basketball, tennis, volleyball, and baseball; girls’ sports are field hockey, tennis,
volleyball, basketball, soccer, softball, and cheerleading.
Athletes must have:
1) A current physical exam (to be scheduled through a family physician)
2) A signed parent permission form for each sport.
See the school web site for details and doctor’s forms.
Spring and fall all-school dramas are performed each year.
Numerous choral and instrumental opportunities are provided. All groups participate in public
Each year, a fine arts competition includes class performances in music, drama, and other
performances appropriate for stage. In addition, competition is held in the culinary and visual
arts, and writing.
The Campus Senate, composed of 13 students and three faculty members, directs various
aspects of campus life.
Students and faculty are encouraged to submit to the Senate proposals and ideas reflecting any
campus issue. All Senate actions are submitted to the Ad Council for approval or veto.
Senate subcommittees work with the following areas: Activities, Spiritual Life, and Service.
In the spring, each class elects a president, vice president, secretary, and treasurer.
Freshmen elect officers in the fall.
National Honor Society
Sophomore, junior and senior students who exhibit standards and performance in scholarship,
service, leadership, and character are elected by the faculty to the Dock Chapter of the National
Honor Society each fall.
Standardized Testing: • Sophomores are eligible to take the PSAT. They must register in the Guidance Office. • ALL juniors will take the PSAT and the National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test. • Juniors are encouraged to take the SAT test in the spring of their junior year. • Seniors applying for college admissions are expected to take the SAT or the ACT by fall of the senior year. • See www.collegeboard.com or www.act.org for registration details.
Academic Awards: Honor Roll Students who perform well in their school work are recognized by being placed on the school honor roll. To receive honor roll recognition, a student must earn a 3.0 average (B average). Students are not eligible for the honor roll if they receive Progress Grades or any grade lower than a C, or if they withdraw from a class with either a WP or WF. Honor rolls will be published on the school website and in the local newspaper. Graduation Awards The school diploma represents a significant achievement of academic pursuit. In addition, the following awards are presented annually as part of the commencement program: • Department Awards: To one senior with the highest subject area achievement as determined by each academic department and the faculty. • Summa Cum Laude: To all with a cumulative GPA of 4.00 or better from grades 9-12 • Magna Cum Laude: To all with a cumulative GPA of 3.85 to 3.99 from grades 9-12 • Cum Laude: To all with a cumulative GPA of 3.70 to 3.84 from grades 9-12 • Christopher Dock Awards: To one boy and one girl recognizing citizenship, scholarship, leadership, and Christian character during their high school career. This high honor is determined by the faculty
ADVANCED LEARNING OPTIONS Weighted Courses: These courses may require written departmental approval for enrollment. A multiplier of 1.2 is applied to these courses in recognition of the increase in difficulty and work. For example, an “A” in one of these courses is worth a 4.8 compared to a 4.0 for a standard class. See chart on page 5. • Advanced Placement Courses - designed to prepare for the corresponding AP exam. AP Biology AP Calculus AP English Language/Composition AP Macroeconomics AP Spanish IV Language and Culture AP Spanish V Literature AP Statistics II AP US Government Students may elect to take AP exams in other subject areas without taking an AP course. Contact the Guidance Office for more information. • Additional Weighted Courses Advanced Math I Advanced Math II Honors Physics Honors Algebra II Honors American Lit Honors Biology Honors British Lit Honors Chemistry Honors Geometry Honors Modern and Contemporary Thought Honors World Lit
Non-Weighted Advanced Courses: These courses may require written departmental approval for enrollment. The GPA calculation is not weighted. • Art: Photography II Portfolio Preparation Independent Studio • Technology: Web Site Design II • Family and Consumer Sciences: Child Development II Culinary Arts II Fabrics and Fashion II • Music: Advanced Music Instrumental Improvisation • Science: Anatomy and Physiology Biotechnology Nanotechnology
A Statement of Educational Philosophy We believe that God’s unconditional love is a major theme of the Christian faith story. To manifest this love and restore a fallen creation, God became human, entering the world as an infant. As an adult, Jesus rejected temporal power and chose instead a life of servant leadership. He defied social barriers and labels of discrimination by eating with outcasts and embracing sinners. He radically changed the status of children by presenting them as “the greatest in the kingdom of heaven” and encouraging adults to learn from them. In his life, death, and resurrection, Jesus demonstrated the redemptive, transforming power of love. We believe that the Church is a voluntary alternative community of believers who have responded in repentance and faith to God’s love. We seek to be faithful followers of Jesus in all aspects of life. We are called to live together in mutual love and respect, cherishing the worth of each individual. Children are “safe in the care of God,” to be lovingly and non-coercively nurtured and made ready by the faith community for a personal, voluntary commitment to Jesus and the Church. We believe that the Church has a responsibility to teach believers what it means to follow Jesus. Mennonite schools have been established to fill a servant role by assisting families and congregations in this ministry. Effective discipleship requires strong communities of learning in which the faith is embodied and fulfilled through the ways our children and young people are educated. Educators in Mennonite schools use life experiences and sound educational principles, old and new, that are in harmony with scriptures. These principles establish that humans are born with a need to make sense of the world and to communicate with others. All of life is a classroom; persons learn in and out of school and throughout their lives. The uniquely human abilities to acquire a language, to pose and solve problems, and to imagine and create, are God-given gifts. Before starting school, children have already accomplished enormously complex tasks such as motor, social, and language skills. Young children’s accomplishments reveal that learning is natural, social, constructive, purposeful, experimental, creative, and playful. All learning and human performance are, in varying degrees, physical, mental, social, and spiritual. Separation of mind from heart or from body, dividing “intellectual” from “non-intellectual,” is false and misleading. All talents and knowledge required for living purposefully as God’s people are to be valued equally
The classroom is a community of learners whose varied gifts and needs are best nurtured through active participation and collaboration. Each teacher and student’s prior knowledge, experience, and interests become resources available to the whole group. Overemphasis on competition and comparison of persons should be avoided. Participatory learning, peer tutoring, and cooperative group activities provide opportunities for students to learn from each other as well as from the teacher and to learn the value of differences. Students and teachers alike benefit from use of the storytelling and questioning methods of Jesus, the Master Teacher. In an atmosphere of trust and mutual respect, learners explore problems and questions, select from a wide range of resources, learn new concepts and skills, and are permitted to take risks, to try new ideas, and to make mistakes. Students are thus prepared for life and service in an information age which requires competence in using available resources in team problem-solving and decision-making with women and men of differing backgrounds, experiences, and skills. Our Western society and its emphasis on facts and reasoning can lead to an arrogant view of the world as an object to be manipulated, leading to disrespect for life and its many mysteries, an abuse of power and a misapplication of knowledge. In Mennonite schools, faith and learning are inseparable. In these settings, learners accumulate and use information, facts, and theories to reason, pose, and explore problems. This leads to reflection on how knowledge fits God’s purposes for the world, along with the need for personal transformation in order to accomplish God’s purposes. The motivation to learn and the ultimate goal of education are found in Jesus who offered himself and his life to those who wished to know the Truth. Education is far more than just preparation for job skills that satisfy the needs of production, consumption, and technology. When faith and learning are unified, persons are called to an ethic of care and love whereby they seek truth, find their identity in God’s story of humanity, develop interest in maintaining God’s creation, and grow in love of God and each other. Educators are expected to affirm God’s unconditional love which transforms the knowledge they teach, the methods they use to teach, and their relationships with the students they teach. They model discipleship, speak confidently yet humbly about their faith, and value each student’s spiritual journey. Finally, they promote responsible discipleship, peacemaking, and service in a global society. Mennonite schools are privileged to be in a supportive relationship with families, congregations, and conferences. This relationship is essential to the life of the school and will be strengthened as individuals from these various settings dialogue together in an ongoing search for a harmonious integration of faith, learning, and life.