Saint Leo the Great School is part of the Department of Education of the Diocese of Harrisburg. It operates under the authority of the Bishop of Harrisburg Diocese, and answers to the Secretary for Education and the Superintendent of Education.
The best hope for a strong Catholic Church is a strong Catholic Education.
The Future is our Children
Saint Leo the Great Parish grew out of Sacred Heart of Jesus Church in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, and was canonically established on February 22, 1964. The Parish began with the construction of a rectory, convent, and school. A school was established right at the beginning because parish leaders recognized that the future of the Church is its children.
Class in Session!
On September 8, 1965, the first classes were held in the nearly finished school. Masses were celebrated in the school’s original gymnasium for the first twenty six years of the parish. The school started with students in grades one through six, and grew to include grades one through eight over the next few years.
Welcome to Kindergarten
In 1984, Saint Leo the Great opened its first Kindergarten class, and in 1989 a temporary, modular, room was constructed. In 1991, when the new church was completed and the school was renovated, the old sanctuary was converted into a cafeteria/gymnasium. A kindergarten room, several offices, and a faculty room were also added. A Fine Arts Wing was built in the lower level of the school in 1994 and has been renovated several times since.
Opened Doors to Renovated Facilities
On September 17, 2015 (fifty years and nine days after the school first opened), Saint Leo the Great Catholic School opened its doors to a 13,000 square foot, eight-classroom school expansion, and a 20,000 square foot modernization and renovation of the school facilities. The school grew from one main hallway housing classrooms for grades kindergarten through eight to three main hallways. Each hallway is dedicated to a different grade band: the early/primary grades (pre-kindergarten through third), intermediate grades (fourth and fifth grade classrooms) and a special wing for our middle school students (grades sixth through eighth). Burgeoning admissions necessitated the expansion.
Other special spaces created during the 2015 Phase 1 Expansion were:
- Cupertino Classroom serving the special needs of children who need instructional support
- Instrument lesson rooms for private instrument lessons
- Middle school common area used for study hall, guest speakers, and academic clubs and instruction
- Offices for two Intermediate Unit 13 specialists
- Remote Learning Classrooms for participation in classes at Lancaster Catholic High School for our high-achieving students
- Lockers for all students in grades four through eight
Currently a Second Capital Campaign is underway.
Improvements planned for the school include:
- Second gym with retractable bleachers and permanent elevated stage
- New kitchen
- 21st century media center
- Upgraded playgrounds
- Renovated administrative wing
Our parish community is always looking for ways to improve the facilities and the programs to better educate the whole child!