A keystone is defined as “a central stone at the summit of an arch, locking the whole together.” and “the central principle or part of a policy, system, etc., on which all else depends.” (Oxford Languages)
At Pathways our keystone is our Christian faith and the way that is lived out through our actions in all areas of life. We base our faith on the work of Jesus Christ and live out our faith through following Christ’s example and adhering to God’s word.
Cornerstones of Pathways
At Pathways, we believe that education goes far beyond textbooks and the classroom setting. Here are some the cornerstones of Pathways that make us unique:
An Emphasis on Environmental Stewardship. As Christians, we take our first job assignment, given in Genesis, seriously! Commanded to be caretakers of God’s creation, we strive to spark an interest in the environment through curiosity, spending time outdoors, and learning about the environment. Brubaker Park has almost ninety acres of meadow, woods, park, and water. With two streams and three ponds, we have plenty of opportunities for field and aquatic studies. Pathways’ High School students are citizen scientists, doing monthly chemical and macroinvertebrate studies on our streams and collecting data for our water basin. Other activities include bluebird box trails, worm farming, raising trout, composting and recycling.
An emphasis on Living History. Pathways teachers and students not only enjoy learning about history, but we also live it! Pathways collaborates with two different groups to immerse our students in living history. At Joanna Furnace, we work with members of the Haycreek Historical Society to learn skills and demonstrate them to the public at the Haycreek Festival and Apple Festival. In the spring teachers and students spend three days and two nights living as our forefathers did, re-enacting at the Lancaster Longrifles Rendezvous encampment. All of this learning and experience culminates in our own Heritage Day, an event open to the public that gives our students another chance to demonstrate and share the historical skills and knowledge they have learned.
An emphasis on Hands-On Learning. At Pathways, we are committed to giving our students opportunities to learn by doing. Our students are involved in many hands-on activities, such as woodworking, blacksmithing, basket weaving, photography, fly-fishing, landscaping, artwork, cooking, sewing, etc. Volunteers age 25 to 89, come to our campuses bi-weekly to share their passion, skills, and knowledge. We believe that it is important for students to be exposed to and learn new skills. The students feel accomplished when they produce hand-crafted items, build a four-square herb garden, or work together to restore a historic summer kitchen. These real and relevant projects are motivating and engaging, and not only teach new skills and problem-solving, but also instill a sense of responsibility, teamwork, and pride.
An Emphasis on Community Collaboration and Leadership. Everyone is part of a community, and at Pathways, we look at our students as citizens, volunteers, and future community leaders. Collaborating with Brecknock township to do park improvements and service, working with Haycreek Historical Association to preserve and educate, doing citizen science, and participating in service projects are just a few of the ways that we are growing good citizens. Students have opportunities to work alongside and learn from adult role models from many vocations and organizations.