Since its beginning, LDCSS has been a parent-directed school. The Board of Directors is comprised of parents of current, former and future students, whose common commitment is to offer a high quality Christian education. Our school seeks to instill in students a deep sense of awe in the beauty and the complexity of God’s creation, and a conviction that we are each uniquely equipped to honour our Creator through passionate, restorative, creative work. Our school’s diploma requirements also exceed those set by the Ontario Ministry of Education.
London District Christian Secondary School opened its doors at 243 Tremont Road (formerly Trafalgar Heights Public School) in September 1965. In that first year there were 27 students in grades 9 and 10 as well as three teachers. Students came to LDCSS from the city of London as well as from many of the surrounding communities such as Strathroy, St, Thomas, Aylmer, Woodstock, and Exeter. Eventually students were also bussed in from places as far away as Sarnia and Goderich.
The establishment of the school grew out of a worldview of Christians who believed strongly that their Christian faith must be expressed in all facets of life, including education. Since those early days the student body has expanded to include teenagers from many different Christian churches and groups. Within a few years the Tremont Rd property proved to be too small for the student population that was growing rapidly. In 1971 the school was moved to its present site, a five acre lot at 24 Braesyde Ave. The school building was comprised of six classrooms initially and has seen at least five additions and many internal renovations over the last 42 years. The latest addition was completed in the summer of 2012 and includes a fully equipped construction technology shop as well as a third science lab.
In recent years the number of students has been just under 300. Students are serviced by more than 30 dedicated, professionally certified teachers and administrative staff. LDCSS started offering ESL programs for international students in 2008. International students from China and South Korea are a welcome addition to LDCSS and make up just over 10% of the student population. The school’s vision that learning is for life and for serving permeates all of the curricular and co-curricular activities that students are engaged in. Aside from being involved in regular school activities of academics, sports and the arts, students at LDCSS are also given opportunities to make an impact on the community of London. These activities include collecting canned goods for the Salvation Army during SCROOGE week, volunteering at the Ark Aid Street Mission, interviewing veterans at Parkwood Hospital, planting trees in the city of London, and folding grocery bags for insertion into the London Free Press to encourage Londoners to donate food to the London and Area Food bank.
During the 2010 Building in Faith campaign the support community of LDCSS surpassed the $1.5 million dollar campaign goal. Phase one of the campaign, a large addition plus renovations to LDCSS, was completed in September 2012. The Technological Education Classroom and the Physics Lab were added to the science wing. The new Physics lab was designed to mirror the other science labs, yet include extra working space. The much-anticipated Technological Education Classroom is home to the new Construction Technology program. Renovations included the Computer Lab in Room 16, one of two computer rooms that also serves as a media lab. Home to the new Communication technology program, this space is used dynamically throughout the year for computer classes, lectures, creative workshops and hands on group projects. The school has full sets of photography equipment that students can sign out for project work, as well has laptops to be used in lab. The Learning Commons was rejuvenated and opened up to the Library. This space is used by the international students, students involved in the resource program, and students doing independent learning or testing.
LDCSS does not receive government funding. As an independent Christian school, the funds needed to operate the school come from annual tuition charged to families and through donations and fundraising events. The school is inspected bi-annually by the Ontario Ministry of Education and students are awarded an Ontario Ministry of Education Secondary School Diploma upon graduation. A board of directors, elected by the LDCSS membership, oversees the daily operation of the school. In the past decade the student body continues to show representation from an increasing number of Christian churches in London and surrounding areas.
In 2015 the LDCSS community looks forward to celebrating its 50th anniversary of offering a well-rounded quality education from a faith-based perspective to people living in the London area. We hope many people from the East London community will join us in celebrating. If you are interested in learning more about our school, drop in sometime and someone will be sure to show you around.