To the Moravian Academy and Swain Community:

We know at the foundation of our school is a signature culture, an immersive lifestyle for students that propels each child toward extraordinary and inspired learning. This culture connects generations together through timeless values, shepherded, and adapted for each time period. This culture explains the reasons why education, life-long learning, and our school are so important to each one of us. These are many of the essentials that unite us as a community.  

We also believe now is an important time to uncover and articulate these essentials, as we contemplate the future as a newly united school. Our school spreads across three campuses, from Swain to Moravian, from 3-year-olds to 18-year-olds, and from east to west. We share a common foundation, known to all excellent independent schools, formed in small classrooms with inspiring relationships, excellent teaching, and a commitment to learning. Within our school, there is also room - and a need - for different educational philosophies and practices to match the range of learners and families that are within our community.

We want to see clearly what unites us as well as what differentiates us. 
To do this, we need your help! We are asking each of you to take a short survey to tell us what makes our school special from your point of view. This questionnaire will be open now through Tuesday, December 22nd. The links to these surveys are below. Please choose the survey for you, and we encourage you to complete out a separate survey for each of the roles you may fill.

Send Us Your Questions

If you have questions about this partnership, please email
You can hear more about this initiative in our video message and by reading more information below.


Jeff Zemsky                 Armistead Webster
Head of School            Head of School
Moravian Academy      The Swain School

Why survey about who we are?
Schools like ours thrive when the community shares a common understanding of who we are and where we are going. This is because ambitious, excellent schools are in constant evolution, requiring both incremental refinement and creative growth, as they honor the essence of the school. To make the best decisions as we refine programs and innovate new ones, in our pursuit to educate our students for the future, we need to understand the full range of perspectives from across our diverse and passionate community. This is how we serve our mission as a not-for-profit, independent school.

Why now?
2020 has been quite a year! We embarked on an exciting and new strategic chapter in our school’s history with the partnership of Moravian Academy and Swain. The COVID-19 pandemic forced us to rethink where and when learning happens These major events prompted important reflections about our school and how important it is. This is the perfect time to gather these reflections so that we can turn them into strategic decisions that will benefit our entire community going forward.  

Where will the responses go?
The Board of Trustees has charged a task force to synthesize community reflections and make recommendations on what the essence of our school is. This survey is a beginning to that process. The next step is to use the collected responses, without names, to frame follow up questions for small groups of community members to discuss. If you are interested in participating in the following step, please be sure to answer that question in the questionnaire.

Frequently Asked Questions

List of 5 items.

  • Why is this partnership happening?

    Such a partnership could bring tremendous opportunity for our schools, our communities, and for the state of education across the Lehigh Valley.  Our two schools share values, a commitment to excellence in education, and a shared belief in the benefit of educational options for families. The educational landscape is changing, and it is those schools that act boldly and embrace change that will thrive. While the details of the partnership are still taking shape, we are confident that we have the potential to be even stronger together.
  • Is this considered a merger or an acquisition?

    While our schools will be merging, we see this as a true partnership of like-minded schools. We approach this agreement not from a position of necessity, but from a position of strength. The Moravian Academy of today is itself the product of a similar partnership, so we know without question that joining makes us stronger, especially among such aligned institutions.
  • Will tuition increase?

    This partnership is about student experience, not finances. Should the agreement be finalized, we do not anticipate our families will experience any substantive changes in tuition, aside from our normal annual tuition increases. This partnership will not change tuition for the 2020-2021 year.
  • What, exactly, is changing?

    Our students and families will experience very few changes. Moravian will continue to operate its two campuses in Bethlehem, and Swain will continue to operate on its existing campus in Allentown.  Each school will retain its name and its cultural, experiential touchstones, such as Moravian’s Church-inspired traditions. Class sizes will remain intimate, as our families value. School calendars for next year are set and will remain in place.
  • Will the schools’ Boards of Trustees merge?

    If the process moves forward, the governing body will comprise current Trustees from both Moravian Academy and The Swain School.

Merle Smith Campus

Downtown Campus