Welcome!

Thank you for your interest in The Park School of Baltimore. Ours is a co-educational setting for students pre-kindergarten (age 4) through grade twelve. The campus is nestled two miles north of the city line on 100 acres of land that provides an ideal setting for teaching and learning. We hope you'll visit the campus to experience Park first hand. During a tour we will offer you the opportunity to glimpse into our stimulating classrooms, step into the Arts and Athletic Centers to observe the co-curricular work of students, and meet personally with a member of the Admission Team.

Our Students & Teachers
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What a wonderful time to connect with Park as we launch our second century of remarkable teaching and learning! The school was founded over one hundred years ago in response to limited choices for independent school education. From the start, this was to be a school open to many — with a varied student body that challenged the common practices of the time. Just as important today, the school remains committed to sustaining a diverse environment where multiple perspectives are heard and considered. Our student body, age four through grade twelve, totals 829 and changes and grows each year as new families settle with us. As our community grows, so do we. 

Please introduce yourself to us. Take time to explore our website, register for an event, or schedule an admission tour. To set an appointment we ask that you contact the Admission Office directly by calling 410-339-4130. You may also inquire online (click here) to receive a September packet that will guide you through the application process. 

Learn More

Get to Know a Park Student

Follow this link to a sampling of first-person profiles — real students in their own words — and, of course, we welcome you to campus to experience Park, to familiarize yourself with an academic setting that encourages each student to challenge him/herself, to meet our faculty who inspire and support and truly connect, and to understand the ways in which excellence, as embodied by each of our students, is the natural outcome at Park.

VIEW STUDENT PROFILES

College Choices

Park students are encouraged to consider a wide range of possible colleges with the aim of having college choices that suit their personal preferences and goals.

VIEW A LIST OF COLLEGE CHOICES


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Discover Park
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Feature: 1

Science is an ongoing, evolving discipline. It is not solely a body of facts to be memorized. From an early age, Park Students learn to collect and interpret data, make predictions, and pose hypotheses. Investigations begin in kindergarten with the metamorphosis of the monarch butterfly. Studies continue throughout Lower School, where the curriculum includes living things, weather, electricity, the laws of motion, and ecology. In Middle School, the curriculum spans oceanography and geology, physical science, and life science. The Upper School offers physics, chemistry, biology, environmental science, and numerous electives in genetics, astronomy and physiology. This curriculum prepares graduates to take on rigorous college science programs.

The Morton K. Blaustein '44 Center for Science, Mathematics and Technology houses Middle and Upper School labs and science classrooms, and ample space for independent research. There is also an observatory for astronomy students.

Feature: 2

Before they take on the Big Zip Wire, Middle School students participate in physical initiatives that build communication, cooperation, and problem-solving and leadership skills. Then, one after another, each student climbs to the platform 65 feet in the air and hooks into a pulley system. Then the student steps off the platform, and gravity takes over. There is no turning back.

The Big Zip Wire is part of Appalachian Challenge, the nationally recognized, experiential outdoor education program on Park’s wooded campus. Challenge initiatives include the Burma Bridge, the Wild Woosey, Tension Traverse, and Nitro Crossing, all designed and built by Park students. The course is required of all Middle School students.

Since 1974, Middle and Upper School students have designed and built more than 40 Challenge initiatives on eight acres of our campus.

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" In the school I had in mind, there would be no forcing process…the pupils were to learn because they were interested, because they loved their work, because they loved the school, because they were inspired by the highest type of teacher, because they saw the reason of things. I was convinced that pupils educated in this type of school would be infinitely more self-dependent, alert, and informed. They would be intellects, eager for knowing and doing." Those words of Hans Froelicher, one of Park’s founders and the first president of the school’s board, remain true today and reflect the progressive educational values that were revolutionary when the school was founded in 1912.

Park’s founding also reflected important social values. It opened as a non-sectarian institution, a dramatic decision at a time when most Jewish children were denied admission to private schools. Years later, the determined efforts of Park students advocating vigorously for integration convinced the school to act, and Park became the first private school in Baltimore to admit African-American students.

Feature: 4

Cheer as the Bruins’ clean-up hitter wallops a 3-2 pitch into deep left-center field. Watch as a full-court press works as a unit to create a turnover. Marvel as an attacker fires a seemingly impossible shot past the keeper. The spirit of competition. The thrill of participation. Park’s focus on both brings out the best in our students.

Our comprehensive physical education program emphasizes personal fitness, game strategies, and the importance of teamwork. From Lower through Upper School, our staff helps athletes take their skills to the next level. Students from all three divisions compete on more than 50 teams—baseball, cross country, softball, soccer, field hockey, lacrosse, tennis, and basketball. They bring home division championships, are named conference all-stars, and compete on college teams.

Park's expansive athletics facilities feature five basketball courts, a fitness center, an outdoor swimming pool, and nine fields on Park's Old Court Road and Sugar Campuses. Check our the Bruins' athletic schedules at www.parkschool.net/athletics.

Feature: 5

Study begins in kindergarten, with a multi-sensory activity-based program. By the end of Upper School, students are orally proficient and able to communicate with native speakers. Chinese, French, and Spanish studies at Park include vocabulary development and conversational exercises based on real-life experiences.

Students discuss art, film, literature, and history. Middle School modern language day is dedicated to performances in French and Spanish, exhibits, and preparing and tasting tradtional foods. Upper School trips to China, France, and Latin America provide opportunities for students to experience day-to-day living with a native-speaking family and to tour the region.

Read about Park's Upper School Modern Language program at www.parkschool.net/modernlanguage.

Feature: 6

At Park, we teach children to be mathematically literate problem solvers: to develop a deep and broad understanding of what they are doing mathematically; to think and reason about the procedures and operations they are performing; and to acquire a feel for the power and beauty of mathematics.

In Lower School, they master computational skills as they deepen their understanding of numbers and operations, measurement, geometry, data, and algebra. In Middle and Upper Schools, work turns to calculus and classes in higher level probability, statistics, and algebra. For the most advanced students, faculty offer college-level courses in advanced calculus and discrete mathematics.

Answer: sin (A+B) = sinAcosB + sinBcosA

This is a sample problem from our ninth grade advanced mathematics curriculum.

Feature: 7

Each summer, Park teachers have the opportunity to become students.

Since 1989, the F. Parvin Sharpless Faculty and Curricular Advancement Program (FACA), an endowed program dedicated to professional development, has enabled our teachers to spend time sharing their expertise through intensive collaborative work, drawing on fresh input from outside experts, reading, researching, writing, and discussing. FACA has transformed our programs of study and resulted in the publication of award winning and innovative work.

Good Masters! Sweet Ladies! won the 2008 John Newbery Medal for the most distinguished contribution to children’s literature.  This book, by Park’s Lower School Librarian Laura Amy Schlitz, adds literary, historical, and dramatic dimension to fifth grade medieval studies.

Feature: 8

The Lower School teacher enters the room holding an animal skull. The guessing starts immediately. "Baboon," says one student. "No, it was a fox," offers another. Smiling, the teacher puts the skull on a table in front of the children. "Interesting choices, but we’re in science class, and scientists don’t just guess," he says. "They observe, look for clues, and then, and only then, make predictions."

Then he asks, "What does this skull tell about the animal?" The students scan the relic for clues. With a little prompting, they are soon making all sorts of connections. "I bet it had to worry about being eaten by other animals," suggests one young scientist, "because its eye sockets point to the sides."

The first-grade students, now deeply engaged, spend this lesson expanding their observational and critical thinking skills.This is only the beginning. Throughout their education, they will be encouraged and expected to apply these skills to increasingly complex situations and ideas.

Feature: 9

Men•tor (men’ter) n. a wise and trusted guide and advisor

Mentors come in all sizes. Fifth graders meet weekly with first graders to work on reading and math. In turn, the fifth graders have Upper School writing partners from Park’s Michael Cardin ’85 Writing Center who help them revise and refine. The Partners Program has grown to more than 90 Lower School students paired with Upper and Middle School buddies. They share lunch, attend events, and meet during or after school.

From the earliest years, the benefits of being mentored and of mentoring are part of the Park experience. Teachers encourage students to share what they have learned by stepping into these roles. In turn, they become better mentors and mentees themselves.

To learn more about the Mentor Program, visit www.parkschool.net/mentors.

Feature: 10

Park’s 100-acre campus is our living laboratory. Students collect a variety of samples from the stream and examine them through microscopes. Off of the wooded trails, third graders build full-size shelters, inspired by their study of Native Americans. Middle School scientists measure the speed of sound in the fields outside of their classroom. Upper School students map the campus using Global Positioning System technology.

Physical education students canoe on the pond before venturing out on the Gunpowder River. Photographers scatter across the campus to capture images. Lower Schoolers walk with their music teacher and listen to the sounds around them to create their own nature operas.

The student -led Climate Change Committee raises awareness of environmental issues and advises the school on best practices and green buying. The group serves as the steward for the campus, planting trees, controlling invasive vines, and establishing a rain garden.

Learn more at www.parkschool.net/green.

Feature: 11

Birmingham, Alabama: On the second day of their Civil Rights tour, students visit the 16th Street Baptist Church and the Civil Rights Institute before meeting with ministers who played significant roles in the struggle for integration.

Field trips to museums and historic sites, explorations through Baltimore City, and wilderness camping adventures — learning beyond the campus is a fundamental component of a Park education.

To prepare for each civil rights tour, Park students talk with activists from the 1960s. They include Georgia Congressman John Lewis, who participated in the Freedom Rides and was a keynote speaker during the 1963 March on Washington.

Feature: 12

Drawing. Painting. Ceramics. Filmmaking. Photography. Industrial Design. Graphic Design. Woodworking. Sculpture. Jewelry.

The visual arts program promotes aesthetic awareness, craftsmanship, self-discipline, and creativity. It supports curiosity and risk taking. A walk through the 44,000 square-foot Wyman Arts Center reveals the results: works-in-progress and finished products in a range of media that resonate, reflect, question, and surprise.

Park brings respected artists into our classrooms and their work into our galleries. Inspired by meeting the artists, students create related pieces that hang in an adjacent gallery. Join us at our openings. Visit www.parkschool.net/arts for the exhibition calendar.

Feature: 13

Is Denmark “rotten”? ?  A microcosm of extremes ? no balance

Are we supposed to ID w/ Hamlet – or is he an unsympathetic character?

Does Hamlet change during the play?!

— An Upper School student’s notes on Shakespeare’s Hamlet

The reading experience begins when young children find themselves immersed in a literary world. In the Lower School, we teach our students to use multiple reading strategies so that they become strong, joyful, independent readers of fiction, nonfiction, and poetry. In all divisions, students find delight in literature, in language, and in words. They think independently about their reading, trusting their own interpretive strategies, insights, and intuitions. They ask thoughtful questions and join in conversations about the meaning of what they have read.

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Park graduates tell us they are academically and socially well-prepared for college. They are self-directed and capable of working successfully in a scholarly setting. Over the past 10 years, an average of 92% of our seniors attended colleges ranked Most, Highly, and Very Selective by Barron’s Profiles of American Colleges. Most years, more than 90% of those students qualify to enroll in upper-level courses during their first year of college. More than 50% of our alumni graduate from college with honors.

Our seniors consistently earn SAT scores that put them at the highest level of achievement for independent schools nationwide. They receive recognition from the prestigious National Merit Scholarship program. Students take Advanced Placement exams in calculus, physics, computer science, environmental science, foreign languages, music, English, statistics, studio art, and U.S., world, and European history.

Feature: 15

Our alumni are scientists, lawyers, and journalists; social workers, business leaders, and graphic designers; educators, doctors, and musicians. They have earned national and international recognition, including the Rhodes Scholarship, the Fields Medal in Mathematics, MacArthur Fellowships, the Pulitzer Prize, the National Endowment Fellowship in Literature, and Tony Awards. They are community leaders who make a difference. No matter where they go, graduates frequently return to campus to catch up with former teachers, to inspire current students, and to share their experiences.

Dr. Edward Whitten '68, a mathematical physicist at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, received the Fields Medal (cover image) for his work in string theory. For more alumni news, ask for Park's magazine Cross Currents from the Admission Office.

Feature: 16

The expedition begins when fourth graders create their own treasure boxes filled with artifacts that tell the stories of their lives. This is their first stop on a journey to the tombs of the Pharaoh, the banks of the Nile, and the Sphinx.

Ancient Egypt. The Middle Ages. Native Americans and the early colonists. Lower School theme studies are a comprehensive exploration. Using science, reading and writing, geography, and the arts, students spend the year gaining an increasingly deeper understanding of how people meet their basic needs within a culture and environment. They immerse themselves in a time and a place in history.

This approach prepares students for the research they do in Middle School. The integrated social studies and language arts program includes the evolution of the American identity and Greco-Roman history. In Upper School, students examine world and United States history, enriched by a range of electives, including Middle East conflicts, civil liberties, the civil rights movement, criminal law, and western philosophy.

Feature: 17

Coeducation is fundamental to a vibrant and diverse community. Beginning in kindergarten, we encourage boys and girls to work together as equals, to respect differences, and to express their own ideas with confidence. From the chemistry lab to the playground, interaction between males and females is the norm at Park. Research informs our practice. Faculty work has included an examination of gender issues at Park, in mathematics, and in literature.

In 1990, a faculty summer project considered the role of gender in the classroom. That conversation continued, and in 1995 Park hosted a four-day national conference, Gender Issues in a Coed World. Prominent guest speakers included Wellesley's Dr. Peggy MacIntosh and Harvard's Dr. Robert Kegan. The importance of insuring that every voice is heard remains a priority for Park faculty.

The Park philosophy states that every person be respected and valued, and that plain speaking, honesty, and authenticity govern all relationships. To learn more, visit www.parkschool.net/philosophy.

Feature: 18

Students in all divisions participate enthusiastically in service learning, recording oral histories of community leaders, volunteering at the Maryland Food Bank, helping Latino immigrants at the Esperanza Center learn English, or collecting food for Viva House. Park students are committed to joining with local and national organizations as activists and advocates for equity and justice. .

Park’s most ambitious service project is the Upper School partnership with Chesapeake Habitat for Humanity. The work began in 2000. By the spring of 2010, Park Habitat had renovated twelve houses, the last two in partnership with Friends School. Upper School students donated hundreds of construction hours each year and, with help from the Lower and Middle Schools, raised the $1,200,000 necessary to transform shells into homes. They wrote grants, organized fundraising events, and solicited contributions and in-kind gifts.

Current project, Build-A-Block: Park Habitat recruits and trains students from Baltimore City and County public and independent schools to renovate an entire city block.