Thank you for your interest in The Park School of Baltimore. Our philosophy, our mission, and our people come together in extraordinary ways to create a community like no other. We look forward to the opportunity to welcome you to campus in person. In the meantime, please click sections below for glimpses of life at Park School.
Click on each tab below to discover a video specific to each of our three divisions — Lower, Middle, and Upper. Scroll further for a visual photo gallery by division as well. Note that the left navigation bar includes photo tours of our 100-acre campus and arts and athletics programs and facilities.
We offer two unique yet complementary Kindergarten years (Pre-Kindergarten for Age 4 and Kindergarten for Age 5) allowing teachers to know and support the range of skills and developmental abilities that children bring with them. Take a brief look at our Kindergarten program in the video below.
The goal of education in Park’s Kindergarten is to stimulate the healthy growth of each child’s intellectual, social, physical, emotional, and ethical powers.
First Year Kindergarten (K1), Park’s Pre-K program, is a time for children to experience the joy of learning and the role of student in the classroom, on the playground, and beyond.
Our 100-acre campus — featuring a pond, stream, meadows, and woodlands — is an ecological, botanical, entomological, microbial, astronomical, and physical laboratory accessible to all.
Whether a student has a passion for science or the arts; whether they tend to dip their toes or jump in head first, Park’s curricula and environments are designed to build on each student’s strengths and encourage them to stretch to become their best authentic selves.
First graders walk the path from “me” to “we.” Students celebrate what makes each person unique; explore their similarities and differences; learn how to be active participants in a caring and democratic learning community; and engage with the world outside of the classroom to widen perspectives, deepen learning, and make positive change.
Park students are inquisitive, show and earn respect, and are mature beyond their years. They are bright, motivated, naturally curious, and love to explore — always asking “What if?” and “How and why?” and “Why not?"
Fourth and fifth grade students partner with Kindergarteners and first graders as reading partners, meeting weekly throughout the year. These partnerships create bonds among students that can last throughout their time at Park, and beyond.
Throughout the school year, there are grade-level programs, concerts, and performances by the children, school-wide and division-level events, and parent programs.
In 4th Grade, students have an exploratory music class once a week, giving them a chance to work with a variety of instruments (strings, brass, and winds) before choosing their ensemble class in 5th Grade.
The 5th Grade theme curriculum focuses on the acquisition of social and cultural understanding of the medieval world through authentic research and the application of multiple disciplines, including engineering.
Students at Park employ habits of mind central to scientific and mathematical thinking. They work through progressions of problems designed to develop these habits of thought and processes, fueled by their research, understanding, and discoveries.
Careful selection of rich and relevant literature, interactive read-alouds, and opportunities to discuss and share books as a whole group and in reading partnerships are important components that build a community of learners who fall in love with reading.
Students build both observation and judgment. They learn how to use various sources of information, including life activities as well as books, and reason about information acquired.
The outcome of a Park education is the ability to express conclusions reached with respect, confidence, and logic.
The primary goal of all Lower School athletics programs is an introduction to team sports and having fun — everyone who wants to participate is welcome! The focus is on building fundamental skills and understanding the basic elements of the game. Interscholastic teams may include Soccer, Field Hockey, and Lacrosse.
Park teachers stand apart because of their great passion for teaching and learning. They truly connect with students, provide insight and guidance, and encourage them to think critically for themselves as they learn by doing.
Take a longer look at our campus, our Middle School program, and our community in this video below. You can use the chapter function, if desired, at right to view specific sections of the video.
Sixth graders consider their roles as individuals in a larger group and study how communities in the world have defined themselves historically and culturally. The curriculum incorporates world geography, ecology, and international literature.
The 7th Grade curriculum covers valuable perspectives on private, public, personal, and community identities. Students confront important questions including how literature reveals who we are and others’ points of view, and what the study of American history reveals about who we are as Americans.
In 8th Grade, students learn to formulate and defend their own claims through research, argument, and writing.
Students are assigned an advisor upon entering Middle School and advisory groups meet together throughout the week in “House.” Groups share snacks, announcements, and camaraderie. Students stay in the same House for all three years of Middle School.
The classroom environment is characterized by an inquiring atmosphere requiring student interaction, investigation, and communication. Individual as well as small group work and whole-class discussions are planned for most classes.
In Middle School science class, students are encouraged to think, explore, and behave like scientists. Science is an ongoing, evolving discipline, not simply a body of facts, and the more students are able to participate in the scientific process, the more keenly they come to understand this.
The chief goal of the Park School Modern Language Program is for students to learn how, when, and why to say what to whom in another language. Enjoyment of language and culture and confidence in one’s speaking ability are the main emphases of the Middle School program.
Park’s Middle School mathematics curriculum is an integrated program that teaches students to view math in a holistic manner. Numbers, geometry, algebra, graphing, probability, statistics, trigonometry, spreadsheets, and basic programming are the major mathematical fields studied during grades six through eight.
The 8th Grade PE curriculum is elective-based, allowing students to explore their varied interests and talents, and to learn about different activities that will be useful into adulthood.
All students who wish to try out for our interscholastic teams are included and receive playing time. Students sign up for teams before each season and compete at the a, b, or c level. Middle School teams may include Co-ed Cross Country, Boys’ and Girls’ Soccer, Field Hockey, Boys’ and Girls’ Basketball, Co-ed Squash, Baseball, Softball, Co-Ed Tennis, and Boys’ and Girls’ Lacrosse.
The overall goals of the Middle School music program are to help students become more knowledgeable about the world of music and to become more skilled performers and listeners.
Students are given opportunities to experience the challenge and joy of making music with others.
The visual arts department develops the individual’s capacity for seeing and responding to the world with a sense of wonder and discernment. In our classes, art instruction honors personal voice while addressing developmental needs. Students develop a repertoire of skills and a body of knowledge about art.
All 8th Grade students participate in Advoc8, a multi-disciplinary project designed for students to use skills and knowledge developed during Middle School in order to take on roles as advocates for change. During Advoc8, students choose a topic about which they are passionate and, with faculty and peer collaboration, create an individualized or group project that culminates in the creation of authentic, innovative, solution-oriented advocacy.
Outdoor education trips at Park aim to strengthen the social, emotional, moral, and practical dimensions of each student’s character, simultaneously providing opportunities to extend classroom learning.
We make the most of the need for social interaction by providing regular opportunities for collaboration and group projects. We engage students’ curiosity and challenge them to think critically about everything from long division to American history.
Park's Middle School teachers understand the complexities of this developmental phase and are committed to creating a stimulating, safe, and caring atmosphere. They are dedicated to supporting their students as they confront the many challenges of adolescence.
On the last day of school, students in 8th Grade take part in a closing ceremony celebrating the end of their Middle School experience, and launching them into Upper School.
Take a longer look at our campus, our Upper School program, and our community in this video below. You can use the chapter function, if desired, at right to view specific sections of the video
In our classrooms, we emphasize processes of inquiry and thoughtful analysis over rote recitation. Students learn to question what they observe, to look for evidence for and against a particular viewpoint, and to design tests to collect data to develop increasingly sophisticated models. This emphasis on scientific process and creative problem-solving encourages an open-minded and rigorous independence of thought that students then bring to bear on the world around them.
We believe that inquiry and the construction of knowledge are essential elements of each student’s educational experience. Park’s mathematics program provides opportunities for students to become more mathematically aware, capable, and confident.
The English department offers a curriculum that encompasses a wide variety of literary genres, periods, and themes. Choice is a key element of our program in all subjects. Beginning in 10th Grade, students choose their English classes from a wide assortment of electives ranging from Writing Practicum, to Literature of Immigration, to Psychology and Literature, to Poetry of Reality.
The science department feels strongly that students should have the opportunity to pursue advanced work in the major disciplines. We feel that this is best accomplished by a rich elective program with curricula designed to meet the interests and passions of students.
While the Upper School curriculum includes requirements in academic disciplines, the arts, and physical education, students are able to choose from a wide-range of electives to fulfill those requirements. Students choose their art classes in ninth grade, and electives are accessible in many subjects as early as tenth grade. Examples of electives include: Islam and Politics; Statistics; Introduction to Python Programming; Modern Chinese History; Exploring Space and Time: Astronomy, Optics, and Relativity; The New African Novel; and Design Thinking.
The Park School history department considers the ultimate goal of historical study at the secondary level to be the formation of attitudes and skills that enable students to understand the world around them so that they can constructively participate in a democratic society.
Upper Schoolers have three classes per day, plus additional scheduled and unscheduled periods during which students eat lunch, meet in co-curricular activities, spend time with friends, and meet with teachers for extra help. (Students carry a six-subject course load.)
In English 10, courses focus on the writing process — brainstorming, drafting, getting feedback, revising — and on the rhetorical modes of description, narrative, comparison/contrast, analysis, and definition.
The Performing Arts program promotes a balance between process and performance. There is an emphasis on student creativity, but all courses, whether production or process oriented, are designed to include careful attention to technique.
The Park School Athletics Department provides opportunities for all athletes to reach their potential and compete in an environment where their experiences are positive and rewarding. We value both participation and competitive drive. Teams go into every game expecting to win and into every season expecting to be champions.
The music department is committed to making music a part of students’ daily lives. By providing a variety of opportunities and individual and shared experiences, we strive to foster a lifetime appreciation and engagement in music.
Opportunities to pursue language study in China and in French and Spanish-speaking countries are available to students throughout their Upper School careers. Students participating in exchange programs in China, France, and Spain may live with host families, attend school, visit museums and other places of interest, and act as hosts when their exchange partners visit Park.
At Park, students do not often define themselves in just one way. In fact, many of our artists are also athletes, performers, activists, scientists, writers, engineers, and more. Activities complement the academic program by offering Upper Schoolers valuable experiences outside of the classroom, which helps students get to know peers in other grades, and to create lasting bonds of friendship.
Broad co-curricular offerings (more than 60!) contribute to a balanced intellectual, artistic, and athletic Upper School experience. We use the term “co-curricular” instead of “extra-curricular” because these clubs and activities do not exist outside of the school day. Rather, there is dedicated time for these clubs and activities to meet each day, within our academic program. This allows for students to participate in athletics after school while still engaging in multiple clubs and activities.
Team 1719, Park’s FIRST robotics team, was founded in 2006. The team spends six weeks in January and February creating a robot to compete against 2,300 other teams. Students design, build, program, test, and refine their robot with the help of volunteer mentors.
Mock Trial, a co-curricular activity, provides students with the opportunity to explore the legal process and participate in simulated trials. Students receive a case from the Maryland State Bar Association’s Statewide High School Mock Trial Competition, are assigned roles as attorneys or witnesses, and compete against other students from Baltimore County public, parochial, and independent schools. (Since 2004, Park has won four state championships, including two back-to-back for the first time in competition history.)
After training in Writing Practicum (an Upper School semester elective), student tutors staff and run the Michael Cardin ’85 Writing Center. Tutors work with Lower, Middle, and Upper School writers in a variety of settings, including one-on-one conferences and small workshop groups. They attend regular staff meetings to debrief and to discuss and practice their tutoring skills.
Rivalry Day is an annual event each fall acknowledging the decades-old athletic rivalry between Park and The Friends School. Almost all of our Upper School fall teams compete on Saturday, and there’s also a tailgate on Friday after practice for fall student athletes. The winners get bragging rights and a Rivalry Day Cup, which lives with the winning school until the next fall. Always a fun and exciting day, the entire K-12 community comes out to support our teams and celebrate this cross-community event.