Park Bulletin

Park Bulletin

All-School News  


Parenting in Support of Black Lives
How to Build a Just Future for Kids (and How Media Can Help)
 – A presentation by Common Sense Media 

New Time! Thursday, June 18, 2020 • 1 p.m. 

Through 400 years of systemic oppression and racism, our nation has failed to protect and value Black children and families. How do we support a future where all children are valued? And when we're parenting amid crisis and trauma, how can we find support for ourselves and our kids? Our conversation will center these important questions and provide practical, how-to advice for talking about race and inspiring kids to fight for racial equity. The event will feature Dr. Ibram X. Kendi, leading scholar on race in America, in conversation with Julie Lythcott-Haims, New York Times bestselling author and activist, moderated by child psychologist Dr. Allison Briscoe-Smith.

For information and registration, click here. 

This event is being recorded and will be available at, along with past events in this series.

Summer Online Courses

Our teachers are offering a range of courses for Park students this summer! Music. cooking, acting, writing, fun and games, and more. Full descriptions are available here. There are more courses to come, so please check the site frequently! Recent additions include: 

• Pulitzer Book Club
• Latin Cooking and Fiesta
• Yoga and Mindfulness
• “Page to Stage”

While all courses are synchronous (there will be direct instruction as a group at the same time each day) some classes will have projects and assignments outside of the set class time.

Click here for information and registration.

Yearbook Pick-up

The printed edition of the 2020 Brownie will be available for pick-up at school during the week of July 13! (The Class of 2020’s books will be shipped to their homes.) An email reminder with details about the pick-up will follow in July.

digital edition of the yearbook is available to all families for a limited time. An email with access instructions was sent on the last day of school.

Debate Team Recognition

Park’s Upper School Debate team held a socially-distanced award ceremony earlier this month. Among the awards, juniors Sylvie W.and Fiona B. were recognized as the top team in the league (BCFL) in Public Forum Debate this year! Two other student teams qualified for the regional level of competition and received awards. 

Congratulations to all!

Summer Reading Lists

The arrival of the summer reading lists can be a great way to celebrate reading in your home. Park librarians have compiled several reading lists to support our families. The lists include many new titles and a variety of genres and formats to suit a wide range of readers. We encourage you to explore these lists with your child and discuss which books might make good summer reading choices for them. 

Grades K-2 Summer Reading 2020

Grades 3-5 Summer Reading 2020

Middle School Summer Reading 2020

Upper School Summer Reading 2020

Art Recreation Challenge 

Park students in 3-5th Grade participated in the art recreation challenge this spring, recreating famous artwork with items they found in their own homes. They did a truly incredible job. Check it out!
Click here to see   

From the Counseling Office: “Parenting in Place: Helping Families Thrive in Challenging Times”

A rare opportunity to join a parenting master class webinar series with leading authors and experts in the field including Julie Lythcott-Haim, Jess Lahey, Michele Borba, Madeline Levine, and many others. There will be eight conversations and a separate, supportive, closed Facebook group. You can register for the class ($29 fee) hereat

Viva House

Thank you to all those families who generously donated to help purchase items for Viva House this month!  We delivered 50 BAGS for May!!  We will to continue to collect monetary donations throughout the summer so that we can more safely pack and deliver bags from a family home base. The Murphy/Pearson family will coordinate packing and delivery for June.

If you would like to contribute, or have any questions, please contact Missy Rohrbach at or 202-494-0261, or make a donation via Venmo @Missy-Rohrbach -- just note "Viva House" in the memo. Any donation amount is greatly appreciated, but as a guide, about $20-$25 will pack one bag. All donations will be confirmed with an email.  

Here are some ways to make your donation more tangible and get the kids involved:

  • Put together a sample bag to demonstrate what your monetary donation is being used for; keep this bag in your house, and add a sticker or smiley face each time you donate, 
  • Print out THIS "Color-and-Cut Out a Viva House Bag!" sheets for younger kids to put together, or
  • Have the kids write a note to or draw a picture for Willa & Brendan at Viva House, scan and email to me and we'll print out and deliver with the bags!

Thank you again to all those who have donated!!

Missy Rohrbach, Cynthia Shea, Aisha France & Steve Murphy

(Parent Coordinators)

Henry IV

This week, there will be a brief “intermission” in the Henry IV radio drama. The cast and crew look forward to sharing the next act next week. In the meantime, catch up here



Students in the News 

This past weekend, three Upper School students participated in CNN's "Graduate Together: America Honors the High School Class of 2020," hosted by The LeBron James Family Foundation, The Entertainment Industry Foundation, and XQ Institute. 

The event featured former President Barack Obama, LeBron James, the Jonas Brothers, Zendaya, Olivia Wilde, Ben Platt, Megan Rapinoe, Yara Shahidi, Lena Waithe, Pharrell Williams, Malala Yousafzai, and more, and was carried by more than 20 broadcast and cable networks and streaming channels throughout the U.S. Rebekah ’23 (pictured bottom row, left) and Josie ’22 (bottom row, right) played violin for the Platt brothers’ graduation medley, and Vivie ’21 (not pictured) sang backup! 

May Day

Last week's May Day celebration was a joyous event for the Class of 2027 and the Lower School faculty and administration. A brief but spirited campus cruise allowed for students to celebrate the culmination of their Lower School experience.

Congratulations to our fifth graders on their transition to Middle School.

Click the link below for a glimpse of the event!

Click here to watch!

Class of 2020

We love our seniors! Upper School Principal Patti Porcarelli and several faculty and staff members planted signs in front of their homes to let them know how we feel! We couldn't be prouder of the Class of 2020 and all of their accomplishments 🙌🎓

Details are in place for Commencement to take place on June 8, as scheduled, with a chance for seniors to come to campus briefly to be awarded a diploma, and then celebrate with an online ceremony later in the day. 

Senior Athletes

Our seniors should be finishing their final sports seasons right now. We aren’t on the field, but we’re still celebrating all of your amazing contributions to the Bruins. Thank you, seniors! 

Check out the ongoing senior-athlete tributes on Park Athletics’ Instagram: @bruinsathletics.



Two weeks ago, our Upper School community gathered for the first virtual Goldsoundz. It was an amazing evening with musical performances by 27 students (and five family members!). Michael Foster ’20 transformed the show (usually live in the black box theater) into a livestream by collecting video from the individual student musicians and using audio mixing to combine them into bands and ensembles. The show also included live Goldsoundz hosts, and interactive games for the audience. Michael put together a brief recap video of the event, which you can watch HERE.

Support from Park Trustees!

Park’s Trustees came to the latest Board meeting dressed in Brown & White as a show of support and enthusiasm for Park’s students, families, teachers, and staff! The Board continues to focus on strategically managing the school’s finances to ensure that we are in the best possible position in both the short and long term.

Shout-out to Melissa Kaplan and the Community Letter-Writers!

Melissa Kaplan, President of Park’s Parents’ Association, organized a letter-writing campaign to share appreciative and encouraging messages with healthcare workers at GBMC. Thank you to Melissa, her family, and all Park community members who have participated and spread the word about the effort! And thank you, healthcare heroes!

GBMC posted the following:

Melissa Kaplan wanted to find a way for her and her kids to do something to give back to the community. She started by contacting her parent network at her children's school and that email was shared with community networks, outreach groups, religious organizations, and others. Before she knew it, she had a tremendous response of people who were interested in thanking our local healthcare heroes at GBMC. It was her hope that the notes would reach ALL of the staff whether they were directly or indirectly involved in patient care. We are so grateful to Melissa, her kids, and her community for showing us how much they care and appreciate our GBMC healthcare heroes

Shout-out to Betsy Leighton!

A shout-out to former Park Associate Head of School (and Lower School Principal and Director of Admission!) Betsy Leighton for her unwavering commitment to community.

This week, the Trinity Jubilee Center in Lewiston, Maine, posted the following:

Last week a dad came to our food pantry wearing a mask sewn from a paper towel and thread. He was trying to stay safe but he needed food for his kids. Then Monday morning this wonderful woman [Betsy!] knocked on our door and donated 100 masks! They are BEAUTIFUL and people were so grateful!

Park Connects Grade-Level Zoom Meetings

With the many changes and uncertainty our Park families are facing with COVID-19, parents having to simultaneously work and parent from home, and kids doing virtual schooling, we would like to create an opportunity for parents to come together to continue to build community and access support via Park Connects

Recently, we held a session via Zoom for twelfth-grade parents to discuss the challenges and disappointments their kids are facing as they near the end of their senior years. While that program was topic-specific, we are scheduling virtual meetings in the coming weeks for parents to get together to share their at-home experiences, talk about how distance learning is working in their individual homes, commiserate or even just say hello during this crazy time. (Please note: this is a method for parents to support each other, not discuss any topics that should be brought to divisional principals or Park's administration.)

The ultimate purpose of Park Connects is to continue to create, strengthen, and support the connections between and among the people in our wonderful community. A more detailed description of the Dinner & Discussion program can be found on the Park Connects website. Dates for each event can be found HERE

Melissa Kaplan, Park PA President, emailed dates for these grade-level meetings to you this week, and a reminder will be sent as well. Those emails contain the Zoom ID and the Password. If you have any questions, please email

Earth Day Video

We all miss being together, especially on Earth Day, but here's a glimpse of our 100-acre campus set to music performed by Parksingers. Watch the video HERE

Senior Show

We invite you to an online exhibition for the Senior Shows 2020. The pieces included here are just a small portion of the impressive body of independent artwork each senior in the course has created. The students began installing this work in the weeks before break, and we had planned to open the show on campus upon our return. We have our fingers crossed that we will be able to celebrate this work in person at some time in the near future. In the meantime, please take a moment to enjoy the tremendous effort of our Senior Studio students. View HERE

Op-Ed by Park Parent Anand Pandian

"The COVID-19 pandemic is a boot camp in ecological awareness, a reminder that the well-being of any one person is tied up with ever so many others, both family and neighbors and those we’ll never meet or know. This sense of a common fate, a truly planetary predicament, is a rare and crucial thing."

In an op-ed for The Hindu, Park parent and Johns Hopkins Professor of Anthropology Anand Pandian writes about how the pandemic tells us that the right to home and habitat is an urgent and essential one, for humans and other creatures.

Read Anand’s piece here.

“PSA” from Courtney and Segun!

The Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion and our Civic Engagement and Service Learning Office are teaming up to provide programming for the whole community. Their goal? To continue to provide space and resources for our community members to process and to thrive during these difficult times.

Courtney Rollins and Segun Olagunju have a message for all students, parents, faculty, and staff....check out the video greeting here. And look for information about programming in the coming week

Scholastic Art & Writing Awards

Two Park Upper School students received Gold Medals in the 2020 National Scholastic Art & Writing Competition! Freshman Simon Puchner-Noel’s submission in poetry and senior Ariel Hong’s painting were recognized as two of the most outstanding works in the nation. Both had previously won regional awards, along with six other Park students.
Congratulations to Simon and Ariel!

Pictured: Detail, oil painting by Ariel Hong ’20

The Politics and Policy of COVID-19

Join Park School parent Hahrie Han and the SNF Agora Institute at Johns Hopkins University for a series of webcast conversations, with experts from Johns Hopkins University and beyond, that explore the political and policy implications of COVID-19. Professor Han teaches Political Science at Johns Hopkins and is the Inaugural Director of the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Agora Institute.

Watch/listen here:

Thank you, Hahrie and panelists, for these insightful explorations.

senior show

Students in Senior Studio have been working all year towards their Senior Shows. The pieces you see are just a small portion of the impressive body of independent artwork each senior in the course has created. We had planned to open the show after spring break, and we can’t wait to share it with the community when we are able to gather together again.

See show HERE

Civic Engagement Opportunities

The Park School Office of Civic Engagement and Service Learning is coalescing opportunities to get involved in the community response to the COVID-19 pandemic. This resource page will be continually updated with action items, relevant news, and learning opportunities.

Current action items include making contributions to our friends and partners at Viva House; communicating with the elderly, potentially isolated, residents of Weinberg House; and learning to sew masks for personal protection.

Have questions? Something to add to the resource page? Contact Segun Olagunju:

Worthy Threads

Alumna Jessica Chappel Kremen ’01 and her children’s clothing brand Worthy Threads are making masks and donating them to hospitals and first responders.

Doctors and nurses, healthcare workers, pregnant women, and the immunocompromised have received masks so far. Jessica notes that these are not meant to replace N95 masks or those with filters, but they offer a level of protection should the recipients desire/require it.

Thank you, Jessica, for providing these supplies to front line healthcare workers helping to protect us, and to those in particular need!

Emily Berner ’16 — Senior Season Shortened

“On paper, Emily was the most accomplished player on this year’s team roster, but to her teammates, she was way more than that…Off the field — and on — she was the rock of the program.”

Like many athletes, alumna Emily Berner ’16’s senior season playing lacrosse for Oberlin College was cut short due to the pandemic. Less than 24 hours after setting her fifth record for the team, Emily learned that her school would be transitioning to remote learning. 

Read more about Emily’s career as a Yeowoman here

Distance Learning Parent Resource Guide


End-of-First-Week Video:

3-D Printer Farm and PPE Donation

Park is one of a handful of Maryland schools who have donated 3-D printers to LifeBridge Health to aid the system in producing much-needed medical supplies. The relationship was facilitated by Park parent Natalya Makarevich — thank you, Natalya! — and mention of the community-wide effort appeared here in the Baltimore Business Journal.

AlsoPark parent Dr. Elliott Haut rallied our Facilities team to gather protective masks from their supply, and the school has donated them to a Baltimore hospital. Thank you, Elliott, and to our Facilities team!

Families on the Front Lines 

We know there are many families who are serving on the front lines of the public health crisis. THANK YOU to all of you who are treating, caring for, serving, working in harm’s way on behalf of all of us. 

Hear from one Park parent, Dr. Brian Garibaldi, a pulmonologist in the ICU at Johns Hopkins Hospital and the medical director of the biocontainment unit, on this podcast. Brian offers observations and reflections on the work of treating COVID-19. Thank you, Brian, and all doctors, nurses, and healthcare professionals who are working so hard to protect us.

Baltimore Hunger Project (BHP)

Park alumna Lynne Kahn ’87 (pictured, on left), Founder and Executive Director of Baltimore Hunger Project, writes on Facebook: BHP is now more important than ever in the fight to help food insecure children. We have increased our support from 650 children to 2,000 each week. It is an every-day operation, whether we are packing, sorting food, or distributing to the schools. [BHP has been designated an essential service]. 

You can consider a donation to the BHP wishlist here: Thank you, Lynne, and all of the volunteers who continue to pack and distribute food!


Seventh grader Sam Polt has launched #GIVETHANKS2020 — a project designed to allow kids to send messages of gratitude to the people on the front lines of the coronavirus crisis who are making sure we are safe, have access to healthcare, and able to meet our basic needs.

For more information, and to send your own message of gratitude, visit:

And thank YOU, Sam!

Welcome to Distance Learning at Park!

This video was shared as we began our first week of distance learning.