Roland Park Country School

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Roland Park Country School
Rpcs logo2.png
Location
Baltimore, MD, United States
Information
Type Private, all-girls
Religious affiliation(s) none
Established 1900
Head of School Jean Waller Brune
Faculty 107
Grades Preschool, Kindergarten and Pre-first to 12
Enrollment 709
Average class size 15 students
Student to teacher ratio 6:1
Campus Suburban, 21-acre (85,000 m2) campus
Color(s) Red      and white     
Athletics 16 Upper School sports, 9 Middle School sports
Mascot Red Chili Pepper
Average SAT scores Verbal: 631, Math: 614 (2005)
Website

Roland Park Country School (RPCS) is an independent all-girls college preparatory school in Baltimore, Maryland, USA. It serves girls from Kindergarten through Grade 12. It is located on Roland Avenue in the northern area of Baltimore called Roland Park.

History[edit]

In 1894 a neighborhood school, the Roland Park School for girls, is established by Katherine and Adelaide Howard, of Richmond Virginia, at their home on Notre Dame Avenue, now Keswick Road. Money is loaned to them by the Roland Park Company. Six years later, the Roland Park School, also called the Baltimore Country School for Girls, is sponsored by the Roland Park Company and directed by Corrine Jackson and Bertha Chapman. Located at 210 Roland Avenue, now 4608 Roland Avenue, the Roland Park School under Bertha Chapman, Principal, institutes a college preparatory curriculum in 1905. The school continues to admit boys to Playground through 4th Grade. Due to an expanding student body, the school moves to 817 West University Parkway in 1916 under the leadership of Headmistress Nanna Duke Dushane.

An open-air school is built on the Greenway estate. In 1947, the night after the June commencement, 75% of the school is destroyed by fire. The Trustees and Headmistress Elizabeth Castle (who began at RPCS in 1922) make an immediate decision to rebuild, and additional fundraising begins to rebuild the gymnasium in memory of Amanda Lee Norris, retired Athletic Director. The school opens in September. Under Headmistress Anne Healy (who began in 1950) the school's admissions policy is changed to: "Application without discrimination for all qualified applicants" in 1963. RPCS becomes a member of the Cum Laude Society, which recognizes academic achievement in secondary schools for the purpose of promoting excellence (Areté), justice (Diké) and honor (Timé). RPCS remains a member today. In 1975Gordon Lenci becomes the School's first Headmaster.

Another fire breaks out in 1976 in the new Upper School Wing, built in 1968, during Thanksgiving vacation. School starts the following Monday in makeshift classrooms. In 1978 Roland park moves to Chestnutwood 5204 Roland Avenue:The Board of Trustees purchases the 21-acre (85,000 m2) estate adjacent to St. Mary's Seminary on Roland Avenue, known as Chestnutwood. The estate was formerly owned by Dr. and Mrs. A.R.L. Dohme and previously by Charles Bonaparte, the great-grandson of Jérôme Bonaparte, Napoleon Bonaparte's brother. In October of 1970 students march north on Roland Avenue to their new campus at 5204 Roland Avenue. In 1981, due to a drop in the male birth population and limited space, RPCS terminates admission for young boys. Margaret Smith is appointed Headmistress in 1983. RPCS and the Gilman and Bryn Mawr schools begin to coordinate the Upper School (high school) classes in 1987 so that students from all three schools could take classes at any of the three schools. Jean Waller Brune becomes the first alumna Head of School in 1992. In 2001, RPCS celebrates its centennial, and dedicates its new building including Lower School additions, the Smith Middle School, new science laboratories and new Upper School class rooms. A year later, two pedestrian bridges are built, one from RPCS to Gilman across Roland Avenue and one from Gilman to Bryn Mawr across Northern Parkway, so that students of the three schools can interact more easily and go to the other schools without having to cross the busy streets of Baltimore.

In 2005, Roland Park began the first part of its A Place in Our Hearts Campaign, relocating its tennis courts. New tennis courts were constructed west of the field hockey fields by St. Mary's Seminary and University Two years later, the school starts construction on a new gym as a part of the same campaign. The new gym will be two stories high and will include both a crew rowing tank and a track. The new athletic complex opens in spring of 2008, including two outdoor synthetic turf fields, an elevated indoor track and the first rowing tank at any Maryland secondary school.

Academics[edit]

Roland Park Country School offers a variety of different courses in the humanities and sciences on regular, honors, and AP levels. Roland Park offers 24 AP courses across various disciplines. There are seven languages offered in which students may earn a Foreign Language Certificate. RPCS also has a STEM Institute in which students may take classes.

Many classes are also offered in a coordinate program with its brother and sister schools, Gilman and Bryn Mawr, with classes including history, English, and foreign language electives.

Students must take a minimum four years of Math and English, three years of Science, three years of a Foreign Language, three years of History, two semesters of performing arts, and one semester of performing arts. Students must also four years of PE credits, three years of on-campus SAT preparation classes, one year of public speaking, 60 community service hours, a senior speech, and a senior project to be eligible to graduate.

Traditions[edit]

Opening Day- the official beginning of the school year. All of the seniors dress up in red and white and get to celebrate the beginning of their final year of high school. This day also features performances by the three Upper School performing arts groups, Semiquaver's a Cappella Ensemble, Roses Repertory Dance Company, and Footlights Theater Ensemble. Many songs are also sung by the entire student body including, "We're all together again, we're here," "Make New Friends," and Roland Park's school song.

Class Day- the second to last day before the end of the school year. On this day awards are presented to Upper School students for their academic, athletic, and moral achievements. These awards are mostly reserved for Juniors and Seniors, although underclassmen occasionally receive these awards. The freshman, sophomores, and juniors all wear short white dresses, while seniors wear colorful dresses to distinguish themselves from their peers.

Commencement- the final day of the school year. Seniors wears long white dresses and receive a bouquet of red roses. Underclassmen wear short white dresses as well.

Brother and sister schools[edit]

Like many of the other private schools in Baltimore, RPCS has a brother and sister school. RPCS's brother school is Gilman. These two schools are located across the street from each other on Roland Avenue. RPCS's sister school (as well as rival school) is the Bryn Mawr School (BMS). Bryn Mawr is located off Northern Parkway, across the street from Gilman's athletic fields. The three schools coordinate Upper School classes so that students may attend a wider variety of classes and so that they may interact with their peers at other schools.

Bryn Mawr School is an all-girls school that is considered a rival to RPCS, especially when it comes to athletics. Twice an academic year, once in the fall and once in the spring, RPCS and Bryn Mawr hold Spirit Weeks, during which the two schools play games against each other in sports such as field hockey and lacrosse. During the school days of these weeks, students wear costumes in addition to the uniform skirt. Each day of the week has a theme. For instance, if the theme is tropical, then students wear leis, Hawaiian shirts and such. On the final day of Spirit Week, the theme is always school spirit. The RPCS 'Reds' wear red and the Bryn 'Mawrtians' wear green and yellow.


Notable alumni[edit]

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 39°21′25″N 76°38′05″W / 39.35698°N 76.63475°W / 39.35698; -76.63475