Colegio Karl C. Parrish

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Colegio Karl. C. Parrish

MottoStudiositas Quaerem Intellectum
Director of schoolLaura Horbal
Enrollment784 total
Average class size27 students
Student to teacher ratio19:1
CampusSuburban, 20 acres (0 km2)
Color(s)Green and white

Colegio Karl C. Parrish (also known as KCP) is a bilingual private school which offers Preschool through 12th grade education. The school is located in Barranquilla, the largest city and port of the northern Caribbean coastline of Colombia.


Colegio Karl C. Parrish was founded in 1938. It is accredited by the Colombian Ministerio de Educación Nacional and the US-based Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, now part of the AdvancED accrediting agency. KCP is affiliated with international organizations such as the National Honor Society, Mu Alpha Theta, Model United Nations, and CharacterCounts!.

The school teaches a U.S college-preparatory curriculum. Students study for both the U.S High School Diploma and the Colombian Bachillerato Diploma. The school has a strong offering of Advanced Placement courses.


The school opened its doors for elementary students in 1938 as the result of an initiative by American and Colombian families to establish a school that could offer a United States-type education. They named the school after Karl Calvin Parrish, a civil engineer from Iowa who made Barranquilla his home in the 1920s. The first director was Miss Miriam Best. The school has changed its location twice since its beginnings, once in 1946 and later in 1978 to its present site on the old road to Puerto Colombia.

In 1964, with the arrival of Dr. Burton B. Fox, the school began to be known internationally and KCP’s reputation grew as one of the top performing American schools in Latin America. It became an internationally accredited school in 1966 by the Southern Association of Schools and Colleges – now an accreditation division of AdvancED – and still holds that status. The first class of seniors graduated in 1967.

In 1998, the KCP Preschool adopted a Reggio Emilia approach – a specially designed project-based learning environment for preschoolers. It was the first school in Colombia to have this program and has been a model for many schools, both in Colombia and Latin America.


KCP's campus spans over 3 hectares.

KCP’s library, named in honor of Burton B. Fox, is a two-story building added in 1984 and was renovated in 2012. The Burton B. Fox Library contains over 22,000 volumes, periodicals, and resource materials and subscribes to hundreds of academic databases. It also houses the Preschool Library, the result of a Reggio Emilia project undertaken by Kinder students in 2001.

A swimming pool and gymnasium were built in 1987 to enhance outdoor activities. In 1998 the Alumni Hall Auditorium was inaugurated as an important addition to the Fine Arts program. It is a modern structure that seats 465. The Alumni Hall has ample backstage areas and its own sound and lighting system.

2014 saw the inauguration of a modern Gross Motor / Atelier building and Park for the Preschool.

The Brown House that holds the Director’s office and the Board Room was built by Dr. Fox in 1970.

Burton B. Fox Library. Renovated in 2012, it is the hub of academic learning at KCP.
Atelier and Gross Motor Building. Built in 2014, this building includes an atelier, technology exploration center, and Gross Motor facilities.
Preschool Library. Designed by KCP Preschool students as a result of the Reggio Emilia program.
The Brown House at KCP. Director's Office


  1. ^ Parrish Jr., Karl. "Written by Memory by Karl C. Parrish, Jr., 1987" Archived 2014-05-29 at the Wayback Machine, Retrieved on 29 May 2014.