|Head||Thomas B. Main|
|Color(s)||Navy, Gold, White|
King School, formerly King and Low Heywood Thomas, is a private, co-educational day school for pre-kindergarten through grade 12 in Stamford, Connecticut. Noted for its challenging academic programs and personalized approach to teaching and learning, King attracts students from 30 towns in the Fairfield County, Connecticut and Westchester County, New York areas.
Formation and history
King School is the product of the convergence of three distinct independent schools that, from the beginning, shared similar educational missions.
The oldest of the schools, Low-Heywood, was founded by C.E. Richardson in 1865 and was located in downtown Stamford. In 1883, Louisa Low purchased Mrs. Richardson’s School for Girls. Her niece, Edith Heywood, was her assistant.
In 1875, Hiram King, a Dartmouth College graduate, was asked by several local families to form a private boys' school. King’s Day School was also located in downtown Stamford and had several homes before settling on Colonial Road in 1933. Twenty-five years later, the school building burned to the ground and was relocated to a replacement building. Five years later, the King School moved to the Simon Estate, the summer home of singer/songwriter Carly Simon and her family. The Simon House still stands on the campus, and serves as the location of many of the administrative departments of the school.
In the meantime, the Low-Heywood School was forced to move from its downtown location to Shippan Point to make way for the main post office building. The school was successful but in 1944, the heirs of Louisa Low and Edith Heywood sold the property on which the school was located. Within a month of the sale, the school relocated to Judge Lockwood’s estate on Courtland Avenue and, in 1969, finally settled into the Walker estate adjacent to the King School on Newfield Avenue.
While all this was going on in Stamford, a few miles away in Rowayton, Mabel Thomas created a school on her parent’s summer estate. Opening in 1922, the Thomas School was intended to be both a day and boarding school. According to a story in the Norwalk Hour, the school would offer “lessons in the morning and after a wholesome hot dinner, there will be games and sports in the afternoons, both indoor and outdoor, under the supervision of a physical director.”
In 1974, the neighboring Low-Heywood and King schools began coordinating their educational and extracurricular programs in the Upper Schools. In 1975, the Thomas School merged with the Low-Heywood School at the latter’s Newfield Avenue campus under the leadership of Headmistress Elizabeth Rockwell (Sue) Cesare, who steered the school through decades of growth. Cesare had been a graduate of the old Low-Heywood School on Shippan Point and had a deep love for the school. Both the King School and Low-Heywood-Thomas School maintained individual identities, although students could move back and forth between the schools for some classes (called "coordination"), until 1988, when the King & Low-Heywood Thomas School were joined into a truly coeducational school. The Lower School and Middle School were located on the former King Campus while the Upper School took over the former Low-Heywood Thomas Campus. In July 2008, the School's name was changed to King Low Heywood Thomas, and its official nickname became "King." In 2016, the School's name was updated to King School with its nickname remaining as "King."
According to its website, part of King's Mission is to "prepare students to thrive in a rapidly changing world." To accomplish this and to enable graduates to succeed in the top colleges and universities, the King "exceptional faculty offer a challenging academic program rooted in a personalized approach to teaching and learning. Students thrive within a culture of integrity, kindness, perseverance, and respect." King has three divisions: the Lower School (PreK-Grade 5), the Middle School (Grade 6-Grade 8), and the Upper School (Grade 9-Grade 12).
The Lower School Program is composed of four broad categories of general education: Language Arts (colloquially referred to as "English"), Mathematics, Science, and Social Studies. Each is designed to cover a broad spectrum of topics and establish enough knowledge so that students can participate in more advanced learning. The FLES Program in Spanish was introduced in September 2008.
The Middle School Program begins to focus on more in-depth examination of the basic topics established at the Lower School; a language requirement is also added. The topics are generally referred to as English (corresponding to the Language Arts category), History (corresponding to the Social Studies category), Mathematics, Modern Language, and Science. Students must choose between Spanish, French, or Chinese for the Modern Language requirement.
The Upper School focuses on opportunities to specialize. Students can pursue intensive study and complete a Capstone Project to earn a diploma Distinction in STEM, Leadership, Global Studies, or World Language. The English Department more closely resembles literary studies. The History and Social Science Department provides comprehensive overviews of European and U.S. History, as well as opportunities to focus on such topics as AP Microeconomics, AP Macroeconomics, Philosophy, and America in the 1960s. The Science Department provides a basis in biology, chemistry, and physics, and offers courses in specialized topics such as forensics, oceanography, and organic chemistry as well. The Science Department also sponsors a course titled "Challenge 20/20," a course modeled after an NAIS-sponsored program that allows secondary students to research and propose solutions to the 20 most pressing global issues that the world will face in the next 20 years. The Mathematics Department covers basic algebra, geometry, trigonometry, calculus, and statistics. The Modern Language Department focuses on Spanish, French, and Chinese from the fundamentals to advanced literary studies. Visual Art offerings including drawing, painting, and clay, with a sequence for talented artists to explore a variety of media in depth in their four years. Performing Arts are also quite strong, with an array of vocal and instrumental music, drama, and technical theater courses available to students. There are 22 AP courses offered and independent studies are available for interested students, as are opportunities for research and teaching assistantships. King is a member of The Cum Laude Society.
Twenty three percent of the student body self-identifies as people of color. There are four King Virtues: Integrity, Kindness, Perseverance, and Respect.
King is part of the Fairchester Athletic Association (FAA), consisting of independent schools in Fairfield County, CT, Westchester County, NY, and of the Western New England Preparatory School Association (WNEPSA).
- Nate Collins, a defensive end/nose guard with the Chicago Bears
- Kevin Pierre-Louis, a linebacker with the Seattle Seahawks
- Silas Redd, a running back with the Washington Redskins
- Alexander Soros - (Class of 2004, King Low Heywood Thomas), Non-profit executive and philanthropist
- Carter Burwell - (Class of 1973, King School), Primetime Emmy Winner and Academy Award Nominated composer
- Joe Corstairs - (c1911-1915, Low Heywood)
- UNC Player Profiles, available at http://graphics.fansonly.com/photos/schools/unc/sports/m-footbl/auto_pdf/playerprofiles.pdf
- Rice University College World Series, available at http://www.rice.edu/projects/thresher/issues/85/970829/Sports/Story02.html
- "Joe Carstairs, Part 1." Stuff You Missed in History Class (Podcast). 19 Aug 2015. How Stuff Works.com (Web) accessed 20 Aug 2015.