The Park School
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|The Park School|
171 Goddard Avenue|
Brookline, Massachusetts 02445
|School type||Independent, coeducational, non-profit, non-sectarian day school Independent Elementary and Middle School|
|Motto||Simplicity and Sincerity|
|Chairperson||Vincent Chiang, MD|
|Head of school||Cynthia A. Harmon|
|Average class size||14–16 students|
|Campus size||34 acres (140,000 m2)|
|School color(s)||green & white|
|Publication||The Park School Bulletin|
|Newspaper||The Park Parent|
The Park School is an independent day school in Brookline, Massachusetts, for boys and girls in pre-kindergarten through eighth grade. Founded in 1888 as Miss Pierce’s School, today, the diverse student body of over 550 students comes from the Greater Boston area to a 34-acre campus in Brookline, Massachusetts near Jamaica Pond.
Park’s facilities span a 34-acre campus. The School is centered in a modern building that contains 45 classrooms, five science labs, four music rooms, three art studios, and a fully equipped theater.
Park’s library contains 30,000 volumes and audiovisual materials. Through its electronic catalog, databases, and web pages, the library provides access to a wide range of materials both within Park and beyond. Librarians provide a resource center and introduce books and library skills to students in technologically equipped instruction areas. The library serves as a gathering place for the whole Park community – everyone from Park’s youngest students to parents and faculty enjoy their specially designed lounge areas with age-appropriate displays and workspaces.
Across the campus is Faulkner House, which provides office space, the After-School Program’s main facility with five classrooms and an outdoor playground, and a 25-meter swimming pool and tennis court for Park’s variety of summer programs.
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The school's main building was constructed in 1971 from a modern architectural design by Earl Flansburgh & Associates under the direction of then Headmaster Robert S. Hurlbut, Jr. Built of reinforced precast concrete as a stack of modular classroom and office spaces with wall-length windows for more natural illumination of rooms, it exemplifies the brutalist concrete construction style pioneered by Swiss architect Le Corbusier. But its brick wall accents and its preserved oaks and Roxbury puddingstone outcroppings pay homage to historical New England building traditions and topography. The building features an inner courtyard with a "Space Churn" stainless steel mobile sculpture by George Rickey, donated by a Park parent in 1971. In 1996, the West Building designed by Graham Gund and Associates, added two full-sized basketball courts, three modern science labs, and four mathematics classrooms to the school’s facilities. In 2008, the school completed a major expansion and renovation of all of the pre-kindergarten – grade 5 classrooms. A new wing houses Grade 4 & 5 classrooms, after-school program space, a conference room, and adjoins the newly renovated 5,400-square foot library.
In 2008, the school completed a major expansion and renovation of all of the pre-kindergarten – grade 5 classrooms. A new wing houses Grade 4 & 5 classrooms, after-school program space, a conference room, and adjoins the newly renovated 5,400-square foot library.
The Park school includes a Lower Division, reserved to teaching younger students from Pre-K to Grade 2 about themselves as individual learners.
The fundamentals of language arts, mathematics, social studies, and science form the major components of the curriculum in the Middle Division (Grades 3 – 5) and are practiced through group work and individual projects. Teachers also spend time and energy helping children develop values, social skills, and understanding of their roles as citizens of the larger community.
Students in the Upper Division (Grades 6- 8) learn to read, write, and think both logically and critically. They study English, mathematics, science, social studies, a foreign language, growth education, music, art and physical education. Each student is trained to develop confidence and teamwork skills.
At Park, the academic year runs from September to June. School begins at 8:15 a.m. for all students. On Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday, school is dismissed at 3 p.m.; Tuesday at 2 p.m. (This time is used by the faculty for professional development and departmental meetings.) Pre-K is a half-day program until 12 noon. Kindergarten is dismissed at 12 p.m. on Monday and Friday, 2p.m. on Tuesday, and 3 p.m. on Wednesday and Thursday.
Various extracurricular activities are offered in the After-School Program for Pre-K – Grade 5. Families may sign up for two to five afternoons per week; pick-up times are 3 p.m., 4:30 p.m. or 6 p.m.
Students in Grades 6 – 8 are encouraged to participate in elective sports or after-school drama. In addition, a quiet study hall is offered until 4:30 p.m. Park offers three seasons of sports, as well as three seasons of theater production, that students may participate in.
Theater choices change term to term and include both modern and classical theater, with a musical in the winter term.
School-wide events include Grandparents’ & Special Friends’ Day on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving; Yule Festival – a longstanding holiday assembly that acknowledges both the common and varying traditions of the school’s diverse community in songs and readings that capture the principles and spirit of Hanukkah, Christmas, and Kwanzaa; and May Day – a special assembly welcoming spring for students in Pre-K through Grade 5. Graduation is held in June and features an alumnus/a speaker.
Distinguished graduates of The Park School include:
- Ty Burr: film critic, The Boston Globe
- Bertha Coombs: reporter, CNBC
- Michael Cox: professional football player
- Evan Dando: lead singer, The Lemonheads
- Loren Galler-Rabinowitz: Miss Massachusetts 2011
- Tucker Halpern: Grammy Nominated musician Sofi Tukker
- Joseph Kahn: foreign news editor, New York Times
- Jonathan Kraft: President, New England Patriots
- Elliot Richardson: U.S. Attorney General
- George Schuller: jazz drummer, son of composer/conductor Gunther Schuller
- Chris Tierney: professional soccer player, New England Revolution
- Jonathan Tucker: actor
- David Walton: actor
- W. Kamau Bell: comedian
- Stu McNay: athlete, Olympic sailor
- Howland, Jay. The Park School: One Hundred Years, 1888-1988. Brookline, MA: The Park School, 1988.