The Right School During the Right Years
From the moment your child is born, and probably before, you’re considering schools. K through 12? Public? Private? Start at one school and move to another? It can be overwhelming. But the rationale for a PreK–8 school in general, and Park in particular, is clear and compelling.
Park deliberately dedicates itself to your child’s first 10 school years. This is the era of childhood and early adolescence, when we guide and accompany children on their educational journey. It’s an intentional arc during which students explore, advance, and acquire new insights and abilities—intellectual, moral, and social.
Research shows that PreK–8 schools offer demonstrable advantages over the separate-middle-school model, in terms of children’s academic performance and personal wellbeing. And Park’s history and experience bears this out. Some of the reasons follow.
- We’re focused on these formative years. Park’s teachers, curriculum, resources, and expertise all center on the developmental needs of early childhood and young adolescent learners.
- Park is a healthy, supportive environment. We provide a comfortable, nurturing community where students are known and come to know themselves. This setting fosters the development of strong peer and student/teacher relationships that allow children to feel at ease and be their authentic selves. It enables them to take risks and make mistakes; stretch and achieve their full potential.
- Our students grow up at the proper pace. In a PreK–8 school, students don’t feel compelled to rush to grow up. Instead, they feel comfortable with their age, focus on their learning, and enjoy their childhood. They tend to have a higher sense of self-esteem and confidence, which can contribute to a healthier adolescent development. Additionally, by Grade 8, students can be active and insightful participants in the search for their best-fit high school.
- Students benefit from leadership opportunities. Research shows that students in PreK–8 schools gravitate toward leadership roles at a younger age. At Park, our Upper Division students take advantage of a wide range of academic, athletic, and service leadership opportunities. In addition, they purposefully serve as mentors to younger students.
- Our parents are our partners. Compared to stand alone middle schools and high schools, PreK-8 schools, like Park, welcome a higher level of parental involvement, which has been found to correlate with enhanced student success and wellbeing. At Park, we grow-up together.
We encourage you to read the many studies about the proven merits of PreK–8 schools. And we also invite you to visit Park, where you’ll observe all the advantages of our transformative PreK-8 experience yourself.
FURTHER READING & RESEARCH ABOUT PREK-8 SCHOOLS
- WHY IS MIDDLE SCHOOL SO HARD FOR SO MANY PEOPLE? IT DOESN'T HAVE TO BE THIS WAY.
- Do Middle Schools Make Sense? New research finds that keeping students in K-8 schools has benefits
- The Benefits of Being the Big Kid on the Playground
- Sixth Grade Is Tough: It Helps To Be "Top Dog"
- Attending a Middle vs. a K-8 School Matters for Student Outcomes