Boys and girls reading a book together in library
Philosophy and Approach

Philosophy

Park’s motto “simplicity and sincerity” means that we cherish childhood. We celebrate the ages from 4–14, the most transformative and dynamic decade in children’s lives. Throughout these crucial years, we remain student-centered and focused on the whole child: the intellectual, academic, creative, social-emotional, and physical development of each student.

Within our school community, we depend on ongoing communication and collaboration between each student and teacher, as well as between each family and the School. At Park, we believe that learning begins with the family, and our goal is to extend and develop that process. To reinforce what goes on in school, we encourage parents to confer with their child’s teachers about expectations and progress, to be aware of the curriculum and the teachers’ objectives, and to guide their child in work at home.

The Park community values trust, fairness, cooperation, sensitivity, equity, and inclusivity; and the School expects students to learn to reach outside themselves and value the differences and dignity of others. We foster good citizenship, which includes the stewardship of the environment and school.


Approach

Beginning with a play-based approach in the youngest grades and building toward rigorous acquisition and application of knowledge and skill, Park teachers challenge and support their students through developmentally matched curriculum and pedagogy. As student-centered educators, Park teachers create learning environments that:

  • foster active engagement and authentic investment in learning
  • cultivate inquiry and learning through real-world applications
  • inspire collaboration and build community
  • emphasize personal reflection and promote metacognition

At every grade level, students are challenged intellectually with engaging projects that inspire curiosity, provide context, and build real-world skills. In Kindergarten, children build ramps for Hot Wheels cars; in Grade 2, they create a global marketplace with stalls for selling goods and services from Mexico, India, Colombia, China, and South Africa; in Grade 7, they compose music and transform it into working handcrafted music boxes; in Grade 8, they travel overseas with their language classes to China, France, Italy, or Spain to practice their language skills in an authentic setting and experience a unique culture first-hand. Through such undertakings, students exercise their creativity and imagination, deeply absorb new facts about their world, and learn to plan, collaborate, and solve problems.

 


 

Philosophic Guidelines

The following guidelines are fundamental to the implementation of our mission:

  • A close personal relationship between teacher and student is the center of the learning process at Park.
     
  • Learning begins with the family; the School’s goal is to extend and develop that process in a spirit of cooperation among students, teachers, and parents.
     
  • The Park community values trust, fairness, cooperation, and sensitivity, and expects students to learn to reach outside themselves and respect the dignity of others.
  • Despite the pressures of our increasingly complex world, Park strives to maintain simplicity as a core value of the community.
     
  • At Park, diversity is valued, differing personal qualities, talents, and learning styles are appreciated, and the lives of all are enriched by shared experiences.
  • As a center of learning, the School generates ideas and responds thoughtfully to new ideas, emerging technologies, and social change.
     
  • The pursuit of rigorous academic standards guides the development of curriculum, the practice of teaching, and the goals of learning.