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.