6 weeks into my daughter's first year, Park's administration told me she was not at all meeting their expectations, cast doubt on whether she would ever be capable of taking an active role in her learning, and requested that I spend thousands on testing with a specialist of their choosing. I wish I could count the number of false diagnoses the school gave her (not crossing the midline, eyes not tracking properly, a language-based disorder because she didn't respond to a friend on the playground--maybe that was because she thought it was strange that an adult was eavesdropping). When I read the reviews describing Park's teachers tailoring instruction to the specific needs of students, I had to laugh. How do you tailor a worksheet? Before the evaluation was complete, I was told that my daughter would not be asked back. When I asked an administrator if she didn t want to see what the proposed accommodations were, she rolled her eyes and said, "Accommodations? Yeah, we've already done those..." When my daughter would ask to have instructions repeated, her teacher would say, "I've already told you once, I'm not telling you again!" For $25k you can't repeat instructions? Buyer beware!
As a parent with three children currently attending Park School, I couldn't be more proud and impressed with the depth of the curriculum, the innovative resources, and the enthusiastic, dedicated teachers who blow me away with their passion and creativity. All 3 of my kids are extremely different, and somehow Park fits all of them. Park is about learning-- it teaches the students to embrace the process, to thrive on new experiences and skills, and to forever seek out the opportunities to learn and better themselves. I am thrilled that my kids have the opportunity to attend, and I only wish I had this type of education growing up!
I've sent 2 kids to Park for 6 years now. It's a progressive school with a very challenging academic curriculum. Rather than teach kids how to memorize facts and take tests (though they have to do that too), Park emphasizes more abstract thinking, questioning and learning. Park graduates know how to write. They know how to think critically. They are given room to learn independently, both socially and academically. The thing I hear almost universally from both graduates and their parents is how well prepared kids are for college. It's not always evident when the kids are younger, but as students progress through the upper school you really see how well poised these kids are not only for college, but life beyond academia.
I am the parent of 2 Park alums-both very different kind of kids with different interests-but both were extremely happy at Park. For us, Park was not just for one kind of family, or one type of learner. It taught our children to learn to think-and to be lifelong students. One child went to NYU, the other to Duke-great outcomes from a truly exceptional school. On a site like this, a few disgruntled writers can poison a rating. Please know this is a special place, welcoming to all-and at the same time, academically challenging-with positive outcomes for thousands of alums.
We have two children in Lower School, and one who has gone through Lower and Middle and is now in Upper, and we love Park. All of our children have different learning styles and strengths, and the school has been able to meet their needs in an exceptional way. All three have also have different interests, and the faculty finds a way to zero in on what makes them excited to learn. They are happy to go to school every day, and engaged with what they do there, and as a parent, that's a wonderful feeling. Faculty are really exceptional, and are truly thoughtful in everything they do. There is an active parent board, which I've been a part of, and have enjoyed making some life long friends.
Park School is characterized by wealthy, elitist families who like to think of themselves as liberal, pseudo-intellectualism, and catering to the children of faculty and administration. My child attended Park a year ago. My child was bullied, but since the tormentor was the child of an administrator, no action was taken. The faculty have minimal teaching ability, and the colleges to which seniors are accepted simply aren't top-notch. I really wouldn't Park to anyone ... But if you have an aggressive child, it's a fine school ... as long as you're wealthy, well-connected, or Park faculty.
The lower school has been fantastic. The teachers are well rounded and supportive and take each child where they are and teach them with such kindness and support. The lower school offers such a wonderful curriculum and fosters a love of reading. Park has a fantastic parent community and a wonderful philosophy.
Currently, no one is leading the Lower School - there is no vision for the lower school. The Lower School administration spends the majority of their time counseling families out, that is when those administrators are actually on campus. In 2014, 15 teachers across all divisions are leaving the school and the retention rate of families is at an all time low. Faculty is unhappy. Many parents are frustrated. Many accidents and incidents of bullying are happening at recess. There is little supervision and no accountability. The children of faculty members get into fist fights and bully other kids. Nothing is done. Children or parents seeking support are told that their needs are too great. It comes down to incompetence. The LS can no longer call itself progressive. Some people throw around the term "The Park Community." After many years at the school, we are leaving. Not one parent, not one admissions officer, not a teacher, not an adviser, not one administrator, not one board member has reached out to our family to wish us well or to offer to keep social connections with the kids. That is the current definition of community at Park.
Administration is obsessed with maintaining the Park image more than facing gaping holes in its academic veneer. Our son is leaving Park's lower school after the 2014 school year due to the complete lack of competent intervention or support from the admin on dealing with bullying and ongoing classroom behavior disruptions. Beautiful campus though- to walk off the frustrations you will experience trying to engage this administration to step up and take responsibility & action. Look elsewhere for your child's education, if academics and accountability in a well managed learning environment free of bullying rank high on your education list.
The Park School has, for the most part, a great lower school. And my son had a fantastic 3 years of middle school. BUT then we had Upper School. The head of school is nice but inspires zero respect in the US student body,hence, his leadership is ineffectual. The US administration is dysfunctional, ultra agenda driven and completely unable to deal with normal teenage behavior in a constructive, understanding but firm way. It is the perfect example of Political Correctness run amok. (And I'm a liberal!) There is one individual who is utterly unqualified for her position and who has wayyyyy too much power. She's even succeeded in having her relatives hired by the school. Hmm. The board of trustees would like to get rid of this person (who has caused a number of people to leave the school) but they can't fire her. There is even an independent consultant review of the situation going on to figure out how to right the situation. Unless your child has some kind of special need or syndrome RUN!! STAY AWAY!! They say they are "diverse" and want to educate "all" children but it's really the opposite. They only (US) want a student body with a very narrow mindset. THEIRS. Total hypocrisy.
A fantastic school for developing critical thinking, writing skills, and promoting discussion. Park's curriculum focuses around broad concepts and ideas rather than rote memorization of facts.
As my son enters his last year of lower school at Park I have watched his joy of learning and his love of school grow with each year.The teachers are outstanding and the curriculum requires their students to analyze at a superior level than many other schools. If you want your child to learn by rote methodology and be spoon fed information for memorization this may not be the School for you.Park demands from its students a dedication to and true love for learning. Bright children can learn in any environment. However, it is evident to me that Park instills in its students the skills and innovative thought our children will need as our society moves forward and as traditional skill based learning is no longer sufficient for success.
Park has wonderful and caring teachers who help students to take personal responsibility for their learning. The teachers and administration respect individuality, and encourage creativity. Park has been the perfect fit for our child. They've really helped her discover her true self, and grow both academically and personally. I can't recommend this school highly enough. With that said, not every school is meant for every child. Your child must be willing to do her share. She will get out of it what she puts in. Park will not drag her by the hand, but if your child is motivated, the possibilities at Park are limitless.
We don't learn anything! I agree with a friend of mine, most kids get into good colleges because their parents are so rich! Give me a good education!
I don't like it all that much going here. Two of my best friends are leaving next year. And around three or four are leaving in my class! I might as well be leaving (or so we have thought about) and all the time I have been here, I feel like I am learning very slowly compared to my friends in other schools.
It's true, Park will get you into a good college even if you're not that smart. I sacrificed that opportunity for happiness. It is like living in a bubble with no connection to anyone outside of your small community. It is not a diverse school either. I was not happy there, but that's just my opinion. Many people like it.
Park School has the most acedemically qualifed faculty in Baltimore. The academic program has been thought out in ways you cannot even begin to imagine. The entire faculty is engaged in an organized effort to help each individual student's growth. The diverse college placements at the best schools demonstrates that the Park is successful in meeting the varied intersts of each child. My child LOVES this school. This is a place where your child will learn to think, grow, and achieve at their highest level. I recently interviewed a person for a law position. They went to a prominent law school. They had a masters degree from an Ivy league school. They had a Bachelors degree from one of the best private colleges in the country. I hired them because they went to Park.
The best school in Baltimore! Park provides an education focused on the needs of each child. Creativity, thinking, and questioning are valued. Students learn by doing, and projects are the most common form of assessment. My child loves evry day at Park School.
Park provides a nurturing as well as challenging environment in which students are deeply engaged and invested in their work. The faculty is, without a doubt, the most experienced and intellectually vibrant in Baltimore. Diversity (racial, socio-economic, religious) is a priority. College admissions are awesome, but the real benefit comes on a daily basis, as students and faculty create a rich and engaging experience day in and day out. We have three children at the school, each quite different from their siblings and each thriving at the school.
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The Community Rating is the school’s average rating from its community members (e.g., parents, students, and school staff). The highest possible rating is five stars; the lowest is one star.
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