My family has been a part of the Park School community for over 40 years, and until 6 years ago I would have said Park was one of the best private schools in the Washington/Baltimore area. As a parent, I am now very disappointed in Park. I am not only a parent but friends with many of the employees at the school.
Over the years, I have had many conversations with parents, students, and employees of the Park School and I have discovered in the past few years The Park School atmosphere has become more negative with parents becoming more frustrated with the administration. Majority of the staff are unhappy and the faculty does not like the direction the school is headed.
Unlike many of the other schools in the area that continue to grow, enrollment at Park continues to decline with many invested (years) families leaving. I contribute the low enrollment to the negative atmosphere. Experience teacher and staff are also leaving. The retention rate of students and Park employees is at an all-time low.
The leadership at Park on many levels is weak and clueless. It is time that the Board does a complete review at all levels, from facilities and operations to top level administrators, including the Head of School. The board should not only reach out to current employees but also employees that are no longer with Park.
Park needs to return to the days that everyone is treated as a family, working together and not recognized as a number. My family and I look forward to a continued relationship with Park.
A change is needed!
Park’s Education can be number one again.
Simply stated it's a great place for kids to learn and become educated as students and individuals. From the depth of the faculty to the expansive curirculum, every student has the opportunity and support to excel to their limits.
Of all the decisions I ve made as a parent, I regret sending my daughter to Park s lower school the most. Almost immediately, they began coming down on her really hard about a physical disability that never affected her academic performance before or since. It wasn t until late in the year that I found out, from a 3rd party, that my daughter s teacher yelled at her the most. Yelling at any child is reprehensible, but really? My sensitive, quiet daughter, who just lost her father? You re yelling at her THE MOST? She was also bullied by kids, but I think they were just following the teacher s and an administrator s example. Park wants the kind of kid that will respond to social aggression, not by crying, but by turning it on the next, weaker kid. Whenever I run into Park parents now, I always get a well-intentioned but condescending lecture about the dangers of ignoring your child s learning disability. So on top of harassing my daughter for a year, on top of the $25k+ I paid as a single parent, the school is spreading the rumor that my daughter has a learning disability. Make no mistake, this was no question of good or bad fit, Park s lower school is a toxic environment.
Though the middle school is decent, the lower school's rating pulls down the entire school. I have been at Park for several years, and the lower school has several issues. Though there are some good things, such as the Spanish curriculum and the fifth and fourth grade basic "themes," the administration can be completely oblivious to bullies and other issues. For example, I have encountered a bully that was attacking people and disturbing classes for three years before being stopped. I have had experiences where moderators are extremely thick and only believe the "victim" who normally doesn't have a good reason to go crying to the teacher, like they broke the rules of a game and the other players threw them out, or the times where kids are accused of "bullying" when only defending themselves from the real bully. There are some good things, though. The fourth and fifth grades follow a "theme" for parts of the year. For example, the fourth graders focus on ancient Egypt for the first half of the year and the civil rights movement for the second. The fifth graders focus on the middle ages the entire year. Go to the LS if you like taking a dice roll on the teacher you get. Good luck!
It's my daughter's first year at Park as a freshman and she is incredibly happy overall with every part of Park and their program. The style of teaching is perfect for her and a welcomed breathe of fresh air! The rigorous academics have transformed her into a critical "on the job" thinker. I love the way she looks for solutions to a problem and thinks through situations. I am excited to see her grow at Park! There is a school out there for everyone, and Park is far superior to many available. Go see Park with an open mind! you might just fall in love!
I went to Park for 12 years, First through twelfth grade. Besides my parents, Park school was the biggest and best influence in my life. The teachers and staff and classmates are all incredible. I got the attention I needed when I wasn't a great student maybe back in elementary/middle school. I was in the class of 2007, and went on to graduate from Wake Forest University in 2010 with a degree in computer science. Park is incredibly diverse. Seeing what the diversity is at other schools, I am incredibly grateful for the experience Park gave me. My classmates went on to a variety of different colleges and we all now make unique and successful and happy livings. Couldn't recommend it more.
We are two 10th grade students from an incredible school, writing this review together. It's hard to know where to start, because Park is a unique, inspiring, and rigorous school like no other. Teachers are extremely dedicated to their students at Park. At other schools, students are taught to memorize and test well. Park has given us a deep understanding of material and taught us skills that will last a lifetime. The "progressive" teaching style guides students to understand concepts and skills, rather than ONLY learning information and I will never forget the skills Park has taught me. Park's community is the most accepting and tolerant place I've ever been. Park faculty and administrators emphasize the importance of being kind to people that are different than you, and it shows strongly within the student body. This has made me more comfortable to be myself. Park students are taught to stand up for any injustice against themselves or the people around them. Through Park, I've found my voice. I'm a more confident person and I feel like my words can make a difference. I am forever grateful for all that Park has taught me. If we could put more than 5 stars, we would.
We have been in Park s Lower School for several years and have been very happy there. Park's progressive approach to education fosters kids who are interested in learning. They learn the basics I would expect on core subjects, supplemented with going deeper on their interests. My kids are very different from each other (with different strengths and interests) and they both thrive. Both my kids want to go to school every day, and are disappointed when it is closed. Park School students learn how to take tests and have excellent outcomes. Last year, they had 22 National Merit semifinalists, which I understood to be among the highest of any coed independent school in MD. The list of colleges they attend is impressive. In addition, graduates seem to handle themselves with a maturity that bodes well for preparedness for life after college. Park, like any school, isn't perfect. There has been some faculty/administration turnover in the past few years, and issues happen with kids. In that regard, I know many more people who have been happy than unhappy with how issues are resolved. Overall, we have been pleased wtih Park, the community, the teachers, and the learning environment.
I have two children in the Lower School at Park, and I have been very happy with the education and support that they have received over the years. My kids LOVE going to school, and they are always excited and stimulated by what they're learning. All of my children's teachers truly care about my kids and their well-being. Each kid is seen as an individual, and the teachers do a very good job to meet each child's needs. I really appreciate Park's commitment to diversity and social justice education, and I love how the school uses the outdoors as an extension of the classroom. The Partners' and the Reading Buddies programs are wonderful as well. Park has been a great fit for my kids and my family.
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!