This is a safe place to share your honest opinions of a school, whether good or bad.
Park School of Baltimore5
Posted December 22, 2014
- a student
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.
The LS principle has left, to my relief. However, my child has been accused of bullying, only because the other student ran to his mom, a teacher. However, another bully assaulted my child for several years on end, only being removed after two years of torment. A year ago, several boys, including my child, were playing a ball game called GAGA and several female student asked to play and my son said that it would be fine, but they would have to wait until the next round. The girls started playing a four-square game in the middle of the male students' GAGA game! When the girls finally stopped, and the next round begun, the girls cheated. When one of them was confronted by one of the boys, she burst into tears. She was in the wrong- but she cried to a teacher, and each boy was heavily reprimanded.
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.