Parents choose us for our child-centered approach as much as our strong, investigative curriculum in math, social studies, language arts, Spanish, science and sports. Families also value Park's emphasis on the visual and performing arts, which are an exceptionally strong part of our middle school program.
Many of our families are drawn to Park because of its embrace of the diversity of culture, customs, and ideas that are so richly represented in the Bay Area.
Most often, people choose Park because they share our belief that successful students are measured not simply by their attainment of knowledge, but by their character and the depth and flexibility of their understanding.
Park Day School adheres to a progressive educational philosophy. Over a century of professional practice and research shape the view that each child learns not by passively consuming knowledge, but by actively constructing his or her own understanding of material based on prior knowledge, skills, and experience. In progressive education, the child plays a more active role in his or her own learning, so teachers focus as much on the characteristics of each learner as they do on the academic content itself.
Within the framework of a progressive education model, Park Day School teachers, in collaboration with the lower and middle school program coordinators, have developed a thorough rubric of the scope and sequence of curriculum from bridge-kindergarten through eighth grade.
Children leave Park Day School well on their way to being caring, constructive, open-minded members of the adult world. We want them to be equipped to live in a diverse society and to be comfortable with the ways in which they are alike and different from others; to be able to recognize the biases that exist in society and to develop and articulate their own values. In the non-judgmental environment of the classroom, students are given opportunities to talk about life experiences that are very different from their own.
We have an exceptional teaching staff at Park Day School. Teachers are encouraged to pursue academic interests of their choosing. Faculty attend workshops to hear new ideas and to challenge their own methods of teaching. The search for improvement is ongoing, even by our most seasoned staff members. In addition, we train many student teachers enrolled in graduate programs throughout the Bay Area. Placement counselors and student teacher supervisors view Park Day School as a dynamic and exciting learning environment.
Teaching materials, geared to the various learning styles and levels of our students, are gathered from many sources, oftentimes created by the teachers themselves. Teachers plan an academic curriculum that meets or exceeds state curriculum guidelines. Each grade level covers major units of study. Within these frameworks, teachers have the freedom to explore a particular sub-theme. Ongoing discussion and collaboration among teachers ensure coordination among the different grade levels.
We at Park Day School are committed to our neighborhoods and to Oakland. The concept of community reaches beyond the interconnectedness of students within a caring and supportive learning environment to include their families, the larger East Bay community and the world. Students deepen their connection to their communities through participation in meaningful community service both at school and beyond. In each classroom and throughout the school, we discuss and make decisions about the service learning projects we will undertake.