Welcome to Park Day SchoolWelcome and thank you for visiting the Park Day School website. We have designed this site to provide an easy and convenient way for you to learn about our school. We also hope that you'll find it a good source of information on how
we work every day to provide a place where students think creatively, learn deeply, act compassionately and live fully.
Welcome to our web site. Park Day School has been delivering on the promise of developing the academic, social and emotional skills of our students for almost 40 years. This history offers us a perspective from which we can truly appreciate and extol the tremendous commitment of our staff to the children of Park Day School. Our extraordinary teachers are the heart of our program.
As a progressive school, we believe that it is essential for us to prepare children with the skills they'll need to thrive in the 21st century. Look in any classroom and you will see students resolving complex mathematical challenges, conducting scientific experiments and developing their skills with language, history and the arts.
Our academic program is driven by our enduring respect for children as thinkers and explorers, imaginative writers, curious scientists and mathematicians. Rather than relying on standardized testing or normative standards, we believe that intellectual growth arises from a program focused on learning for deep understanding–where students’ sense of hope, imagination and inspiration inform how they best engage with the curriculum.
We also believe that our work involves fostering in students an awareness of the injustices that exist in our world in an age-appropriate way. A kindergartener may notice that a classmate needs a friend, a fourth grader might defend a classmate from teasing, or an eighth grader might participate in anti-poverty march—in each instance, there are important opportunities for discussion, learning and growth.
At Park Day School, we base our program on the idea that individuals make a difference. Whether collecting thousands of books for Oakland public school teachers, mounting an anti-hunger campaign through our work with the Empty Bowls Project, or detailing to classmates the impact of water quality of local streams and rivers, our students bring the spirit of agency and the conviction that their actions can create positive change.
We believe in the importance of social and emotional intelligence as well as academic intelligence. At Park Day, you'll see students resolving conflicts through collaboration, conducting debates on complex social issues with empathy, inclusiveness and creative problem solving techniques. Our teachers work to ensure that children find their voice and experience first-hand the power of sharing ideas and building fellowship in a place that prepares them for leadership in their high schools, colleges and communities.
Should you visit our classrooms, you will also see that they are remarkably happy places. They are places where kids “lean in” to the learning from the first days of kindergarten through to their proud walk across the stage at graduation nine years later.
In our kindergarten, you might observe one of the many opportunities the children have to work with wood and tools to test, create and build. Often this work is in teams, so that cooperation and collaboration are learned along with the measurement, proportion, classification, spatial awareness and feeling of achievement that comes with working with ones’ hands to complete a construction project.
In the 5th grade, you might witness students grappling with the dynamic between Roanoke Native society and Early Settlers in the seventeenth century. In these lessons, they read history books and historical fiction, create maps and dioramas, write stories and plays, and then act these plays out for one another. The children are asked to present their stories from several perspectives to develop a more complete view of this complicated period of US history. In our model, these activities far out distance the memorization of names and dates in American history; it is the context, the relationships, the lessons learned that they remember when looking at other examples of two cultures coming together.
In 7th grade, students role-play the residents of a town facing an environmental crisis and must use scientific data to make an argument on ways to save their town. This is another example of how our deep investigations challenge students to make meaning and find relevance with facts, dates, and charts rather than the traditional approach of memorization.. We are convinced that the experience as a learner in our engaging and age appropriate hands-on curriculum will provide the internal motivation necessary to achieve academic success and, as importantly, to love investigation, discussion and inquiry for a lifetime.
Students at Park Day School bring heart and passion to our campus every day. For adults and children alike, it is a wonderful place to learn, work and play. We invite you to join us in this exciting endeavor. Please visit us or contact us with your questions. We will be happy to make your acquaintance.