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PERK the perkiomen school

College-Preparatory / Coeducational / Boarding and Day / Grades 6 through 12

the perkiomen school

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make this place your own

are you ready to

Explore talents Meet challenges That seem beyond reach, you may not even know you possess,

And discover

possibilities You’ve never even

PERK imagined?

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the perkiomen school

make this place your own

A Perk education is about entering new worlds

of ideas, Acquiring

powerful skills, And most important, Igniting a burning flame—

a passion for learning that will last for life.

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the perkiomen school


the power of

The body of a teacher is found face-down in the campus swimming pool beside her kayak. An unfortunate accident has occurred—or a murder? Students in Perk’s Forensic Science class need to find out. For these students, learning takes some unexpected forms: analyzing blood spatter patterns, matching bite marks, questioning suspects who may have had a grudge. Of course, the crime and the evidence are all simulated, but the challenge is quite real: to think like a forensic scientist and figure out how to solve a murder. At Perk, we believe that to learn and grow requires a certain kind of risk, a willingness to face new challenges. Take Mandarin Chinese, try-out for a sport you’ve never played before—or hit the crime lab to find a killer. Of course, you will make a mistake or two. Just be sure you learn from the experience. As one of our upper school teachers put it, “I support my students in pushing beyond their comfort zone and into new territory. Otherwise, how can they achieve their best?”

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Beyond the Expected Perk students have the chance to take on many original and intriguing challenges—creating their own works of historical fiction, managing mock political campaigns, even investigating simulated homicides in a class on Forensic Science. In this hands-on course, students work together in the lab and at the crime scene, applying the science they are learning to solve complex crimes.

A Personal Education. One of Perk’s most striking strengths is its intimate scale. This is a campus where nearly every student, teacher, and staff member knows nearly everyone else. At Perk, you will be understood and appreciated—in class and beyond, not just as a student, but as a complete person. As you move through your personal journey here, you will be surrounded by mentors, guides, and friends. You will be part of classes, dorms, teams, and a school community that all have the feeling of family.

A Culture of Creativity. It’s been said that life is about the people you meet and the things you create together. If you share this view, then you will love Perk. Whether your interest is music, theater, or visual art, you can move from building skills to creating original work at a high level. The opportunities are all here, from the Jazz Combo, to electives in filmmaking and digital design, to the chance to work one-on-one with a teacher to develop an outstanding portfolio for art school.

the perkiomen school

make this place your own

this school is a big,

hard working

amazingly diverse open-hearted, open-minded


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Discussion, Debate, Discovery Perk’s small classes allow learning to become truly interactive. Advanced Placement European History, one of more than 20 AP courses, is typical. Class time focuses on discussion. The teacher leads the way, but every voice and point of view is heard. It’s a powerful way to really understand history, and a great preparation for the kind of intellectual challenge students will encounter in college.

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Deeply Perk offers its students a superb college preparatory education—from a middle school experience that nurtures independent inquiry, to the latest instructional technology applied in innovative ways. Why not learn about the characters in Canterbury Tales by creating an interactive graphical blog (or “glog”) capturing their voices and views? Perk teachers make learning both challenging and fascinating by going beyond the basic facts and into the ideas behind them. Consider our AP European History class. It covers the Year 1450 to the modern day—everything from the Thirty Years’ War to tomorrow’s headlines on the European Union. “But the historical events are just the starting point,” says the teacher. “We look at original source materials—pictures, maps and letters—to see how people thought about the history when it happened. We look for the connections between the events, and connections with the world today. And when we get to a topic that’s particularly interesting for my students, we slow down and delve deeply.”

A Global Community. It would be hard to imagine a better place to prepare for life in today’s internationally interconnected world than on this global village of a campus. Since Perk welcomed its first international student in 1896, the school has drawn applicants from around the world, with 20 countries now represented. A striking diversity of perspectives come together here, making every conversation—whether in the classroom or dorm room—a mind-opening experience.

A Great campus. Perk’s 165-acre campus is a safe and beautiful place to call home. Historic structures like Kriebel Hall with its iconic cupola and the 1913 Carnegie Library sit beside the Schumo Academic Center, a state-of-the art structure barely a decade old. Beyond the rolling green hills of the Pennsylvania countryside and the small-town charm of Pennsburg, Philadelphia lies an hour away, New York City two hours, and Washington, D.C. three hours.

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the perkiomen school

A World

of Possibility

Perkiomen offers its student the support of an outstanding college counseling program. The defining strength of this program is the truly exceptional degree of personal attention the school’s counselors are able to provide to each student. As one of our counselors says, “Our graduating classes total just 70 or 80 students, and we know and work closely with every single one of them.” The college counseling process begins early—as students start their upper school careers. Later, as they prepare for the SAT or ACT, students can take advantage of excellent on-site test preparation services. They also benefit from Naviance®, a state-of-the-art software system that helps organize the college application process. In addition, they can meet with representatives of 80 selective colleges and universities that visit campus each year, thanks to the careful relationship-building work of the Perkiomen college counseling staff. The result of this process is an impressive list of college destinations—a list that reflects a determined effort to help each graduate find a school that represents a true fit for his or her unique strengths and aspirations.

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Preparing for Success Perk students go on to achieve success at a range of excellent colleges and universities, including some of the nation’s most selective. In our most recent graduating class, more than 60 percent of students gained admission to their first-choice institution. Of all the acceptances, 34 percent were to U.S. News & World Report top 100 National Universities, and 27 percent to schools ranked by Barron’s as Highly Competitive or Most Competitive.

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the perkiomen school

middle school Identity and Philosophy In every way possible, the Middle School at Perk seeks to provide students in grades six, seven, and eight with an outstanding experience of learning and growth and a strong preparation for the rigorous college preparatory program that awaits them in Upper School.

Academic Program The Middle School provides a balanced program in English, history, math, science, fine and performing arts, world languages, and physical education. In addition to the content in each of these disciplines, there is a strong focus across the curriculum on study skills, organizational skills, and time management.

The Middle School has its own independent identity within the larger Perk community, while simultaneously very much being a part of the community at large. Middle Schoolers make full use of all the campus’s superb facilities and have opportunities to form connections with upper schoolers. These occur during all-school morning meetings and through trips and special events, some of which are open to the entire student body and some of which are designed exclusively for Middle Schoolers.

Students can take advantage of a number of exceptional opportunities in the curriculum—to complete not only algebra but also geometry by the end of eighth grade; to take two full years of study in Latin, Spanish, German, or Chinese (and then continue any of these languages in Upper School); and to pursue opportunities in the arts that are rare at the middle school level, such as Explorations in Acting, Drawing Technique and Composition, and Middle School Instrumental Program.

The Middle School serves both day and boarding students. Perk’s Middle School provides a warm, supportive, and appropriately structured home to young adolescents as they grow through years of great change—socially, emotionally, physically, and intellectually. These years are sometimes thought of as stressful; on the contrary, we believe they can and should be thoroughly enjoyed.

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Faculty The Perk Middle School faculty are highly qualified, deeply dedicated, and in tune with the special energy Middle Schoolers bring to every endeavor. With an average class size of just nine students, teachers know each of their students well and have a remarkable opportunity to differentiate classroom instruction, meeting students’ individual needs. Through a well developed advising program, faculty guide students not only in their academic progress, but also in dealing with any social or emotional concerns. Athletics All Perk Middle Schoolers participate in an afterschool sport each season. This provides an outstanding opportunity to develop skills and prepare for Upper School athletics and also to spark the habits of a fit and active lifestyle. Students’ level of athletic ability is not important; our teams have a place for every student and our coaches strive to ensure that all have a fun and positive experience and grow in skill. Sports for girls are field hockey, basketball and lacrosse. Sports for boys are soccer, basketball, and lacrosse.

Activities After school and on weekends, students stay busy with a varied line-up of clubs and activities. They can take part in the Orchestra, Choir, or the Strings program and activities such as Math League or Student Senate. Approximately half are active in Reading Olympics, a popular competition in which students read a list of preselected books and answer related questions. Each year the Middle School also sponsors several dances, festivities such as the Halloween party or swim parties, movie trips, mall trips, bowling trips, and ski trips. Weekend activities are particularly of interest to boarding students. Of course, day students are always welcome to come join in, and most of the time they do. Trips Each year Middle Schoolers take part in a multi-day Signature Trip that combines fun and learning with the chance to grow in independence and bond as a group. In recent years, experiences have included an excursion to Washington, D.C., with a focus on American History; an Outward Bound urban adventure in Philadelphia; and a back-packing trek along a portion of the Appalachian Trail. These memorable events are in addition to day outings to science or art museums, historical sites, and the like.

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the perkiomen school

upper school Program of Study Perk offers a rich college preparatory curriculum, with courses spanning English, history, mathematics, science, world languages (Spanish, Latin, German, and Chinese), fine and performing arts, and health and physical education. In addition to the full range of standard courses in these subjects, students may select from a variety of interesting electives such as Astronomy, Ceramics and Sculpture, Crime Fiction and the Detective, Ethics, Environmental Topics, Forensic Science, Introduction to Acting, Multicultural America, Philosophy, World Religions, and others. Technology The school is committed to integrating the latest and best instructional technology into the curriculum in meaningful ways. Across campus, all classrooms and dorm rooms are wired, and all classrooms feature computers and ACTIVBoards. Kindles and iPads are available for student use in the Library, and campus-wide, both Macs and PCs are widely available and well supported. Students also have access to specialized resources such as professional-grade audio and video editing software through the Digital Arts Lab. Class assignments often make innovative use of Wikis, glogs (graphic blogs), student-produced videos, and other new media. In addition, the library offers access to excellent specialized research databases.

Advanced Challenges Perk’s academic program provides ample challenge for even the best of these students. Highlights include the Senior Seminar, a small interactive class focusing on independent research and culminating in a digital senior thesis. In addition, seven honors courses and more than 20 advanced placement courses are offered. Perk students have a strong record of earning high scores of 4 and 5 on the AP exams and many are honored each year as AP Scholars. AP courses currently offered include the following: AP Art History AP Biology AP Calculus AB AP Calculus BC AP Chemistry AP Chinese Language and Culture AP Computer Science A AP Economics—Macro AP Economics—Micro AP English Language and Composition AP English Literature and Composition AP Environmental Science AP European History AP Latin: Vergil AP Music Theory AP Physics B AP Physics C Mechanics AP Spanish Language AP Statistics AP Studio Art Drawing Portfolio AP Studio Art 2D Design AP United States History AP United States Government and Politics AP World History

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Faculty The school’s faculty are an exceptionally talented and dedicated group, continually exploring new ideas and approaches. Seventy percent hold advanced degrees, and all benefit from an extensive range of professional development opportunities. These range from support for master’s-level studies at the prestigious Bread Loaf School of English to attendance at national conferences on teaching methods and new technologies. Teachers form close bonds with students not only in class, but also as resident advisers in the dorms and as coaches and advisers to clubs and organizations. Personal Attention With a student-faculty ratio of 7:1 and an average class size of just 12, the school offers an exceptionally personal learning experience. Faculty provide differentiated instruction, tailoring course content to students’ individual needs, and are always available to meet with students requiring extra help. Students find ample opportunities to pursue specialized interests through independent study. Athletics All students take part in an after-school activity each term, and this typically includes one or more seasons of team sports. Along with the option to take part in a fitness-focused boxing program, the sports listed below are offered. In many sports, the school fields junior varsity as well as varsity squads, helping ensure the opportunity for all students to take part.

Athletic facilities include expansive practice and playing fields, lighted tennis courts, and the Hollenbach Athletic Center, home to our gyms, pool, fitness center, locker rooms, training room, and batting cage. Boys Badminton Swimming Baseball Tennis Basketball Track Cross Country Football Golf Lacrosse Powerlifting Soccer

Girls Badminton Basketball Cross Country Field Hockey Lacrosse Soccer Softball Swimming Tennis Track

Extracurricular Activities The school offers a varied line-up of clubs, community service projects, and other extracurricular options. Leadership opportunities include roles in Student Senate, dorm proctorships, or special experiences such as the chance to travel to a diversity summit with representatives of other schools. Weekend trips to malls, movies, ball games and shows are frequent. These include weekly outings to the regional shopping capital of King of Prussia and to Walmart, a popular destination for all the essential supplies of boarding school life. New York and Philadelphia are easily within reach, and convenient bus service is available. Student ideas inspire many campus events, from a mid-winter dodge ball tournament to a “Mr. Perkiomen” mock beauty pageant, to a fun re-creation of the The Hunger Games.

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the perkiomen school

as a

perk student

you have the chance to make your

own place here and to make this place

your own.

Kelsh Wilson Design / photography: Jorge Ramirez, Sarah Dicicco, tim miller, kevin monko

make this place your own Perk is located in the borough of Pennsburg, a safe and welcoming community nestled in the Pennsylvania countryside about an hour from Philadelphia, two hours from New York City, and three hours from Washington, D.C.

200 Seminary Street / pennsburg, pennsylvania 18073 / 215.679.9511 t / 215.679.5202 f

Perkiomen School Viewbook  

Perkiomen School Viewbook

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