Page 1



Helicopter Parenting: Learning to Fly at Higher Altitudes:

Visual Thinking Strategies: Story illustration for Ladies’ Home Journal, October 1927. Oil on canvas. 39 1/4 x 32 1/2 in. © The Norman Rockwell Estate / Licensed by Norman Rockwell Licensing Company, Niles, Illinois

in this issue:

How Park Division Heads Have Helped Me Along My Parenting Journey By DO RO THY RI CHARDS O N, Park Parent Editorial Board


t seems a fundamental truth that we tend to react to, rather than replicate, the parenting of our own parents. We want to be more

attentive, connected, and giving; less critical, angry, and detached. Even if we received

“good-enough” parenting, we want to be even better at it. This is not a bad thing. Every parent wants to be the best parent he or she can be.

vo l u me 46 number 4 a pu b li cat ion o f th e park sc h o o l parent s’ a sso c i ation

Yet our generation is frequently labeled “helicopter parents.” According to Webster’s Dictionary the definition of helicopter parenting is: a style of child rearing in which an overprotective mother or father discourages a child’s independence by being too involved in the child’s life. In typical helicopter parenting, a mother or father swoops in at any sign of challenge or discomfort. Apparently, some helicopter parents have learned to fly at such a low altitude as to be labeled “snow plow parents”—parents who micromanage their children’s lives in the extreme. A recent Boston Globe article ( highlights this intensive effort to smooth out all of the bumps in a child’s path, impairing their ability to face adversity later in life. Although my professional training as a child continued on page 2

In Kat Callard’s classroom, students observed this painting by Norman Rockwell. The Stay at Homes (Outward Bound), 1927.

Teaching Through Observation, Reasoning, and Communication B y C H R I S H A RT MA N N , Park Parent Editorial Board


ake a look at the picture above. What’s going on in this picture? What do you see that makes you say that? What

more can you find in the picture?

In Kat Callard’s Grade II class, and an increasing number of classrooms throughout Park School, this simple protocol is the framework for an innovative approach to developing Park students’ skills of observation, reasoning, and argument. In most cases, the visual stimulus is a work of art, but the focus of the resulting conversations can take many different directions. Visual Thinking Strategies (VTS) is a rigorous, student-centered approach to learning. During a VTS lesson, students reflect on an image and translate what continued on page 6

Helicopter Parenting, continued from page 1 brains to insure our survival. We want our offspring to succeed, psychologist empowers me with high-powered aviation glasses thrive, and go on to produce healthy offspring. We’re not going to to help other families navigate their course, my glasses seem to win against this overpowering instinct. We can appeal, however, to always fog up when I am home. As a parent, I often lose my focus. I am easily seduced by the atmosphere of competition and concern. our capacity for higher order reasoning. We can learn to manage Ultimately, parenting is a deeply emotional task and we are vulner- our fears and anxiety and let go in a safe and measured way, trusting the faculty and staff at Park who ably support our children’s able to our anxiety, no matter how much we intellectually underdevelopment. stand best practices. We react not just to the internal struggles from our own Lower, Middle, and Upper Division Altitudes experiences in childhood, but also to considerable external presFiguring out the right parenting altitude is all about learning to sures that seem to intensify every year. Every day the media let go in developmentally appropriate ways. It helps tremendously exposes us to a reality of increasing danger and risk of to our own when we have a network of supportive adults in their lives. Diviand our children’s health and safety. The burgeoning research in sion Heads, Andrew Segar, Cynthia Harmon, and Alice Lucey early childhood development highlights the critical importance of have been those beacons for my parenting journey. early experiences and the toxic effect of too much stress on brain Lower Division Head Andrew Segar was my first guide to development. The rapidly growing income and education gap puts navigating how and when to more emphasis on competiconstructively support my tion and how to get ahead. children’s fledgling indeAt the same time we pendence at Park. Andrew hear a steady drum beat from cautions that teaching kids Park, where year after year how to be resilient, how to we hear experts telling us manage disappointment, what we must do to insure and how to deal with the our children’s academic, occasional failure are critical athletic, social, and emotional life lessons. His mantra, success. Even if the message delivered kindly and gently, is to let go and “relax,” it is is “Don’t spend your energy one more thing to attend to, smoothing out bumps in imbued with the message the road for your kids, but that we possibly aren’t doing rather help prepare them to well enough. manage the bumps indepenLike an addiction, dently.” Parents, according we hover to manage our to Andrew, are serving their unmanageable feeling states: children well when they fear, anxiety, and concern. Helicopter Parents, Brittany White (c) 2010. encourage their children to Yet anxiety is evolutionarily go to their teacher directly adaptive and hard wired in our for support with a difficult friendship, or encouraging children to make their own healthy lunch choices (with a teacher’s support) EDITOR’S NOTE rather than sending in a separate lunch. Among his frequently recIn December 2013, serious allegations were brought against ommended books to parents is Wendy Mogel’s The Blessings of a two Park employees pertaining to events alleged to have Skinned Knee, full of advice about how parents can learn to control occurred away from Park School and not involving Park their impulses toward “hovering” or “plowing.” students. Due to the sensitive nature of this information These were all important lessons, which I needed to learn and the time delay in publication, the Park Parent will not all over again in the Middle Division. The need to recalibrate be addressing this topic. Instead, the School will continue my altitude with the staggering developmental changes each year to communicate directly with parents, faculty, and other between Grades III-V was dizzying. Challenges, both academic members of the community. Parents may find Jerry Katz’s article “Keeping Kids Safe from Sexual Abuse” from and social, were omnipresent for both of my children during October-November 2012 helpful. these grades. Homework was too demanding, or not demanding enough. Social relationships needed close monitoring. My impulse continued on page 7

The Park Parent // PAGE 2


Ken Robinson’s The Element: How Finding Your Passion Changes Everything B y C AROLINE BICKS, Park Parent Editorial Board


n 2006, educational theorist Sir Ken Robinson gave what

would become the most watched TED Talk in the history of the genre: “How Schools Kill Creativity.” If you’re not prepared to be wrong, he argued, you won’t come up with anything original. And yet we’ve designed educational systems that punish students for being wrong; as a result, we’re producing adults who don’t know how to take risks and adapt their thinking in creative ways to the changing world around them. Most school systems still structure their curriculum around an educational model that came into being in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries to meet the needs of the Industrial Revolution. They continue to rely on the same hierarchy of subjects: mathematics, science, and language arts, followed by the humanities, and then the arts, with studio art and music always ahead of drama and dance. The consequence, Robinson argues, is that we’re educating students out of creativity and into conformity and, most importantly, squelching the diversity of human talent and capacity that is our greatest resource for navigating an unknowable future. Robinson pursues his thesis in The Element: How Finding Your Passion Changes Everything (co-written with Lou Aronica, Penguin, 2009). Here he argues that we should all strive to find our Element, “the place where the things you love to do and the things that you are good at come together.” Many of us do not, however, because we have a limited view of our natural capacities. Robinson moves through a number of anecdotes about brilliant and creative people who did badly in school because their natural talents were marginalized by their school environments: Paul McCartney, for example, whose musical talent was never recognized by any teacher; and the world-renowned choreographer Gillian Lynne, who was almost sent to a remedial school for her inability to sit still in class—until a psychologist told her mother, “She isn’t sick. She’s a dancer.” Rather than elevating certain disciplines over others, Robinson argues that we should acknowledge their commonalities and emphasize all of them equally in our curricula: “There is great skill and objectivity in the arts, just as there is passion and intuition at the heart of science.” Robinson’s core argument is that we need to rethink radically our view of intelligence. It is diverse, dynamic, and interactive; and creativity, the ability to think in original ways, is its most vital

component. His message is especially critical for Americans to hear at a time when school systems are cutting the arts, and, increasingly, the humanities, largely because we don’t know how to assess their worth using the limited standards that we have to measure capacities and success. In an especially chilling section, he documents the connections between eugenics and some of the American developments of the StanfordBinet Intelligence Scale and the Standardized Aptitude Test, or SAT. Robinson makes the point that standardized tests are not inherently bad, but that they should be diagnostic (used in the same way as a cholesterol test, for example); they should support learning and not obstruct it. Teaching and learning need to be individualized, and teachers need to be given the freedom to build those individual relationships. Policies like No Child Left Behind and cultures that rely on standardized tests as the primary measure of success contribute to the erosion of this critical dynamic between educator and learner. Conformity does not lead to improvement, Robinson asserts. Humans are inherently creative; and when teachers spark that creativity (in its many diverse forms), students can best develop their individual talents. In our current environment, teachers are being seen as functionaries, delivering material in a mechanistic way, when they should be seen as professionals whose job (when they are allowed to do it and given the support to do so) is to fuel creativity and drive passion. continued on page 8


Parenting 125 Years Ago B y M ARTINA ALBRIGHT and SUSAN LASTER, P.A. Parent Roundtable Committee Co-Chairs

Who were the Park parents of 125 years ago? What were their hopes and dreams for their children? As we celebrate 125 years since the inception of the Park School, the Parent Roundtable Committee explored what it was actually like to be a parent in the 1890’s. Why students attended Park in the early days The Park School was founded in the fall of 1888 in a house on Walnut Street in Brookline and was run by Miss Caroline Pierce (26 years old) for 16 students of assorted ages (The Park School 100 Years by Jay Williams Howland ’57, pg. 1). Based on Park’s archives and history books, we know there were several precipitating factors that led families to send their children to private school. Some selected private school because they had the means to. Others because they wanted an alternative to public schools which were increasing in population with immigrants. Because of the Industrial Revolution there was a burgeoning middle class in rural Brookline who no longer needed children to help support Miss Caroline Pierce was 26 the family and who were interyears old when she founded her ested in educating their sons and proprietary school in 1888. daughters (Parenting Through History by Leah Brown, pg. 3). This new, urban middle class family might have chosen to send their children to The Park School in part because of the large number of immigrants entering the public school systems as families came to cities seeking work. The influx of immigrant families made class sizes large and perhaps unfamiliar to established Bostonians. We wonder if Miss Pierce’s school offered a homogeneous alternative to public schools—quite the opposite of what Park values and desires in its student body today. The emergence of early childhood education Education changed a great deal at the close of the 19th century, shifting from a focus on memorization and rote learning to an emphasis on more holistic development. In 1888, Boston Public Schools added kindergartens and a demand for teachers knowledgeable about 5- and 6-year-old children was created. The field of early childhood education was in its earliest stages, and Miss Pierce and other teachers in the Boston area were undoubtedly influenced by one of the local pioneers in this field, Lucy Wheelock ( During the late 1800’s, Lucy Wheelock was an educator who visited a kin-

The Park Parent // PAGE 4

dergarten class and decided that early childhood education was her vocation. She taught teachers new ways of learning about children, drawing on the developing field of psychology and its applications to how children learn by carefully observing children at play and in the classroom, and by considering ideas about parent education and home-school cooperation. Convinced that early childhood education was the solution to many of society’s problems, Ms. Wheelock also committed her students to learning about the lives of poor immigrant families in Boston’s Portuguese, Filipino, and Italian neighborhoods. Ms. Wheelock eventually founded a private school now known as Wheelock College that became a prominent center for the study and teaching of early childhood education. Another new concept at that time was that a child’s own desires, interests, and experiences—both academic and social— guided by teachers, would motivate learning. Popular thinking had changed so that “children were viewed as innately good rather than bad and that the role of the teacher was to help the child develop naturally in an atmosphere of mutual respect” (The Park School 100 Years, pg. 3). From its earliest times, The Park School was a setting where learning was intertwined with fun and play. In fact, for many years, the academic day ended at 1 p.m. and the afternoon was devoted to outdoor play, sports, drama, and art. Called PM (for the afternoon) for short, and similar to today’s ASP, it is this second half of the school day that is the most fondly recalled in The Park School 100 Years. This core value persists 125 years later: Park provides a nurturing environment in which children are known by name and where they can develop curiosity, express creativity, appreciate the value of hard work and discipline, and experience the excitement of learning. The nature of families As the 19th century drew to a close in America, childhood itself was being redefined. By the 1880’s the focus of the family was more “mother-centered” as fathers went off to work, swept up in the Industrial Revolution. The primary role of the mother was to teach moral and character development by being a good role model and showering love on a child. It was also around this time that a proliferation of advice manuals, mother’s magazines, and maternal societies were created (Encyclopedia of Children and Childhood in History and Society,, not dissimilar to the plethora of advice available today on parenting websites. Parenting in the 1880’s and 1890’s Anxiety seems to be a hallmark of modern parenthood. However, worry about children’s well being is not a new development. Par-


ents’ concerns have taken different forms over time. In 2014, we are concerned about our children’s physical health, personality development, psychological well-being, and academic performance. We often try to strike a balance between bolstering our children’s self esteem while allowing them to struggle and develop grit. This was not the focus in the 19th century. Until the mid 1800’s parents were much more worried about their children’s health (rightly so, since antibiotics had not yet been discovered), religious piety, and moral development. By the time Park was founded in 1888, however, parental focus had a more modern feel with parents more concerned about their children’s emotional and psychological well being (although spiritual and moral training were still important). It is likely that the early Park parents were interested in the late 19th century notion of Scientific Child Rearing that stressed regularity and systematization. This notion lent itself well to sending children out of the home to school to experience a regular routine of instruction. While the idea of a set of rules for child rearing might sound quaint, perhaps we are closer to the 1888 model than we think—most of our children have very regular, programmed schedules!

In the late 1800’s there was also a trend to enrich childhood and shield children from the stresses of labor and adulthood. Interestingly, while today there seems to be a general cultural trend to foist adulthood onto children, our current Park School remains true to its roots, committed to maintaining a role of joy and play in childhood that was a hallmark of the school in the 1880’s. The early Park parents were concerned

with preparing their children to live in the industrial/machine age. Today, we must prepare our children for the computer/ space age: a world that requires good social and communication skills, intellectualism, independence, and the ability to function in a stressful, fast-paced society. Then and now, our approaches to child rearing and education reflect the time and the place in which we live.

Parents’ Worries, Then and Now



Popular girls’ names

Mary, Ida, Louise, Esther

Emma, Lily, Sophia

Popular boys’ names

Ernest, Clarence, Roy, Archibald

John, James, Henry

Girls’ fashion


Yoga pants

Boys’ fashion

Bowler hats

Red Sox caps

Skirt length

Above the ankles

Above the panty line

Purchasing clothes

Hand sewn

Ordered online

Hair style

Not up

Dip-dyed red

Favorite devices

Sewing machine


Favorite toys Stereoscope


Popular catalogue Sears


Parental focus

Any moral development!

Proper moral development


Visual Thinking Strategies, continued from page 1 rephrasing helps students to make connections between the observations offered by themselves and others. It also provides an opportunity to introduce new vocabulary words. Reflecting on the importance of scaffolding the conversation, Kat notes that some of the most powerful VTS sessions result from moments when students build on a peer’s idea or offer a connection between two observations. they see into words. They share observations, explain their rationale for what they see, listen to differing points of view, and discuss others’ interpretations. The goal is not to push students to think in particular ways, but to teach them to use observations to form an interpretation.

Visual Thinking Strategies Extended After her own successes with VTS, Kat has taken the lead in bringing VTS training to the Park School. Kindergarten teacher Toni Gilligan and Grade II teacher Sarah Bourque have also undergone VTS training. In addition, the Park School has a subscription to a VTS image library. As a result, Park teachers have access to images VISUAL THINKING STRATEGIES IN ACTION that have been purposely paired to spark connections. In Kat’s classroom, VTS begins with a one-minute period of quiet Describing the use of VTS in her second grade classroom, observation. As students share observations, Kat uses the training techniques she learned during VTS professional development. One Sarah commented that “it teaches children to look at things in a more observational way rather than opinion based.” Sarah is really important guideline is to avoid leading questions. Leading quespleased with how she is able to facilitate learning using three simple tions introduce an adult’s perspective. As students make observaquestions, particularly in social studies. She describes VTS as a tions, the teacher’s primary role is to facilitate discussion. “powerful way to give children the skills to look at other communiNoting that VTS follows a strict protocol, Kat describes an ties with a non-judgmental lens.” important part of her teaching role as making sure that students Over the last two years VTS has established itself as a success“always have a why.” Another principle she promotes is that all ful tool for Park’s faculty to engage all learners in active learning observations and ideas are welcome. The use of visual images experiences built on student’s contributions. Plans are underway for breaks down barriers that can make it difficult for some students more teachers to experience VTS training, building on the proto participate in a classroom discussion. According to Kat, this gram’s early successes. aspect of VTS is critical. Students are developing skills of careful observation and argument. All learners benefit when a classroom community develops appropriate norms for academic discussion RESOURCES For more information (see Resources box). Visual Thinking Strategies Website: While listening for the “why,” a VTS teacher works to rephrase students’ observations. In VTS, rephrasing is a form of scaffoldNew York Times Sunday Review article: ing: a teacher restates a student’s observation using language that is shared in the classroom. By enabling all students to hear the obserEdutopia Blog on Questioning & Discourse: vation in common terms, the rephrasing uses language to support learners’ social, emotional, and intellectual development. Skillful

The Park Parent // PAGE 6

PARENTING TODAY Helicopter Parenting, continued from page 2 to smooth out the bumps in the road was a nagging presence, “If only teachers would provide the right support, the bumps would go away.” Fortunately, my guide was the sage Cynthia Harmon, Park’s Middle Division Head. Cynthia highlights the importance of a parent-school partnership in helping children cope with adversity: “I try to offer parents the reassurance that we are indeed partners in the complex and fast-paced world of educating children.” “Ideally, bringing forth your questions to teachers and administrators before they become great concerns,” Cynthia suggests, “allows for better collective problem ‘setting’ and problem solving.” Expertly holding parents’ anxiety, Cynthia emphasizes that the process of supporting a child through a challenge is one of “watching and waiting” as a child pushes through a difficult moment towards a successful outcome. “The outcome may not always be a happy one,” Cynthia emphasizes, “but the process is one that builds up resilience, perseverance, and a reservoir of problemsolving strategies on which to draw well beyond their childhood years.” Upper Division Head Alice Lucey empathizes with how hard it is for a parent not to intervene when a child is disappointed or upset. Alice suggests, however, that Upper Division parents step back even further, to “let children solve a problem on their own or even deal with a consequence without coming to their rescue.” “Homework forgotten at home? Don’t drive it to school, even if that means Academic Makeup. A low quiz grade? Encourage your child to talk to his or her advisor or teacher and ask for help, even help him or her to practice a conversation with that teacher rather than sending off an email yourself,” Alice advises. “As hard

Recommended Books The Blessing of a Skinned Knee by Wendy Mogel for Lower and Middle Division families, and her follow-up The Blessing of a B Minus for Upper Division families.; How Children Succeed by Paul Tough: The Parents We Mean to Be by Richard Weissbourd:

as it is to see your child upset about something at school, you do not need to, nor should you try to, solve every problem. Learning to navigate the bumps in the road in terms of friendships and schoolwork is an important skill.” Alice adds that many parents inquire about how much to help their Upper Division students with homework. Alice suggests, “For the most part, by the time a student is in the Upper Division, he or she should be doing homework independently. The most important job of parents is to make sure that their child has the time, the place, and the materials to get their work done. You may need to quiz your child for a vocabulary quiz or listen to the rehearsal of an oral report, but you should resist the temptation to take over the pencil or keyboard and do any of the work yourself. If your child doesn’t understand something, you may stand next to them while they write an email to their teacher asking for help the next day in class or at TEACH (Park’s equivalent of study hall).” Finally, Alice advises on how a parent can help a child when he or she makes an inevitable mistake, “It is tempting to try to solve the problem so that it goes away, but that does not always teach the child the right life lessons. Helping your child to accept responsibility for his or her actions instead of placing blame, helping your child to understand the issue from a number of perspectives (not simply his or her own), and helping your child to move forward after a mistake has been made are all important skills—skills that need to be practiced before they can be internalized.” I am grateful for the expert guidance from Park’s Division Heads. Their advice is straightforward and earnest. In the Lower Division, parents’ goal is to trust teachers to support our children through their challenges; in the Middle Division, we move to stepping back, with faculty by our side, to facilitate opportunities for our children to resolve their own challenges; and finally, we must allow our children to fly solo in the Upper Division, knowing that they are learning important life lessons in the context of a supportive, caring environment. It requires a leap of faith to let faculty help us fly at higher altitudes at each stage of development. The process has not been easy for me, but I have always found Andrew, Cynthia, and Alice, along with my children’s teachers, willing to meet me more than half way. Few schools are as sincere in their commitment, or adept in their efforts to partner with parents. We, and our children, are the better for it.


Ken Robinson’s The Element, continued from page 3 Robinson firmly believes that schools are not alone to blame for this limited view of intelligence and worth. We get messages from our families, our friends, and our communities that success looks a certain way, and so we let fear of judgment, failure, and the unknown stand in the way of finding our Element. As a university professor, I see the results of this thinking on a regular basis. I’m struck by how many of my students tell me their parents won’t let them major in English because they won’t get a good job when they graduate. (This belief has been disproven by a number of recent studies and surveys. See, for example, Robinson feels strongly that we, as parents, need to put aside how we’ve been taught to view human achievement. Only then,

Conversations About Identity, Inclusion, and our Collective Community

can we unlock the potential of each child and allow him or her to develop into a fulfilled and intellectually adaptable citizen of the world: “This is about looking into the eyes of your children or those you care for and, rather than approaching them with a template about who they might be, trying to understand who they really are.” The book itself is a bit anecdote-heavy, and not as consistently engaging as Robinson’s talks (public speaking is clearly his Element). Nonetheless, it is well worth reading for the stories of intellectual diversity he presents and the core message he delivers: It’s never too late to find your passion and to fight for the educational reforms that will help all children discover theirs.

Videos of Grandparents’ Day & Yule Festival Performances Now Available Online!

All-School Evening with Randall Kennedy Wednesday, April 23, 2014 7 p.m. in the Theater “The Virtues and Challenges of Seeking to Teach Our Children Progressive Values”

Mr. Kennedy, Harvard Law Professor and parent of Park Alumni, has written numerous books on discrimination, race, and affirmative action.

A Discussion of Unconscious Bias and Stereotype Threat Thursday, May 8, 2014 7 p.m. in the Conference Room

Using Claude Steele’s Whistling Vivaldi as a starting point, Dr. Olivia Moorehead-Slaughter will moderate the discussion.

New this year, performances of Grandparents’ Day, Yule Festival, May Day, and all school plays are available to the community via an online link at no cost. The Parents’ Association, in partnership with the Park School Communications Team, has created a link for the whole community to access the edited footage. ( You must be logged in to view the Media Gallery.) You can go view your child’s performance right now. And, you can download it and burn your own CD. If you would prefer to order a DVD the old-fashioned way, you can send a check for $25 per DVD (please specify the all-school performance you are requesting, including the year; plays will now be recorded in-house) plus $4 for shipping to Daval Productions, 362 Ridge Street, Arlington, MA 02474. They will mail the DVD directly to you. And, you can still order

Hosted by the P.A. Diversity and Inclusion Committee in partnership with the P.A. Roundtable Committee. Questions? Samantha Kaplan, Heeten Kalan, or Russ Porter

The Park Parent // PAGE 8

DVDs from previous years by mailing your checks and orders directly to Daval. If you have any questions, please contact Katie McWeeny ( or Carole Carter (

Robert SIBERT Gold Medal


o r A u

Parrots Over Puerto Rico by Susan Roth & Cindy Trombore

The Library The Library Reacts to the 2014 ALA Youth Media Awards: John NEWBERY Gold Medal

“Brian Floca is one the best very best nonfiction picture book artists, and he definitely deserves this honor (also

“Roth’s stunning cut-paper artwork richly depicts the rain forests of Puerto Rico, where the once ubiquitous parrot has recently rebounded from the brink of extinction through the work of Puerto Rican Parrot Recovery Program. A truly significant (and beautiful!) work that embodies the importance of species preservation.”

check out his Moonshot, Lightship, and Ballet for Martha). Locomotive provides a detailed visual understandFlora & Ulysses by Kate DiCamillo

PURA BELPRé Gold Medal

ing of the steam engine while leading us through a history of America’s western expansion.”

Ms. Lane couldn’t be more excited that her favorite book


of the year (see Dec. 2013 Park Parent)

Niño Wrestles

won the most prestigious children’s

the World

literature award. “We all love DiCa-

by Yuyi Morales

millo’s quirky mix of intelligence and humor, but what sets this book apart

“The Pura Belpré award honors the

is its HEART. And there is a superhero squirrel!” Randolph CALDECOTT Gold Medal

Latino cultural experience, and P.S. Be Eleven by Rita Williams-Garcia “We’re thrilled that the follow-up to One Crazy Summer (2011 Coretta Scott King winner) also took the gold. This novel is more of what we love about Williams-Garcia: she effortlessly

Locomotive by Brian Floca

Morales captures the theatricality and raucous style of lucha libre in this wining picture book. A universal celebration of the big imaginations of little children. ¡Nos encanta!” Please join us in celebrating these

transports us into a child-centered

wonderful winners, and many more!

experience of the radical ‘60s and the

The Librarians

African-American civil rights move-

Christian Porter, Tory Lane,


Emily Kellogg, Mindy Lawrence


Celebrating 125 Years Around Campus By EMILIE Ke N D A L L , P.A. 125th Celebration Committee Co-Chair

RIGHT: Park Librarian Christian Porter notes “for decades, the Park School library has preserved the best of the past to stand beside the best of the present. In celebration of 125 years, the Library has created a display of books, photographs and memorabilia that honors a wonderful history of collection development and patron involvement.”

LEFT: The Park School Archives are a treasure trove of school history – from its beginnings at Miss Pierce’s School on Walnut Street, to the Brown Building on Kennard Road, to our home – since 1971 – on Goddard Avenue. Check out the archival display in the hallway outside the Business Office.

LEFT: The portrait of Miss Julia Park in the lobby had a wonderful makeover In honor of the 125th. Thanks to the generosity of eighth grader ABOVE: Katrina Mills, Lower Division Math Specialist, created an

Cameron Cook’s

interactive bulletin board – accessible to all ages in the school –

family, Miss Park’s

featuring the number 125. “I wanted students to think about

picture has been

the number, it’s magnitude, it’s relationship with other numbers,

reframed in a

and the variety of numbers it is composed of. Younger students

beautiful period

can think about groups of 10s and 5s that make up 125, e.g. 50 +


50 + 25 and older students can think about using combinations of operations e.g., 5 x 5 + 20 x 5. Students have loved it!”

The Park Parent // PAGE 10

Save the Date • SunDay, april 27, 2014 (rescheduled)

Our Past


The Park School Community Celebrates 125 Years and Welcomes Michael Robinson, Head of School Invitation to Follow 5:00–7:00 pm • West Gymnasium • the park school For more information contact rena larusso ‘04 at or 617.274.6022.

Annual Fund 79%

2013-14 GOAL 100%

Parent support of the Annual Fund reflects our deep commitment to Park and our children’s education, and

The Park School


Back by popular demand! Parking Space ads are free. Contact Kate LaPine by phone (617-274-6009), or e-mail ( The deadline for the April/May issue is Monday, March 3rd.

each gift to the Annual Fund enhances every student’s experience. Thank you to all who have pledged. As always, our goal is 100 percent participation among

Creative piano or guitar lessons for you/your child. Contact Tom

the parent community. If you have not yet pledged,

Megan, 617-522-5443 or

and wish to participate, please contact Jessica Conaway (, 617-274-6019). You may

Park alum (current Concord Academy freshman) seeks summer

also give online at Click on

employment as mother’s helper or babysitter on the Cape,

“Ways to Give.” Every gift makes a difference. THANK YOU!

Vineyard, or Nantucket. Available for month of August. Park references available. E–mail Miranda Brown miranda.brown@ or call 781-449-7664 or 781-898-8267.


Upcoming Dates of Note

Editor: Editorial Board Chair: TC Haldi Stanley Shaw

FEBRUARY Grade VI musical, Stories for a Dark Night, 7:30 p.m.

Monday NO SCHOOL – Presidents’ Day

Feb. 18 Tuesday NO SCHOOL – Winter Vacation Day Feb. 21 Friday Upper Division Winter Sports end Feb. 22 Saturday Hoopfest at Park, 9 a.m. MARCH Mar. 4 Tuesday NO SCHOOL Pre-K–V (parent/teacher conferences) Regular schedule VI-IX Mar. 7 Friday

Grade VIII/IX winter play, Our Town, 7 p.m.

Mar. 8 Saturday

Grade VIII/IX winter play, Our Town, 2 p.m.

Mar. 14 Friday Spring Vacation begins, 3 p.m.

Editorial Board: laura barkan, Carol batchelder, Laura Carroll, Chris Hartmann, Paula Ivey Henry, Todd idson, Anne Harvey Kilburn, Kate Olmsted, Padmaja Raman, dorothy richardson, darshak sanghavi, john strand President, Parents’ Association: katie mcweeny Parents’ Association Communications Network: Emilie Kendall AlISON HONG (photographer) Chair, Board of Trustees: Suzie Tapson

Monday School resumes Visit the calendar on the Park School website for more dates!

Head of School: michael Robinson

We want to hear from you! If you have a story idea or issue you’d like to see covered or thoughts about something you’ve read, please let us know.

Read The Park Parent online at The Park Parent is a newsletter that highlights academic, extracurricular, social, and fundraising activities at The Park School. It is currently published six times a year, and its readership includes parents, grandparents, faculty, alumni, and other friends.


The Park Parent

Mar. 31

Director of Communcations: Kate LaPine

The Park School 171 Goddard Avenue Brookline, MA 02445 617-277-2456

Feb. 13 Thursday Feb. 17

The Park Parent

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Park Parent Feb-March 2014

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