Welcome to The Park School
Nestled on a picturesque, 34-acre campus on Harlem Road in Amherst, New York, The Park School of Buffalo has been a leader of progressive, project-based education in Western New York for more than 100 years.
The Park School is just 15 minutes from downtown Buffalo. Our students come from 30 communities in the Buffalo-Niagara region, as well as from numerous countries as part of our strong international program. Our families represent many socio-economic, racial, ethnic and religious backgrounds. Growing up with such diversity in the school community is an invaluable element of a Park education.
From our nurturing preschool (ages 3 and 4) and elementary school (kindergarten-4th grade), to our socially responsible and inclusive middle school, and college preparatory high school, Park provides a rigorous academic curriculum. Our academically challenging educational culture emphasizes empathy, compassion, social awareness, and a sense of belonging to a tightly knit, multi-age, multicultural community. With small class sizes and an average 8:1 student to teacher ratio, each student has ample opportunity to learn through experience with personal attention from dedicated teachers.
Founded on the principle of respect, The Park School is a place where children can listen, question, challenge, probe, and thereby make sense of their world. When students graduate from Park, we hope they will carry with them a strong academic background with a powerful sense of their identity, a willingness to see the common threads that run through all our lives, and a high regard for the value and breadth of differences.
What You'll Love About The Park School
Challenging Academics and Expert Faculty means a Park School education prepares your student with the necessary habits of mind and skills for life-long success. For over 100 years, The Park School has embraced a progressive educational philosophy best described as "Active Learning for Life." Our Park students learn through active, hands-on, project-based learning with emphasis on skills development and a continuously updated curriculum to reflect a rapidly changing world. One of our greatest assets is our faculty: Park teachers are experts in their fields and committed to knowing each student as an individual and building enriching lessons that use their knowledge of each child to make lessons relevant to them.
Offered every other year, Immersion is a unique Park program. Immersion engages students in a year-long academic study of a world outside of their own offering opportunities to learn, discover and explore. For each immersion, students are engaged in an in-depth study of their destination's history, literature, science and culture. Immersion trips vary from historical and cultural tours of foreign lands to hands-on studies of skills like glassblowing and photojournalism, to physically demanding excursions such as a weeklong hike of the Appalachian Trail.
Cross-cultural competency is an essential skill in an age of ever increasing global interconnectedness; Park is committed to developing students who think of themselves as citizen of the world and can interact effectively across cultures. The Global Pioneers program offers the opportunity for Park families to host international students in their home with no financial burden.
College counseling at The Park School is a truly individualized process that guides each of our students through the entire process starting with selecting the correct coursework in high school to finding the colleges with the best fit for the student, to entrance exams and application essays. The Director of College Counseling works with each student and his or her family beginning in grade 9 and helps them navigate the journey to college acceptance for 100% of Park School graduates.
Another unique asset of The Park School is a campus that features a pond, marsh, outdoor classroom, learning garden, low ropes course, and trails. We are the only school in Western New York with such incredible natural resources and Park is committed to using our campus as a learning laboratory to connect students to the natural world.
Park's dedication to educating the whole child is apparent in our approach to Athletics. Park prides itself on playing fairly and honestly, and takes our life rules - respect, responsibility, honesty, and kindness - seriously. But we are also competitors who love to win! At Park, student athletes learn valuable life skills by being active, contributing members of the teams they join. Beyond physical education classes, students are encouraged to explore their athletic interests and try new things with opportunities for competitive athletics beginning with soccer in 2nd grade. Currently we offer soccer (beginning in Grade 2), basketball (beginning in Grade 4), cross-country, tennis, lacrosse, bowling and golf. Club sports are developed based on student interest each year.
The Studio Art program is remarkably comprehensive, encouraging students to experiment with their own art while also exploring how it relates to other areas of the curriculum. Studio Art is studied in The Kimball Hall Art building which consists of 5 distinct studios, as well as in the surrounding campus. Art begins at the Preschool level with first-graders using the pottery wheel to throw their first pots. Special courses - such as printmaking, metalworking, or working with glass - supplement the basic studio program of drawing and painting, photography, woodworking, sculpture, and ceramics. Students who are interested in pursuing visual art as a career may take Advanced Placement courses in studio art and create a portfolio of work across a variety of mediums.
Park's Performing Arts span all of our divisions. Opportunities abound for performance in drama and music for all students who wish to participate.
Each division of the School has its own instrumental ensemble and all students are welcome to join. With support from The Elster-Goldstein Family Music Fund's generous endowment, about a third of Park students take private music lessons during the school day. Beginning in second grade, students can study a string instrument with a wide array of instrumental choices open to them in middle and upper school. In addition to ensembles and orchestra, students may form smaller groups based on their current instrumental interests. Each year our orchestra performs in many different venues from campus events to local town concerts to an annual pre-Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra Concert at Kleinhans.
Middle and upper school students have the opportunity to participate in Chorus. Chorus is designed to be a performance-based course. Covering a variety of repertoire, along with basic music theory, history, aural training, and sight singing. Students will sing as a soloist and/or small group. This will give the student an opportunity to gain performance etiquette and allow assessment of the individuals' learning of the music.
The Park School Theater programs involve students from our elementary, middle, and high schools. The students participate in classes that result in some form of dramatic production. In addition to these curricular experiences, Park also produces a musical and two dramatic productions that utilize talent from all of the divisions of the School. The students fully involved in all aspects of these productions, from acting to building sets, to creating costumes and designing lighting.
At The Park School we are experts at connecting students to the natural world, developing global citizens, encouraging ethical growth and literacy, and teaching the skills that students need to thrive in the 21st Century. A Park School education develops those twenty-first century skills necessary to be successful in this next century.