Park Traditions


Our many traditions unite our grades, our classes, and generations of Park alumni. In so many ways, they help to make Park Park. Some of our traditions include:

Country Fair

An all-school, Park community event held in October benefiting the United Way of Western New York. Individual classes and clubs host activity booth for its visitors to play. Sponge Toss, Peppermint Lemons, Cake Walk, and Senior Chili are among the traditional favorites. Park’s annual 3K Fun Run and Alumni Soccer Game highlight the event.

country fair lemonade stand

bonding day

Bonding Day

A special day set aside at the start of the school year when classes in grades 5-12 are suspended, and students are engaged in activities aimed at strengthening peer relationships, as well as increasing the sense of student belonging.

Earth Spirit

Associated with Park for almost 30 years, Earth Spirit is an environmental group that offers a wide range of services/activities designed to help our students learn about and appreciate the environmental world around us. Some of the things we've done together include interactive programs, hikes, camp-outs, Earth Days, tours, and paleontologist digs.

earth spirit

zoo day

Zoo Day

An annual outing for students in Kindergarten through Grade 4 and the Senior class, when lower school students are paired with their Senior buddies and are guided through the park visiting the various exhibits based on their shared conversations.  Zoo Day is the first of three experiences that the younger students share with their Senior buddy throughout the year; the twelfth graders design and engage the students in various festive activities for Halloween, and are the guests of honor during the lower school’s year-end Senior Assembly and Ice Cream Social.

Book Buddies

In celebration of Park’s PreK-Grade 12 community, middle and upper school students visit our lower school to spend reading time with their younger friends and develop their own confidence and leadership skills.

book buddies

grandparents and special friends day celebration

Grandparents and Special Friends Day

Guests are invited to visit Pre-K and Lower School classrooms, and to enjoy a special program hosted by Lower Students students in their honor. Following a choral performance, attendees are taken on guided classroom tours led by their lower school friend.

Halloween Parade

As culmination to the day of festivity, the Park community gathers at the center of campus in much anticipation of the Halloween Witch to lead the students in parade around the Circle.  Students shout their guess as to who Halloween Witch is, as the Witch’s masked is slowly pulled away and his/her identity is finally revealed.

school Halloween parade

Veteran's Day assembly

Veteran’s Day Assembly

The Park School community gathers in the Circle to honor the men and women who have served and continue to serve our country. Names of those dear to members of the Park community are read aloud as the flag is raised, and the community shares in a moment of silence.

Thanksgiving Feast

Students, faculty, staff, and Park guests gather together to give thanks and share a meal served by the Senior class in honor of the holiday. Tables are adorned by festive centerpieces thoughtfully created by our students across grade levels PK through 12.

Students preparing Thanksgiving feast

Thanksgiving assembly dinner table

Thanksgiving Assembly

In celebration of the season of thanks and giving, the school community gathers to enjoy musical performances from our youngest to our oldest students under the direction of our instrumental and choral directors. Concert attendees also have the opportunity to bid on a pie donated by members of the Senior class, whose pie auction proceeds go to charity.

Junior Pancake Breakfast

This successful fundraiser for the Junior class is held in the dining hall after our Thanksgiving concert. We all enjoy delicious pancakes prepared by Park's Junior Class before departing for break.

Upper School student preparing pancakes

Students gathered together

Student-Led Conferences

Side by side with their advisors, students in grades 7-12 make individual appointments with their parents and guardians to provide them with an assessment of how they have progressed academically since the start of the year. Students provide reflections and present artifacts to add to the conversation. The exercise aims to foster mindfulness, leadership, confidence, and self-advocacy.

Community Service

In an effort to live Park’s mission, Park students learn to be active, contributing members of their community. Lower, middle, and upper school students are engaged in a variety of community service efforts throughout the year, ranging from individual student initiatives to large group projects such as the Lower School Food Drive for the Buffalo City Mission, Turkey Bake for Compass House, or Goin’ Bald for Bucks.

Bald for Bucks

Students playing hockey

Winter Carnival

Snow need not be present for this traditional Orange vs. Brown competition to take place. Coordinated by members of the Upper School Student Government and led by the Team Spirit Captains, students in grades 8 through 12 compete for their respective Pioneer teams in various activities to earn points. The competition culminates in a team relay in the Quad. The team accumulating the most points is awarded the coveted Spirit Cup.

Spirit Week

Held during the fall, winter, and spring seasons, Spirit Week aims to build class spirit and social interaction among Park students. Celebrations include dress up theme days (coordinated by our lower, middle, and upper school student governments), contests and activities, as well as special week-ending events, such as Coffee House or Game Night.

Spirit Week dress up day

multicultural luncheon

Multicultural Luncheon

Hosted annually by Park’s World Languages department, this potluck-style event celebrates the diversity and individuality of Park students, and aims to promote a greater understanding of the diverse cultures in our world. Students in grades 5-8 bring a dish representative of their cultural background, which they share with the greater Middle School community and grandparents or other special adult friends they invite as guests. The Luncheon also features speakers and student performances.

All-School Campus Clean Up

At this event coordinated by the Environmental Stewardship Club, students, faculty, and staff work together to beautify and spruce up the gardens, tree beds, fence lines, and other green spaces around campus. The Clean Up encourages team-building and helps instill a sense of responsibility and pride for the School and the environment.

All-school campus cleanup

Student Sylvia Ginsburg concert

Sylvia Ginsberg Concert

This annual spring concert boasts the vocal and instrumental talents of Park students. This concert features performances by our band, orchestra, and jazz ensembles, as well as our lower, middle and upper school choral groups.

All School Art Show

Students, parents, guardians, faculty, and guests are invited to peruse artwork created by our lower, middle and upper school students under the direction and encouragement of Park’s very talented art teachers. From clay creations to self portraits to outdoor sculptures, the students' creations are sure to catch your eye!

Art sign

immersion

Immersion

Immersion is a biannual, co-curricular Park program that engages students in a year-long study; centered on a particular topic or geographical area of interest to them. It culminates in a weeklong experience in May and provides students opportunities to learn and explore through firsthand experience. Offerings provide students with the chance to expand their knowledge in a particular discipline and may be large or small in scale ranging from on-campus experiences and local day trips, to stateside and international excursions. 

Senior Project

In Park’s spirit of experiential education, Grade 12 students in good academic standing are released from classes to pursue project work of their choosing that meets with mentor approval. As a culmination to the release period, students then prepare a presentation to share with parents, faculty, and members of administration.

Senior project

Academic Olympiad presentation board

Academic Olympiad

A day-long event in which all Middle School student compete in mixed-grade-level teams to complete specific, discipline-related stations. Students race around the clock, rotating in and out of brain-teasing activities to earn points for their respective Pioneer spirit teams. Teams scoring the highest total of points receive honors at our ribbon ceremony.

Summer Programs

Park offers a variety of summer programs aimed at getting kids out of the house and actively engaged in fun, hands-on learning. From sports and engineering camps to those focused on environmental studies, we’ve got something for everyone, and they’re guaranteed to keep kids busy throughout the summer months!

Park summer program

Moving Up award celebration

Moving Up Awards Celebration

This event celebrates the successes of our middle school students, and highlights the academic accomplishments of our 8th graders as they embark on their upper school careers.

Countdown to Commencement Dinner

Park alumni host and serve dinner to the seniors and treat them to a fun program to start the countdown to their upcoming graduation.   

Commencement

Auction dinner table

Auction

Park's biggest fundraising event on campus each year. Nearly 250 parents, grandparents, alumni, and friends come together for a fun-filled evening in support of the School. Guests enjoy amazing live and silent auction items up for bid, a delicious dinner, and great camaraderie. Many say it's their favorite Park event of the year!

Park’s Positive Pioneers

Aimed at promoting Park’s core Values of Respect, Responsibility, Honesty, and Kindness, lower school students who demonstrate the Pioneer spirit are recognized by their teachers in a special assembly and have their names and a description of their honor displayed on a bulletin board. 

Park Lower School students

Park Upper School students

Class Day

Class Day celebrates the accomplishments of our Upper School students. Students are honored for their achievements in academics, athletics, and the arts as selected by their teachers, and each member of the senior class is presented a book chosen just for them by their class advisors.