Learning Snapshots

Canada geese, deer, and coyotes...oh, my!  One of best parts of working at Park is being part of a natural environment that is constantly changing with the seasons. Last week, we had a wildlife parade out on the soccer field--I admit, I was surprised to see a coyote!--as our furry and feathered friends begin to emerge from their winter slumber. Spring is one of my favorite seasons because the glimpses of green we see poking through the leftover fall leaves promise a future of flower blossoms and lush trees. Sure, we can expect some snow, rain, wind, and mud before the greenery takes hold for good, but it is a reminder that growth is happening and will emerge when it’s ready.

This process of renewal and growth is happening with our students and our programs as well! Just as the sun and rain must nourish the new grass and flowers, we are nourishing our community with opportunities to share, question, collaborate, and reflect on the world around us.  As learning journeys continue, we begin to witness the growth in knowledge and skills that are a culmination of the hard work we put in along the way. Here’s just a few examples from around campus:

  • Students from all divisions learned lines, songs, and dances to perform in the spring musical production of “Lion King Jr.”  (As someone whose office is just down the hall from the theater, I was able to hear firsthand the progress made from week to week in rehearsals!)
  • An Upper School senior won first prize among local public and private high school students in the Excellence in French Studies Competition at SUNY at Buffalo.
  • Lower School students applied reading, writing, and interview skills to complete a biography project about special family members.
  • An Upper School student provided the introduction for the National Book Award finalist, Min Jin Lee, at the Just Buffalo Literary Center student workshop.
  • Middle School students studied energy sources and the environment to prepare persuasive presentations for a simulated City Council meeting.
On the program side of things, seeds of ideas are starting to take root:

  • Grades 5 and 6 faculty are preparing to cross-teach core subjects. This will allow teachers to deepen their expertise and maintain focused scope and sequence in fewer content areas while helping students transition to the model of switching classes that our 7th graders follow.
  • Faculty in the middle and lower schools are researching plans for flexible seating models next year, providing students with new opportunities to move, learn, and collaborate within their classrooms.
  • The introduction of the Kadimah Scholars track will provide new opportunities for students to broaden their multicultural knowledge and engagement.
  • Plans for an Upper School Spanish exchange program with a Chilean school are taking shape.
  • Professional learning opportunities this year in data science, English Language Arts, math, physical literacy, and more are providing faculty with the tools and resources to strengthen their capacity and collaborations.
Just as we can expect a few cold and muddy springtime setbacks (have you seen the forecast?) before we enjoy consistent warmth of summer, learning growth can seem sluggish or undetectable at first. But with patience and belief in the nourishment that the environment provides, we can be confident that these processes will bear fruit.  

That moment when a struggling student finally understands a new concept or when we witness spontaneous acts of kindness among young people on campus or when an idea for a new lesson gets the spark it needs from a conversation with a colleague--these moments attest to the progress Parkies are making every day to build a warm, inquisitive, kind, collaborative, and exciting learning community where we all can grow to our greatest potential.
 
    • Dr. Kennedy Schultz
      Director of Studies

Learning Snapshots Archive

Founded in 1912, The Park School of Buffalo has the distinction of being one of the oldest Progressive schools in the country. Park is an independent, co-educational school serving approximately 300 students enrolled in prekindergarten (3 and 4 year olds), lower school (kindergarten through grade 4), middle school (grades 5 through 8), and upper school (grades 9 through 12). Park is uniquely situated on 34 beautiful acres in Amherst, New York. The School’s campus – formerly a farm – includes a pond, marsh, gardens, and a greenhouse while being located just minutes from downtown Buffalo and easily accessible from many communities throughout Western New York. Park’s educational philosophy embraces active, student-centered learning, delivered by exceptional teachers who design and continuously update a robust curriculum. Faculty members approach each student as an individual within the context of a kind and respectful community. From the preschool years through college preparation, The Park School of Buffalo helps learners realize their own unique potentials and prepares them to be confident, successful, life-long learners.

The Park School Of Buffalo

4625 Harlem Road
Snyder, NY 14226
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