PARK SCHOOL flourished for nearly a quarter-century as one of the area's pioneer progressive schools. It was founded in 1918 by a group of area Vassar alumnae who wanted to provide a type of kindergarten unavailable in Cleveland. Early sponsors included Dr. and Mrs. Alexander McGaffin, Henry Turner Bailey, Mrs. WM. FEATHER, and Mrs. CHAS. F. THWING. The first kindergarten was located in a room at the Day Nursery and Free Kindergarten Assn. on E. 98th St. and later moved into a house on Adelbert Rd. As higher grades were added, the school leased quarters from the Cleveland Tennis and Racquet Club in CLEVELAND HTS. In 1929 Park School moved into a group of inexpensive frame buildings constructed on part of the Rockefeller estate at FOREST HILLS on Euclid Hts. Blvd. The 12-acre site was granted outright to the school by JOHN D. ROCKEFELLER 3 years later. Enrolling about 150 students, the school aimed to stimulate children to think for themselves rather than merely acquire knowledge through rote learning. Desks were arranged informally, and pupils were provided with brooms and wastebaskets to keep their own classrooms orderly. Miss Mary E. Pierce was director for most of the school's duration. Only 1 year after adding a 12th grade and celebrating its first high school commencement, Park School closed in 1942 due to faculty dislocations caused by WORLD WAR II. Its site was acquired by the Cleveland Jewish Ctr. (see ANSHE EMETH).

Article Categories