Stage for a
Stage for a
We are an independent school for children of all genders from toddlers to pre-school through 8th grade, 10 minutes from downtown Albany. Parker students cultivate critical thinking and purposeful action through a challenging learning process.
A Progressive School
Parker practices a progressive model of education. We begin with the student's own experiences and use active learning to promote deep thinking. We encourage independent thought and emphasize critical thinking and problem-solving.
Building Confidence, Purpose, and Curiosity
Parker engages each student in a thoughtful and challenging learning process that inspires curiosity and a passion to achieve, nurtures confidence and community, and cultivates purposeful action.
Explore Our Programs
Explore Our Programs
Ages 18 months - 3 years
The fully outdoor program is based on Parker's progressive philosophy & mission and is simple by design. Children will be allowed to explore woods, streams, and meadows and let their curiosity be our guide.
Children's executive functioning skills - those connected to self-control and organization - are developed through sustained, themed play. Teachers respond and build on what emerges from the children's play, and this is called play-based learning.
The Lower School at Parker includes grades K-5.
Lower School students are nurtured in their creativity, playfulness, and joy in discovery. Through a meaningful curriculum, they are challenged to develop powers of observation, analysis, critical thinking, self-evaluation, and collaboration.
Middle school inspires future leaders by challenging them to inquire, to think, to reason, and to act. Our talented and supportive faculty understands and responds to the unique needs of adolescents, fostering in each student a sense of confidence, ethics, responsibility, and respect for themselves and others.
Planet Parker is an outgrowth of our integrated, interdisciplinary curriculum and project-based program. It utilizes our unique campus, giving students and teachers a context for hands-on, experiential investigation and discovery that ignites enthusiasm, motivation, skill development, and commitment.
Love of Learning
Children are intrinsically eager to understand the world. Our progressive program takes advantage of these inquisitive years through project-based learning geared to each child’s individual level of development.
Progressive education is laser focused on engaging each student. Teachers are given agency to use their expertise to create new experiences untethered by traditional curricula and state testing.
Also, students in grades K-8 are taught science by a specialist science teacher. The 3,200-square-foot Parker Discovery Center contains a state of the art science lab with direct access to the outdoors.
As students mature we cultivate responsibility and leadership opportunities for them by connecting students across grade levels. For example, an eighth grader teaches lower school students about water quality during the annual Day in the Life of the Hudson trip.
Parker students explore an expansive 77-acres that includes forest trails, a tree-house classroom, butterfly garden, pond and meadows. Students are outdoors in all seasons and the campus is often the inspiration for learning such as gardening and composting, wildlife study, and engineering projects.
Parker graduates are confident in their independent thought and voice and are passionate about learning. They are committed to academic and intellectual integrity and demonstrate a commitment to social responsibility with respect, kindness, understanding, and engagement in a diverse world.
What People Say About Parker
“Parker is truly a special place. The expansive outdoor spaces for kids to play, the pond, stream, and acres of forests are magical. But what is truly outstanding is the learning going on inside the school.”
By the Numbers
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0:1Student:Teacher Ratio at Parker School
$0Diversity Scholarships and Financial Aid
News & Events
Parker in the News! What is Progressive Education?
This approach is child-centered and emphasizes active learning. By Linda Lee Baird US News & World Report May 15, 2023, at 4:45 p.m. Parker staff were interviewed for this national publication to help describe the philosophy of progressive education.
Join Us For Our Benefit at June Farms!
Dear Parker Families and Friends, Our Spring Benefit is two weeks away!!! We are so looking forward to gather together on Friday, May 19th at June Farms in celebration of our joyful, unique, and accomplished school. We hope you all will join us!!! Shared below is the menu for our evening event. You can also…
Thriving Without Grades
One of the first questions prospective parents new to our progressive education model ask us is why do we not do grades at Parker? It’s a question we welcome. Proponents of grades often argue that they are prime motivators for students, that they are reliable measures of knowledge and success, and that they can determine…