Our Vision and Story

Our Vision

Park School is a school where students in grades 5-12, who had hovered on the margins in their former schools, will discover their passions, learn to love learning, set future goals and achieve them. We believe that all children can grow into creative and compassionate citizens, and we will do what is necessary to ensure that our students achieve this goal. Our student population will grow to no more than twenty individuals, as our children need to learn in an environment where they can receive the attention and guidance that they deserve.

Our Story

Park School was founded by a small group of concerned parents whose children were bright and wanted to learn, but who, for a variety of reasons, could not thrive in a traditional classroom. They joined forces with Dr. Vanessa Camperlengo, M.D., a Charlottesville-area child and adolescent psychiatrist, to launch Park Street Academy, which is now Park School. Since that first year in 2009, we have hired full-time and part-time instructional staff and a director–all of whom have roots in the Charlottesville community.

Other community leaders who understand the need for a unique school such as ours also have assisted us in our development. Educational leaders, such as Proal Heartwell (Founding director of The Village School); members of the creative community, such as Eli Cook, our first music instructor and Renee Balfour, president of the McGuffey Art Center; and photographer Peggy Harrison, have all contributed to who we are today.

As we have grown, we also have changed locations, we spent our first year in a log cabin in Southern Albemarle County, then moved to a small office on Ivy Road. We are now located on Market Street near the corner of 2nd Street and the McGuffey Art Center. Our parents remain active in the life of the school, and both they and their children have a deep commitment to making sure that other children can also benefit from attending Park School, regardless of income or status.

For a different picture of Park School, our students made a video to explain who and what we are: