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Calvert School

Calvert School, founded in 1897, is an independent, secular, co-educational lower and middle school located in Baltimore, Maryland. Calvert School is a member of the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS) as well as the Association of Independent Maryland and DC Schools (AIMS).

Calvert School
Baltimore, MD
Type Private Day school
Motto Curiosity, Mastery, Purpose
Established 1897
Headmaster Andrew Holmgren
Faculty 72 (42 K-4, 30 5-8)
Enrollment 602 total (362 K-4, 240 5-8)
Campus Urban, 13 acres (5.3 ha)
Color(s) Black and Gold
Athletics 20 sports
Athletics conference MIAA
Mascot Mighty Bees



Established in 1896 when four Baltimore families hired German school teacher Fraulein Martha Auguste Schurmann to conduct traditional kindergarten classes for their children, Calvert School continues to build upon the foundation laid by Fraulein Schurmann. The first children were taught above Croft and Conlyn’s drug store. In 1899, Calvert School hired its first Head Master, Virgil M. Hillyer, a Harvard graduate.

Calvert School’s current Lower School on Tuscany Road was designed by Hillyer along with Laurence Hall Fowler. They worked together to create the ‘ideal school’. Hillyer believed that the school should be designed with the student in mind. Hillyer insisted on larger windows so that rooms would be pleasant to children and let in light and air. He also made sure that the smallest details were not overlooked, such as the ends of benches in the assembly hall were carved with animals. Hillyer based the animals on figures used on buildings in the Middle Ages to ward off evil spirits. Even the lockers were decorated with a pear or jug or a cup and saucer, each to illustrate one of Hillyer’s favorite lessons. Many of the details that Hillyer influenced are still apparent in the school in present day.[1]

Timeline of historyEdit

1896 – Issac Dixon and his wife start a German kindergarten for four children in the Dixon home on Park Avenue[2]

1897 – Boys’ and Girls’ Primary School is inaugurated with fifteen children

1899 – School name formally changed to “Calvert Primary School of Baltimore City”

1901 – Students move to 10 West Chase Street building with a rooftop garden

1903 – The first graduating class of Calvert School

1907 – The original Calvert silhouetted head logo created

1924 – Calvert School moves to Tuscany Road location

1979 – Calvert expands space to include Library, Science, Art, and Planetarium

1987 – Luetkemeyer Wing opens

1997 – Calvert celebrates its Centennial

2000 - Calvert School’s Board of Trustees approved the addition of a Middle School[3]

2002 – Middle School established

2004 – The first graduating class of the Middle School

Heads of schoolEdit

• Virgil M. Hillyer (1899 – 1931)[4]

• Donald W. Goodrich (1931 – 1940)

• Edward W. Brown (1940 – 1967)

• William Kirk (1967 – 1983)

• Merrill S. Hall III (1983 – 2004)

• Andrew D. Martire ’83 (2004 – 2013)

• Andrew Holmgren (2013 – Present)[5]


As of 2016, Calvert School serves over 600 boys and girls beginning in Fifth Age through Eighth Grade. At Calvert School, the youngest students begin their education with a focus on the fundamentals. Children are taught the basics of reading, writing, and mathematics to develop a mastery of these subjects through their course of study in the Lower School.

In Lower School, students are grouped by age, not grade. The students are grouped according to the age that they turn during the school year.

In Middle School, students are exposed to a variety of programs to support them as they prepare for high school and beyond. Students partake in a student leadership program to help each student recognize their strengths and improve upon their weaknesses. At Calvert, Middle School students are tasked with important roles as they are the oldest in the school. Beginning in Seventh Grade, students apply for positions as school leaders. Once selected, these leaders serve as Calvert Captains, Diversity Club coordinators, and members of the Black & Gold Committee.

Middle School students also have a Middle School Advisory where each student is a member of a single-sex homeroom. During homeroom, the advisor/homeroom teacher monitors each student’s academic and social progress during three, twenty-five minute sessions per week.


Home Instruction DivisionEdit

The Calvert Home Instruction Division was originally developed by the School’s first Head Master, Virgil Hillyer, in 1905. Calvert’s homeschooling program is widely considered the first of its kind. The homeschooling program grew from a handful of students in the early years to over 10,000 per year by the 1990s and enrolled students in all 50 states and hundreds of countries throughout the world. In 2001, the homeschooling program became Calvert Education Services and in 2013 was sold to a private owner. The Calvert School still sits on the Board of Calvert Education.

Notable alumniEdit

  • Julie Bowen, award-winning actress.
  • John Rawls, philosopher.
  • Frances Scott Fitzgerald, writer and daughter of F. Scott Fitzgerald.
  • John Waters, film director, screenwriter, author, comedian, journalist, and visual artist.
  • Reuel Pendleton, actor.
  • Eric Puchner, novelist and short story writer.
  • Frank Deford, sportswriter and novelist.
  • Carol Graham, Leo Pasvolsky Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution; faculty member at the School of Public Policy at the University of Maryland; research fellow at the Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA); author of numerous books, papers and edited volume chapters in public policy.
  • Peyton List, actress and model.
  • Entrance, a rock band formed by Guy Blakeslee.


  1. ^
  2. ^ Worrall, Margaret (1996). Calvert School: The first century (1st ed.). [United States]: s.n.] ISBN 1888287020. 
  3. ^
  4. ^ Worrall, Margaret (1996). Calvert School: The first century (1st ed.). [United States]: s.n.] ISBN 1888287020. 
  5. ^

External linksEdit