Roland Park Country School
Roland Park Country School (RPCS) is an independent all-girls college preparatory school in Baltimore, Maryland, United States. It serves girls from Kindergarten through Grade 12. It is located on Roland Avenue in the northern area of Baltimore called Roland Park. Along with Gilman School and Bryn Mawr School, RPCS is widely viewed as one of the most elite private schools in Baltimore. An August 2010 Baltimore Magazine article cites RPCS as the "best school for tomorrow’s leaders."
|Roland Park Country School|
|5204 Roland Avenue
|Type||Private, Day, College-prep|
|Sister school||Bryn Mawr School
|Head of School||Caroline Blatti|
|Average class size||15 students|
|Student to teacher ratio||6:1|
|Campus||Suburban, 21-acre (85,000 m2) campus|
|Athletics||16 Upper School sports, 9 Middle School sports|
|Average SAT scores (2005)||Verbal: 631, Math: 614|
The neighborhood of Roland Park in Baltimore, MD, was established in 1891 by the Roland Park Company. A school was soon needed. Therefore, in 1894, the company established the Roland Park School and installed teachers Adelaide and Katherine Howard at 410 Notre Dame Avenue (now 4810 Keswick Road). The school opened there on September 25, 1894. The company hired “a high-quality staff” and turned the school into a “first-rate college preparatory institution.” It became the “first fully accredited independent school for girls in Baltimore.”
- 1905: the school was moved to its second location, 210 Roland Avenue (later renumbered 4608). It remained there until 1916. It was a girls’ school, but it admitted boys up to the fourth grade. The principal, Bertha Chapman, instituted a college preparatory curriculum. The first graduating class was in 1907, a class of one.
- 1907: the first graduate, Katherine Jones Harrison, graduated from a class of one.
- 1908: the Roland Park Company ended its sponsorship when the school was incorporated as a no-profit under Maryland laws.
- 1915, ground was broken in October for a new “open-air school.”
- 1916: construction was completed, so the school moved to 817 W. University Parkway. The school remained in that location until 1980. A fire destroyed 75% of the school in 1947: There was another severe fire on the campus in 1976.
- 1918: the school expanded from seven to eight grades in the Main School. There continued to be four grades in the Primary School. Also, RPCS's Alumnae Association was organized.
- 1921: a student government was formed.
- 1932: the President of the Alumnae Association became the first alumnae representative to the Board of Trustees.
- 1947: on the night after the June Commencement, 75% of the school was destroyed by fire. The Trustees make an immediate decision to rebuild. The School opened, as scheduled, in September.
- 1963: RPCS changed its admission policy to read: “Application without discrimination for all qualified applicants."
- 1975: the school hired its first Headmaster. It also decided, again, to enroll boys in preparatory through 3rd Grade. The curriculum expands with added science, electives, and college guidance.
- 1976: during Thanksgiving vacation, fire made the new Upper School Wing, built in 1968, unusable. School started the following Monday in makeshift classrooms. The Trustees had to make whether to renovate or relocate.
- 1978: the Trustees having decided to relocate purchased a 21 acre estate 5204 Roland Avenue, adjacent to St. Mary's Seminary.
- 1980: the school began using its new facility. The students marched up Roland Avenue from their old to their new campus.
- 1981: because of a drop in the male birth population and limited space, RPCS terminates admission for young boys.
- 1987: RPCS, Gilman School and Bryn Mawr School begin to coordinate Upper School classes in the Tri-School Coordination program.
- 1992: Jean Waller Brune, class of 1960, was appointed Head of the school, the first RPCS alumna to be so appointed.
- 1996: Mary Ellen Thomsen became the first female President of the Board of Trustees.
- 1996: RPCS completed construction of an Arts Center, a new Upper and Middle School library, science labs, classrooms, a computer center, and an expanded athletic center.
- 1998: Celeste Woodward Applefeld, class of 1964, became the second female President of the Board of Trustees and the first alumna to hold the position.
- 2001: RPCS celebrated its centennial and dedicated its new building: Lower School additions, the Smith Middle School, new science laboratories and new Upper School class rooms. Also, the school purchased a building, which had been rented out for squash playing, to use as a squash facility.
- 2008: RPCS completed construction of its Athletic Complex.
- 2016: Caroline Blatti became the seventh Head of RPCS.
Roland Park Country School (RPCS) has a dual emphasis, one of which is “academic achievement.”
The Private School Review says of the school, that “even during times of difficulty, RPCS's commitment to providing students with a top-notch education and the tools and knowledge necessary to pursue their passions with confidence, responsibility and an understanding of the world around them, has remained a constant.” The school has 85 classroom teachers, 85% of whom hold advanced degrees. Their average class size is 15 students. The Student:Teacher Ratio is 9:1 compared to a national average of 13:1.
Roland Park Country School (RPCS) is divided into four schools, each with its own head: Pre-school, Lower School, Middle School, and Upper School.
The Pre-school is open to three and four year old girls and boys. The curriculum includes Language Arts, Math, Library, Music, Art, Language Arts, Physical Education, Science, Foreign Language, and Computer.
The Lower School includes Kindergarten, Pre-First Grade, and Grades 1-5. The courses offered include Language Arts, French, Social Studies, Science, Spanish, Computer, Physical Education, Mandarin Chinese, Music, Dance, Art, Math, and Library.
The Middle School includes grades 6, 7 and 8. The courses offered include Math, Chinese, Lab Skills, Civics, French, Physical Education, Geography, Spanish, Art, Ancient History, Latin, Music, Science, Technology, Dance, English, Library, and Theater.
The Upper School comprises Grades 9-12. Courses required or offered as electives include Foreign Language, Science, Physical Education, College Prep, Public Speaking, English, Laboratory science, Mathematics, in three sections regular, accelerated, and honors, History, Fine and Performing arts, Affective education, Physical education, and SAT preparation. Advanced Placement courses are available in twenty-six subjects.
Foreign Language Certificate. RPCS offers a Foreign Language Certificate to Upper School students who meet its formal study and its experience of immersion in a foreign language requirements. The formal study requirements entails studying two languages simultaneously during a student’s Upper School years. The experience of immersion in a foreign language includes participation in one of the Exchange Student Programs or attending a foreign language summer camp or studying abroad in a foreign language.
The STEM Institute. RPCS includes The STEM Institute, as a “school within a school” with its own director. Its purpose is to train Upper School students in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). Graduation requirements include formal course work and “a series of semester-long research apprenticeships.” The course work must include two Advanced Placement STEM courses, four full years of science, and four full years of math.
Tri-School Coordination. In Tri-School Coordination, adopted in 1987, Upper School students are allowed to take courses at Gilman School and the Bryn Mawr School. This provides students in the three schools a choice of 95 electives. Pedestrian bridges connect the three campusess.
Kaleidoscope Lifelong Learning at Roland Park Country School was established in 1947 “to create outreach programs for alumnae, their friends and the Baltimore community”. “Courses, book talks, trips, and summer camps are offered in the fall, spring and summer semesters. Over 100 Kaleidoscope educational programs and entertainment options with 1,000 participants are hosted each semester.”
Diverse student bodyEdit
In 1963, RPCS changed its admission policy to read: “Application without discrimination for all qualified applicants." As a result the school enrolls a diverse student body as shown in the following chart.
|Student Classification||Percent at RPCS|
Roland Park Country School (RPCS) has a dual emphasis, one of which is “athletic accomplishment.”
Athletic sports have been “formally” a part of RPCS since World War I. The sports offered by the school include Badminton, Basketball, Crew, Cross Country, Field Hockey, Golf, Indoor Soccer, Lacrosse, Soccer, Softball, Squash, Swimming, Tennis, Volleyball, and Winter Track. The school is member of the Interscholastic Athletic Association of Maryland (IAAM).
RPCS began its Athletic Hall of Fame in 2006 to honor those who have made significant contributions to the school’s athletic program.
RPCS fielded at least one championship team starting in 1981 through 2015 with the exception of six years. In four of these years, four championship teams were fielded as follows:
- 2005: Golf, Crew, Field Hockey, Tennis
- 2009: Badminton, Golf, Crew, Tennis
- 2010: Golf, Crew, Squash, Tennis
- 2014: Badminton, Indoor Soccer, Softball, Volleyball
- Julie Bowen, actress
- Sally Buck, baseball team owner and philanthropist
- Adena Friedman, business executive, CEO of NASDAQ
- Virginia Hall, undercover Allied agent
- Emily C. Hewitt, former Chief Judge of the United States Court of Federal Claims (2009–2013)
- Josephine Jacobsen, writer of poetry, short stories, and non-fiction
- Peyton List, actress
- Nicole Ari Parker, actress
- Jane Randall, semi-finalist on America's Next Top Model (Cycle 15)
- Adrienne Rich, poet
- Melissa Stark, sports commentator
- Stuart Symington, business executive, U.S. senator
- Toni-Ann Williams, Olympic gymnast
- Madison Smartt Bell (6 November 2007). Charm City: A Walk Through Baltimore. Crown/Archetype. pp. 75–. ISBN 978-0-307-40742-9.
- Urbina, Ian (2008-08-19). "Club's Plan to Sell Land Shatters a Baltimore Neighborhood's Serenity". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2017-02-26.
- Serpick, Evan (August 2010). "Independent Schools Guide". Baltimore magazine. Retrieved 2017-02-26.
- Eden Unger Bowditch, Growing Up in Baltimore: A Photographic History (Arcadia Publishing, 2001), 56.
- Roland Park, MD. “Then and Now: West”
- Judy Colbert, Insiders’ Guide to Baltimore (Rowman & Littlefield, 2010), 165.
- Marsha Wight Wise, Baltimore Neighborhoods, Volume 4 (Arcadia Publishing, 2009), 31.
- Atlantic Educational Journal, Volume 11:2, October, 1915 (Globe Publishing and Printing Company, 1916), 108.
- Eden Unger Bowditch, Growing Up in Baltimore: A Photographic History (Arcadia Publishing, 2001). 56.
- Eden Unger Bowditch, Growing Up in Baltimore: A Photographic History (Arcadia Publishing, 2001), 57.
- Heubeck, Elizabeth. "Caroline Blatti takes over as head of all-girls' Roland Park Country School". Baltimore Sun. Retrieved 2017-02-26.
- Private School Review. Accessed March 7, 2016.
- RPSC:Academics. Accessed March 3, 2016.
- RPSC:Pre-school. Accessed March 21, 2016.
- RPSC:Lower School.Accessed March 22, 2016.
- RPSC:Middle School. Accessed March 30, 2016.
- RPSC:Upper School.Accessed March 22, 2016.
- RPSC:Foreign Language Certificate. Accessed March 7, 2016.
- RPCS:STEM Institute. Accessed March 11, 2016.
- RPSC:Tri-School Coordination. Accessed March 25, 2016.
- RPSC:Kaleidoscope. Accessed March 1, 2016.
- Great Schools-RPCS.
- Private School Review
- RPCS-Athletic Hall of Fame.
- RPCS-Championship Teams.
- James C. Olson, Stuart Symington: A Life (University of Missouri, 2003), 8.