Barrie School

The Barrie School is an independent school for all grades of pre-collegiate education located in Silver Spring, Maryland, a suburb of Washington, DC.

Barrie School has three divisions located on the same campus. The Lower School, which serves children from age two through fifth grade, is Montessori based. The Middle and Upper Schools are college preparatory, however, teachers typically favor experiential learning over lectures. The students and faculty are on a first-name basis and the environment is one of openness and mutual respect.

With student population slightly over 400 students, a wooded campus, and an average class size of less than 18, teachers can integrate the natural setting into the curriculum through hands-on experiments or holding class outside.

The school was founded in 1932 by Frances Littman Seldin as a preschool called the Peter Pan School, located on Allison Street NW in the District of Columbia. In 1934-1935 it moved to Decatur Street NW. In late 1939 or early 1940, the school moved to Fern Place NW. The name was changed to Barrie School when upper grade classes were added, memorializing author J. M. Barrie, creator of the Peter Pan story.

In the 1950s, Mrs. Seldin purchased a 45-acre (180,000 m2) country estate on Layhill Road in rural Montgomery County, Maryland. The new site was added to continue the school’s mission of teaching in a natural setting. The Barrie Peter Pan Day Camp moved to the upper part of the property. In 1976, the Fern Place campus was closed and the remaining Middle and Lower School classes were moved to the Layhill Road property, with room for 265 students. The Upper School was closed from 1974 through 1982, when the 50th anniversary of Barrie School's founding was celebrated with the reopening of the Upper School in the former Argyle Junior High public school building on Bel Pré Road in Silver Spring, Maryland, where classes were held until new buildings on the Layhill Road campus were completed in the summer of 1991, bringing the Primary, Lower, Middle, and Upper School students together on one campus again.

In 1980, the Institute for Advanced Montessori Studies, offering graduate-level teacher education programs, was founded on Barrie School’s Layhill Road campus to provide a bridge between the traditional and Montessori schools of education. The training programs have been completed by individuals from all across the United States and as far away as Canada, Trinidad, China, and Korea.

Famous quotes containing the word school:

    Children in home-school conflict situations often receive a double message from their parents: “The school is the hope for your future, listen, be good and learn” and “the school is your enemy. . . .” Children who receive the “school is the enemy” message often go after the enemy—act up, undermine the teacher, undermine the school program, or otherwise exercise their veto power.
    James P. Comer (20th century)