About Peck

Essential Peck

Despite the masks, despite the plexiglass, and despite distancing, Peck is still Peck. Our masterful teachers keep the curriculum alive through our flexible, adaptable program structure that allows teaching and learning to thrive—no matter the setting.

Whether learning in person or online, we believe that, in life, knowledge must be guided by values—and everything our students experience with Peck reflects that. From our inquiry-based curriculum to our focus on developing character, our students are immersed in the best that elementary and middle school education has to offer—all while enjoying childhood just a little bit longer.

Though we launched a robust distance learning program in March 2020, we knew we wanted to resume in-person learning for the 2020-21 school year. After adapting our campus facilities and program to ensure our stringent health and safety measures remain at the fore, we are now joyfully teaching and learning together on campus, five days per week.

We invite you to explore how our program remains both true to the essence of Peck, and adaptable to the constraints of the new educational landscape. And you will see that the Peck we all know and love is still here—and getting better all the time!

Our Guiding Principles:

A COMMITMENT TO SAFETY:

We will prioritize safety, health, and social/emotional well-being at all times, both as an overarching strategy and in our daily practices. Read More.

A COMMITMENT TO PROGRAM:

We will ensure our robust, engaging, and rigorous academic program achieves core outcomes at each grade level, while still retaining a joyful learning environment. Read More.

A COMMITMENT TO VALUES:

We will foster meaningful connections while prioritizing character development and leadership opportunities through our InDeCoRe values. Read More.

A COMMITMENT TO COMMUNICATION:

We will maintain strong lines of communication, transparency, and partnership with parents throughout any uncertainties and complexities that this year may bring. Read More.

Essential Peck in Action

Andy Delinsky, Head of School

We re-imagined our program so the “what” and the “why” didn’t change, just the “how,” ensuring that what makes the Peck experience unique shines through these challenging times.

Essential Peck: How We've Adapted Our Core Program

Our program remains both true to the essence of Peck, and adaptable to the constraints of the new educational landscape.

ACADEMICS

Whether in-person or online, our academic program centers on inquiry-based learning. Students balance individual and collaborative projects, learning to approach problems from multiple sides, ask the right questions, and persevere through challenges. There is perhaps no better indicator of these skills than our students’ successes in navigating various shifts in academic settings and protocols this year. Through the use of integrated technology and modified lessons, our faculty is able to maintain the rigor of the Peck curriculum.

ARTS

In order to preserve cohorting and keep our students safe, Peck created arts intensives in both the Upper School and Lower School. These intensives provide the same number of hours of instruction to students as planned—however, instead of spanning the entire school year, they are concentrated over a three-week period. This allows students to explore each art discipline in more depth than during a typical unit. Each Specials teacher is cohorted with one grade at a time, allowing for visual art, music, technology and design, woodworking, and science themes to be incorporated into the daily classroom curriculum.

ATHLETICS & PHYSICAL EDUCATION

The Athletics program, a hallmark of the Peck experience, prioritizes building character—resilience, confidence, and teamwork—alongside building fitness and skill performance. Our expansive athletic fields and 32,000 square foot, well-ventilated athletic center allow us to safely hold sports and physical education classes (Grades K-4), and team practices and intramural competition (Grades 5-8) while on-campus learning continues. Additionally, in grades 5-8, outdoor games classes were added to provide extra time for our older students to students to move, play, have fun, and practice camaraderie and sportsmanship during organized activities.

SOCIAL-EMOTIONAL LEARNING


In the midst of a year marked by change and uncertainty, Peck’s faculty and staff focus heavily on mindfulness techniques, stress management, and reducing anxiety. Individual and group check-ins with students (which began during Distance Learning and have continued this fall) are a main focus of homeroom and advisory time. Both Lower and Upper School Psychologists work closely with faculty and students to keep a pulse on our community; identifying specific challenges as they arise and to maintain action plans for coping.

VALUES AND TRADITIONS

Despite physical distancing and capacity limits, Peck works tirelessly to ensure our core values and the spirit of our traditions remain ever-present in life with Peck.  From fun “non-handshake” morning welcomes, to physically-distanced student celebrations, to adapting our year-long Downy/Redhead competition to the virtual sphere, Peck prides itself on maintaining the timeless traditions of our storied 128-year history while adapting them to meet the needs of the times.

COMMUNITY AND CONNECTION

One of the most cherished aspects of the Peck program is the ways in which we come together as a community. We have prioritized this aspect of our program by continuing divisional and all-school assemblies (albeit virtually), partnering with our active Parents Association to promote volunteerism and parent involvement, and re-imaging aspects of the program to allow additional time for team-building activities and relationship development