"Bearing the Child Mind"
The DPES family promotes a
schoolwide academic policy that supports a student-centered community
where students develop academic, social, and personal skills that will
enable appropriate interaction in a safe and orderly environment.
The original Douglass Park building was built during World War II for
Federal employees, primarily the Norfolk Naval Shipyard. Originally, it was
the old Norfolk County High School in what was then Norfolk County. After
the war, Portsmouth annexed this section of Norfolk County.
Douglass Park School, named after Frederick Douglass, a
famous black freedom fighter, was erected in the early 1950’s with
twelve rooms, a library, and a cafeteria. In the early 1960’s the
community mushroomed and an additional sixteen rooms were added.
Finally, in the 2001-2002 school year Douglass Park Elementary
School underwent additional renovations which included
additional classrooms, a new library, a multipurpose room,
air-conditioning and state-of-the-art technology.
The 1993-94 school year marked the beginning of Portsmouth’s
first elementary mathematics, science, and technology magnet program
at Douglass Park. The program was on the cutting edge of teaching
innovations with computer labs, new math programs, live
animals, extracurricular clubs, NASA training, extensive field trip
experiences, and guest lectures. Douglass Park was fondly
referred to as “Douglass Park Earth & Space Elementary School” to
reflect this innovation program.
In the spring of 1999, the Douglass Park Elementary family elected
to implement the School Development Program (SDP) model
of school reform. As the first CoZi Community School in Portsmouth,
our school is part of the collaborative effort launched by two nationally
known school reform leaders, James P. Comer, professor of child
psychiatry at Yale Child Study Center, and Edward Zigler,
professor of psychology at Yale University. Cozi is a reform model
that links early childhood education, the school’s
academic program, parents, teachers, and community
support services together to make sure children are ready for school.