Founded in 1900 by a group of Worcester parents interested in providing a rigorous education for their children, Bancroft is the oldest coeducational Pre-K–12 independent day school in Central Massachusetts.
The founding families named the School in honor of George Bancroft (1800–1891), a Worcester native and accomplished scholar, Secretary of the Navy, Ambassador to Prussia and England, and renowned historian.
The original Bancroft School charter formed a corporation... “for the purpose of providing a complete school training for boys and girls of all ages, Kindergarten, Primary, Intermediate, and Academic Departments.”
The School opened in a large house at 93 Elm Street in Worcester, Massachusetts. By 1902, Bancroft had outgrown that facility, and a new school was constructed at 111 Elm Street.
From the school's founding until 1913, Bancroft was coeducational at all grade levels. Beginning in 1913 the School continued to admit both boys and girls through Grade 8, but only girls in the Upper School.
In 1919 the School added Gray Gables, a boarding component, and continued to attract resident students until 1943. At that time, the Trustees decided to discontinue the residency program and focus on a mission as an independent day school.
In 1922, in order to accommodate an enrollment of over 250 students, Bancroft moved from Elm Street to larger quarters on Sever Street. During this time the School continued to expand its enrollment and also began to attract students who lived in surrounding towns. By 1955, the building on Sever Street no longer met the needs of the students and the administration announced the plans to build a state-of-the-art facility on 27 acres of land on Shore Drive.
The final move to the present site at 110 Shore Drive took place in September 1958. Since the move to Shore Drive, the School has continued to grow to its present enrollment of some 400 students. In 1967, the School admitted boys to Grade 9 for the first time in decades. By 1974, three boys joined the girls as graduates, and the School has remained co-ed since that time.
To ensure that the School is always ready to meet current and emerging program challenges, Bancroft has followed a continuous process of physical and technical modernization.
Today, we have state-of-the-art classrooms and technology centers, campus-wide wi-fi, and a library of print and e-resources. In 2010 and 2011, the School took a major step toward our goal of environmental sustainability by installing a total of 896 high-efficiency solar panels, making Bancroft School the single largest solar electric system in the City of Worcester. Bancroft School will continue to provide the infrastructure and resources to ensure every student an experience of excellence.
Even more important than the buildings and facilities, however, are the people—the students, faculty, and parents—who have defined the Bancroft community since 1900. With more than 3,500 living alumni, Bancroft continues to live our mission of preparing young people to be lifelong learners, teachers of others, and citizens of the globe.
Heads of School 1900 to Present:
1900–1915: Frank H. Robson
1915–1926: Miriam Titcomb
1926–1938: Hope Fisher
1938–1943: Bradford M. Kingman
1943–1946: Edith J. Jones, Acting Head
1946–1959: Henry D. Tiffany
1959–1960: Elizabeth Vandermoer, Acting Head
1960–1981: Wyatt Garfield
1981–1992: Marigolden Tritschler
1992–1998: Theodore G. Sharp
1998–1999: Wyatt Garfield, Interim Head; Edgar A. Gauthier, Interim Head
1999–2014: Scott R. Reisinger
2014–Present: James P. "Trey" Cassidy III
Using an active, student-centered teaching approach we call the Learning Laboratory Method (LLM), Bancroft helps students develop the skills, knowledge, and character to thrive in today’s ever-changing global community. Flexible learning spaces and schedules, community partnerships, local field trips, international travel opportunities — every aspect of the School — supports LLM and feeds into a robust environment in which students own their learning.