I’m delighted that you are exploring Bancroft School, a laboratory of active learning in the heart of Central Massachusetts. Here, children from PreK through Grade 12 come to understand themselves not just as learners, but also as artists, musicians, actors, athletes, scientists, authors, mathematicians, makers, humanitarians, and leaders.
Bancroft students are all kinds of smart. Our superb teachers and coaches take great care to foster confident, collaborative thinkers, and problem-solvers. They balance high expectations with reassuring support, inspiring each child to work hard, try harder, and blossom into their full potential.
As a Bancroft student, your child will have many opportunities to wonder, imagine, reflect, persevere, and triumph. They will find a diverse group of friends, teammates, allies, and mentors who have their back, and they will fill those roles for others. They will serve the community. And they will discover the world on a local and global level.
Bancroft students emerge fully prepared to succeed in college and beyond. With the superior foundation of a Bancroft education, your child will become a healthy, self-assured, and compassionate lifelong learner, teacher of others, and citizen of the world. That is our mission.
Head of School
Bancroft, an independent, coeducational, college-preparatory day school, prepares talented, well-qualified, and motivated college-bound students, PreKindergarten through Grade 12, to pursue and realize their academic, personal, and social potential.
We provide a comprehensive, caring, and creative curricular and extracurricular program that fosters an experience of excellence for each student. Inspired students, a superior faculty, and engaged families thrive in our diverse, safe, and supportive community.
We afford students the opportunity to discover their passion in life and to learn to embrace confidently and responsibly the moral and ethical challenges of being lifelong learners, teachers of others, and citizens of an increasingly complex global community.
We believe that, in order to fulfill our mission, a healthy diversity must define Bancroft School.
We believe in the dignity of the individual and the celebration of difference.
We believe that our community must aspire to the best democratic ideals.
We believe that a diverse and inclusive community is a better learning community.
We believe that our sense of justice and inclusion will continue to evolve.
We strive to create a diverse and inclusive community in which each individual is safe, known, and valued.
We strive to create a school culture that affords each member the opportunity to construct a personal identity in an environment that is open, inviting, and accessible.
We strive to forge a community devoid of all forms of prejudice and discrimination.
We strive to build a community of families, faculty, and staff that reflects the diversity of the greater Worcester region.
We strive for an inclusive community that gives voice to all members, encourages challenges to biases and assumptions, and promotes ongoing discussion of these important topics.
We are active participants of our school, city, state, country, and world. We take our responsibility as members of these societies seriously and believe that helping others is an important part. Students at every grade level participate in community service throughout the year. It is embedded in who we are. From local food drives and our participation in the Worcester Refugee Assistance Program, to raising funds to help fight the water crisis in Puerto Rico, our students are committed to leaving our community better than we found it and building meaningful, long-lasting relationships in the process.
- 1. We use our voices
- 2. We Empower Teachers
- 3. We invite you along for the ride
- 4. We don't go it alone
- 5. We Keep Asking Questions
- 6. We take it outside
- 7. We Make it real world
- 8. We make it known
- 9. We reflect, revise, repeat
Who we are: The premier PreK-12 coeducational independent day school serving Central Massachusetts and MetroWest Boston
Location: 34-acre campus with 16 acres of athletic fields on the northeast side of Worcester, Massachusetts
How we began: Founded by parents in 1900
Enrollment: Approximately 400 students from 63 cities and towns, including 20 international students in the Upper School
Student/Teacher ratio: averages 5:1
Average class size: 13 students
Advanced Placement: 17 Courses and Independent Studies
Diversity: 31% students of color
College Matriculation: 100%
Graduates: Attend the most competitive colleges and universities in the U.S. and abroad
Alumni: 3,500 affiliated worldwide
Faculty/Staff: number 124, 67% of whom hold advanced degrees
Financial Aid: $3 million awarded annually
Endowment: $27 million
Libraries: 2, which include more than 50 online research databases and thousands of e-books
Sustainable Energy: 900 Solar Panels providing 17% of Bancroft's energy needs
Accreditation: NEASC-accredited and a member of AISNE and NAIS
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.
Heads of School
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.
- A Path Forward
- Capital Campaign
- Campus Master Plan
- Accreditation Self-Study
- Strategic Planning Discovery + Exploration
The development of Bancroft’s next Strategic Plan is an exciting opportunity to dream about the future and develop a path to move the School toward that dream.
This process gives Bancroft School a clear set of priorities and initiatives for the near-term future that are tied to a long-term vision and are grounded in our mission, core values, history, and culture.
With our next Strategic Plan in hand, we will focus our time and resources on ensuring that Bancroft continues to deliver a relevant, engaging, and meaningful program to students in these ever-changing times that remains affordable, accessible, and attractive in a competitive market.
Bancroft’s administrative leaders and board of trustees are working with members of our community to write the next chapter in Bancroft’s narrative. Here are some of the steps we have been taking along the way.
The campus master plan, combined with the findings from a 2016 campaign-preparedness (or feasibility) study, helped set the parameters for Bancroft’s first capital campaign in nearly 20 years. Now underway, Out In Front: The Campaign for Bancroft School is expected to bring in $8 million ($1.5 million for the Bancroft Fund, $5.3 million for campus improvements, and $1.2 million for the endowment) to ensure that Bancroft will remain out in front for many years to come.
In recent years, the School's investments in campus enhancement have improved energy efficiency, air quality, and public safety; created flexible, multi-functional spaces in the music wing of the Performing Arts Center and the Field House; and enhanced our ability to attract new students and families. We are now poised to take further steps to improve the learning and teaching environments across campus. With the help of an architectural firm, we have developed a master plan to guide our thinking about further campus investments for the next ten years.
As a member of the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC), Bancroft must be re-accredited every ten years. The two-year re-accreditation process involves a comprehensive self-study in which our community thoroughly examines and reflects on all aspects of our School — mission, curriculum, and major programs. The self-study is an invaluable opportunity for Bancroft to assess its current strengths, define opportunities for growth, and form the basis for our next Strategic Plan.
- September 2018
- October 2018
- November 2018
- December 2018
- February 2019
- Spring 2019
- Summer 2019
- Fall 2019
- We have engaged Carla Silver, Executive Director of Leadership+Design, a consulting firm that works with schools to turn ambitious opportunities into action.
- We have established a steering committee: Board Vice-President Katy Sullivan (chair), Head of Upper School Lisa Baker (co-chair), Board President Catherine Colinvaux, and Head of School Trey Cassidy.
- We have set a calendar for meetings.
- We are forming a Strategic Planning Team that includes Bancroft parents, faculty, students, staff, and alumni, and local partners.
As the planning process moves forward, we will be inviting all members of our community to participate.
Our strategic planning partners from Leadership & Design helped us kick off our Discovery and Exploration Phase with two days of inquiry and conversation on October 3 and 4. They spent their first day getting to know the School by meeting with faculty, staff and trustees, as well as walking around campus and observing Bancroft in action. On Thursday the Strategic Planning Team gathered for a day long meeting to begin exploring and asking big questions about Bancroft’s future.
Each team member shared a different metaphor that captured their sense of Bancroft. These 22 metaphors describe some of the current strengths and challenges faced by our school community and serve as an introduction to some of the questions we want to answer in this early stage of strategic planning.
Leadership and Design team members Carla Silver and Erin Cohn also led the team through an exploration of academic, work, and worldwide trends, facilitating discussions around how Bancroft might respond to the future. Team conversation generated scores of fantastic possibilities and further questions.
Carla and Erin trained team members as anthropologists and sent us off to collect information from across campus. Each of the 22 team members has committed to continue collecting information and will conduct three additional interviews before we meet again in November. That adds 105 more contributors to this process… and it’s only October!
Bancroft is currently undergoing a long-range strategic planning process - envisioning a direction for the school's future - and we have invited parents, faculty, and staff to be part of the conversation. We are eagerly seeking their input in this process as we collectively dream about the next chapter in our story to ensure Bancroft will remain a vibrant educational option in Worcester for decades to come. We've started this process with big and bold questions like these:
- Why Bancroft in the world? What do we uniquely contribute to teaching and learning?
- How might we continue evolving our program to meet the needs of modern learners in a global, innovation economy?
- How might we support our faculty and staff at all points in their careers and make Bancroft a destination workplace for talented educators?
- How might we deepen our commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion and create a strong culture of belonging and respect?
- How might we make stronger connections with the greater Worcester community through collaborations and partnerships with other local schools, entrepreneurs, alumni, parents, etc?
Our strategic planning partners from Leadership and Design (L+D) were on campus November 27 and 28 for their second visit. They continued to gather information about Bancroft by shadowing students, facilitated discussion for faculty, staff, and parents, and met with the Strategic Planning Team. We are still deep in the inquiry phase of this work, gathering information and ideas that will inform our future actions.
Approximately 70 people attended three “Think Tank” programs hosted in the Field House on those two days. Bancroft is fortunate to have parents, faculty, and staff who are so committed to our future and to strengthening our School and community.
During each Think Tank session the participants learned about our partners from L+D, about the process, and contributed ideas to provocative questions about the future of Bancroft School. The story boards they created—and the various 5+ year visions for Bancroft they set forth—served as the springboard for the Strategic Planning Team meeting. We reviewed each of them and spent time discussing them. The Team will continue to digest and incorporate recurrent themes and threads from the story boards and ongoing interviews with community members in the next Strategic Planning phase.
Our strategic planning partners from Leadership and Design (L+D) returned to Bancroft on Saturday, February 9 to help facilitate conversation and brainstorming with alumni, students, faculty, and many other key stakeholders on Bancroft's future. Split into 14 groups of 4 or 5 individuals, teams were assigned one of five important topics related to areas of interest stemming from the NEASC report. These topics included diversity & inclusion, path to sustainability, the student experience, supporting faculty & staff, and Bancroft in Worcester. The design prototypes and ideas that were generated amongst these diverse and committed groups will inspire the next phase in the strategic plan.
Members of the Strategic Planning Team reviewed all of the work and ideas generated during the Community Design Day. They used this information to shape a presentation around their area of inquiry, answering the questions:
What is the goal? (What is the problem we are trying to solve)
Why is it important? (Purpose)
What does success look like? (Vision)
How will we make it happen? (Tactics)
On April 10, Strategic Planning Team Inquiry Groups met to “pitch” their ideas to the rest of the Strategic Planning Team, Bancroft’s administrative team, and a panel of Bancroft community members, including:
Halley Allen, Faculty and Past Parent
Beth Beckman, Lower and Middle School Head
Paul Belanger, Faculty and Current Parent
Sean Ganas, Director of Admission and Current Parent
Beckley Gaudette, Trustee and Past Parent
Michael Palermo, Trustee and Past Parents
The Strategic Planning Steering Committee will be sharing the proposed plan with the Board of Trustees, the Strategic Planning Team and the school’s administrative team this fall, before presenting a final draft to at the Board for approval in late fall. Once the plan has been approved by the board, the plan will be shared with the Bancroft community and the school will begin working to execute this plan for Bancroft’s future.
Experience what it means to own your learning. Schedule a visit to our campus today.