HISTORY:THE ORIGINS OF BLACK PINE CIRCLE SCHOOL
Black Pine Circle School is a nonprofit educational organization incorporated in 1967 and granted tax-exempt status in 1970. It was founded for the purpose of providing quality educational programs in a friendly and open environment. Founders Oscar Pemantle, Frances Kandl, and Carmen Gonzalez were committed to creating a learning environment that married arts and academics in a way seldom seen in American schools.
The first program created was a summer session of small tutorial classes for bright college undergraduates who felt neither inspired nor challenged by the lecture courses at larger institutions. These salons took place in the High Sierra, whose trees provided the inspiration for the name of the organization. The Black Pine Circle “College” attracted renowned guest lecturers, including John Searle, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, and Allen Ginsberg.
As this new and important concept expanded, a few interested parties encouraged the founders to pursue elementary and middle school education. The Arts & Sciences Workshops were created in 1971 to offer enrichment programs in math, music, art, and language for elementary school-age children who were not being sufficiently challenged by the regular school curriculum.
From these specialized workshops, Black Pine Circle Day School developed into a full-scale elementary school, and then into a middle school as well.
Another product of this expansion was the Black Pine Curriculum Institute (BPCi), which was created for the purpose of training teachers and funding new curriculum projects and materials developed by Black Pine Circle School’s talented staff.
IMPORTANT YEARS IN BLACK PINE CIRCLE SCHOOL’S HISTORY
1967 The idea for Black Pine Circle “College” is conceived
1968 First Black Pine Circle College Workshops offered
1970 Black Pine Circle School granted tax exempt status
1973 Black Pine Circle Day School opens doors at Seventh Day Adventist Church. Founders: Oscar Pemantle, Frances Kandl, Carmen Gonzalez. Director: Oscar Pemantle
1975 Black Pine Circle School occupies former Nervo stained glass factory (current Lower School)
1980 Frances Kandl begins summer music session
1984 Black Pine Circle School acquires upper school building from Tehiyah Day School
1993 Black Pine Circle School acquires Workingman’s Hall – Facility for Arts and Drama (FAD)
1995 Frances Kandl becomes head of Black Pine Circle School
1998 Lawrence James becomes head of Black Pine Circle School
2001 Facility for Arts and Drama renovation completed
2005 Founders’ Building with classrooms and libraries completed
2005 John Carlstroem becomes head of Black Pine Circle School
2011 Climbing wall added
2012 843 Addison building acquired
2013 Black Pine Circle School celebrates 40 years as a day school
2014 Play field developed
2015 The Q Lab: A Space for Science & Inquiry groundbreaking