The Roeper School
is a private coeducational
day school, with campuses in Birmingham
and Bloomfield Hills
, serving students at all levels from preschool
through the 12th grade. It was formerly known as Roeper City and Country School
. In 2005-06, its total enrollment was 629.
The Roeper School was founded in 1941
and Annemarie Roeper
, who were forced to flee Nazi
Germany. At the time the Roepers fled Vienna, Annemarie had been invited by Anna Freud to be her protege and, in fact, had completed her first year of medical school. Together the Roepers founded the school intending it to be a place that, by teaching personal motivation and encouraging critical thinking skills and analysis, would educate children who would not follow leadership blindly as they believed had happened to many people in interwar Germany
. It was also hoped the children would come to recognize the inherent dignity of every individual and to not harbor prejudice. The school first moved to the Bloomfield Hills
campus in 1946
and was designated a school for gifted
children in 1956
. In 1965
the Upper School
) program was added, and in 1981
, the middle and upper schools moved to the former Adams Elementary School in Birmingham, Michigan
, thereby creating two campuses. The Capital Campaign fundraising initiative began in the mid-nineties and has provided the school with its largest investment in new facilities, including a new elementary school classroom building that sits adjacent to the new community center that will house the school's first adequate gymnasium and fine arts facilities.
The school accepts gifted
students by means of an application process involving essays, an interview, visiting classes with a student host, and an IQ test
. Qualitative Assessment, a method by which gifted children are evaluated by a trained individual, without the use of formal IQ tests, as developed by founder Annemarie Roeper, is also being explored by the school. Acceptance may be accompanied by financial aid. Although the school is never able to provide as many scholarships as it would like, it strives to honor its founders' intent that the school serve the needs of the gifted and not be a private school for only the affluent.
Once admitted, students adhere to a liberal, yet demanding, curriculum. The curriculum does start out fairly well-structured at the elementary school level, which, at Roeper, is divided into four stages (pre-school, K-1, 2-3, 4-5). Each stage classroom has a team of two professionals who remain responsible for reading and mathematics, as well as over-seeing the scholastic development of their students. There are also teachers and professionals offering courses in French, science, computer, art, library, music and other traditional disciplines. There are no grades in the lower school. Children do receive extensive narrative reports from their teachers documenting strengths and weaknesses twice a year.
Students in the Middle and Upper Schools are free to choose from most courses offered. There are only a few required classes at the Middle and Upper School level. The Roeper School offers a wide array of courses ranging from bioethics to statistics to numerous literature classes. In offering a range of courses and imposing few requirements, the school hopes to appeal to its students' strengths and interests. Students have advisers and access to administration to help them make educated choices. There is also a dedicated college counselor available at the middle/upper school campus. Letter grades are given at the Middle and Upper School level to help prepare students for the rigors of college life. The Upper School has approximately 200 students in four grades of about 50 each. The community does not choose a valedictorian or rank its students; the act of choosing a valedictorian would be difficult due the fact that many of the students have various intellectual accomplishments. Each student chooses a member of the faculty or staff to deliver a speech about the student at the commencement ceremony.
The athletic teams, the Roeper Theatre Company, and other school-sponsored activities are offered yielding strong reputations for forensics, girls’ and boys’ soccer, basketball, track and field, volleyball, theater and other activities. The school operates under a very informal discipline: there is no dress code
, all members of the community (teachers, students, and administration) go by their first names. A unique no-cut policy gives those interested in participating in athletics an opportunity to do so. Sophie Braden (2005 State Champion Discus) was the first Roeperian athlete to win a state championship.
- Brian Eschbach, guitarist for The Black Dahlia Murder
- John Marshall Jones, actor and lead character on Smart Guy
- Tegan Jones, Journalist
- Al Jean, a television comedy writer, best known for his seminal work on The Simpsons
- Dwayne McDuffie, comic book and animation writer, co-founder and editor-in-chief of Milestone Media
- Mark Zbikowski, Microsoft programmer, designer of the DOS executable file format
- Flavia Colgan, Political Activist and Analyst (MSNBC),
- Angela V. Shelton, Actress and Comedian
- Dimitri Mugianis, co-founder of The Leisure Class and Ibogaine activist
- Ann Marsh, Olympian fencer
- Charlie White, soon to be Olympic figure skater
- Nick George, founder of the band "Grass Canyon"
- David Lauer, Chef
- Aparna Ananth, scored a 36 on the ACT test
- James Pudar, founder of CRBJ
- Ari Teitel, co-founder and guitarist of The Jam Society
- Ryne Murray