Founded in 1994, the Peabody School is a Pre-Kindergarten - 8th grade independent school serving gifted and academically advanced students, located in Charlottesville, Virginia. Peabody School is located near downtown Charlottesville, off Avon St. Extended, near the Mill Creek and Foxcroft neighborhoods.
The school currently enrolls 210 students and provides a differentiated learning experience through small class size (12-16 students) and expertly-trained teachers who balance teacher-directed and student-initiated focus on inquiry and discovery.
Peabody is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools and the Southern Association of Independent Schools.
Peabody School’s mission is to serve the needs of academically advanced children of all backgrounds in one or more areas by promoting cognitive, social, and emotional development for each child at a rate commensurate with his or her ability, while providing a foundation for students to become lifelong learners. This mission is best embodied in the motto: Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire.
Peabody was founded by Harriet Kaplan and Caroline Cunningham-Eidson, and opened as a K-3 institution in the fall of 1994 in a space north of downtown Charlottesville. It moved to its present five-acre location south of Charlottesville two years later. In the 1999-2000 school year, the school built the main building, which now houses the upper elementary grades and administrative offices. In 2007, the school added a two-story LEED-certified building, which houses the PreKindergarten program, reading library, and lower elementary grades. This building was constructed by Martin Horn Inc and was the area's first new construction LEED project.
In 2014, Peabody School completed the Batten Building, which houses the middle school, gymnasium, performing arts space, and science lab for Chemistry, Physics, and Biology classes. Built by Coleman-Adams Construction, the building is named in honor of Dorothy Batten, a long-time Peabody parent, volunteer, philanthropist, and Board member, who has been instrumental in the school’s progress and development.
The school was originally presided over by Harriet Kaplan, later transitioning to Chris Roberson before Renée Henslee became head of school. In 2016, Rob Orlando became the fourth head of school.