Built in the 1920’s, Stapleton was originally known as the Saxonville School. In 1980, it was expanded and renamed for Mary E. Stapleton, a former teacher, principal, and school committee member. A school has been located on the present site of Stapleton since 1848, when a gray, primary school building was built. Today the Mary E. Stapleton School serves over 430 children from kindergarten to grade five. The Framingham Public Schools have adopted a ‘school choice” program allowing for families from every area of Framingham the possibility of choosing the Mary E. Stapleton School. As a result, the student body is representative of Framingham’s richly diverse population.
In 1997, the Mary E. Stapleton School embraced Environmental Sciences as its educational theme. A Naturalist in Residence was hired via the Massachusetts Audubon Society. At the same time, local historic, environmental and preservation groups joined forces to construct The Carol Getchell Nature Trail. Located just behind the Stapleton School this trail follows the Sudbury River and includes the portion of the Sudbury River that was designated as a Partnership Wild and Scenic River and listed in the National System of Historic Rivers on April 9, 1999. Working in collaboration with community groups, an outdoor classroom and walkway was constructed connecting the Sudbury River to the School.
Additionally, although all students in the Framingham Public Schools learn about the natural world in their classrooms, at the Mary E. Stapleton School the curriculum is enriched with frequent trips outdoors. Each excursion into the environment is focused on enhancing and providing depth to classroom lessons. The goal is to guide students to become responsible stewards of the natural environment and to develop an appreciation for the natural world.
As part of the Framingham Public School system, the Mary E. Stapleton School embraces the district’s mission as follows:
“The mission of the Framingham Public Schools, a system that understands and values our diversity, is to educate each student to learn and live productively as a critically thinking, responsible citizen in a multicultural, democratic society by providing academically challenging instructional programs taught by a highly qualified and diverse staff and supported by comprehensive services in partnership with our entire community.”