Roeper School (Michigan)

The Roeper School
41190 Woodward Avenue
Bloomfield Hills, Michigan
United States
Type Private
Opened 1941[1]
Founder George and Annemarie Roeper
Status Open
Oversight Private Board of Trustees
Chairperson Buck Baker
Director Lisa Baker(Upper), Colleen Potocki (Middle), and Leslie Hosey (Lower)
Head of school David Feldman[2]
Faculty 100+ [1]
Grades Stage 1- Grade 12
Gender Co-educational
Age range 2-18
Enrollment 630+[1]
Student to teacher ratio Lower School 1:9
Middle/Upper School 1:13[1]
Language English
School color(s)
Mascot The Roughrider
Team name Roughriders
Rivals Oakland Christian, Southfield Christian
Publication The Phoenix (Middle), The Muse (Upper)
Newspaper The Roughwriter (Middle), Tuna Talk (Upper)
Tuition $24,250
Upper school campus

The Roeper School is a private coeducational day school, with campuses in Birmingham and Bloomfield Hills, Michigan in Greater Detroit, 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 school's webpage can be found at:


The Roeper School was founded in 1941 by George and Annemarie Roeper, who were forced to flee Nazi Germany. At the time the Roepers fled Europe, Annemarie had been invited by Anna Freud to be her protégé 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.[3]

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 (high 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 houses the school's first adequate gymnasium, and the lower school's first adequate choir and band rooms.


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.


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, Spanish, dance, 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 two times 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, and would inherently oppose the school's anti-competitive philosophy. Each student chooses a member of the faculty or staff to deliver a speech about the student at the commencement ceremony.

Clubs and activities

Roeper has many student clubs that are very popular among students. They include:

  • Amnesty International
  • Sierra Club
  • Diversity Club
  • Model United Nations
  • School Newspaper
  • Band
  • Theater
  • Choir
  • Forensics
  • Debate
  • Athletics
  • Robotics
  • Chess

Roeper Theater Company

Roeper has been known in the Metro Detroit area to have highly sophisticated musicals and plays every year. Annually, there is one musical for the high school, one play for the high school, and one musical only for the middle school. Roeper has previously done musicals and plays such as Metamorphoses, Thoroughly Modern Millie, Candide, Urinetown, Anton Chekhov's Uncle Vanya, Romeo and Juliet, Hair, and many more. The school has its own theater. The Roeper Theatre Company is currently directed by Alex Pedica and Ttari Hellmer with musical direction by Abha Dearing. In 2014-15, the RTC produced "The Secret Garden", "Oliver" and The Great Gatsby. The 2015-16 season includes "David and Lisa", "South Pacific", and the 2014 revival of "Side Show". The productions for the 2016-17 season include "Peter and the Starcatcher", "Pippin", and "A Midsummer Night's Dream".

Unique qualities

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 no-cut policy gives those interested in participating in athletics an opportunity to do so.

Notable alumni


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