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49 Antietam St, Devens, MA 01434    (978) 772-3293    (978) 772-3295

Advisory and Service


Philosophy and Purpose
The specific purposes of advisory are:

  • Academic Advising: The advisory is a place to develop personal learning plans (PLPs), to monitor student progress in general and toward specific goals, to discuss teachers' assessments with students and parents, and to build upon the habits of learning.
  • Community Service: The advisory is a place to practice being an active member of the broader community by designing and implementing community service projects.
  • Community Conversations: The advisory is a vehicle for school-wide conversations about community issues and about being a community member.
  • Recreation: The advisory is a place to have fun and to learn about group process and dynamics.

Program Organization
We believe that the organization of the Advisory program should be informed by the purposes to be achieved.

  • Students are placed in advisories each year using the following set of criteria.
    • A student is placed in an advisory based on her age with secondary consideration given to the academic Division she is in.
    • A student is placed in an advisory in which his advisor is also one of his teachers.
    • A student may request to be placed in a particular advisory.
    • A teacher may request placement of a student in her advisory.
    • Advisory groups should be gender-balanced and should be representative of Parker's diversity.
  • All full-time teachers serve as advisors. Part-time teachers are asked to co-advise or to serve as substitutes.
  • Advisories meet approximately three hours each week with morning connection (8:30-8:45), afternoon reflections (3:20-3:30) and extended time on Wednesdays (12:30-1:30).
  • Advisory serves as one of the primary avenues through which students' voices are heard and through which students have ownership of the school. Each advisory elects one member to our Community Congress and to our Justice Committee.
  • Each advisory has a parent who volunteers to be the Advisory Parent Representative. The role of this parent is to provide support to the advisor in achieving the four purposes.
  • The advisory program is supported by an Advisory Coordinator.

Service to the Community

Students in all Parker Divisions serve on vitally important school operations committees (including an elected Community Congress and a student Justice Committee) and live by a Parker School Constitution which the student body wrote and approved. They offer their services to the school community in many other ways, from peer tutoring to hosting outside visitors to maintaining the school’s computer systems. In addition, advisory groups and elective classes go into the surrounding communities to work with nursing homes, shelters, and other service organizations.

All Division III students will commit two hours per week to in-school service. In addition, all adults involved in daily functioning in the Parker school will serve as mentors to one or two Division III students. Some students may work with the Technology Coordinator on computer maintenance, others may work with Division I teachers as classroom aides/tutors, or as school ambassadors in the Regional Teachers Center.

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