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  Apply now for the 2023-2024 School Year - Accepting applications for Grades 7-9! MORE
Apply now for the 2023-2024 School Year - Accepting applications for Grades 7-9!

Family Information for December 10th

Family Information for December 10th
Parker Families,

While I’m on the subject of adult learning at Parker (last week I talked about reflective teacher practice and Critical Friends Groups) I want to highlight two signature programs that may not be familiar to all current families.  Both are integral to Parker’s mission and charter.

Ever since Parker opened in 1995, training early-career teachers has explicitly been part of the school’s mission.  In any given year, some Parker teachers are cohort members of the New Teachers Collaborative (NTC), a Parker program that supports teachers new to the profession in “learning by doing” in small, progressive schools like Parker.  NTC participants have their own seminars and classes—often scheduled on Wednesdays—and their own mentors—often their co-teacher in the classroom.  At the end of the year, most NTC teachers have qualified for initial licensure in Massachusetts as well as earning fifteen graduate credits toward a M.A.  Sometimes cohort members apply for a second year of NTC (NTC2) which gives them additional coursework, classroom experience, and the time needed to complete the M.A.  Having finished the NTC experience after one or two years, participants sometimes apply for openings at Parker and sometimes they move on to other charter public schools, traditional public districts, or independent schools.  NTC mentor teachers have their own parallel process, coming together to reflect and learn together about what it means to support early-career teacher/learners in an apprenticeship model.

Through the Sizer Teachers Center, which is located on campus, Parker helps other educators from around the country and around the world learn about Essential Schooling and how we’ve enacted the Ten Common Principles here at Parker.  Our visitors come to learn through workshops on specific topics or through custom-designed visits built around the learners’ essential questions for the day.   Parker students and faculty host visiting adult learners in their classrooms, and they also help them reach their learning goals through conversation, panel discussions, and portfolio demonstrations.  In the pre-COVID world we hosted approximately two hundred visitors each year; these days, more of the visits are virtual or content and coaching is delivered in district.   The Sizer Teachers Center is the primary way Parker fulfills its obligation as a charter public school to disseminate best practices.

It may be that over the winter holidays you’ll interact with family members or friends who might be interested in either or both of these outward-facing Parker programs.  Please pass on these links and/or encourage them to email me, Ruth, or Colleen to learn more!



This week’s topics:
  • DESE Site Visit February 2022
  • Parent Meetup
  • Day Change for COVID-19 Safety Checks
  • Employment Opportunities at Parker
  • Enrollment is Open – Siblings Apply Now!
  • Our Essential Commitment Fund
  • Fall Show Tickets on Sale
  • Community Block Thank You
  • Sewing Machines Needed!
  • Café Wednesday on December 22nd
  • Ski & Snowboard Club
  • Dental Care
  • Tracking COVID-19 Numbers at Parker
  • COVID-19 Safety Checks
  • Health Office COVID-19 Information

DESE Site Visit February 10, 2022

On February 10, 2022, Parker will host a one-day Core Criteria visit by staff from DESE’s Office of Charter Schools and School Redesign.  You’ll be hearing more about this site visit in the weeks ahead.  Here is an overview of the site visit protocol, in DESE’s words:

“The Charter School Performance Criteria (Criteria) (attached) form the foundation of the site visit process. The Criteria expand upon and give definition to the three areas of charter school accountability: faithfulness to charter, academic performance, and organizational viability. During the site visit, the school is assessed on all or a subset of the performance indicators contained in the Criteria. The scope of this visit will include:

  • Criterion 1: Mission and Key Design Elements
  • Criterion 2: Access and Equity
  • Criterion 3: Compliance (if applicable)
  • Criterion 5: Student Performance
  • Key Indicator 6.2 Instruction
  • Key Indicator 6.4: Supports for All Learners
  • Criterion 9: Governance
  • Criterion 10: Finance

The product of the site visit will be a written report that will become part of the body of evidence for the school’s renewal.”

Here is a link to the Charter School Performance Criteria that “form the foundation” of the upcoming site visit:
Charter School Performance Criteria

Parent/Guardian Morning MeetUp Sponsored by ECO

Friday, December 17, 8:30-9:30am, P5 Parking Lot/Picnic Tables

Looking for a way to meet other members of the Parker community? Bring your coffee, tea or other morning beverage and a camp chair over to P5 after drop-off on Friday morning and meet other Parker people. This is a casual gathering and you are welcome to drop in for as little or as long as you like.

Day Change for COVID-19 Safety Checks Before Holiday Break

During the week Holiday Break begins, the COVID-19 Safety Checks which usually occur on Wednesdays will take place on Monday, 12/20, instead. The change should allow us to receive pooled testing results before the students are released for the break.

Empolyment Opportunities at Parker

Parker is seeking individuals to join our team in the positions of long-term substitute MST Teacher and IT Support Technician.  Please refer interested individuals to the posting on this page.

Enrollment is Open - Siblings Apply Now!

Parker is currently accepting applications for students entering grades 7 through 9. If you are interested in the Parker School for the 2022-2023 school year, you MUST complete an application and return it to Parker no later than February 1, 2022 (this includes siblings of current students). You may visit the website to complete an application online. It is your responsibility to verify that we are in receipt of your completed application. You are welcome to call our front office prior to February 1, 2022, to make sure it has been received. A completed application will include you in the lottery.

Our Essential Commitment Fund

GivingTuesday kicked off the holiday season of giving—and our alumni started that season in a strong and meaningful way last week. We are grateful for their care and generosity. Join our alumni in showing support and make your 2021-2022 donation by clicking here.

As of December 9th, we have received over $92,000 from our Board of Trustees, staff, current families, ALUMNI, parents of graduates, and friends of Parker. THANK YOU!! For more information, click here.

FALL SHOW - Tickets are on Sale NOW!

Parker Theater’s production of William Shakespeare’s tale of love and betrayal, Much Ado About Nothing, will have three performances:

  • Thursday, the 16th of December at 7pm
  • Friday, the 17th of December at 7pm
  • Saturday, 18th of December at 7pm

This show features your Parker friends performing original music, choreography, acrobatics, romance, stage combat, and, of course, fancy Shakespearean verse!

You can buy tickets at the door for $12, but it’s less expensive to buy online for $10! Go to to purchase your tickets today! While you’re there, don’t forget to purchase a t-shirt, a sweatshirt, a poster, or a tote bag! You can also check out our cast and creative section for info on our and crew! The site is updating daily, so go early and go often!


Graphic for fall play - brick wall surrounded by ivy and covered by an inverted red heart with three swords - much ado about nothing.

Community Block Thank You

Thank you to the Flohr family, especially Martin, for coming into the classroom and helping our Community Block build bluebird nest boxes. -Citizen Science Community Block


Sewing Machines Needed!

The Parker Art Room currently has four sewing machines - we would love to add to this collection so that more students are able to participate in sewing-related community blocks, help with costumes, or use them for textile-related art. Sewing machines will be lovingly cared for by Cordelia, Parker’s art teacher and experienced seamstress. Donations of functional sewing machines would be greatly appreciated, but we are also happy to accept loaner machines!

Café Holiday on December 22nd

The Café Wednesday Community Block is celebrating the arrival of Café Holiday! Coming live from the Cafegymatorium on December 22nd starting at 6:30 PM and ending at 8:00 PM, we will hold a series of winter-related skits, story-telling, sing-a-longs, charades, cereal eating, baking horror stories, and so much more! Come and watch talented Parker students, classmates, and teachers, blast into the holiday season!

Ski & Snowboard Club

Deadline for signing up is December 27th. Reminder parents and siblings (Grade 3 and up) are also eligible to sign up through the Parker link. Also, if a student already has a pass but wants to be part of the club, they can indicate during the registration process that they already have a pass and will still be included in our group and count towards our numbers for chaperone purposes. Click here for more information and registration instructions. Email Kristen at [email protected] with questions.

Dental Care at Parker (Caring for Kids)

Dental Care sign-up deadline is approaching. Please sign your student up as soon as possible. Students have an opportunity to receive dental care here at Parker School through the Caring for Kids program. All dental personnel will be vaccinated and screened prior to caring for students. Please read about Caring for Kids HERE and complete the documents by clicking HERE and return to Nurse Lisa as soon as possible. The dental program provides a dental examination, x-rays, fluoride treatment, sealants, and teeth cleaning. There is no direct cost to the patient. However, if the child has insurance, the insurance will be billed. If you have any questions, please email Lisa Zick at [email protected].

Tracking COVID-19 Numbers at Parker

Positive COVID-19 cases in the Parker community are reported to the Department of Secondary and Elementary Education (DESE) and to the Nashoba Associated Boards of Health, which is our local board of health.  The following are positive cases in the Parker community from 12/3/21-12/10/21:

  • Staff – 1
  • Students – 3

If there is a positive case on campus, all close contacts will be contacted immediately by Lisa Zick, School Nurse.

COVID-19 Safety Checks

Participating individuals are tested individually once a week with a nasal swab test.  Each person does a shallow swab of their own nose by rotating three (3) times inside each nostril.  A maximum of 10 swabs are mixed together into a group called a "pool" and sent out to a lab for a molecular PCR test and tested for COVID-19 at one time.

  • If the pool test comes back negative, all staff/students in the pool are COVID-negative.  In this case, you will not hear from us.
  • If the pool test comes back positive, it means that at least one person in the pool is COVID-positive.  In this case, all members of that pool will come back to school as soon as possible for an individual rapid follow-up test with the school nurse.
  • On occasion, a pool will be resulted as inconclusive which may be due to lab error or too much mucous in the tube.  In this case, Nurse Lisa will retest staff/students who were in that "inconclusive" pool.
Pooled Test Results from 12/3/21-12/10/21:
  • # of pools = 39
  • # of NEGATIVE pools = 38
  • # of POSITIVE pools = 1
  • # of INCONCLUSIVE pools = 0
Health Office COVID-19 Information

Reminder to please call or email the school nurse if any family member tests positive for COVID-19 or is a close contact to someone who has tested positive for COVID-19.  Lisa Zick can be reached at 978-772-3293 x135 or [email protected].

Reminder that students should not come to school if:

  • the student is sick, even if they don’t have a fever. Reach out to Nurse Lisa with questions
  • the student or a family member living in the same household presents with COVID-19 symptoms
  • a student has been exposed to COVID-19 (close contact outside of the school setting which does not include close contacts at school) and is in quarantine, regardless of a negative test result
  • a family member has been exposed to COVID-19 (close contact) and is unable to isolate from the rest of the family, regardless of a negative test result
  • a family member/student is AWAITING RESULTS of a COVID-19 test

Below is the full list of COVID-19 symptoms to monitor for:

  • Fever (100.0° Fahrenheit or higher), chills or shaking chills
  • Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
  • New loss of taste or smell
  • Muscle aches or body aches
  • Cough (not due to other known cause, such as chronic cough)
  • Sore throat, when in combination with other symptoms
  • Nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea when in combination with other symptoms
  • Headache when in combination with other symptoms
  • Fatigue, when in combination with other symptoms
  • Nasal congestion or runny nose (not due to other known causes, such as allergies) when in combination with other symptoms

An individual experiencing a symptom in bold (above) should get a PCR test and quarantine.  If an individual has other symptoms on this list, getting a PCR test is recommended especially if the individual has a combination of symptoms on the list.  Please stay home while waiting for test results.

Note:  Fully vaccinated individuals are testing positive for COVID-19.  Many are presenting with symptoms, but some are asymptomatic.

Close Contacts - Fully vaccinated and asymptomatic

Based on the Massachusetts Department of Elementary & Secondary Education and the Department of Public Health protocols, students who are fully vaccinated and are asymptomatic, do not have to quarantine or test but must continue to monitor for symptoms for 14 days.

Close Contacts - NOT fully vaccinated and asymptomatic - Can do Test & Stay

  • Must be symptom free
  • NOT fully vaccinated
  • Wear masks in school at all times, other than eating or drinking, and should maintain 3 feet of distance from other individuals
  • Take a rapid antigen test (BinaxNow) on each school day for 7 days from last exposure and receive a negative result.  When the 7 days from the date of exposure includes weekends or holidays, individuals should quarantine on weekends, and if they remain asymptomatic, upon return to school be tested immediately.  If the individual remains negative, they can stay in school
  • Conduct active monitoring for symptoms through day 14, and self-isolate at home if symptoms develop
  • Must quarantine outside of school per the Board of Health

Sports Schedule

Upcoming Dates of Note:


DEC 14

Board of Trustees


DEC 16

Fall Show


DEC 17

Fall Show


DEC 18

Fall Show


DEC 22

Café Wednesday


DEC 23

Noon Dismissal


DEC 24

Begin Holiday Break



Classes Resume

Click HERE to see the Online Calendar

Looking for help with or information concerning:

Please contact:

a specific class or assignment

the teacher of that class (see Parker email list)

technical support

email: [email protected]

your family’s or student’s health

email: [email protected]

mental health/emotional support needs

email: [email protected]

food insecurity/free and reduced school lunch needs

email: [email protected]

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