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Family Information for January 14th

Family Information for January 14th
Parker Families,

Community Conversation is one of the four main purposes of Advisory at Parker, and one of the powerful tools we have for shaping school culture and climate over time.  A school-wide Community Conversation is planned for Friday afternoon (today); in our pre-pandemic school keeping we often held a Community Conversation in January.  We’ll gather in “super-advisory” groups—one advisory from each division—as we did in September when students began exploring and sharing possible answers to this year’s Essential Question, “Why Should We Care?”

The Community Conversation we’re launching this week will explore the challenging terrain of online conduct, specifically on social media.  The “conversation starters” designed by Carter and facilitated by Division 3 students on Friday are case studies, fictionalized social media scenarios that are believable in a secondary school context and drawn from actual events.  The discussion prompts invite participants to explore the intended and unintended impacts of the fictional social media posts on individuals, groups, and the community at large.

It will be interesting to hear these conversations and identify the themes that emerge from group to group.  A hope I have for this work is that community members will deepen understandings about the concentric circles of impact—a ripple effect—when posting anything online, and feel empowered to choose not to post or follow content that’s inconsistent with Parker’s values of decency and trust.  “Why Should We Care?”  Because at the end of the day, it’s the daily commitment of all community members to act in certain ways—and refrain from acting in others—that creates and maintains a school culture characterized by trust and decency:  it takes daily work, effort, and persistence.

And self-restraint.  Here is Ted Sizer in 1998, writing a Friday Announcements letter to the Parker community during his year as Co-Principal with Nancy Faust Sizer:

“…From the very start, we have all wanted this school to be a civil and decent place by reason of the explicit commitment of all members of the community.  We believe that the restraint upon which a decent community rests depends on the willingness of each participant to embrace that restraint.  We also believe that the hard thinking behind the creation of a civil community is a habit that the students should always carry with them.  It’s especially important as they enter a culture that today so easily tolerates hypocrisy and dishonesty and which is in so many ways relentlessly tasteless.  Parker is itself a world writ small.  We should use it to practice what a decent community would be like…”  (Sizer, Sizer, and Meier. Keeping School. Beacon. 1992).

We’ll write again soon about the newly-launched Community Conversations focused on social media and online conduct.

 This week’s topics:
  • Head of School Candidate Visits
  • Our Essential Commitment Fund
  • Application Deadline February 1
  • ECO Faculty Appreciation Event
  • Weekly Teacher Appreciation
  • DESE Site Visit February 10
  • AH Book Recall
  • Tracking COVID-19 Numbers at Parker
  • Changes to Close Contact Tracing
  • If an Individual Tests Positive for COVID-19
  • COVID-19 Safety Checks
  • Health Office COVID-19 Information

Head of School Candidate Visits

If you attended a Zoom or in-person meeting with a Head of School finalist, please complete THIS SURVEY for each candidate you met.  The deadline for these surveys is Saturday, Jan 15 at 5pm.

Our Essential Commitment Fund

As of January 14th, Our Essential Commitment Fund is at over $171,000.  This week we would like to recognize Parker's Board of Trustees and say THANK YOU for their 100% participation rate!  Join our board in making your 2021-2022 gift here!  Every gift makes an impact!

Application Deadline is February 1st

Reminder Parker is currently accepting applications for students entering grades 7 through 9. Siblings of current students who are interested in attending Parker School for the 2022-2023 school year MUST complete an application and return it to Parker no later than February 1, 2022. Current students do not need to apply. You are welcome to call our front office prior to February 1, 2022, to verify your application has been received. The Lottery will be held on Tuesday, February 8, 2022, at 4 PM. Send interested friends to for more information.

ECO (Essential Community Organization) Faculty Appreciation Event

Valentine’s Day is in a few weeks and ECO is sponsoring a Faculty and Staff Appreciation Event. The idea is simple - ECO is hoping to gift a book or bookstore gift card to every staff member. If you would like to participate, you will be assigned a staff member and given information on their book preferences. You would then purchase a book or gift card as a gift from the Parker community for that staff member and drop it off or have it mailed to Parker.  If you would like to participate or have questions, please complete this form. Thank you for being part of celebrating and appreciating Parker’s stellar staff.

Weekly Teacher Appreciation

Thank you to the Pitkin, Tscherne, Loggins-Wuensch, Jaffee, Bolles, Turgeon, Kurth, Scholfield, Crighton, Moriarity, Dangel, Rezac, Linn, Spirn, Wentrup, Bettencourt, and Kennedy families for the treats they sent in for faculty over the last few months.  ECO has organized this way for families to show their appreciation of Parker teachers by bringing treats to the school for them.  Please click here to learn more and sign up.

DESE Site Visit on February 10th

Reminder 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

AH (Arts & Humanities) Book Recall

Reminder to please return to your AH teachers any AH books you have at home from any previous units!

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 1/7/22-1/14/22:

  • Staff – 2
  • Students – 9

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

Changes to Close Contact Tracing

In light of the increasing number of positive cases in our school community and in the region more generally, contact tracing at school was recently adjusted to include the use of email to inform close contacts of their exposure.  Going forward, community members who test positive are asked to self-report to their close contacts.  If help is needed with contact information, please reach out to Monique or Nurse Lisa.  This revision is driven by two main factors:  given the high incidence rate in the region, everyone should assume some level of exposure and monitor for symptoms; given the increased number of tests administered for the test-and-stay program and for symptomatic individuals, available staff resources are stretched such that revisions to the contact tracing practice are necessary.


If an Individual Tests Positive for COVID-19


If an individual tests positive for COVID-19, they must isolate for 5 days and can return to school if they are fever free for 24 hours without fever reducing medication and also have improving symptoms.  Upon return to school, the individual must wear their mask at all times for an additional 5 days and maintain physical distance of 3 feet at all times.

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.  If they present with symptoms, they should be tested via PCR or Rapid Antigen Test.  It is also recommended that all close contacts be tested 5 days after last exposure to the person who tested positive.

Close Contacts at School - NOT fully vaccinated and NO symptoms - 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 5 days from last exposure and receive a negative result.  When the 5 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
COVID-19 Safety Checks

Our COVID-19 Safety Check Sample Size has changed, and there are currently less swabs in each tube. Having fewer samples in each tube reduces the number of community members who have to be re-tested when a pool comes back from the lab with a positive or inconclusive result.

Pooled Test Results from 1/7/22-1/14/22:

  • # of pools = 122
  • # of NEGATIVE pools = 113
  • # of POSITIVE pools = 8
  • # of INCONCLUSIVE pools = 1
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 they are sick, even if they do not have a fever. Reach out to Nurse Lisa with questions.  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 contact their health care provider or local COVID-19 testing site to get a PCR test or Rapid Antigen test and quarantine.  If an individual has other symptoms on this list, getting a PCR test or Rapid Antigen test is recommended especially if the individual has a combination of symptoms on the list.  Please stay home while waiting for test results.

Sports Schedule

Upcoming Dates of Note


JAN 17

MLK Jr. Day – No School


JAN 22

Practice ACT


JAN 24

Faculty Planning – No Classes

Click HERE for 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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