Congratulations to all the students presenting their Gateway Exhibitions this week! As the fall semester concludes, this group of students has demonstrated readiness to move on to the next level of study in the spring term. All that hard work paid off! Good for you.
This week the faculty and staff continued to develop plans for second semester, and it’s now clear the direction we’re moving: toward a pivot to hybrid (mix of on-campus and Remote Plus instruction) at some point after February vacation (start date currently TBD). Significant changes in the trajectory of the virus or its variants would, obviously, impact this thinking. There are several reasons why this makes sense as a next step:
- December survey data show that while most families (70%) agree that Remote Plus is going well enough, a similar number would send their students to campus if that were an option;
- National data show that in-person schools are not often significant sources of transmission;
- COVID-19 vaccines will become available in the coming weeks and months;
- Affordable, site-level COVID testing is now available to schools;
- Warmer weather—and thus more outdoor opportunities—are on the way.
Here are some of the key design elements of the hybrid plan in development:
- Full-time Remote Plus will remain an option for all students;
- Most students would be on-campus, by Divisions, one day per week initially;
- When on campus, AH and MST classes would be “live;”
- Spanish and Wellness classes remain remote;
- Weekly on-site testing of students and staff.
During our faculty planning day on Monday, February 1 (no classes that day), we’ll continue discussing and refining this model, which is at the “proof of concept” stage currently. We will continue to use Friday Announcements to update the community on our progress.
Be safe and well,
This week’s topics:
- No Classes on Monday
- Final Days to Apply
- Parker PAC Event Share
- Materials Pickup
- Monday Student Meal Pick-up
- Thursday Lunch Groups
- Parker Exhibit at Fitchburg Museum of Art
- Parent Volunteers Needed
- Our Essential Commitment Fund
- Tracking COVID-19 Numbers at Parker
- Health Office Reminders
No Classes on Monday
Monday, February 1, is a faculty planning day and students do not have classes.
Final Days to Apply
Applications for students entering 7th, 8th, or 9th grade are due on February 1, 2021; the application is available on Parker’s website. Siblings of currently enrolled students must complete an application, even though they will have preference in the lottery. Please remind anyone who might be interested in attending Parker next year to get their application in by Monday!
The enrollment lottery will take place on Thursday, February 4, 2021 and be livestreamed at http://parker.school/livestream. No guests will be permitted in the building.
Parker PAC Event Share
Parker PAC shares this free online event: Strengthening Your Student's Executive Function Skills and Independence During the Pandemic with Sarah Ward on Thursday, February 25, from 7-8 PM, by SPARK Kindness. Sarah will share many practical executive function based interventions families could implement to improve organization, task and time management. Click the event name to register through Eventbrite.
The following materials are available for pickup in the school lobby:
- Division 2 AH — Macbeth
- Division 2 Spanish — sidewalk chalk
- Environment — Guns, Germs, and Steel, and reading packets A-D
- Cold War — Cold War: an Illustrated History, 1945-1991
- Crime and Punishment — Reading packet and whiteboard, marker and eraser
- Evil — Dante’s Inferno
- Through Our Eyes — Othello
Please use the boxes under the tables to return any books/materials you are no longer using in class.
The lobby is open on school days from 8 AM – 3:30 PM. Other arrangements can be made as needed by emailing Monique at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Monday Student Meal Pick-up
Next Week Only: Due to the possibility of inclement weather Monday afternoon into Tuesday and our strong desire to be sure that we get our meals out to families that have signed up, we will be moving the normal Tuesday morning pickup (2/2) to Monday morning (2/1). Friday pickup for 2/5 remains as planned. Pick up times will still be 7AM – 9AM on both days. So, no Tuesday meal pick up next week – it is moved to Monday instead.
Reminder to click here for information about free student meal service at Parker (and other locations throughout the state). Please SIGN UP for the program via this link so that we can anticipate numbers of meals needed: Student Meal Registration. Pick up hours are normally from 7 – 9 AM on Tuesdays and Fridays.
Thursday Lunch Groups
Every Thursday, Parker's Student Services team runs lunch groups for students. These lunch groups, each with a theme, address issues that teenagers face such as anxiety, depression, or coping with divorce. We also run a grief support group for students who may have lost a close family member or friend. If you would like your student to participate, please contact Sheila Kelly at email@example.com. For more information and tips for addressing common mental health challenges, please see "Stuff That Matters" on the Parker School Technology YouTube page or go to Sheila's School Counselor page on the Parker website. Thank you!
Parker Exhibit at Fitchburg Museum of Art
Check out Division 3 Photography's Online Exhibit at the Fitchburg Museum of Art!
Parent Volunteers Needed
Reminder Parker is still looking for family representatives to participate in a statewide Virtual Advocacy Week hosted by the Massachusetts Charter Public School Association from March 2-4, 2021. Your stories matter, are important, and will make a difference! For more information on this opportunity to support Parker, click here Advocacy Week 2021 - FAQ - Google Docs. You can also email Katrina for more information- firstname.lastname@example.org.
Our Essential Commitment Fund
As of January 28, 2021, the Parker community has already invested $166,000! We are incredibly grateful. STAND UP FOR PARKER by making your donation here.
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), but if the individual has not been on campus, he/she poses no risk to anyone on campus and the data point gets screened out. We will now include weekly numbers of positive COVID-19 cases in this Family Information email. The following are positive cases in the Parker community from 1/23/21-1/29/21:
- Staff – 0
- Students – 0
None of the above have been on campus. If there is a positive case on campus, all close contacts will be contacted immediately by Lisa Zick, School Nurse.
DESE Reporting Website: https://www.doe.mass.edu/covid19/positive-cases/#weekly-report. Once at the site: click on the Excel box for a particular week, click on the District tab at the bottom of the page, and search for Organization Code #04780000 (Francis W. Parker Charter Essential School). The reported cases include students or staff who have been on campus within seven (7) days prior to the report of the positive case. If you have questions, please feel free to email Lisa Zick at email@example.com.
Health Office Reminders
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Reminder that students should not come to school if:
- 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) 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
Upcoming Dates of Note:
Faculty Planning (No Classes)
Board of Trustees
Junior College Planning Night
Winter Break Noon Dismissal