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Family Information for March 18th

Family Information for March 18th
Parker Families:

Grappling as an intellectual, moral, and social activity is a key feature of the Essential School model and is deeply embedded in Parker’s school-keeping practice.  And, on the day when many spring Personal Learning Plan (PLP) conferences are taking place, grappling is much in evidence as students discuss their current goals and progress toward those goals.

What does it mean to grapple?  Here are Ted and Nancy Sizer in The Students Are Watching:  schools and the moral contract (1999).  “…Grappling is necessarily a balancing act.  One is trying to do what one has never done before and learning more about what one wants to do…Each task is doable but difficult; each requires that the student put him or herself firmly on the line…Wise schoolpeople and parents should not underestimate the power that they can find in young minds, bodies, and hearts…”

Listening to my colleagues tune lessons, design units, deliver instruction, or examine student work, so often the search is for the sweet spot—doable but difficult—that honors each student’s power AND encourages a stretch.  In Div2 MST this week, for example, I observed colleagues introducing the step-by-step mechanics of a lab (doable) AND asking students what would change if one of the samples being tested were an unknown (difficult).  In the classroom, the Sizers noted, “…Grappling…presumes that the student has something to add to the story.  Either hypothetically or actually, the student is asked to join the struggle, to add his or her input…”

And it’s wonderful to see so many Parker students, on spring PLP Day, putting themselves on the line, expressing their willingness to engage in the struggle of mastery, even though it’s difficult.  By design!  Thanks to parents and guardians for joining students and advisors at the PLP conference table today!

 This week’s topics:
  • Pick-up and Drop-off Safety
  • Recital Invitation
  • Walking Wednesdays
  • Our Essential Commitment Fund
  • LOST and FOUND Pickup
  • SEPAC Meetings (Remote) - SAVE THE DATES!
  • MCAS Testing Schedule for Spring
  • Spring Show Tickets on Sale
  • At-Home Test Reminder
  • Tracking COVID-19 Numbers at Parker
  • COVID-19 Safety Checks
  • COVID-19 Information
  • COVID-19 Testing

Pick-up and Drop-off Safety

Parker parents have this week reported observing other parents “narrowly miss” student pedestrians crossing Antietam Street.  The crosswalk at the top of the “junior lot” stairs to Antietam Street is one vulnerable spot, as is the crosswalk near the Jackson Road intersection.  Please take extra care for pedestrian safety, particularly during afternoon pickup when it’s most congested.

Recital Information

Are you ready to exchange your quarantine-routine of sweatpants and Netflix for a night of live music? If so, you are cordially invited to the senior voice recital of Kerry LaRose's For the Love of Art Songs. Kerry will perform her culminating recital for her Senior Project on Tuesday, March 29th at 7:00 PM in the Parker Auditorium and is inviting the Parker community! Walk-ins welcome, but an RSVP to [email protected] would be greatly appreciated. Dress for a night at the opera!

Walking Wednesday/Parent Meetup Sponsored by ECO

Wednesday, March 30, 12:30-1:15 PM, P5 Parking Lot. The weather is getting warmer and it's a nice time for a walk.  Come meet other members of the Parker community and enjoy some fresh air before the Wednesday afternoon pick up.  We will start from the P5 parking lot and return before students are dismissed.

Our Essential Commitment Fund

WE STILL NEED YOUR HELP!  So far, this 2021-2022 school year, 45% of our current families have donated to Our Essential Commitment Fund.  Thank you!  An increase in that percentage shows strong family support for Parker's faculty, programs, and facilities.  14 more gifts will get us to 50%!  Every gift is ESSENTIAL to Parker, no matter the size. To show your support, make your 2021-2022 gift by clicking here.

LOST and FOUND Pickup

Reminder the next clean-out of the LOST and FOUND will be on Monday or Tuesday, March 21st & 22nd. Please stop by before that date (PLP day on March 18th is the perfect opportunity) to search for and claim any items belonging to you or your loved ones!

SPEAC Meeting (Remote) - SAVE THE DATES!
  • Wednesday, April 13th, at 6:30 PM
  • Wednesday, May 11th, at 6:30 PM

MCAS Testing Schedule for SPRING

Reminder Division 1 and 2 students will be testing on various days during the months of March, April, and May, following the schedule listed below. Please make every effort to have students in school and on time for these testing days. All students should eat a good breakfast each day and get a good night’s rest the night before – those two things are the best “test-prep” we can recommend!  Students who miss any of these testing days will make-up the tests on days following the dates listed here.

If you have any questions, please contact Deb Merriam ([email protected]). All tests are untimed, and most students finish by late morning. Parents/guardians and students will get grade/test specific emails with more details that will go home as each test date approaches.

10th Grade:

  • ELA: March 22 & 23
  • MATH: May 17 & 18
  • SCIENCE: (already happened in February)

7th & 8th Grade:

  • ELA: April 13 & April 27
  • MATH: May 11 & 12
  • SCIENCE (8th Grade Only): May 24 & 25

Spring Show Tickets on Sale

Reminder tickets for the Spring Show This Girl Laughs, This Girl Cries, This Girl Does Nothing, are now available for purchase online at this link. The shows are on Thursday, April 7, Friday, April 8, and Saturday, April 9, at 7 PM. Prices for regular tickets are $10 online beforehand and $12 at the door. Deluxe tickets for $15 are only available online beforehand.

At-Home Test Reminder

Reminder: Please test your student every Sunday with the at-home test that was given to each student. Only report POSITIVE results to Nurse Lisa at [email protected] or call 978-772-3293 x135. If you haven’t opted your student in yet, use this link to opt-in.

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 3/11/22-3/18/22:

  • Staff – 0
  • Students – 4
COVID-19 Safety Checks

There are currently less swabs in each tube, and therefore a larger number of pools. 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 3/11/22-3/18/22:

  • # of pools = 110
  • # of NEGATIVE pools = 106
  • # of POSITIVE pools = 2
  • # of INCONCLUSIVE pools = 2 (all individuals have been retested)
COVID-19 Information

Reminder to please call or email the school nurse if any family member tests 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

Individuals who test positive for COVID-19:

  • Self-report to close contacts their exposure—anyone exposed at less than 3 feet for 15 minutes or longer with or without masks. If help is needed with contact information, please reach out to Monique or Nurse Lisa
  • Self-isolation for a minimum of 5 days after symptom onset or after a positive test, if asymptomatic
  • Return to school on day 6 if they are fever free for 24 hours without fever reducing medication AND have improving symptoms
  • Upon return to school, the individual must wear a mask at all times when around others for an additional 5 days and maintain physical distance of 3 feet at all times
  • Return to school is based on time and symptom resolution
  • Testing to return to school is NOT required

Close Contacts Who are Exempt from Testing and Quarantine Response Protocols:

  • Asymptomatic, fully vaccinated individuals
  • Individuals who have had COVID-19 within the past 90 days of their own illness AND remain without COVID-19 symptoms

Classroom close contacts:

An individual who is exposed to a COVID-19 positive individual in the classroom while both individuals were masked, so long as the individuals were spaced at least 3 feet apart, is exempt from testing and quarantine response protocols.

Out of school close contacts:

Test & Stay is no longer an option due to the new at-home testing program. Those who are unvaccinated and are a close contact to someone outside of school, must quarantine for 5 days, and can return to school on day 6 if they:

  • Remain asymptomatic
  • Adhere to strict mask use
  • Conduct active monitoring for symptoms through day 10
  • Self-isolate if symptoms develop

Close Contact Testing:

For all those exposed, best practice is to get a PCR or a Rapid Antigen test 5 days after exposure.


COVID-19 Testing

At-Home Testing Program:

At-home rapid antigen tests were distributed to students whose parents opted them in during afternoon advisory on Thursday. This is surveillance testing to be done every Sunday. Only POSITIVE results need to be reported to Nurse Lisa. If you haven’t already done so, and you wish to opt your student in, please click this link: Opt-in Form for Take-home Antigen Tests.

Symptomatic Testing:

Symptomatic testing is available (with consent) for all individuals (including vaccinated, unvaccinated, and those who have tested positive for COVID-19 in the past 90 days) that present with symptoms while at school.

COVID-19 Safety Checks:

Pooled testing will continue every Wednesday as usual. Those who have tested positive for COVID-19 in the past 90 days should not do the pooled testing. Nurse Lisa will notify you when your student can begin with pooled testing after 90 days.

Sports Schedule

Upcoming Dates of Note:


Mar 22

10th Grade ELA MCAS


Mar 23

10th Grade ELA MCAS


Mar 23

Noon Dismissal


Mar 30

Café Wednesday


Apr 1

Division 1 Dance


Apr 7-9

Spring Show

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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