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Family Information for May 13th

Family Information for May 13th
Parker Families,

Advocacy works!  Two weeks ago, we alerted you to a time-sensitive opportunity to ensure more equitable resources for Parker and other charter public schools in Massachusetts.  We shared a call to action drafted by our colleagues at the Massachusetts Charter Public School Association (MCPSA) related to Senate deliberations on the Fiscal Year 2023 budget for the Commonwealth, and many of you answered the call, taking the time to send an email to your Senator.  THANKS FOR DOING SO!  We’re happy to report that the increase in per pupil funding for charter public school facilities sought in this advocacy effort was included in the Senate’s version of the FY23 budget!  Your quick action helped achieve this outcome, which will likely make a $60,000 difference for Parker next year.

Thanks for answering the call to action, folks!

—Todd.
This week’s topics:
  •     MCAS Testing Schedule
  •     Café Wednesday
  •     Robot Demonstration
  •     Final Div 1 & 9th Grade Dance
  •     Noon Dismissals
  •     Wellness Class CPR
  •     Parent Advisory Council (SEPAC)
  •     The Sumner Fund
  •     Return Spanish Books
  •     Volunteer to Update Our Sports Banners
  •     Yearbooks
  •     At-Home Test Reminder
  •     Tracking COVID-19 Numbers at Parker
  •     COVID-19 Safety Checks
  •     COVID-19 Information
  •     COVID-19 Testing

MCAS Testing Schedule

Division 1 and 2 students will be testing on various days during 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 should be sure to bring their laptops and power cords each day. If a student wants a handheld calculator for the math tests, they can bring one from home. The school will also provide some handheld calculators as well; there is an online calculator provided to all students in the testing software itself as well. 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: MATH: May 17 & 18
  • 8th Grade: SCIENCE: May 24 & 25

Café Wednesday

Do you want to have a fun night of goofs, gaffs, laughs, chuckles, and bad jokes? Do you want to see some live music? If the answer to either of these questions is yes, then you should come to Café Wednesday, on May 18 from 6:30-8:00 p.m. EDT - the last one of this year! Join us, free of charge, for our final night of laughter, talent, and performance. You’ll be there, right?


Robot Demonstration

Parker students on local middle/high school robotics team “Mechanical Advantage” will be demonstrating their latest robot in the outback during lunch next Friday, 5/20, after a successful 2022 season (including attending the world championship in Houston). This will be a great opportunity for students to learn about robotics, try driving a robot, and get involved! The team’s summer programs will be starting soon ahead of the next official season in 2023, with opportunities in mechanical engineering, software, CAD, business, and more for all interested Parker students. For more information, please visit littletonrobotics.org or reach out to [email protected].


Final Div 1 & 9th Grade Dance

Attention Div. 1 and 9th Grade Students: We welcome you to join us for the final Div. 1 & 9th Grade Dance of the school year on Friday, May 20th from 6 PM - 8 PM in the Parker Auditorium! The theme is “Movie”—dress like your favorite movie character! There will be a costume contest in the following categories: Action, Comedy, Romance, Horror, Sci-Fi, Old Movie. Costumes and dressing in theme are optional, as always. Pizza, snacks, and beverages will be provided, as well.  

Tickets are $5 in advance and $10 at the door. Tickets can be purchased using UniPay (select “Dances”) or with cash/check during lunches from Friday, 5/13/2022- Thursday, 5/19/2022 in the auditorium. Students must also read, sign, and return the bottom portion of the norms agreement (distributed to them in advisory) to ticket-sellers in the auditorium.

Note: There will not be any physical tickets. All ticket holder names will be on a list at the door.


Noon Dismissals

The following dates are noon dismissals:

  • Friday, May 27
  • Wednesday, June 8
  • Wednesday, June 15
  • Thursday, June 16

Please make arrangements to have your student picked up at noon, as there is no afterschool coverage on these days. The Big End (last day of school) is scheduled for Thursday, June 16. (subject to change based on emergency school cancellations until June 1).


Wellness Class CPR

Dear Parker Community: Division 1 and 2 Wellness classes have been learning CPR. In the upcoming days students will test their skills in a final test-out simulation. All students have the option to purchase a card from the American Heart Association. The cost of a card is $10 dollars. Students can purchase a card either by bringing in cash or a check or paying online using the payment portal. Purchasing a card is optional. If your student chooses to purchase a card, please have them bring money in or submit payment by Friday May 27th. Reach out to your student’s Wellness teacher if you have any further questions.


Parent Advisory Council (SEPAC)

Thank you to Jen Stach for a fabulous presentation, Introduction to Transition Planning, at Wednesday’s SEPAC meeting. The presentation was extremely informative and helpful, and prompted an engaging and supportive conversation with those who attended.

Thank you to Karen Sheldon, SEPAC President, for her continued commitment & leadership throughout the year!

Please contact [email protected] if you would like to be a member of the SY 2022-2023 SEPAC Board or would just like to learn more about SEPAC. We look forward to seeing you in the Fall!


The Sumner Fund

THIS JUST IN!!!  Those who donate $50 or more to The Sumner Fund will receive a pair of Parker socks designed to celebrate Todd—who loves a fun pair of socks!  WE ONLY NEED $8,000 MORE TO MEET OUR $100,000 FUND GOAL TOWARDS THE FIRST IMPRESSIONS PROJECT.  To donate, click here.  (Previous donors to The Sumner Fund will receive socks too!)


Return Spanish Books

Reminder if you have Spanish books that you took home last year during remote learning, please bring them to your current Spanish teacher. You'll get chocolate for each book you return. ¡Gracias!


Volunteer to Update Our Sports Banners

Reminder a volunteer is needed to sew and/or iron-on patches to update our Sports Banners.  Please email Athletic Director Ben Benoit if interested.  [email protected]


Yearbooks

Yearbooks will be distributed to seniors at the Senior Breakfast and to everyone else at the Big End. There are a limited number of yearbooks remaining for purchase. Click here to order your yearbook. Scroll down the page to see the three book options: hard cover, soft cover, or Div 1 only (first 48 pages of full book).


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 5/6/22-5/13/22:

  • Staff – 4
  • Students – 15
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 5/6/22-5/13/22:

  • # of pools = 104
  • # of NEGATIVE pools = 97
  • # of POSITIVE pools = 6
  • # of INCONCLUSIVE pools = 1
COVID-19 Information

Reminder to please call or email the school nurse if any individual tests positive for COVID-19. Lisa Zick can be reached at 978-772-3293 x135 or [email protected].

Please refer to the following guidlines when an individual experiences illness or is a close contact.

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

NO FEVER and MILD SYMPTOMS:  Individuals who don't have fever, present with mild symptoms, and test negative for COVID-19 are okay to come to school.

FEVER and/or SYMPTOMS LISTED ABOVE:  Individuals who have fever 100.0 or higher and/or the symptoms listed above should test for COVID-19. If test is negative, they should stay home until fever free for 24 hours without fever-reducing medication and symptoms are mild.

COVID-19 POSITIVE:  Individuals who test positive for COVID-19:

  • Self-report to close contacts of their exposure. 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

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:

Tue

May 17

10th Grade Math MCAS

Wed

May 18

10th Grade Math MCAS

Wed

May 18

Café Wednesday

Fri

May 20

Division 1 & 9th Grade Dance

Tue

May 24

8th Grade Science MCAS

Tue

May 24

Prom

Wed

May 25

8th Grade Science MCAS

Fri

May 27

Noon Dismissal

Mon

May 30

Memorial Day - No School

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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