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Family Information for May 14th

Family Information for May 14th
Parker Families,

We’re celebrating signs of spring on campus:  flowers, nesting birds and birdsong, trees in bloom, green grass.  We also celebrated the beginning of Senior Exhibitions this week!  The Exhibition schedule is less compact than usual this year and the live audiences are limited, but the excitement and pride of accomplishment are very much in evidence.

Another sign of spring is the annual rite of MCAS testing.  There’s more information in this newsletter about MCAS, which will be of particular interest to students in grades 7, 8, and 10.

Earlier today we forwarded—as a separate email—a recently released video about Parker that was filmed before the pandemic by a team from the Massachusetts Charter Public School Association.  Look for that and enjoy!

This week’s topics:
  • On-Campus Info
  • MCAS
  • ParkerPAC - SEPAC
  • Before and After School
  • Last Division 1 Community Conversation
  • Panther Prowl
  • Our Essential Commitment Fund
  • Student Food Security and Meal Pick-ups
  • Travel Information
  • Tracking COVID-19 Numbers at Parker
  • Pooled Testing
  • Health Office Reminders
  • Health Office COVID-19 Vaccination Information

On-Campus Info

On-Campus Lunch (free, to be ordered in morning advisory, served with milk and side dishes):

  • Monday: Pesto Tortellini OR Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwich
  • Tuesday: Ham and Cheese Sub OR Black Bean Burger
  • Wednesday: Pizza OR Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwich
  • Thursday: Crunchy Chicken Wrap or Veggie Hummus Wrap
  • Friday: Grilled Cheese (without soup) OR Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwich

Please note that a free cold brown bag breakfast (generally cereal or bagel or yogurt) is available to students in the auditorium from 8:10-8:30 AM. Students can go to the auditorium before advisory if they would like to eat breakfast before school starts.


All 7th, 8th, and 10th grade students (and their parents/guardians) received an email about the MCAS testing schedule and related details for this spring.  Please be sure you have read that email if you have not had a chance yet.

The basic testing schedule is as follows:

  • Wed., May 19: 7th, 8th, 10th
  • Wed., May 26: 7th, 8th, 10th
  • Wed., June 2: 8th, 10th
  • Wed., June 9: 10th

11th grade students/families received an email with information about MCAS requirements/options this year.  Juniors are NOT required to take the MCAS but can take it for state scholarship opportunities.  Juniors who would like to do so need to contact Deb Merriam ( as soon as possible.  Please read the email sent to you for more details.

  • All 9th graders are in an “MCAS-free” year and do NOT have to take any MCAS tests this spring.
  • All 12th graders have already completed any MCAS requirements for earning a diploma.
Join the Special Education Parent Advisory Council (SEPAC) for our virtual Teams meeting on Wednesday, May 26th, at 6:00 pm.

Topic: Chat with Kathy Russo (Special Education Coordinator) and Sheila Kelly (School Counselor)

Click here to join the meeting on Wednesday, May 26th at 6:00 pm.

Before and After School

Reminder students should be dropped off after 8:10 AM and picked up by 3:45 PM or 1:45 PM on Wednesdays.  There is supervised space available after 7:30 AM and until 4:30 PM or 3:30 PM on Wednesdays.  If your student needs to use this space, please email Monique at to have them added to the list.

Last Opportunity for Div 1 Community Conversation

Reminder there is still time to join us for the final Division 1 Community Conversation on Monday, May 17th at 8 AM.  In the session we will:

  • Build community
  • Have fun
  • Celebrate and explore our connection to Parker and its history
  • Understand how standing up for Parker will ensure its continued success

To RSVP for Monday's session, email Katrina at


Panther Prowl

Panther Prowl logo 2021.png

Just one week left to join the Panther Prowl! You can run/walk ANYWHERE at ANYTIME before 5/23!  ALL proceeds support ECO’s mini-grant program that allows Parker faculty and staff to request funds for classroom needs. We hope that you will share this invitation with family and friends who can participate from anywhere! For more information and to register, visit

Our Essential Commitment Fund

As of May 13, 2021, the Parker community has already contributed over $190,000 to Our Essential Commitment Fund!  We are incredibly grateful. STAND UP FOR PARKER by making your donation using this link.  Here are some thoughts from Stefanie, a Parker parent and member of the Board of Trustees, on why she supported the fund this year:

I believe that Parker is a proof-point for an approach to education that many think is impossible and I believe is essential!

Student Food Security and Meal Pick-Ups

Reminder free meals to students have been extended through the school year.  Free breakfast and free lunch are available to students daily, if they choose to participate in the program.  We are no longer offering curbside grab and go, but if you are a family that has chosen to stay fully remote for the remainder of the year, contact Michelle at if you wish to setup meals pickups.  We will be handling these requests on a case-by-case basis. Click here for information about food security.

Travel Information

Because there is no school on Monday, 5/31 (Memorial Day), we will test those who have traveled out of state on Tuesday, June 1st, when we return to school.

Reminder CDC is advising those who travel out of Massachusetts for greater than 24 hours be tested for COVID-19 within 72 hours before returning or upon return to Massachusetts.  To protect others at school, we ask that you plan accordingly and get tested before returning to school.  You can find free testing sites through this website

If your plans don't allow you to test your student before returning to school after traveling out of Massachusetts, Parker is offering a Monday morning pooled test option for students from 8:10-8:30 AM in the front lobby.  This testing will continue every Monday morning for those who may travel out of Massachusetts over the weekends throughout the remainder of the school year.  Routine school-wide pooled testing will be scheduled every Wednesday for students and staff.  For anyone who misses the testing on Wednesday, testing will be offered Thursday morning in the lobby until 9:00 AM.  Please reach out to Nurse Lisa if you need to make special arrangements for testing (must be before 1:00 PM on Thursday).

Travel pooled testing results:  If the travel pool test comes back negative, all staff/students in the pool are COVID-negative.  In this case, you will not hear from us.

Please reach out to Lisa Zick at if you have questions.

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 5/7/21-5/14/21:

  • Staff – 0
  • Students – 0

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

Pooled Testing

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 invalid which may be due to lab error or too much mucous in the tube.  In this case, Nurse Lisa will notify those who need to be retested.

Pooled Test Results from 5/10/21-5/14/21:

  • # of pools = 40
  • # of NEGATIVE pools = 39
  • # of POSITIVE pools = 0
  • # of INVALID pools = 1 (retesting in process)
Health Office Reminders

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

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
Health Office COVID-19 Vaccine Informaton

Are you looking to receive the COVID-19 vaccine?

Which vaccine?:  Moderna
When?:  Wednesday, May 19th from 10:00 AM - 5:30 PM
Who?:  Anyone 18 years and older
Where?:  Clear Path for Veterans New England  (Walk-Ins Accepted!)
                   84 Antietam St.
                   Devens, MA  01434

To schedule an appointment, go to and search by Local Board of Health Clinic and look for Clear Path for Veterans New England/Devens site.

New Adolescent COVID-19 Vaccination

FDA has extended the Emergency Use Authorization for Pfizer-BioNTech’s COVID-19 Vaccine to ages 12 and older. Read the press release.  Preregister at and receive an email with booking instructions when an appointment is available.

Upcoming Dates of Note


MAY 17

Div 1 In-Person Community Conversation


MAY 19

MCAS Grades 7, 8 and 10


MAY 26

MCAS Grades 7, 8 and 10


MAY 26

Café Wednesday


MAY 26



MAY 27



MAY 28

Noon Dismissal


MAY 31

Memorial Day (no school)



MCAS Grades 8 and 10



ECO Meeting



Board of Trustees



MCAS Grade 10



Gateways Begin



Noon Dismissal





JUN 16

Big End


JUN 16

Noon Dismissal


JUN 16

Last Day of School

Click HERE for the Online Calendar

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