Exhibition season continues at Parker! The seniors have made their exhibitions, and many younger students are anticipating upcoming Gateway exhibitions in June. Sandwiched in between are exhibitions by members of this year’s New Teachers Collaborative (NTC) cohort, who are nearing the end of their one-year program; they presented to audiences of colleagues, family, students, and friends on Wednesday afternoon, 18 May.
NTC is a post-Baccalaureate apprenticeship model that offers cohort members a chance to learn to teach by teaching in small, progressive schools like Parker. Grounded in teacher collaboration and reflective practice, NTC is an approved MA Department of Elementary and Secondary Education teacher preparation program that culminates in Initial Licensure. From the very first day, participants are professionals, working alongside experienced teachers to develop their practice by engaging in relevant experiences with real students.
From its earliest days, training teachers has been part of Parker’s mission:
…The school will actively engage in the training of entry-level teachers; ideally, it will become a “normal school” for teacher training and certification…the responsibility of training new teachers is incorporated into the very structure of the school…All teachers, interns, and apprentices will be involved in regular seminars and colloquia on teaching and learning, which not only serve as the instructional component of teacher certification requirements but also allow practitioners to continue their professional development for academic credit…” (Excerpt from Parker’s Original Charter Application (1994))
In pursuing these mission elements, Parker has created programs, institutional partnerships, and structured opportunities for teachers to learn from each other, deepen their practice through shared reflection, and support adult learning at all stages of professional development: on Wednesday afternoons, in domain planning teams, in co-teaching pairs, and as a full faculty, Parker teachers hone and model the habits and skills of critical thinking, collaborative inquiry, and reflection they’re coaching students toward each day.
—Todd and Ruth
This week’s topics:
- MCAS Testing Schedule
- Noon Dismissals
- Div. 1 & 9th Grade Dance Tonight!
- Division 1 AH Activism Roundtables
- Transitions at Devens Shelter Drive
- Wellness Class CPR
- At-Home Test Reminder
- Tracking COVID-19 Numbers at Parker
- COVID-19 Safety Checks
- COVID-19 Information
- COVID-19 Testing
MCAS Testing Schedule
Eighth grade students will be testing 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.
8th Grade: SCIENCE - May 24 & 25
Reminder the following dates are noon dismissals:
- Friday, May 27
- Wednesday, June 8
- Wednesday, June 15
- Thursday, June 16
Please arrange to have your student picked up at noon, as there is no after-school 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).
Div 1 & 9th Grade Dance Tonight!
The Div. 1 & 9th Grade Movie Dance is tonight, May 20th from 6 PM - 8 PM in the Parker Auditorium! Students can dress as their favorite movie character! There will be a costume contest with the following themes: Action, Comedy, Romance, Horror, Sci-Fi, and Old Movie. Costumes and dressing in theme are optional, as always. Pizza, snacks, and beverages will be provided, and tickets are $10 at the door. See you there!
Division 1 AH Activism Roundtables
Volunteers are needed for roundtable discussions with Division 1 students on Friday, June 3rd from 10:45 AM-12:25 PM or from 1:00-2:40 PM regarding activism topics including: Animals and animal welfare; Environmental issues; Civil rights and equality – LGBTQ+, gender, race, ableism; Economic/income inequality; School/education-based support/intervention; Mental and physical health; and International conflict/issues.
Transistions at Devens Shelter Drive
Next week, May 23rd to 27th, the Female Empowerment Community Block will hold a drive for Transitions—a local family shelter in Devens. In the spirit of helping members of our community and beyond, you are welcome to drop new goods in the labeled collection box in the lobby. Accepted goods include paper towels, toilet paper, personal care items, cleaning supplies, dish soap, plastic cups—all unscented please. Other welcomed goods for kids and/or teens include bubbles, balls for outdoors activities, adult coloring books, and colored pencils. Thank you so much! Contact Biskut MacLaughlin with questions: [email protected].
Wellness Class CPR
Reminder Division 1 and 2 Wellness students have the option to purchase a CPR certification 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.
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 5/13/22-5/20/22:
- Staff – 1
- Students – 10
With an uptick in COVID cases this week, community members who have not already made the choice to wear a mask may want to consider doing so as an added precaution, especially those with any cold/COVID-like symptoms. At this time, a school-wide mask mandate is not actively being considered; individual community members remain free to choose the masking option that they prefer.
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 5/13/22-5/20/22:
- # of pools = 95
- # of NEGATIVE pools = 94
- # of POSITIVE pools = 1
- # of INCONCLUSIVE pools = 0
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.
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 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.
Upcoming Dates of Note:
Looking for help with or information concerning:
a specific class or assignment
the teacher of that class (see Parker email list)
email: [email protected].org
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]