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Family Information for May 28th

Family Information for May 28th
Parker Families,

This week’s newsletter contains important end-of-year information, listed below, and we encourage you, as always, to read on.

The “stop press” moment concerns next year, and you may have already seen press coverage of this.  From DESE yesterday:  “…Fall 2021 school reopening: For the fall, all districts and schools will be required to be in-person, full-time, five days a week, and all DESE health and safety requirements will be lifted. This includes all physical distancing requirements…”  (emphasis added).  This is most welcome news!!!

Enjoy the holiday weekend!

~Todd
This week’s topics:
  • Gateways
  • On-Campus Info
  • MCAS
  • Traffic on June 4
  • Graduation Information
  • From the Library
  • ECO Meeting
  • Our Essential Commitment Fund
  • Before and After School
  • 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

Gateways

Gateway day/time emails will go out shortly.  If you have a student gatewaying this June, please be on the lookout for that email and put the day/time on your calendar.  If you have a conflict, please be in touch with Deb Merriam (deb@theparkerschool.org) as soon as possible so we can reschedule.  There are approximately 300 gateways to schedule in five days, so if you have the flexibility to make the day/time you receive work, that helps a lot -- but we want parents/guardians to attend, so please be in touch right away if your student’s gateway slot will not work for you.  Gateways will be available both live and remotely, so if you cannot attend live, you will still have access to a remote link to be part of the celebration of student learning!


On-Campus Info

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

  • Tuesday - Raviolis OR Black Bean Burger
  • Wednesday - Pizza OR Peanut Butter & Jelly Sandwich
  • Thursday - Crunch Chicken Wrap OR Veggie Hummus Wrap
  • Friday- Cheese Quesadillas OR Black Bean Burger

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. Students can go to the auditorium before advisory if they would like to eat breakfast before school starts.

MCAS

Students have done a GREAT job of remembering their Parker laptops/charging cords for MCAS testing!!  8th and 10th grade students should remember to do so again this coming WEDNESDAY!  Thanks.

Remaining MCAS testing:

  • Wed., June 2: 8th, 10th
  • Wed., June 9: 10th
Traffic Disruption on June 4th

Members of the Class of 2021 are looking forward to their last day of classes on Friday, June 4th, and to their graduation ceremonies the following week!

Seniors are also planning to continue the tradition of a “senior prank” for their schoolmates on Friday morning, June 4th.  For example, one year the theme was “Pirates v. Ninjas;” one year the prank theme was “Beach Party.”  This year’s theme is still a secret!  

But the prank is likely to involve performance/engagement during morning drop-off.  That could look like squirt guns, pirate ships, or water balloons:  we’ve asked the seniors to be safe and respectful (as well as fun-loving) during morning drop-off.  

In the past, some parents have been upset by physical contact with their vehicles while on campus during the senior prank.  If you want to avoid the scene, please consider alternatives to on-campus drop-off for your student Friday morning (Antietam St or P5 are the best options).  

During afternoon carpool on June 4th, we will temporarily block vehicle access to campus (3:15-3:30 PM) to support another tradition, the “Running of the Seniors.”  In non-COVID times this parade takes place indoors; this year it will take place outside and terminate at the flagpole circle.


Graduation Information

Graduation ceremonies for the Class of 2021 will be held outdoors at Parker on Wednesday, June 9 at 6:00 PM.  The rain date will be Thursday, June 10, at 6:00 PM.  

In light of recent changes in Massachusetts COVID protocols and other changes that will go into effect on 29 May, we’ve revised the plan for Graduation.  It’s not a return to “normal,” nor is it as small a gathering as last summer.  

Graduation will be attended in-person by SENIORS AND THEIR FAMILIES ONLY.  Each senior may invite ten family members; the seating area will be gridded for social distancing between household groups.  The event will be live-streamed for at-home access by faculty, staff, alums, and community members.  

We hope many of you can support the Class of 2021 by watching the live-streamed version of their “crossing the stage” moment!


From the Library

All overdue library books should be returned to the library over the next week.  Emails were sent out to students who still had books checked out from either this school year or the previous year.  Check your emails to see specifically what you should be looking for so that the book(s) can be returned as soon as possible.  Thank you!


ECO Meeting

Have you wondered what ECO is and what they do???  Come find out at their last meeting of the school year (virtually) on Wednesday, June 2nd, at 6 PM.  Come help us finish out this year strong and start planning for the Fall!  ECO, Parker’s parent and community organization, would love to see some new faces!  Use this meeting link and the password given in the Friday email to join.


Our Essential Commitment Fund

Update: Due to the incredible generosity of a few parents of Parker graduates, all donations to Our Essential Commitment Fund will see their gifts multiplied by 3 for the first $7,500 received! As of 5/27/21, we are within $1000 of meeting our goal! Click the graphic below or go to parker.school/giving to help us meet and exceed this challenge!

triple your impact graphic.JPG
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 mbeganski@theparkerschool.org to have them added to the list.


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 mmckenna@theparkerschool.org 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 this coming Monday, 5/31 (Memorial Day), we will test those who have traveled out of state on Tuesday, June 1st, when we return to school.

The State of Massachusetts 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.

Fully vaccinated travelers do not need to quarantine while awaiting test results - Those who are fully vaccinated (i.e. who have received two doses of either the Moderna or Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines OR who have received a single dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, 14 days or more ago) and who do not have symptoms, do not need to quarantine while awaiting test results.

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 lzick@theparkerschool.org 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 5/21/21-5/28/21:

  • 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 5/24/21-5/28/21:

  • # of pools = 44
  • # of NEGATIVE pools = 44
  • # of POSITIVE pools = 0
  • # of INVALID pools = 0
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 lzick@theparkerschool.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

Health Office COVID-19 Vaccine Information

Are you looking to receive the COVID-19 vaccine?

Which vaccine?:  Pfizer
When?:  Wednesday, June 2nd AND June 9th from 1:00 PM - 6:00 PM
Who?:  Anyone 12 years and older (anyone under 18 years of age must be accompanied by a parent/guardian)
Where?:  Clear Path for Veterans New England  (Walk-Ins Accepted!)
                   84 Antietam St.
                   Devens, MA  01434

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

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 VaccineSignUp.mass.gov and receive an email with booking instructions when an appointment is available.


Upcoming Dates of Note

Mon

MAY 31

Memorial Day (no school)

Wed

JUN 2

MCAS Grades 8 and 10

Wed

JUN 2

ECO Meeting

Tue

JUN 8

Board of Trustees

Tue

JUN 8

Senior Night

Wed

JUN 9

MCAS Grade 10

Wed

JUN 9

Gateways Begin

Wed

JUN 9

Noon Dismissal

Wed

JUN 9

Graduation

Wed

JUN 16

Big End

Wed

JUN 16

Noon Dismissal

Wed

JUN 16

Last Day of School

Click HERE for the Online Calendar

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