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Family Information for May 6th

Family Information for May 6th
Parker Families,

The sun came out just in time for Senior Exhibitions!  Approximately half the Class of 2022 presented on Thursday and Friday this week; others will do so on Monday and Tuesday.  Every year the Senior Project culminates in a 30-60 minute exhibition, a bit like a Gateway Exhibition, in which individual students share their learning from research, experiences, and products related to their topic.  Senior Exhibitions are attended by friends, family, and other members of the Parker community.  Unlike Gateways, Senior Exhibitions are assessed by a jury consisting of the student’s advisor/Senior Seminar teacher, a Parker junior, a second Parker faculty member, an “outside” Parker community member, and sometimes the student’s Senior Project mentor.

Public exhibitions are, of course, one of the distinctive features of the Essential school model.  As Ted Sizer put it:

…The effect of Exhibitions on Essential schools and the focus they provide have been substantial.  They have provided criteria for setting priorities.  They have forced faculties to be clear about what the students have to do and why…

And thanks to all of you who participated in ECO’s celebration of Parker teachers this week!  I know my colleagues welcomed the material recognition, food, massages, raffles, and other gifts that grateful parents and guardians offered during Teacher Appreciation Week.  Here’s Ted again, this time about good teachers:

…It has long and wisely been said that good teachers will do good work in a shed and the best equipped building full of dull adults will fail.  Students are energized by adults who are excited about what they are doing.  Gusto counts.  Persistence and intelligence and being informed count.  Transparently loving one’s subject counts.  Being so sure of oneself as a scholar-teacher that one can easily and readily admit not knowing something counts.  Being visibly engaged with important ideas and enthralled with a new book or mathematical proof or piece of software counts…If adults act the way they hope the students will, the results are palpable…

In celebration of the Seniors and my worthy colleagues,

This week’s topics:
  • MCAS Testing Schedule
  • Attendance Reminders
  • Special Education Parent Advisory Council (SEPAC) Meeting
  • Last Call for Todd’s Book
  • The Sumner Fund
  • Attention Spanish Students!
  • Message from Rosie’s Family
  • Volunteer to Update Our Sports Banners!
  • 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

7th & 8th Grade:

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

Attendance Reminders

Will your student be ABSENT or LATE (arriving after 8:30 AM)? Please leave a message on the attendance line BEFORE 9:00 AM [978-772-3293, ext. 1]. Students are late if they are not in their advisory room at 8:30 AM and MUST sign in at the Front Office. IMPORTANT: You must contact the Front Office even if you have let the teachers know. The attendance line is available 24 hours a day: 978-772-3293 ext. 1

Picking up your child from school early? Please come into the lobby to sign them out at the office (unless they are 18 years of age, in which they are permitted to sign themselves out). This is a school policy that allows us to account for all students in the event of a fire drill or any other emergency.

Special Education Parent Advisory Council (SEPAC) Meeting

Come to the Special Education Parent Advisory Council (SEPAC) Meeting on Wednesday, May 11, at 6:30 PM. Click here to join the remote Teams meeting.

Topic: Introduction to Transition Planning - Jen Stach, Educational Professional, Parent. Things Parents Should Know (All Divisions). Facilitated By: Karen Sheldon, SEPAC President, with Kathy Russo, Special Education Coordinator.

Last Call for Todd's Book

We’re wrapping this up and submitting for print, so please contribute now if you intend to do so! Contributions can vary from a sentence to a collage. Easy Option: you can enter your message in this form for us to include in the book for you; Creative Option: click here to format and submit your own contribution. Your words and/or photos will be printed in a community-sourced book he will receive at his celebration on June 10. Click here for more information.

The Sumner Fund

There are so many things we will all miss about Todd. His sense of humor and willingness to be taped to a wall are things that will not be soon forgotten!

We are over 90% of our way to our Sumner Fund goal to honor Todd and his years of thoughtful leadership. Join in this effort by clicking here to make your contribution today.

For more information on The Sumner Fund, click here.

Attention Spanish Students!

¿Te gusta el chocolate? Do you like chocolate? 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!

Message from Rosie's Family

From Mary Lohman (mother of Rosie Mitchell): Rosie and I want to convey to the entire Parker Family our deepest gratitude for all of the LOVE, SOLIDARITY, ENCOURAGEMENT AND SUPPORT you have given and continue to give to Rosie. I hope none of you ever have to go through an experience like this, but I SO wish you could feel what it is like to be on the receiving end of your beautiful videos, postcards, birthday greetings, bake sale love, chalk drawings, care packages…all of your good vibes, thoughts and prayers! WE LOVE YOU PARKER, please continue to hold us in your hearts!! XXXOOO. (If you’d like to learn more about Rosie or how to help, email Sheila at [email protected])

Volunteer to Update Our Sports Banners!

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]

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 4/29/22-5/6/22:

  • Staff – 2
  • Students – 1
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 4/29/22-5/6/22:

  • # of pools = 109
  • # of NEGATIVE pools = 109
  • # of POSITIVE pools = 0
  • # of INCONCLUSIVE pools = 0
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 are distributed every other Thursday to individuals who have opted into the program. 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-in, please reach out to Nurse Lisa at [email protected].

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:


May 9-10

Senior Exhibitions


May 10

Board of Trustees


May 11

7/8th Grade Math MCAS


May 11

SEPAC Meeting


May 12

7/8th Grade Math MCAS


May 17

10th Grade Math MCAS


May 18

10th Grade Math MCAS


May 18

Café Wednesday


May 20

Division 1 & 9th Grade Dance

The Big End (last day of school) is tentatively scheduled for Thursday, June 16, with a noon dismissal; subject to change based on school cancellations until June 1.

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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