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Family Information for May 7th

Family Information for May 7th
Parker Families,

As you will see in Lisa’s weekly report below, one student tested positive in this week’s pooled COVID testing.  The other nine individuals in the specific positive pool (the group of ten swabs tested as a group) were tested individually Thursday morning and tested negative;  the student who tested positive was promptly isolated until the student could be picked up by a parent. Lisa traced close contacts and followed the other protocols, but because we’ve chosen 6’ of physical distance there is minimal disruption to the in-person program because there were no close contacts who now have to quarantine. This episode also highlights why it is so important to participate in the pooled testing each week: the rapid test is most accurate within seven (7) days of becoming positive which helps with the exposure timeline and assists with contact tracing. Please reach out to Lisa if you have any questions or concerns.

It’s not too late to sign up for the inaugural PANTHER PROWL, a virtual 5K walk or run that’s self-scheduled and family-friendly! All proceeds from this fundraiser by the Essential Community Organization (ECO) support ECO’s mini-grant program, allowing Parker faculty and staff to request funds for classroom needs. Details and registration link below.

I received a call this week from an Auman Street resident who wanted to express concern about vehicle speed on Auman Street and in the neighborhood generally. Let’s be good neighbors, drive safely, prevent injury, and increase good will by observing local speed limits! Thanks for considering this public service announcement.

~Todd
This week’s topics:
  • On-Campus Info
  • MCAS
  • Before and After School
  • Library Information
  • Invitation for Division 1 Parents
  • 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 Information

On-Campus Info

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

  • Monday: Tuna Fish Sandwich OR Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwich
  • Tuesday: Hot Dog OR Black Bean Burger
  • Wednesday: Small Round Pizza OR Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwich
  • Thursday: Buffalo Chicken Wrap OR Veggie Hummus Wrap
  • Friday: Turkey Bacon Sub 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. Students can go to the auditorium before advisory if they would like to eat breakfast before school starts.


MCAS

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

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 (deb@theparkerschool.org) 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.


Before and After School

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.


From Carolyn in the Library

From now until August 20, 2021, the Sora Sweet Reads program will offer a collection of Juvenile and Young Adult titles that will be prominently displayed in Sora for quick and easy unlimited access.  You can explore the title offerings and learn more about the program here: https://resources.overdrive.com/sora-sweet-reads/.  Sora provides the quickest and easiest way to get started with digital titles from our school.  Students can simply log in using their Parker email address (username) and ID # (password) and instantly access thousands of ebooks and audiobooks on virtually any device.  Go to https://soraapp.com or download the free Sora app.  Contact Carolyn at cedwards@theparkerschool.org for more information or if you need help logging into Sora.


Invitation for Division 1 Parents!

Reminder you are welcome to join us for a virtual or socially-distanced sixty-minute Division 1 Community Conversation to:

  • 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 register for a session, click here.


Panther Prowl

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Reminder the Panther Prowl is a virtual family-friendly 5K event designed for everyone to be able to participate in. We welcome runners, walkers, strollers, dog-walkers, etc... and because it is virtual, you can run/walk ANYWHERE at ANYTIME (between 5/8-5/23)!  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 www.pantherprowl.racewire.com

Due to popular demand, ECO is doing a second t-shirt printing!! Register by May 7th for a free shirt!

*ECO, Parker’s Essential Community Organization, is a 501(c)3 whose mission is to support The Parker School.*


Our Essential Commitment Fund

As of May 6, 2021, the Parker community has already contributed $187,000 to Our Essential Commitment Fund!  We are incredibly grateful. STAND UP FOR PARKER by making your donation using this linkHere are some thoughts from Marena, a Parker faculty member, on why she supported the fund this year:

I give to Parker because I understand that it is essential for the school to stay operational.  Also, I believe it is important to show that I mean what I say -- this institution and practice is what I believe in and I am willing to demonstrate that financially.  As a faculty member, I think it's powerful to show that we support the institution that we are working to build and sustain.


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

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 https://www.mass.gov/info-details/find-a-covid-19-test

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 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 4/30/21-5/7/21:

  • Staff – 0
  • Students – 1 (contact tracing has been completed)

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 5/3/21-5/7/21:

  • # of pools = 43
  • # of NEGATIVE pools = 42
  • # of POSITIVE pools = 1 (person identified, contact tracing has been completed)
  • # of INVALID pools = 0

Health Office Reminders

Are you looking to receive the COVID-19 vaccine?

Nashoba Associated Boards of Health is partnering with Clear Path for Veterans New England (84 Antietam Street, Devens, MA) to expand access to COVID-19 vaccinations for the Nashoba Valley region.

Go to vaxfinder.mass.gov to schedule an appointment. They will be starting on Wednesday, May 12th and will be administering the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine.

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

Upcoming Dates of Note

Fri

MAY 7

GSA Movie Night

Sat

MAY 8

Parker Prowl Begins

Tue

MAY 11

Board of Trustees

Wed

MAY 12

Senior Exhibitions Begin

Thu

MAY 13

Div 1 In-Person Community Conversation

Sun

MAY 16

Div 1 Virtual Community Conversation

Mon

MAY 17

Div 1 In-Person Community Conversation

Fri

MAY 28

Noon Dismissal

Mon

MAY 31

Memorial Day (no school)

Click HERE for the Online Calendar

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