We ended our last autumn school week in Daylight Savings Time with a seasonal treat prepared by the Class of 2022: “AppleFest” included home-baked apple crisp, music, and a big dose of community spirit! Thanks to the senior class for creating a sense of occasion and for hosting this fun event! Thanks also to the Hatlevig family and Shelburne Farm in Stow for contributing the apples! We desperately missed AppleFest last year and the other in-person milestones and events that help build community, lighten one’s spirits, and encourage folks to have fun together.
I often describe Parker as a “high-affect” school: there’s a palpable energy one can feel the moment one steps inside the building. Division 3 students help shape school culture and climate EVERY day, not just on special occasions like AppleFest: they serve as teaching assistants in Division 1 and Division 2 classrooms; they visibly log school service hours each week; they facilitate work of the Justice Committee and Community Congress; they lead by example, by voice, and by deed. They see themselves—and behave as—stewards of a “tone of decency and trust” in our common life at Parker. We’re both fortunate and grateful that they care so deeply about Parker!
This week’s topics:
- Our Essential Commitment Fund
- Division 1 & 9th Grade Dance!
- Choices Program
- Health Screenings
- Lost & Found Pickup
- Dental Care
- Information Sessions
- Winter Sports Registration
- Student Directories
- 2022 Calendar Orders
- Weather Related Delays and Closings
- Attendance Line Reminders
- Public School Monitoring Visit
- Tracking COVID-19 Numbers at Parker
- COVID-19 Safety Checks
- Health Office COVID-19 Information
Our Essential Commitment Fund
Our Essential Commitment Fund has been launched for school year 2021-2022, and our community is starting strong and already exceeding expectations! As of November 2nd, we have received over $56,000 from our Board of Trustees, staff, current families, alumni, parents of graduates, and friends of Parker. For more information, click here. To make your 2021-2022 donation to support Parker, click here. We are grateful for your support.
Division 1 & 9th Grade Dance!
Attention families of Division 1 and 9th grade students! We welcome your student(s) to come join us for the Div. 1 & 9th Grade "90s-themed" Dance on Friday, November 12th from 6 PM - 8 PM in the Parker Auditorium! Dress up like we are in the 1990s! (Dressing up for the 90s theme is optional, of course). Pizza and beverages provided!
- Tickets are $5 in advance and $10 at the door. Tickets can be purchased using UniPay (select “Dances”) or with cash/check during lunches from Thursday, 11/4/2021 - Wednesday, 11/10/2021 in the auditorium.
- Note: There will not be any physical tickets. All ticket holder names will be on a list at the door. Additionally, students must wear masks and abide by Covid-19 protocols.
Parents who would like to gather during the dance are welcomed by ECO to do so in the front circle. Details to follow.
Chief Kelly from the Devens Fire Department will be coming to Parker on Tuesday, November 16th at 3:45 PM (Location TBD). The Choices Program goes over consequences of using tobacco, alcohol drugs, inhalants, and drinking and driving. Please join us as Chief Kelly delivers this very important message to our Parker community. Email Nurse Lisa at email@example.com if you have questions.
As mandated by the State of Massachusetts, Nurse Lisa will be starting vision/hearing, height/weight screenings for all 7th and 10th grade students on Wednesday, November 17th during Wellness. Please email Lisa at firstname.lastname@example.org if you choose to opt your student out of screening.
LOST & FOUND Pickup
The next clean-out of the LOST and FOUND will be on Friday, November 19th. Please stop by before that date to search for and claim any items belonging to you or your loved ones!
Dental Care at Parker (Caring for Kids)
Students have an opportunity to receive dental care right here at Parker School through Caring for Kids. Please read about Caring for Kids HERE and complete the documents by clicking HERE and return to Nurse Lisa. The consent can be completed on the Health Portal as well.
The dental program provides:
- Dental examination
- Fluoride treatment
- Teeth cleaning
There is no direct cost to the patient. However, if the child has insurance, the insurance will be billed. If you have any questions, please email Lisa Zick at email@example.com.
Reminder the enrollment Information sessions for families interested in applying for the lottery for next school year began this week. Please share this link with others you know who might like to attend and learn more about Parker: https://www.theparkerschool.org/enrollment/information-sessions-dates-rsvp
Winter Sports Registration
Reminder registration is open for Winter Sports. Please register as soon as possible as teams are forming. Click here for details.
Reminder a printed Student Directory can be purchased at the front office for $3. If you would prefer to have a directory mailed to you, you can send $5 to Parker School or pay $5 online via UniPay under Misc, Fees, Other.
Order 2022 Student Art Calendars by December 1st
Reminder to order your 2022 Parker Student Artwork Wall Calendar by December 1st using this link. All artwork is the creation of Parker students, and your purchase supports Parker Arts and Our Essential Commitment Fund. There are so many incredible pictures that will be included, and the calendars will be available for pick up by December 15th — just in time for the winter holiday season. We HOPE that our community will come together and purchase these very meaningful wall calendars to honor student work and raise funds for the school!
Weather Related Delays and Closings
Reminder when school is cancelled or delayed because of inclement weather, Parker uses an automated phone calling service, the school’s website and voicemail, and local media outlets to inform families of the closing or delay. Because Parkers students come from over forty cities and towns throughout Central Massachusetts, it’s important for Parker families to exercise independent critical judgement, based on observed local conditions, when deciding whether to travel to campus during inclement weather.
Attendance Line Reminders
- Will your student be ABSENT or LATE (arriving after 8:30 AM)? Please leave a message on the attendance line BEFORE 9 AM (978-772-3293, ext. 1 - available 24 hours a day). If it is after 9 AM, please call the main office (messages are not checked after 9 AM). Students are late if they are not in their advisory room at 8:30 AM, and then MUST sign-in at the main office.
- Picking up your student from school early or during the day? Please come in to sign them out at the office. This policy allows us to account for all students in event of a fire drill or other emergency.
- Going on a trip, extending a school break, or observing a religious holiday? Remember to contact the main office and let us know when your student(s) will be absent.
Public School Monitoring Visit
Reminder every three years the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education 's Office of Public School Monitoring (PSM) visits each school district to monitor compliance with federal and state special education and civil rights regulations. During the week of November 29, 2021, PSM will be at Parker conducting observations and interviews as part of this process. For your information, the press releases, are linked here in English and Spanish.
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 10/29/21-11/5/21:
- Staff – 0
- Students – 0
If there is a positive case on campus, all close contacts will be contacted immediately by Lisa Zick, School Nurse.
COVID-19 Safety Checks
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 inconclusive which may be due to lab error or too much mucous in the tube. In this case, Nurse Lisa will retest staff/students who were in that "inconclusive" pool.
Pooled Test Results from 10/29/21-11/5/21:
- # of pools = 38
- # of NEGATIVE pools = 37
- # of POSITIVE pools = 0
- # of INCONCLUSIVE pools = 1 (all individuals have been re-tested and were negative)
Health Office COVID-19 Information
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Reminder that students should not come to school if:
- the student is sick, even if they don’t have a fever. Reach out to Nurse Lisa with questions
- 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 outside of the school setting which does not include close contacts at school) 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
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
An individual experiencing a symptom in bold (above) should get a PCR test and quarantine. If an individual has other symptoms on this list, getting a PCR test is recommended especially if the individual has a combination of symptoms on the list. Please stay home while waiting for test results.
Note: Fully vaccinated individuals are testing positive for COVID-19. Many are presenting with symptoms, but some are asymptomatic.
Close Contacts - Fully vaccinated and asymptomatic
Based on the Massachusetts Department of Elementary & Secondary Education and the Department of Public Health protocols, students who are fully vaccinated and are asymptomatic, do not have to quarantine or test but must continue to monitor for symptoms for 14 days.
Close Contacts - NOT fully vaccinated and asymptomatic - Can do Test & Stay
- Must be symptom free
- NOT fully vaccinated
- Wear masks in school at all times, other than eating or drinking, and should maintain 3 feet of distance from other individuals
- Take a rapid antigen test (BinaxNow) on each school day for 7 days from last exposure and receive a negative result. When the 7 days from the date of exposure includes weekends or holidays, individuals should quarantine on weekends, and if they remain asymptomatic, upon return to school be tested immediately. If the individual remains negative, they can stay in school
- Conduct active monitoring for symptoms through day 14, and self-isolate at home if symptoms develop
- Must quarantine outside of school per the Board of Health
Upcoming Dates of Note:
Board of Trustees
Veteran’s Day – No School
Division 1 & 9th Grade Dance
Looking for help with or information concerning:
a specific class or assignment
the teacher of that class (see Parker email list)
your family’s or student’s health
mental health/emotional support needs
food insecurity/free and reduced school lunch needs