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Family Information for October 1st

Family Information for October 1st
Parker Families,

This week students are signing up for “Community Block.” On Friday afternoons, beginning next week, Community Block offerings will begin.  The purpose of Community Block is to give all students a chance to benefit and/or provide service to the community at Parker and/or the wider world.

Operationally, here’s what will happen:  a) we’ll have three “seasons” of Community Block that align roughly to fall/winter/spring; b) students will sign up for the first season this week; c) students will participate in Community Block for at least one season this year (there are division-specific alternatives for students not enrolled in Community Block each season).

Like the Community Conversations structured around this year’s essential question (Why Should We Care?) earlier in the year, Community Block is a moment in the week when students from all three divisions are working together toward a common goal, collaborating with students they don’t necessarily know well or get to work with in other contexts.  The Community Block time slot is also when both branches of student government—the Justice Committee (JC) and Community Congress (CC)—hold their regular meetings.

Best wishes to all Community Blocks as they launch next week!

This week’s topics:
  • OneNote Links and Home-School Communication
  • ECO Invitation
  • Parker 101 Part 2
  • Support Our Seniors
  • Community Connections Night
  • Lights, Camera, Action!
  • PLP Conferences
  • Poll Respondent Thanks
  • Second Shift Custodian Opening
  • Parker On the Air Rewind
  • Security Cameras
  • Call for Student Artwork
  • Division 1 Community Conversation
  • Meal Information
  • Mask Mandate Extended
  • Tracking COVID-19 Numbers at Parker
  • COVID-19 Safety Checks
  • Health Office COVID-19 Information

OneNote Links and Home-School Communication

We hope you saw the email we sent earlier this week that contains OneNote links for your student.  Please take a minute to read that email if you have not already done so, so that you understand what Academic Communication between home and school will look like this year.  You can also visit this updated webpage, which has additional information about home-school communication methods!

ECO Invite

Are you a parent interested in how you might get involved in supporting Parker and Parker teachers?  ECO, Parker's Essential Community Organization, is the parent organization with a mission of promoting community and supporting the school.  ECO's first VIRTUAL meeting is Tuesday, October 5th 6-7:15 pm- for more information visit:

Click here to join the meeting.

Parent Orientation Parker 101
Parker 101 Part 2 on October 5th

Please join us for Part 2 of an orientation to Parker especially for parents/guardians who are new or relatively new to the school on Tuesday, October 5th, from 7:00-8:30 PM in Room 27

Parents/guardians who were new last year are also invited to attend!

Part 2 will focus on the non-academic aspects of the school, including the advisory program, home-school communication, "discipline", extracurriculars & athletics, food programs, library and technology, and other important family and cultural aspects of the Parker experience. While we hope many folks will choose to join us in person, the link to join virtually that was sent this week will work next week as well.

Please contact Deb Merriam ([email protected]) or Matt Smith ([email protected]) with any questions.

Support Our Seniors Potluck

Seniors and their families are invited to join in conversation around the expectations, excitement, and challenges of the year ahead on Wednesday, October 6th from 5:30-7 PM in the Auditorium. Senior Seminar teachers/advisors will provide an overview of the senior year, Senior Project, and the graduation requirements along with this year’s installment of “Dear Diary”—a not-to-be-missed crowd favorite! Please bring a dish to share!

Community Connections Night

We invite all members of the Parker community to meet with the Class of 2022 and learn about their Senior Projects on Wednesday, October 6th from 7-8:15 PM in the Gym! We hope you will offer suggestions for…

  • resources they should access
  • people/organizations with whom they might collaborate
  • experiential opportunities they could pursue
  • product ideas they might consider

Please feel free to bring guests! If you are unable to attend but have ideas to share, please review the students’ topic areas in the document linked below, and then you may contact the Senior Seminar teacher for that student.

Click here to view the topics chosen by the Class of 2022 for their yearlong senior projects.

Thanks, The Senior Seminar Teachers/Advisors:
JohnBo, Ryan, Henry, Debbie, Sue and Diane

Lights, Camera, Action!

Parker has agreed to provide access for on-location filming of a New England Studios movie production.  The film is titled Second Coming, an adaptation of the Stephen King novel Salem’s Lot; at least two Parker parents are part of the production crew. Film crews will be on campus beginning Thursday, October 7th, wrapping up their work on Wednesday, October 15th.

PLP Conferences on October 15th

You should have heard from your student’s advisor about setting up a PLP. If you have not done so yet, please click the link immediately below to make your appointment! PLPs will happen on Friday, October 15th – there are no classes on this day.[email protected]/bookings/

Note that you need to be sure to select the date (Oct 15) and the appropriate DIVISION for your student, and then be sure to select the correct name(s) of the advisor(s). Please do not make an appointment with “anyone” as that actually means no one!!  Your child’s advisor will be in touch soon with additional related information.

Poll Respondent Thanks

Thanks to the 75+ respondents to our recent poll about how best to invest available federal funds in addressing student learning interrupted by the pandemic.  48% of respondents indicated a preference for critical skill practice and acceleration; 38% indicated a preference for social/emotional learning; 14% of respondents preferred portfolio completion & Gateway Exhibition support.  We will use these data when applying for a new round of federal grant programs aimed at COVID mitigation and management.

Second Shift Custodian Position is Open

The Parker Facilities team is looking for a new full time, benefit eligible member.  The second shift custodian position is open immediately.  If you work well independently and enjoy the idea of being part of our school community, this may be a good fit for you.  Please reach out to Michelle McKenna with questions or interest [email protected].  The full job posting is available at Francis W Parker Charter - Job Postings (

Parker on the Air Rewind!

If you missed Todd and Parker Moderators Audrey, Yarrow, and Theo on The Business Buzz on WPKZ (105.3 FM or 1280 AM) last week, you can listen to it by clicking the link below:

Stream episode 9-23-21 Nashoba Valley Chamber Of Commerce -Parker Charter School by The K-Zone WPKZ 105.3FM/AM1280 podcast | Listen online for free on SoundCloud

WPKZ logo

Security Cameras Installed

Work began over the summer and was recently completed to install video surveillance cameras on the exterior of the buildings at 49 Antietam Street.  We took this step in response to several incidents (over the past couple of years) of after-hours vandalism, unauthorized entry, and property damage on campus; one of these incidents, which included racist graffiti, was particularly upsetting. Should incidents occur in future, the recorded video footage may help hold the responsible parties to account. It’s our intention to use the footage reactively, as a tool for resolving an incident after the incident occurs. All of the new cameras are outside the building, covering the parking lots, entry doors, and grounds.

Call for Student Artwork

This year, we are excited to be creating a 2021 wall calendar featuring student artwork. Artwork submitted by students will be selected by a jury and included in the calendar which will be available for purchase before the new year. For more information, see this flyer. Submit your artwork online here by October 25th. Contact Katrina, Cordelia, Marena or Sheila with any questions!

Invitation to Division 1 Parents

Welcome to Parker!  As your students begin to settle in at Parker, we are excited to provide our new parents with a way to connect with Parker and other new families. Join us for an in-person, sixty-minute Division 1 Community Conversation to:

  • Build community
  • Have fun
  • Celebrate and explore our connection to Parker and its history
  • Understand how financial support for Parker will ensure its continued success

Click here to register for one of three sessions in late October.

Meal Information

Reminder Parker is providing free meals to all students this year under the USDA’s Child Nutrition Programs.  Daily breakfast offerings will be a bagel, yogurt with granola, or cereal with milk, fruit, and a cheese stick.  A limited number of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches will be available as an option at lunchtime every day.

Unfortunately, there are shortages in the food supply chain nationwide. Districts are experiencing unavailable items or last-minute replacement/substitutions. Our cafeteria is dealing with items that have no substitution/replacement option and deliveries have been pushed out a day or in some cases several days.  Hence, our menu is subject to change. We will do our very best to notify you when there are changes.  We appreciate your patience and understanding as we work through these issues with vendors. We are excited to continue serving delicious and healthy school meals this school year.

October Menu 2021

Mask Mandate Extended

Earlier this week Commissioner Riley extended the current indoor mask mandate for schools to November 1st.  DESE also provided an “opt-out” application process based on vaccination rates that would be available to qualifying schools after October 15th. Parker is not planning to pursue the “opt-out” application in October for two primary reasons:  first, we’ve had a couple of positive cases already this fall and masks will help prevent in-school transmission; second, our student vaccination rates barely clear the 80% eligibility threshold at present (staff vaccination rates at 97% with 100% of classroom teachers).  Should the mask mandate be extended beyond November 1st we’ll revisit this question.

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 Nashoba Associated Boards of Health which is our local board of health.  The following are positive cases in the Parker community from 9/24/21-10/1/21:

  • Staff – 0
  • Students – 1

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 9/24/21-10/1/21:
  • # of pools = 39
  • # of NEGATIVE pools = 35
  • # of POSITIVE pools = 1
  • # of INCONCLUSIVE pools = 3 (all retests were negative)
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 [email protected].

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

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

Sports Schedule

Upcoming Dates of Note



ECO Meeting



Parker 101 Part 2



Support Our Seniors



Community Connections Night


OCT 11

Fall Holiday (No School)


OCT 12

Board of Trustees


OCT 13



OCT 15

PLP Conferences (No Classes)

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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