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Family Information for September 24th

Family Information for September 24th

Parker Families,

It was great to see so many folks at Back-to-School Night on Thursday!  Thanks for taking advantage of the opportunity to learn about division-specific programs and events, Parker’s Essential Community Organization (ECO), and the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) subcommittee of the board.  Thanks also for taking the opportunity to experience a condensed version of your student’s class schedule.

Those of us “in the lobby” were heartened to see the level of interest in ECO, which is a key piece of the family/school collaboration.  Established in 2013, the mission of ECO is to enhance the essential school experience at Parker by nurturing and strengthening bonds among our school, families, and communities.

ECO was established to serve the following purposes:

  • To build community among all school constituents
  • To provide parents with an avenue to pursue volunteer opportunities
  • To fundraise for the benefit of the school, its teachers and students

ECO welcomes teachers, staff, students, parents, alumni and local community members to the organization.  It is an inclusive organization working to benefit the Parker community through ECO grants to teachers for programs at Parker, a very popular Teacher Appreciation program, and fun-filled community-building events.

Development director Katrina Tedstone is working with current ECO leadership.  Now is a great time to “raise your hand” to be part of ECO’s work this year!

The DEI subcommittee of the Parker board is a group of committed community members and faculty who meet monthly to explore ways to better support under-represented populations at Parker and create a more inclusive school.  The group meets (remotely) on the first Wednesday of each month at 7:00 PM.  Committee co-chair and trustee Mario Silva-Rosa hosted folks at the lobby table last evening; co-chair Ruth Whalen Crockett ([email protected]) is the person to email if you are interested in supporting the committee’s work and didn’t have a chance to sign up last evening.


This week’s topics:
  • Automated Attendance Calls
  • Teacher Appreciation
  • Clubs, etc
  • Parker 101 Parent/Guardian Orientation
  • Picture Day
  • Refillable Water Bottles
  • Join Community Congress!
  • Support Our Seniors
  • Community Connections Night
  • PLP Conferences
  • Meal Information
  • Tracking COVID-19 Numbers at Parker
  • COVID-19 Safety Checks
  • Health Office Reminders
  • COVID-19 Test and Stay

New Attendance Communication

Starting Monday (September 27th), Parker will now communicate to you via automated voicemail if your student(s) is marked absent in their Advisory and a call was not received on the attendance line.  As always, please remember to call the attendance line prior to 9:00 AM if your child will be late, absent, or dismissed early!

Reminder students should be in their advisories by 8:30 AM.  Parents/Guardians should use the attendance line [978-772-3293 x1] to inform the school of any late arrivals, absences, or early dismissals.  Students under the age of 18 are not allowed to call or sign themselves out.

Teacher Appreciation

ECO has organized a way for families to show their appreciation of Parker teachers by bringing treats to the school for them.  Please click here to learn more and sign up.

Clubs, Etc.

Students are encouraged to check out the Clubs, Etc. Bulletin Board between the Lobby and Room 2.  New groups will use the morning announcements to advertise and also post a flyer on the bulletin board.  Current groups are:

  • Book Club – Mondays – during Lunch in the Library
  • LGBTQIA+ - Mondays – after school in the Library
  • Ping Pong – Mondays – after school in Room 48
  • Volleyball – Mondays – after school in the Gym
  • Art Club – Tuesdays – during Lunch in Room 6
  • Animation & Video Production Club – Wednesdays – after school in the Library
  • Anime Club – Thursdays – during Lunch in Room 6
  • D & D – Fridays – after school in Room 48

All clubs or groups are open to all students and are required to have adult supervision.  Students wanting to start a new club or group should see Monique in Room 33.

Parent Orientation Parker 101
Parker 101 on September 30th and October 5th

Please join us for an orientation to Parker especially for parents/guardians who are new or relatively new to the school. These are intended to be companion sessions; you are welcome to attend just one, though we hope you can join us at both. While we hope many folks will choose to join us in person, we will make a link available to attend virtually as well.  Please contact Deb Merriam ([email protected]) or Matt Smith ([email protected]) with any questions.

  • Part 1: Academics:
    This session will focus primarily on the classroom experience and academic structures/expectations at Parker.
    • Thursday, September 30th – 7:00-8:30 PM – Room 27
  • Part 2: School Culture and Communication:
    This session will focus on "everything else" about 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.
    • Tuesday, October 5th - 7:00-8:30 PM – Room 27

Picture Day on October 1st

Picture Day is currently scheduled for Friday, October 1st. JostensPIX will be our vendor this year, and they plan to make the experience easy:

  • Just show up looking great (but DON'T wear GREEN!)
  • Preview images and personalize products online
  • Combine multiple children in one order
  • Prints shipped directly home

Bring a Refillable Water Bottle!

The “spouts” on our bubblers are not currently in use, however, the hands-free filling stations are! It is recommended for students to carry a refillable drinking vessel for use at any of these stations throughout the day.

Students are Invited to Join the Community Congress!

Do you have a student interested in student government? Do they want to have a voice in developing policies for the Student Handbook and deciding how to spend student funds? If so, you should encourage them to join the Community Congress (CC)! The CC is the legislative branch of student government, and it meets during Community Block on Fridays. Each Division elects 6 individuals to represent them – these 18 individuals (plus the 3 Moderators) are the ones who vote on policy/handbook proposals (such as updating the computer use policy) and grant proposals (such as buying power stations for the library and new furniture for the lobby). If they want to run for one of the 6 positions for their Division, they need to send an email to Matt Smith ([email protected]) by Wednesday, September 29th. Speeches for CC will happen on Thursday, September 30th, and elections will happen on Friday, October 1st. If students want to be a part of the CC and be a part of conversations/debates, but not have voting power, they can still sign up for the Community Block. If there are any questions about the CC, how to run, elections, etc., please contact Matt!

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

Students will be declaring their areas of interest the week of Sept 27 so look to future Friday newsletters for the incredible range of topics they will pursue this year.

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

PLP Conferences on October 15th

In the next few weeks, families should be hearing from their child's Advisors to set up a meeting time for PLP Conferences (Personal Learning Plans).  This is a student/family/advisor conference – if you are new to Parker, your child’s advisor will send you an email with a longer introduction to the process!  PLP Conferences are one of the traditions that help us to know our students well and support them in being at the center of their own education by setting their own goals for the year.  For now, please make note of Friday, October 15th on your calendar, and we will be in touch in the near future with info about how to select a time slot on that day!

Meal Information

MENU CHANGE for Monday, September 27, is to Meatball Sub or Black Bean Burger.

Reminder Parker is providing free meals to all students through June 30, 2022, under the USDA’s Child Nutrition Programs.  Additional information is available on the cafeteria page of our website.


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.  The following are positive cases in the Parker community from 9/17/21-9/24/21:

  • Staff – 0
  • Students – 2

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 9/17/21-9/24/21:
  • # of pools = 42
  • # of NEGATIVE pools = 40
  • # of POSITIVE pools = 1
  • # of INCONCLUSIVE pools = 1 (individuals are being re-tested)
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
COVID-19 Test and Stay

Close contacts can remain in school and do not have to quarantine as long as they:

  • Are asymptomatic
  • 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 and receive a negative result.  When the 7 days from 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

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 asymptomatic
  • 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


SEP 29

Division 1 Mt. Wachusett Field Trip


SEP 30

Parker 101



School Picture Day



ECO Meeting



Parker 101



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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