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Family Information for September 2nd

Family Information for September 2nd
Dear Parker Students, Families, and Staff,

Thank you to everyone in the Parker community who helped to make our first week a success. We are three days into our 28th school year, committed as ever to our mission and values and strengthened by everyone who calls Parker their school. Welcome to all our newest students and families – we hope that you already feel included, respected, known and challenged at Parker.

We also welcome our newest staff members, seven of whom join us through the New Teachers Collaborative (NTC) under Ruth Whalen Crockett’s tutelage. We have spent most of August learning about Parker, collaborating with our colleagues and getting ready for the year ahead. One of the many things that Parker does right is invest in adult learning and mentorship for new staff. I join my new colleagues in expressing my appreciation for Parker’s culture of reflective practice.

Our full faculty has been back for two weeks, reflecting on our Essential Question (EQ), developing instructional goals and learning together. We have focused particular attention on helping students persevere through challenge, developing self-management and coping skills. These are essential life skills made more acute through the pandemic. We will be helping students develop habits of reflection and perseverance throughout the year. Thank you to Deb Merriam for her exceptional leadership of every aspect of summer planning, culminating with two weeks of unparalleled adult learning.

This aligns with the Essential Question: “What is Our Purpose?” Drafted by our rising Seniors, the EQ provides a meaningful and complex question. We ask ourselves this question as an entire school – What is Parker’s Purpose? But we also ask this question as individual students, teachers, leaders, parents, siblings, friends etc. – What is My Purpose?

We will explore the question of purpose through multiple lenses and voices across the year, starting in Advisory next week. Thank you to everyone in our community for engaging meaningfully in this year-long exploration. We will review the 10 Common Principles, the Habits of Learning and the teachings of Ted and Nancy Sizer. Ted writes, “everyone at the school should be accorded the respect of being known well.” So one of our purposes is to create a community where all of our students are known authentically and well.

As the new Head of School, this is my first priority. During the interview process, many students asked if I would continue Todd’s practice of greeting students as they enter school in the morning. I am delighted to do so! I think it is very important for students to see a friendly face every morning, greeting you by name and welcoming you to school. Ted also writes, “our school must model the thoughtful life that should infuse a civil and rich democracy, that it must be safe, engaging, inviting and joyful place for students and for adults.” I look forward to welcoming you to our “safe, engaging, inviting and joyful place” every morning!

See you out front on Tuesday.
This week’s topics:
  • Asbestos Notice
  • DTA Benefit Theft Information
  • Picture Day
  • Head of School Discussions
  • Parker Life Reminders
  • Meal Information
  • Eco-Travel Group
  • Drop-off and Pick-up
  • Directory and Carpool List
  • Thank You!

Asbestos Notice

Please see required annual notification regarding our Asbestos Management Plan.

DTA Benefit Theft Information

The Department of Transitional Assistance (DTA) clients have been the target of benefit theft through skimming of EBT cards. Please click here for more information about how to protect your benefits.

Picture Day a Whole New Way

Picture Day is currently scheduled for Wednesday, September 7th. JostensPIX is our vendor this year, and they plan to make the experience easy:

  • Just show up looking great – no forms to complete or money to bring
  • Preview images and personalize products online
  • Combine multiple children in one order
  • Prints shipped directly home

REMEMBER: Don’t wear green on Picture Day!

Head of School Discussions

students over lunch throughout the fall. RSVP is appreciated but certainly not required by emailing Monique at [email protected].

  • Wednesday, September 7 from 8:30 - 9:30 am
  • Tuesday, September 20 from 7:00 - 8:00 pm

Parker Life Reminders

School Begins at 8:30 AM. Please plan to get your children to school by 8:15 AM so they may be present in their advisories by 8:30 AM. Breakfast can be picked up in the cafeteria and taken to advisory. Students arriving between 7:30-8:00 AM should go to the library.

Parents/Guardians must notify the school office daily of any Late Arrivals, Absences, or Early Dismissals. Please let the office know of an absence before school starts using the Attendance Line, which is available 24 hours a day at 978-772-3293 x1. In the case of a prolonged absence, the student’s parents/guardians should notify the principal or designee in a timely manner. It is not acceptable for students to call themselves in late, absent, or dismiss themselves unless 18 years of age. Parents are notified when their child is not in attendance without any prior notification regarding the absence. Teachers take attendance in every class and notify the school office if any student is missing.

Students should be in a supervised space with an adult after school. Students who are not working with a teacher, participating in an adult-supervised after-school activity, or with a coach should go to the library or lobby. Students should be picked up no later than 4:30 PM on M, Tu, Th, F and 3:00 on Wed. There is no after-school supervision on noon dismissal days although some sports may have practice or games.

Drop-Off and Pick-Up Norms

The following practices will help reduce congestion and make drop-off and pick-up times flow more smoothly:

  1. Only TURN RIGHT out of the parking lot during peak traffic times
  2. Consider an off-peak pickup time with your student: 3:45 instead of 3:30, for example
  3. Drop-off and Pick-up students on Antietam Street and have students use stairs to access school
  4. Use the lot at P-5 across Jackson Road as a “cell phone lot” to standby until your student is ready or have them walk to you there

Please refer to this page for our Traffic Flow Plan.

Meal Information

Reminder one free breakfast and one free lunch per day are available to all students this year.  Children enrolled at Parker are eligible for these free meals regardless of free and reduced status.  Additional information and the current menu are available on the cafeteria page of our website.

Eco-Travel Group

February Vacation, 2023. Click HERE to learn more!

Student Directories and Updated Carpool List

The student directory and an updated carpool list will be available towards the beginning of October.


Thank you to everyone who donated various supplies at the start of this school year. We appreciate our generous community!

Sports Schedule

Upcoming Dates of Note:


Sep 5

Labor Day - No School


Sep 7

School Picture Day


Sep 14

Parents of Color Coffee


Sep 22

Back to School Night


Sep 23

Board of Trustees


Sep 27

ECO Meeting

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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The Francis W. Parker Charter Essential School is committed to equal employment and educational opportunity for all members of the school community and prohibits discrimination on the basis of the basis of race, color, gender, pregnancy or pregnancy status, religion, gender identity, age, national origin, sexual orientation, homelessness, or disability, in the operation of the educational programs, activities, or employment policies.

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