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Weekly Information for March 17th

Weekly Information for March 17th
Dear Parker students, families and staff,

Thank you for attending Spring PLPs today. These meetings can be stressful and hard for our students. Congratulations and thank you to our students for engaging so thoughtfully in the process. I co-lead an Advisory with March Schrader, AH and Art teacher with many years of Parker experience. We had incredible conversations today. Our students demonstrated a clear understanding of themselves as learners and what they need to meet their goals. This is essential work as we personalize learning, reflect on progress and review mastery towards standards. It also helps to align the work of the adults in support of our students.

This week the Board of Trustees approved the FY24 Budget, with 92% of the budget dedicated to teaching and learning. You can learn a lot about a school by looking at how they spend their money. We invest our resources in ways that directly support student learning, ensuring that we have small class sizes, co-taught classes and an exceptional faculty. We remain true to the Common Principle that no one teacher has direct responsibility for more than 80 students, essential to knowing students well and providing timely and meaningful feedback. We invest in the academic program that prioritizes the Criteria of Excellence and Habits of Learning central to long-term success. We also invest in healthy relationships, student mental health and counseling, a strong school culture and extracurriculars that help students develop life skills while making friends. The budget is an expression of what we value.

We look forward to a busy and exciting Spring ahead.

This week’s topics:
  • Noon Dismissal on 3/22
  • Annual “Returning to Parker?” Survey 
  • Spring Sports
  • MCAS Schedule
  • Senior Project Survey
  • Sign Removal
  • Spring Musical Tickets on Sale
  • Be A Student Moderator!
  • Health Advisory Council Reminder
  • COVID-19 Information

Noon Dismissal on March 22nd

Next Wednesday, March 22nd, students will be dismissed at noon so Parker faculty can participate in a professional development workshop offered by Parker’s Sizer Teachers Center. They will be joined by area teachers interested in authentic, standards-based assessment to look closely at student work and teacher work. Participants will use protocols to make observations and build meaning, referring to Parker’s articulated Criteria for Excellence, associated rubrics, and the work itself. Participants will also have a chance to make connections, extend their community of practice, and learn together at this free gathering of educators!

Annual "Returning to Parker" Survey (Super-Quick)!

As a school of choice, we ask families each year about their plans to return to Parker for the following school year.  You may have seen and completed this information already at your PLP on Friday (orange QR codes around the school).  If not, please take one minute and complete THIS SURVEY.  Each year, we ask families to indicate their plans for each of their enrolled students for the next school year.  Most Parker students return to Parker, and every enrolled student has a secured and continuing spot at the school unless/until they withdraw to enroll with another program.  However, as a school of choice, it helps with our planning (including setting expectations for student on our waitlists) to know how many students are considering not returning for next year.  Please indicate which of the choices on this survey best fits your child for next year.  Please do this survey once for each enrolled student.  For obvious reasons, you do not need to do this survey for a current senior!

Spring Sports

All teams are still accepting registrations for the upcoming season, and practices will begin on Monday, March 20th (see schedule below). Sports offered are Baseball, Softball, Track & Field, Ultimate Frisbee, and Girls’ Co-op Lacrosse through Bromfield. If you have not registered yet, please do so as soon as possible using this form: Athlete Registration. Parents must provide proof of a current physical exam at the beginning of every season of participation. Sports User Fee of $300 and is due prior to the first game. Click here for more information.

Week of 3/20 Practice Schedule (until fields are open)

  • Baseball – practice is at P5 Parking Lot from 4:00-6:00 PM Mon, Tue, Thu, and Fri. Meet at Clinton Indoor Facility on Wed from 3:00-5:00 PM.
  • Softball – meet in gym at 4:00 PM on Mon, Tue, Thu, and Fri. Team will go outside at 4:30. Pickup is 5:30 at school.
  • Track & Field – meet in gym at 3:40 PM on Mon, Tue, and Thu and pickup is 5:15. On Wed, meet in gym at 1:40 PM and pickup is 3:30. On Fri, bus leaves Parker at 4:00 PM for the Harvard Town Track and pickup is at the track at 6:00.
  • Ultimate Frisbee – meet in room 47 on Mon at 3:45 PM, dressed to go outside to practice in a parking lot. Practice is Mon, Tue, Thu, and Fri from 3:45-5:00 PM.
MCAS Spring Testing Schedule

Reminder Division 1 and 2 students will be testing on various days during the months of March, April, and May, following the schedule listed below. Please make every effort to have students in school and on time for these testing days. All students should eat a good breakfast each day and get a good night’s rest the night before – those two things are the best “test-prep” we can recommend!  Students who miss any of these testing days will make-up the tests on days following the dates listed here.

If you have any questions, please contact Deb Merriam ([email protected]). All tests are untimed, and most students finish by late morning. Parents/guardians and students will get grade/test specific emails with more details that will go home as each test date approaches.

10th Grade:

  • ELA: March 28 & 29
  • MATH: May 16 & 17
  • SCIENCE: (already happened in February)

7th & 8th Grade:

  • ELA: April 11 & April 26
  • MATH: May 10 & 11

SCIENCE (8th Grade Only): May 18 & 19

Senior Project Surplus Materials Survey

Meredith “Meadow” Noonan is planning to create a shed for the school, made solely out of upcycled/repurposed materials, with a message on waste awareness for her senior project. For this reason, she is reaching out to the Parker Community to ask about any old projects or materials that people don’t want to hold onto. Please use the following link to share what materials you have: Your Trash Census<3 ( If you have any additional questions, you can contact her directly at [email protected].

Lawn Sign Removal

Thank you to everyone who hosted a lawn sign this year! If you still have one up, please take it down and recycle it. The waterproof coated paperboard has done its job for the season.

WORKING: The Musical - artwork by Jae Daly
Artwork by Jae Daly
WORKING: The Musical

Working 2012 is a newly-revised version of the original 1977 musical by Stephen Schwartz, with some additional material by artists like James Taylor and Lin-Manuel Miranda. WORKING adapts Studs Terkel’s famous set of interviews about what ordinary Americans say about their jobs.The show highlights a variety of professional experiences while underlining the elements of shared humanity revealed by the everyday lives of real people.

The show is Thursday April 6 at 7 PM, Friday April 7 at 7 PM, and Saturday April 8 at 7 PM. Tickets are $12 online or $13 in person. Click here to buy tickets and for more information about the show and cast.

Be a Student Moderator!

Are you interested in being a school leader? Do you feel like you can represent the Parker student body? Do you have ideas about how to keep Parker a strong community while also having ideas about how to deepen student engagement and ownership? If so, you should run to be a Student Moderator! Each year, the student body of Parker elects a team of three Student Moderators to represent the students and school, meet with school leaders and faculty members to discuss different issues, and facilitate the Community Congress, the legislative branch of student government. We will have elections for the Moderators in the next couple of weeks. If you are interested in running, the first thing you need to do is let Matt Smith know by Friday, March 24th. We will have candidate speeches at the all-school gathering on Monday, April 3rd and voting will happen that week. If you have questions about the Moderators position, want to learn more, and/or want to run for Moderator, contact Matt Smith ([email protected]).

Health Advisory Council Reminder

Reminder the Health Advisory Council (HAC) is planning to meet at Parker on Thursday, March 30, at 3:30 PM in Room 3A in the library. If you would like to join the group, please contact Lisa, the School Nurse and HAC Coordinator, at (978) 772-3293 x135 or [email protected].

COVID-19 Information

The following are positive cases in the Parker community from 3/10/23-3/17/23:

  • Staff – 0
  • Students – 2

Please click here for Current Health Office COVID-19 Protocols and Information

Upcoming Dates of Note:


Mar 22

Noon Dismissal – Faculty Planning


Mar 28

10th Grade ELA MCAS


Mar 29

10th Grade ELA MCAS


Apr 4

Board of Trustees


Apr 6-8

Spring Musical

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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