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Weekly Information for September 9th

Weekly Information for September 9th
Dear Parker Students, Families, and Staff,

I hope that you are having a terrific start to the school year. Over the past six months, I have had the opportunity to interview countless students, families and colleagues as part of my entry plan. I ask all of them, “What do you love about Parker”? The answer I hear most consistently is the sense of community that defines our school. Students feel accepted, welcomed and respected by their teachers and peers. Thank you for treating one another with such kindness and love.

Over the first two weeks, I have been particularly impressed by the exceptional leadership shown by our Division 3 students in Orientation, Seventh Seminar, Super Advisory and much more. These students are serving as teaching assistants, mentors and friends to their younger peers. As we foster a positive school culture where everyone may be their authentic selves, such strong student leadership is essential.

We use that term “essential” quite a bit at Parker. After all, Parker is an “essential school” where students master a limited number of “essential skills” framed around an “essential question” every year. No one can do everything well - so Parker focuses on the knowledge, skills, competencies and imaginative powers that students need most. This is Common Principle #2 – Less is more: depth over coverage.

Our Essential Question (EQ) serves as a guide for that important work. The power of the EQ comes not from answering the question, but from the exploration and reflection it prompts. Ted Sizer writes, “One can deductively prove that some things are true, and others are false. One can predict that in, say, three out of four instances, such-and-such will happen. But one cannot ascertain, as a universal matter, that some quite different things are good or bad, better or worse… Schools can help students gain experience in asking such questions and get them in the habit of doing so.”

We will explore this year’s Essential Question (“What is Our Purpose?”) through a series of Community Conversations this year. We began today in our first Super Advisory, a combination of advisories from each of the three divisions. Led by students in Division 3, these conversations welcome student voice and model democratic practices. Thank you to our students for thoughtfully engaging in this question of purpose and for building connections across divisions. You will see the results of today’s work in the public art posted around Parker.

This Sunday, September 11th, we mark the 21st anniversary of the deadliest terrorist attacks in our nation’s history. We remember family and friends who died that day, honor those who serve in the military and as first responders and reflect on the humanity that unites us all.

Thank you.
This week’s topics:
  • Back to School Night
  • SEPAC Meet & Greet
  • ECO Invitation
  • Parents of Color Corp Coffee
  • Head of School Discussions
  • Parker School Store
  • Parker Life Reminders
  • Drop-off and Pick-up
  • Meal Information
  • Eco-Travel Group
  • Directory and Carpool List
  • COVID-19 Information


Back to School Night is September 22nd

Please plan to join us for Back-to-School Night activities, as listed below!!

5:45—6:15: ECO and ParkerPAC Drop-In

  • ParkerPAC: (Special Education Parent Advisory Council): Drop-in to Room 6.
  • ECO (Essential Community Organization): Meet in Lobby.

6:15—6:45: Divisional Information Sessions

  • Div 1: Nature’s Classroom trip info (meet in the Gym).
  • Div 2: Introduction to Division 2 (meet in the Auditorium).
  • Div 3: Program and Graduation Requirements for Division 3 (meet in Room 48).

7:00—9:00: Visit your students’ classes and meet their teachers!

Parents/Guardians will receive their schedule for the evening at 7:00 PM in their child's advisory room.

Please Note: This event is for parents/guardians—not for students. We ask students to stay at home.  If your child or children must join you, they must be always under your supervision (e.g., they should not be wandering the halls). Thank you!

Special Education Parent Advisory Council (SEPAC) Meet & Greet

Join ParkerPAC (SEPAC) for a Meet & Greet before Back to School Night begins in Room 6 on Thursday, September 22, between 5:45 and 6:15 PM. The F.W. Parker Charter Essential School’s Special Education Parent Advisory Council (SEPAC) is a parent-led group providing support to parents & guardians of children who have an IEP or 504 Accommodation Plan. SEPAC membership is open to everyone in the Parker Community.

ECO Invitation

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, September 27th 6-7:15 pm- for more information visit: Check your weekly email for the link to join the meeting.

Parents of Color Corp

The Parker Parents of Color Corp (PCC) will meet on Wednesday, September 14, from 7:45-8:30 AM in Room 40. The PCC is a group that provides awareness as well as support to Parker families of color and is comprised of Parker community members interested in sharing their experiences. The group is supported by Board of Trustees’ Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee. Please join us! Contact Mario with questions at [email protected].

Head of School Discussions

All are welcome to join Brian for a discussion on Tuesday, September 20 from 7:00 - 8:00 pm. RSVP is appreciated but certainly not required by emailing Monique at [email protected].

Check Out the Parker School Store

Purchase items such as:

  • Outerwear
  • Shirts
  • Headwear
  • Pants
  • Bags, Blankets, etc.

Customization and choice of color (in some cases) available. SHIP TO PARKER to save on cost - we EMAIL you when your order arrives for pick-up! Click here to visit the School Store.

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

Reminder: February Vacation, 2023. Click HERE to learn more!

Student Directories and Updated Carpool List

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

COVID-19 Information

The following are positive cases in the Parker community from 8/31/22-9/9/22:

  • Staff – 0
  • Students – 8

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

Sports Schedule

Upcoming Dates of Note:


Sep 14

Parents of Color Corp


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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