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Weekly Information for September 15th

Weekly Information for September 15th

Dear Parker families, students and staff,

We just ended our first full week of the school year at Parker. Students are settling into their classes, working hard, making new friends and establishing routines. They are also tired and ready for a break this weekend. All very normal for what has been a great start to the year. It was a very tough week for Parker families who live in Leominster. We had several students and families directly impacted by the flooding. We offer our support to students and families affected.

As you may know, Ted and Nancy Sizer served as co-principals in 1999, the fourth year of the school. Towards the end of the year, Ted reflected:

What is Parker? It is a secondary school that is inventing itself. The common principles of the Coalition of Essential Schools provide a base, but the practical expression of those ideas arises from an often cumbersome process that involves trustees, teachers, students, and families. Every year this expression has been adjusted, both because the school is growing and because we did not get it quite right the first time. The ambiguity inherent in this process is awkward, but it the necessary price of having a place that secures its legitimacy by engaging everyone in its creation and evolution.

Now in our 29th year, we continue to ask these questions. What is Parker? What is the practical expression of those ideas today? What is our vision for the future?

This year will explore these questions as part of a Strategic Planning process. We welcome the input of students, families, teachers, trustees and those who love Parker. The result will be a five-year Strategic Plan that tells a compelling story of who we are and who we want to become, stays true to the Ten Common Principles, names our challenges and their root causes, and clearly articulates our priorities. This is an important exercise of reflection, something that we do well at Parker.

You will be invited to share your thoughts in surveys and public forums across the year. We are also looking for a few parents/guardians and students to join a Strategic Planning Committee to help facilitate discussions, review feedback and draft the plan. We have partnered with professionals skilled at leading schools through this process. We kick off in early October and will meet twice a month, virtually in the afternoon through early Spring. We anticipate 4-8 hours of time per month. If you are interested in being considered for the Strategic Planning Committee, please reply to this form. We will review and select the committee by the end of the month. Thank you very much for your support and interest.

Have a great weekend.


This week’s topics:
  • Back to School Night
  • SEPAC Meet & Greet
  • Event Parking Reminder
  • Flu Vaccine Clinic
  • Afterschool Concert Band
  • Instruments Sought
  • Community Handbook
  • Netherlands Exchange Trip
  • MART Transportation


Back to School Night is September 21st

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

5:45—6:15: SEPAC Meet & Greet

  • SEPAC: (Special Education Parent Advisory Council): Drop-in to Room 9.

6:15—6:45: Divisional Information Sessions

  • Div 1: Introduction to Division 1 (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

Come Join the Parker SEPAC (ParkerPAC) for a Meet & Greet before Back to School Night begins in Room 9 on Thursday, September 21, 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.

The Parker SEPAC is actively seeking members for the 2023-2024 school year. Please stop by to learn more!

Event Parking Reminder

During school events, our on-campus parking is insufficient for our whole school community.  Please use the Museum Lot (P-5), located across Jackson Road on Antietam Street, and allow guests with limited mobility to use the available spaces on campus. Thank you!

Flu Vaccine Clinic

A flu vaccine clinic will be held during PLP Day on Friday, October 13th, from 8:00 AM – 4:00 AM.

Please CLICK HERE to register!

Please register now so enough vaccines are brought for everyone. The COVID vaccine won’t be available until October.  More information regarding the COVID-19 vaccine is forthcoming.

Afterschool Concert Band

Come brass, woodwind, and percussion players, and join the band! Parker is starting up an afterschool concert band this fall! If your student plays any band instrument, please encourage them to join us. No auditions are necessary: you just need to have learned the basics of playing your instrument. The band will rehearse every week Tuesdays and Thursdays, 3:30 – 4:30 PM, and run for the semester. The activity fee for the semester is $100. Students can come by for an informational lunch meeting on Tuesday, September 19 in Room 13 to learn more. If they can’t make the meeting, they should stop in to chat with Jim Desmond in Room 13 or Marena Cole in Room 43. Also, if your student doesn’t play a band instrument but still wants to make music, they should consider joining Parker Music Makers during Community Block: a flexible group that meets once a week to play songs, strum ukuleles, write songs, and make music however we decide to. Signups will happen next week.

Instruments Sought

Is there a clarinet, flute, or trombone gathering dust in your attic, closet, or basement? We are looking for playable brass, woodwind, and percussion instruments to loan to students that would like to play in the band but don’t own their own instrument. Please email Jim [email protected] or Marena [email protected] about loaning or donating unused instruments! Thank you for your support!

Community Handbook

A copy of the Community Handbook can be found on the school website under Students & Parents.

Netherlands Exchange Trip - April  & May 2024

Open to Sophomores and Juniors, this is a full immersion program where students spend a week in their exchange family’s home as well as in activities. Experience the life of a Dutch teenager, attending school and local sightseeing. Then, host your new friend here for a week, showing them the American way of life.

​​​​​​​There will be an informational Teams Meeting for PARENTS on Monday, September 18th at 7 PM. Interested families should email Anna for the link.

Contact for more information: Anna – [email protected] or Piña – [email protected]

MART Transportation

NEW: If you’re interested in shuttle service from Bolton, Boxborough, Littleton or Stow, please call MART at the number below. They currently provide taxi/livery service but are willing to start shuttles from these towns.

Click here to learn more about taxi/livery service from Bolton, Boxborough, Lancaster, Littleton, Lunenburg, Sterling, or Stow.

MART also offers shuttle service to and from the Boys and Girls Club of Fitchburg and Leominster. Pickup is at 7:45 AM and drop off is at 4:15 PM at BGCFL. Cost is $4/ride or $80/month. Call MART directly at 800-922-5636 Option 3 by at least 4:30 PM the day before the ride is needed. Ask for the Devens Workforce Ride Program – Parker Charter and Boys and Girls Club.

Parents of Athletes

Do you know how to find your way to Parker’s playing locations? We have a GREAT feature on our website with interactive Google maps – just enter your address to receive directions to any of our game and meet locations. Find this feature under “Students & Parents>Athletics>Directions to Athletic Venues” or just click HERE.

Sports Schedule

Upcoming Dates of Note


Sep 19

Board of Trustees


Sep 21

Back to School Night


Oct 9

Fall Holiday – No School


Oct 13

Fall PLPs – 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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