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Weekly Information for September 8th

Weekly Information for September 8th
Dear Parker families, students and staff,

Thank you to all our students for engaging meaningfully in your classes, clubs, sports and social activities that make up a school day. We are off to a terrific start to the school year.

I wanted to recognize and thank our older students for their outstanding leadership over the first two weeks. Division 3 students are serving as teaching assistants, mentors, captains and moderators in service to Parker and their younger peers. Thank you for establishing a tone of decency and trust, one of the Ten Common Principles essential to building a welcoming and affirming school culture. That was on display yesterday in Super Advisory, an opportunity for students across the three divisions to come together in small groups. We played games, got to know one another and built a strong foundation for future community conversations. Thank you to the Division 3 students for helping to lead those sessions.

We ended the week with our first Community Meeting of the year, a monthly gathering of the whole school to showcase student work, review what’s happening in our community and reflect on our Essential Question (EQ). We began the work of unpacking and discussing, “How do we influence those around us?” Deb Merriam taught us the etymology of the word “influence” from the root “flu” which means to flow. In the context of our work this year, we discussed how our ideas, words and actions flow towards other people and make an impact. We asked students to reflect on something positive in our community that we could work towards, such as fostering a school culture where all students could be themselves. Finally, we asked students to reflect on what they could do – what actions they could take – to promote towards that goal. Our students challenged themselves and others to take action to intentionally and positively influence those around us. You will see the results of today’s work in the public art posted around Parker. Great discussion today!

This Monday, September 11th, we mark the 22nd 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.


This week’s topics:
  • Back to School Night
  • SEPAC Meet & Greet
  • Join Community Congress
  • Netherlands Exchange Trip
  • MART Transportation
  • Parker Life Reminders
  • Drop-off and Pick-up
  • Meal Information
  • ECO-Travel to Costa Rica
  • Directory and Carpool List
  • Classroom Wish List
  • Health Office Wish List
  • Thank You!
  • Athletics Schedule
  • Upcoming Dates of Note


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!

Join Community Congress!

Are you as a Parker student excited to influence the Parker community this year? Are you interested in student government? Do you want to have a voice in developing policies for the Student Handbook and deciding how to spend student funds? If so, you should 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 six (6) individuals to represent them – these 18 individuals (plus the three Moderators) are the ones who vote on policy/handbook proposals (such as updating the after school policy) and fund grant proposals (such as buying power stations for the library and new furniture for the lobby). Students interested in running for one of the six positions for their Division need to send an email to Matt Smith ([email protected]) by Thursday, September 14th. Speeches and elections for CC will happen at the beginning of the week on Monday, September 18th. If you want to be a part of the CC and be a part of conversations/debates, but not have voting power, you can still sign up for the Community Block. If you have any questions about the CC, how to run, elections, etc., please contact Matt or one of the Moderators (Trisuli Mitchell, Melissa Adams and Andrew Permatteo)!

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 Info Meeting for Students during lunch on Thursday, September 14th in Room 20.
  • 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

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.

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 & 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 to Costa Rica - April Vacation 2024

Open to students in Divisions 2 & 3. Students will spend nine days visiting waterfalls and sustainable coffee plantations, helping research crocs and mammals at Playa Tortuga Research Station, volunteer at a local school, kayak at Marino Ballena National Marine Park on the South Pacific coast, see monkeys and sloths and so much biodiversity.

  • Applications will be given out during the Info Meeting and are due Thursday, Sept 14th
  • Questions or more information, please contact: Tiffany - [email protected] or Alec – [email protected]

Classroom Wish List

If you would like to donate these items for Div 1 MST, we will use them: Tape (duct tape, blue painter’s tape, clear tape in individual dispensers), Paper (graph paper, lined paper), Pencils, and Zip-top quart or gallon bags.

Health Office Wish List

Throughout the year, the Health Office appreciates donations of tissues, fabric bandages (all sizes), and healthy snacks as these particular supplies are distributed throughout the school on a regular basis. Thank you in advance for your donations that help care for our Parker students and staff!

Thank You

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

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

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]

Twitter @theparkerschool          Instagram @parkercharter          Facebook @parker.charter.1

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