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49 Antietam St, Devens, MA 01434    (978) 772-3293    (978) 772-3295

Community Information - April 17

Community Information Week 5

 

“…No one of us grows intellectually at the same rate and in the same way. How old we are tells us something about where we are intellectually and socially but rarely all that is important about each of us…”

Ted & Nancy Sizer, The Students Are Watching: schools and the moral contract (Beacon, 1999)

Parker Families:

        Young or old, the COVID-19 pandemic is challenging for all of us, and, even though we’re bound together by shared association with Parker, our individual and family journeys through these times differ markedly. I chose this Sizer quote for this week because it reminds us that “moving at your own pace” is a fundamental, founding belief of the school and one which has never been more true than now. As I’ve said, not since the founding months of the school—way back in 1995—has so much of what Parker seeks to be and become been visible as we partner with students and families in real time to create and maintain a different way of doing school.

        As we all take a needed April break, we’re set up for success upon return: students, families, and advisors will have an opportunity to reflect on Home Learning and make adjustments as needed during PLP Conferences; students who have been anxious about Gateway status now have their agreements. In one of my Friday videos I used an image of tracking wild bees: returning to that image, I think we now, at the end of Home Learning Week 5, can “see further” to the next spot we’ll journey toward together (June).

        Parents, I want to thank you again for taking the time to express gratitude to the Parker faculty. The daily influx of comments like this one make such a difference!

“As we come to the end of another week of self-isolation and online learning, I’d like to thank the Parker faculty. I always knew we’d made the right decision sending our children to Parker and now, more than ever, the care & compassion Parker has for our children is evident. Stay safe everyone, we can do this!”

        Here are the topics we’re providing new information about this week:

        Be safe and well, Todd.

Spring Personal Learning Plan Conferences

Spring Personal Learning Plan (PLP) conferences are scheduled for Friday, May 1. These conferences will be held virtually and will focus on your child’s engagement with Home Learning, their goals for the remainder of the year, and any support they need. Please look to hear from your child’s advisor about scheduling your child’s conference time.

June Gateway Agreements

This week individualized gateway agreements went out via email to gateway-eligible students and their parents. More information about gateways and gateway requirements can be found on the June 2020 Gateways FAQs page.

Food Insecurity During COVID-19

As part of Parker’s continued effort to keep you informed, we want to make you aware of a few resources available for those needing food assistance during this difficult time. The first is related to The Families First Coronavirus Response Act of 2020. The act includes a provision called “Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer,” or P-EBT. That section allows states to issue benefits to families with children who are eligible for free or reduced-price school meals and who would have received them if not for the school closures associated with COVID-19. The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education is working with school districts like Parker and the Department of Transitional Assistance (DTA) to bring P-EBT to cards to eligible families. New benefits will be added to EBT cards for students whose families already have EBT cards, and an EBT card will be mailed to eligible households that do not already have one. More information will be forthcoming about this.

The second resource I would like to share is this website https://meals4kids.org/summer. This website is supported by Project Bread and lists free meal site locations around the state. If you would like further assistance in accessing food resources during this time, Project Bread’s FoodSource Hotline (1-800-645-8333) is available to connect you to food resources as well as provide information about elder meals programs and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), formerly known as food stamps. The Hotline will continue to operate Monday-Friday, 8am-7pm and Saturdays 10am-2pm, and can provide information in 160 languages. There is also a dedicated line for those that are hearing impaired.

As always, please reach out to Michelle McKenna mmckenna@theparkerschool.org with any questions or if you need assistance with food resources at this time. Parker is happy to help you however we can.

A message from School Counselor, Sheila Kelly:

This week’s mental health and emotional well-being message provides Thoughts on Connection.

A message from School Nurse, Lisa Zick:

Lisa's note this week focuses on COVID-19 changes, the importance of social distancing, and being in this together.

Parker’s Digital Library

No Need to Wait Titles: Many titles have been released to be read with no wait. Check out Sora and click on “Collections” to find “Available Now” and “Always Available” titles. Looking for a classic? Want to read some more Jane Austen? These are included too! Poetry books are also collected to celebrate Poetry Month, and summer begins early with Sora Sweet Reads. It’s time to read, read, and read some more! The Librarian is In: Schedule a time to meet with Carolyn or shoot her an email at cedwards@theparkerschool.org to see what’s newly released and to find your next great read!

Reminder: ECO Raffle Basket Fundraiser

Pulling winners for the raffle basket fundraiser has been put on hold, but tickets can still be purchased. When we return to campus, the date for final ticket purchases and when winners will be picked and notified will be publicized. If you have additional questions, contact Katrina at ktedstone@theparkerschool.org.

Reminder: Technology Support During Home Learning

Students can access technical support from Travis and Wesley from home by emailing helpdesk@theparkerschool.org or Setting up a Remote Support Session.

If you are experiencing challenges with your personal device and/or experiencing stress from sharing a device with siblings or other family members, sign up to get a school-issued device.  Travis will work with you to determine an exact pickup time to limit exposure.  Click here to complete a Laptop Request Form and here for the Internet Access Request Form.

Access Office applications on personal devices:
Windows/Mac - Download from http://portal.office.com – login using your Parker credentials and use the “install office” link in the top right corner.
Teams - Android | iOS | Windows | Mac
OneNote - Android | iOS | Windows | Mac
OneDrive - Android | iOS | Windows | Mac
Office (Word PowerPoint Excel) – Android | iOS

Questions?


If you have a question about:

Please contact:

a specific class or assignment

the teacher of that class (see Parker email list here)

our approach to Home Learning (or ideas to share!)

email homelearning@theparkerschool.org 

technical support

email helpdesk@theparkerschool.org 

If you need to share information or access services about:

Please contact:

your family’s health information

email lzick@theparkerschool.org 

mental health/emotional support needs

email skelly@theparkerschool.org 

food insecurity/free and reduced school lunch needs

email mmckenna@theparkerschool.org 


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