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

Community Information - June 5

Community Information Week 11


“…Exhibitions give focus to a school’s program. Unless a faculty is clear about what a student must present in order to deserve the high school diploma, it is difficult to state what the curriculum, its pedagogy, the routines of school, and its standards should be. That is, it is difficult to prepare the players if one does not know what playing the game entails. The nature of the play must be presented in terms of the action of the players—and not of the coach, whose activities are only a means to the players’ ends…”

Ted Sizer, Horace’s School: redesigning the American high school (Houghton, 1992)

Parker Families:

Earlier this week, in light of the recent violent deaths of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and George Floyd and the ensuing protests, I sent initial communication to our community about Parker’s commitment to democracy and equity and our ongoing efforts to be a public secondary school that explicitly welcomes students and families from all backgrounds and strives to build an inclusive, anti-racist community:  together we will continue to seek meaningful ways to use our minds, voices, and resources to combat hate, discrimination, and unfair treatment of our fellow humans.  We want all current, past, and future members of our Parker community to feel belonging, acceptance, and safety.  This week many advisories engaged in community conversations about recent events:  students had the opportunity to process, discuss, and share their experiences with peers and trusted adults.  Additional opportunities for community conversation are available to students next week.

At the end of two very difficult weeks for our country, it feels important to affirm for all of our Black students, staff, and families:  your lives matter.  Black lives matter.  

Switching to operations, in the coming days students who currently have a Parker-issued laptop to support their Home Learning will receive information about scheduling drop-off of that equipment.  One of the primary reasons for collecting school-issued devices in June is so that the equipment can be serviced and updated over the summer before the next school year begins.  We intend to move ahead in the fall with plans—well in development before the pandemic—to provide each Parker student with a school-issued device.  Here are some of the main drivers for moving in that direction:

  • Students will be used to having the same device outside the classroom, making the transition from home to school more seamless and familiar.
  • As a community, teachers can leverage the common capabilities of the devices and share practices in a 1:1 environment.
  • Because teachers can count on the devices being in the classroom in a 1:1 environment, it is easier to plan and teach with the devices.
  • Knowing that all students are using devices with the same functionality makes it easier for teachers to plan instruction.

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!

“…I am so appreciative of all the work that you and the other Parker teachers have put into setting these Gateways up. I can imagine it hasn’t been easy to figure all of this out in such a short period of time! As usual, Parker has stepped it up and put the students first so that they can feel 100% supported as they demonstrate and celebrate their accomplishments! I am feeling even more thankful for the whole Parker community these last few months.”

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

  • P-EBT Card Use
  • ECO News
  • Friday Note from Sheila
  • A Word from Nurse Lisa
  • Parker’s Digital Library

Be safe and well, Todd.

Help with P-EBT Card Use

Families whose students qualify for free or reduced-price lunch started to receive P-EBT cards in the mail on Friday, May 29, and many are having trouble activating their card. Please refer to this revised guidance for help with P-EBT card use.

ECO News
  • ECO is re-opening their Raffle Basket Fundraiser ticket sales for ONE WEEK ONLY!!  Today through 6/12/2020, you can purchase tickets here!
  • Raffle winners will be drawn and notified the week of 6/15.  Pick-up/delivery options will be arranged.
  • Looking forward, in the Fall, ECO will need volunteers to champion the following initiatives- social, fundraising, grants, and teacher appreciation.  This is a great way to give back to the Parker community.  If you have questions, contact Sarah at or Deb at
From Sheila Kelly, the School Counselor

This week’s mental health and emotional well-being message is: Thoughts on Empathy.

Students who would like an appointment with Sheila can email her directly at

From Lisa Zick, the School Nurse

Lisa’s note this week describes her joyful experience participating in—and multitasking during—Wednesday’s Rolling Salute to the Class of 2020.

Parker's Digital Library

Harry Potter Fans Rejoice! - HP and the Sorcerer’s Stone’s unlimited, no wait access on Sora has been extended to the end of June!

Sora - Dyslexic font and high contrast fonts are available! Click on the menu (stack of 3 horizontal lines) and scroll down to the “general settings.” You’ll see the display options for Dyslexic font and high contrast.

Comics Fans! - BiblioBoard is offering free simultaneous use access to a few collections of comics for all ages. See what’s available here: Biblioboard Comics Collections. Your IP address has to be in-state. Available until August 31.

Featured - Books on Racism **all are available (except for Me and White Supremacy) as audiobooks too**
Me and White Supremacy (Layla Saad) takes readers on a 28-day journey of how to dismantle the privilege within themselves so that they can stop (often unconsciously) inflicting damage on people of color, and in turn, help other white people do better, too.
Stamped (Jason Reynolds and Kendi) Young readers adaptation of Kendi’s Stamped From the Beginning.  Reynolds chronicles racist ideology, specifically anti-blackness in the U.S., from its beginning to its persistence in the present day.
How To Be an Antiracist (Ibram X. Kendi) The author takes the reader through a widening circle of antiracist ideas—from the most basic concepts to visionary possibilities—that will help readers see all forms of racism clearly, understand their poisonous consequences, and work to oppose them in our systems and in ourselves.
Between the World and Me (Ta-Nehisi Coates) In this memoir, Coates writes of his own experiences and conveys his hopes for his son's future.  "I am wounded," he writes. "I am marked by old codes, which shielded me in one world and then chained me in the next.”
All-American Boys (Jason Reynolds) In this New York Times bestselling novel, two teens—one black, one white—grapple with the repercussions of a single violent act that leaves their school, their community, and, ultimately, the country bitterly divided by racial tension. A 2016 Coretta Scott King Author Honor book, and recipient of the Walter Dean Myers Award for Outstanding Children’s Literature.

The Librarian is In – Contact Carolyn at to see what’s newly released and to find your next great read or if you need help accessing a specific book.

Technology Support During Home Learning

Students can access technical support from Travis and Wesley from home by emailing 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 – 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


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!)


technical support


If you need to share information or access services about:

Please contact:

your family’s health information


mental health/emotional support needs


food insecurity/free and reduced school lunch needs


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