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

Community Information - April 3

Community Information Week 3


“…To find the core of a school, don’t look at its rulebook or even its mission statement. Look at the way the people in it spend their time—how they relate to each other, how they tangle with ideas. Look for the contradictions between words and practice, with the fewer the better. Try to estimate the frequency and honesty of its deliberations. Though it will always want to spruce up for visitors, its hour by hour functioning is what is important. Judge the school not on what it says but on how it keeps…”

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

Parker Families:

        I continue to be grateful for the effort, enthusiasm, and thoughtfulness with which Parker students, teachers, and families are engaging in Home Learning. This week’s short video celebrates the spirit of abundant good faith evident in our first three weeks of this new enterprise.

        Parents, when you take the time to offer teachers your warm feedback, it makes such a difference right now! Thank you for taking the time. Here are two examples from Week 3:

“We are completely amazed at how well Parker has transitioned into an online learning environment. My son is working harder than ever on his classes and, for the moment, seems to be completely engaged in learning online. Thank you for making this experience successful!”

“I’d like to commend your loyalty and efforts in teaching our children during this time of upheaval. I imagine the strain is as real for you as it is for our kids. Know that you are much appreciated and admired for all you represent and do.”

        I’m thinking also of the members of our community—parents of current and former students, alums, current students, staff—who are on the front lines in confronting this pandemic. Whether in the health care sector, public safety, research and development, manufacturing and construction, or essential services and retail, please know that we are grateful for your service and the hard work you’re doing to keep our community safe and well.

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

  • June Gateways and Graduation
  • Community Building and Team Spirit!
  • Yearbook Deadline is Today
  • Ongoing Adjustments for Home Learning
  • Technology Support During Home Learning
  • Library Services During Home Learning
  • Mental Health and Emotional Well Being
  • A Word from Nurse Lisa

Be safe and well, Todd.

Gateways and Graduation

From last week: We realize that extending the period of campus closure raises questions for seniors planning to graduate and students who were planning to hold their Gateway Exhibitions in June.  We know those questions are producing additional anxiety and worry, and that’s not great.  For now, the single best thing students can do is to “pick up what we’re putting down,” to engage with the learning teachers are making available.    

Week 3 Update:  Parker’s Instructional Leadership Team (ILT) made good progress on these scenarios and key decisions during Week 3 of Home Learning.  In doing so, we grappled with questions of how best, under these circumstances, to pursue Parker’s mission as a performance-based promotion school and leverage our strengths of knowing students well.  We’ve completed a draft of these plans, which have gone to the faculty for tuning and adoption.  We’ll communicate the broad outlines and specific next steps to you during Week 4 of Home Learning.  In the meantime, the best thing you can do (if you are worried about your anticipated June gateway or graduation) is engage with the work your teachers are putting out for you as best you can.  If you feel stuck, please reach out to your advisor for support in making a plan!

Spirit Cheer! 

If we were on campus we might start a new Community Block to coordinate and promote some of the great community building and team spirit ideas circulating, but instead we’re inviting anyone—students, teachers, parents, alums—interested in this work to contact Katrina ( 

Parker Yearbook Order Deadline is Today

Please complete the form linked here to order your yearbook today. Payment can be made by mailing a check made out to “Parker School” and mailing it to the school or by paying online through Unipay. Contact Ashley Wood at with questions.

Key Learnings and Ongoing Adjustments

Both the federal and state Departments of Education are very clear that schools should be actively engaging students in ongoing learning, and that is what we are doing.  Commissioner Riley sent this letter to all public school families in the Commonwealth this week.

We are all learning how to do this as we go, and we appreciate both the gratitude and the feedback you have sent our way.  Here are the main adjustments we made during Week 3:

  • Increasing interactivity (videos, class discussions, opportunities for student collaboration/interaction)
  • Wednesday is now a “self-directed learning” day instead of a class day:
  • Teachers will take Wednesdays as a teacher prep day and not assign Wednesday lessons; student can use it as a catch-up day or to pursue “self-directed learning.”
Reminder: 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 on Tuesday morning between 10 am – 12 pm.  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

Parker’s Digital Library: Bringing Hogwarts To You

JK Rowling has opened up the entire Harry Potter series! Every book can be taken out through Sora (or your local library’s Libby account). They are all available now for one and all! There is no wait. Go to your Sora account to get started.

Also, for you Harry Potter fans, you’ll definitely want to check out Harry Potter at home by clicking on for news, fun activities, and quizzes (put your wizarding knowledge to the test). Enter the worlds of each of the houses and delve into JK Rowling’s archives. This website is a ton of fun. Put your wizard’s hat on and onto Hogwarts!

A message from School Counselor, Sheila Kelly: 

This week's message focuses on themes of hope and resilience. Please access Sheila's note here.

Helpful links:
Addressing stress and anxiety in middle/high school students
Paced breathing
Resilience and Parenting 

A message from School Nurse, Lisa Zick:

Please read my message for this week here: Note to Families from Lisa during Home Learning 

Reminder: Deadline for ECO Raffle Basket Fundraiser is April 10th

We’ve extended the deadline so you don’t miss out on picking which raffles you'd like to try to win from the comfort of your own laptop, phone, or computer!!  Click here for THE ONLINE ECO RAFFLE!!  Questions?  Contact Katrina at


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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