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

Community Information - May 1

Community Information Week 6


“…And, surely, there is a…quality found in such adolescents, a spark that ignites both curiosity and the stubborn ingenuity to pursue the answers to arresting questions. Whether one is born with such a spark or captures it from experience is too elusive a question to answer, but the context in which a young person lives and studies—the youngster’s school—surely and powerfully counts…”

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

Parker Families:

Over the April break I was thinking about how well Parker’s “muscle memory” has served us in these challenging times. In twenty-five years of being an Essential School—consistently committed to the Ten Common Principles—we’ve developed and refined our academic program, built organizational capacity for “both curiosity and the stubborn ingenuity to pursue the answers,” and grown into a multi-generational community of learners. Our habits—of collaboration, connection, and caring—necessarily look different during Home Learning, but they’re still very much in evidence.

I was also thinking of the current seniors and their families in light of Governor Baker’s extension of campus closure. Now, with the certainty that we will not be able to physically come together before the school year’s end, we're beginning to focus on how to make this spring a pioneering moment for the Class of 2020—a glimpse of something new—as well as a time of rich significance for them and their families, even with the present constraints. As we develop those plans, we will include students and parents (especially the Class of 2020), faculty, trustees, and community members in the design process. If you’d like to help make the senior spring special for Parker’s Class of 2020, please email

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!

“Thank you so much for being so dedicated to your work and all your students. It makes me so happy to hear your voice when you talk to [my student]; you are so calm, understanding and encouraging! I look forward to seeing and talking with you for the PLP. We are doing our best to keep [our student] motivated and working towards his gateway. I am so glad he has that to work towards!”

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

  • Federal Funding for Public Schools
  • Grieving Our Losses
  • A Word from Nurse Lisa
  • Parker’s Digital Library

Be safe and well, Todd.

Help Ensure Essential Resources for K-12 Education

In the near future, the federal government will consider a further stimulus package to respond to the COVID-19 crisis. In order to ensure that public schools in Massachusetts can continue to meet the needs of students and staff both during and beyond this crisis, now is the time to urge our congressional representatives to ensure that the new stimulus package prioritizes relief for state and municipal budgets and includes additional, dedicated funding to support K-12 public schools.

You can make a big impact by taking a very quick action: take 2 minutes today to send an email to your congressional representative (you can use the standard email template and click send or customize as you see fit).

A message from School Counselor, Sheila Kelly:

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

In addition to this week’s message, Sheila would like to include the following helpful links and resources for parents and families:
Grief Resources Website:
LEADER Program at McLean Hospital. This program was specifically created in 2014 to support first responders and their specific needs. If you or someone in your family is a first responder and needs support, please contact:
List of Hotline Numbers: OR
Webinars for Parents:
Resources for Teens:

A message from School Nurse, Lisa Zick:

Lisa's note this week focuses on "Weathering the Storm."

Parker’s Digital Library

Harry Potter & the Sorcerer’s Stone – free unlimited access on Sora has been extended to the end of May!

New & Featured Releases! Available on Sora or the Parker Library (Destiny Discover) website:
The One and Only Bob (May 5) – a follow up to The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate
Allies by Alan Gratz.  Author of Projekt 1065 and Prisoner B-3087
Chain of Gold.  The first book of a new trilogy by Cassandra Clare!  Part of the Shadowhunters series
Echo Mountain by Lauren Wolk.  Set during the Great Depression, a family is uprooted and surviving in the wilderness

Book Connections is a great open-access resource for anyone interested in children’s and young adult books.  This is a professionally curated collection of resources about children and YA books.  Open now through September 15, you can freely delve into the world of children’s and young adult books.  Experience read-along performances of favorite titles, enjoy, virtual storytime with 1,000+ complete book readings.  There are also interviews with thousands of authors, and discussion questions for most books.  Great site for help with book clubs!

The Librarian is In: Schedule a time to meet with Carolyn or shoot her an email at to see what’s newly released and to find your next great read!

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.  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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