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49 Antietam St, Devens, MA 01434    (978) 772-3293    (978) 772-3295
Oct
16

Family Information for October 16th

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Dear Parker Families,

We included families of current students in a broader email distribution earlier today (to graduate families, alums, community members, et al). There is some overlap between the content of this week’s current family email and the more “general audience” communication that was distributed earlier today.

Many Division 3 students took advantage of the opportunity on Wednesday to take either the PSAT or SAT on campus, which was a brilliant day for advisory-based activities after lunch on campus. Divisions 1 & 2 are planning similar opportunities for later in October.

Personal Learning Plan (PLP) conferences are both a milestone in the Parker calendar and one of the school’s distinguishing features: it’s a chance for the adults who know each student best to come together and hear the student’s best thinking about learning goals for the year, witness the act of setting a growth agenda, and develop collaboration strategies to help the student pursue the goals. Thank you for booking your PLP conference! If you’ve not already done so, the link is below.

This week’s topics:

  • Book your PLP!
  • Last chance for Parent/Guardian check-in survey
  • Parker 101 for New Families
  • Anti-Racism Work
  • Stuff that Matters
  • Wednesday Flex Activities
  • Attendance
  • FAQs
Be safe and well,
~Todd.

Book your PLP!

PLP (Personal Learning Plan) Conferences will be on Friday, October 23 and Friday, October 30 this year. (Each family will only attend once, but the conferences will be offered on two days.) PLPs (which are student-parent/guardian-advisor conferences to set student goals for the year) will be held remotely, as a Teams meeting, in part to maximize flexibility and convenience for family schedules. If you have NOT already booked your PLP, please do so using this link. (An email was originally sent earlier this week with this info.) If you are unable to make either Friday, please email your child’s advisor directly to make arrangements for another day/time. [Note that synchronous classes will NOT happen on these two PLP days, as teachers will be in conferences all day.]


Parent/Guardian Survey

Last call – if you have not yet had a chance to give some quick feedback on the Parent/Guardian check-in survey we sent out last weekend, please consider doing so now. If you did already complete it, thank you! If you have not yet done it, you can follow this link.


Parker 101 (for new families)

Every year, we host a Parker 101 night, which is aimed at parents/guardians who are new to Parker (though anyone is welcome to attend). The evening is dedicated to helping families better understand the Parker program (with a focus on academics and the assessment system). This year, we will do Parker 101 on Tuesday, October 20 from 7-9pm (remotely). More information, including a meeting link, will be sent to all Division One families and any new 9th grade families directly via email over the weekend.


Anti-Racism Work

In June 2020, the Parker faculty and staff issued a statement of intent to the community about adult learning and institutional change in 2020-2021. A portion of the community statement is excerpted below.

Parker was founded in the interest of shifting attitudes about schools and schooling. We believe that core practices of our school, such as a dedication to personalization, the elimination of traditional grading, and the construction of classes that include, rather than separate, different learners, have helped to shape Parker into a more equitable and inclusive space. While we know what it looks like to affirm, uplift, and support marginalized students, we still have work to do in a majority-White school around supporting Black students and students of color in a manner more strongly commensurate with our 10th Common Principle.

As a faculty, we commit to full-faculty and staff education and development around issues of race and equity. We will read White Fragility by Robin DiAngelo and How to Be an Anti-Racist by Ibram X. Kendi. We will hold regular full-faculty conversations about the ideas contained in these texts and how we can operationalize them in service of our student body.

As we begin these conversations we will, in addition to the two books mentioned above, draw on related resources from:

  • School Reform Initiative “We provide resources, tools and community for educators who are fiercely committed to educational equity and excellence.”
  • Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL) “CASEL is committed to advancing equity and excellence in education through social and emotional learning.”
  • Teaching Tolerance “Our program emphasizes social justice and anti-bias. The anti-bias approach encourages children and young people to challenge prejudice and learn how to be agents of change in their own lives.”
  • Facing History and Ourselves “Our approach to whole-staff professional development, school-wide programming, curriculum sequencing, and more creates school communities committed to issues of ethics, social responsibility, and justice.”
  • CREATE Teacher Residency “CREATE is building and nurturing a thriving community of educators committed to practices of teaching that prioritize racial justice and interrupt inequalities.”

Stuff that Matters

A new series, "Stuff that Matters," is a series of short videos tackling mental health topics impacting students. Sheila Kelly, Parker's School Counselor, is happy to accept topic ideas from parents and students at skelly@theparkerschool.org. This week's topic is "Loneliness". Upcoming topics will include Anxiety, Stress, Staying Organized and Depression.


Wednesday Flex Activities

Click on this link to see the slate of extracurricular offerings during Wednesday Flex hours. This document can also be accessed from the 2020-2021 webpage. These activities are opportunities to meet new people, try new things, and get involved in the Parker community. Please note that some activities will happen during Flex Block 1 (1:00-1:40), and others will meet during Flex Block 2 (1:45-2:25). The meeting links will be available through this document. Email the adults listed next to each activity with questions!


Attendance

Please be sure to leave a message on the attendance line BEFORE 9:00 AM [978-772-3293, ext. 1] to notify the school of planned or unexpected absences, tardies or early dismissals. A parent or guardian must call (students cannot call themselves out or late until they are age 18). Be sure to leave student name and reason for absence from class.


FAQs

Click here for the 2020-2021 School Info and FAQ pages. If you have a question you would like to see addressed on these pages, please email it to mbeganski@theparkerschool.org.


Upcoming Dates of Note

Tue    -     OCT 20  -  Parker 101

Wed   -     OCT 21  - Support Our Seniors

Fri      -     OCT 23  - PLPs

Fri      -     OCT 30  - PLPs

Wed   -     NOV 11  - Veterans Day Holiday


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This Week's Headlines Summary 

August 6, 2020
On your way...
July 28, 2020
In anticipation of the upcoming graduation ceremony, Parker School and the surrounding area will be sprayed for mosquitoes...
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July 31, 2019
Essential Question: A broad question around which a large part of a year's work is organized; a question that helps to focus work across the domains.
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