Parker Parent Update

May, 2020

Hello Parker Families,

It is hard to believe that we are close to wrapping up remote learning and turning our focus to the 20-21 school year! While we do not know what the fall will look like just yet, there is no doubt that we are excited to meet our incoming 5th graders while our current students continue with their academic journeys. I will reach out with updates on the upcoming school year as decisions are made. I also encourage you to keep an eye on the state-level updates throughout the summer months.

This letter contains a few updates and some helpful resources for families as we help our children navigate this ever-changing world. Thanks in advance for taking the time to review and I will see you again soon.

Thank you for your ongoing support,

Jeff

End of Year Planning

COLLECTING STUDENT MATERIALS:

During the week of May 11th, Parker staff returned to close up classrooms and gather any curriculum materials needed for the remainder of the year. Last week, we had approximately 300 students return to Parker to collect their school materials/personal items. Looking ahead to June, we will be scheduling "Student drop-offs" for the return of text books and library books. We will also be collecting Chromebooks from the families who borrowed them to support remote learning.

At the time I am writing this update, the plan is for our 5th grade students to keep their Chromebooks that were issued as part of the 1:1 initiative. The students will continue to use these devices next year.

I will send out the dates/times and schedule as soon as those details are finalized.


YEARBOOK DISTRIBUTION:

The 2019-2020 Yearbooks are in! We will be developing a plan for distribution in conjunction with the drop-off event(s) above. If you would like to order/purchase a yearbook, please contact Sue Loiselle at loisellesue@chelmsford.k12.ma.us


PARKER 8th GRADERS!

I will be sharing our plans to celebrate this awesome group very soon. This is certainly not how any of us wanted them to end their time at Parker, but as always, we will stay positive and make the most of it!

Remote Learning Updates & Reminders

* All assignments will be assessed as "credit" or "no credit" for the remainder of the year.


* Term 4 classes will be graded as "Pass" or "Fail" for all students.


* It is critical that students are also accessing their specialist classes. I encourage you to check their Google Classroom pages to see their participation/progress.


* Students will be receiving feedback on assignments to help promote growth and learning.


* Each class should assign no more than 30 minutes of work daily. If your child's assignments are taking longer, I encourage you to contact the teacher. This is a learning process for all of us and receiving feedback will help us improve.


* You are encouraged to maintain ongoing communication with your child and even check their work when possible.

2020-2021 School Year

We have started student scheduling and placement for next year! The current situation has given us the opportunity to evaluate our "typical" processes and challenged us to find new ways of doing business. We have made much progress in some areas and we are still working through others. I am confident that we will continue to improve and many of our "new" methods of gathering information are here to stay.

We are also actively interviewing to find our new teammates! I am excited to welcome some new staff members next year and will continue to update our Parker Community as things are finalized.

Stay tuned for updates on staff and student scheduling throughout the summer!

Helpful Family Resources

So many of our students and families are working through some very challenging times. Some due to COVID 19, and some not. With the help of our mental health professionals, nurses, and parents, I have compiled a list of resources to help you talk with your children about a variety of issues. I have selected a few resources from a variety of topics impacting our middle school students today. If you would like to receive a more comprehensive list, or need additional support, please let me know and I will direct you to the appropriate person.


Here is a look at the incredible Parker Support Team:


Parker School Counselors: Autumn Dolan & Melissa MacIsaac


Parker Social Worker: Julia Vogel


Parker School Psychologist: Dr. Susan O'Brien


Parker Nurses: Lisa Kamenides & Donna Foley


Helpful Links:


The following article is aimed at helping children cope with changes in their lives related to COVID-19:

https://www.nasponline.org/resources-and-publications/resources-and-podcasts/school-climate-safety-and-crisis/health-crisis-resources/helping-children-cope-with-changes-resulting-from-covid-19


This is an article about helping kids cope with anxiety related to COVID:

https://www.childrens.com/health-wellness/8-tips-for-managing-childrens-anxiety-about-covid-19


This is an article to help parents recognize signs of depression:

https://childmind.org/article/signs-of-depression-during-coronavirus-crisis/


Below is a link to an article from Psychology Today with suggestions for parents on how to talk to their children about transgender issues:

https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/beyond-pink-and-blue/201605/how-talk-kids-about-what-it-means-be-transgender


Human Rights Campaigh (HRC) Website: Transgender Youth, etc.

https://www.hrc.org/resources/topic/transgender


5 Ways to Deal With Anxiety:

https://kidshealth.org/en/teens/anxiety-tips.html


Chelmsford Food Insecurity Resources:

http://chelmsfordfoodpantry.org/


http://tableofplentyinchelmsford.org/


https://mvfb.org/

Field Trips, Refunds, etc.

At the time of our closure, we had a few field-trips/events scheduled. We are working to provide refunds and/or cancel checks as needed. Thank you in advance for your patience and understanding as we work through the process. We will contact families directly as needed.

Dr. Lang's May 29, 2020 District Update