Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Principal Notes

Principal Notes

Each time we get to this point in the year, I think “…my gosh…” is it the Holiday Break already? But as I look back through the calendar I realize that teachers and staff have been amazingly busy teaching and learning while keeping up with Bullying Training, Safety Drills as well as professional development activities. And although this break is not the end of the second quarter or the first semester, symbolically it feels like the half way point in the school year. I can say that as I make my way into class observations and talk with students that teachers and kids are looking forward to the well needed break. Mrs. O’Connell and I wish you and your children Happy Holiday’s and best wishes in the New Year!

Parker Community Service Projects

Both the Peer Leaders and Student Council have been busy this season continuing service projects here at Parker. We have collected over 200 coats for the Coats for Kids organization. Students have been exceptionally helpful, coordinating, collecting and advertising the need for winter coats on Parker News Live and throughout the school community. The drive ends January 8th, if you have any gently worn winter coats that you would like to donate to a wonderful cause, please feel free to give them to your son or daughter to drop in the collection box in our main foyer. Additionally, our Peer Leaders have worked with the Reading Fire Department to collect toys for the Toys for Tots organization (see the picture below). The idea of service is alive and well here and students are encouraged to think big about helping others and they know we will support them and help them develop their ideas.

The Library Media Center

The Parker Library Media Center has been transformed this year, starting with the hiring of Robin Ferrazzani. Robin did brilliant work at the Killam Elementary School and when a position became available here at Parker we were fortunate enough to have her make the transition from elementary to middle school. Even before the school year started we knew that things in the LMC were going to be a bit different; Robin came into school in July and re-arranged the library to accommodate more students and to allow more activities and classes to be in the LMC at one time. Moreover, Mrs. Ferrazzani began teaching classes and collaborating with Meg Powers, our Technology Specialist, to further integrate technology in each grade and across all curricular areas. Mrs. Ferrazzani and Mrs. Powers co-teach technology electives and our Documentary Films Classes.

Mrs. Ferrazzani can be seen in the picture below with sixth grade students (from left to right) Siobhan Dowcett, Katie McKenna, Meghan Daley and Olivia Pavao. This picture was taken at the end of a technology integration class where sixth grade students worked to create a Wiki to chronicle information about the book A Tugging String: A Novel About Growing Up During the Civil Rights Era (more information can be found at The author David Greenberg will be visiting Paker and talking to students about writing and also his book.

We will also be having a Book Fair, which in the past has been held in the LMC where students would visit during the school day and purchase books from a limited selection. This year the Book Fair will be held January 6th at Barnes and Noble, Burlington.

As mentioned above, Happy Holiday’s and Best Wishes in the New Year! If you have any questions or we can help with anything please do not hesitate to contact us.

Doug Lyons and Cathy O’Connell

Friday, December 10, 2010

December 10

It's the week before the week before and the kids are all very excited about the upcoming winter break.  I think the teachers are excited as well.  I know I am!  The Parker Peer Leaders are sponsoring a toys for tots drive so please consider bringing in an unwrapped gift.  The Parker Student Council is collecting coats for the annual Anton's coat drive.  This is a great opportunity to clean out your closets and keep a child warm this winter.  Please also consider donating a gently used board game for indoor recess.  Our days of going outside after lunch are limited.  Progress reports were sent home this week on Edline.  Please be sure to check Edline for an update on your child's progress.  Please also ask your son or daughter to check the lost and found at Parker for misplaced sweatshirts, hats and jackets.  Speaking of sweatshirts, your last chance to buy some really cool Parker clothing will be next week.  Check out our online store for some great new items.

As always, if you need anything please drop a note or give a call.  --Cathy