December 18, 2014
First, we want to thank parents and the community for supporting our efforts to teach and support your children at the middle level. We are grateful for your trust, guidance, and feedback. To parents and families, we wish you all a Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays! Best wishes to you and your families in the New Year. As always if you have questions or we can help with anything please drop us a note.
A snapshot of English Language Arts in grade 7…
Our seventh grade students are finishing up the Dickens classic, A Christmas Carol. The entire seventh grade from Parker and Coolidge attended the musical at the North Shore Music Theatre yesterday. The language and the themes in the original work that the students are reading present some challenges. Most of our seventh graders are focusing on close reading to fully capture the central ideas and supporting details in the text. Most students know the story line and have seen one of the many movie versions of the story, but to see and hear student’s read and reread to make meaning of the text is exciting. To see them make connections to the themes of kindness and community and connect to opportunities to practice these values are exceedingly very nice to watch play out. The ghosts of Christmas past, present and future still capture our thinking about the possibility and power of change. Students and teachers seem to be genuinely engaged and learning with and from one another as they work through this wonderful story.
|Two of our groups attending "A Christmas Carol" on Wednesday, 12/17/2014|
The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) and A World of Difference Program
The ADL, a leader in anti-bias education, was here at Parker working with a cohort of thirty six student leaders as part of our World of Difference Program. The two-day training led by a facilitator from the ADL is designed to help students: recognize bias and the harm it inflicts on individuals and society, build understanding of the value and benefits of diversity, improve intergroup relations, and most importantly confront racism, anti-Semitism and all other forms of bigotry. This training comes at an ideal time for us here at Parker, as some of you may know or have read my recent e-mail that reported an incident of graffiti in one of our student bathrooms. In the process of our collaborative work interviewing students to find out more about the graffiti, it is clear that we need to do some meaningful work with our students in how they talk to and refer to their classmates and friends. Some students give little thought to using words that are derogatory, and in some instances simply intimidating. With the help of our faculty coordinators, Julie Merrill and Taylor Moroso, we are planning an all school Core Values activity in January.
Student Leaders Participating in ADL Training