Parker is a good little school and it could, potentially, be great. Kids tent to love it because the intrinsic sense of ohana that comes with a school this size and the culture of tolerance, acceptance and aloha that Parker draws from Hawaiian culture.
However, many parents will find their dealings with the school extremely frustrating since the school's lack of communication is more than clear at, practically, all levels. I have also noticed that when parents express doubts about school's policies, the school immediately takes either a very dismissive or defensive approach. It is sad, but it would seem as if the school do not seem to regard parents of students as clients towards which the school has some obligations, but more of nuisance that needs to be tolerated. This, together with the lack of communication on Parker's side, even when parents initiate communication themselves, makes involvement in your own child's education a frustrating and much harder endeavor than it ought to be.
As in all schools teachers are as effective as the interest and time they dedicate to teaching and the tools at their disposal. As in all schools some teachers are more dedicated than others and therefore are more effective.
Our son is just finishing kindergarten. He loves his school and his teachers. Parker has been a wonderful school. The teachers really care about the kids. It is amazing to see the growth of our son. We moved from Kona to Waimea just to send him to Parker. It was the best decision we ever made. The lower School head Heather is amazing! She is always happy and goes out of her way to make each child and parent feel welcomed and special. If you want your child to get a great education in a loving and caring enviroment, Parker is Where you should send you child.
Parker School has been amazing for our child! They love it and feel challenged on a daily basis. Academically the best school around! While they are trying hard to improve their athletic program( a new athletic director that is trying her hardest- and has been successful)- the school desperately needs an athletic building and gathering place. Great debate team and huge involvement of headmaster in academic programs! Would love to see the headmaster support ALL Art and sports activities!!
Parker's small size and incredibly dedicated staff allows for each child to be known and uniquely challenged and supported. I have been involved with the PTSO for the past 4 years and have had on-going contact with staff, administrators, parents, and students. Although no place is perfect, Parker does an outstanding job at preparing kids who are confident, considerate, well-rounded, informed, and importantly, kind. As we like to say, our kids sell our school because they are such enthusiastic and impressive individuals who create a culture of caring and excellence around them. They encourage each other to be and do their very best. Since Parker is small, kids participate in activities that they might not otherwise and often learn and grow in dynamic ways. With excellent academics, a top-notch debate team, good arts/drama offerings, sports and an o'hana (family) feel, Parker has been an exceptionally good choice for us.
Our daughter entered Parker School's middle school this year. She is currently in the sixth grade. She says it is the best school that she has attended. She also says that while the school is academically rigorous they also know how to have fun. She loves the teachers and the students. As a parent we couldn't be more pleased. They are a college preparatory school but they also want to help create well rounded individuals. The art and drama programs are top notch and they have a nice selection of sports and extra curricular activities. Their Board of Directors and PTSO are vibrant and active with an eye on working with the administration to help enhance the Parker School experience. The teachers are amazing. They are accessible to the students and the parents. They use the term Parker Ohana (family) and it truly is a family environment.
Parker offers a challenging and engaging curriculum delivered by a staff of dedicated and experienced teachers. Our 6th grade boy is LOVING his first year at Parker, and we can see great development in him academically (e.g. he attacks math problems without drama, shares new-found knowledge, communicates ideas more clearly than ever). He is clearly happy and very comfortable socially. Communication with teachers is easy and they're highly responsive. We recommend Parker without qualification - it's easily Hawaii Island's best school!