First, the bad news: you can't just snap your fingers and get a spot in this school...everyone is drawn by lottery. The good news: it's worth the wait! My oldest child got "the call" last year and we now have two Parker students. That's right, once you have an active student there, priority is given to siblings! Parker is an AMAZING place. Check their MCAS results. Unbelievable since you won't see any class "teaching to" the test. Students can often be found outside with a class, carrying musical instruments about and learning in some very unconventional ways. Their faculty can best be described as eclectic. These are two of the many factors that make this such an amazing place for teen students to discover who they are and who they can become. Want more? Spanish Classes are taught with an immersion method, which makes for dramatic results. Open house sessions are held in January, and spots are drawn in early February. Limited class size, two teachers for every class room, and places for kids to choose what works best for them. Every student is treated like an individual, every day. Bullying? They NEVER heard of it. Essential School model done to perfection.
Simply the best. My children are happy and successful and in an educational environment that truly "gets it". Focusing on leadership and strengths, this school has it all. Thank you Parker community!!!! You are a true leader in what a charter school and educational environment is all about.
I sought out an alternative to the rather large Regional high school in our area and switched out children over to Parker in 7th grade. They operate with a mutual respect between students and teachers, emphasis on in-depth learning including revising work to a "meets" standards. This results in the students learning to do high quality work and not just getting a grade on something and it's all over. They also require all students do quite a bit of oral presentations so everyone has to do it and gets comfortable with public speaking. The sports programs are inclusive of all abilities, and theatre productions are amazing even if the facilities are not. Parker is a true community and a nuturing place to learn. I felt our children got a great "college-prep" education similiar to a private school without the cost.
Simply by looking at the prompts that explain what a "great school has" I can assure you that Parker has set a new standard for all three. As a student I was lucky enough to attend the Fall Forum, a brief explanation of which would be, an international meeting of members from essential schools that is thought of as "a conversation among friends". There is something humbling, yet unbelievably eye opening about being in a building with the top educators from around the world. The experience showed me what a true education looks like and just how much Parker exemplifies it. If that isn't enough, it's worth mentioning that the same educators from Europe and the further eastern world nodded in acknowledgement when I mentioned that I was a student at Parker. This perhaps, could give you an idea of what kind of legacy Parker has and what kind of reputation it has upheld. Every single teacher makes the effort to know their students well enough to understand their learning style, a process that is truly essential to a true education. This kind of personalization is one of many things that sets Parker apart, but it may be one of the most significant.
My child has thrived intellectually and emotionally and socially at this school. Attentive teachers, a wise, caring and skilled principal, and a terrific tone, this is the finest school we have ever been part of.
by far the best school i have ever gone to. the teachers actually listen to you and give you extra attention if needed. i like how they dont just give you a test and if you fail the material you fail it. you can revise it until you 'meet standards'. One of the best schools in the country!
Although the system provides the opportunity for the students to make their own decisions about their education, I as an educator and parent of a student at Parker, feel perhaps Parker provides a bit too much freedom for their 7th graders. This freedom can have negative affect on a student's education. infinds finds
Our daughter is graduating this year from Parker and although we loved the school and the education she received there, we weren't sure how Parker's program was viewed with top colleges and universities. We were gratified to discover that all of the schools she visited were extremly positive on Parker's teaching methods. In addition, they felt that Parker students were well prepared and more independent than many of their peers entering the freshman class. We love the school, love the caring atmosphere which fosters learning at a level most appropriate for the individual. The small class sizes and fantastic teaching staff makes the school feel like family. They truly care about the student as an individual. Also, there is a great student athlete ratio in the school, nearly everyone plays a sport.
The Parker Charter Essential School nurtures the whole child in a small environment where teachers and their students form a strong academic bond and understanding. This is an environment where an individual child s strengths become the center of the child s education and his/her weaknesses supported for success. The administration understands and interacts daily with the children. Students create and are responsible for their own annual academic and social goals. This is a family not just a school where all students are successful, happy, and confident.
From both the review of my daughter, who attends the Parker school, and my own assessment of the public schools in my town I have been convinced that schools like this are a saving grace. To any child who does not wish to fit the jock/musician/cool kid format that predominates the typical public school the Parker school offers a wonderful alternative. Students who wish to excel at subjects of their own choosing, thereby allowing them to feel good about themselves, should give Parker a try. I only hope legislation does not ruin such an asset to such a community which begs for choice and freedom.
The Francis W. Parker Charter Essential school provided me with an opportunity to excel in academics. Coming to the Parker School allowed me to move at my own rate and to interact productively with other academically advanced student. There also seems to be a strong and healthy environment for individuality as well as diversity. I would encourage anyone to visit the school and think bout adopting certain characteristics of our alternative education system. Overall, Parker has a uniquely strong sense of community.
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The Community Rating is the school’s average rating from its community members (e.g., parents, students, and school staff). The highest possible rating is five stars; the lowest is one star.
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