As is the Parker tradition, each year we select a theme to set the tone and the priority for the coming school year. Thinking about what we might select for this year’s theme, I came across the following piece that Parker’s own Rob Hansen ’87 included in the 2018 Middle School Yearbook:
Parker is a busy place. We’re all running around, trying to keep up–even trying to excel. Rightfully, we are focused on our own responsibilities. We would do well, however, to remind ourselves where we need to invest: relationships. If we invest in relationships, we will be rich. We will be wealthy in ways difficult to see, but easy to feel, and just as importantly, easy to share.
Truly, Rob got it right. There is nothing that matters more than the relationships we share with one another. And it is the investment in those relationships–truly connecting with one another–that will bring riches to us all.
Upcoming Presentations and Feedback Opportunities for the 2020-2021 Middle and Upper School Schedule
Parker’s commitment to advance one of the major student wellness initiatives from the Strategic Plan continues in earnest–to assess the daily schedule in an effort to achieve balance and wellness in the student experience while optimizing instructional time, supporting diverse course offerings, recognizing the importance of extracurricular activities and free time, ensuring optimal student health and academic performance, and creating opportunities for collaboration.
During the course of the past eight months, the Middle and Upper School Daily Schedule Committee has been hard at work defining the guiding principles that serve as the foundation for Parker’s improved schedule which, once finalized later this winter, will begin in the fall of 2020.
In evaluating the daily schedule, the goal has remained the same from the beginning: translate our guiding principles into “allocations of time” within the framework of the school day such that the overall schedule best serves the academic, social, and emotional growth and development of all of our students.
The work by our committee has been a very intentional process, having incorporated preliminary feedback from parents, Upper School students, and faculty (in December 2018), more recently from faculty (August 2019), and over the coming months from parents and students. To that end, we invite all parents to attend an upcoming daily schedule presentation by Dan Lang and Monica Gillespie to be held at both 8:30 am and noon on Friday, Oct. 4 at the Student Life Center on the Linda Vista Campus. Understanding that these times may not be convenient for all of our families, we will offer live streaming of the presentation. Thereafter, we will also seek feedback from our parents via electronic survey.
One thing is for certain: with this commitment to enhancing the Middle and Upper School Daily Schedule, we are putting a stake in the ground around our enduring commitment to developing students who strive for academic excellence while maintaining a balance of social and emotional well-being. And we are excited about the benefits our students will enjoy come this time next year.
Here’s to a terrific year,
Head of School