Ensuring a rich student experience before, during, and after the academic day.

This story originally appears in the 2023 Issue of Parker Magazine

While unique in many ways, one aspect differentiates Parker from most independent schools. Instead of three standard divisions—Lower, Middle, and Upper School—the Parker experience includes an important fourth division.

Initially established as a department, Integrative Programs evolved into a separate division two years ago as it began to manage more responsibilities and moving parts due to pandemic restrictions and processes. As we built Parker’s strategic direction, it became evident that further developing the division would be a key element moving forward.

The One Parker strategic theme focuses on developing this division. It ensures that the Parker student experience continues to be rich in program offerings before, during, and after the academic day.

The Division of Integrative Programs manages the in-between moments of student life. Among the initiatives that support students’ academic and social-emotional needs, the team oversees the Extended Day Programs, Summer at Parker, substitute teachers, and car line (student drop-off and pick-up).

“Our division bookends the day for every family,” explains Suzanne Barrow, Head of Integrative Programs. “We’re the first people kids and families see on our campuses every morning, and we’re the last people they see when they leave for the day.”

The now robust division provides a support piece to the community that was long overdue, allowing for a more streamlined and holistic student experience. The focus of One Parker ensures that the Division of Integrative Programs will continue to collaborate with the other division heads and the leadership team to shape the future of the School. Here’s what they are up to this year.

“Our division bookends the day for every family. We’re the first people kids and families see on our campuses every morning, and we’re the last people they see when they leave.”
-Suzanne Barrow, Head of Integrative Programs


Parker’s Extended Day Programs allows students to explore new interests, receive academic support, strengthen social-emotional skills, and make
meaningful connections with fellow students and teachers.

The Extended Day Program at the Mission Hills Campus includes a well-developed curriculum and programming, offering 12 enrichment classes each week to JK–Grade 5 students. The Linda Vista Campus program caters to maturing students, including time for homework, relaxing after the school day and before athletics, and hanging out with friends under safe supervision.

These programs extend the overall Parker experience for students as needed, providing more flexibility for families.


During Summer at Parker, students dive into new passions, sharpen skills, and get a jump start on the academic year. Parker welcomes all students from rising Junior Kindergarten to Grade 12 to participate.

The program balances enrichment and academic activities with plentiful breaks for fun. Mornings are filled with classes and learning opportunities, and the afternoons are spent in a summer camp setting with games and team building.

Summer at Parker fills the time between the end of one academic year and the beginning of the next—providing continued learning and the chance for students to experience something new that they might not have the time for during the academic year.


During the pandemic, the department hired 45 associate teachers to ensure that the campuses remained functional as students cycled on and off campus and the entire community managed periods of peak absences.

In the post-pandemic era, hiring, onboarding, and managing substitute teachers is one of the most important ways the Division of Integrative Programs supports the Parker experience every day. This integral responsibility ensures that students’ days run smoothly and are free from hiccups caused by scheduling issues, absenteeism, or other unforeseen circumstances.


The car line tradition—complete with neon yellow vests worn by faculty and staff—began when Parker transitioned students back onto campus during the pandemic. Initially, the team used drop-off to check students’ daily Emocha Health results, allowing the School to minimize COVID-19
spread on the campuses.

Now, the Division employs faculty and staff volunteersto keep drop-off and pick-up running smoothly. True tothe One Parker directive, car line helps every day starton the right path, setting the stage for an excellent student experience.


Under One Parker, the Division of Integrative Programs has exciting plans for the future. The Division hopes to expand the new Junior Counselor program that invites Parker Middle and Upper School students to volunteer at the extended day program on the Mission Hills Campus.

Similarly, this year the team will open Summer at Parker counselor positions to current Parker seniors who have turned eighteen. These new employment opportunities allow Parker students to experience the workforce in a familiar environment.

The team also plans to open the Linda Vista Campus to the community more often. For example, after the success of the recently piloted adult self-defense class, the Division hopes to invite assisted living residents to Campus to enjoy the facilities—whether to use the new Douglas Aquatic Center once completed or to participate in an enrichment course.