Before and After School

We are an intimate school, and we take the time to know and value students as individuals, helping them to gain the skills, experience, confidence and inclination to boldly explore their world, find their proper place in it and, as global citizens, strive to make the world a more just, equitable and thoughtful democratic place. Through our clubs and activities, we aim to engage the enthusiasm of students to apply their knowledge in new and exciting ways. Parker’s clubs and activities provide students with exciting opportunities to develop their passion for exploring and investigating the world around them.

Intermediate School

List of 6 items.

  • Anime Club

    Students learn more about and engage in activities related to various anime including comics and animation.
  • Cadet Orchestra

    Student instrumentalists can participate based on their ability and playing level.
  • Coding Club

    Students build scratch programming skills and learn new programming techniques by working individually with teachers.
  • Homework Club

    Homework Club provides a quiet, studious and relaxing environment for students to practice beneficial study habits, complete homework and enjoy independent reading.
  • Mosaic Music Ensemble

    Inspired by the choir tradition, this vocal group explores multiculturalism through the music of different cultures including world music, gospel music and folk music.
  • Parker Pacers

    Students interested in running for the fun of it can join teachers in a brisk morning run for fun and exercise.

Middle School

List of 22 items.

  • Animation & Game in Scratch

    In this club, students have the chance to build their skills in Scratch, a programming language and online community where they can create interactive stories, games and animations. Students learn basics in computer skills, programming concepts and design.
  • Art Club

    Using a range of materials and techniques, students create and share their work during the course of the year.
  • Asian and Asian-American Affinity Alliance (A5)

    This affinity group aims to celebrate the plethora of distinct Asian cultures present in our middle school by providing support, information and safe space to express one’s shared experiences as they engage in the process of developing their own identities and consider the role of how their racial, ethnic identities and/or nationality plays a role in that process. 
  • Black and African-American Affinity Group

    BAAA provides an opportunity for students to share and explore their life and experiences within a space defined by their self-identified membership within the Black and African-American within and beyond the school community. This space aims to cultivate trust, courage and safety, and design programming, activities and opportunities for students to connect and renew relationships, explore and celebrate identities, share successes and challenges, and encourage and support one another while engaging in the process of developing their own identities and how existing in a racialized society impacts each individual and the community at-large.
  • Coding Club

    Students meet weekly to experience a variety of different project areas, highlighting the wide range of applications for programming.
  • Comic Book Club

    The Comic Book Club is an opportunity for students to discuss a variety of comic books and graphic novels. Students may also create and illustrate their own comics.
  • Homework Club

    Homework Club provides a quiet, studious and relaxing environment for students to practice beneficial study habits, complete homework and enjoy independent reading.
  • Improv Club

    The Middle School Improv Club teaches improv games and other theater exercises in a fun, no pressure environment.  Regardless of previous experience, students will cultivate their senses of humor, and boost their four C’s: creativity, critical thinking, collaboration, and communication.
  • La Mesa Hispana

    La Mesa Hispana, The Hispanic Table, is for students who self-identify as Hispanic and/or Latinx to gather around a “table” with those who have an interest in Hispanic and Latinx culture of any identity. The group explores food, music, art, dance, history and more with interested native speakers sharing their own cultures.
  • Math Olympiad

    The Math Olympiad is a series of five timed exams that take place about once a month during the school day. Each exam consists of five challenging math questions that test students’ problem-solving prowess. Each correct answer is worth one point for a maximum possible score of 25 points for the year. The year ends with a special event and awards to celebrate those who regularly participate in the exams and rise to the challenge.
  • Middle School Musical

    Students with an interest in the performing arts work collaboratively to stage an independent production. Opportunities exist to perform or work on set design, costumes and other offstage areas. As students push themselves to take risks, they develop as individuals, students and members of a larger community.
  • Model United Nations

    The Middle School Model UN team exposes students to important international issues they must grapple with through the purview of the United Nations. Students learn about the powers and limits of this institution, develop the language used in the drafting of resolutions and clauses and work on their skills in the fine art of diplomacy.
  • Movie Club

    Students exercise their creativity to create movies through scripting, filming, acting and editing.
  • Orchestra

    Violin and cello players are eligible for the Middle School Orchestra based on their ability and playing level.
  • Pop Vocal Ensemble

    This vocal ensemble performs pop music and songs that students are interested in singing and arranging. Formal and informal performance opportunities occur throughout the year.
  • Pride Alliance

    Students interested in supporting equity for all, regardless of gender preference or adherence to stereotypical gender roles, are welcome to participate. This group uses articles in the news, videos, discussions and activities to raises awareness, center and amplify the individual and collective realities, narratives and experiences of people within the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender or Questioning/Queer (LGBTQ+) communities. MS Pride Alliance strives to ensure a brave and inclusive school for LGBTQ+ students, in part by using and promoting positive and inclusive language.
  • Robotics FLL Team

    Robotics FIRST LEGO League (FLL) is a team competition in which students engineer and program a robot to complete a series of table-top missions. FLL places a strong emphasis on all members of the team playing an active role and working together to accomplish the robot challenge and the design challenge.
  • Social Justice Club

    The Social Justice Club empowers students to investigate their own cultural and social identities to gain a broader sense of awareness (both self and other) that will help promote a more just society, keeping our school an open, welcoming and safe space for all.
  • Students of Color Affinity Group (SOCA)

    The Students of Color Affinity group (SOCA) provides students with support, information and the time and space to share common experiences as they engage in the process of developing their own identities and consider the role race plays in that process.
  • The Clark Street Journal Newspaper

    The Clark Street Journal is open to all students interested in writing for a newspaper. Students learn about writing news and opinion and covering what is interesting to the Middle School. Students do not need to attend every meeting of the paper to participate.
  • Wind Ensemble

    Middle School students who play flute, clarinet, saxophone, trumpet, trombone, tuba or percussion are welcome to join Wind Ensemble. This ensemble explores the world of band music through a variety of musical styles, including marches and jazz.
  • Young Women in Math and Science

    This club aims to support and enrich the experience of girls at Parker with a particular interest in science and technology. Activities include field trips and experiences with women who work in science every day.

Upper School

List of 23 items.

  • 3D Printing Club

    This club provides students interested in art and technology with an outlet to design and produce objects using the school’s 3D software and printer.
  • Asian Alliance

    Asian Alliance is an affinity group where everyone who identifies as Asian or Asian-American can speak freely about their varying experiences. The group brings awareness that there is an Asian spectrum, rather than just East Asia. While the main focus is to deal with issues affecting our community and advance our community, the group also finds interactive ways to connect by including opportunities to share our cultures with the rest of the student body along with celebrating our differences within the club itself.
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  • Astrophysics Club

    Astrophysics club is an opportunity for students and teachers to come together  and talk about various topics in astronomy, cosmology, particle physics and modern physics that are of interest to everyone. We also plan outings and activities such as seeing movies, sharing in outside speakers, as well as building and launching high powered rockets and high altitude balloons.
  • Chess Club

    The Chess Club is for students who would like to learn or improve their skills as strategic chess players. The group does not participate in interscholastic competitions.
  • Computer Gaming Club

    This social computer group welcomes students who enjoy the cyber world, role-playing and teamwork fostered by shared strategies.
  • Debate Club

    The Debate Club is for students who are interested in learning more about formal, organized argumentation as well as developing stronger speaking and presentation skills.
  • Fourth Wall

    The Fourth Wall is a student theatre club in which students handle every part of the production process: acting, directing, sets/props/costuming, advertising, etc. Often, students write the material, but the troupe also produces adaptations of existing works.
  • French Club

    The French Club enriches classroom activities with out-of-class opportunities to speak French and discuss French culture. Members plan activities such as outings to restaurants, movies, plays and other cultural events, as well as create projects to help expose the Parker community to French and francophone culture.
  • Investment Club

    The Investment Club educates students on making smart investments in the current global market and managing a smart and effective financial portfolio.
  • Latin American Students Organization (LASO)

    The Latin American Students Organization (LASO) provides a space for students who identify with Latin American origins to celebrate their cultural and ethnic diversity, discuss local and national issues that affect them and educate the school and the community at large about their cultures and issues that affect Latinos at large.
  • MATE ROV (Underwater Robotics)

    The MATE ROV Competition is an underwater robotics (aka remotely operated vehicle or ROV) challenge that engages a global community of learners each year. Team webpage available here.
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  • Math Club

    Math Club is a forum for students who love math to work with faculty members on challenging problems that extend their classroom learning and allow them to work collaboratively.
  • Meditation Club

    The Meditation Club allows students to explore guided meditation, deep relaxation, breathing and visualization techniques. Students lead and participate in weekly meditations with emphasis on improving focus, mental clarity and stress management.
  • Men of Color Heritage Affinity (MOCHA)

    The Men of Color Heritage Affinity group (MOCHA) provides an open, student-run space for young men of color to gather and talk about different topics related to their experience. This organization aims to develop the voice of young men of color in the school.
  • Model United Nations

    Students adopt the roles of United Nations diplomats by representing the perspectives of various countries during discussions of international policy and current events. Participants practice and develop research, writing, public speaking, problem-solving and negotiating skills through participation in intramural symposia and interscholastic events.
  • Photography Club

    Students meet and discuss photographic art as well as design interesting projects with specific themes to improve their skills.
  • Positive Racial Identity Development through Education (PRIDE)

    The Positive Racial Identity Development for Education group (PRIDE) fosters development in Parker’s Upper School student body, centers and amplifies marginalized voices, stimulates interest and awareness among the Parker community in central program themes and forms relationships with individuals and organizations who share common goals and mission.
  • Power of Education Club

    This club raises awareness about the obstacles females face to receive a proper education in developing countries. Activities include movie screenings about international crises involving women and/or education.
  • Robotics

    Students on the Robotic Colonels team work with professional engineers to become science and technology leaders through the process of designing and building robots for FIRST Robotic Competitions. By experiencing the entire engineering process, students gain valuable skills in project time and task management; real-world problem analysis; mechanical, electrical and computer engineering; website design, graphic art, communication, publicity and marketing, as well as fundraising and budgeting.
  • Science Olympiad

    In this national science competition, Parker students join their peers from more than 14,000 other K–12 schools, choosing from more than 20 events in different fields of science, ranging from Meteorology to Food Science to Simple Machines. Working in small groups of two to five members, students prepare for their events, periodically meeting with science teachers for extra coaching and to monitor their progress.
  • Students Affirming Gender Equality (SAGE)

    Students Affirming Gender Equality (SAGE) provides a safe discussion space for Upper School students to explore current issues surrounding gender and sexuality.
  • Slam Poetry

    Students explore spoken word and performance poetry, meeting weekly to write, share and perform their work and culminating with participation in Louder Than A Bomb, the world’s largest teen poetry festival, which takes place annually in Chicago.
  • Video Club

    Students learn about and further develop their skills in developing, filming and editing video documentaries as well as exploring post-production techniques, such as animation.

Upper School Student Government

Beginning in 8th grade, students learn the possibilities and pitfalls of democratic self-rule as members of Parker’s Student Government. More than 400 students meet weekly to focus on issues, challenges and concerns related to school life. Elected heads of Student Senate convene weekly to review and revise proposals submitted at plenary sessions. Fifteen elected and appointed leaders meet before school during the week to set the weekly agenda. Students meet with the administration to formulate plans and publish a weekly report about government concerns.

Elected and appointed officers manage student life via ongoing projects for more than 15 standing committees under the Student Government umbrella. Through their participation and involvement in Student Government, Parker students learn how to bring about positive change within the school and become engaged citizens for a lifetime.

Student Government Committees

List of 15 items.

  • American Field Service (AFS)

    AFS is a nonprofit organization that enables a foreign student to spend a year at Parker and a Parker student to spend a year or summer in a foreign country. The student committee helps the foreign student assimilate into the Parker community and assists Parker students in becoming foreign exchange students in other countries.
  • Computer Technology Committee

    The committee assists students and faculty with their day-to-day computer problems and designs and maintains the Student Government Web sub-site and student email accounts.
  • Curriculum Committee

    The committee acts as the liaison between the administration/faculty and students on matters regarding curriculum. Additionally, members ensure the school is maintaining the spirit of the Progressive Education Initiative.
  • Environmental Committee

    The committee raises awareness of environmental issues throughout the entire Parker community by holding meetings, organizing “green” events and effectively introducing and implementing environmentally conscious practices.
  • Film Committee

    The committee brings students together to watch movies in a non-classroom setting. Committee heads are responsible for advertising, ticket sales, projection, cleanup and film selection polls
  • Gay Straight Alliance (GSA)

    Students interested in supporting equity for all, regardless of gender preference or adherence to stereotypical gender roles, are welcome to participate. This group uses articles in the news, videos, discussions and activities to raise awareness around Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgendered or Questioning (LGBTQ) issues. GSA also strives to ensure a safe and inclusive school for gay and straight students, in part by using and promoting positive and inclusive language and by asking people not to make sexist or homophobic remarks.
  • Model Home Committee

    The committee creates a comfortable atmosphere for the student body and organizes Parker’s Intramural Sports.
  • Morning Exercise Committee

    The committee plans the tri-weekly Morning Exercises.
  • Music Committee

    The committee collects audible entertainment to play between classes via the Upper School intercom system.
  • Performing Arts Committee

    The committee organizes talent shows, Battle of the Bands, the County Fair Play and other productions they choose. The committee informs the Parker community about performing arts events and organizes outings to such events.
  • Phaedrus Committee

    The committee publishes Phaedrus, Parker’s literary and art magazine for Upper School students. Phaedrus allows students to creatively express themselves through poetry, short stories, drawing, photography and paintings.
  • Social Committee

    The committee runs and organizes social events and activities for the Upper School student body, such as Homecoming and Prom.
  • Students Against Destructive Decisions (SADD)

    SADD educates the Parker community about the repercussions of making destructive decisions and provides a forum for students to talk about them. This committee offers additional support to students who are healing and suffering from issues resulting from bad decisions.
  • Students United

    The committee organizes the monthly Diversity Dialogues, the Martin Luther King Day/Black History Month celebration and additional Morning Exes, as well as activities that enlighten Parker students culturally on local and international issues.
  • Weekly Committee

    The committee is in charge of publishing and distributing Parker’s monthly newspaper, The Weekly.
Francis W. Parker School educates students to think and act with empathy, courage and clarity as responsible citizens and leaders in a diverse democratic society and global community.