“The needs of society should determine the work of the school. The supreme need of society is ideal citizenship. Ideal citizenship demands for the individual the highest degree of knowledge, skill, power and service.”
— Colonel Francis Wayland Parker
Dear Parents and Caregivers,

Choosing a school is one of the most important decisions you will make.

Parker’s passion for education emanates from our desire to know all students and guide them in their learning and development so they can become authentic, effective, responsible and empathic citizens and leaders in our democracy and the wider world. At Parker, we affirm the dignity of each person and inspire all to learn and grow to make a difference in the world.

To uphold this mission, our teachers are attuned to how each student learns so that each can grow in character, talent and confidence as knowledgeable, skilled and creative problem-solvers. By knowing who our students are—and with an emerging sense of who they aspire to be—and by mentoring them through their development, our teachers curate a culture where curiosity and respect for oneself and others drive inquiry and joy, resilience and optimism shape student experience.

From the earliest ages, Parker students learn with others and gain real-world, practical experience speaking in public, finding their own voice, learning how to listen attentively to others, reflecting on what they are learning and working collaboratively in groups, all skills that will serve them throughout their lives.

Our engaging progressive approach to teaching and learning provides all students with the quantitative, interpretive, analytic and artistic experiences that allow them to acquire the skills that will help them develop their own interests and apply what they are learning in ways that benefit the broader community of which they are a valued part.

More than a century ago, Colonel Parker, our school’s founder, said, “The needs of society should determine the work of the school.” These words remain true today and will continue to be relevant as we move further into the 21st century. Although aspects of the future are always unknown, at Parker we are confident that our democracy will continue to need citizens and leaders who have the intellectual, social and emotional dispositions to think for themselves, hear other perspectives, ground their views in facts, maintain patience in the face of complexity and ambiguity and act on their convictions to provide insight, understanding and empathic, courageous leadership in addressing the pressing challenges of our times.

Our democracy is diverse, and because excellent problem solving results from including a diversity of perspectives, a Parker education is grounded in our commitment to compose the school with people who have different backgrounds, cultures, stories, beliefs and identities and in our strategies to provide equitable access for all students to the richness of our educational opportunities. It is essential that all students feel included in their classroom learning and develop a genuine sense of belonging to their school community.

I encourage you to explore Parker to see all that it has to offer your child and you. We have a deep history but we also have an even more dynamic future because of the people who comprise this educational community now and will in the years to come.

With gratitude,


Daniel B. Frank, ’74, Ph.D.

From the Principal

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.