From the Head of Upper School

The Upper School (grades 9–12) offers a supportive and intellectually challenging learning environment for our students. We guide them to learn about themselves as members of our community, as individuals and in the context of their roles in the world while they are at Parker. At Parker, progressive education values diverse perspectives in our multicultural community by making connections between our curricula and the world. Our academic program for 9th and 10th grade students provides a foundation for them to further develop their critical and analytical thinking. The 11th and 12th grade classes focus on helping students find their voices. As each student’s educational journey is unique, Upper School students have the opportunity to create a personalized learning experience by taking elective courses and creating independent studies.  Our approach provides students with numerous electives and civic engagement programming that brings the “outside in and the inside out” to challenge them to become active citizens in the world. In addition to a robust elective program, we offer advanced-level courses in every discipline to challenge students. Parker is not only defined by a strong academic program, we also believe we have a responsibility to support the social and emotional growth of every student. Each student has an advisor and every grade has a retreat that helps create a sense of pride and unity among peers. We create a co-learning environment in the Upper School where students work with faculty members to create programming for the entire Parker community.

Life in the Upper School

In the Upper School, we encourage our students to take advantage of everything we offer.
  • To complement our arts program, there are several performances and gallery showings throughout the year.
  • The Senior Seminar program provides a space for seniors to reflect on their final year of high school and prepare for their next journey.
  • More than 70 percent of our student body participates in our “no-cut’ athletics program.
  • We offer 40+ clubs.
  • Students attend conferences.
  • Students who particpate in Model UN program compete locally, nationally and internationally.
  • Seniors participate in our all-school Big Brothers and Big Sisters program.
  • “Cookie” courses taught by students and teachers offer more opportunities to individualize learning.
The Upper School program aims to help all students achieve their potential by supporting each individual preparation for college and beyond.

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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.