Francis W. Parker School Alumni Email
  Introducing Middle School Fall
and Annual Offerings

Dear Middle School Families,

Parker’s Middle School offers a wide range of extracurricular activities before and after school. The particular interests of students and faculty determine the clubs offered in the Middle School each academic year. Some of the clubs meet frequently over the course of the whole year and some seasonally. The before- and after-school activities are designed to encourage all students to explore a wide range of interests. Following is a list of Middle School clubs, activities and affinity and ally groups that are available this fall and throughout the school year. If you would like additional information, please contact the club sponsor or myself.

Comic Book Club with Mr. Stader,
Starting on Thursday, October 13
Thursdays 3:15–4:15 p.m. | Meets in Mr. Stader’s Room (333)
In Middle School Comic Book Club, we will be reading and discussing comics and graphic novels. We will look at both fiction and non-fiction genres within the medium including (but not limited to) graphic memoirs, superheroes and realistic dramas. Depending on interest, we may also look at creating our own comics and playing some board games as well.

Model UN with Mr. Shaker, and Ms. Lorenzo,
Starting on Wednesday, October 12
Wednesdays 3:30–4:30 p.m. | Meets in Middle School Collab Lab
The purpose of the Middle School Model United Nations team is to expose students to important international issues and to grapple with them 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.

Robotics FLL with Mr. Colestock, and Mr. Leo,
Season: September through mid-January
6th and 7th Grades: Mondays 3:15–5:30 p.m.
8th Grade: Fridays 3:15–5:30 p.m. | Meets in Collab Lab
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 both the robot challenge and the design challenge.

Social Justice League with Ms. Liszka,; Mr. Fuder,; and Ms. Williams,
Starting on Thursday, October 13
Thursdays 7:30–8 a.m. | Meets in Mr. Fuder’s Room (347)
This club aims to provide a safe space for students to consider, probe, discuss and act on issues that shape their immediate lives, the life of the school and our society, be it local, national or global, in order to forward the cause of exploring intentionally, sharing confidently and conversing boldy about social justice issues that develop here at school.

The Clark Street Journal with Ms. Tabor,
Starting on Monday, October 17
Mondays 7:30–8 a.m. | Meets in Ms. Tabor’s Room (348)
The Clark Street Journal is open to all students interested in producing content for the newspaper. Students will learn about writing news and opinion, and we will be covering what is interesting to the Middle School. Helmed by 7th and 8th grade editors, our goal is to publish 10 issues this year, and students do not need to attend every meeting to write or draw for the Journal.

Students who are looking for a quiet place to do homework may go to the library before or after school. The library hours are Monday through Thursday from 7:30 a.m. until 5 p.m. and Friday from 7:30 a.m. until 4:30 p.m.

Students join the following groups through the Music Department starting on Friday, October 14:

Middle School Orchestra with Mr. Tang,
Fridays 7:15–8 a.m. | Meets in LS/IS Music Room
Violin and cello players in the Middle School are eligible for the Middle School orchestra based on their ability and playing level. Students will play a variety of styles of music such as symphonic works and film music.

Middle School Wind Ensemble with Mr. Synakowski,
Fridays 7:15–8 a.m. | Meets in Room 205
Middle School students who play flute, clarinet, saxophone, trumpet, trombone, tuba and percussion are encouraged to join Wind Ensemble. This ensemble explores the world of band music through a variety of styles of music including marches and jazz.

Periodically Orchestra and Wind Ensemble will join together for large group musical experiences. Formal and informal performance opportunities will occur throughout the year.

Pop Vocal Ensemble with Mr. Denien,
Fridays 7:15–8 a.m. | Meets in Choir Room
Parker is excited to begin another season of Pop Vocal Ensemble, a musical group for students in grades 6 through 8. Music covered will broadly include pop music and songs that students are interested in singing and arranging. Formal and informal performance opportunities will occur throughout the year.

Rotating Friday U-Lunch (12:15–1 p.m.): Affinity and Ally Groups
*This is a brief overview of the affinity and ally Groups that meet during the school day. More detailed information to follow via email shortly.

Students of Color Affinity Group (SOCA) with Mr. Woodard,; Ms. Villagomez,; and Mr. Garza,
Meets in Ms. Villagomez’s Room (330)
Any 6th, 7th or 8th grader who self-identifies as a student of color may participate. Attendance for participants is entirely optional, and self-identification is up to each individual. The purpose of SOCA is to provide early adolescents of color 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 agenda partly follows what the students wish to discuss. Sometimes the facilitators suggest topics and present guest speakers and films to help educate and spark reflection and conversation.

Gay-Straight Alliance with Ms. Pickus,; Ms. Cooper,; and Ms. Ginsburg,
Meets in the Collab Lab
Any 6th, 7th or 8th grader who is interested in supporting equity for all, regardless of gender preference or adherence to stereotypical gender roles, is invited to participate. Attendance is entirely optional. This group uses articles in the news, videos, discussions and activities to raise awareness around Gay, Lesbian, 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.

La Mesa Hispana with Ms. Frasz,, and Ms. Villagomez,
Meets in Ms. Frasz’s Room (349)
La Mesa Hispana, the Hispanic Table, invites those who self-identify as Hispanic or Latino to gather around a “table” with those who have an interest in Hispanic culture of any identity to explore food, music, art, dance, history and more, with interested native speakers sharing their own cultures with the group. This group will periodically meet in the mornings throughout the school year.

La Mesa Hispana invita a todos aquellos que se identifiquen como Hispano o Latino para compartir con aquellos estudiantes que están interesados en la cultura Hispana para explorar la comida, la música, el arte, el baile, la historia y más, con el hecho de que los estudiantes nativos puedan compartir sus culturas con el grupo. El grupo se reunirá por las mañanas a través del an͂o.


Siobhan Allen
Intermediate and Middle School Dean of Student Life

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