Principal’s Vantage Point — Spring 2017

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Dear Parker Community:

Celebrating New Developments
There is so much and so many to celebrate at Parker as we near the end of this school year.

Students have grown in emotional maturity, intellectual understanding and awareness of themselves in relation to the wider world. Teachers, too, have grown as professional educators in content knowledge, pedagogical practices and in empathic connections to their students. Parents and alumni have also contributed to the optimistic spirit of possibility that pervades our school community with an all-in, can-do, what-if openness to creative human and organizational development. And all have benefited from Parker’s annual collective good fortune to have hosted many compelling international, national and local thought leaders in science, math, civics, arts and humanities.

These happy realities are guided by the faculty’s commitment to cultivate in our students intellectual curiosity, cultural competency and growth mindset, all qualities that contribute to their growth as empathic, skilled and confident young citizens. These educational skills, which permeate all classrooms, will flourish even more when our new library opens in September.

Advancing Parker’s Strategic Vision
In my first Vantage Point Report, I provided an overview of Parker’s Strategic Plan. This year, we have continued to implement these goals through our efforts in curriculum planning, student engagement, faculty and staff professional development and hiring, and infrastructure support.

These core goals inform our work to provide outstanding progressive education in accord with our mission and commitment to widen equitable and inclusive access for all students to the promise of a Parker education and to ensure that Parker has the sustainable resources and structures to thrive now and in the future.

This work is necessary to provide our students with affirming experiences that expand their knowledge of content, their skills to analyze, interpret and express what they are coming to understand, and their growing self-confidence to apply what they are learning through the impactful actions they take in the world.

Strengthening Parker’s Educational Program (Strategic Goal 1)
This year, Parker has continued to educate students to be thoughtful citizens by developing their academic and interpersonal skills, allowing them to deepen their relationship to ideas, the world, themselves and others. Read more by clicking on the links below:

Lower School Curricular Highlights: by Kimeri Swanson-Beck
Intermediate and Middle School Curricular Highlights: by John Novick
Upper School Curricular Highlights: by Ruth Jurgensen

Strengthening Community by Expanding Options, Equity and Access
(Strategic Goal 2)
Throughout the school’s curriculum, faculty and students have engaged in substantive explorations of study aimed at expanding awareness of identity and cultural competency. In addition, the deliberate work we have done with nationally recognized diversity, equity and inclusion consultant, Derrick Gay, has included workshops with administrators, faculty and staff, parent grade chairs, the Board of Trustees and Upper School student leaders. And we look forward to working with Dr. Gay again next year.

Read more about how our students are exploring topics around diversity, equity and inclusion.

Sustainability Through Strong Administrative, Financial and Facilities Infrastructure (Strategic Goal 3)
Parker’s core educational commitments have also been bolstered by infrastructure changes implemented by the Administration and the Parents’ Association. Each has responded to the strategic call for action by restructuring important operational procedures and systems in ways that uphold Parker’s mission and advance the school’s ability to achieve its strategic goals to advance progressive education, widen access and deepen cultural competency, and improve our sustainable financial, administrative and communication structures.

Celebrating Parker’s Abiding Progressive Educational Values
While our students’ lived experience is new and alive for them in the here-and-now moment--as it should be—it is important for us all to appreciate that the values that guide Parker educators and Board leaders are not new and the achievements we realize are no accident.

Our successes and commitment to improve occur because Parker has a well-articulated value system that binds our approach to education with the welfare of our society and world.

More than a century ago, Colonel Parker said, “Democracy is the responsibility of each for all and all for each.” Since its founding, Parker has stayed focused on educating students to think for themselves so that they can work with others as patriotic citizens who are knowledgeable, skilled and confident to speak out and take action to improve society for all. Parker’s inclusive message is clear: We are all in this together. No one group comes first with others valued less. Our lives are interconnected. Our imaginations are interdependent. Our students need exposure to a range of ideas in order to develop their own. Diversity of perspectives and backgrounds educates our students for lives as informed citizens who know how to act on their beliefs. Yet, we know that in the world of perspectives, bigotry and dishonesty violate our values of respect, inclusion and integrity.

Our school is linked to the fate and hope of our nation. Colonel Parker fought in the Civil War to hold our nation and the promise of democracy together. Given the current tensions that confront our society, now more than ever, schools—and Parker in particular—need to lead by educating students to be critical and creative thinking citizens, strong in emotional and ethical character, skilled in collaborative and empathic ways of solving problems and active in their commitment to democracy, freedom and social justice. Educating young citizens with these democratic skills and self-confident dispositions continues to be what our society needs, now and in the future. And I am most grateful to all in the Parker community who do all they can to support the school, its faculty and its students in this deeply American vision.

To the students, educators, parents, staff, alumni, parent emeriti and grandparents who have made all of this possible, I am deeply grateful for all the loving commitment people bring each day to improve and engage in the life of our school.

With heartfelt best wishes to all as we conclude this school year, and a special congratulations to our graduating 8th graders and seniors and their parents,


Daniel B. Frank, Ph.D.


Vantage Point
Spring 2017

Featured Content

Lower School Curricular Highlights

Intermediate and Middle School Curricular Highlights

Upper School Curricular Highlights

Updates on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Exploration

Quick Links

New Hires, Promotions and Transitions

Annual Report

Parker News

Live Creature

Schools Journal

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.