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 9 items.

  • Cadet Orchestra

    Student instrumentalists can participate based on their ability and playing level.
  • Colonel Choir

    Colonel Choir is a children’s chorus that builds around children’s singing voices, rehearses group numbers and performs a variety of fun vocal pieces.
  • Creation Station

    Creation Station offers students the opportunity to start their day with a dose of creativity! The shop’s scrap wood, tile, yarn and other oddities are available for art making. Trinkets, figures, sculptures and other fun things are made.
  • Homework Club

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

    The Maker Club is a chance for students to design and build using Maker equipment and tools, like 3D printers, sewing machines, cutting machines, electronics, circuitry, cardboard, LEGOs and more. Students can invent something new, or just tinker and learn!
  • Martes Social

    ¡Buenos Días! Martes Social is our Intermediate School Spanish language and culture enrichment club. A Martes Social is a 40-minute breakfast gathering where students are encouraged to use their Spanish language skills and learn some new vocabulary as they celebrate aspects of their cultural studies together.
  • Parker Pacers

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

    The Intermediate School Pride Alliance strives to ensure a safe and inclusive school for students of all genders and sexual orientations, in part by using and promoting positive and inclusive language. This group will use articles in the news, videos, discussions, and other activities to raise awareness about freedom of gender expression, gender-based stereotypes, and Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender or Questioning/Queer (LGBTQ+) issues.
  • Students of Color Affinity Group (SOCA)

    The purpose of SOCA in the Lower and Intermediate Schools is to provide a place for children of color to come together and get to know each other while further developing a strong sense of identity. Our aim is that children will create connections across boundaries of grade level and family structure, and have the opportunity to play and share together, their sense of self, voice and engagement in the world strengthens. “Research indicates that starting programs in the younger grades can alleviate some of the peer pressure (of identity development).” (Independent School Magazine)

Middle School

List of 22 items.

  • 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 Heritage Affinity

    BHA 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.
  • Drum Line

    This club is open to all students interested in learning more about a drum ensemble.
  • Dungeons & Dragons Club

    D&D Club provides students with a fun, creative way to explore cooperation and problem-solving skills (along with basic math and writing) while participating in group storytelling. Students also use some of the maker tools in the library to create materials for the game (maps, miniatures, etc.). No experience with Dungeons & Dragons is necessary and all needed materials are provided.
  • Homework Club

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

    Math Olympiad I is open to middle school students who are new to mathematics competitions and Olympiad-style problems. Students in the Math Olympiad Club will participate in five math competition exams from November to March). Weekly sessions will be mini-lessons on topics often represented on these exams. During these weekly sessions, students will have opportunities to work individually and, collaboratively, in small groups. Students who have a passion for Math and seek to be challenged in a fun and positive environment, find this is the perfect opportunity for them.
  • Math Olympiad II

    Math Olympiad II is for 7th and 8th graders who have participated in Math Olympiad I in previous years at Parker or have similar experience in math competition. During meetings, this team will engage in high-level mathematics work, designed to deepen students’ skill and knowledge in a wide array of mathematical fields. Students prepare for several math competitions, potentially including the M level MOEMS, AMC 8 and others.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Recorder Club

    This club is open to students who wish to further practice the recorder.
  • 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.
  • Rock Band Club

    Students who play musical instruments and would like to play fun classic/rock/pop music join this club. Students meet once each week, so musicians should expect to practice a little to be ready for their live performances! Students interested in making some great live music, come and join!
  • Scholastic Bowl

    Students answer practice questions based upon different subject areas such as math, science, literature, religion, mythology, philosophy, economics, history, music, art and current events to have fun and potentially compete with teams from different schools in academic knowledge competitions. Matches are run by having team members buzz in (much like the show Jeopardy!) to answer for points and collaborate on more in-depth questions regarding similar subjects. No prerequisite knowledge is needed—students all start as beginners!
  • 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.
  • Spring Robotics

    Students transform the Collab Lab into Parker’s very own Robotics Design Studio. Participants create their own original inventions, robots or devices using the LEGO Mindstorms EV3 invention kits. The theme this year will challenge students to incorporate a particular non-LEGO material into designs (to be announced at the first meeting), but project selection is left up to the students themselves. Whether they have built with the EV3 kits a lot, a little or never before, anybody interested is encouraged to participate.
  • 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.

Upper School

List of 59 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.
  • 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.
  • Berkowitz Committee

    Students on the Berkowitz Committee work together each year to orchestrate an open process for awarding a $10,000 grant from the Berkowitz family to an organization that serves Chicago’s youth.
  • Black Student Union (BSU)

    The Black Student Union provides a space to learn and share life experiences and fellowship with Black students.
  • 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.
  • Comedy Club

    The Comedy Club is a space for students to enjoy comedy in its many forms.
  • Community Research and Medicine (CRM) Club

    The Community Research and Medicine Club educates and engage students interested in medicine and medical research. Our goal is to be more cognizant about community health and create greater change in our society.
  • 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.
  • Food Council

    The Food Council meets with the school’s Food Service team on all things food, including the Cafeteria.
  • 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.
  • FTC Robotics

    Students in FTC Robotics work with professional mentors to become science and technology leaders by designing and building robots for FIRST Tech Challenge Competition robotics competition. 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.
  • Investment Club

    The Investment Club educates students on making smart investments in the current global market and managing a smart and effective financial portfolio.
  • Jewish Student Connection

    Jewish Student Connection is an affinity group for those who identify as Jewish to  come together on a regular basis to enjoy meaningful experiences. The group will celebrate our cultural and ethnic diversity, discuss local and national issues impacting Jews and share our perspectives with the greater school community. The group will also have fun holiday celebrations, engaging programming and lots of Jewish of food!
  • 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.
  • Let’s Take Action (LTA)

    The Let’s Take Action Club brings students together to learn, help and advocate for under-resourced people.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Mock Trial Club

    The Mock Trial Club members will learn the basics of courtroom law and put together a simulation of an actual trial. This club is for those who love to debate or are interested in criminal law. Experience is great but not required, and if you have any cases you would like to see debated, let us know! We’re so excited for this club, and we hope you are too!
  • 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.
  • Multi-Racial Affinity Group (MRA)

    The Multi-Racial Affinity Group brings people of multiple races together to share their experiences connecting with the many parts of their heritage.
  • Muslim Student Association (MSA)

    The Muslim Student Association fosters an environment wherein Muslims at Parker can interact with each other through a variety of social, educational and religious activities.
  • Organization of Latin American Students (OLAS)

    The Organization of Latin American Students provides a safe and comfortable space for Latine students at Parker to meet, discuss current events and our experience as Latine people at Parker and in the broader community.
  • Parker Democrats

    Parker Democrats aim to make a difference in our democracy by promoting and canvassing for Democrats who share our values. We strive to educate ourselves on important issues at the federal, state and local levels. We lead by example and volunteer, knock on doors, canvas, educate, listen and hold ourselves and others accountable for Democratic beliefs. We recognize "Democrats" includes a variety of perspectives and we welcome all.
  • Parker Poker Club

    The Parker Poker Club is focused on enjoying the art and game of poker. We believe poker is an essential skill to learn as it allows you to meet new people and form new connections.
  • Parker Red Cross Club

    The Parker Red Cross Club fundraises and educates the Parker community on First Aid and other medical techniques, while also hosting yearly blood drives with the help of the School Nurse’s office. The Red Cross Club provides opportunities to make a difference in our community by developing knowledge and life-saving skills to help prepare students to respond to emergencies and help the Parker community at large. The Red Cross Club also offers numerous volunteer opportunities as well as hosts a multitude of events, including movie nights, bake sales and trivia nights.
  • Paws for Parker

    Paws for Parker is a club dedicated to connecting students through their love of animals.
  • Photography Club

    Students meet and discuss photographic art as well as design interesting projects with specific themes to improve their skills.
  • Poetry Club

    The Poetry Club gives students a chance to explore poetry by a variety of artists, whether they’re well-known or local, and enjoy people’s company with some “poetry food.”

    PRIDE is a committee and affinity group in one. The committee part of our group works together to host schoolwide events for Parker, such as Pride Week, MXes and teach-ins. As an affinity group, we aim to make a safe space for each other, whether you're in the community or not, and host meaningful conversations to assure everyone feels heard and safe. One need not be a member of the LGBTQ+ community to be on the committee, and there will be ally-included meetings.
  • 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.
  • Random Acts of Kindness Club (RAK)

    The Random Acts of Kindness Club works to positively impact the student body through random acts of kindness.
  • Reproductive Justice Club

    The Reproductive Justice Club brings students together and advocate, fundraise and protest for women’s and reproductive justice.
  • 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.
  • Scholastic Bowl

    Scholastic Bowl is a team academic knowledge competition. We practice during the school day a couple times per week and compete in several tournaments at the local and national levels.
  • 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.

    SCOUT is a pop culture magazine that serves as a platform to publish truth, innovation, taboo issues, complex experiences, introspection and growth through a digest of photography, poetry, writing, interviews and, of course, articles.
  • Secrets of Success

    Secrets of Success provides students with opportunities to share in Zoom-based experiences with a host of people at the top of their fields.
  • 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.
  • South Asian Student Alliance (SASA)

    The South Asian Student Alliance is an affinity group specifically for students who originate from South Asia.
  • Split

    Split is a place for kids of divorced or separated parents to discuss their experiences in a shared space.
  • Sports Debate Club

    The Sports Debate Club is a place for students to discuss, reflect and debate about a variety of sports. These could be debates on player comparisons, a rivalry, game results and more. The sports we’ll cover are soccer, football, basketball and baseball.
  • 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.
  • Students Against Destructive Decisions (SADD)

    SADD is a committee that works to make sure that students across Parker are taking care of themselves. Heads attend freshman health classes to answer questions about time management, peer pressure and any other school or social-related stressors. They also provide information on how to take care of your mental health and make decisions that will only positively benefit individuals during their time at Parker.
  • Students United

    Students United holds conversations regarding different cultures at school, with topics including race, gender identity, ethnicity, bullying and more.
  • Table Tennis Club

    The Table Tennis Club hopes to spread the exciting game of table tennis in the Parker community! We meet once a week during lunch and have fun playing ping pong. Our club is meant for all levels of players, everyone is welcome!
  • Tampon Tuesday

    Tampon Tuesday is a student club that raises money and awareness and collects tampons for women in need. We mainly hold bake sales (on Tuesdays) where we accept payment in dollars, tampons, pads or any other period products. We then donate everything we raise to two Chicago women’s organizations.
  • The Parker Weekly

    The Parker Weekly is Parker’s flagship student newspaper and one of the oldest of its kind in the country. We publish about 11 issues every year, and members can contribute in a variety of ways. The Weekly is always looking to engage more contributors and improve our coverage.
  • Underwater Robotics (ROV)

    The Underwater Robotics team works to build and program a robot to maneuver through obstacles. We are also a close-knit group of individuals; while we work hard, we also have fun!
  • 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.
  • Video Game Club

    The Video Game Club plays video games in a fun and social atmosphere!
  • WiSTEM

    WiSTEM aims to educate students about and advocate for the injustices women face in the STEM fields, along with helping establish a new generation of strong, intelligent and hardworking young women in STEM.
  • Women of Color Affinity Group

    The Women of Color Affinity Group allows women of color collectively to come together and speak about being a woman of color at Parker.
  • Women's Affinity Group (WAG)

    The Women’s Affinity Group is for female-identifying members of the community to socialize, talk about experiences, discuss concerns and anything else important to our community as well as our society.
  • Yearbook Production

    Yearbook Production works on making pages highlighting each event throughout the entire school year. Club members are expected to get quotes, pictures and captions and format the page when assigned a specific event.

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.