2001 to 2009 Financial Performance for Fosters Group by nzl20257


More Info

          OF THE

   Francis W. Parker

Charter Essential School


              49 Antietam Street
         Devens, Massachusetts 01434
      (978) 772-3293 • (978) 772-3295 fax

      Table of Contents
Table of Content                                              2

Introductory Description                                      3

Letter from the Board Chair                                   4

School Mission Statement                                      6

Faithfulness to Charter                                       8

Academic Progress Success                                     12

Organizational Viability                                      21

Dissemination                                                 8

Financial Oversight                                           25

School Data                                                   29

Appendix 1 Organizational Chart                               31

Appendix 2 Criteria for Excellence                            32

  The Francis W. Parker Charter Essential School is a regional high school for students in grades 7-12
  located in Devens, Massachusetts. The school’s region includes 70 towns drawn from Middlesex,

Worcester, and Franklin counties. The enrollment cap as per Parker’s charter is 400. Students from the
following 41 towns made up the student body of 384 for the 2008-2009 school year:

Acton                              Groton                             Princeton
Ashburnham                         Harvard                            Rutland
Ashby                              Hudson                             Shirley
Athol                              Jefferson (Holden)                 Shrewsbury
Ayer                               Lancaster                          Sterling
Berlin                             Leominster                         Stow
Bolton                             Littleton                          Townsend
Boxborough                         Lunenburg                          West Townsend
Boylston                           Marlborough                        Tyngsborough
Chelmsford                         Maynard                            Westford
Clinton                            Newburyport                        Westminster
Devens                             Pepperell                          Winchendon
Dunstable                          Petersham                          Worcester
Fitchburg                          Phillipston

                       Francis W. Parker Charter Essential School
                          & Theodore R. Sizer Teachers Center

                          49 Antietam Street, Devens, MA 01434
                       Telephone (978) 772-3293 Fax (978) 772-3295

June 11, 2009

Following the significant accomplishments that came to fruition in 2007-08—purchase of a
permanent home, completion of a classroom addition, raising of $950,000 to help pay for the
construction of that addition—2008-09 was a year of listening, learning, and reflection for the
Parker School.

In the fall, the Board of Trustees launched a strategic planning process designed, as Parker enters
its 15th year, to provide direction and inspiration for the school’s next 15 years. The fall and early
winter were spent gathering both internal and external data through staff, student, and parent
focus groups, interviews with educational leaders from other schools and institutions, and board
education about the broader educational and political context in which Parker finds itself as it
comes to the end of its 3rd charter, a very different context form the one in which the school was
founded. Ongoing conversations among the trustees led to the decision to continue the strategic
planning work through the upcoming school year, with the goal of having a plan in place by June

Against this background, the school continued to provide its students with the essential skills and
knowledge needed to thrive in rigorous academic environments, at work, and as thoughtful,
committed citizens, and to create for its teachers a professional environment marked by a high
degree of teacher collaboration and leadership. Among the highlights of the school year were:

       The school bid farewell to its tenth graduating class, all of whom will be attending
        college next year, with 96% of the class enrolled in 4-year institutions. Colleges that will
        be welcoming Parker graduates next year include Tufts, Vassar, Boston University, and
        West Point.

       Parker was featured in Harvard Education School Professor Tony Wagner’s new book as
        one of three schools nationwide exemplifying the type of education U.S. students need to
        succeed in the 21st century. The Global Achievement Gap included a full chapter on
        Parker and its approach to secondary education.

       All students in the Class of 2011 successfully passed the MCAS tests in ELA, Math and
        Science. For 10th grade MCAS results please see Performance and Plans section of the

       The school continues to operate at full capacity and maintains a healthy waiting list of

       The National Science Foundation awarded a grant to an interdisciplinary team of Parker
        teachers to enable them to spend time in Barrow, Alaska this summer. They’ll be
        developing curriculum to be used with Parker’s middle school students next year.

       Parker sports teams made their mark in interleague play, with the Boys Track Team
        winning the league championship for the first time in Parker history, the Girls Varsity
        Basketball team ending the season at 19 and 3, the boys and girls cross country team
        winning the league championship, the girls varsity softball team qualified for the league
        playoffs and both boys and girls soccer team making playoffs.

       A team of Parker 7th and 8th graders qualified for the nationals of the seventh annual
        Team America Rocketry Challenge in Manassas, Virginia, and received the highest score
        of any high school or middle school team in New England.

       With funding from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation Parker served as a mentor
        school for North Central Charter Essential School in Fitchburg, Massachusetts.

       The parents and guardians of Parker’s students logged 3945.5 hours in service to the

       Students in Division 3 contributed 5616 hours in service to the school community this
        year. Completing 52 hours of service each year of Division 3 is a graduation requirement
        at Parker.

As I conclude my fourth year as chair of Parker’s Board of Trustees, I know I speak for the entire
Board when I say we are both honored and humbled to be entrusted with carrying on the
remarkable work of Parker’s founders. I am confident that with the strong foundation provided
we will continue to thrive long into the future.

Respectfully submitted,

Anne G. Perkins
Chair, Parker Board of Trustees

                                           THE MISSION

The Parker School's mission is “to move the child to the center of the education process and to
interrelate the several subjects of the curriculum in such a way as to enhance their meaning for the child”
(Charter, October 1994). As a member of the Coalition of Essential Schools, the Parker School will
realize this mission through educational practice guided by the Ten Common Principles of Essential

    1. The school should focus on helping adolescents learn to use their minds well. Schools should not
    attempt to be “comprehensive” if such a claim is made at the expense of the school’s central
    intellectual purpose.

    2. The school’s goals should be simple: that each student master a limited number of essential skills
    and areas of knowledge. While these skills and areas will, to varying degrees, reflect the traditional
    academic disciplines, the program’s design should be shaped by the intellectual and imaginative
    powers and competencies that students need, rather than necessarily by “subjects” as conventionally
    defined. The aphorism “Less Is More” should dominate: curricular decisions should be guided by
    the aim of thorough student mastery and achievement rather than by an effort merely to cover

    3. The school’s goals should apply to all students, while the means to these goals will vary as those
    students themselves vary. School practice should be tailor-made to meet the needs of every group or
    class of adolescents.

    4. Teaching and learning should be personalized to the maximum feasible extent. Efforts should be
    directed toward a goal that no teacher have direct responsibility for more than 80 students. To
    capitalize on this personalization, decisions about the details of the course of study, the use of
    students’ and teachers’ time and the choice of teaching materials and specific pedagogies must be
    unreservedly placed in the hands of the principal and staff.

    5. The governing practical metaphor of the school should be student-as-worker rather than the more
    familiar metaphor of teacher-as-deliverer-of-instructional-services. Accordingly, a prominent
    pedagogy will be coaching, to provoke students to learn how to learn and thus to teach themselves.

    6. Students entering secondary school studies are those who can show competence in language and
    elementary mathematics. Students of traditional high school age but not yet at appropriate levels of
    competence to enter secondary school studies will be provided intensive remedial work to assist
    them quickly to meet these standards. The diploma should be awarded upon a successful final
    demonstration of mastery for graduation: an “exhibition.” This exhibition by the student of his or
    her grasp of the central skills and knowledge of the school’s program may be jointly administered by
    the faculty and by higher authorities. As the diploma is awarded when earned, the school’s program
    proceeds with no strict age grading and with no system of “credits earned” by “time spent” in class.
    The emphasis is on the students’ demonstration that they can do important things.

    7. The tone of the school should explicitly and self-consciously stress values of unanxious
    expectation (“I won’t threaten you but I expect much of you”), of trust (until abused) and of decency
    (the values of fairness, generosity and tolerance). Incentives appropriate to the school’s particular
    students and teachers should be emphasized, and parents should be treated as essential collaborators.

    8. The principal and teachers should perceive themselves as generalists first (teachers and scholars in
    general education) and specialists second (experts in but one particular discipline). Staff should
    expect multiple obligations (teacher-counselor-manager) and a sense of commitment to the entire

    9. Ultimate administrative and budget targets should include, in addition to total student loads per
    teacher of eighty or fewer pupils, substantial time for collective planning by teachers, competitive

    salaries for staff and an ultimate per pupil cost not to exceed that at traditional schools by more than
    10 percent. To accomplish this, administrative plans may have to show the phased reduction or
    elimination of some services now provided students in many traditional comprehensive secondary

    10. The school should demonstrate non-discriminatory and inclusive policies, practices, and
    pedagogies. It should model democratic practices that involve all who are directly affected by the
    school. The school should honor diversity and build on the strengths of its communities,
    deliberately and explicitly challenging all forms of inequity and discrimination.

Faithfulness to Charter

Accountability Measures: Faithfulness to Charter
        A. The tone of the school should explicitly and self-consciously stress values of
           unanxious expectation, of trust, and of decency (Common Principle #7).

1. Through annual parent and student surveys, the school will determine if we are
achieving the following goals: Students are held to high standards; teachers support
students in reaching high standards; the school fosters a sense of respect and trust among
teachers and students; disciplinary issues are resolved fairly; parents are welcomed into the
         The Parker School has met this measure. At year’s end, parents and students were asked
to respond to a detailed, on-line questionnaire about their academic and personal experiences with
the school throughout the year. This annual year-end survey was completed by 298 students and
209 parents/families. The surveys used a ranking scale of 1 (low) to 5 (high) in response to
         Students were asked if, overall, they are held to high academic standards at school.
Eighty seven percent indicated that this was “usually” or “always” true (4.2 mean score). Ninety-
two percent of students said that their teachers “usually” or “always” support them in reaching
high standards (4.4 mean score). (Detailed analyses of parent and student responses to each
teacher's ability to communicate, evaluate, and teach were completed but are not reported in full
in this report. Those results are used to as part of the teacher feedback system.) Ninety-two
percent of students indicated that students and teachers usually or always treat each other with
respect (4.3 mean score), and ninety-five percent of students (4.6 mean) said that they usually or
always felt safe at school.
         Parents were asked if their children were held to high standards; 90 percent agreed or
strongly agreed (4.4 mean score). When asked if “the school fosters a sense of respect and trust
among its students and teachers,” 94 percent agreed or strongly agreed (4.6 mean score).
Seventy-eight percent of parents whose students were involved in discipline issues indicated that
they felt that discipline was handled fairly (4.2 mean). Ninety percent of parents agreed or
strongly agreed that they felt welcome in the school (4.6 mean).

2. Ratings by visitors to the school will confirm that the school’s visible culture
demonstrates a high level of respect, trust, and engagement.
        The Parker School has met this measure. The Theodore R. Sizer Teachers Center hosted
more than 50 visitors this year. The visitors included educators and school administrators from all
over the country and from abroad. The survey that all visitors to the school are asked to complete
was revised to ask visitors to respond specifically about the purposefulness of their own learning
while at Parker. Therefore, they are no longer asked as many questions about what they think of
Parker itself. However, open-ended feedback from visitors confirms that the school’s culture
demonstrates a high level of respect, trust and engagement. Responses to other survey questions
were positive; reflecting the positive views of Parker’s learning environment and the effect of the
visit/workshop on visitors’ own work.
        A. The Teachers Center will continue to be a regional professional development
           center for teachers and schools.

1. The Teachers Center is one vehicle the school uses to disseminate best practices. The
Teachers Center will offer a variety of professional development workshops, partnerships,
and related programs, and will continue to attract teachers from this region to these

         The Parker School is making progress towards meeting this measure. The Sizer Teachers
Center continues to serve as the primary vehicle for outreach and dissemination of best practices
for the Parker School. In addition, Parker teachers benefit from the opportunity to facilitate and
to interact with visiting teachers from around the country. The Teacher Center has been in
transition this academic year; as one element of the school’s upcoming Strategic Plan, the role,
purpose and structure of the Teachers Center is under review and being revised. Therefore, the
Teachers Center hosted a reduced number of visitors this year; over 50 visitors were hosted, as
described below.
Introductory Visits. Introductory visits provide an opportunity for visitors to get a general
overview about Parker School. The day begins with an introduction to Parker and the Coalition
of Essential Schools. Visitors then attend classes, lunch with teachers, and hear from volunteer
students. The day ends with a question and answer session, and visitors are asked to fill out a
reflection. This year a total of 23 visitors attended introductory sessions, as presented in the chart
                                         Introductory Visits
                 October 3, 2008                                    March 24, 2009
                 Tufts University                                Harvard School Board
                 Boston, MA (8)                                     Harvard, MA (4)
                November 5, 2008                                      April 7, 2009
                      Nivoz                             Hawaii Association of Independent Schools
               The Netherlands (4)                                     Hawaii (1)
               November 12, 2008                                   June 11 - 12, 2009
                Watkinson School                             Atlanta Charter Middle School
                 Harford, CT (3)                                    Atlanta, GA (1)
               November 20, 2008
                    The Met
                Providence, RI (2)

Custom Visits. Custom visits are designed for groups that come to visit with a particular question
in mind. A program framed around their “essential question” is designed to meet the specific
needs of the group. These visits include classroom observations, meetings with teachers and
students and focused presentations or activities. In particular, this year Parker was a site for the
CES National school study tour, hosting more than 40 visitors from across the country in
February (a selection of the visitors is listed in the chart below). The Teachers Center hosted four
custom visits in 2008-2009. A list of attendees is included below.

                                            Custom Visits
               December 4, 2008                                       February 9, 2009
            Easthampton High School                                  CES National Visit
              Easthampton, MA (5)                                     Schools included:
                                                       South Valley Academy, Albuquerque, NM (3)
                 April 14, 2009                                    Wiley Middle School
       Thetford Academy, Thetford, VT (7)                       University Heights, OH (3)
                                                          Global Neighborhood Secondary School
                                                                     Manhattan, NY (2)
                 April 15, 2009                          Media Arts Collaborative Charter School
    Vergennes High School , Vergennes, VT (5)                      Albuquerque, NM (2)
                                                           International School of the Americas
                                                                    San Antonio, TX (2)
                                                          Eagle Rock School, Estes Park, CO (1)
                                                                     Fort Lewis College
                                                                      Durango, CO (1)
                                                            Captial City Public Charter School
                                                                    Washington, DC (1)
                                                                       among others

Parker teachers and students presented at several national conferences this year, including the
Coalition’s Fall Forum. Additionally, Parker continued to be active in the dissemination efforts
of the Coalition of Essential Schools through several venues. Parker is an active participant in
ChangeLab, on online national clearinghouse for documents related to school change and
innovative practice in curriculum, assessment, instruction and school design. Parker’s Principal
was a featured school leader on the ChangeLab feature, “Ask a Mentor.” Finally, Parker
redesigned and facilitated the annual meeting of the Massachusetts Charter School Association
leaders meeting, with a focus on school practice and leadership dilemmas in public charter

2. Approval by the Massachusetts Department of Education for the New Teachers
Collaborative teacher preparation program, a teacher preparation program designed to
respond to the community need for teachers with experience and training in small school
design, Coalition of Essential School practices, and team teaching.

         The New Teachers Collaborative was reviewed in 2003-2004 by the Massachusetts
Department of Education and was approved as a site-based teacher preparation program in 2005.
         Historically, the New Teachers Collaborative places teachers in four schools: F. W.
Parker Charter Essential School, Prospect Hill Academy Charter School, Murdoch Middle Public
Charter School, and Innovation Academy Charter School, although not all schools participate
each year. Eight teachers successfully completed the program during 2008-2009 and are in the
process of being licensed.
         The program attracted approximately 55 applicants for the 2009-2010 program year, and
seven candidates have been placed in two schools. The program is meeting its goal of preparing
new teachers in middle school and high school math, science, and Spanish language teaching,
areas of demonstrated need, as well as in English Language Arts and History. The table below
presents the number of teachers licensed in each subject area over the first seven years of the
program (2002-2009).
                                New Teachers Collaborative 2002-2009
Subject Area            English       History/       Science      Math      Spanish      Visual
                                     Humanities                                           Arts
Number of                   9           20              11         10          4           1
Teachers Licensed

Common School Performance Criteria
Implementation of Mission, Vision, and Educational Philosophy:
The 10 Common Principles (as listed in the mission) are the skeleton of Parker, upon which all
else is built. That being said, Parker is in the midst of drafting a Strategic Plan, and one of the
elements of this work is a revision of the mission statement itself, so that it more closely and
precisely articulates the purpose and vision of the school while more concisely expressing the
core elements of the 10 Common Principles to an outside audience. Whether we use the “old”
mission statement (as above) or the “new” one currently under development, what is clear is that
Parker is an incredibly mission-driven school. The 10 Common Principles are living ideas and
concepts within the school, and all elements of the school are rooted in the ideas contained there,
as they have been since Parker’s inception. Decisions on a wide-range of issues are made in
consultation with the principles. For example, curriculum, assessment, and instructional
discussions and decisions are centered on the ideas of “less is more,” “student as worker,” and
“demonstration of mastery.” Our new fund-raising policy was based on the principles and is
aligned with them. There is virtually no aspect of the school that does not embody the principles.
Furthermore, feedback on the clarity and centrality of Parker’s mission is consistently high; for
example, in the tri-annual leadership evaluation completed by the Board of Trustees, parents were
overwhelmingly positive about the role of Parker’s mission, with 96% of parents agreeing or
strongly agreeing that they understood Parker’s mission, principles, and core practices and 94%
agreeing or strongly agreeing that the school community (staff, parents, board, etc) is working
together toward common goals.
Parker’s school design draws directly from its mission. Curriculum (the academic program),
instruction (teaching), and assessment of student learning are closely interwoven. The core
organizational principles of the academic program are domains (areas of study) and divisions
(cohorts of students at a level of study). Students study in four domains, each of which teaches
several integrated disciplines or areas of study: Arts & Humanities (AH); Math, Science and
Technology (MST); Spanish; and Wellness (physical education, health and personal/social
responsibility). Students are organized into three Divisions, which most students progress
through in two-year cycles. Division 1 is roughly equivalent to grades seven and eight, Division
2 is roughly equivalent to grades nine and ten, and Division 3 is roughly equivalent to junior and
senior year of high school. Performance-based promotion is the fundamental premise of the
school; using portfolios and public exhibitions, students must demonstrate their readiness to move
to the next level of study. The School’s Criteria for Excellence establish the academic
expectations for all students and are used to evaluate student learning. The curriculum
emphasizes practice and progress in the same key skills across all divisions: Reading, writing,
oral presentation, listening, research, artistic expression, Spanish language skills (reading,
writing, speaking, listening, culture), mathematical problem-solving, mathematical
communication, scientific investigation, systems thinking, and technology. The academic
program expresses its mission in the following ways:
       The curriculum is academically challenging, interdisciplinary, and emphasizes student
       Teachers work in cross-disciplinary teams with small groups of children in two year
          curricular cycles in Divisions 1 and 2. Teachers in Division 3 develop seminar and
          laboratory courses with a discipline-based focus.
       Teachers design instruction to meet the needs of their students and to allow students to
          demonstrate their understanding and skills through many forms of exhibition.
       Teachers design curriculum, instruction and assessment with each other in collaborative
          teams, by domain/division. A common curriculum, with shared major texts, projects and
          expectations is experienced by all students through Divisions 1 and 2. In Division 3,
          students have the opportunity to make choices among more specialized courses that are
          solo-taught and developed. Division 3 teachers collaborate closely on the key standards
          and expectations for Division 3 learning.
       Students are encouraged and then required to take an active role in their learning.
       Student learning is evaluated using school-wide standards and rubrics drawn from the
          School’s Criteria for Excellence.
       Students are required to reflect on and revise their work incorporating direct teacher
          feedback to strengthen and deepen their understanding.
       Students must complete the requirements of each division and exhibit their learning
          before progressing to the next division (level of study).
       The School has a flexible long-block schedule that allows students more time to focus on
          depth in student learning activities and allows teachers substantial planning time during
          the school day.
       The Advisory system allows teachers to know students well and to serve as their
          academic and personal guides.
       The teaching staff is differentiated and senior practitioners mentor and coach junior staff;
          critical reflection and peer observation are built into teachers’ daily schedules.
       The School has a service component in which students learn by contributing to the
          school and the larger community as volunteers.
       Students and teachers collaborate in school governance and discipline through the
          Community Congress and Justice Committee.
        The teacher-leader model substantially reduces overhead and places student advising and
         management decisions in the hands of the teaching staff.
        The School’s curriculum is modified each year in response to the Essential Question. In
         2008-2009, the question was “How is it Relevant?” Teachers support students in
         extending their learning beyond the classroom and in integrating learning across
         classrooms through the Essential Question.
Academic Program Success
Accountability Measures: Academic Program
         A. Students should learn to use their minds well and master a limited number of
         essential skills and areas of knowledge. (Common Principles #1 and #2)

1. All students will meet the Division learning standards as demonstrated in Gateway
Portfolios prior to being promoted ("gatewaying") in each Domain.
        The Parker School has met this measure. Students are eligible to gateway to the next
Division in a Domain when they have completed the academic requirements of the current
Division. Students complete a portfolio of work demonstrating both progress and the ability to
consistently meet the Division learning standards in all skill areas. They are then eligible to
present a Gateway Exhibition of their learning to an audience of students, parents, teachers and
community members. Students may require one to three years to complete the academic
requirements of Divisions 1 and 2, although most students complete these requirements in two
        Students have the opportunity to gateway in January and June each year. During the
2008-2009 academic year, 69 students gatewayed from Division 1 to Division 2 Arts and
Humanities, and 55 students gatewayed from Division 2 to Division 3. Sixty-four students
gatewayed from Division 1 to Division 2 Math/Science/Technology, and 54 students gatewayed
from Division 2 to Division 3. Sixty-nine students gatewayed from Division 1 to Division 2
Spanish, and 48 students completed and gatewayed from Division 2 Spanish. Altogether, 237
students successfully completed one or more Gateway Exhibitions this year, for a total number of
gateways equaling 359.

2. All students will achieve Proficient or Advanced scores on the Grade 10 MCAS tests in
Math and ELA prior to completing grade 11.
         The Parker School is making progress towards meeting this measure. All students in the
class of 2010 passed the Grade 10 English Language Arts and Math MCAS prior to completing
grade 11, and the majority of these students achieved Proficient or Advanced scores on both ELA
and Math (97% and 95%, respectively). The Spring 2008 results for the school appear in the
table below:

                                   MCAS results for Spring 2008
     Grade/Subject           Number of      % Adv.      % Prof.                       % NI           %W/F
     7th/ELA                          70                  14               67             19               0
     7th/Math                         70                  19               37             29              15
     8th/ELA                          70                  13               74             10               3
     8th/Math                         70                  19               41             24              16
     8th/Sci/Eng                      70                   1               61             30               7
     10th/ELA                         59                  53               44              4               0
     10th /Math                       58                  71               24              5               0
     10th/Biology                     57                  25               61             12               2
         * The 10th grade Student who failed the Biology test retook it in February 2009 and passed the test.
   3. Students will maintain their standing on standardized tests of achievement as
   determined by comparing grade 7 and grade 9 results on a nationally normed test of
   academic achievement.
           The Parker School is meeting this measure. Each year the school administers the
   Stanford Tests of Achievement to students in grades 7 and 9. Students’ mean scores for each area
   are consistently in the upper quartile in grade 7, although specific subtest scores may be
   somewhat lower. For this reason, we do not expect to see significant gains by grade 9. Instead,
   we expect that student standing on these tests will not decline significantly. In the table below,
   we present longitudinal results for the winter-spring tests of 2006/2008 and 2007/2009
   (comparisons are made over two years for the classes of 2011 and 2012).

                                    Class of 2011 Stanford 10 Results

                        Grade 7 (2006)                   Grade 9 (2008)
                        Students Tested: 62              Students Tested:    65        NCE
                        Mean Scaled Natl.        NCE       Mean Natl.         NCE     Change
                           Score       PR                 Scaled    PR
TOTAL READING                 706         83      70.5      732     87        73.6       3.1
       Vocabulary             725         83      69.9      743     79        66.9      -3.0
    Reading Comp.             697         80      67.7      727     86        73.1       5.4

TOTAL MATH**                  691         76      64.7      736      87     73.7         9.0
   Problem-solving            708         85      71.8      736      87     73.7         9.0
        Procedures            669         54      52.4       (no separate test)

LANGUAGE                      675         85      71.6      686       78      66.5       -5.1
       Prewriting             693         86      72.9      690       72      62.6      -10.3
      Composing               674         81      68.9      692       77      65.6       -3.3
          Editing             666         78      66.1      677       72      62.4       -3.7

SPELLING                      690         77      65.6      722       83      70.4       4.8
SCIENCE                       693         85      71.6      707       81      68.9      -2.7
SOCIAL SCIENCE                692         86      72.4      706       82      69.4      -3.0
   **The grade 9 test does not include subtests; the math test is most closely aligned with the problem-solving
   portion of the grade 7 test.

            The results for the class of 2011 are consistent with prior class results. On average,
   students in grade 7 score between the 76th and 86th percentiles overall on Reading, Math,
   Language, Science and Social Science tests. In grade 9, on average, students score between the
   77th and 87th percentiles on these same tests. To compare changes in group scores, the Normal
   Curve Equivalent (NCE) is provided. Changes of greater than +/-7 (one-third of a standard
   deviation) are considered significant. Students maintained their standing on all tests, with the
   exception of the Prewriting subtest (which had a slight dip) and the Mathematics test (which had
   a slight increase). Therefore, students are maintaining their standing on these tests when
   compared to national samples, as expected.

                                        Class of 2012 Stanford 9 Results
                       Grade 7 (2007)                 Grade 9 (2009)
                       Students Tested: 66              Students Tested: 73               NCE
                   Mean Scaled           Natl.   NCE Mean Scaled Natl.          NCE     Change
                     Score                PR           Score      PR
TOTAL READING         703                 82     69.1   734      87             73.9         4.8
        Vocabulary    722                 81     68.5   738      76             65.0        -3.5
     Reading Comp.    696                 79     66.8   732      88             74.6         7.8

TOTAL MATH**                 701          81     68.7        737        86       72.9        4.2
    Problem-solving          712          86     73.1        737        86       72.9       -0.2
         Procedures          688          67     59.4          (no separate test)            na

LANGUAGE                     672          82     69.6        685        78      66.4        -3.2
        Prewriting           678          78     66.0        689        71      62.0        -4.0
       Composing             678          84     70.7        694        78      66.5        -4.2
           Editing           663          76     64.9        678        72      62.6        -2.3

SPELLING                     692          78     66.5        713        78      66.6         0.1
SCIENCE                      687          80     67.5        708        82      69.2         1.7
SOCIAL SCIENCE               682          80     67.7        699        76      65.2        -2.5
  **The grade 9 test does not include subtests; the math test is most closely aligned with the problem-solving
  portion of the grade 7 test.

          The results for the class of 2012 are consistent with prior class results. On average,
  students score between the 64th and 73rd percentiles overall on Reading, Math, Language,
  Science and Social Science tests in grade 7. In grade 9, on average, students score between the
  62th and 75th percentiles on these same tests. To compare changes in group scores, the Normal
  Curve Equivalent (NCE) is provided. Changes greater than +/-7 (one-third of a standard
  deviation) are considered significant. Students maintained their standing on all tests, and are
  therefore maintaining their standing on these tests when compared to national samples.
           Nearly all Parker students take the SAT Reasoning Test. The population of college-
  bound students taking the SAT Reasoning Test is not equivalent to the population of students
  used to establish norms on the Stanford Achievement Tests. We would expect Parker students to
  score, on average, above the national and state 50th percentile (or mean score) on the SAT
  Reasoning Test, and they do. Average SAT Reasoning Test scores for Parker’s graduating
  classes are presented in the table below.
           Class        Parker Verbal         National Verbal        Parker Math         National Math
                         Mean Score             Mean Score            Mean Score          Mean Score
            2000             624                    505                  603                  514
            2001             624                    506                  605                  514
            2002             597                    504                  557                  516
            2003             579                    507                  554                  519
            2004             605                    508                  577                  518
            2005             614                    508                  594                  520
            2006          607/591*                503/497                581                  518
            2007          596/570*                502/494                596                  515
            2008          584/570*                502/494                537                  515
                                         *Reading Score/Writing Score
  As expected, on average, Parker students score on the SAT Reasoning Test well above the
  national mean.
        B. The governing practical metaphor of the school should be student-as-worker;
           students will know how to learn and thus teach themselves. (Common Principle

1. Ninety percent of students will make satisfactory progress each year in each area of the
curriculum, as assessed by teachers and designated on student Year-End Academic
        The Parker School has met this measure. Annual student progress is evaluated by
teachers in all academic Domains. Students are rated as making satisfactory or exceptional
progress for the year when they demonstrate progress in the habits of learning, when they tackle
assignments with care, when they use teacher feedback to develop or improve their work, and
when they make demonstrable progress toward meeting the learning standards of the Domain.
Specific learning expectations are established for each student through the Personal Learning
Plans. To make Satisfactory or Exceptional progress, students must take initiative in their
learning through asking questions, completing complex projects, and revising their work to reflect
a deeper understanding of the material and skills of the curriculum.
        Students are rated as making Not Satisfactory progress when they do not demonstrate the
progress they were expected to make in habits of learning, in academic skills growth, or both.
        The chart below summarizes student progress during the academic year 2008-2009 for
each Domain, by Division.

                       Students Making Satisfactory/Exceptional Progress










                  0%                                                               s
                           Division 1          Division 2         Division 3

         Student progress met or exceeded the school’s objective of 90% making Satisfactory or
Exceptional progress in all areas of the school’s program. Of particular note is the rise in the
number of students making satisfactory progress in MST; the percentage of students making
satisfactory progress has been rising since it was just under 80% several years ago, and this is the
first year it has passed the 90% mark. This is due in large part to the significant amount of time

and attention paid to raising the level of success of students in MST and looking carefully at
reasons that students struggle in this area in order to understand and remediate those issues.

2. Student portfolios and student exhibitions will demonstrate student learning and
progress across a variety of learning activities as assessed by Division standards derived
from the Criteria for Excellence.
        The Parker School has met this measure. The school conducted an external portfolio
review in Parker's first years to ensure that the Criteria for Excellence and their use in evaluating
student work and student learning would be reliable and would meet or exceed the learning
standards of teachers from communities with similar aspirations. The results of our review were
presented in earlier Annual Reports. A similar internal and external review is being planned for
the 2009-2010 academic year to ensure that student portfolios and judged exhibitions consistently
meet the learning standards articulated in the Criteria for Excellence (see Appendix 2).
3. Students will make a successful transition after graduation from the Parker School as
demonstrated by successful completion of a college program of study or successful
employment as determined by data collected from biannual alumni/ae surveys.
        The Parker School has met this measure. Data about college graduation from the first
five years of Parker graduates (high school classes of 2000-2004) shows that of the 206 Parker
graduates in those classes, more than 91% were known to have enrolled in a four-year college
program (188 students). The five-year graduation rate for those students who started a four-year
program is more than 85%, with 161 of those students known to have graduated. This is well
above the national and state averages of 46-60%. Furthermore, six students from these classes
are known to have completed two-year college programs. Information is unavailable for
approximately fifteen students.

Common School Performance Criteria
Please see “Faithfulness to Charter” section above for a description of the overall academic
program and curriculum. There have been no major changes to the school curriculum in 2008-
All students study in four Domains:
     Arts & Humanities (AH) is an integrated study of literature, history, social sciences, and
        visual and performing arts that focuses on the skills of Writing, Reading, Research, Oral
        Presentation, Artistic Expression, and Listening.
     Math, Science and Technology (MST) is an integrated study of math, science and
        technology that focuses on the skills of Mathematical Problem-Solving, Mathematical
        Communication, Scientific Investigation, Systems Thinking and Technology.
     Spanish is the sole language offered by the school, and virtually all students study the
        language. It focuses, in Spanish, on the skill areas of Reading, Writing, Speaking,
        Listening and Culture.
     Wellness is an integrated study of physical activity, health and personal and social
 Within each Division (curricular level) of the school, students work to meet standards in the
specified skill areas (e.g., Reading, Mathematical Problem-solving, etc.) Each skill area has
corresponding Criteria for Excellence, which clearly articulate the expectations for that skill.
These school-wide Criteria for Excellence serve as the basis for assessment of all student work.
Working together in Domains and Division-level teams, teachers call on these Criteria when they
devise rubrics at the appropriate level for a particular group of students. These Criteria, which are
the fundamental skeleton of the curriculum, were developed in consultation with State
Frameworks and with national standards from various professional organizations (e.g., NCTM,

NCTE, etc.). As students progress through the Divisions, the expectations for the work they
undertake become more sophisticated and complex, and students are expected to become more
autonomous and take an increasing amount of initiative with their academic work. Criteria for
Excellence are reprinted in the appendix to this report.
Each Division comprises a multi-year curricular cycle, and students of mixed ages are grouped
together for the entire cycle. Accordingly, the curriculum rotates on a two-year cycle within each
Domain. In AH (Arts & Humanities), one year focuses on American history, literature and arts,
and the second year focuses on global history, literature and arts. In MST (Math, Science and
Technology), the curriculum is also on a two-year cycle, with an integrated study of math and
science across the two years.
“Promotion” at the Parker School consists of students exhibiting readiness to move from one
Division into the next in a particular academic Domain. Each year all Parker students assemble a
Year-End Portfolio in each Domain, which serves as the basis of their Year-End Assessment
report. When that Portfolio shows they are consistently meeting the Standards of the Division in a
particular academic Domain (e.g., MST, AH, etc.), as well as making academic progress, students
may advance to the next Division via the “Gateway Portfolio Exhibition.”

Gateway Portfolios are quite similar to the Year-End Portfolios, but they are accompanied by a
formal exhibition before a mixed audience of students, classroom teacher(s) and the student’s
adviser, parents, and community members. Gateway Portfolios include a cover letter in which
students summarize and reflect on their progress throughout the Division and their readiness for
the next Division’s challenges. Students’ abilities to reflect on their work and respond to
audience questions are important elements of their demonstrating readiness for promotion.
Students may proceed at different times into the next Division in each Domain; for example,
students may be in Division 2 MST and Division 1 Arts and Humanities. Gateway Portfolio
Exhibitions take place in January and June of each year. Teachers, advisors and families may
consult with each other to decide the best time for each individual student to advance into a new
As well as compiling portfolios, Parker students demonstrate their learning through course work,
major projects, and public exhibitions. Course work is assessed by both teachers and by the
students themselves, using the relevant rubrics as well as narrative evaluations. Projects are
presented to peers and teachers in a classroom setting. At the culmination of major projects,
parents and the community are invited to public exhibitions in which students demonstrate,
display, and answer questions about their work. The Gateway Portfolio Exhibition includes a
mixed audience of students, teachers, advisers, parents, and community members. The feedback
and oral questioning students receive from each of these audiences is an important element of
Parker’s assessment process.
Division 3 students at Parker culminate their studies with a capstone Senior Project, a topic or
project they choose to explore independently with the guidance of an outside mentor, sometimes
in a workplace internship. Presented to a public audience as part of a student’s Graduation
Exhibition, the Senior Project makes an intellectual and personal bridge between high school and
the world beyond.
Parker’s curriculum is self-designed, in consultation with external resources, including the State
Frameworks. While no classes use a standard textbook, many resources are used by teachers and
by students in the curriculum. For example, in 2008-2009, books used or studied in the school
included Dante’s Inferno; Shakespeare’s The Tempest, Romeo and Juliet, and Hamlet; The Diary
of Anne Frank; Austen’s Pride and Prejudice; Achebe’s Things Fall Apart; Camus’ The
Stranger; Smith’s World Religions; Voltaire’s Candide, Ibsen’s A Doll’s House; and Sophocles’
Oedipus Rex, among others. Various history (mostly primary sources), math and science texts are
excerpted as well.

Parker teachers utilize a wide-range of teaching strategies, most of which are intended to facilitate
the school’s mission and philosophical model of “student as worker.” Lectures and tests are rare
at the school. Most often, students are directly engaged in their work, whether it be actively
reading texts, collaboratively working through a science lab, or engaging in a discussion of
multiple models for solving a math problem. Common pedagogical techniques used in Parker
classrooms include Socratic Seminars and text-based discussions, continuums and forced-choice
kinesthetic activities, chalk talks and paper passes. Collaborative group work is frequent, as is
sharing out of ideas and solutions to the whole class. Class discussions are the norm. Parker
students are expected to develop their own questions and opinions, be prepared to share those
thoughts, and provide evidence for their conclusions. Teaching practices are expected to support
students in their quest to master skills and to become critical thinkers. Just as teachers develop
curriculum collaboratively with each other, they share and discuss instructional methods with
each other as well. Domain leaders give feedback to teachers on their instructional techniques,
and feedback is sought from students and parents. All classrooms at Parker are “open”
classrooms, in that observations are expected and frequent. The observers might be visitors to the
school, the principal or a domain leader, or a colleague. Peer observation among teachers is
common and happens as part of the regular professional development structure of the school.
Professional conversation about instructional practice is sometimes the focus of faculty meetings.
Formal and informal feedback received by the school regularly comments on the impressive level
of student engagement in the classroom. When asked on annual surveys, most parents and
students reply that the level of student engagement is high or very high.
Furthermore, all students develop a Personal Learning Plan (PLP) each year, in conjunction with
their teachers, advisor, and parents. This document represents an articulation of the student’s
individualized learning goals for the year. Student PLP goals are used by students and teachers to
inform learning objectives for the class, as relevant. PLP goals are also used in teacher planning
so that instructional practices can deliberately support individual student needs.
Program evaluation:
The various forms of feedback and surveying of the Parker community discussed elsewhere in
this report constitute a substantial component of the formal quality review of school programs.
Additionally, revision is at the core of both student and teacher work. Much as students are
expected to revise their work in order to show mastery, the curriculum is also regularly revised in
response to various forms of feedback, including reflection on student learning from parents,
students and teachers. This reflective practice is expected and required within the school.
Practices that support reflective practice include the supervision/evaluation by Domain Leaders
(see below) and the collaborative planning process that teachers utilize to plan curriculum.

School culture:
Parker School actively tends to issues of community by creating inclusive processes that lead to
established and sustained norms, structures, and mechanisms to ensure that the students and staff,
and virtually all members of the school community are free from harassment and discrimination.
The student and employee handbooks explicitly state the school’s policies regarding harassment
and discrimination. The ethos of the school is to create a “just community,” in which all members
are treated with respect at all times. When students transgress and act in ways that are perceived
as disrespectful, they are treated through the school’s disciplinary process. Students are taught
and encouraged to speak out on their own and on others’ behalf if they witness incidents that are
harassing or in other ways inappropriate. Incident reports are written when a student transgresses
school norms, and the Principal or the student Justice Committee (see below) intervene, mediate
and/or resolve the issue. Parker School is an equal opportunity employer and strives to be an
explicitly open and inclusive learning community for all members of the community.

Student voice is encouraged in the classroom and in the school. There are two forms of student
government in the school: the CC (Community Congress) and the JC (Justice Committee). Both
the CC and the JC serve as forums for students to share their ideas and take action on the part of
the school community. Advisories are also a fundamental element of the school, with a large
impact on school culture. All students are known well, both through advisory and through small
class sizes and low student to teacher ratios, and this also adds tremendously to the positive
school culture at Parker.
There were no expulsions in the school, and suspensions were small in number. There were a
total of four suspensions during the school year which accounted for fifteen school days.

Diverse learners:
The School provides special education services within the context of a philosophy that
emphasizes the importance of personalized education for all students. Teachers become
knowledgeable about student strengths and weaknesses, and they learn to support and evaluate
student progress toward meeting the school-wide educational standards. All students develop
Personal Learning Plans (PLPs) with their advisor and parents; students on Individualized
Education Plans also develop specific goals related to their learning disability and learning

Most students spend the whole day or nearly the whole day in the regular education program.
Accommodations and modifications made by the students’ teachers in consultation with the
special education staff allow most students to be successful within our flexible, inquiry-based
program. Students who require specially designed curriculum or specially designed instruction in
meeting the School’s performance and learning standards receive this instruction in the resource
room provided by the special needs staff.
Within each division/domain teacher planning team, there is a Special Education liaison, a
general education teacher who participates in specific professional development in the area of
Special Education. These liaisons keep the particular needs of Special Education students in the
forefront of the team planning for curriculum and assessment, and they serve as the primary
conduit for communication between the Special Education team and the classroom teachers.
Accommodations within the regular classroom, as well as modification of the gateway
requirements (usually modifying the number of pieces required for promotion and expanding the
range of forms that work may take in order to demonstrate mastery, and not the modification of
the standards themselves), allow most students to be successful. Such accommodations may
include: writing notes and class outlines on boards, providing notes to students, allowing
students to use laptop computers, altering requirements and timelines for specific projects with
classroom teaching, and providing alternative texts or work templates where needed. In addition,
students receive individual and small group in-class coaching and after school instruction and are
supported by their Advisors.
When students are experiencing difficulty, teachers address student needs through a series of
instructional interventions. Teachers who co-teach work together to provide classroom support
to the student, to adjust their instructional practices, and to seek consultation if needed. Advisors
regularly monitor student progress. The school is developing a multi-tiered, formal process for
identifying students who are experiencing difficulty, tracking the instructional support plans
developed during Division meetings, and notifying Student Services if problems persist despite
instructional or other support interventions. This process is called the Student Support Team
Supervision and evaluation of teachers:
Upon hiring, teachers at Parker are placed in one of three staffing categories which correspond to
level of experience, years in the profession, and other relevant experience. Level 1 teachers are in
their first 5 years of teaching; level 2 teachers generally have 6 or more years experience. Teacher
leaders comprise the third category. Feedback and evaluation processes differ at each teaching
All teachers are observed as a routine part of professional practice. Teachers set professional
goals that are the basis of initial observations at the start of the school year. Together with their
domain leader, teachers develop a focus for their work over the course of the school year, and that
goal is carried forward as a central topic of conversation throughout the year. Domain Leaders are
the direct supervisors to the teaching staff in their respective domains. The school has a deep
commitment to ongoing, substantive, and constructive feedback for teachers. Level 1 teachers in
their first year at Parker are formally evaluated by their domain leader. For these teachers, the
evaluation process consists of a series of several classroom observations that are a combination of
planned (with a pre-conference) and spontaneous. The evaluation of Level 1 teachers is guided by
Parker’s teacher evaluation rubric, which articulates the expectations for classroom teachers at the
school. The classroom observations are debriefed in post-observation conferences. Domain
leaders provide “warm and cool” feedback on teacher performance, discuss strategies and
approaches for teacher improvement, and offer ideas and suggestions for continued teacher
learning. The process is completed with the written summary/evaluation, done by the domain
leader, presented and discussed with the teacher, and signed by both. Teachers are observed
annually, with the goal of providing quality, relevant, useful and actionable feedback routinely,
with the formal evaluation occurring every three years.
In addition to professional feedback from supervisors and colleagues, students and parents
provide feedback regarding teachers and their experiences within classes. This information is
gathered as part of the school’s year-end survey of families and is reviewed by the Principal and
Academic Dean, as well as the domain leaders. Feedback from students and parents is
incorporated into conferences and the goal setting process, conducted by the domain leaders.
In addition to the formal evaluation process, structures exist within the school for the purpose of
bringing teachers together to collaborate not only on the development of program and curriculum,
but also to work actively on elements of instructional practice and the assessment of student
learning. In 2008-2009 for example, all classroom teachers committed to peer observations
among and across academic divisions. In Division 1, teachers went into one another’s classrooms
to follow and observe specific students whose academic progress was of concern. The teachers
used the observations, in addition to their divisional meeting time, to discuss students, share their
observations and collaborate on the development of appropriate strategies to support student
Additionally, all teachers participate in Critical Friends Groups in order to promote and sustain
deep dialogue and improvement in teaching. CFGs are led by teachers who have attended a five-
day institute sponsored by the National School Reform Faculty, and have received ongoing
training in supporting and facilitating adult learning.
Finally, the Principal plays a central role as instructional leader. The Principal supervises, coaches
and evaluates the teacher leaders, and meets frequently with the school’s leadership team. The
focus of those meetings, particularly those with the domain leaders, is on teaching and learning,
and meeting needs of Parker students by supporting the teaching faculty of the school. In 2008-
2009, the Principal served as a classroom teacher, serving as a colleague and mentor to members
of the staff in that role.
Professional development:
         In the spring of 2008, based on student achievement data (analysis of internal progress
reports, year-end narrative assessments, teacher observation and MCAS data) that suggested a
growing number of students challenged by the work production expectations associated with our
program, we began a two-year professional development focus on better understanding the
adolescent brain. Since then, we have been working with an educational consultant, who is a
certified facilitator for the Schools Attuned work, which is the conveyance for the work of Dr.
Mel Levine and the emerging understandings of the ways in which the adolescent brain works.
Parker’s expectation that students will not only “know” information, but be able to demonstrate
mastery and deep understanding of concepts and skills poses a considerable challenge for
students whose learning needs and difficulties result in an inability to produce work. As a faculty,
we have dedicated ourselves to learning and more fully understanding Dr. Levine’s work as it
relates to the neuro-developmental constructs and the ways in which students take in, process, and
then express new information and learning. This professional development effort has involved the
full faculty, and it is the result of a school-wide goal of supporting all students to achieve Parker’s
high standards for success and promotion in our program. In addition to full faculty workshop
sessions in which we have studied together, looked collaboratively at student work and teacher
plans for curriculum to conduct task analysis, we have engaged our consultant through the school
year. Over the course of the 2008-2009 school year, our work has become deeply seeded within
the divisional/domain planning teams for Divisions 1 and 2, where teachers have significantly
explored different ways to support students with production control issues. One of the direct
results of this work was in the redesign of an academic unit to allow student choice in
determining the number of pieces they would attempt to complete, and the installation of
individual conferences to support and coach students in the achievement of their specific,
personalized unit goal.
To further support the stated goal of assuring that all Parker students are able to meet and
successfully achieve “satisfactory progress,” we have developed a cohort of teachers to serve in
the role of “special education liaisons.” Now in their second year, the Special education liaisons
are classroom (general education) teachers (one from each division and domain), who receive
specialized instruction and coaching from the Director of Special Education and the Academic
Dean, on the needs of Parker’s Special Education students. These liaisons carry forward their
learning and training in their participation of the design and creation of curriculum, instructional
practices and assessment, helping to strengthen the planning team’s understanding of the needs of
our students. The liaisons, together with the special education teachers, inform the development
of the curriculum and serve as a constant reminder of the broad range of learners and their needs.
The liaisons are further supported by additional time to meet together in the form of a specially
charged Critical Friends Group so that they can have sufficient time to explore issues related to
teaching the range of students and tending the needs of all equitably and skillfully.

Organizational Viability
Accountability Measures: Organizational Viability
        A. The school’s Board of Trustees will effectively promote the school's mission.


1. The Board will work with the school leader to develop and achieve annual leadership
goals that reflect the school’s mission.
        The Parker School has met this measure. In the fall of 2008, the Trustees worked with
the principal to develop annual leadership goals, which were voted on and approved by the Board
of Trustees. Achievements relevant to each goal are noted in italics.

                        2008-2009 ANNUAL BOARD OF TRUSTEES GOALS
GOAL                               STATUS, 6/16/09
1-By June 2009, the Board will     COMPLETED:
pass a strategic plan for Parker     1-Internal focus groups (student, staff, parent), external interviews
School and the Sizer Teachers      (leading educators and charter school leaders), external research
Center.                            (current educational context)
                                      2-Draft mission and vision statement
                                      3-Identification of seven key areas for further research
                                   Given 15 year scope of plan and desire for additional research,
                                   decision to extend strategic planning through 2009-10 school year.
2-By June 2009, the Board of       DECISION TO POSTPONE: Current contract runs until June 2010.
Trustees will negotiate a          Strategic planning focus areas include re-examination of professional
contract extension or new          leadership structure; decision to postpone contract renewal
contract with Principal Teri       conversations pending clarification of principal job description as
Schrader.                          part of strategic planning work.

3- By June 2009, the Board of       COMPLETED
Trustees will complete its tri-
annual leadership evaluation,
with input from parents,
students, and staff on the
principal, the board of trustees,
and the school as a whole.
4- By June 2009, the Board of       COMPLETED
Trustees will pass a policy on
fundraising and fees.

            B. Sound fiscal practices and effective decision making will sustain the school's
            program and record of academic achievement. (CP #9)

   1. The school’s independent annual audit will demonstrate sound financial practices
   through having no major findings and an unqualified report.
   The annual report has never resulted in major findings, and the school has always received an
   unqualified opinion from the independent auditors. The Finance Committee selected Powers and
   Sullivan as auditors for the years ended June 30, 2008 and June 30, 2009. It is expected that the
   results will continue to be an unqualified opinion as there have been no major changes in the
   financial policy of the school.

   2. The school will maintain an annual balance sheet demonstrating an adequate balance of
   funds to sustain school operations.
   The financial position of the school is strong, and there is not a need for short-term borrowings to
   fund operations. Since inception, through conservative budget practices and fiscal responsibility,
   the school has accumulated net assets of $ 2,693,519 as of June 30, 2009 (unaudited). This is
   provides the school with protection from possible negative impacts of the local and state
   economic conditions on the major revenue source, tuition, ensuring that a quality program can
   continue to be delivered in times of economic uncertainty.
   3. The Board of Trustees, through the Finance Committee, will develop a plan for effective,
   long-range fundraising and fiscal policies for the use of accumulated fund balances over the
   course of this charter period.

The Board of Trustees has maintained four categories of uses for accumulated new assets. The
emergency reserve has a balance of $100,000 and was set-up for unforeseen extraordinary
needs of an emergency nature. The liquidity reserve has a balance of $278,281 and serves to
prevent short term borrowing needs as the school receives tuition one month in arrears. The
revenue stabilization fund has a balance of $300,000 which ensures that the annual tuition
increases do not negatively impact the operations of the school and to allow the school to budget
and offer contracts in a timely manner. The facilities reserve fund was setup to reserve for capital
repairs, renovations and additions to the school’s facilities and it was a balance of $261,668.

The Board of Trustees has spent time reviewing the fundraising policies and practices of
the school. The Board voted this year to finalize the fundraising policy. The school has also
hired an in house Development Director to coordinate the fundraising and outreach efforts of the
        C. The school will consistently attract, enroll, and retain students from its region.

1. Ninety percent of students will return each year (excluding students who move out of the
region); 75 percent of students who enter the high school program will graduate; the ratio
of applications to available openings in the school will be 2:1.
         The Parker School has met this measure. In September of 2008, of the 311 students
eligible to re-enroll, 301 re-enrolled (not including one student who relocated out of state).
Therefore, approximately ninety-seven percent (97%) of students returned to the school.
         Eighty (80%) of the class of 2009 who were enrolled at Parker for their ninth grade year
graduated this year. An additional three students, representing 5% of this original cohort are
expected to graduate next year, with Parker’s Class of 2010. Ten students who were enrolled at
Parker as ninth graders in 2005-2006 left the school (16%) before graduating to enroll in other
         The school received 150 new applications for the available places in seventh grade
(approximately 60 spaces) and an additional 66 new applications for upper grades (8-12) for
which there were no available places at the time of the lottery. The ratio of new applications to
available openings is over 2:1. Including applicants from prior years who remained on the
waitlist, the total number of applicants for all grades was 283, meaning the total rate of applicants
to available slots is over 4:1.

2. The school receives applications from 40 percent of the towns in its region.
        The Parker School has met this measure. This year, the school attracted applications
from residents of 47 towns of the seventy towns in our region, representing 67 percent of the
Common School Performance Criteria
 Policy decisions: The school’s board of trustees made four major policy decisions during the
 2008-09 school year: 1) to launch a strategic planning process (9/23/09); 2) to pass a policy on
 fundraising (2/10/09); 3) to pass a policy on student fees (2/10/09); and 4) to amend the bylaws
 so as to strengthen the composition of the board of trustees (5/12/09). The system for board level
 decision making is that a committee is charged with researching a particular area of interest or
 concern for the board; the committee reports back to the board for a first reading of the policy or
 vote; this in turn is revised per the board’s discussion; and then returned to the board for a
 second reading and final vote. On occasion, a policy is still not ready for vote at the second
 reading, and it is returned for further revision and, occasionally (as was the case with the
 fundraising and fee policies), broader input. All board meetings are open to the public and
 agendas are published in school newsletter the week prior to the meeting. Minutes are made
 available on the school website.

 Amendments to the charter: At its May 12, 2009 meeting, the Parker board of trustees passed
 a bylaw amendment designed to simplify the sections in Article 2 concerning requirement for
 the composition of the board of trustees. This minor charter amendment was approved by
 Commissioner Mitchell Chester on May 21, 2009.
 Complaints: No official complaints were received by the board of trustees during the 2008-09
 school year.

 In the cycle of evaluation at Parker, this was an intensive evaluation year. In addition to the
 usual reports and information received by the trustees (quarterly budget reports, reports on
 academic achievement, hiring reports, other data contained in the annual report), feedback was
 solicited from parents, students, and staff about school leadership, as part of the triennial
 leadership review. In February, the Board voted to approve the survey tools for this year’s
 evaluation, which were the same as those developed in 2006, based on best practices. In March
 and April, these surveys were taken anonymously, with a parent response rate of 57%, a student
 response rate of 86%, and a staff response rate of 94%. Surveys were shared with the Board of
 Trustees at the April and May meetings, and included data on both the school as a whole and on
 the school leader. Also in May, the school leader gave the Board her self-evaluation of her
 progress on her annual goals (which had been voted on by the trustees in October) and her
 overall assessment of the year.
At the end of May, trustees individually completed their evaluation of the school leader using an
on-line survey. In order to avoid any potential conflict of interest, trustees who were school
employees or students did not complete the evaluation. All of the remaining nine trustees
completed evaluations. These results were reviewed by the Triannual Review Committee as well
as the two board officers not represented on that committee. A narrative summary of those
individual evaluations, approved by the board of trustees, became the formal evaluation of the
school leader for the 2008-09 school year.
Board planning:
All relevant Board goals and planning are described in the Accountability Section of this report.

Family satisfaction:
In addition to the myriad forms of informal feedback the school receives about the success of its
program, Parker formally requests feedback from its constituencies each year through several
mechanisms. Parents, students and faculty participate in three kinds of surveys: an annual year-
end survey; a tri-annual Board of Trustees survey; and several Coalition of Essential Schools
surveys. All surveys are carefully studied and analyzed to provide feedback on the strengths of
the program and to determine areas in need of strengthening. In particular, the parent and student
survey data on specific teachers is compiled and used as one element of feedback in the teacher
evaluation system. In conversation with their domain leader, teachers use the data and feedback
from these surveys as one part of their goal setting for the coming year.
Parker formally asks parents/guardians for feedback on its program every June. Families are
asked to respond to an anonymous online survey that asks approximately 150 questions about
school standards, home-school communication, teachers, school culture, etc. Approximately 209
parent surveys were completed at the end of the 2008-2009 school year. Parents were
(anonymously) surveyed about school leadership and school culture as part of the tri-annual basis
by the Board of Trustees, as part of its school/leadership evaluation process.
Parker students are surveyed annually, in the same process as described above for parents.
Students complete an anonymous online survey that asks about standards, teachers, curriculum,
school culture, etc. In 2008-2009, 298 students completed a survey. Additionally, students are
surveyed as part of the tri-annual Board process. Students are also regularly asked for feedback

on curricular units of study as part of the standard curriculum, so that teachers can use student
feedback as they revise their curriculum, instruction and assessment for future use.
Finally, as part of Parker’s membership in the Coalition of Essential Schools’ Small School
Network (through which it mentors North Central Charter Essential School), the school
participates in several annual surveys. Students complete one survey, while school staff complete
either two or three surveys; all these surveys ask questions about school standards, culture,
teaching, and related topics.
Regardless of who is being surveyed or who is doing the surveying, the data is abundantly clear:
Parker students and families are quite satisfied with Parker’s program. For example, all questions
on the annual parent and student surveys are ranked on a 1 (low) to 5 (high) scale. The average
response for more than 90% of the questions is above a 4. Specific responses can be seen in the
summary of results included in Appendix B. Despite such positive overall results, we carefully
discuss (and take action on) the feedback that indicates areas of need or attention within the
school. This feedback comes both through the aggregate quantitative results, but also through
individual comments that participants make.
While the complete results of this year’s parent and student surveys are still being analyzed and
not yet available, key responses are included in the relevant Accountability Section of this report
under Faithfulness to Charter.
Parker’s dissemination efforts are described in the Accountability Section of the Faithfulness to
Charter portion above.
Financial oversight:
The development of Parker’s operating budget is a collaborative process and is centrally
concerned with the learning and progress of our students. The school’s business manager and
Principal seek the input of the school’s leadership team as well as program coordinators and
directors in assessing and determining the school’s areas of priority for the upcoming school year.
Staff with budgetary authority and oversight prepare, in consultation with their team and
colleagues, a proposed budget that considers program needs. This input is collected and
synthesized by the principal and the business manager, and analyzed for feasibility based on
projections for revenue. It is expected that decisions concerning the needs of the academic
program are thoroughly discussed and made “locally” (by those with direct responsibility in the
domain or program area). All who offer input into the budget process are guided by a published
set of “planning assumptions” that are provided, along with instructions for planning, at a
leadership meeting that initiates the budget planning process. The Principal and the business
manager, in consultation with school staff, develop the budgets for the areas of the school not
directly associated with the academic program.

                     Francis W. Parker Charter Essential School
            Statement of Revenues, Expenditures and Changes in Net Assets
                                 (Unaudited / Draft)
                       Fiscal Year Ended June 30, 2009

  State allocation                                                          $4,128,524
  Federal and State Grants                                                     115,132
  Private Grants and Contributions                                              94,910
  Program Fees:                                                                168,646
  Miscellaneous income                                                          34,858
 TOTAL REVENUES                                                              4,542,070

    Salaries and wages                                                       3,021,514
    Payroll taxes and fringe benefits                                          525,621
    Recruiting and staff development                                            35,595
    Accreditation                                                                2,580
    Assessment                                                                   2,671
    Books and curriculum material                                               22,152
    Computer hardware and software                                              19,773
    Computer internet access                                                     9,600
    Consultant-instructional                                                    62,771
    Contract services                                                           29,303
    Depreciation                                                                62,078
    Dues and subscriptions                                                      21,739
    Food-school lunch program                                                   43,980
    Furniture and equipment                                                     15,384
    Inspections                                                                  6,574
    Insurance                                                                   36,466
    Leases-school building                                                     335,916
    Leases-fields and sports arena                                              21,514
    Legal & accounting services                                                 15,265
    Maintenance-equipment                                                        7,321
    Maintenance-facility                                                         6,062
    Other                                                                        8,978
    Printing, copy, and postage                                                 29,714
    Sports equipment                                                             4,569
    Student activities and field trips                                          60,027
    Student transportation                                                      23,991
    Supplies                                                                    32,322
    Uniforms-athletics                                                           4,361
    Utilities                                                                  123,586
    Vending                                                                          0
 TOTAL EXPENSES                                                              4,591,428
 OPERATING INCOME                                                           (49,358)

    Interest Income                                                              8,957
 CHANGE IN NET ASSETS                                                       (40,401)
 NET ASSETS, JUNE 30, 2008                                                   2,733,920
 NET ASSETS, JUNE 30, 2009                                                  $2,693,519
                    Francis W. Parker Charter Essential School

                                     Statement of Net Assets
                                       (Unaudited / Draft)


Current Assets:
 Cash and cash equivalents                                          $1,073,333
 Accounts receivable                                                    44,535
 Prepaid expenses                                                        2,316
    Total current assets                                             1,120,183

Cash Held for Student Activity Funds                                       40,578

Noncurrent Assets:
  Capital Assets                                                       774,345
    Less - accumulated depreciation                                    572,717
      Net capital assets                                               201,628

     Other Non Current Assets                                        1,463,904

         Total assets                                               $2,826,294

                   Liabilities and Net Assets

Current Liabilities:
 Accounts payable                                                      $19,561
 Accrued expenses                                                       45,257
 Deferred revenues                                                      27,378
    Total current liabilities                                           92,196

Due to Student Activity Funds                                              40,578

Net Assets:
  Invested in capital assets                                           201,628
  Restricted for capital purchases                                      44,900
  Restricted for Special Purposes                                       43,138
  Building Rental Asset                                              1,463,904
 Emergency Reserve                                                     100,000
 Liquidity Reserve                                                     278,281
  Revenue Stabilization Reserve                                        300,000
 Facilities Reserve Fund                                               261,668
       Total net assets                                              2,693,519
       Total liabilities and net assets                             $2,826,294

                                         Operating Budget

                            Fiscal Year Ended June 30, 2010

 REVENUES:                                                        Budget
  State allocation - Tuition                                   $4,153,034
  Federal and State Grants                                        100,500
  Private Grants and Contributions                                 40,000
  Program Fees:                                                   124,200
  Miscellaneous income                                             44,748
 TOTAL REVENUES                                                $4,462,482

    Salaries and wages                                        2,984,409
    Payroll taxes and fringe benefits                              567,937
    Recruiting and staff development                                47,700
    Accreditation                                                    2,700
    Assessment                                                       2,700
    Books and curriculum material                                   33,950
    Computer hardware and software                                  12,789
    Computer internet access                                         9,459
    Consultant-instructional                                        14,900
    Contract services                                               23,487
    Depreciation                                                    99,500
    Dues and subscriptions                                          24,614
    Food-school lunch program                                       48,000
    Furniture and equipment                                          7,350
    Inspections                                                      5,200
    Interest                                                         2,500
    Insurance                                                       37,550
    Leases-school building                                         328,000
    Leases-fields and sports arena                                  20,500
    Legal & accounting services                                     19,700
    Maintenance-equipment                                           29,226
    Maintenance-facility                                            24,077
    Other                                                           24,700
    Printing, copy, and postage                                     33,750
    Sports equipment                                                 6,040
    Student transportation                                          23,000
    Supplies                                                        32,188
    Uniforms-athletics                                               4,200
    Utilities                                                      212,565
    Vending                                                          2,300
 TOTAL EXPENSES                                                  4,684,992

 OPERATING INCOME                                             (222,510)
    Interest Income                                             20,000
 CHANGE IN NET ASSETS                                         (202,510)
 NET ASSETS, JUNE 30, 2009                                      2,693,519
 NET ASSETS, JUNE 30, 2010                                     $2,491,009

Total number of instructional days for the 2008-09 school year:                            180
First and last day of the 2008-09 school year:

  Number of students who completed the 2007-08 school year but did not reenroll for the
  2008-09 school year (excluding graduates):
  Total number of students enrolled as of October 1, 2008:                                   384
  Total number of students who enrolled during the 2008-09 school year, after October 1,
  Total number of students who left during the 2008-09 school year, after October 1,
  Total number of students enrolled as of the June 2009 SIMS submission:                     384
  Number of students who graduated at the end of the 2008-09 school year:                    49

     Of the fourteen students who left Parker eleven returned to district schools of these two have
     since returned to Parker. One student elected to take his GED, one student began home schooling
     and one student moved out of the state.

  (for students enrolled as of the June 2009 SIMS submission)
  Race/Ethnicity                                # of students % of entire student body
  African-American                                      4      1.04%
  Asian                                                11      2.86%
  Hispanic                                              8      2.09%
  Native American                                       0      0%
  White                                               348      90.62%
  Native Hawaiian, Pacific Islander                     0      0%
  Multi-Race, Non-Hispanic                             13      3.38%
  Special Education                                    50                13%
  Limited English Proficient                            0                0%
  Low Income                                           9                 2.3%

          Title           Brief Job Description             Start date

          Teri Scharader           Principal                                       7/8/96
          Michelle McKenna         Business Manager                                3/1806
          Deb Merriam              Academic Dean                                   7/1/95
          Sue Massucco             Arts and Humanities Domain Leader               2/23/08
          Ruth Whalen              Spanish Domain Leader                           7/1/98
          Diane Kruse              Math Science and Technology Domain Leader       8/1/99
          Terry Weisinger          Special Education Coordinator                   8/14/02

     For organizational chart please see appendix.

                     Number as of the last day Departures during the Departures at the end of
                     of the 2008-09 school     2008-09 school year   the school year
         Teachers    46                        0                     5
         Other Staff 26                        1                     1

         Of the 72 staff members employed this year 7 will not be returning next year. Both collaborating
         teacher interns at Parker left at the end of their training year. One teacher left to seek a position
         closer to home, one left for further education, one teacher left to return to their native country due
         to an expiring work visa and one staff member retired. Administration also asked one member of
         staff to leave mid-year.

Andy Perkins           Chair       Governance, Finance                Parent                     Term Began 09/04
                                   Strategic Planning                                            Term Ends 06/11
                                   Evaluation, Development                                       Serving second term
                                   Principal Contract, Building
                                   Political Outreach
Ann Glannon            Clerk       Evaluation                         Parent                     Term Began 09/05
                                   Governance                                                    Term Ends 06/11
                                   Development                                                   Serving second term
Chet Gapinski          Vice        Finance                            Former Parent              Term Began 09/03
                       Chair       Evaluation                                                    Term Ends 06/9
                                   Building                                                      Serving second term
Bill Allen                         Finance, Evaluation                Former Parent              Term Began 09/06
                                   Principal Contract                                            Term Ends 06/9
                                   Strategic Planning, Building                                  Serving first term
Kathleen Bernklow                                                     Former Parent              Term Began 06/07
                                                                                                 Term Ends 06/10
                                                                                                 Serving first term
Annie Montesano                    Strategic Planning                 Former Staff member        Term Began 06/07
                                   Development                                                   Term Ends 06/09
                                                                                                 Serving second term
Meg Stafford                       Strategic Planning                 Parker Parent              Term Began 09/08
                                                                                                 Term Ends 06/11
                                                                                                 Serving first term
Kathy Singh            Treasurer   Finance                            Current Parent             Term Began 09/04
                                   Principal Contract                                            Term Ends 06/10
                                   Political Outreach                                            Serving second term
Peter McDonald                     Facilities                         Parent                     Term Began 09/05
                                                                                                 Term Ends 06/09
                                                                                                 Serving first term
Teri Schrader                      Finance, Building                  Principal                  Ex officio
                                   Strategic Planning                                            Term began 09/95
Diane Kruse                                                           Math, Science and          Term began 06/05
                                                                      Technology Domain          Ex officio
Carrie Duff                        Development                        Spanish Teacher            Term Began 06/08
                                                                                                 Term Ends 06/11
                                                                                                 Serving first term
Sue Massucco                                                          Arts and Humanities        Ex officio
                                                                      Domain Leader              Term began 09/08

                                           F. W. Parker Charter School Organizational Chart
                                                              July 2009

                                                     Board of Trustees

                                                                                                     Director, New
Business Manager                                                              Teachers Center          Teachers
                        Assistant to the                                                             Collaborative
         Manager                                          Academic Dean
                      Administrative                                            Domain Leaders           Program Staff
      Kitchen Staff
                                  Education                                           MST Teachers
Facilities                                                      AH Teachers                              Spanish Teachers
Manager                          Coordinator

                                                                                Wellness Teachers
                               Education            Counseling and
                               Teachers             School Health Staff

             Parker School Criteria for Excellence in

        You identify the form and genre of a text.
        You use reading strategies that suit the material (highlighting, underlining, taking
         notes, reading aloud, visualizing).
        You recognize the organizational elements of a text (table of contents, index; acts,
         scenes, chapters; etc.).
        You understand the sequence of a text (beginning, middle, end; foreshadowing;
         flashbacks; etc.)
        You infer meanings of words from their context and look them up as needed.
        You can summarize or restate the main ideas or plot of a text.


        You generate questions about the text.
        You identify the author’s purpose and point of view.
        You distinguish fact from opinion.
        You analyze the positions taken in a text and the evidence offered in their support.
        You compare and contrast different texts.
        You make connections within and among texts.
        You make connections between the text and your own experience.
        You identify the historical and social context of a text.
        You evaluate writing strategies and elements of the author’s craft.
        You take a point of view about the text and support it with evidence.


        You skim or scan a text to choose your reading strategies.
        You identify and seek help with problems you have in reading.
        You use a reading log or journal to explore ideas.
        You discuss what you read with other readers.

             Parker School Criteria for Excellence in

        You write for a specific audience.
        You know your point and make it clear.
        Your form suits your purpose.

        You bring your topic down to a manageable size.
        You choose which ideas to develop and which to leave out.
        You support your ideas with enough details and evidence.
        Your evidence is accurate and you give its source when needed.

        You put your ideas in a logical order or one that moves the piece forward.
        You capture the reader’s interest from the beginning.
        You use transitions to connect ideas.
        You bring the piece to an effective close.

        Your tone suits your purpose.
        Your techniques suit your purpose.
        Your voice sounds natural, honest, and direct.
        Your words call up pictures. You show rather than tell.
        You choose clear and precise words.
        You choose words for sound as well as sense.
        You vary the rhythm and pace of your sentences to suit your purpose.
        You omit needless words.


        You use correct spelling, capitalization, and punctuation.
        You use correct grammar and sentence structure.
        If you break conventions you do so with a purpose.

        You use pre-writing to explore ideas.
        You use drafts to discover and shape ideas.
        You get feedback from a variety of readers.
        You revise as many times as necessary to address what doesn’t work.
        You reflect on your process and your work.

             Parker School Criteria for Excellence in

        You identify the form of what you hear.
        You listen in a way that suits the material (taking notes, asking questions,
         engaging in dialogue).
        You recognize the organizational elements of what you hear.
        You infer meaning from context.
        You can summarize or restate the main ideas of what you hear.


        You generate questions about what you hear.
        You identify the speaker’s purpose and point of view.
        You distinguish fact from opinion.
        You analyze the positions taken in what you hear and the evidence offered in their
        You compare and contrast different things you hear.
        You make connections within and among things you hear.
        You make connections between what you hear and your own experience.
        You identify the historical and social context of what you hear.
        You evaluate the strategies and elements of the speaker’s craft.
        You take a point of view about what you hear and support it with evidence.


        You show attentiveness to the speaker through eye contact and body language.
        You listen without interrupting the speaker or talking to others.
        You identify and seek help with problems you have in listening.
        You discuss what you hear with other listeners.
        You take notes when appropriate.

             Parker School Criteria for Excellence in
                           Oral Presentation

        You communicate a clear message.
        Your information is substantive and accurate.
        You organize your information in a way that moves the presentation forward.
        Any presentation aids (visual, aural, etc.) are substantive, relevant, and used
        You effectively employ rhetorical strategies (metaphor, imagery, repetition, etc.).
        You answer questions knowledgeably and accurately.


        You know your audience and engage it in appropriate ways.
        You capture your audience’s attention from the beginning.
        You use appropriate body language and gestures.
        You make eye contact with your audience.
        You speak clearly and audibly and pronounce words correctly.
        You speak at an appropriate pace.
        You vary your voice and language for expressive purposes.
        You avoid "filler" words ("um," "uh," "like," "you know").
        You take turns with other speakers when appropriate.
        You adjust to audience reactions.
        You bring your presentation to an effective close.


        You are well prepared for presentation.
        You reflect on your process and your work.

             Parker School Criteria for Excellence in

        You brainstorm ideas and organize them visually (in lists, outlines, webs, concept
        You narrow and focus your research question(s) to a manageable size.
        You identify what you already know.
        You decide what you still need to know.
        You list key words and concepts.


        You identify potential search engines (library card catalog and databases; Web
         browsers; experts; community agencies).
        You use search engines and key words to locate a variety of sources.
        You decide which sources are relevant to your question(s).

Information Gathering

        You skim and scan to identify relevant information.
        You take accurate and sufficient notes, paraphrasing or quoting important facts
         and details.
        You classify, group, and label the information in your notes.
        You assess the nature and reliability of your sources (primary or secondary; fact
         or opinion; point of view; timeliness).
        You document your sources and compile a bibliography.


        You connect new information with what you know already.
        You recognize logical errors and omissions, cause and effect, and points of
         agreement and disagreement.
        You use the information you gathered to answer your research question(s).


        You plan and manage your time effectively.
        You ask for help at appropriate points.
        You revise your question(s) as your research progresses.
        You reflect on your process and your work.

             Parker School Criteria for Excellence in
                         Artistic Expression

        You develop your own message. (Note: The message could be the medium.)
        You use an art form (visual art, music, dance/movement, drama, writing, other)
         that communicates your message.
        You research your message and art form and apply it to your process.
        You gather the materials you need.
        You plan your process.


        Your artwork has an impact on its audience.
        You use the techniques of your art form effectively.
        You can answer questions about your artwork and process.


        You plan and manage your time effectively.
        Your plan is open to inspiration and suggestion.
        You complete your plan.
        You get feedback from others.
        You revise as necessary.
        You reflect on your artwork, process, and presentation.

             Parker School Criteria for Excellence in
                      Scientific Investigation
Framing the Question

        You understand or come up with a question and/or hypothesis to investigate.
        You collect information and ideas about your question.
        You identify the variables or special factors that may affect your investigation.

Approaching the Investigation

         Laboratory Investigation:
             You make a plan for testing the hypothesis or question
             You identify and use appropriate scientific equipment.
             You make and record physical observations.

         Scientific Research:
              You make a plan for investigating the question or hypothesis.
              You identify, use, and cite appropriate scientific references.
              You gather information that addresses the question or hypothesis.

Analyzing What You Find

        You consider multiple explanations for what you observe or discover.
        You use evidence to draw or support a logical conclusion.
        You identify possible sources of error and bias in the investigation or research.
        You verify the results of the investigation or find corroborating evidence for your
        You revise your explanation if necessary.

Synthesizing What You Find

        You answer your question and/or draw conclusions about the validity of your
        You connect your ideas to other ideas you know about, or to a "real world" use.
        You use your data or research to respond to questions or comments from others.

Communicating What You Find

        You explain your ideas and procedures or research to others in an understandable
        You use correct mathematical and scientific vocabulary, equations, or notations to
         explain your ideas.
        You use graphs, tables, charts, models, diagrams, or drawings to represent your
        You use a formal scientific tone and adhere to appropriate conventions.
             Parker School Criteria for Excellence in
          Mathematical Problem-Solving

        You understand the problem.
        You identified special factors that influence your approach before you start.
        Your approach is efficient or sophisticated.
        You clearly explain the reasons for your decisions along the way.
        You solve the problem and make a general rule about the solution.
        You extend what you find to a more complicated situation.

             Parker School Criteria for Excellence in
           Mathematical Communication

        You use appropriate mathematical language to communicate your solution.
        You use graphs, tables, charts, and/or drawings to communicate your solution.
        Your work is well organized and detailed.

             Parker School Criteria for Excellence in
                         Systems Thinking
Framing the Question

        You identify a complex question you need to explore.
        You break down the question into factors that might affect each other over time.
        You identify how these factors serve as parts of a feedback loop.
        You focus your question by limiting the factors you will include.

Using the Model

        You say what you think about the relationships among these factors.
        You obtain the information you need about each factor to run a mathematical
         model of the feedback loop.
        You make a prediction or hypothesis about what will happen if one factor
        You simulate and observe that change by running a mathematical model on the
        You make a graph of what you have observed.
        You check your model against your prediction and against actual data.
        You use what you have observed to ask new questions, make new predictions,
         and test those predictions by running more simulations or by changing the model.

Interpreting the Model

        You use the model to explain how a complex system works.
        You use the model to draw a conclusion or make a decision.
        You can use a model of one system as a way of understanding another system.

              Parker School Criteria for Excellence in
You use technology for problem solving and exploration.

        You recognize when the use of technology is appropriate.
        You evaluate which technology will best serve your purpose.
        Your use of technology is efficient or sophisticated.
        You clearly explain the reasons for your decisions along the way.
        You find, create, modify or adapt technologies to suit a purpose.

* Technology includes, but is not limited to, Information Technology (data collection,
processing and analysis tools).

               Parker School Criteria for Excellence in

        You identify responsible health behaviors.
        You identify your personal health needs.
        You compare your behaviors that are safe to those that are risky or harmful.
        You demonstrate strategies to improve or maintain your personal health.
        You develop injury prevention and management strategies for your personal
        You demonstrate ways to avoid and reduce threatening situations.
        You apply skills to manage stress.

Interpersonal Communication

        You demonstrate effective verbal and non-verbal communication skills to
         enhance health.
        You demonstrate healthy ways to express needs, wants and feelings.
        You demonstrate ways to communicate care, consideration, and respect of self
         and others.
        You demonstrate communication skills to build and maintain healthy
        You demonstrate refusal, negotiation, and collaboration skills to manage conflict
         in healthy ways.

Accessing Information

        You evaluate the validity of health information, products and services.
        You demonstrate the ability to utilize resources from home, school, and
         community that provide valid health information.
        You analyze how media influences the selection of health information and
        You demonstrate the ability to access school and community health services for
         self and others.

Decision-Making And Goal Setting

        You demonstrate the ability to utilize various strategies when making decisions
         related to health needs.
        You analyze how health-related decisions are influenced by individuals, family
         and community values.
        You predict how decisions regarding health behaviors have consequences for self
         and others.
        You implement strategies and skills needed to attain personal health goals.

        You evaluate progress toward achieving personal health goals.

Health Advocacy

        You evaluate the effectiveness of communication methods for accurately
         expressing health information and ideas.
        You express information and opinions about health issues.
        You utilize strategies to overcome barriers when communicating information,
         ideas, feelings, and opinions about health issues.
        You demonstrate the ability to influence and support others in making positive
         health choices.
        You demonstrate the ability to work cooperatively when advocating for healthy
        You demonstrate the ability to adapt health messages and communication
         techniques to your audience.

Internal and External Influences

        You describe the influence of cultural beliefs on health behaviors and the use of
         health services.
        You analyze how messages from media and other sources influence health
        You analyze the influence of technology on personal and family health.
        You analyze how information from your peers and your community influences

Physical Fitness And Movement

        You participate regularly in physical activity and movement.
        You achieve and maintain a personal health-enhancing level of physical fitness.
        You exhibit responsible personal and social behavior that respects self and others
         in physical activity settings.
        You demonstrate competency in motor skills and movement patterns needed to
         perform a variety of physical activities to maintain your personal health.

             Parker School Criteria for Excellence in
Content: You communicate about a wide variety of topics and express your opinions.
Pronunciation: You imitate native pronunciation and intonation.
Fluency: You express your thoughts without pausing excessively to think.
Grammar: You follow the basic grammatical patterns appropriate for communicating
             your message.
Spontaneity: You find ways to say what you mean, even if you don’t know the exact
Process: You practice speaking, show awareness of your mistakes, and reflect on your

Content: You can communicate about a wide variety of topics.
Grammar: You follow the basic grammatical patterns appropriate for communicating
              your message.
Style: Your writing style suits your purpose and communicates what you mean.
Process: You practice writing and follow a disciplined writing process.

Comprehension: You can comprehend and restate a variety of authentic texts.
Analysis: You analyze messages that you read.
Process: You practice reading and follow disciplined reading strategies.

Comprehension: You can comprehend and restate a variety of authentic texts.
Analysis: You analyze messages that you hear.
Process: You practice actively listening and follow a disciplined listening process.

Knowledge: You accurately identify key characteristics of the country or group you are
Reflection: You make meaningful comparisons, identify how your own background
              shapes your perceptions, and ask questions.
Application and Participation: You act with sensitivity to the norms of the cultural
              setting around you.

           Parker School Criteria for Excellence in
                       Habits of Learning
      Inquiry
       In both school work and daily life, you show intellectual curiosity and wonder
       about the world. You ask thoughtful questions and seek out their answers.

      Expression
       In both school work and daily life, you communicate honestly what you know or
       want to know, and what you believe or feel.

      Critical thinking
       In both school work and daily life, you analyze, synthesize, and draw conclusions
       from information. You generate solutions to problems using both creative and
       rational thought. You keep an open mind and appreciate different points of view.
       You seek out excellence.

      Collaboration
       In both school work and daily life, you contribute to the overall effort of a group.
       You work well with diverse individuals and in a variety of situations, using
       effective communication skills (consulting, listening, and speaking).

      Organization
       In both school work and daily life, you sift through ideas and data, arranging them
       wisely and making sense of them. You come to school prepared with what you
       will need. You set reasonable goals, then plan and manage your time so as to
       meet them. You persevere in the face of obstacles.

      Attentiveness
       In both school work and daily life, you focus on the task at hand, observing and
       taking in the information you need to do it well.

      Involvement
       Both in school and in the larger community, you take the initiative to participate
       in the process of learning. You contribute your questions, ideas, and action in
       group discussions, activities, and projects.

      Reflection
       In both school work and daily life, you review and think about your actions and
       the work you produce, with the purpose of learning more.


To top