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Week of April 9, Vol. 21, Issue 28

Dear Parents:


Welcome back! 

I hope you had a chance to rest and re-energize.  It's been a busy, productive year, and we have much to celebrate.  Yet, as we embark on the last leg of the school year, we still have many activities to anticipate, including Field Days, the Gala, the third and fourth-grade plays, Language and Culture Week (see below), the science fairs, another Fun Run, the summer book faire, fourth-grade poetry night, the summer concert, variety shows, end-of-year parties and Promotion. Phew!

It's enough to make your head spin, but it's all part and parcel of a school on the move whose community members are all focused on the growth and development of its students.

Best wishes to all of you for a wonderful spring!


Bob Gillingham

New Uniform Supplier Next Year

Beginning next school year (2012-2013), we are excited to announce that Lands' End will become the official uniform supplier for Parker.  Effective July 1, 2012, uniforms may be ordered from Lands' End.  Information about Lands' End ordering procedures and uniform options will be communicated in the coming weeks.

To ease this transition, all Mills and Option B uniforms will be grandfathered for the 2012-2013 school year.  Additionally, the current dress code will remain in effect for the 2012-2013 school year, except that skirts will no longer be allowed.  Beginning with the 2013-2014 school year, all clothing, including outerwear, must be from Lands' End.

Class Creations


Your children have created beautiful works of art in support of the Francis Parker Gala, and all 21 of these "Class Creations" will be on display from April 9th-April 19th in the Lower School's Szekely Auditorium.  Don't miss your chance to own a piece of your child's history!  Silent auction bidding for these one-of-a-kind creations will begin after flag raising on Monday, April 16th, in the auditorium and end promptly at 4:00 pm on Thursday, April 19th.  Questions?  Contact Belle Drouin at bbdrouin@san.rr.com

Field Day


Field Days take place this Thursday and Friday during the students' regular physical education classes.  Parents are welcome to join us.  On Friday, the senior kindergarteners will join the 5th graders during their regular p.e. time (8:25-8:55 a.m.) for team activities.

Friday can be a bit wet and wild, so children are advised to bring a change of clothes.

Language and Culture Week (April 23-27)


Language and Culture Week gives our students a glance into the rich array of cultures around the world, many of them represented in our families at Parker.  The richness afforded us through the grand variety of language, clothing, art, food and custom will be on display for but a short while, but it will underscore the importance of exposing our students to its existence, with the hope they'll continue to explore and embrace it throughout their lives.  This week's Thoughts to Ponder (below) considers this topic. 

L & C News:

All orders for T -shirts for Language & Culture Week (April 23-27) may be submitted in the front office by 3PM, Tuesday, April 10th. Unfortunately, we will be unable to fulfill any late orders. Students can dress down in their Language & Culture T-shirt for the entire week! T-shirts are $20 for youth T-shirts (sizes XS-L), $20 for adults T-shirts (sizes S-XL), and $25 for women's V-neck (sizes S-XL). Proceeds from T-shirt sales go to support the week's activities. If you cannot find your order form, there are forms available in the front office.

• Language and Culture Week will highlight six countries (regions) this year, with students visiting each of them.  Junior-kindergarten, senior-kindergarten and first-grade students will take a tour of Switzerland, India, Iran, the Scandinavian countries, Turkey and Mexico, where they'll see, hear, taste, touch and smell cultural elements of these lands.  Second through fifth-grade students will spend a bit more time in each, enjoying presentations and engaging in activities to further their understanding of each of the countries.

Other activities during this rich cultural week include an extended flagraising ceremony, performances and demonstrations by several outside cultural groups, visits from Upper School students who have traveled to other countries and will share what they have learned, a focus on knowing and helping children in other countries, author visits, the traditional food festival and a cultural fashion show.

The following week, we invite you to share something of your culture or knowledge of a culture you've come to know by visiting our Spanish classes.

Girls' Science


Girls' Science will take place this Thursday at 3:30 p.m. in Mrs. Imbimbo's room.

Mathletes Help


"The 6th Grade Mathletes club is looking for parents who use math regularly in their jobs and would like to come to one of our meetings to tell the kids about it!   We meet on Wednesdays from 245 until 330/345.  The presentation doesn't need to be long, but it would be great if you could find a way to incorporate a simplified problem for the students to work on, in order to demonstrate the sort of math challenges you have at work.  If you are interested, please contact Debbie Krongard at debk@ix.netcom.com or Irene LaCota at ilacota@ijlCorp.com.  We appreciate your help!"

A Quick Drop-Off Appeal


One of our Lower School parents writes:   "I wanted to bring a couple of things to your attention.  First, it seems that increasingly parents are stopping in the quick drop-off line and getting out of their cars to help their kids out of the car instead of going through the line.  As you know, this means that the people in line behind are stuck behind a stopped vehicle instead of being able to move forward to accept the assistance of Juan and the guys in the usual way.  Would it be possible to remind everyone that they can pull over elsewhere if they need to help their kids out of the car so those who can use the QDO are able to move through in an orderly way?"

Thanks in advance to everyone for honoring this plea. Your cooperation will ensure that everyone is able to use the drop-off lane smoothly and efficiently.

Thoughts to Ponder

Teaching Children to Respect Diversity.

by Gwendolyn Calvert Baker

Children deserve the best we can give them. They deserve plenty of nourishing food, access to health care and a safe place to live. They deserve our protection from exploitation, war and other sources of physical and mental harm. They deserve to live in a world free of discrimination and to receive an education that will help them be respectful and appreciative of the diversity around them.

Most industrialized countries have elementary school enrollment rates of at least 90 percent. In the United States, 96 percent of children complete at least four years of elementary school. But educators in this country face a critical challenge that extends beyond enrollment: the task of educating our children to appreciate and respect diversity. What children learn about the wide variety of people in the world around them will significantly influence the way they grow and what kind of adults they will become. It will determine whether they develop into confident, secure members of society who respect and appreciate diversity or into adults who view others with hostility and fear because of ignorance.

Understanding is the key to our acceptance of diversity. The United States is made up of hundreds of different cultures, each with different customs of speech, dress, food and behavior. Historically, this diversity has been a strength. We must teach children about the benefits of diversity. People fear what they do not understand and this fear is often manifested as hostility. Instead of focusing their concentration on learning, young people who mistrust and fear diversity often expend their energy in unproductive anger and suspicion. Such suspicion hurts all of us. Racial and cultural stereotyping turns our homes, schools, workplaces and communities into zones of misunderstanding and mistrust.

...Education about our differences reduces young people's fear and replaces it with curiosity and acceptance. Helping young people to explore why others look, dress, speak and act differently can help turn their mistrust into understanding and appreciation of the rich diversity that makes up our world. It is never too early to help children understand this diversity.

Some parents, fearing that their children are too young to understand complex questions about race and culture, initially avoid the subject, hoping the discussion will be easier when the children are older. But children who receive no information about diversity at home or school are vulnerable to the opinions expressed in a myriad of sources, including the news media, television shows, advertising, food packaging, toys and books. These influences often reinforce negative racial, cultural and sexual stereotypes. Parents and teachers should address the difficult questions about diversity before the child has a chance to be negatively influenced.

Teaching children to understand and enjoy diversity starts with defining it and describing how it is a part of all of our lives. Showing children how they have already incorporated aspects of other cultures into their own lives is one good strategy. There are many other ways to teach children to appreciate and respect diversity. Teachers and adults can start by taking a close look at their own behavior. Each day, we have an abundance of opportunities for making a point, positive or negative, about diversity. What adults say about different foods available in the supermarket, about different neighborhoods and about what features are considered attractive in other people can have a profound influence on children.

Similarly, giving children opportunities to interact with peers from diverse backgrounds helps them to learn the differences and similarities in our culture through the bond of friendship. Sometimes, such bonds can be formed simply by being in the same classroom with children from other backgrounds. Organized activities like sports, drama or creative groups give children opportunities to share stories about themselves and their lifestyles in an informal and familiar setting.Young people who have been successfully taught to appreciate diversity grow up to be secure adults with an understanding of other people that goes beyond the superficial attributes of skin color or accent. They are much more self-confident and capable in a variety of different situations ...

Lower School Menu April 9-13, 2012


Mon.                Grilled Cheese
                        Sweet Puffs
                        Pb & j, Turkey Sandwich
                        Garden Salad
                        Cream Of Tomato Soup
                        Fresh Fruit & Yogurt
                        Lime Agua Fresca W/Honey
Tues.                Fish Sticks
                        Steamed Rice
                        Baby Carrots
                        Pb & j, Roast Beef Sandwich
                        Garden Salad
                        Vegetable Chowder
                        Fresh Fruit & Yogurt
                        Lime Agua Fresca W/Honey
Wed.                Spaghetti W/Meat Sauce Or Marinara
                        Gluten-Free Pasta
                        Pb & j
                        Garden Salad
                        Creamy White Bean Soup
                        Fresh Fruit & Yogurt
                        Lime Agua Fresca W/Honey
Thurs.              Teriyaki Chicken
                        Steamed Rice
                        Pb & j, Tuna Sandwich
                        Garden Salad
                        Wonton Soup
                        Fresh Fruit & Yogurt
                        Lime Agua Fresca W/Honey   
Fri.                   Turkey Or Garden Burger
                        Carrot Fries
                        Baked Potato
                        Pb & j
                        Garden Salad
                        Cheese Tortellini Soup
                        Fresh Fruit & Yogurt
                        Lime Agua Fresca W/Honey




Posted by on Sunday April, 8, 2012 at 03:34PM


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As Head of the Lower School and member of the Parker administrative team, Dr. Gillingham is responsible for the day-to-day operations of the Mission Hills campus. In addition to overseeing curriculum and instruction, Bob also works closely with the school's Parents' Association in coordinating parent volunteers and campus activities. He also... Read more.

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4201 Randolph Street
San Diego, CA 92103
619 / 298-9110
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