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News for the Week of August 31, 2014...

Dear Middle School Families,

Some of the best sounds of summer are from our new student and camp orientations held last week. As is to be expected, the pace around Parker shifts a bit during the summer and one of the things I miss the most is the sound of our students. On Thursday, the first laughs, high fives, fist bumps, and hugs of the 2014-15 school year echoed through the Middle School, and things began to sound as they should once again.

In this, our 102nd year, we welcome twenty-nine new sixth graders, twenty-four new seventh graders, and four new eighth graders. Please be sure to extend a warm Parker welcome to our newest Lancers as you meet them.

Along with new families, we also welcome Joline Nelson, Jennifer Dorsey, Carol Radchik, Catherine Barnes, Katie Dawson, and Keven Ford to our faculty. Joline, a native French speaker from Montreal, Canada is a graduate of McGill University and has taught French to students ranging from sixth grade to college freshmen, as well as adults in the corporate world wishing to learn a foreign language. Jennifer, a graduate of Occidental College, holds a degree in Biology and significant curriculum development experience in all areas of science education. Jennifer has previously held the post of Science Department Chair and served as a member of the K-12 Science Curriculum Standards Committee for the Long Beach Unified School District. Jennifer has served as a staff trainer and International Baccalaureate Middle Years trainer, and has presented on creating articulated and integrated science curriculum at the National Middle School Association annual conference. Carol is a native Spanish speaker who graduated Summa Cum Laude from Universidad Iberoamericana in Mexico City and holds a Masters in Business Administration from the Universidad de Monterrey. Carol has been teaching Spanish in San Diego since 2005 and has been a presenter at the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages and California Language Teacher’s Association. Catherine Barnes joins our Music Department and will teach our newly created Pure Percussion class. Catherine, who is fluent in both Spanish and Portuguese, holds a Bachelor of Music Degree in Percussion Performance from Northwestern University. Catherine is a past recipient of the prestigious J. William Fulbright Scholarship and has both taught and studied internationally in Brazil, Haiti, and Ghana. Catherine “Katie” Dawson joins a talented group of performing arts teachers as our Production Design and Technical Theater Teacher. Katie graduated from The Colorado College with a degree in Theater and also holds a Masters in Fine Arts degree, the terminal degree in her field, in Scenography from Humbolt Sate University. Katie is a member of the Alpha Psi Omega Theatre Society and the United States Institute for Theatre Technology. Born and raised in the San Diego area, and a graduate of The Bishop's School, Katie’s broad design experience in lighting, sound, sceneography, costumes, and makeup coupled with crew and stage managing experience for over twenty productions will serve our drama students well. Keven Ford is the director of Parker’s Upper School Pep Band and has joined the Middle School faculty as an assistant teacher to Mr. Gonzales for three sections of Middle School Guitar. An awarded guitarist, brass player, and percussionist, Keven will bring a broad set of skills to our Music Department.

In addition to our newest faculty, our students will meet our new Assistant Head of School, Laurynn Evans, and our new Athletic Director, Phil Hunt this year.  Students will also find the 2014-15 school year filled with new course offerings in the area of Arts, Innovation and Design. All sixth grade students will benefit from a trimester course titled Digital Foundations, while seventh graders will be able to study Digital Animation. Increased offerings in seventh and eighth grade Robotics and Engineering will round out our new courses and provide an additional place for students to explore Design Thinking.

With our focus on Continuous Improvement yielding even more exciting work and innovation here at Parker, I am thrilled to welcome you to another great year filled with “Lancer Pride!”

Thank you for checking out all that we do here “in the Middle,” below please find some important notes for the week.



9/2/14 - 7th Grade Camp Departs - Please arrive at the Toys ‘R Us Parking Lot by 5:15 a.m.

9/2/14 - First Day of Classes - Please note that this is a Short Week Schedule - Monday Holiday

9/2/14 - 6th Grade Parent Coffee - No Program. Please park carefully off campus and walk your student in to the first day of Middle School. We will have coffee waiting the Lawrence Middle School Commons will be available to socialize.

9/5/14 - 7th Grade Camp Returns to Toys ‘R Us Parking Lot at approximately 4:00 p.m.

9/9/14 - New Family Dinner 6:00 p.m. Lower School

9/11/14 - Middle School Back to School Night 6:00 p.m. - Opening is in the Field House

9/12/14 - Middle and Upper School Picture Day

9/16/14 - 6th Grade Camp Departs

9/19/14 - 6th Grade Camp Returns

Seventh Grade Camp Departs Early on Tuesday Morning

On Tuesday, September 2, all Seventh Graders should arrive at the Toys ‘R Us parking lot on Morena Boulevard, no later than 5:15 a.m. Busses will depart at 5:30 a.m. for Long Beach and then the boat ride to Catalina Island.

New information: The time for our return trip from Catalina has been shortened and we expect our students to return an hour earlier on Friday September 5. As Mr. Ngo described in camp orientation, we will communicate through email regarding the progress of our students as they return home. At this point families should plan on a return time to the Toys ‘R Us parking lot on Friday afternoon at 4 p.m. As always traffic will provide a variable.

Sixth Grade Camp Information

Sixth grade students also had camp orientation this past week. Below please find links to all of the information that was discussed.

Camp Orientation Cover Letter

Camp Schedule & Activities

Camp Packet: Health & Safety Information, Student Information, Student Behavior Contract, Pathfinder Ranch Medication Form & Equipment Packing List

Lunch & T-shirt Order Form

Links to Orientation Slide Decks

6th Grade Orientation Slides

New 7th and 8th Grade Orientation Slides

Tech Talk during New Student Orientation (slides)

Set up Haiku Learning App before Tuesday (Job Aid)

Links to New Schedules

As we communicated during the course of last year, the Middle School has aligned its schedule with the Upper School. School will still begin at 8:00 a.m. for Middle Schoolers. Dismissal will be at 2:50 p.m., with advisors available to check-in until 3:15 and all teachers available for support until 3:30 or later by appointment.

Please note that the Linda Vista campus will have a weekly late start Wednesday and classes will not begin for grades 6 -12 until 8:55.

Short Week Schedule - Monday Holiday - Please note that this first week of school will follow this schedule.

Regular Week - 6th Grade Schedule

Regular Week - 7th Grade Schedule

Regular Week - 8th Grade Schedule

Short Week Schedule - Friday Holiday

Afterschool Sign-in

Please note that all students who remain on campus after 3:30 must sign in to the after school program in the Middle School office.

The Lancer Enrichment After-School Program - L.E.A.P.! will begin providing afterschool programming in the first week of October. Please contact our after school program director Katie Colvin directly at kcolvin@francisparker.org for more information.

Seventh Grade Life Science Book

While families do not need to do anything at this time, our seventh grade Life Science teachers would like to inform you that they have decided to add an iBook to their classes:  Core Ideas in Life Science. The iBook is $14.99 and is available in the iTunes store. Seventh grade Science Teachers will discuss acquiring the book with students when they return from camp.

Drama Club

On Sept. 9th, 11th, 16th, and 18th from 3:05 to 4:30 the officers of the Drama Club will hold meetings to team build, and explain the auditions for "Godspell" and "The Diary of Anne Frank" in more detail. Auditions will be held the week of Sept. 22nd.

Notes on Dress Code, Digital Life and Locker Use

Students are expected to be in their Lands' End uniforms every day unless a “dress-down” day has been granted. Please note that all major clothing pieces, including outerwear must be from Land’s End and bear the Parker Logo. Socks, shoes, hair accessories and the like are not included in the Middle School uniform guidelines.

Students should wear shoes appropriate for all school activities including physical education and athletics or plan on maintaining appropriate footwear in their athletic locker.

iPads should only be used for academic purposes during the school day. Gaming should not occur at school and we strongly encourage families to eliminate game apps from your child’s iPad. Personal electronics should not be used at all during school hours. We encourage students to leave personal electronics at home, or locked in a locker during the day. If parents need to contact a student, please call the office, as all of our classrooms have phones and we are able to contact your child for you.

Students should bring a sturdy backpack big enough to carry school work and books back and forth from home. Rolling backpacks are strongly discouraged, as students have a difficult time managing them and they do not fit into student lockers.

Please note that the focus of our school day is learning; distracting/disruptive styles (i.e., dyed or unusually-cut hair, inappropriate make-up or jewelry, etc.) take away from our teaching and learning, and if observed, students will be asked to change and/or call home for assistance

If your child has any special needs that we need to be aware of (e.g., medication, dietary needs, etc.) please do not hesitate to let us know as soon as possible. Please turn in any applicable medical forms by the first day of school.

Posted by dlang in 08. August on Sunday August 31
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News for the Week of June 8...

Dear Middle School Families,

Welcome to the final week of school! While promotion on Thursday, June 12 at 10:00 a.m. in the Field House will be the highlight of our week, we have many other unique items this week.

Monday will be the final day that students will attend class with their teachers. Tuesday our eighth grade will take their annual end of year Disneyland trip and our 6th and 7th graders will enjoy a Day at the Bay. Wednesday is a half day with final advisory activities, yearbook distribution, and dismissal at 12noon.

Achievement Assemblies will occur this week as well. Sixth grade is first up on Monday, June 9 from 11:55 a.m. to 12:35 p.m. in Crivello Hall.

Eighth Grade will hold their Achievement Assembly on Wednesday, June 11 in the morning from 8:05 to 8:45 a.m. and will be followed by the Seventh Grade Achievement Assembly on Wednesday, June 11 from 9:15 to 10:00 a.m..  All Achievement Assemblies will be held in Crivello Hall.

Here is a link to a one page schedule for the week that captures all of the goings on for each grade level: 2014 Final Week of School Timeline for 6, 7, and 8

Many reminders and forms have come your way recently. I have included links to course selection forms for all grades below, and a copy of our NEW 2014-15 Daily Schedule as well. Seventh graders, please be sure to complete the Discovery Week Choice Form and contact Miss Cole at ccole@francisparker.org with any questions.

Finally, our Middle School author S.P. Kumar will be signing her new book Cave of Mystic Dreams on June 15th at Warwicks, 12:00 p.m. here is a link to complete information: Book Signing by Parker Middle School Author

Thank you for checking out all we do here “in the Middle,” below please find some important notes for the week.


Upcoming Dates:

  • 6/9 - Sixth grade Achievement Assembly 11:55 a.m. to 12:35 p.m. in Crivello Hall.
  • 6/10 - Eighth Grade Disneyland Trip - students return at 9:00 p.m.
  • 6/10 - Sixth and Seventh Grade - Day at the Bay
  • 6/11 - Eighth Grade Achievement Assembly on 8:05 to 8:45 a.m. in Crivello Hall
  • 6/11 - Seventh Grade Achievement Assembly 9:15 to 10:00 a.m. in Crivello Hall.
  • 6/11 - Last Day of School for Grade 6 & 7 - Dismissal at 12:00 noon.
  • 6/12 - 8th Grade Promotion
    • 8th Grade Students arrive at 8:45 and report to advisory.
    • Promotion ceremony begins at 10:00 a.m.

Course Selection Forms….

As part of our preparations for the 2014-15 school year, course selection forms and course descriptions were sent to our rising sixth, seventh and eighth grade families. Should you need the links again, they are included below for your convenience. Please be sure to note that your child must use her or his Parker email username and password to sign into the form.

Course Selection Form: 6th Grade Course Selection Form 2014-15
Course Offerings: 6th Grade Course Offerings 2014-15

Course Selection  Form: 7th Grade Course Selection Form 2014-15
Course Descriptions: 7th Grade Course Descriptions 2014-15

Course Selection Form: 8th Grade Course Selection Form 2014-15
Course Descriptions: 8th Grade Course Descriptions 2014-15

Promotion Video…

Attention 8th Grade parents:  Be sure and order your DVD of the Francis Parker Middle School 8th Grade Promotion which will be professionally videotaped on June 13, 2014 at 10:00am.

You may order your copy by visiting www.FrancisParkerDVD.com

NEW 2014-15 Daily Schedule...

As I wrote in previous Newsletters, after a year of work and building on the work completed on the Middle School daily schedule last year, the Middle and Upper School will have an complementary and aligned schedule for the 2014-15 school year. The complete schedule is here for your review: 2014 - 15 Upper and Middle School Schedule.

Here is what a schedule might generally look like for a Middle School Student: Sample Middle School Schedule for 2014-15.

Notes from Nurse Maggie…

Required 7th grade Tdap vaccine, updated immunizations and the new California personal exemption law: All students entering public or private school are required by law to receive specific immunizations in order to attend class. Immunizations against specific diseases protect all students and prevent the spread of debilitating illness. All students going into 7th grade next year are required to receive a Tdap vaccine in order to attend school. If you have a student going into 7th grade next year, please make sure your child is current on all mandated immunizations. If your student receives any vaccines, please turn in an updated immunization form to the school nurse or to the office prior to the start of school. To find out what immunizations are required, please go to: www.eziz.ort/assets/docs/IMM-231 for the current immunization schedule for students in California.

Finally, starting in 2014, California law AB2109 requires all parents who wish that their student be exempt from receiving immunizations receive consultation about that decision from an identified licensed medical professional. If this affects your child, please go to www.shotsforschools.org to download the required form and to learn who is able to provide consultation concerning exemptions and immunizations. Once complete, please bring that form into the school nurse or the office prior to the start of the school year. If you have any questions, please call 619-717-0235 or email mwest@francisparker.org.


Posted by dlang in 06. June on Sunday June 8 at 06:45AM
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News for the Week of June 1...

Dear Middle School Families,

Yesterday, the Parker community celebrated commencement for the Class of 2014. While it is a joy to celebrate our graduates, it is also bittersweet. Just four short years ago, we celebrated the majority of these students as they were promoted from the Middle School and began their Upper School journey. For those of us “in the Middle,” having another four years to watch the students we so enjoyed in our own classrooms is always a gift. Then, “just like that,” the same amazing young people plus new colleagues who joined their class in the Upper School leave our campus. Mayor Kevin Faulconer’s encouragement to our graduates resonated with many of the other speakers, and I am sure many faculty in the audience would concur with the sentiment: while it is time for the Class of 2014 to leave us…come back.

While celebrations often commemorate a job well done, they also signal a time of new beginnings. Just as the Class of 2014 will carry the Parker name to some of the finest universities in the world, our eighth graders will take their preparation from the Lower and Middle School to the Upper School, and right behind the Class of 2018, our seventh grade Class of 2019 prepares to assume the student leadership of Middle School.

As part of our preparations for the 2014-15 school year, I sent scheduling forms and course descriptions to our rising seventh and eighth grade families this week. Should you need the links again, they are included below for your convenience. Please be sure to note that your child must use her or his Parker email username and password to sign into the form.

Scheduling Form: Seventh Grade Scheduling Form 2014-15
Course Descriptions: Seventh Grade Course Descriptions 2014-15

Scheduling Form: Eighth Grade Scheduling Form 2014-15
Course Descriptions: Eighth Grade Course Descriptions 2014-15

This week Assistant Head of Middle School, Christi Cole, and I will travel to the Lower School to meet our rising sixth grade parents as we prepare for the Class of 2021 to join the Middle School. One of the items we will discuss with our rising sixth grade families is the newly aligned Upper and Middle School schedule. As I wrote in previous Newsletters, after a year of work and building on the work completed on the Middle School daily schedule last year, our Schedule Committee, led by the Assistant Head of Upper School, Marc Thiebach, presented three model schedules to our Upper and Middle School faculty. Following additional faculty, student, and parent input, a few modifications were made and we believe that schedule available through the following link is the final version for the 2014-15 school year. Thank you for your support as we complete the move from concept to design and now implementation: 2014 - 15 Upper and Middle School Schedule.

Thank you for checking out all we do here “in the Middle,” below please find some important notes for the week.


  • 6/3 - 5:30 p.m to 6:30 p.m. - Discovery Week 2015 Meeting for 7th Grade - parents only please
  • 6/3 - 6:30 p.m. Lancer Orchestra Concert
  • 6/5 and 6/6 - Sixth Grade Student Led Conferences
  • 6/6 -  5:00 to 7:00 p.m. MS Movie Night...The Princess Bride
  • 6/11 - Last Day of School for Grade 6 & 7 - Dismissal at 12:00 noon.
  • 6/12 - 8th Grade Promotion
    • 8th Grade Students arrive at 8:45 and report to advisory.
    • Promotion ceremony begins at 10:00 a.m.

Drama Club Announcement...

The Drama Club is pleased to announce it's 2014 -2015 season:

The Diary of Anne Frank

We hope to see you at the performances!

Drama Club Awards Banquet...

The following students where elected as officers:
Jack Morrill………………………………………………………….President
Avalon Smith………………………………………………..Vice President
Izzie Haberman…………………………………………………..Secretary
Noah Schneider……………………………………………………Treasurer
Vaughn Melbourn……………Senior Officer/Web Designer
Cate Hasler……………………………………………………………..Publicity

The following students were inducted into the Junior Thespian Society:
Nicole Britton
Oliva Carey
Daniel Chidlaw
Haley Gale
Izzie Haberman  
Jula Harrington
Cate Hasler
Anne McGrath
Madeleine McGrath
Vaughn Melbourn
Aadi Miglani
Jack Morrill
Avalon Smith
Antonia Villafranca

Four awards were given:

Most Improved in "You're A Good Man, Charlie Brown" Antonia Villafranca
Most Improved in "Annie" Madeleine McGrath
The Clubber Award to Jula Harrington
The Inspiration Award to Jack Morrill

8th Grade End of Year INformation...

The end of the year is always full, especially for our eighth graders. Below please find the link to the eighth grade end of year schedule previously sent by eNotify.

Eighth Grade End of Year Schedule


Permission slips for the 8th Grade End of the Year Trip to Disneyland were due Friday, May 23. If you have not already completed the form and turned it you may find another copy here: 2014 8th Grade Disney Permission Form


Eighth Grade families, please make sure we have your student’s name just how you would like it printed and pronounced on promotion. Forms were sent home this week with your eighth grader, and are available through the following link, just in case: Promotion Form Class of 2018


Has your child grown significantly this year? Is that Land's End skort not quite making finger tip length? Are those pants not keeping up with your son's three inch growth spurt. Well, our Parent's Association can help you and another Parker family through your donation of gently used Land's End uniform clothing.

Beginning June 1, our Parent's Association will begin collecting used Land's End uniforms that are still in good shape and suitable to resell. 


The MBS book buyback will take place June 5, 6, 9, 10, 11 from 7:30-12:30 in the US ASB Room (located downstairs at the south end of the Peters Family Building). Please be sure to bring a printed quote from your MBS account in order to return the books. 12th graders may sell back books May 27-30 through US Office between 2:30-3:30. Please contact Mr. Thiebach with questions.


Pertussis (whooping cough): The county Health and Human Services Agency announced this week that the number of pertussis cases reported in San Diego County this year has surpassed the total for all of last year. This year there have been 454 confirmed cases of pertussis surpassing the total of 431 in 2013. Many of these cases affect school age children.

 A typical case of pertussis starts with a cough and runny nose for one to two weeks, followed by weeks to months of rapid coughing fits that sometimes end with a whooping sound. Fever, if present, is usually mild.

To prevent pertussis, vaccination is available and required for school entry. Please note that children generally receive a DPT (diphtheria-pertussis-tetanus) vaccine at the ages of 2 months, 4 months, 6 months, 15 to 18 months and 4 to 6 years as well as a mandatory Tdap booster going into the 7th grade. If you have a student going into JK, SK or 7th grade, please make sure your child is current on all mandated immunizations. 

Please go to: www.eziz.org/assets/docs/IMM-231 for the current immunization schedule for children in California. Additionally, if your student does receive or has received updated immunizations, please send a copy of that immunization record to the school nurse as soon as possible. If you have any questions about pertussis or the mandated school immunizations, please call 619-717-0235 or email at mwest@francisparker.org

Posted by dlang in 06. June on Sunday June 1 at 06:11AM
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Dan Lang was appointed Head of Middle School on July 1, 2012. Prior to this appointment, Dan served as Middle School Dean of students. Dan joined the Francis Parker Middle School in 2006 as a 7th and 8th grade English teacher. Read more...

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4201 Randolph St.
San Diego, CA 92103
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