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Upper School Blog

News for the Week of February 8...

Dear Upper School Parents,

While reading this note many of you are enjoying the fact that your children are embarking on grand adventures around the world. As noted in last week's blog this is the week that approximately 100 students are on trips to the following countries: Cambodia, Colombia, India, South Africa, The Philippines, Cuba and Prague. These trips are designed so that students are able " to participate in unique, educational travel opportunities to a wide variety of domestic and international locales. Parker is committed to establishing long lasting, sustainable relationships with communities throughout the globe so that our students can truly become citizens of the world and ambassadors of Francis Parker School." No doubt they and the students who are participating in our numerous Interim classes will have a remarkable week. 

Also, in the case anyone would like to read other Parker Global Studies Program blogs, here is the link to the page: http://www.francisparker.org/page.cfm?p=1990.

Here's wishing you all a wonderful couple of weeks...

Warm regards,

Paul Barsky 


Things to Celebrate

We received a note from the Secretary and Director of the Student Board for San Diego Theatre Educator's Alliance to inform us that:

Francis Parker Theatre students represented Francis Paker Upper School in a successful and positive manner at Dramafest. Every year, SDTEA hosts Dramafest.  Dramafest is a competition of high school scenes and monologues from all over San Diego County at Grossmont College. Francis Paker Theatre students were not only upstanding, friendly students, they won 2nd Place and 3rd Place in Monologues!  A hard feat to attain.  

Attached are some pictures.  Again, your students are one of a kind and prove Francis Paker Upper School is a great school.  


Three of the kids (Bryce Kelety, Kaelyn Kappes, and Jack Morrill) made it to the monologue finals. Kaelyn Kappes got second place and Jack Morrill got third place. 

Math on the Quad

When walking past the Quad I stumbled upon this delightful math class taught by Mr. Gass. 

 

Some Key Upcoming Dates

Please make sure that you check the Dynacal Calendar to get the most complete and up to date information.

Feb. 6-20 Global Trips

Feb. 8-12 9:00AM-3:00PM Interim Courses FP
Feb. 15-19 February Break
Feb. 22 7:00AM-2:00PM Faculty Appreciation Breakfast US Off
Feb. 24 8:15AM-12:15PM Grandparents’ Day FP

Feb. 26 TBD Dance Performance JCH

Feb. 27 San Diego History Day at San Diego County Office of Education 

Mar. 2 6:30-8:00PM Arts in the College Process JCH
Mar. 4 8:30-10:00AM 9th Grade Coll. Coun. Coffee LFC
Mar. 11 End of Trimester 2

Posted by us-newsletter on Thursday February 4
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News for the Week of February 1...

Dear Upper School Parents,

We are certainly busy these past few days as we get ready to embark on our Global Trips. As you know, the Global Trip program is a key component of the Parker student life experience, and we are thrilled that it has continued to grow in enriching ways. We have approximately one hundred students plus chaperones preparing to leave next weekend. I am excited to join Ms. Melanie Taylor and Mr. Eric Taylor and nineteen students on Parker's first trip to Cuba. All of the trips have had numerous planning meetings, and the chaperones have had training sessions to ensure that the trips go as smoothly as possible. Indeed, it has all been very exciting. I encourage you to check out the updated blogs from our student travelers, and these are posted on the website. As a caveat, sometimes because of the lack of cell phone and internet coverage these updates are not as regular as others. Rest assured the old adage that "no news is good news" is a good one to remember. 

Warm regards,

Paul 

Extended Absence

A friendly reminder from our Upper School Handbook reads:

Students are strongly discouraged from taking family trips during the school year.  The academic calendar provides ample time for vacation and college visits.  In the event a trip may be educationally related, or due to a family crisis, student and parent must petition the Assistant Head of the Upper School for an excused absence.  The petition should be made at least two weeks in advance of the scheduled departure and should include clearly stated plans for academic expectations and recovery (tests, quizzes, projects, homework, etc.) from every teacher, along with the teacher’s signature.  If the petition is approved, two weeks should allow faculty time to prepare independent study assignments. Independent study and make-up of classroom work rarely provide an equivalent educational experience. The expectation is that all academic requirements are accomplished proactively. Therefore, discretion should be used when considering a petition for an excused absence.  This petition process is also required if a student needs to alter any portion of the final exam week schedule.  Petition forms are available through the upper school office.

Thank you for your support and adherence to our policy. 

Sophomore Night-Thinking Ahead

Hello Class of 2018 Parents and Students,
This is just a friendly reminder that Sophomore Night is Thursday, February 4 from 6:30-7:30pm in Crivello Hall. It is that time of year when sophomores are meeting with their Class Dean, Nancy Anderson, to discuss course selections for junior year. Sophomore Night is highly required; it consists of an overview of what to expect and to think about as the current sophomores move forward. Agenda items include: Naviance access,Testing (PSAT and/or Plan {Pre ACT), Curriculum, Extra Curriculars, and leadership opportunities. There will also be a panel of juniors and seniors to speak to any questions about the 10th-11th grade transition. 

Please double check your calendars, and make sure you have February 4 marked Sophomore Night. See you there! 

 

Zero Robotics Update from Michael Maunu

Our Zero Robotics team (also named Team 2485) placed fifth in the nation (twelfth in the world) during the first phase of the competition (the 2-dimensional phase). At the end of the second phase, we were selected to be on an alliance by the teams BACON from Charlottesville, VA and Zanneio Stardust from Piraeus, Greece. In the Alliance phase of the competition, our alliance came in 4th place overall out of 27 alliances worldwide. This allowed us to move on to the Finals. The Finals are played on mini satellites that move around inside of the International Space Station (ISS); the game is refereed by the astronauts on the ISS. Only the top 9 alliances consisting of 27 teams, 3 per alliance in the world will have their code uploaded for this event.

Our school's team consists of the students in my Advanced Robotics Programming class but Nicholas Contreras (class of 2018) led the charge and wrote a majority of the team's code.

List of students that contributed:
Aghassi, Ashkon ('18)
Appel, Troy ('18)
Austin, Ryan ('18)
Bullard, Peter ('17)
Clark, Ben ('17)
Contreras, Nicolas ('18)
Dorsey, Ben ('18)
Keeney, Nicole ('16)
Kramer, Alex ('16)
Lezny, Andrew ('18)
McCulloch, Jeremy ('18)
Nawrocki, AJ ('18)
Rhodes, Kiran ('18)
Schneider, Sunshine ('18)

Middle School and Upper School Grandparents and Special Friends Day
Wednesday, February 24, 2016
7:15 am - 11:30 am (Upper School)
7:15 am - 12:30 pm (Middle School)
Grandparents and Special Friends must rsvp to: Amanda Kalal at akalal@francisparker.org

Some Key Upcoming Dates

Please make sure that you check the Dynacal Calendar to get the most complete and up to date information.

Feb. 3 6:00 PM Lancer Orchestra

Feb. 4 6:30-7:30PM 10th Grade Thinking Ahead JCH

Feb. 6-20 Global Trips
Feb. 8-12 9:00AM-3:00PM Interim Courses FP
Feb. 15-19 February Break
Feb. 22 7:00AM-2:00PM Faculty Appreciation Breakfast US Off
Feb. 24 8:15AM-12:15PM Grandparents’ Day FP

Feb. 26 TBD Dance Performance JCH

Feb. 27 San Diego History Day at San Diego County Office of Education 

Mar. 2 6:30-8:00PM Arts in the College Process JCH
Mar. 4 8:30-10:00AM 9th Grade Coll. Coun. Coffee LFC
Mar. 11 End of Trimester 2


Posted by us-newsletter on Monday January 25
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News for the Week of January 25...

Dear Upper School Parents,

Over the months the Admissions team has worked tirelessly to ensure that we are bringing the best candidates onto campus. I can tell you that they have done a remarkable job. We have another year of a tremendous amount of applications. Currently, we are in the midst of Visitors Days which is a time for potential students to attend classes with a current student and simply experience the life of the school. It is indeed exciting to see so many visitors coming onto campus and many thanks to those of you who recommended that their friends and neighbors come onto campus to learn more about this special community. 

Mid-trimester grades are posted which means a couple of things. First, the academic year is half way over...wow! This year is just whizzing by. Second, these marks are not grades of record but are a capture of a moment in time. These marks are designed as an "academic check in" for the students, and we encourage them to take this information and reflect on what is working and where they can continue to improve. If a student has a question about their performance, here is a wonderful opportunity for them to have a chat or a longer discussion with their teacher. This self advocacy is imperative for student growth and reflection. 

Wishing you a great week,

Paul 

 

Things to Celebrate!

Meghana Reddy, NBC Inspirational Student of the Month

Please check out the below link to see Meghana Reddy, NBC Inspirational Student of the Month, and Rose Hanscom, our very own teaching inspiration.

http://www.nbcsandiego.com/on-air/community/Inspirational-Student-of-the-Month.html

Snigdha Nandipati won the Brain Bee yesterday and a trip to nationals in Maryland in March.  She missed no questions in the final double-elimination round.

 Lecture on Climate Change

The Harvard Club of San Diego is organizing a talk on Monday, February 8, by Professor David Victor of UCSD. Professor Victor is a political scientist specializing in climate change and energy policy.  He is a lead author on the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which synthesizes all the academic research that informs international climate negotiations.  He is also a prolific and provocative writer for both academic and general audiences and is frequently quoted in the popular press.  In his talk, he will be sharing his perspectives on the recent Paris climate negotiations and their implications for geopolitics, economics, and the environment.

This talk might be of interest to some Parker students, teachers, and parents. Admission is free for students and HCSD members, who can register at http://www.harvardclubofsandiego.com/article.html?aid=399.  Tickets for the public ($10 + processing fee) are available at afterparis.brownpapertickets.com.  Proceeds of ticket sales cover refreshments.

Sophomore Night-Thinking Ahead

Hello Class of 2018 Parents and Students,
This is just a friendly reminder that Sophomore Night is Thursday, February 4 from 6:30-7:30pm in Crivello Hall. It is that time of year when sophomores are meeting with their Class Dean, Nancy Anderson, to discuss course selections for junior year. Sophomore Night is highly required; it consists of an overview of what to expect and to think about as the current sophomores move forward. Agenda items include: Naviance access,Testing (PSAT and/or Plan {Pre ACT), Curriculum, Extra Curriculars, and leadership opportunities. There will also be a panel of juniors and seniors to speak to any questions about the 10th-11th grade transition. 

Please double check your calendars, and make sure you have February 4 marked Sophomore Night. See you there! 

Middle School and Upper School Grandparents and Special Friends Day
Wednesday, February 24, 2016
7:15 am - 11:30 am (Upper School)
7:15 am - 12:30 pm (Middle School)
Grandparents and Special Friends must rsvp to: Amanda Kalal at akalal@francisparker.org

How do students know if my Grandparent is attending the Day?
We ask that each student speaks with their family member(s) about Grandparents Day. This way, they can plan out the morning and schedule with them.

What time do students arrive if they have a Grandparent/Special Friend on campus that morning?
We encourage Middle and Upper School students who have Grandparents/Friends coming to the Linda Vista Campus to come early to School on Wednesday, February 24 to have breakfast with your Grandparent/Friend. Breakfast is from 7:45 am - 8:45 am in the Middle School Gym and is free for our guests. We open at 7:15 am for those who arrive early.

What if a student doesn't want to go to the breakfast and their Grandparent does?
We ask that every student who has a guest attending meets their grandparent by 8:45 am (AT THE LATEST) in the Middle School gym. All students are asked to escort their guest(s) throughout the morning. Alternatively, if both do not want to attend the breakfast, was ask that they arrive on time together for the first class.

What if a student doesn't have a Grandparent or Special Friend coming on Feb. 24?
If a student doesn't have a Grandparent or Special Friend coming to campus on the Day, that is fine. They most likely will arrive at the same time they always do for late start Wednesdays. The breakfast is set up for Grandparents or Special Friends and their students to have a meal together.

The Parker Cafe staff will keep the paid breakfast side open for students/fac/staff who want a breakfast option.

Is there a formal registration for Grandparents or Special Friends when they arrive to campus?
Although there is no formal check-in for guests when they arrive at the Middle School Gym, we will have name tags printed for all attendees that can be picked up during breakfast. Kindly RSVP to Amanda Kalal at akalal@francisparker.org. We have increased security guards on campus for the day. All guests should go directly to the Middle School Gym to meet their students (or with their students) when they arrive on campus. Volunteers will be stationed throughout campus and in the Gym/Café to assist guests.

What Classes to Grandparents attend? 
Grandparents are invited to join students for classes during the F, G, H and A (Middle-School Only) blocks on the Wednesday schedule. Upper School grandparents depart at 11:30 am and Middle School Grandparents depart at 12:30 pm. Lunch is for students ONLY. Each student has a unique schedule. We ask students and Grandparents/Friends to speak about their schedule ahead of time to determine what classes should be visited during the morning.

What if a student has a free period?
We suggest he or she take the Grandparents/Friends on a campus tour, visit the James Alan Rose Art Gallery or drop off/pick up at the Grandparents/Friends Lounge during that period where there is "Coffee Talk" with Kevin Yaley. The Coffee Talk is an informal conversation with the Head of School designed to engage Grandparents/Special Friends who do not wish to attend a class period and seek information about the School. The student is expected to "drop-off" and "pick-up" their Grandparent if they bring them to the Lounge. The Grandparent and Special Friends Lounge will be in Lawrence Middle School Commons from 8:55 am to 11:35 am.

What if a Grandparent has students in both the Middle and Upper School?
We ask them to review the students' schedules before the Day and plan out which classes they are to attend. Guests can go between the divisions throughout the morning, attending the classes they wish.

Do Faculty members change their lesson plan for Classes in the morning?
It's up to them. We know that Grandparents are interested in knowing what happens in the classroom, so keeping it authentic is key. Many of them are supporting their grandchild's education and want to get a sense of what their student is learning. We encourage faculty to include them in the classroom activity/conversation, though there doesn't have to be a special lesson taught because they are on Campus.

How will Grandparents/Friends be expected to move about the Linda Vista Campus?
By foot. We have strongly recommended our guests wear comfortable walking shoes. We will rent a special cart and have a 3-person cart to help the few who might need help getting around campus. If you have a Grandparent/Friend "stuck" in your classroom, please call Monica and she will radio Mike Cain or security. We will make sure they get a ride to the next class. Students might need to leave a little early to get grandparents to their next class.

Where do Grandparents/Friends park?
We have reserved parking on the West Parking Lot on the USD campus and shuttles to bring guests back and forth from 7:15 am - 8 am and then from 11:30 am-12:45 pm. We do encourage parents to drop Grandparents/Friends off with students on campus and to pick them up by 12:30 pm at the latest if their schedule allows. There will be no shuttle service between 8-11:30 am, so if a Grandparent wants to come for breakfast and leave afterwards, they have to plan their own transportation back to USD. The invitation shows the parking at USD and the shuttle route.

When do Grandparents/Friends leave?
Our guests day ends when their student(s) go to lunch. Lunch is for students only.

Are parents welcome to attend?
This day is for Grandparents or Special Friends only.

Who was invited?
The School invited all current Middle and Upper School grandparents with mailable addresses. We might not have an address for a grandparent and hence, they will not receive an invitation. We ask that you inform your family member in case they wish to attend; they are asked to rsvp to Amanda Kalal at akalal@francisparker.org. We do not mail to special friends as we do not keep that information in our system. We do, however, welcome special friends when a grandparent(s) cannot attend.

 

Some Key Upcoming Dates

Please make sure that you check the Dynacal Calendar to get the most complete and up to date information.

Jan. 27 7:30AM-3:30PM Blood Drive NCB
Jan. 28 6:30-8:00PM College Athletics Night JCH
Feb. 4 6:30-7:30PM 10th Grade Thinking Ahead JCH
Feb. 6-20 Global Trips
Feb. 8-12 9:00AM-3:00PM Interim Courses FP
Feb. 15-19 February Break
Feb. 22 7:00AM-2:00PM Faculty Appreciation Breakfast US Off
Feb. 24 8:15AM-12:15PM Grandparents’ Day FP
Feb. 26 TBD Dance Performance JCH
Mar. 2 6:30-8:00PM Arts in the College Process JCH
Mar. 4 8:30-10:00AM 9th Grade Coll. Coun. Coffee LFC
Mar. 11 End of Trimester 2

Posted by us-newsletter on Sunday January 24
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Mr. Barsky joined the Parker community in 2010 after 18 years in New York City working at a variety of independent schools and several international programs. He is drawn to schools in which the mission is clear and the goal is for students ... Read more.


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