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Curricular Events and Activities

Every year each grade is involved in a grand and thrilling activity that helps students pull together the skills and knowledge they acquired throughout their academic year.

From the sixth grade Ikidarod, a simulation of the famous Iditarod dog-sled race from Anchorage to Nome, to the seventh grade Renaissance Faire to the eighth grade’s Coming to America reenactment of immigrants arriving at Ellis Island, students experience hands-on, learning-by-doing.

Learn more about the events here:

6th Grade Ikidarod

7th Grade Renaissance Faire

8th Grade Coming to America

8th Grade 8mazing Adventure

Learn about 8th Grade Discovery Week

8mazing Adventure

Eighth-graders played African drums and went on a photo expedition of Balboa Park in September 2014 as part of Parker's latest 8mazing Adventure.

The event — including all 100-plus eighth-graders the first week of school — originally was the 8mazing Race, named after the reality TV show. But the focus changed to learning from the experience instead of sprinting though it, says teacher Jeremy Howard.

On the first Friday of the fall term, some 30 parent volunteers joined all eighth-grade advisers on the field trip (Mr. Howard, Ms. Nelson, Mrs. Giek, Mr. Glover, Mrs. Keith, Mr. Vandegrift and Mr. Hulsey. Mrs. Bateman also helped.

Why an 8mazing Adventure?

Howard cites four purposes.

1)   Introduce the grade's global awareness theme to students.

2)   Engage in team building exercises to show the benefits of working in a group along with getting to know advisory classmates better.

3)  Stress the importance of critical thinking and provide practice in critical thinking.

4) And explore the wealth of Balboa Park.

Among other things, students visited either the World Beat Center to learn and take part in cultural activities (Afro-Cuban dance, African dance, African drums) that are part of the background or life of San Diegans who are from elsewhere.  

They had lunch and a team-building activity.

A museum knowledge quest introduced a variety of topics through exhibits in the museums that will ask the students to think globally and critically.

A photo expedition explored the park's architecture and visual art while at the same time challenging the students to work together. Groups later created a short video that reflects the learning and experience they encountered — with the best video of four advisories chosen for screening to the entire grade.

6th Grade Ikidarod

In a fun and academically challenging simulation of the famous Iditarod, a dog sled race from Anchorage to Nome, students work in teams to problem solve, plan, organize, and work cooperatively.

In the Ikidarod, the students are the mushers and the sled "dogs," pulling their sleds over sand. At each stop point along the race, students will have to solve problems ranging from math to social studies problems.  The race is run along Mission Beach, from Farac Foghorn to Tourmaline Surfing Park, a distance of 6,290 meters.

The kick-off starts with a parent BBQ and sled-dog demonstration. There are about eight teams with sleds and student "mushers" pulled by eight student "sled dogs." Teams design their gang lines and their sleds, which are modified multipurpose tubs. There will be “veterinarians”, safety checks, required rest stops and road hazards. Parents will run alongside each team ensuring their safety.

The concept was developed by Mrs. Brown, 6th grade mathematics teacher, after she participated in a "teacher on the trail" workshop at the Iditarod in Alaska. Schools in snowy climates have staged Ikidarods with students pulling students in sleds over snow. The Parker Ikidarod involves all academic areas and physical education.

7th Grade Renaissance Faire

Renaissance Faire Hear Ye, Hear Ye!

Every year, the Parker seventh grade plays host to an annual Renaissance Faire. This majestic affair, complete with students and teachers donning period costumes including nobility, peasants, clergy and court jesters is held in Spring.

The day begins with a village parade through campus that then settles onto "The Theater on the Green." Spanish students regale us with their presentation of Don Quixote. Four 30-minute "guilds" allow students to experience hands-on learning, including the "how-to's" of pomanders, pouches, beading, and historic games.

The Renaissance Museum features the student history projects developed in class. The traditional Maypole Dance graces the Green, while "The Art of Juggling" rounds out the day's festivities. Lunch is a hearty feast, followed by foolish fun. Enchantment is the order of the day for all Lords and Ladies.  

8th Grade Coming to America

Each year, 8th graders engage in an interdisciplinary geology project about how their families immigrated to the United States. The “Coming to America” project is a trimester-long endeavor that integrates the study of social themes, and research and writing skills in English and history.

Students research their family history through oral histories, documents, photos, and write essays illustrating historical vignettes and immigration. They also participate in a simulation of the immigration experience when the Middle School gym is transformed into Ellis Island station.

This remarkable project culminates in oral presentations of the students’ intriguing family stories, elaborate family trees, and a wide variety of family pictures and memorabilia, which are shared these with their classmates.

Linda Vista Campus
6501 Linda Vista Road
San Diego, CA 92111
858 / 569-7900

School Hours:
8 am – 3:05 pm (M-T-TH-F)
8:55 am – 3:05 pm (W)

Office Hours:
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Lower School
4201 Randolph Street
San Diego, CA 92103
619 / 298-9110
Linda Vista Campus
Middle/Upper School
6501 Linda Vista Road
San Diego, CA 92111
858 / 569-7900
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