Upper School Global Education
Each year, Francis Parker School students are able to participate in unique, educational travel opportunities to a wide variety of domestic and international locales. Parker is committed to establishing longlasting, sustainable relationships with communities throughout the globe so that our students can truly become citizens of the world and ambassadors of Francis Parker School. These trips are currently divided into two frameworks: the Global Studies Program and Interim Week Trips. The trips are open to all Upper School students unless designated otherwise.
The Global Studies Framework
The Upper School Global Studies Program runs in conjunction with the Interim Week and February Break and is designed to provide students with opportunities to visit distant countries and to experience other cultures and societies in a unique way that moves beyond conventional sightseeing vacations and travel tours. Each trip is designed to engage students in authentic, experiential learning that expands beyond the classroom and connects our students with other students and people from around the world. The Upper School Global Studies Program is designed to build off of the Middle School Discovery Week with destinations and itineraries more appropriate to the high school level. Each trip centers around a distinct theme and purpose, but all trips incorporate some of the following core elements of a strong global educational experience:
- Language immersion
- Academic Field Study (Historical, Ecological, Cultural)
- Cultural exchange, home-stays, school visits, partnerships
- Service learning
- Group adventure travel
See the complete 2014-2015 program framework document here
Important Global Studies and Interim Trip Information
Safety, Health and Student Conduct
Like all international travel experiences, the Upper School Global Studies trips involve some degree of risk associated with travel, health, personal safety and other issues particular to certain regions. As such, Parker has given careful attention to the potential risks involved with our trips and conducts them in ways that model similar international programs at other independent schools nationwide. All trips are coordinated with on-site contacts that oversee in-country transportation and living arrangements. The group sizes are meant to be small and manageable with, on average, between 10-15 students participating on each trip. Each trip has between two and three Parker Faculty and/or staff as chaperones. Chaperones will inform parents and students of any trip-specific health or safety precautions as part of their pre-trip preparations. Francis Parker provides its chaperones with ACE Emergency Medical and Travel Assistance Services. Parents must let chaperones know of any special health, dietary, or other personal concerns for their child before the departure date.
All students participating in the Global Studies program are expected to conduct themselves in a manner consistent with the school’s general code of conduct as described in the Global Studies Manual here.
Students are also expected to participate in all facets of each trip including pre-trip planning meetings and post trip reflection meetings. They are expected to conduct themselves in a responsible way that respectfully represents Francis Parker School. As with the Interim Program, students will receive a grade of Credit or No Credit for their participation in any and all parts of the trips.
Costs, Financial Assistance, and Fundraising
The Global Studies and Interim Week trips are optional for Upper School students. Global Studies trips generally cost between $3000 and $4500. Interim Week trips generally cost between $2000 and $3000. Students are encouraged to work to and raise money to offset their costs and should think about using their summer vacation to do so. Francis Parker is committed to making these experiences available to all upper school students. As such, families who receive tuition assistance from Parker are provided financial assistance equivelant to the percentage of assistance that they receive for tuition. Families who do not receive tuition assistance may apply for financial support with the school.
Parker will assist with trip expenses for one Global Studies or Interim Week during the student’s tenure in the Upper School.
Trip Insurance, Travel Visas and Immunizations
Parents and students are highly encouraged to visit the CDC website to stay abreast of any immunization requirements or recommendations related to each trip.
Parents are welcome to purchase additional trip insurance if they so desire. Parents can coordinate with trip chaperones about the possibility of using frequent flier miles to pay for the flight portion of their child’s travel (where available).
Some of the trips require that students purchase travel visas and/or receive immunizations prior to departure. It is imperative that parents and students prepare for their travel by taking care of all passport, visa and immunization requirements well before their departure date. Failure to do so may result in the student not being allowed on the trip and may result in a forfeiture of any trip costs incurred.
Sports and Other Parker Commitments
The Global Studies Program is an integral part of Parker’s commitment to Global Education. We are acutely aware of the impact that these trips have on co-curricular and extra-curricular activities. Winter Sports coaches are expected to accommodate students who wish to participate in the Global Studies trips, but the decision to do so is ultimately a personal one for each family. Winter athletes, actors, dancers and other students with long-term extra-curricular or co-curricular commitments should communicate their intentions with appropriate teachers and coaches well in advance of their departing on any of the trips.
For additional information, contact the Director of the Global Studies Program: Tom Crowley at firstname.lastname@example.org or (858) 569-7900 x4189