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Middle School at Parker

Grades 5 - 8

At Parker, our Middle School curriculum is built on a foundation of rigorous and relevant academics that allows our students to tap into their interests, discover and explore their passions, and motivates them to be active and engaged citizens in the world.

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Middle school inspires future leaders by challenging them to inquire, to think, to reason, and to act. Creative problem-solving, respect for each individual, and collaborative efforts are hallmarks of our middle school culture. Our talented and supportive faculty understands and responds to the unique needs of adolescents, fostering in each student a sense of confidence, ethics, responsibility, and respect for themselves and others.

Curriculum

Academics: Integrated and Project-Oriented

Students take a core curriculum in language arts, social studies, science, and math. Their academic experience is enriched with weekly specials in art, music, PE, health, SEL & Wellness, and current events. Teachers emphasize a personal approach with the intent that students will clearly see the relationship between their own lives and the topics and themes they are exploring.

Students work both collaboratively and individually to problem-solve and create as they produce presentations and projects that explore questions and display understanding. Students are challenged with assignments that have relevance and application beyond classroom walls.

A Day At Parker

Classroom Open: 8:15 AM

Lessons Begin: 8:30 AM

School Dismissed: 3:45 PM

Extended Day: 7:30-8:15AM Before Care
                           3:45-5:45PM After Care

Because we believe that outside time is important for development at all ages, middle school students have two outside recesses a day, in addition to a short morning snack time.

Leadership

Research supports that K-8 schools specifically are uniquely positioned to help students in middle grades to thrive. Instead of being the youngest students in the building at such a formative developmental stage, our middle schoolers get to be big fish in our Parker pond:) As the oldest kids on campus, Parker students feel connected to their community and safer in their learning environment. They can be leaders and role models for younger children, and they feel more confident taking on intellectual challenges.

Our middle school curriculum is built around tapping into students' interests and helping them discover and explore their passions in ways that are purposeful and meaningful. Middle school inspires future leaders by challenging them to inquire, to think, to reason, and to act. Creative problem-solving, respect for each individual, and collaborative learning are hallmarks of our middle school culture. Our talented and supportive faculty understands and responds to the unique needs of adolescents, fostering in each student a sense of confidence, ethics, responsibility, and respect for themselves and others.

We purposely provide leadership opportunities for our oldest students because having positive experiences of leadership during early adolescence increases confidence when starting high school. Every Parker middle schooler is paired with a buddy in our lower school. This buddy program provides opportunities for our oldest students to practice leadership in both academics and character throughout the year. In their 8th grade year, Parker students host bi-monthly whole school assemblies, stage and perform their own musical, lead fundraising efforts for their class trip, prepare special presentations throughout the school year, and practice social activism when presenting their theses. Eighth graders take an annual curricular-related trip to Boston for three days. This is a culminating experience that reinforces academic, emotional and cultural elements of middle school. The eighth grade is beloved by the younger students. Graduation from eighth grade is a whole community event, and every eighth grader makes remarks during the ceremony.

Younger girl and older girl stand smiling in the woods.
Younger boy holding rock is smiling at older boy wearing hat who is seated next to him. Both are outdoors in the woods.
Older girl and younger girl stand smiling in the woods

In their own words...middle school testimonials:

"I am an 8th grader at Robert C. Parker School, I have been going here since 5th grade and my experience has only gotten better. The friendly relationships between the students and teachers is one you can't get at a public school. The classes are small enough that you form amazing friendships with all your classmates. This school has not only given me a excellent education but it has also given me an unforgettable childhood. Even though I am going to high school next year I don't doubt that I will keep the friends I have made."

"I'm an 8th grader at Robert C. Parker School and I truly love it. At Parker, students are heard and teachers are open to new ideas from students. For example, my classmates and I were in music class learning how to play the guitar and we thought of how cool it would be to start a band. The teacher was so supportive and helped start it. Each of my classmates plays a different instrument in the band and we have learned so many songs. We also have a lot of fun. I also love the small classes because everyone gets really close. The teachers also make learning fun and we start to develop a good relationship with them. I'm 100% sure that I will stay in contact with all the friends I made and all the great teachers I have met in the past 3 years."

"I am an 8th grader at this school. I switched to this school after having to deal with an awful experience at an old public school and I must say this school is absolutely fantastic. Every project is great and every teacher takes time out of their day to help students with problems that they are having."
"Parker School is a great school and all the kids and teachers are really nice. I came to Parker in 6th grade and now I am in 8th grade. At Parker we get to know the teachers well because it is a small school; we have a big field and have a lot of woods to explore and have fun in. We get to do a lot of projects in all of the subjects throughout the year."
"I'm an 8th grader at Robert C. Parker School, and Parker is in my opinion the best school ever. You get to go outside, hang out with friends. Speaking of which, friends are easy to make; they are nice, kind, and respectful. In Parker we do a lot of projects and they are all so fun, everyone works in the same project or it could be an individual project where the student works alone. However, the projects are so fun that it feels like you're working with the whole class and you won't get bored. If the student feels uncomfortable they can speak out about it and everyone will stop and try to help the student. It is just a great school to attend, I really recommend it for every student from pre-k to 8th grade."

Preparing for High School

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Our graduates tell us how well prepared they were for high school. They relate that Parker influenced them by encouraging them to love learning, feel confident about asking for help from adults, and think beyond grades about their high school experience.

About half of each graduating class attends a local public school after Parker, and half attend private schools. Parker graduates are sought after by independent schools. The most frequently attended private schools for Parker graduates are: Albany Academies, Darrow, Doane Stuart, Emma Willard, LaSalle, and Holy Names.

See the portrait of a Parker Graduate →