At Parker, mutual respect underlies all interactions in play and work. The school offers a safe learning environment where students are encouraged to pursue intellectual risk-taking. Developmentally appropriate curricula, thoughtful challenges, and constructive feedback help each student succeed. Mixed-age classes offer opportunities for collaborative learning and peer support. Through partnerships between teachers, parents, and children, the school fosters an atmosphere of inquiry and learning at all ages.
Parker celebrates a learning process that is open-ended and challenging, using an inquiry-based, hands-on approach to learning. Teachers know students as individuals and leverage their strengths and interests. Teachers and students collaborate to develop research topics and projects that meet curricular needs and capture the interests of individuals and the class. In making active choices about learning, students and teachers create a democratic community that is responsive to individual learning styles and strengths.
At Parker, learning is viewed as an active process that continues throughout a lifetime. Knowledge is rooted in students’ experiences. We encourage independence of thought, emphasizing critical thinking and problem solving, while teaching basic skills and competencies.
The school respects the capacity of each student and recognizes that each student develops at his or her own pace. Performance assessment is an ongoing dialog between students, teachers, and families. Teachers help students set high standards for themselves and find intrinsic motivation. Teachers offer varied opportunities for students to demonstrate acquired knowledge, both individually and collaboratively. Parents and teachers share their thoughts about student work in formal and informal conferences and through narrative reports. Once a year students lead the conferences with their parents, fostering responsibility, self-assessment, and goal-setting.
Community service inside and outside the school helps students develop a social conscience and understand how to be active in creating change. The Parker community is composed of students, teachers, administrators, families and friends of the school who are all integral to the life we share together. We come together to celebrate life at the school during fairs, assemblies, social, and sporting events, learning about and from each other.