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A Note from Principal Tony Byers: May 2016

Dear Families,

April showers bring May…well, more showers, I suppose. May has gotten off to a gloomy start, at least in terms of the weather. But while the skies are gray, things remain sunny inside Graham and Parks, even in the middle of PARCC testing. There’s no use pretending that the PARCC isn’t a controversial exam. Legitimate questions have been raised about the content, format, and politics of the test. And while I have no intention of getting into these questions in such a limited space, I will say that our teachers have done an excellent job of setting a low key tone throughout testing. When I encounter students on a break from testing, often strolling through the halls or taking a few laps around the courtyard, I’ll ask how the PARCC is going. And more often than not, I get a cheerful smile and thumbs up.

I’m not suggesting that our students enjoy the test; who amongst us enjoys standardized testing? But I do take their responses as a sign that our students are approaching the test with the right attitude. They’re confident in their abilities and working hard, but keeping the PARCC in perspective. At Graham and Parks, we appreciate and celebrate our students for the complex, multifaceted people they are. No test is going limit how we think about our students, or change how we encourage our students to think about themselves.

 Happy May and happy Mother’s Day!

 Best,

 Tony