Dear Charles H. Parker Academic Center families,
Charles H. Parker Academic Center was founded in 1952. From 1992 to 2002, Parker operated as a full magnet school for learning immersion in kindergarten through second grade and talent development-certified children in grades three through five. The Horizons program for highly gifted children in kindergarten through grade five began at Parker in 1999. In 2000, Parker received the prestigious Blue Ribbon Schools Award from the U.S. Department of Education for exemplary academic achievement and parental involvement.
In 2002, Charles H. Parker Academic Center moved into a new $12 million building with 92,000 square feet. That same year, Parker became a partial magnet school, continuing its magnet program for students certified as talent development and the Horizons Program. Parker also added a home school program in kindergarten through grade five for students living in its general attendance area. Charles H. Parker Academic Center is a unique school that houses four different instructional programs. We are a Title I school, serving students from several communities across Charlotte.
We also have a partial magnet within our school. Within this magnet, there are two programs. Learning Immersion includes a pre-gifted curriculum that challenges students and prepares them for gifted certification. In addition, we have a Gifted Program for students in grades three through five, which has a full-day gifted curriculum. Finally, we offer the Horizons program to 2 percent of our student population. This program is a county-wide program for students identified as highly gifted.
Parker has approximately 70 staff members: a principal and assistant principal, 31 classroom teachers, five special-area teachers and five instructional assistants. Our support staff consists a counselor, two full-time EC teachers, an ESL teacher and three full-time facilitators. Our behavior modification technician supports student behavior and works closely with administration. We have a full -time nurse as well as a part-time mental health provider. Sixty-six percent of our staff members have advanced degrees and 93 percent are considered highly qualified. The majority of our teachers have more than seven years of classroom experience. Parker also has a full custodial and cafeteria staff, and two full-time secretaries. Parker has a small but very active PTA, which works closely with our school to provide teachers and students with additional resources and materials. They also help promote a school/community environment through programs such as Fall Festival, Pie Day, Science Night, and our Spring Family Event. This year, our PTA raised $17,000 and this money provides technology, resources, school field trips and other learning experiences for our students. Parker is designated a Title I school. Students at Parker have a variety of extracurricular activities to pursue such as chess, chorus, National Elementary Honor Society, Odyssey of the Mind and tennis.
Parker was the first elementary school in CMS to have a chapter of the National Elementary Honor Society. Our students are celebrated for scholarship as well as character through several events such as Bee Bunch Lunch, ICMM, and Character Breakfast.
I completed my undergraduate degree at Boston College and received a master’s degree in education with a specialty in gifted education from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte as well as a master’s degree in educational leadership from Winthrop University. I have been an educator for 26 years, all in CMS. I was a social studies teacher at Olympic High School for 10 years where I met my husband, Chris. My son, Daniel, was born in 2005. In 2006, I became the Director of Talent Development, Advanced Studies and AVID. I have had the honor of being principal of Parker for the past 12 years. Parker is my second family and I am very lucky to work with such an amazing school community.
Thank you for choosing CMS and Charles H. Parker Academic Center!
Stephanie Range, principal