Cookies Return!

Administration announces that beloved tradition is back


Rocket makers stand proudly at the last in-person Cookies during the 2018-19 school year.

After a more than four-year break, a beloved Parker tradition is making a comeback. On Monday, March 20th at 6:49pm Upper School Coordinator and Curriculum Committee Faculty Advisor Rolanda Shepard emailed Upper School students about the status of Cookies.“It’s with great pleasure that we announce the return of Cookies,” she said. 

According to Curriculum Committee Head Benjamin Rachel, the last time Cookies happened was during the 2018-19 school year. Cookies was supposed to occur during the 2019-20 school year however it was halted due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Public Health restrictions once again stopped this event from occurring during the 2020-21 school year.

Cookies is a Parker tradition for the Upper School named after Flora J. Cooke, Principal of Parker School for its first thirty years. According to Curriculum Committee, she believed that “passionate teachers engage students in a personal and shared experience of learning that stimulates the growth and development of their imaginations, knowledge, skills, and actions. In the spirit of such active and varied learning, Parker students proposed a program that would briefly take teachers and students out of their regular classes for a few days in the spring term in order to explore topics of mutual interest. The faculty embraced that student initiative, and Cookies Courses were officially instituted in the spring of 2000.”

During the 2021-22 school year, pandemic-era restrictions did not halt the event. Despite the best efforts of the Curriculum Heads at the time, the administration determined that it wasn’t feasible for the event to happen. According to a message from former Head of Upper School Christopher Arnold sent on April 7, 2022, “Despite the great efforts made by the Curriculum Committee to gather a sufficient number of Cookies proposals, we do not have enough viable proposals to have Cookies this May. The regular class schedule will be followed.” 

“I’m happy that Cookies is happening,” former Head of Curriculum Committee Max Keller said. “After trying to run it last year and sensing a complete lack of enthusiasm from the student body, I didn’t think that it would ever happen again.”

“We as a committee are very excited and relieved that Cookies is happening,” Rachel said. “Of course, we are very ecstatic because this is the first time cookies has been approved in four years. We are relieved because we put in a lot of work, spent a lot of time in meetings with the faculty and the administration, and we used a lot of student government time to ensure that Cookies would happen this year.” 

Junior Massimo Franco is a member of the Curriculum Committee and is also happy that the event will happen this year. “During middle school, I always heard high school students talking about Cookies and feeling excited,” he said. “Ever since then, I’ve been looking forward to participating in this tradition, and I can’t wait to experience Cookies for the first time this year.”