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Each year, PAR asks our customers to select a charity to be the recipient of an annual donation on behalf of our customers. We are proud to announce the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) is the recipient of this year’s annual donation. 

NAMI is the nation’s largest grassroots mental health organization. It is dedicated to building better lives for the millions of Americans affected by mental illness. 

“We began our Pay It Forward campaign several years ago as a way to honor the important work our customers do. While we provide our customers with insights and information to assist clients and patients throughout the year, this allows us to support them in a different way,” said PAR CEO Kristin Greco. “As a company, we feel so fortunate to be able to pay it forward on behalf of our customers.” 

PAR will be donating $5,000 to support the important work NAMI is doing in communities throughout the country. 

“NAMI is dedicated to raising awareness and providing support and education on the topic of mental health. This is vitally important work and dovetails with the work we do at PAR,” said Greco. “We are grateful to be able to contribute toward that purpose during this year’s Pay It Forward initiative.” 

To learn more about NAMI, visit nami.org.

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PAR recently lost a cherished member of our staff, Marie Mitchell. Marie was an enormous part of PAR’s success during her 33-year tenure with the company. As our order entry coordinator, Marie worked with many customers and distributors, always with a deep desire to help and a kind and positive attitude. Her loss will be felt deeply. The following are some thoughts from our staff in remembrance of Marie. 

 

To lose someone who has been part of PAR for so long (an amazing 33 years) is like losing a family member. Marie was a constant—quiet, determined, strong, witty, incredibly thoughtful, caring are all words that come to mind. She was a wonderful and foundational part of our company and is greatly missed by so many. 

–Kristin Greco, Chief Executive Officer 

 

It is difficult for me to think of PAR without Marie’s presence. It feels like she was always here as part of the Customer Service team, and she was for much of PAR’s existence. When I changed offices and moved to the South Building, I saw Marie more frequently. She would be outside my office making copies or walking by to go out to the Distribution Center. Occasionally we would chat for a few moments and catch up a little. I always enjoyed her laugh. I have very fond memories of Marie and she is greatly missed at PAR. 

–Bob Smith, Executive Chairman and Founder 

 

In memory and appreciation of Marie, who worked tirelessly and efficiently processing orders for our customers. She took great pride in taking great care of our customers. We miss you, Marie! 

–Cathy Smith, Vice President of Community Relations Emeritus 

 

I have had the pleasure of knowing and working with Marie my entire career at PAR. She was always someone to look up to as she was a great source of knowledge about all things PAR. I asked her so many questions over the years and not once did she show any sign of impatience or frustration. That was Marie, just happy to help and do her part. Usually, she did way more than her part, in fact. She was hard-working and had a can-do attitude. She cared deeply about her family, both her real family and her PAR family. But my favorite thing about Marie was her stealthy sense of humor. She didn’t tell a lot of jokes, but when she landed one, it was always gold. And while she certainly took her job seriously, she loved to laugh. She was as sincere a person as I’ve ever met and I consider myself extremely fortunate to have had her as part of my life every day for the last 23 years. Although she will be missed so much by myself and the CS team, she will never be forgotten. Thank you for everything, Marie. 

–Daniel McFadden, Vice President of Customer Support 

 

Marie and I both arrived early each morning to the PAR office, so it was always fun to call out good morning to her each day. Marie had an unparalleled work ethic. She was so loyal and committed to PAR and to her work; it was inspiring. She and her husband Mitch had such a sweet and supportive marriage, and it was always nice to connect with him when he picked Marie up each day. She will be missed. 

–Karen Falconer, Vice President of Human Resources 

 

It's hard to imagine my days at PAR without Marie. Aside from being the only member of our Customer Support team that I have had the pleasure of working with for my entire tenure at PAR (more than 30 years), Marie was not only a trusted coworker and friend but also an inspiration to me. 

I've never met anyone more dedicated to PAR, our customers, and her teammates more than Marie. Always working our early shift, she was just always there for all of us and our customers. Even during the pandemic and through her health issues, she did everything she could do to be at work. She rarely took days off, and when she did, she is and was always missed because she handled so much—especially our distributors and lots and lots of orders—with speed and efficiency. 

Marie was always the picture of calm, patience, and while quiet, she had a wonderful quick wit and sincere honesty, especially when you least expected it. My treasured memories of Marie include saving cookies for her where possible and the smile on her face when she got them, laughing together when customer issues did not quite go as planned, her being completely honest with me when I really needed it and even sometimes when I didn't, and certainly the hard moments when we both needed each other's help to make customer service magic happen—Marie she would accept nothing less. Marie was truly a force and I feel so blessed to have known her. We will miss her very much. 

–Tamara Dwoskin, Customer Relationship Manager 

 

Marie always had a smile on her face and would brighten up the room whenever I would see her. 

–Katie Garside, InVista Account Executive 

 

Marie has been the foundation of our department the entire time she has worked here. Her bottomless knowledge of our processes and our customers was an inspiration to all of us. Her dry wit would come out of nowhere and make us all laugh at the perfect moments. She always had a smile for you, and you always felt that everything would be alright when Marie was around. We will miss her, but she will certainly live on in our department and in our hearts. 

–Teri Lyon, Senior Technical Support Specialist 

 

When I started at PAR 19 years ago, Marie and I literally shared desk space on one side. Her stacks of paper would fall over into my space on a constant basis and we would both laugh about it (she was famous for printing out everything). She was always happy to answer my questions, no matter how small or silly. She was a big help to me when I was in Customer Support and continued to help me after I moved into Administration. I always knew that I could count on her. She always came through. I am going to miss her immensely. 

–Vicki McFadden, Senior Permissions Specialist 

 

I was attending my first anniversary luncheon, and I sat next to Marie. I was proud of myself for accomplishing one year, and at that time, she was celebrating 25+ years at PAR. She shared all about what PAR was like when she started and how it had changed. She was a great example of loyalty and commitment. 

–Rachel Kennell, InVista Business Solutions Consultant 

 

I just wanted to share the love Marie had for cookies. She was like a child when it came to cookies and would have them for breakfast in a heartbeat. Every year she would take a week off around the holidays to bake cookies. 

I love to see the devotion Mitch had for her. He faithfully dropped and picked her up from work every day and prepared her lunch every day. 

Marie was that reliable motor in the department that worked so well you took her for granted. At the end of the month, she easily processed 2.5 to 3 times more faxed/emailed orders than anyone else in the department and you were just left asking yourself how she does it. One month she processed more than 900 faxed/emailed orders while the next person processed about 350! It was incredible. 

Fun fact… for years she had every PAR-released catalog at her desk. She absolutely loooovved working here (she was in office every day during COVID!). Marie really was a gem and we will miss her dearly. 

–Ketsia LeFranc, Product Support Supervisor

 

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For more than 20 years, PAR has taken part in a week-long campaign to raise funds for United Way Suncoast

Last week was our 2023 fundraising drive; PAR staff spent the week learning more about the impact United Way has on the Tampa Bay community while taking part in team challenges and interdepartmental games. We are thrilled that we had 100% staff participation and exceeded our fundraising goal—raising $120,969 in staff contributions to benefit those in need. 

In the Tampa area, United Way aims to break the cycle of generational poverty through initiatives targeted at education, literacy, financial education, disaster services, neighborhood programs, and strategic community partnerships. 

We were fortunate to have leaders of our local United Way as well as representatives from partner agencies visit our offices this week to share the impact our donations have had on our community. 

Want to learn more about how you can help United Way where you live? Visit unitedway.org

 

One of PAR’s core values is to give back to our community. Learn more about some of the ways we do that throughout the year.

 

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When staff members at PAR are developing a new test, several rounds of data are collected in order to be sure that the test is measuring what it has intended to measure and that it represents the appropriate populations accurately. Data collection occurs all across the U.S. to help us gather that information. Multiple stages of data collection are crucial to test development. Learn more about the different stages of data collection and what is entailed in each step. 

Pilot 

The pilot stage of data collection is when preliminary data is gathered on a proposed measure with a small sample. The goal of pilot data collection is often to make decisions about item selection, and to determine any aspects of the test that may need alteration prior to standardization. Data collectors provide valuable feedback to PAR staff during this stage regarding the administration of the test and ways it can be improved. 

Standardization 

Standardization involves gathering data using the proposed measure with a larger, representative sample to create norms used by clinicians to score and interpret results upon the test’s publication. PAR uses Census-based norming to ensure our samples are proportionally representative of the demographics of the United States. Each examinee is evaluated for age/grade, sex, race/ethnic group, and participant’s or parent’s educational attainment in addition to their responses to the assessment. PAR’s data collection staff monitor the data closely to ensure each geographic region of the United States is represented. The standardization stage of a project provides additional data collection opportunities to gather reliability data through interrater and test–retest cases, as well as validity data using concurrent measures. 

Clinical groups 

Specific clinical groups may be recruited to serve as clinical comparison samples in data collection.. These clinical cases may require additional documentation from the data collector. The clinical populations recruited vary depending on the construct the test intends to measure. 

Get involved! 

Interested in becoming a data collector for an upcoming project? Have access to a specific clinical group that needs more research? Learn more about how you can PARtner with PAR

Want to learn more about data collection and standardization? PAR staff members recently addressed this topic on The Testing Psychologist podcast. Tune in here.

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Ever wonder how PAR gets the information needed to standardize our tests? We rely on data collectors all across the U.S. to help us gather that information. Data collectors are crucial to test development because they help us find the clinical, standardization, and reliability samples needed to create our assessment products. If you have an interest in contributing to the field in a meaningful way, you might be just the person to help us create our next instrument! 

Who can be a data collector? 

Most of our data collectors are clinical psychologists, school psychologists, psychometrists, speech and language pathologists, and other clinicians. PAR follows the American Psychological Association’s (APA) Guidelines for Psychological Assessment and Evaluation, a system of qualification levels that guides decision-making about who can purchase, administer, and interpret tests (APA, 2020). Anyone administering assessments must be well trained in standardized administration protocols, ethics, and demonstrate competency in practice. For data collection, requirements differ by test. Most projects require a PAR qualification level of B or C. 

What is involved in data collection? 

Data collectors are responsible for finding participants and are compensated on a per-case basis that varies by project. PAR does not pay participants directly, although we can provide gift cards for your participants at your request, deducted from the total amount per case. For most projects, there is no minimum number of reservations required. However, we do set a maximum number of cases that can be accepted from any one examiner/site so that we can ensure geographic diversity in our samples. 

Data collectors submit required demographic information for the participants they intend to test. It is necessary for data collectors to provide accurate demographic information. PAR uses Census-based norming, and we must ensure all demographic groups are appropriately represented. The data collection team at PAR will make a reservation for each participant based on demographics provided. Once a reservation has been made, materials will be provided to data collectors to begin testing. 

Each project is slightly different, ranging from completing rating scales online to administering performance-based tests in person. The general process involves obtaining informed consent from the participant, administering the test, and submitting the data and materials to PAR. 

Do data collectors receive compensation? 

Yes, they do! We are incredibly grateful for our data collectors and try to demonstrate this via prompt payment. PAR offers data collectors an option for either cash payments or credit toward PAR products and have provisions for compensating examinees. 

How do I get involved? 

It’s easy! Simply visit our Partner with PAR page and follow the directions listed under, “How do I become a data collector for PAR?” 

 

Want to learn more about data collection and standardization? PAR staff members recently addressed this topic on The Testing Psychologist podcast. Tune in here.

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This past weekend, PAR staff celebrated the 45th anniversary of the founding of this company. In honor of our anniversary, we thought we would share some fun facts about PAR.

  • It all started on a table—Bob and Cathy Smith began PAR on wooden table in their home in 1978. That table now holds a special place of honor in the PAR offices.
  • PAR employees are active in supporting our community organizations. We currently donate time and financial support to more than 70 charitable organizations each year.
  • Our Distribution Center ships orders with an incredible 99.99% accuracy rate—and it’s even more unbelievable because orders are shipped the day they are placed.
  • PAR is proud to have a staff that is 60% women.
  • Each year, PAR participates in a companywide fundraiser for United Way. We had 100% staff participation this year and raised $113,278 in staff contributions for this worthy organization.
  • Each week, a rotating group of PAR employees take part in a Meals on Wheels route, delivering fresh, nutritious meals to homebound individuals in our community.
  • We always say, “Customer service is our most important product,” and that’s not just an empty slogan. Our Customer Support team has more than 130 years of combined PAR experience and go through intensive training so they can be sure you are completely satisfied when you call. Also, all calls are answered by a live person—no automated messages!

These are just a few of the things we are proudest of as we look back on our 45-year history. As we look to the future, we hope to continue creating connections and changing lives with the work we do here at PAR.

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Each year, International Women’s Day is celebrated on March 8, recognizing the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women around the world. The day is also an opportunity to raise awareness of the challenges and inequalities that women face and to advocate for gender equality.

It is no secret that women have historically faced greater barriers than men when it comes to fully  participating in the economy. Disparities between men and women persist in the form of pay gaps, uneven opportunities for advancement, and unbalanced representation in important decision-making. Although women represent 58.4% of the U.S. workforce as of September 2022, women only represent 35% of senior leadership positions. And while 82% of Americans say it’s important that men and women have the same career opportunities, only about a third of Americans say their place of business prioritizes putting women in leadership positions.

Here at PAR, we are proud to have a staff that is 60% women. When we polled our staff to ask about women coworkers whose work deserved to be acknowledged publicly, the response was overwhelming—citing women who inspired them in their day-to-day life, those who were contributing their time and energy to charities and causes, those who had faced personal struggles, and many who had celebrated incredible achievements. We are so proud to work among such women today and every day.

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One of PAR’s core values is to give back to the community. We participate in many special events during the year that benefit organizations in the Tampa Bay area. Here’s a look at some of the activities and events PAR staff have participated in recently. 

In August, PAR CEO Kristin Greco participated in the 2022 CEO Soak to raise money for the ALS Association Florida Chapter. The event, which took place at ZooTampa, raised more than $50,000 to help raise awareness and funds to support those living with and impacted by ALS.  

In September, PAR took part in our annual United Way campaign. We had 100% staff participation and exceeded our fundraising goal—raising $113,278 in staff contributions to benefit those in need in the Tampa Bay area. Visit unitedway.org to learn about United Way in your area. 

In October, a group from PAR joined a sold-out crowd of animal lovers for the Humane Society of Tampa Bay’s annual gala fundraiser, Tuxes and Tails. This black-tie event raised hundreds of thousands of dollars while finding homes for adoptable dogs and cats from the shelter. 

Also in October, a team from PAR participated in the Walk to End Alzheimer’s at Raymond James Stadium. The walk benefits the Alzheimer's Association, the largest voluntary health organization benefitting Alzheimer’s care, support, and research. The team raised $8,300 to support those living with Alzheimer’s. 

We are so grateful to be able to give back to our community with our time, energy, and resources. To learn more about what we are doing to make a difference in the Tampa Bay area, visit our Community PARtners page. 

 

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PAR is proud of our ongoing support of United Way Suncoast. For more than 20 years, PAR staff have taken part in an annual fundraising campaign. We hosted our 2022 fundraising drive last week, where we spent time learning more about the impact United Way has on our community and taking part in team challenges and interdepartmental games.

We are thrilled that we had 100% staff participation and exceeded our fundraising goal—raising $113,278 in staff contributions to benefit those in need.

In the Tampa area, United Way aims to break the cycle of generational poverty through initiatives targeted at education, literacy, financial education, disaster services, neighborhood programs, and strategic community partnerships. We were fortunate to have leaders of our local United Way visit this week and share the impact our donations have had on our community.

Want to learn more about how you can help United Way where you live? Visit unitedway.org.

 

One of PAR’s core values is to give back to our community. Learn more about some of the ways we do that throughout the year.

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As the new school year begins, PAR’s team of educational assessment advisors is ready to serve your school district. We can provide sample materials, conduct onsite or virtual trainings, and provide web-enabled presentations so you can better serve your students. Plus, we can  help create a cost-effective solution for your district by leveraging volume discounts and creating customized quotes. 

Need training for your school? 

Our team is available for onsite product-specific training and can arrange author presentations. It’s easy to arrange a PAR-sponsored workshop in your area. Workshops may also be given as webinars for smaller groups or to reach several sites simultaneously. 

Want NASP continuing education credit? 

PAR’s educational assessment advisors host a wide range of presentations and continuing education workshops via the PARtalks webinar platform. Our webinars and continuing education sessions are free! If you haven’t registered for our new PARtalks platform yet, it’s easy to do! Visit PARtalks for more information and to register for upcoming sessions.  

Interested in a customized quote for your district's order? 

Simply compile a list of the products you'd like to order, and then email the complete list to your assessment advisor. We'll generate a personalized price quote for the assessment materials you need and email it to you by the next business day. Your quote will include all applicable discounts and any reduced shipping rates for which your district qualifies. 

Questions? Simply contact your assessment advisor, and they will guide you through the process. If this is your first time working with an assessment advisor, call 1.800.331.8378 for more information. 

Seeking additional school resources or support? 

Your students will always need your help with various challenges, including behavioral, mental, social–emotional, interpersonal, adjustment, and learning difficulties. PAR offers many solutions to assist you and your students during the school year. 

We're ready to help! 

 

 

 

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