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July 05, 2007

Parkway Board Votes to Continue Voluntary Student Transfer (VST) Program

Calvin Johnson, 2007 Central High graduate - "My four years at Central have been the best four years of my life."
The Parkway Board of Education recently voted to continue the Voluntary Student Transfer (VST) program in the district. The board also voted to limit new enrollment in the program. Beginning in fall 2008, Parkway will enroll new VST students in kindergarten and first grade only. But students already in the program will have the option to remain in Parkway through graduation.*****

 “Our strategy is based on past experience, which shows that students do best when they enroll in their early years and continue their education in Parkway,” said Superintendent Robert Malito.

 The VST program is separate from the issue of allowing city students to transfer to county schools due to the recent loss of accreditation by St. Louis Public Schools. Loss of accreditation makes every school-age child living in the city eligible to apply for a seat in a nearby district. But state law does not require other districts to accept those students.

The board voted not to accept students from the St. Louis Public Schools following that district’s loss of accreditation June 15. With this decision, Parkway joins many other country districts in honoring the St. Louis Public Schools’ request not to enroll their students. An equally significant factor in the decision was the board’s commitment to maintain smaller class sizes as promised to voters with the passage of Proposition R.

Board Approves Balanced Budget for 2007-08

At its June 20 regular meeting, the Parkway Board of Education voted unanimously to approve a balanced budget for the 2007-08 fiscal year. *****The operating budget of $203.7 million in revenue and $201.2 million in expenditures is possible primarily because of Proposition R, the tax initiative approved by voters last year.

Before the passage of Prop R, revenues had fallen short of expenditures five times in the past seven years despite $6.5 million in annual budget cuts. "We will continue to be fiscally prudent, but I am so pleased that we can now focus most of our energies on helping students succeed rather than in trying to find more sources of revenue,” said Mark Stockwell, Parkway’s chief financial officer.

 A few items approved in the 2007-08 budget made possible by Prop R include:
  • smaller class sizes
  • new textbooks and instructional equipment
  • new and expanded technology

For more information, please visit the Parkway web site at:

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Parkway Announces New Administrators

Parkway is pleased to announce the following new administrators effective July 1, 2007.*****

Dr. Karen Calcaterra has been appointed assistant principal at North High. Karen is currently special education administrator/area coordinator for the Pattonville School District. Prior to this position, she served as department chairperson at North High. She was also a teacher for Special School District from 1998-2004.

Robert Gaugh has been appointed assistant principal at North High. Robert is currently dean of students at Francis Howell School District. Prior to this position, he served as social studies department chairperson at Francis Howell from 2004-2006 and as a teacher from 1996-2006.

Lisa Greenstein has been appointed principal of Ross Elementary. Lisa is currently the administrative intern at Claymont Elementary. Prior to this position, she was a teacher at Ross for five years. She also served as a parent educator in Parkway’s Early Childhood program.

Dr. S. Rebecca Litherland has been appointed curriculum coordinator of science for the Parkway School District. Becky has been the science coordinator for Columbia Public Schools in Columbia, Mo. for the past 20 years. Prior to this position, she was a science teacher and a science department chairperson. Becky replaces Maried Swapp who is leaving her position to become a technology integration specialist for the district.

Bonnie McCracken has been named principal of River Bend Elementary. Bonnie has been the assistant principal at Bellerive Elementary for the past nine years. Prior to that, she was an administrative intern and teacher at Bellerive.

Aaron Wills is the new principal of Claymont Elementary. Aaron has been an elementary principal in the Union School District for the past five years and also served as the director of elementary education in Union for the past year.  Prior to his administrative experience, he was an elementary classroom teacher for nine years in Union.  Aaron is replacing Karen Jimerson, who is relocating.  Aaron is a graduate of the Parkway School District (Parkway West High, West Junior High and Henry Elementary).

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Fixing Our Schools

South High's cooling tower is being replaced.
This summer, thanks to the 2004 bond issue, hundreds of maintenance projects will be performed at many Parkway schools - and completed just in time for the first day of school on August 13. *****

Summer is the perfect time to work on large projects, as well as regular maintenance, because the students are gone and the parking lots are empty. While some schools will remain fairly unaffected, others will receive major facelifts. This is the fourth year of improvements from the 2004 bond issue, which will fund one more year of school maintenance projects. To view the list of summer projects, visit the Parkway web site at:

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