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PAYDAY NOTES from the Superintendent

November 4, 2011

When I signed a contract with the Parkway School District, the board of education’s number one charge to me was the implementation of Project Parkway. I firmly believe Project Parkway will improve our district in so many ways:

Pushing us to ensure student achievement and success, for all; improved accountability for educators and all employees, an evaluation system that measures student growth with higher standards and expectations; the setting of priorities to ensure students graduate as capable, curious, and confident learners; a new way of collaborating in our work through the Professional Learning Committee at all sites; the allocation of resources for the goals of Project Parkway; specifically, the Achievement of ALL.

So, Parkway will become and look different. The implementation of Project Parkway, which is well underway, is already causing us to look differently.

On Wednesday evening, November 2nd, the board of education approved a change of boundaries in the North area—the first change of boundaries in the Parkway District in at least 30 years. Look what else has occurred in the past several months...

1.   An increase of 20 minutes in the elementary school day       
2.   The implementation of free, full-day kindergarten
3.   The implementation of a new teacher evaluation system, with an administrator evaluation system about ready to be rolled out
4.   A new calendar for 2012-2013 that adds essential Professional Learning Communities (PLC) time with late arrivals
5    A new dashboard that makes our accountability to student learning transparent
6.   A commitment that all students will enroll and succeed in a rigorous algebra program

Our action teams will bring forth other changes and new directions. We are moving Project Parkway from planning and communication about planning to action and changes. I am committed to fully implementing Project Parkway.

I was impressed with all the development activities today for nearly all staff. Every employee, like every student, is on a continuum of growth and learning. As a former teacher of mine once said, “When you stop learning, you must be dead!”

I made an announcement today that I want all of you to support. In addressing our support staff, I told them that henceforth they are to be referred to as operational staff, not support staff. Just like instructional staff guides and directs student learning, our support staff does more than support—they guide, enhance, direct, and lead the operational work that makes teaching and learning possible.

I would like to remind all of you of two important meetings for school personnel and committees on November 14th and November 16th:

Our quarterly Project Parkway Community Update will be held at South High School on November 14th at 7 p.m. Julie Collins will be revealing the student and district dashboard that opens and makes transparent our Project Parkway data. We will once again spend half of the meeting in advisory groups.

On Wednesday, November 16th, 6:30 p.m. at Central High School Commons, we will be welcoming Ray McNulty, a nationally recognized speaker and proponent of school transformation. Ray will share why school changes that support the 21st century learning, learning for all, rigorous and relevant curriculum and instruction are all essential for the nation’s future and our students’ place in the world.

Please know you are invited to both of these gatherings.

Our Ad Hoc Budget Committee has had two meetings to address the financial challenges I outlined in my last Payday Notes. We will continue our weekly meetings until we have recommendations to bring forth.

Have a wonderful weekend. Thank you for your continued commitment to Parkway.

Keith Marty