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"This Is Parkway" Digital Magazine

March 2012

Dear Parkway Families,

For more than 50 years, the Parkway School District has emphasized excellence in education with the goal of creating promising futures for our students. Last year, we reaffirmed this commitment by adopting a new mission, vision and Comprehensive School Improvement Plan to pave the way for the future of Parkway.

It’s an ambitious strategic plan. Last summer, we mailed a copy to all parents and you can download a copy here. The plan is a result of Project Parkway, an ongoing effort involving hundreds of community volunteers, parents, teachers and staff coming together to ensure a bright future for our students. It sets high standards and provides our schools with a blueprint for student academic growth through the 2015-2016 school year.

An important part of Parkway’s strategic plan involves the implementation of Professional Learning Communities (PLCs) starting with the 2012-2013 school year. Essentially, PLCs are groups of educators who are committed to working together to help each child be more successful in school. Under a PLC, small teams of teachers set aside a few hours each month (in addition to their regular meetings and planning time) to study data about student academic performance in their curricular area and share successful instructional practices with one another. Nationally, students in school districts that have implemented PLCs have experienced tremendous academic growth. In addition, many other high-performing Missouri school districts have adopted the PLC model with success for students.

Using the links at the left, please find additional information to explain the benefits of PLCs including answers to frequently asked questions. In order to implement PLCs next year, two of Parkway’s five full-day professional development days will be replaced with eight two-hour delayed start days. The dates are listed in the FAQ document and also on the 2012-2013 calendar, which are both enclosed. On the eight days listed, all schools will begin two hours later and morning bus pick-up times will be exactly two hours later. The afternoon dismissal times will not change. We realize changes to the school day can be disruptive to parents and children. To that end, we have made arrangements with our partners at the YMCA to provide families with child care on the PLC days. Please see the Y Club link at the left.

We are excited about the positive impact PLCs will have for our students. Several Parkway schools have already begun piloting them with strong gains in academic performance, and we are eager to see the positive impact PLCs will have for all students starting next year.


Keith Marty, Ed.D.
Chris Jacob, President
Parkway Board of Education