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"This Is Parkway" Digital Magazine

Project Parkway

Subcommitte 1/A/4 Essential Question:
Will the International Baccalaureate curriculum enhance the Parkway Curriculum for our Level IV Mosaics students and other students in Parkway?

9/28/2009: What data will be collected to reveal current reality?

1. Examine student achievement data for Parkway vs. a similar school district that has implemented IB 

2. Conduct a thorough Cost / Benefit analysis

3. Specific Quantitative Data that is available for us to analyze
          A. PEGS DATA/Other IB School(s) Data – cost and achievement
          B. IB historical information/ Research 
          C. IB Philosophy and Case Studies

4. Specific Student achievement Data
          A. ACT scores/college admissions/national merit/ SAT data /drop out rate/ AP enrollment/etc..

5. Specific Qualitative Data that could be studied:
         A. Visit Lindbergh and Metro and observe students/teachers
              • School climate
              • Engagement
              • Benefits all kids 
         B. Continue investigating other IB schools 
         C. Continue with IB training for those involved in the MOSAICS Academy and continue dialogue with all staff

3/1/2010: Key Findings

A. Positive Observations Revealed by the Data

• New mission and vision align well to current research and to what other successful school districts have deemed key to successful education for the 21st century
• Project Parkway illustrates that Parkway is committed to UbD and SbD and taking the appropriate steps for creating a long range plan that will truly increase student achievement
• Parkway’s gifted program has been successful in providing rigor and challenge for the gifted student population

B. Identified Needs

• The gifted education program evaluation indicated that Parkway is not doing a very good job of meeting the needs of gifted and high ability students in the regular classroom (see highlighted components of the gifted program evaluation)
• The student achievement data indicates that gifted and high ability students’ achievement scores have remained stagnant or gone down in the past four years (see district student achievement data)
• Classroom teachers are not consistently providing differentiation or acceleration in their instruction (see gifted education program evaluation highlighted information)
• Overall achievement data indicates that we are not doing an effective job in meeting the educational needs of our subgroups (see district achievement data)
The needs identified indicate that Parkway is not meeting the educational needs of all students, particularly our gifted students and students in other sub groups. The needs identified and the data reviewed also support the need to move forward with implementation of a guaranteed and viable curriculum that envelopes the Understanding by Design philosophy of making our mission, vision and learning principles a part of our practice daily with ALL students. The IB philosophy totally supports and emulates the core of this philosophy and provides a road map to achieving this in our schools and our classrooms. UbD and SbD are embodied in IB; and the research supports IB as a model for increasing student achievement and providing a 21st century, global education for all students.
Our subcommittee did extensive research on the IB Primary Years Program (PYP), Middle Years Program (MYP) and the Diploma Program (DP). The research and data we collected indicated the following:
• IB mission and vision align directly with Parkway’s mission
• IB learner profiles align directly with Parkway’s learning principles
• IB curriculum and philosophy align directly with UbD and SbD
• IB offers comprehensive, research-based curricula, aligned with rigorous international standards.
• IB offers unique approaches to transdisciplinary learning using multiple instructional methodologies and teaching strategies
• IB provides a global focus with an emphasis on intercultural understanding
• IB philosophy focuses on the development of the whole child, including requirements for the arts and community service
Further research on the impact of the IB program indicate the following:
• IB students outperform their peers on state assessments
• IB diploma students have higher acceptance rates to college
• IB Diploma students perform better in post-secondary education than their peers
• IB standards are aligned with best practices in education and support effective teaching practices
• IB has a positive impact on school culture

Based on this information this subcommittee would like to see the IB program initiated in Parkway as a pilot program in the west area of the district. It is recommended that Parkway begin with immediate initiation of the PYP program at Pierremont Elementary School. Pierremont has already done the ground work with the staff. The administrator has been to administrator training, and has sent two of the MOSAICS Academy teachers to PYP Level 1 training. By continuing the pursuit of the PYP program, Pierremont will have a structure for the overall goals of Project Parkway and the school could be a beacon for transformation of the traditional elementary school to a 21st century learning community that envelopes the mission, vision and learning principles set forth in Parkway’s long range plan. It is also recommended that Parkway West Middle and Parkway West High begin the study phase of IB’s MYP and DP program. IB is not a program that can be mandated to a school, it needs to be studied and the staff need to be on board for the implementation to be successful. Therefore, it is recommended that West Middle and West High begin with a few key staff members attending training and that the staff become familiar with the program to move the program forward if indeed there is buy in at the building level.

C. (If Necessary) Additional Data Needed

The steering committee should clarify/establish the following before moving forward with the implementation of the International Baccalaureate program:
1. Create a district IB steering committee (with representatives from participating schools, led by Denise Pupillo or designated district representative
2. Establish a timeline and a long range plan for moving the IB program forward
3. Identify key players at each of the participating schools to be a part of their building team’s implementation plan
4. Conduct site visits to IB North America Schools