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Proposition R

"This Is Parkway" Digital Magazine

Proposition R

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Prop R Benefits Continue with 2008-2009 Budget Approval - 6/25/08
Wes Garton
Wes Garton
Chief Financial Officer
Parkway’s Board of Education recently approved an operating budget of $207.5 million for 2008-09, which represents an increase of approximately 2 percent over the previous year’s budget of $203 million. 
 
“This budget, along with passage of Proposition R in 2006, will greatly benefit our students.  It will allow the district to provide smaller class sizes, newer textbooks, better access to up-to-date technology, and more help with basic reading and math,” said Wes Garton, Parkway’s chief financial officer.
 
Highlights include:
  • Math specialists for every elementary and middle school
  • Literacy “coaches” for each elementary school and 4 high schools
  • Additional staffing to reduce student-teacher ratios at the secondary level
  • Ten district-wide technology integration specialists
  • Nearly $1 million for SMART Boards, technology prototype classrooms at middle schools and other classroom technology
Total revenues and expenses are projected to be $227.4 million and $224.5 million, respectively.

Prop R Update: Board Sets Stage for Smaller Class Sizes at Middle and High Schools in 2008-09 - 2/06/08
Wes Garton
Wes Garton
Chief Financial Officer
With the passage of Proposition R in November 2006, our community showed its support for Parkway. In turn, to fulfill our promises to voters, the district has already implemented several initiatives to enhance learning, including smaller class sizes at the elementary level, support for student interventions and increased focus on technology integration in the classroom.

On January 16, the Parkway Board of Education approved a set of assumptions for the 2008-09 budget which will allow us to continue our commitment to lower class sizes at all levels and improve instruction, while maintaining financial stability.
For the 2008-09 school year, new district priorities include reducing class sizes at the middle and high school levels and continuing to enhance technology, with Smart Board installations and 20 high tech demo classrooms - one in every core subject area at each middle school.

Highlights of proposed budget features include:

Smart Boards: $500,000 allocated from the 2004 bond issue to kick start the Smart Board initiative. The district is using $600,000 in bond funds from this year’s budget to implement wireless technology. With 11 buildings already completed, wireless will be available in every building by August 2008.

More technology: $400,000 to support the addition of 20 high tech demo classrooms - one in Science, Communication Arts, Social Studies and Math at each of five middle schools.

Staffing: Additional staffing to reduce middle and high school class sizes, support phase II special education students and expand math interventions.

Facilities: Maintenance and repair projects scheduled for the summer of 2008 will use the remainder of 2004 bond issue funds.  Options for additional funding and projects to complete the district's long-range plan to repair and renovate our 28 schools will be addressed by parents and staff this spring.

VST: Student enrollment in the Voluntary Student Transfer program is expected to decrease by 245 students or 14 percent next year. 

Revenues:Projected to increase by 0.26 percent to $206.4 million while expenses are expected to be $204.9 million.

A preliminary budget will be presented at the April 9 meeting at Central Middle School. The board is scheduled to adopt a final budget on June 18, also at Central Middle.


The Numbers Are In! Elementary Class Sizes Are Smaller this Year, Thanks to Prop R! - 9/18/07
Mary Muckler
Mary Muckler
Director of Human Resources

A popular question this year is, "How are class sizes since we passed Proposition R?" The short answer is, "Smaller." As the administrator in charge of staffing for the district, I have been compiling some preliminary comparison data, and it is very good news. It is especially favorable at the elementary level, where more than 80 percent of all the schools' average class size numbers by grade are lower this year. Funds from Prop R are definitely having a positive impact for our students!

This bar graph shows the average class sizes for grades K-5 for 2006-07 compared with 2007-08. On average, class sizes in grades K, 1, and 2 have decreased by 2.5 students per class, while grades 4 and 5 have decreased by approximately 2 students. The average for grade 3 is slightly lower.

Some classrooms are even smaller than this average, while others may be higher, due to the formula Parkway uses to determine elementary class sizes (see explanation). Overall, though, the impact has been very positive, as stated by Green Trails elementary teacher Debbie Sachs. "You can just tell a difference in the climate," she says. "The kids feel like they have more space." Most importantly, she says it means more personal attention and a better ability to meet each student's needs.

The next phase of Prop R's class size reduction plan is to address the staffing needs at each of the five middle and high schools in 2008-09. Although there has been some benefit already in 2007, reducing the student-teacher ratio at the middle schools and high schools will be a priority next year.

The first staffing and enrollment report for 2007-08 will be presented to the Parkway Board of Education at its October 24 meeting, scheduled for 7:30 p.m. at Central Middle. The entire report, by school, will be available on the Parkway Web site by Oct. 22 at http://www.pkwy.k12.mo.us/boe/boe.cfm under section 12.0 of the Board agenda. It will be a pleasure to present this report, thanks to Proposition R!

Mary Muckler
Director of Human Resources


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