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Five Questions And Answers With Parkway's Superintendent

Dr. Keith Marty is a week into his second year at the helm of the Parkway School District. We asked about everything from last year's growing pains with bell times to the new technology plan that could impact each district school after Thanksgiving.

 

Patch: Are more comfortable now a year in...what's the biggest thing you learned about Parkway so far?

Dr. Marty: Parkway has a wonderful tradition of success and concern about their students.  The district attempts to make students the center of decision-making and its core values a strong part of the decision.

Patch: School administrators always say they hope budget cuts are done in a way that will have the least possible impact on daily classroom functions.  How will parents and students most notice the impact of cuts the district had to make last year?

Dr. Marty: Parents shouldn’t notice any changes in daily classroom functions as no classroom teachers were laid off during the budget cuts.  Our goal was to keep the budget cuts as far away from the classroom as possible.    

Patch: Is the district prepared for the new boundaries?  What should parents expect?

Dr. Marty The district began the transition process last fall when we began holding parent informational meetings at each of the North area schools to begin the communication process. Once the Board of Education approved the boundary changes November 2, 2011, the schools began scheduling information/welcome events for the parents and students.

The change has been extremely smooth for the 2012-13 school year. 

Patch: Are you comfortable with bell schedules and routes as they exist for the coming year, after the experimentation last year?

Dr. Marty Once we adjusted the bell schedules last fall we have not had any problems and don’t anticipate any this school year.

Patch: What are your expectations for the new “Bring Your Own Device” program starting at some Parkway schools this fall and how quickly do you think it could spread districtwide?

Dr. Marty We have begun a pilot project of Campus Technology Access (CTA) at and schools at the beginning of the school year before implementing the program districtwide. 

Starting after Thanksgiving break, students in all middle schools and high schools will be able to bring their own electronic devices to school for educational purposes. This includes laptops, iPads and other tablets, eReaders and smart phones.

The goal is to provide students access to educational tools and resources that will help them become more capable, curious and confident learners as well as critical consumers and producers of information.

It will be optional for students to have personal devices and they will be used in classrooms only where teachers determine they are appropriate.

Parents can download a copy of the Campus Technology Access Handbook at:  http://www.pkwy.k12.mo.us/inside/resources/pdfs/Campus_Tech_Access.pdf

Carie Volz August 23, 2012 at 12:15 PM
As a Parkway parent, I disagree with Dr. Marty's statement that I "shouldn't notice any changes in daily classroom functions". Since removing the caps on classroom sizes we have seen a HUGE impact on daily functions simply because teachers are spread thin and because there are no longer teacher aides in classrooms, it will only get worse as the year progresses. Not to mention the fact that there is no longer a technology expert in each school so I expect we'll see a lot of Parkway's wonderful technology just sitting there useless since there is no expert to maintain it in the schools. Last but not least, because of the cuts to Math and Reading specialists, individual students who need that extra help won't be tended to as well as they have been in the past so they will take up more of the teachers time, leaving other students to fend for themselves. Of course these are all concerns parents brought to the attention of Dr. Marty and the school board last year but they still pushed these issues through. Please don't misunderstand, I realize that we need to be fiscally responsible, but maybe Dr. Marty shouldn't have received a $7,000 raise and a trip to Orlando, Fl the same year these budget cuts were made.
Candice August 23, 2012 at 12:58 PM
I considered commenting on the "contents" of this article, but quite frankly it's all snake oil and would be a waste of time that needs to be devoted to putting my children first. Also I am not sure I can word it better than the first comment. I will say that Dr Marty is right on one account, Parkway does have a reputation for success and concern for their students, which is why I can only hope he won't be around for long. I did have to comment though and say "well done" to you Chesterfield Patch for actually getting him to sit down and answer questions. That is the one thing most of us as parents have not been able to achieve. Numerous requests, phone messages, letters, emails went unanswered, unacknowledged, and most of all unwelcome by Dr Marty and his staff last year, so Kudos to you Chesterfield Patch. If you are looking for any other story ideas, perhaps you could travel up to Menomonnee Falls, talk to the teachers and parents up there and see how well they enjoyed Dr Marty's stay in their district.

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