Keith Marty has just started his second year as the superintendent of the Parkway School District. The Parkway schools Claymont, Hanna Woods, Henry, Oak Brook elementary schools are in Ballwin; students from Ballwin attend Parkway West High.
Patch asked Marty 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.