Greatplains 1505683214

Parkway School District

The district is focused on keeping class sizes down so that students have more opportunities for differentiated instruction and personal interactions with teachers, and striving toward 1:1 laptop use with Macs and Chromebooks.

State: Missouri Number of Students: 17,674
School Type: Public School District Free and Reduced Lunch: 19.8%
Grade Level: PK-12 English Language Learners: N/A

School Context 

Funding: Parkway School District has received $94 million from local bond (Proposition S) for school improvements on the ballot in November 2014. The upgrades include high school science labs, classroom walls at elementary schools and various other facility updates. Technology equipment was funded with 3% of the overall budget. These funds have gone to update wireless and the data center. High Achievement: Parkway wants its students to achieve great things while they are in the district and well after they have graduated. Its goal is high student performance on statewide assessments, AP tests and ACT tests, and positive feedback on post-graduation college-readiness surveys. The district plans to implement rigorous curriculum and assessments (including integrated performance tasks), using instructional best practices and monitoring student progress regularly. Self-Directed Learners: Parkway’s goal is to foster critical thinking, solution-oriented mindsets and creativity in all of its students. In addition, it is focused on developing confident students that are self-directed, reflective and persistent. One way it plans to do this is by increasing its level of student feedback and input. Professional Learning: Parkway wants to provide a variety of learning opportunities for teachers and administrators. They plan to provide their teachers with effective feedback and ongoing, high-quality professional development. Talent: Parkway is interested in recruiting and developing high-quality teachers and administrators with diverse backgrounds. Fiscal Responsibility: Parkway is committed to using its resources efficiently and responsibly and adhering to its annual budget guidelines and timeframes.

State of Technology 

The New Proposition S: The Parkway community will vote on whether to pass a $94 million bond called Proposition S in November 2014. $3 million of the bond would be allocated to upgrade infrastructure: data storage ($700,000), a new network operating system ($170,000), servers ($300,000), expanded Wifi ($1,100,000) and increased bandwidth ($700,000).Parkway App: In 2013, Parkway released a mobile app for iPhones and iPads and Android devices via Parent Link. Teachers, students, administrators and parents can see school calendars, sports scores, lunch menus, contact information, district news and more. Users can also see data such as attendance and grades from within the app.BYOD: In 2013, Parkway expanded its bring-your-own-device initiative to include all grade levels. Students are encouraged to bring their own laptops, tablets (iPads, eReaders etc.) and smart phones to school. The district also supplements the program with 13,000 of its own primarily Windows-based devices. Currently, students are not able to take any of the district devices home with them, but administrators are hoping to develop a checkout system in the near future.Flipped Classroom: Some middle school math classes are experimenting with the flipped classroom model. Students watch direct instruction via videos teachers have recorded and posted on a website. When the students come to school they work on solving problems (i.e. their “homework”) while the teacher coaches and provides instructional intervention. The flipped model has pushed the district’s thinking around what content it filters and what it doesn’t. Recently it has made adjustments to make sure YouTube is accessible both on district devices and on students’ devices.Moving Online: The district is interested in implementing more blended learning opportunities for students and teachers (in addition to moving its recruiting and substitute systems online). To help with the digital transition, the district has created tech teams and plans to offer more PD on how to integrate technology into instruction.E-Texts: For middle school science and social studies, the district has thrown out the paper textbooks and gone digital. For science, students use Discovery Education’s science digital textbook. For social studies, they use both Discovery Education and McGraw Hill. In these classrooms, there are eight Chromebooks to support the textbooks, along with any additional devices students choose to bring.Station Rotation: In two elementary schools, kindergarten through second grade classrooms have six iPads each. These teachers set up a station rotation model, where students rotate between a group using iPads, one using desktop computers and another working directly with the teacher.

Tech Needs & Requirements

All tools must integrate with Active Directory or LDAP, must be aligned to the district’s goals, have robust data security measures for cloud-based systems are preferred and HTML 5 applications are preferred. Current needs are Learning Management Systems (they are currently testing out Google Classrooms with a few teachers but are also looking for others) and content filter tools to extend safe environment on any device, inside and outside of the district.


Initiatives 

Tech Literacy: One of the district’s 2014-2015 goals is to have 100% of eighth grade students meet the technology literacy standards in 2015 as measured by a local assessment (aligned to NETS*S).Standards-Based Reporting: As Parkway moves towards standards-based curriculum at the elementary school level, it is working to develop data sets that sync with Infinite Campus so that the student progress can be displayed to parents in a third party app.Device Checkout: The district is working on developing a system that allows students to check out devices for home use, while still maintaining the district’s security settings on each device so that content is filtered according to district policy.

*Content From 2014

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