Feb 12, 2016 - Park Hill School District

Happy Valentine's Day!

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Members of PHHS "Voices" - Feb 12, 2016

Upcoming Events

Feb 15 - President's Day - District Office Closed

Feb 16 - MSBA Legislative Forum in Jefferson City (Bart-Susan)

Feb 18 - District Counsel PTA

Feb 22 - Board Officer Agenda Review

Feb 25 - Regular Board Meeting

Feb 29 - Banneker School Breakfast (Boon-Janice)

Mar 03 - PHSD Retired Employee Coffee (10am-Gerner)

Mar 07 - Board Officer Agenda Review

Mar 08 - Policy Committee Meeting

Mar 10 - Board Study Session re Finance & Facilities (5pm-Rm 223)

Mar 10 - Regular Board Meeting

Mar 16 - Night With The Stars

Mar 17 - District Counsel PTA

Mar 21 - Spring Break Week (District Office Closed Wed/Thu/Fri)

Mar 28 - Board Officer Agenda Review

Mar 29 - PTA Board Candidate Forum (6:30pm-Rm 230)

Mar 31 - Regular Board Meeting


School-Community-Professional Events (Week of Feb 8-12)

Parkville EDC

Park Hill High School / Park Hill South / UMKC Band Concert

District Policy Committee

High School Visioning Committee

School Visits - Chinn, Line Creek, Park Hill South, Park Hill High School, English Landing, Lakeview, Union Chapel, Hawthorn, Gerner, Congress, Southeast

MSBA Legislative Advocacy Day

Our schedule has been finalized for the MSBA Legislative Advocacy Day on Tuesday, February 16th. In addition to the sessions provided by MSBA, we will also have the opportunity to meet with our local legislators, as follows:

  • 1:00 pm – Representative Kevin Corlew
  • 1:45 pm – Representative Nick Marshall
  • 2:15 pm – Senator Rob Schaaf

Thank you to Susan Newburger and Bart Klein for representing the Park Hill Board at this event.

Cyber-Security Advisory Board

The Cyber-Security Advisory Board’s first meeting will occur Tuesday, February 23, 4:00 – 5:30 pm at the District Office. The advisory board is authorized by the Board of Education to ensure school and community standards of cyber-security are met. The advisory board agenda will include an overview of the CoSN standards, risk management evaluation, risk assessment, current training practices and recommended action steps.

Park Hill Cyber-Security Advisory Board Members

  • Jim Humphrey (PH Partner) - Parent
  • Sherise Fonville (PH Partner) - Parent
  • Chris Seufert - Parent
  • Scott McRuer - Community Member
  • Micheal Wall - Law Enforcement (Platte County Cyber-Security)
  • Lisa Roepe - Elementary Teacher
  • Ashley Packard - Secondary Teacher
  • Dr. Kerrie Herren - Administrator
  • Linda Salfrank - Legal Counsel
  • Derrick Unruh - Director of Technology
  • Dr. Susan Rizzo - Director of Instructional Technology
  • Dr. Bill Redinger - Assistant Superintendent for Human Resources
  • Dr. Paul Kelly - Assistant Superintendent for Business & Technology
  • Dr. Jeanette Cowherd - Superintendent

Missouri Learning Standards

As shared previously, the Missouri Learning Standards are being revised per 2014 Legislative action. Kristin Havens, Director of Elementary Education has shared many concerns about the proposed English Language Arts (ELA) standards. Her concerns include:

  • The work groups created standards for each grade level in isolation, therefore a progression of standards across grade levels does not exist.

  • Standards are much less rigorous than the current MO Learning Standards (low level: recall), especially at the K-2 level.

  • Grade specific standards do not exist after 3rd grade in the area of reading comprehension.

  • Writing standards are prompt-driven, not process driven. Examples provided have very low expectations for students. 1st grade informational writing says students will make a list and create a paragraph (children are capable of far more) – bar should be much higher for our students. K-2 writing standards begin “with assistance” – we would expect to see this at the Kindergarten level, not at 1st/2nd grade.

  • Reading fluency is defined as oral reading through the standards, which completely misses the meaning of fluency. Fluency is defined as rate, phrasing, intonation, pausing, stress, and the integration of these to create meaning.

  • Under grammar, printing (cursive) and writing legibly is listed – printing and cursive have nothing to do with grammar.

  • Many reference documents are listed for 8-16 year old students.

To ensure our concerns are communicated, Dr. Cowherd will be in contact with Charlie Shields, State BOE President, Dr. John Martin, Kansas City-State Board Representative and Dr. Gayden Carruth, Executive Director of CSDGKC.

High School Space Concept Presentations to High School Staff

Last week, Dr. Cowherd and Dr. Dial shared an update on the high school space concept committee's work so far this year. This is a similar presentation to the one given to the Board in January. The purpose of sharing with our high school staff is to make sure they remain in the loop with the processes being used, and to allow them to ask questions or get clarifications. We also have extended the opportunity to them to provide input for the committee to consider as we continue this work.


2016 Spring Testing Updates

With Spring right around the corner, one of the key preparations for the Academic Services Department is the administration of the Spring MAP, EOC, ACT and Terra Nova assessments. The Park Hill School District has been executing our 2015-2016 Assessment Plan through the school year and currently students are taking their third Acuity assessment of the year. This window started this week and will go through March 11. Acuity is an assessment given to all students grades 2-8 in English Language Arts and Math as a predictor and benchmark assessment to provide teachers and students with critical data relative to students’ learning of the Missouri Learning Standards throughout the year. End of year summative assessments will take place starting in April and go through the first two weeks of May. All MAP, EOC and Terra Nova assessments will be administered online. The ACT will be given to all juniors in the state of Missouri on April 19, 2016 (paper/pencil format).

Curriculum Survey Process

At the secondary level, we have surveyed the teachers of the 46 classes that underwent curriculum revisions during the 2014-15 school year. Of the 46 surveys given, we received responses on 80% of them, with over 100 unique responses/feedback. Next steps include informing the teachers of the results, and working with curriculum teams to sift through suggestions and make edits where necessary. This has been an important step in our curriculum process, as it has allowed for our teachers to provide real-time suggestions for improvement in our curriculum on an annual basis to ensure we are meeting the needs of our students.

Professional Studies

The Project Lead The Way (PLTW) Advisory Board met this week. The PLTW Advisory Board is comprised of teachers, parents and community partners. From this meeting an action plan was developed to integrate community partners into the biomedical classes and co-curricular activities. Partners will serve as teacher and student mentors, provide opportunities for learning collaboratives on healthcare issues and co-teach curriculum concepts when appropriate.

~Business & Technology Services

Operations Director’s Council

In November 2015, Jim Rich, Director of Operations, implemented a “Director’s Council”. The council is made up of volunteers from the Maintenance and Grounds team. All employees that expressed interest in the council were accepted. There are currently 10 members that meet monthly. Discussions range from updates on happenings throughout the district to problem solving day-to-day issues that come up. The goal of the council is to get more involvement and participation of those employees who are interested in decision making that occurs. Within the Operations Director’s Council are two subgroups. One is a financial group that meets periodically to look at the budgeting and expenditure process and how projects are prioritized. The other is an employee group that offers suggestions on improving the work environment and teamwork of the group.


Support Staff Update

The following listing of support personnel has occurred since 2-5-16:


  • Denham, Brittany - Food Service Assistant - (Line Creek) 2-8-16
  • Hedges, Laura - Associate Teacher (Graden) 2-4-16
  • Melvin, Laura - Administrative Assistant (part-time) (English Landing) 2-22-16
  • Pudenz, Quinn - Avid Tutor (Park Hill High School) 2-3-16
  • Robbins, Lisa - Technology Purchasing & Inventory Specialist (Technology) 2-22-16
  • Whitaker, Bryan - Associate Teacher (Union Chapel) 2-10-16
  • Zahm, Brenda - Teacher Assistant (Russell Jones) 2-16-16


  • Benefield, Jennifer - Executive Administrative Assistant (Graden) 2-26-16
  • Gorman, Sean - Teacher Assistant (Park Hill South) 2-29-16
  • Jones, Joan - Teacher Assistant (Graden) 2-19-16)


  • Abdush-Shakir, Zara
  • Allen, Jonni
  • Alton, Jennifer
  • Bartz, Kathleen
  • Bolen, Michelle
  • Brizendine, Jeff
  • Carter, Sam
  • Cory, Kyla
  • Elliott, Troy
  • Gengler, Kathleen
  • Griffith, Bill
  • Gruhler, Margaret
  • Harrison, Theresa
  • Hart, Nancy
  • Ivan, Katrina
  • Jacobs, Chantel
  • Jeffries, Derrick
  • Jenkins-Hart, Kathy
  • Lewis, Hannah
  • Matthews, Ingrid
  • Mayo, Nancy
  • Meigel, Max
  • Meis, Sara
  • Moratz, Matthew
  • Nance, Caitlin
  • Nawrocki, Kate
  • Park, Kelsey
  • Schulze, Jessamie
  • Sims, Terron
  • Sumner, Lauren
  • Tighe, Shellie
  • Uribe, Laura
  • Watts, Leah
  • West, Savannah
  • Witter, Emily