Parent Advisory Team

October 25, 2017

We will be hosting our next Parent Advisory Team and Site Council meeting on Tuesday, November 7 from 7:00-8:30 pm in the Hesston High School commons area.  

Parent Advisory is an invitation for all parents and guardians of students in Hesston Schools to participation in discussion around important topics related to the vision for our school district.  Our first session focused on our new Post-Secondary Success measure, and for the session on November 7, we will discuss the concept of Individual Plans of Study.

Individual Plans of Study (IPS) are a component of the Kansans Can Vision and something Hesston Schools have embraced for students in grades 6-12.  

IPS provide students and their families with opportunities to explore individual skills, interests, and passions along with pathways and coursework that will expand on these areas.  Our district utilizes software that will allow access for students and families to develop a plan in middle school that will carry on through high school.  

We hope you are able to join us for this important conversation that is applicable to all students even if they are currently in elementary school.  The concept of the IPS will continue to grow and develop over time until we have something that benefits our students and families in the greatest way possible.  

If you plan to attend this session, please notify me by email at ben.proctor@usd460.org or by calling 620-327-4931 by noon on November 7 so that we can prepare for our audience that evening.  

Respectfully,

Ben Proctor
Superintendent



 

August 18, 2017

We will be hosting our first Parent Advisory Team meeting of the 2017-18 school year on Tuesday, August 22 from 7:00-8:30 pm in the Hesston High School commons area.  Parent Advisory is open to all parents and guardians of K-12 students in USD 460.  We will have four total sessions throughout the school year focused on district-wide and building specific topics.

On August 22, we will spend time discussing the new post-secondary success measure developed by the Kansas State Department of Education and the Kansas State Board of Education over the past year.  This measure includes data from our recent graduating classes and the progress these students have made through post-secondary institutions since graduating high school.  

On Monday, we will go through our district's data which includes the following specific measures:
- 5 Year Graduation Rate
- 5 Year "Success Average"
- 5 Year "Effective Average"

During this session, we will discuss what each of these numbers represents and how our district can successfully set and meet our goals related to this important success measure.

In addition, there will be time for each building principal to meet on specific topics of interest related to a particular building.  

We hope you are able to attend this meeting and others throughout the school year.  If you plan to attend on August 22, please send me an email or give me a call.  Our district office number is 620-327-4931 and my email address is ben.proctor@usd460.org.

Respectfully,

Ben Proctor
Superintendent


August 10, 2017

Over the past two years, USD 460 has developed a Parent Advisory Team which meets periodically in conjunction with our Building Site Councils to share and discuss ideas on how our district can continue to grow and improve.  This year our goal is to continue to provide this opportunity for all interested parents and guardians of K-12 students in Hesston schools.


The dates we have chosen for our Parent Advisory Team and Site Council in 2017-18 are as follows:
- Tuesday, August 22 
- Tuesday, November 7
- Thursday, January 18
- Tuesday, March 13

All meetings will be from 7:00-8:30 pm and the meetings will be located in the Hesston High School commons area.  The format of the meetings will include a time for us to share as an entire district, and we will also have time for individual buildings to discuss items specific to those grade levels.

Our first meeting is coming up quickly, and one of the key areas of focus for us will be the new post-secondary success measure that has been introduced by the Kansas State Board of Education.  Other topics we will discuss throughout the year include our District Improvement Framework, parent and community engagement, and the Kansans Can Vision for public schools in our state.

All parents are invited to attend, and we will provide a detailed agenda for our sessions the week prior to each meeting.  We also encourage parents to share ideas and topics that would be of interest.
  
Ultimately, our goal is to grow our connection between school and home to maximize the opportunities for success for each of our students.  We want to ensure that our parents and families are informed, involved, empowered, and ultimately our partners in learning.  We know that this partnership is critical as we pursue our shared purpose.

In order to best prepare for the meetings, we would ask that you call or email and let us know that you plan to attend.  For the first meeting, please let us know if you will attend by Monday, August 21.  Our office number is 620-327-4931 and my email address is ben.proctor@usd460.org.

Respectfully,

Ben Proctor
Superintendent




Updated January 5, 2017


This is a reminder that will be hosting our next Parent Advisory Team meeting on Monday, January 9 from 6:00-7:00 pm in the Hesston High School commons.  This will be a joint meeting with our building Site Councils.

The meeting will consist of 30 minutes where the superintendent leads conversations around several components of our District Improvement Framework found by clicking here.  During this session, we will have table group discussions on the following aspects of the framework:
- Relationships
- Engagement
- Leadership Skills
- District Pillars (Students)

We will spend this time discussing ways in which our schools are currently effective in these areas and ways that we can improve and grow.  

The second half of the meeting will be led by our principals where participants break up into groups by building.  This time will be spent hearing updates about the work taking place in each school and how our focus is to continue to strengthen the partnerships between our homes, our schools, and our community.

Any parent of a K-12 student is invited to attend our Parent Advisory Team meetings, and we ask that you please let us know if you plan to attend so we can prepare for numbers of participants.  You can call 620-327-4931 or email Ben Proctor, superintendent, at ben.proctor@usd460.org.


Updated December 27, 2016

Our next Parent Advisory Team meeting will take place on Monday, January 9 from 6:00-7:00 pm at the Hesston High School commons area.  For the first time, we are going to have our Parent Advisory Team and our building Site Councils meet together to collaborate.  

Our goal in doing this is to maximize our opportunity to share ideas with and between members of both of these groups who are so invested in the success of our school system and our individual students.

We continue to invite all parents/guardians of k-12 students to be a part of these sessions.  So far this year, we have held two Parent Advisory Team meetings and have averaged just over 20 participants in each meeting.  

During this session on January 9, there are a number of topics our administrative team will update the group on including progress we are making within our District Improvement Framework.  As we get closer to the date of this session, we will get a detailed agenda and discussion items out to everyone.

We would ask that anyone who plans to come to this meeting, please let our central office know by calling 620-327-4931 or emailing ben.proctor@usd460.org by Friday, January 6.

Respectfully,

Ben Proctor
Superintendent


Updated November 9, 2016

The Parent Advisory Team session scheduled for Tuesday, November 15 is quickly approaching, and we wanted to take just a moment and share some thoughts about our discussion items for this meeting.  

Over the past week, we have been collecting feedback from K-12 parents in the form of our family engagement survey.  We currently have almost 250 responses and each building has received valuable feedback on a variety of things we do in our school district.  We hope to send out at least one more reminder to our families to ensure everyone who is interested has the opportunity to complete the survey.  

At our Parent Advisory Meeting, we will plan to spend a good amount of time looking at our data from this survey and discussing areas of relative weakness in each building as well as those characteristics that are seen as strengths.  

The surveys from each building address a number of important areas that have the potential to strengthen the internal, day-to-day components of our schools along with the partnership we wish to strengthen between our schools and our families.  We feel that Parent Advisory is a wonderful opportunity to engage with our parents in order to have conversations around areas of strength and weakness as we continue the trek from good to great.  

We hope you are able to join us for this meeting beginning at 6:30 pm in the Hesston Middle School library on November 15.  It is open to any parent or guardian of a K-12 student in Hesston Schools, and we welcome ideas and suggestions for additional discussion items at this session and future meetings also.

As always, please do not hesitate to contact me should you have any question on this topic or anything else we do as a school district.

Respectfully,

Ben Proctor
Superintendent



Updated November 1, 2016

We will hold our second Parent Advisory Team meeting of the school year on Tuesday, November 15 at 6:30 pm in the Hesston Middle School library.  Our first meeting was held on October 17 and we discussed a variety of topics that will carry over to our conversation on November 15.  We invite any parent/guardian of a k-12 student in Hesston schools to attend.  As we get closer to the meeting date, we will share specific topics that will be shared on November 15, and we certainly welcome any and all ideas from our P.A.T. participants for topics of discussion.  We would ask that you notify us by calling 620-327-4931 or emailing ben.proctor@usd460.org to let us know if you will be in attendance so that we can plan for numbers.

Our Parent Advisory Team exists so that we can create a stronger partnership with those who are most invested in the success of our kids.  Hope to see you on the 15th.

Ben Proctor
Superintendent



Updated October 14, 2016
Re: Parent Advisory Team Discussion Points

On Monday, October 17 at 6:30 pm, we will hold our first Parent Advisory Team meeting for 16-17 in the HHS commons area. This is open to any parent or guardian of a k-12 student in USD 460. Our goal is to create the most positive connection possible between our schools and our homes. The primary desired outcome of parent advisory is to create the opportunity to share ideas and collaborate on programs, practices, policies, and anything else we do as a school district. This outcome is directly connected to our district's purpose, to provide every child with every opportunity to become the very best of which he or she is capable.

Monday night's meeting will have a bit of an organizational feel as we have several objectives to work through which will help establish the focus for subsequent meetings later in the semester and throughout the 2016-17 school year. These objectives include:

- Clearly defining the purpose of the Parent Advisory Team
- Identifying and prioritizing topics of interest most important to each participant

As always, please let us know if you have any questions about this topic or anything else we do as a district. You can email ben.proctor@usd460.org or call our office at 620-327-4931.

Ben Proctor
Superintendent


Updated September 28, 2016

Re:  USD 460 Parent Advisory Team

Dear Parents and Families,

We have gotten off to a strong start to the 2016-17 school year in USD 460, and we wanted to make you aware of a unique opportunity to connect and contribute to the success of your child’s school and our entire district.

One of our primary goals as a school district is to intentionally and purposefully connect with our most invested stakeholders, the parents and families of our 800 students.  The purpose of this letter is to let every parent or guardian of a student in USD 460 know about opportunities you have to participate in the Parent Advisory Team for this school year.

We will hold the first of our four total meetings for the year on Monday, October 17 from 6:30 to 7:30 pm at the Hesston High School commons area.  As our Parent Advisory Team worked last year, we decided that these sessions will be topic-based, and we will create a menu of topics for participants to choose from and discuss that evening.

There are many potential topics, and we welcome suggestions from our parents.  Please feel free to email ben.proctor@usd460.org or call our office at 620-327-4931 to share your ideas on what you would like to hear discussed.  We will then put together a final list of ideas to discuss in small groups on the evening of October 17.

Some potential ideas to discuss could be:  USD 460 Improvement Framework; new academic/activity programs in K-12; indicators of success; facilities and operations; technology integration; policies and procedures; and many others.

In order to plan, we would ask that you notify us if you will be attending this session by noon on October 14 if at all possible.  As always, please do not hesitate to contact us at the email or number listed above.

Respectfully,

Ben Proctor
Superintendent




April 4, 2016

6:30-7:30 pm

HES 1-2 Commons

Agenda and Discussion Points


Notes from the meeting in Italics

Q & A

  • We will open up with a time of Questions/Answers since we did not get to this at the last meeting.

  • Please feel free to ask and discuss any questions you may have.

    • We spent a good amount of time discussing the aspects of the Recreation project and answered questions related to specifics, timelines, etc.


2016-17 Dates

  • Let’s set a goal to schedule Parent Advisory Team meetings for 2016-17.

  • We’ll take a look at next year’s district calendar and see if we can get some dates on the calendar early (or at least look at specific times of the year we want to meet).

    • We spent time discussing this topic in small groups and then shared in a big group.

    • The consensus was to meet 4 times during the year with the initial meeting in late August or early September before activities get going.

    • In addition, we discussed having a meeting in early November during “buffer week” and again in January the week after the mid-season basketball tournament.

    • We would likely hold our last meeting of the year in April as an opportunity to review the current school year as well as look ahead to the next year.


Parent Advisory Formats

  • Last meeting we discussed potential format for our Parent Advisory Team meetings.

  • Our goal for this meeting is to determine how we would like this format to look as we kick things off in the fall.

    • We spent the bulk of our time discussing potential formats and shared thoughts about how this Team could be most effectively utilized.  Some of the thoughts shared included:

    • Keeping the size of the groups small.  Most people like the ability to discuss and process in small groups and then sharing out as a big group.  This works best when the overall size is smaller and allows for more effective and comfortable conversation.

    • We discussed the idea of advocacy and the importance of everyone being adequately informed.  This could be aided by information being sent out by the district leaders prior to a meeting in order for people to come to the meeting informed.  Ongoing updates from the superintendent could be very helpful as well in order to best inform our potential advocates within the group(s).

    • We should have a clear objective for each meeting so that the discussion and work stays purposeful.  

    • We want to make certain that whatever we do it is meaningful and can move our district forward.  We should not just meet to talk but instead be able to work with the Board and staff in order to make our district better.

    • We talked about the possible need to split by school or age of kids at times for certain topics.


State and District Updates

  • Superintendent will share some updates around the state and district as time permits.

    • We spent just a bit of time discussing some of the legislative session and what the new school finance plan could mean for USD 460.



Updated March 7, 2016


We held our first Parent Advisory Team meeting on Thursday, February 18, and we had over 20 total participants.  We spent time discussing the new vision for public education in Kansas, the USD 460 improvement framework, and ideas on how we can format the Parent Advisory Team moving forward into the 2016-17 school year. 

In April, we will be hosting a follow-up meeting of the Parent Advisory Team and would like to, once again, make this opportunity available to any parent or guardian of a current USD 460 student.  This meeting will be held on Monday, April 4 in the Hesston Elementary School 1-2 Commons and will go from 6:30-7:30 pm.

The focus of this meeting will be to explore specific topics that are most relevant to parents of students in K-12, to discuss how USD 460 should measure student success, and to create a calendar of Parent Advisory Team meetings for the 2016-17 school year.  We would ask that if you are interested in attending this meeting, please notify our office by calling 620-327-4931 or emailing ben.proctor@usd460.org.

Respectfully,

Ben Proctor
Superintendent


Updated February 8, 2016

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Dear Hesston Families,

Hesston Schools are committed to continuous improvement, and we have adopted the motto moving from good to great.  An important part of this process includes being purposeful in the way we connect with those who are most invested in the success of our children, which are the families we serve.  The purpose of this letter is to notify you of a special opportunity to get involved in your child’s school district. 

On Thursday, February 18 from 6:30-7:30 pm in the Hesston High School commons, we will be hosting an organizational meeting for a new Parent Advisory Team we wish to establish in USD 460.  The invitation to attend is open to any parent/guardian of a student in grades K-12 in Hesston Schools.  As we continue to explore and pursue ways to best connect with all of our stakeholders, this is a first step in establishing a new and more purposeful relationship with our parents and guardians.

During this initial organizational meeting, we will explain the purpose of the Parent Advisory Team and how it will contribute to the goals we have within our District Improvement Framework.  In addition, we will spend time collaborating in large and small groups on how we can develop this new Team in a way that maximizes the success of every student in USD 460.  As an intended outcome of this meeting, our goal is to have next steps clearly defined in how the Parent Advisory Team will operate throughout the remainder of this spring semester and then as we move into the 2016-17 school year.

I encourage you to consider attending this initial Parent Advisory Team meeting.  We know that everyone’s schedule is extremely busy, and February 18 may not work for everyone.  If you cannot make the meeting, but have interest in being a part of this opportunity in the future, please let me know.  If you do plan to attend the meeting, I would ask that you call or email our Central Office at 620-327-4931 or email ben.proctor@usd460.org by Friday, February 12, so we can plan for the number of attendees.

Please do not hesitate to contact me anytime should you have any questions about this opportunity or anything we do as a school district.  Thank you for entrusting the education and care of your child to our incredible USD 460 staff.

Respectfully,

Ben Proctor
Superintendent of Schools


Agenda for February 18...

Welcome and Introductions
- Share the purpose of the meeting

New Vision for K-12 Public Education in Kansas
- Share details of the new vision and educational outcomes

USD 460 District Improvement Plan
- View details of this plan and what it means for our students/staff

Parent Advisory Team
- Collaborate on ideas for this Team
- What does a strong School/Parent partnership look like