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February 2017

Missouri Schools Acknowledged for Professional Learning Opportunities
Sixteen schools from across the state of Missouri were honored during the 2017 Powerful Learning Conference on Jan. 30-31. The schools were named “Exemplary Schools” for promoting cultures focused on collaborative learning while effectively using data to increase student achievement.

“Congratulations to these teachers and leaders who have accepted the challenge of ensuring high levels of learning for all students,” Commissioner of Education Margie Vandeven said.

The complete list of recognized schools is available at this website.

Goal #1 - All Missouri students will graduate college and career ready.                       

Francis Howell School District Cooks up a Tasty Tradition
Students from each of the Francis Howell School District’s high schools link up to compete in an annual competition called the Iron Chef Culinary Throwdown. Each high school’s Family and Consumer Sciences Department battles in teams of five to create their own dishes in the kitchen, incorporating career preparation, collaboration, and problem-solving in search of a scholarship for the school’s department. In addition, top local chefs stop by throughout the competition and the school year to teach students about the art of cooking and restaurant management!

Fox C-6 District Brings Student Advisory Council to the Table
Student leaders from both Fox and Seckman High Schools have teamed up to form a Student Advisory Council that interacts with Fox C-6 district administrators on topics such as bullying, course offerings and more. These students, selected based on recommendations from teachers and administrators, have earned the opportunity to help shape the direction of the district through their own experiences in the school district.

Fort Zumwalt R-II School District Partners with Technical College for Computer, Machinery Credit
Students in the Fort Zumwalt School District will have the opportunity to earn CTE (career & technical education) credit through a local technical college beginning in the 2017-18 school year. The new partnership will allow students who successfully complete one of two “Metals”-based courses to take an assessment test for certification at the college. In addition, a credit by assessment agreement is in place for certification with Cisco, a computer network hardware company, via completion of an IT Essentials course.

Goal #2 - All Missouri children will enter kindergarten prepared to be successful in school.

Save the Date for Conference on the Young Years
We look forward to seeing many attendees at the 44th annual Conference on the Young Years, to be held March 9-11, 2017, at Tan-Tar-A Resort in Osage Beach. This year’s conference has engaging featured speakers, including Sharron Krull, Peggy North-Jones, David Schramm, Laura Seger, Kenneth Sherman, Barbara Sorrels, Kay Zastrow, Ross Thompson and Melissa Thomas. The registration deadline is Feb. 28!

Parent Educator of the Year Award
Moberly’s Karen Berding was honored on Oct. 17 at the 2016 Parents as Teachers International Conference in St. Louis for her designation as the Parent Educator of the Year. Berding, along with two other parent educators, accepted the award before 1,200 conference participants representing early childhood, child care, health, mental health, social services, and government and business professionals from across the nation and around the world.

Karen is in her 32nd year with Parents as Teachers, and she was recognized for both advocating for support for the youngest learners statewide and for bringing the Parents as Teachers program to Moberly. For more information about Parents as Teachers in your community, contact your local school district.

Early Learning Blended Funding 
The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education will offer blended funding as an option for early learning programs beginning in the 2017-18 school year. Blended funding occurs when two or more existing funding sources are pooled to support educational costs of services provided in early learning programs. This ensures consistency, eliminates duplication of services, allows for maximum flexibility of funds and reduces administrative burdens.

For additional information, review the Early Learning Blended Funding Programs guidance document and FAQs. An Early Learning Blended Plan and Budget Application will be available for the 2017-18 school year in mid-April with a closing date of July 1.

Goal 3 - Missouri will prepare, develop and support effective educators.

Nixa Teachers Hit the Books…Next to their Students
At Nixa Junior High, teachers took up seats next to their students as part of a shadowing experience designed to help educators interact with the students they teach on a daily basis. Teachers got direct answers to development questions such as, “What do our students go through? How are our expectations? How do our students get the most from their classroom experiences?”

See what tips they picked up from returning to their junior high days in this video.

2017 Interface Conference Now Taking Registrations

Educators across the state have the opportunity for high-quality professional development by attending the 2017 Interface Conference, held Feb. 23-25, 2017 (grades K-6), and Feb. 26-28, 2017 (grades 7-12), at Tan-Tar-A in Osage Beach. This conference allows participants to learn more details about core STEM concepts in science, technology, engineering and math. Visit the conference website to learn more.

“Grow Your Own” Statewide Campaign Gaining Momentum!
In a strategic effort to capitalize on the untapped resources that already exist within respective school communities in Missouri, a Grow Your Own campaign has been launched to achieve equity goals outlined in the state’s Equity Plan. The goal of this campaign is to recruit two to three students per high school into the education profession. Learn more about the Grow Your Own model here.

Annual Performance Reports Coming Soon for Missouri Educator Preparation Programs
To help ensure that every child has access to effective teachers and school leaders, the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education has established rigorous standards for educator preparation programs in Missouri. The Department will release the first public Educator Preparation Annual Performance Report (APR) in the coming weeks. The APR will provide parents and students with reliable information about performance levels from each of the state’s higher education programs. Follow the newsletter for additional updates.


The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, gender, national origin, age, or disability in its programs and activities. Inquiries related to Department programs and to the location of services, activities, and facilities that are accessible by persons with disabilities may be directed to the Jefferson State Office Building, Office of the General Counsel, Coordinator - Civil Rights Compliance (Title VI/Title IX/504/ADA/Age Act), 6th Floor, 205 Jefferson Street, P.O. Box 480, Jefferson City, MO 65102-0480; telephone number 573-526-4757 or TTY 800-735-2966; email civilrights@dese.mo.gov
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