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June 2015

Dear Top 10 by 20 Supporter:

Many of you are probably aware that the state legislature recently passed House Bill 42, also known as the student transfer bill. Whether or not the bill is signed into law, one thing remains certain: All students have the right to a high-quality education. Read more in this month's Top 10 Talk with Commissioner.

State Board of Education Elects New Officers
The Missouri State Board of Education voted unanimously to elect Charlie Shields as Board President and Vic Lenz as Vice President. Mr. Shields resides in St. Joseph, while Mr. Lenz is from St. Louis. Check out their bios here.

Chesterfield Student Wins National Spelling Bee
Parkway West Middle School student Gokul Venkatchalam tied for first place at the Scripps Howard National Spelling Bee last month in Washington D.C. The Chesterfield eighth-grader correctly spelled “nunatak” to share the prize. 

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

Missouri Names Eight Gold Star Schools
The Department announced the winners of this year’s Gold Star Schools last month. The program recognizes schools that perform at high academic levels or that perform at high levels while serving a significant proportion of disadvantaged students. See a list of this year’s winners.

What's Happening Around the State?
Schools around Missouri continue to successfully prepare students for life after high school. See what Columbia, Springfield, North Kansas City and Francis Howell are accomplishing to help students reach their goals and make Missouri a top 10 state for education.

Read MOre, Missouri!
Missouri students can keep their reading skills sharp over the summer months by joining the “Read MOre, Missouri!” reading challenge. The program is an effort to prevent “summer slide,” the loss of learning skills that many students experience during their break from classes. Find out how you can participate.

Missouri Learning Standards Newsletter
The Department produces a newsletter devoted to learning standards in Missouri. This e-newsletter keeps Missourians updated on the latest information related to Missouri Learning Standards and includes blog posts and videos. For more information on the standards, including how to subscribe to the newsletter, visit www.missourilearningstandards.com.

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

Start Smart Initiative Applications Available
The Missouri Department of Economic Development (DED) is now taking applications for the Start Smart Initiative for organizations that are looking to start or expand early childhood education facilities. The deadline is June 30 and all application materials can be found here. There is also a webinar that has been posted to help with the application process. For more information contact Brenda Horstman or Andy Papen at DED.

Helping Young Children Thrive
How do you help parents, parent educators and teachers understand how they can best help young children thrive? Seeing is believing. Zero to Three National Center for Infants, Toddlers and Families has developed a series of videos to support school readiness from the beginning.

DRDP Training Available in August
Desired Results Developmental Profile (DRDP) training will be available in August. DRDP is a research-based, observation readiness tool adopted as the Department’s recommended early childhood instrument. Visit our website for more information.

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

Registration Ends Soon for Teacher Academy
Registration for Teacher Academy ends June 12. The focus of the Teacher Academy is student engagement, instructional strategies and reflection on practices that align with the Missouri State Teacher Standards. Teacher Academy provides opportunities for participants to learn new teaching strategies and collaborate with other highly committed teachers in their region and throughout the state.

Measures of Student Growth in the Evaluation Process
The student growth component of the evaluation process begins in the 2015-16 school year. This requirement applies to teachers of all grades levels and instructing in all areas of content. An overview of new materials and training will be provided at the upcoming Administrators Conference in July, and will be available throughout the school year to all charter schools and school districts by regional service providers. Click here for training locations and watch for further details. For an orientation on SLOs, visit the Student Growth Data in the Educator Growth Toolbox.

MOST Undergoes "Continuous Improvement Process"
Missouri Observation Simulation Tool (MOST) is in the process of being updated and improved to better meet the needs of Missouri administrators and teacher evaluators. The updates will be in place this summer and an overview will be provided at the Administrator Conference in July. Additional features will include new videos, a stronger emphasis on effective instructional practice and opportunities to calibrate an evaluator’s skills to an embedded observation form. For more information about MOST, visit Observations & Feedback in the Educator Growth Toolbox.

Goal 4 - The Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education will improve departmental efficiency and operational effectiveness.

Department Employee Wins State Award for Leadership        

Kim Kaemmerer, a Missouri Disability Determination Services (DDS) regional manager, was recently honored as a 2015 Missouri State Employee Award of Distinction winner for her leadership skills. The award is one of the highest honors a Missouri state employee can receive. Learn more about the award.

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Top 10 by 20 - Missouri Proud! Missouri's Top 10 by 20 Initiative
Become a Supporter!

Let us know you support Missouri's Top 10 by 20 initiative! Individuals can sign on as supporters, and organizations can sign on as partners in this effort. We invite your ideas for helping Missouri reach this important goal. Send us a note, or better yet, send a letter to the State Board of Education and/or adopt a resolution at your next meeting. Samples are provided to help you get started.

More information about the Top 10 by 20 strategic plan

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