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August 2017

Missouri Welcomes New State Board of Education Members
Missouri Governor Eric Greitens appointed two new members to the Missouri Board of Education on July 31, as Melissa Gelner and Eddy Justice will begin their service immediately. Gelner is chief kinship officer at Askinosie Chocolate in Springfield, while Justice is owner and an agent of Eddy Justice State Farm Insurance Agency in Poplar Bluff.

The next scheduled meeting of the State Board of Education is August 15 in Jefferson City.

DESE Administrator’s Conference Packs Tan-Tar-A
More than 600 Missouri administrators attended a three-day conference from July 31 – Aug. 2 at Tan-Tar-A resort at the Lake of the Ozarks. The event provided multiple breakout sessions, keynote speakers and panel discussions, as well as the annual recognition of the state’s Pioneers in Education. For more information, including individual session PowerPoints and keynote videos, please visit the conference website here.

Solar Eclipse and Students
On Aug. 21, Missouri will experience its first total solar eclipse since 1869, and DESE has been working with districts and teachers to provide information and details for schools that will already be in session that day. See unique classroom resources, learn about how the Missouri Learning Standards align with the solar eclipse and get information about how to protect your eyes on our Eclipse 2017 website.

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

St. Joseph Students Give Back During Summer School
Students in St. Joseph used part of their summer to gain valuable field experience with a summer school project that allowed them to give back to Edison Elementary in their hometown. 

Missouri Students Get STEM Experience During Summer Months
As coding classes become more prevalent in K-12 education, students in southeast Missouri learned valuable concepts of science, technology, engineering and mathematics during a summer session of Marquette Techfest. Teams of students would enter values into coding software, which allowed robots to chirp, flash and motor around, and hopefully spark an interest in tech applications.

Hundreds of Missouri Students Showcase Technical Skills in National SkillsUSA Competition

More than 200 Missouri high school and college students traveled to Louisville, Kentucky, for SkillsUSA’s 53rd annual National Leadership and Skills Conference. In total, Missouri students brought back 33 first, second, and third-place medallions, and 89 students placed in the top 10 against competitors from all 50 states and two U.S. territories. To see Missouri’s full list of medalists and to learn more about SkillsUSA, visit this link.

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

Starting Preschool Tips
Do you need some help preparing a child to start preschool? Little things such as involving the child in choosing a “first day” outfit and finding out about classroom routines ahead of time can ease anxiety for young students. This article from Scholastic covers tips from parents who have experienced this important milestone.

Back to School Books for All Ages
Whether starting preschool, kindergarten or middle school, beginning a new year can be stressful for children and families. Sharing books about the transition can help you engage children in conversations about concerns they might have. Check out this list of back-to-school books for kids of all ages for some new titles and some old favorites.

Parents as Teachers Educators are Lifelong Learners 
This summer, parent educators throughout Missouri sharpened their skills and increased their knowledge to better support Missouri families through home visiting. In July and August, parent educators are learning about autism red flags, developmental delays and sensory processing. Additional professional development opportunities can be found on the DESE PAT website.

Dads Rock
Studies have shown that outcomes are better for children when their fathers are actively engaged in their lives. However, many services for families are more likely to focus on mothers than fathers. Take a look at this great video to learn how your program can better serve families by meeting the needs of fathers.

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

Missouri 2017-18 Regional Teacher of the Year Winners Announced
DESE announced its 2017-18 Regional Teachers of the Year in late July as part of the Missouri Teacher of the Year program. The 32 teachers selected from all over the state are now eligible for the state teacher of the year award.

The Regional Teacher of the Year process began last year in an effort to celebrate outstanding teachers from more areas of the state, and the 2017-18 Missouri Teacher of the Year will be selected in August.

Jefferson City Third-Grade Teacher Puts Learning to a Beat
Jason Starke, a third-grade teacher at North Elementary in Holts Summit, brought a unique learning style to his classroom, by employing homemade music for a portion of each class period to help his students achieve understanding. Starke recorded songs about science and social studies topics, set to the instrumental beats of popular tunes. See more about how he incorporated music into his classroom here.

DESE Provides Trainings to New School Counselors and New Teachers
As part of DESE’s New Counselor Institute (NCI) and New Teacher Institute (NTI), more than 160 new school counselors and career and technical education (CTE) teachers took part in training during two sessions in late July. Workshops provided information, materials and resources for a successful first year in both school counseling programs as well as in the classroom. Both institutes provide great opportunities for professional development and networking for new employees to the field. To learn more about DESE’s NCI and NTI programs, visit their website.

Guest Columnists Wanted for Missouri Educators Site
One specific feature of the Missouri Teachers website is a section where educators get their chance to share their passion about teaching as a “Guest Educator Columnist.” If you would like to contribute a column regarding a specific teaching experience, classroom methods or how you’ve implemented something you learned from a mentor/previous teacher, please contact the DESE Communications office.


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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