March 2018                                        

Save the Date for July’s Conference for School Administrators
The 57th Annual Cooperative Conference for School Administrators will be held July 29-31 at Tan-Tar-A in Osage Beach. Registration information will be made available soon, but make your hotel reservations by using Tan-Tar-A’s online reservation service (Code: ADMN) or by calling 573-348-3131.


Access, Opportunity, Equity: Provide all students access to a broad range of high-quality educational opportunities from early learning into post-high school engagement                      

Set to Bloom: Tiger Lilies Group Learning Life Lessons 
Nearly 70 girls at Cape Girardeau 63 school district’s Central Middle School have been meeting with school personnel as part of a small group to improve school and personal skills. Some of the girls are identified as at-risk because of behavior, attendance or academic performance issues. Others might have confidence or self-esteem concerns. Still others are chosen for their independence so they can mentor others.

“To be productive members of society, they need soft skills as much as they need math,” said Tiger Lilies coordinator and guidance counselor Becky Wright. “The teachers and administration have been so supportive.”

Now Serving: Life Skills
In two Missouri school districts this past month, students have gotten hands-on opportunities to take lessons from the kitchen and turn them into programs that expand beyond the school walls. In Jefferson City, more than a dozen fourth and fifth graders served dinner to 100 people, while at Troy South Middle School, the Titan Coffee Crew has perked up dreary Monday mornings with a hot cup made to order.

Wiggle Seats, Fab Labs and Drones
As educators across the country continue to revamp curriculum to prepare students for the 21st century workforce, some school districts, including North Kansas City, have opted to redesign school buildings to put more emphasis on projects, collaboration and technology. See how one particular space doesn’t look like it did before so kids can prepare for new jobs!

Free App Helps Parents Track Spread of Illnesses
A total of 40 St. Louis area schools were chosen to test a new app that tracks the flu or other illnesses and how they spread. A school nurse at Mesnier Primary School in the Affton 101 school district said the confidential app has been instrumental in early detection, allowing families to get their children to the doctor faster and prevent sicknesses from spreading.

“We are able to isolate classrooms to figure out who or where it might be evolving from,” explained Karen Laubert. “Attendance is better [because] we get them out when their symptoms are first starting.”

Albany Turns Unused Space into New Innovation/Makerspace Room
When a group of teachers traveled to a national conference last summer and saw the STEM-related possibilities that weren’t currently offered in their rural district at Albany R-III, they came up with a big idea. With Albany introducing Chromebooks to all students starting in the 2017-18 school year, a large computer lab would now be obsolete. Behind a gracious donation and hours of planning, learning, researching and exploring, the district now features opportunities never before seen in their buildings. A student-created video shows how these new opportunities have created many new looks at learning.

Teachers and Leaders: Prepare, develop and support educators to ensure an effective teacher in every classroom and an effective leader in every school

Belton School District Staff Volunteers During Week Off School
A combination of the school calendar and Mother Nature created a less than ideal situation for the Belton School District in mid-February, as the district missed a full week of school due to a professional development day, Presidents Day, and three snow/ice days. On Wednesday, Feb. 21, the sixth straight day of no school, staff took action after growing concerned that some students likely hadn’t eaten well since the long layoff started.

Staff – including both teachers and administration – went through pantry items and Harvesters’ backpack donations and made personal deliveries to students’ homes. Check out these Facebook posts (one | two) to see their results!

Nominate an Outstanding Teacher for Regional Teacher of the Year
The 2018-19 Regional Teacher of the Year selection process is underway, and nominations are being collected from now until April 17, 2018. If your local district doesn’t have a formal process in place to select a district teacher of the year, don’t miss this opportunity to nominate an inspiring teacher who you feel makes a difference in the lives of students. Learn more about the nomination process here.

Normandy Receives STEM-Based Funding to Aid Both Students and Teachers
The Normandy 7th-8th Grade Center received $20,000 from Project Lead the Way (PLTW) and the Toyota USA Foundation to help empower students to develop in-demand, transportable knowledge and skills in computer science, engineering and biomedical science. The award is part of nearly $200,000 that went to a variety of Missouri schools.

While Normandy has offered PLTW biomedical science and engineering courses at the high school level, the 7th-8th Grade Center will use the grant to train teachers and implement new curriculum at the middle school level.

“This is going to give our students a good look at STEM careers and help them decide which pathway they want to go into at the high school as they further their studies,” said Olga Hunt, science curriculum coordinator for the district.

School Counselors Recognized During February Celebration
As part of National School Counselors Week in February, Missouri school counselors were recognized throughout Missouri at both the district and state levels. This video from Rockwood School District showcased some of its younger students telling how much they appreciate their counselors every day!

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
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