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July 2014
Commissioner's Video Message
Missouri Commissioner of Education Chris Nicastro discusses Missouri's Summer reading program, the Normandy Schools Collaborative and the School Administrators Conference. Please watch via YouTube or webstream.

Registration Continues for Administrators Conference
The 53rd annual Cooperative Conference for School Administrators will take place July 27-29 at the Holiday Inn Executive Center in Columbia. Registration is now open on the DESE website. Speakers include author and educator Dr. Mike Schmoker, and Dr. Brian McNulty, a leader in educator development. Please join us for this exciting event. Registration ends July 18. 
Click here for registration information

Normandy School Collaborative to Operate with New Leadership            
The State Board of Education took steps to break the cycle of low achievement and fundamentally change the way Normandy schools will function by approving the transition of the Normandy School District to governance under a new appointed board. A number of important issues regarding the Normandy Schools Collaborative will be discussed at the July State Board Meeting. To stay updated with the latest information, please visit http://dese.mo.gov/Normandy.

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

Missouri Summer Reading Program Read MOre, Missouri!

The Department is teaming up with MetaMetrics to take part in a summer reading program. "Read MOre, Missouri!” encourages students to spend time reading this summer in order to eliminate the loss of learning that often occurs during time away from school. Find more here on this exciting opportunity for students around the state.

Pathways to Prosperity Event Promotes School-Business Partnerships
The Department's Pathways to Prosperity initiative was the focus of a workforce development symposium June 24 in Hannibal. Missouri is one of nine states selected by the Harvard Graduate School of Education and Jobs for the Future to participate in the initiative. For every 100 students in Missouri, 21 will earn a four-year degree. Pathways can equip the majority of students to succeed in the job market. Keep updated with the latest from Pathways to Prosperity.

Waynesville Receives Grant for National Math and Science Initiative
The Waynesville R-VI School District will be the first in Missouri to implement a college readiness program from the National Math and Science Initiative (NMSI) thanks to a $300,000 grant from the Department of Defense Educational Authority (DoDEA). The district will offer five new AP courses. Teachers are receiving training this summer to prepare for those classes. Read more

Missouri Learning Standards Newsletter           

The Department has launched a newsletter devoted to learning standards in Missouri. This e-newsletter will keep 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

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

Funding Opportunity - Start Smart Early Childhood Education Facilities     
The Missouri Department of Economic Development (DED) has announced a second funding opportunity to support the development of new, or the expansion of, existing high-quality early childhood pre-kindergarten educational opportunities specifically directed at children of low and moderate income families. Applications for either the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) or the Neighborhood Assistance Program (NAP) are due in the DED offices no later than 5 p.m. Aug. 5. For more information on Early Childhood Education in Missouri, click here.

Stacey Preis Named Assistant Commissioner for Early and Extended Learning           
The Department recently named Stacey Preis as the new assistant commissioner for the Office of Early and Extended Learning. Preis recently served as the executive director of the joint committee on education for the Missouri General Assembly. She also held several jobs at the University of Missouri and was an English and journalism teacher at Jefferson City High School. For more information on Early and Extended Learning, please click here.
Goal 3 - Missouri will prepare, develop and support effective educators.

Missouri Leadership for Excellence, Achievement and Development Continues to Expand           
The Missouri Leadership for Excellence, Achievement and Development (MoLEAD) is expanding to include a third round of training, as well as a new pilot program with Missouri State University aimed at enhancing instructional leadership among school administrators. MoLEAD will be offering a third round of training that is expected to begin in October and will be available in at least seven locations around the state. Read more

Digital Library of Formative Assessments Opens                        

The Digital Library of Formative Assessments is now open. The library is the third component of the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium and offers professionally commissioned and teacher developed formative assessment practices and professional learning resources. Teachers from across the consortium worked together to create and vet professional developmental materials and instructional resources aligned to the standards and the Smarter Balanced assessment system. Read more

Missouri Observation Simulation Tool Officially Launches   
The Missouri Observation Simulation Tool (MOST) has officially launched and is free to all administrators across the state, as well as to educator preparation programs and educator organizations. MOST is an online training tool administrators can use to practice evaluating teachers by observing videos of teachers in action and guidance for how to provide meaningful feedback. With more than 200 video clips available - searchable by quality indicator, grade-level and content area - MOST offers districts targeted support on aligning to four of the seven Essential Principles of the Effective Educator Evaluation. Click here to register now!

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

Vocational Rehabilitation Employees Honored for Service
Four Vocational Rehabilitation employees were honored for their service to those with disabilities during the Missouri Rehabilitation Association Conference in June. Jeanne Loyd, assistant commissioner for the office of Adult Learning and Rehabilitation Services, was the winner of the Stevinson Award, the highest honor given by the Missouri Rehabilitation Association. See the complete list of winners here.             

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Top 10 by 20 - Missouri Proud! Missouri's Top 10 by 20 Initiative
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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.

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