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June 2014
Commissioner's Video Message
Missouri Commissioner of Education Chris Nicastro discusses the Normandy School District’s transition, funding for early childhood education, Missouri’s summer reading program and more. You may also watch via YouTube or webstream.

Registration Set 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. Click here for registration information

Normandy Schools Will Continue to Operate with New Board

The State Board of Education voted to lapse the Normandy School District and replace it with a new local education agency and new governing body. This means local schools will continue to operate in the district’s footprint under new leadership. The move was based on community input as well as a recommendation from the Normandy Transition Task Force. The Board plans to address additional important issues at its June meeting. Read more

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

Missouri Debuts Read MOre, Missouri!

The Department is teaming up with Lexile to take part in a summer reading program. "Read MOre, Missouri!” encourages students to spend time this summer reading 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.

Missouri Schools Show Growth in STEM Education
More than 300 schools from across the state will participate in
Project Lead the Way when the 2014-15 school year begins. The program provides rigorous, relevant and innovative STEM education programs to schools across the country. It allows students to gain early exposure and hands on experiences in engineering, biomechanics, aeronautics, biomedical sciences and applied math fields. Eighteen new school districts will join the program in the fall. Read More

Three Missouri Students Named U.S. Presidential Scholars

Three Missouri high school seniors have been named
U.S. Presidential Scholars for their outstanding academic achievement. The U.S. Presidential Scholars Program was established by Executive Order of the President in 1964 to honor some of the nation’s most distinguished graduating seniors. It was expanded in 1979 to recognize students who demonstrate exceptional scholarship and talent in the visual, creative and performing arts. See the complete list of winners here.

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

Early Learning Program Guidance and Preparing Kids for School
As schools begin preparation for next year, it is important to consider the impact of quality early childhood services and programs. The Early Learning section has available two documents that may provide guidance and support. The Early Learning Program Guidance focuses on 10 areas of an early childhood program, such as qualifications of staff, curriculum, interactions and learning environments, child/staff ratios and establishing partnerships/collaborations. Preparing Kids for School is Missouri’s plan for helping children transition from early childhood programs to elementary schools. Included are examples of transition activities that can benefit children, parents and classroom teachers. Schools who are interested in developing a transition plan can also access tips and resources through this document. For more Early Learning publications, click here.
GOAL 3 - Missouri will prepare, develop, and support effective educators.

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 education 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 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.

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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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