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May 2015

Dear Top 10 by 20 Supporter:

As we transition toward summer, we want to make sure that reading is a part of the summer schedule for students. Learn more about the Department's summer reading challenge, Read MOre, Missouri!, which encourages students to continue to work on their literacy skills, spend time at the library or just enjoy a good book.  Please read this month's Top 10 Talk with Commissioner to find out more.

Missouri Assessment Program (MAP) Testing Nears the Finish Line
Missouri students have completed more than 1.8 million Missouri Assessment Program (MAP) testing sessions so far. Several administrators from around the state shared their thoughts regarding the assessments so far. See what they had to say.

Educators Show Support for Top 10 by 20
Educators from Columbia, Hazelwood, Hickman Mills, Joplin and Wentzville recently offered their support for Top 10 by 20. Hear their thoughts about the initiative and its goals.

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

What's Happening Around the State?
Schools around Missouri continue to successfully prepare students for life after high school. See what Affton, Ferguson-Florissant, Independence, MaryvilleSpringfield and Waynesville are accomplishing to help students reach their goals and make Missouri a top 10 state for education.

Missouri Juniors Take Free ACT
All Missouri 11th-grade students received a free administration of the ACT exam in late April. More than 65,000 juniors took the test. The ACT is a college entrance exam that measures what students have learned in math, English, reading and science.

State Board Holds Public Hearing on HB 1490 Work Groups
The State Board of Education conducted its second hearing to discuss academic standards related to HB1490. The hearing provided an opportunity for the public to offer comments and feedback to the State Board.

"Breaking Traditions" Winners

Nine Missourians were recently honored as “Breaking Traditions” award winners for their achievements related to nontraditional careers. The awards recognize students who have chosen specific career and technical education programs based on their interests and have not let their gender influence their career decisions.

Missouri High School Students Named Outstanding Citizenship Winners
Eight public high school students were honored as recipients of the 2015 Outstanding Achievement in Citizenship Award. The honorees were recognized at an April luncheon at The Missouri Bar in Jefferson City. Find out who took home this year's awards. 

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.

When I grow up, I want to be _____
The Department spoke with early childhood education students in Carthage to find out what they want to be when they grow up. Hear from them as well as Commissioner Vandeven on how high-quality early childhood education programs can start a child’s education off on the right foot.

Missouri Preschool Program Grant Opportunity
The Missouri Preschool Program competitive grant application is still available. The grant provides preschool classroom experiences to children who are one to two years from kindergarten entry. Public and private organizations are eligible to apply. For more information check the Missouri Preschool Program page on the Department website. Applications are due by 1 p.m. on May 29.

DRDP Training Now Available
Desired Results Developmental Profile (DRDP) training is presented through the Regional Professional Development Centers. The certified trainers will be presenting this two-day training to staff and administrators who work with preschool-age children. There is currently no registration fee for this training. For training in your region, check the Regional Professional Development Center website for the next available two-day session. DRDP is a research-based, observation readiness tool adopted as the Department’s recommended early childhood instrument.

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

Registration Ends Soon for Leadership Academy
Registration for Leadership Academy ends May 15. This year-long academy focuses on the improvement of leadership performance as articulated in Missouri’s Leader Standards and Quality Indicators. Leadership Academy emphasizes the importance of building capacity of instructional practices correlated to high academic achievement for students.

First-Year Educator Surveys Due Next Month
This spring, beginning teachers and principals were asked to complete a survey about their preparation to be professional educators. Supervisors were also surveyed about their new teachers’ or new principals’ preparation. These surveys close on June 5. Anyone who received an invitation is strongly encouraged to complete the surveys by the deadline. For more information, please contact the Department.

School Leaders Needed to Score MoSLPA
Educational Testing Service (ETS) is currently working with the Department to recruit educational leaders from the state to score the Missouri School Leader Performance Assessment (MoSLPA). This assessment is designed to provide opportunities for school leadership candidates to demonstrate their knowledge, skills and abilities as instructional leaders. For more information contact the Department.

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

We Want Your Feedback!             

We'd like to hear from you about our Top 10 by 20 UPDATE. Please take a minute to give us your feedback about our e-newsletter and how we can make it better for you.

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

- Information and materials for supporters

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