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January 2017

State Board Grants Full Accreditation for St. Louis Public Schools
On Tuesday, January 10, the State Board of Education voted unanimously to classify St. Louis Public Schools (SLPS) as fully accredited, effective immediately. The vote followed a presentation by Department staff outlining the district’s student growth in academics as well as stability in leadership and finances. 

“This is an opportunity to celebrate really great things in the district,” said State Board President Charlie Shields. “Today’s decision should be viewed as a major success for St. Louis, the state of Missouri and the Department.”

Read DESE’s official announcement here

Regional Meeting Survey Results Published
Attendees of the 2016 Regional Meetings on Education, as well as those who were unable to attend, were asked to complete one of two surveys that requested their views about the current path of education in the state of Missouri. That information has since been compiled and reviewed by DESE staff, allowing for more thorough discussion regarding the future of public education throughout the state. 

Follow-up information from those who attended one of the Regional Meetings in person is available here, while thoughts from those who answered questions via an online “virtual meeting” are available here.

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

Nixa Incorporating Team-Building Challenges in “Collabatory”
Students at Summit Intermediate in the Nixa Public Schools district have received the chance to improve their team-building skills and enhance their critical thinking abilities in an on-site “collabatory.” The program creates opportunities for students to engage in hands-on learning that they may not have participated in without the team-building process.

Fairview R-XI Students Offered Unique Opportunities through Project Lead the Way
Students in sixth, seventh and eighth grades at Fairview school have added STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) concepts into their classrooms via Project Lead the Way. The program is designed to offer courses in four subjects: design and modeling, automation and robotics, science of technology, and medical detectives.

Excelsior Springs Faculty and Staff Building Connections with Students
Teachers in the Excelsior Springs School District spoke about shifting their focus toward empowerment for both students and faculty/staff to create a better learning environment each day.

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

Save the Date for Conference on the Young Years
Join us on March 9-11, 2017, at Tan-Tar-A Resort in Osage Beach for the 2017 Conference on the Young Years. We recognize the important role you play in shaping Missouri’s future and invite you to participate in this unique conference experience. Early bird registration prices are good until February 10.
This year’s keynote speakers are experts in the field of early childhood and include Marcia L. Tate, EdD, who will deliver a keynote address based on her bestselling book, Worksheets Don’t Grow Dendrites: 20 Instructional Strategies That Engage the Brain. Tate is the former Executive Director of Professional Development for the DeKalb County school system in Decatur, Georgia.

Home Visiting Summit Approaching for Missouri Parent Educators and Home Visitors
The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education and the Department of Health and Senior Services will be hosting Professional Learning Communities “mini-sessions” on Thursday, March 9, 2017, separately from the Conference on the Young Years (CYY) at Tan-Tar-A Resort in Osage Beach. There will be no registration fee for these sessions, designed specifically for Missouri Parent Educators and Home Visiting programs.
Registration for the Home Visiting Summit is available on the CYY registration site.

Learn the Signs. Act Early. 
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention sponsors a website designed for parents to access a wide variety of free, research-based resources on child development. Their newest resource, titled “Milestones in Action,” is a free image library that features photos and videos of children demonstrating developmental milestones from two months to five years of age. This tool was created to help both parents and early care providers identify developmental milestones in children and know if there is cause for concern.

Conscious Discipline® Training in Springfield and Perryville
The Missouri Preschool Program (MPP) Learning Communities Project is proud to sponsor a six-day course in May and June titled “Conscious Discipline®: Beginning Implementation.” This training is offered free of charge to MPP administrators, teachers and assistants. Priority will be given to MPP sites, although non-MPP educators may also attend at no charge if space allows. Deadline for registration is April 10, 2017. View the full flyer and registration form.

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

2017 Interface Conference Now Taking Registrations
Educators across the state have the opportunity for high-quality professional development by attending the 2017 Interface Conference, held Feb. 23-25, 2017 (grades K-6), and Feb. 26-28, 2017 (grades 7-12), at Tan-Tar-A in Osage Beach. This conference allows participants to learn more details about core STEM concepts in science, technology, engineering and math. Visit the conference website to learn more.

“Grow Your Own” Statewide Campaign Gaining Momentum!
Research indicates that 60 percent of America’s teachers work within 20 miles of where they went to high school, according to Dan Brown, author of an article titled The Grow Your Own Imperative, which was published in the Summer 2016 digital issue of Educational Leadership. In a strategic effort to capitalize on the untapped resources that already exist within respective school communities in Missouri, a Grow Your Own campaign has been launched to achieve equity goals outlined in the state’s Equity Plan. The goal of this campaign is to recruit two to three students per high school into the education profession. Learn more about the Grow Your Own model here.

Annual Performance Reports Coming Soon for Missouri Educator Preparation Programs
To help ensure that every child has access to effective teachers and school leaders, the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education has established rigorous standards for educator preparation programs in Missouri. The Department will release the first public Educator Preparation Annual Performance Report (APR) this February. The APR will provide parents and students with reliable information about performance levels from each of the state’s higher education programs. Follow the newsletter for additional updates next month.


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