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Everything listed under: DESE

  • Missouri Legislature 2015 Wrap-Up Post

     

    The First Regular Session of the 98th Missouri General Assembly ended on May 15th. During the 4.5-month-long session, a number of bills affecting Missouri public schools were the subjects of debate. From budgets to bullying to school transfer law, here’s a summary of the biggest education-related bills of the session.

    State Budget Approval & the Foundation Formula
    Congress passed the state’s Fiscal Year 2016 operating budget. The budget, which will go into effect July 1st, includes an $84 million increase in funding for the Foundation Formula. Despite the increase, the Formula remains under-funded by more than $440 million.

    Learn more: Understanding the Missouri Foundation Formula

    Supplemental Budget Approval
    The state’s supplemental budget bill, which helps cover unexpected expenses in the current year, was passed during the legislative session. The bill allocated $3.78 million to K-12 schools and $3.4 million to early childhood special education programs.

    A+ Funding for Illegal Immigrants
    Legislators passed a bill that will exclude illegal immigrants from qualifying for Missouri A+ Program scholarship funding. The bill was designed to ensure that residents have state scholarship funding priority. Opponents of the bill are concerned that students brought to the United States as children are being punished unfairly and prevented from achieving higher education goals. (Source)

    Learn more: Missouri’s A+ Program Benefits Thousands Each Year

    Higher Education Funding
    HB3 increases funding for Missouri’s public higher education institutions by $12 million. The bill was passed by the legislature and signed by the Governor.

    School Transfers
    Legislature passed a school transfer bill (HB42) that opponents hope will be vetoed by Governor Jay Nixon. The bill, which would expand charter and virtual schools in the state, would also affect accreditation and school transfer.

    Under the bill, individual schools — not entire school districts — would earn accreditation. Students would be able to transfer from a failing school to an accredited school in their home districts. If an accredited school doesn’t exist in the student’s district, the student could still transfer outside the district.

    Failing schools would still be required to pay tuition and transportation costs for transfer students. The bill placed no limits on the cost of tuition charged by receiving districts. (Source)

    Learn more: School Transfer: An Expensive Law for Struggling Schools

    Day Care Bill
    SB341, which was passed by the legislature and signed by the governor, requires day care centers to establish safe sleep policies and to disclose registration of unvaccinated children. The bill also establishes reporting procedures for juveniles with sexual behavior issues. (Source)

    Bullying
    A prominent anti-bullying bill didn’t survive the session. HB458 would have made school anti-bullying policy requirements stricter. The bill defined bullying and cyber bullying, and called for schools to play a more active role in suicide prevention. Many schools already have already enacted written anti-bullying policies on their own, but the bill would have legally required them to do so. (Source)

    Learn more: Bullying in Schools: How Adults Can Help

    A New President for the State Board of Education
    Unrelated to lawmaking, but coinciding with the legislative session, the State Board of Education elected a new president, Charlie Shields of St. Joseph, to replace former president Peter Herschend. Shields is the Chief Operating Officer at Truman Medical Centers, and served 20 years in the Missouri General Assembly. (Source)

    Missouri Parent is a free service for all Missouri parents and others who have an interest in public education. We aim to provide accurate and timely information on education funding and legislative issues that impact public education.

    To continue to learn about policies affecting your child’s Missouri public school education, bookmark Missouri Parent News and connect with Missouri Parent on Facebook and Twitter.


  • What Does the Missouri Board of Education Do?

     

    The Missouri State Board of Education supervises instruction in the state’s public schools from preschool through higher education and adult education. The Board, which was established by Article IX, Section 2a of the Missouri Constitution, has many responsibilities.

    Its role includes, but is not limited to:

    · Appointing the State Commissioner of Education
    · Setting the policies for the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE)
    · Defining academic performance standards and assessments.
    · Accrediting local school districts through the Missouri School Improvement Program (MSIP).
    · Operating Missouri State Schools, and
    · Submitting budget recommendations for education to the Missouri Legislature.
    (Source)

    All of the Board of Education’s duties are critical ones for Missouri’s public schools. Accreditation, performance standards, and budgets are some of the biggest categories of educational responsibility in the State of Missouri.

    So when board members’ decisions affect our students, schools, and districts so universally, it’s important to understand more about the Board. How are Board members appointed? How long do they serve? What kinds of credentials do they need to have?

    Who Sits on the Missouri Board of Education?

    There are eight members of the Missouri Board of Education, each of whom serves an eight-year term. The Governor appoints the board’s members, and the State Senate confirms them. The members’ terms are staggered so that only one member’s term expires each year.

    Members must represent more than one political party; no more than four members can belong to the same party. Additionally, each member of the board must come from a different county or congressional district to ensure that a broad range of geographic perspectives is considered in decision-making.

    Board members have a range of professional backgrounds ranging from education to business to politics, and many have served on local school boards for years — or even decades — before being appointed to the State Board of Education.

    You can read more about the Missouri State Board of Education on the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education’s Website. You can also find Board meeting agendas and minutes, a Board meeting schedule, and information about Missouri’s Commissioner of Education.

    Missouri Parent is here to help you navigate the intersection of education, policy and parenting. Bookmark Missouri Parent News or connect with us on Facebook and Twitter for daily update on legislative and funding issues facing Missouri’s K-12 public schools.


  • Tools to Use: MO School Directory Interactive Map

    Have you ever wondered exactly how your child’s school and district lie in relationship to legislative boundaries or county lines? The Missouri School Directory Interactive Map, a tool of the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE), can answer those questions and more.

    DESE’s interactive map allows you to view any combination of the following:
    · Schools
    · School Districts
    · Counties
    · Missouri House Districts
    · Missouri Senate Districts
    · U.S. Congressional Districts

    So, for instance, you can view all schools in Barton County, Missouri, as they relate to the state’s Senate Districts:


    Or if your child attends school in Blue Springs R-IV School District, you can explore the way that each of the schools in the district compares to where Missouri’s House District boundaries lie.

    In addition to being able to see how schools, districts, counties, and state and federal legislative districts overlap, you can even customize the style of the map. There are ten different map options, including street view, a view that’s similar to Google Earth, topographical and terrain views, and light or dark gray canvases.

    The Missouri School Directory Interactive Map is a modern application that includes some of the information that parents used to be able to find in the printed Missouri School Directory. The Missouri School Directory is available digitally only, now, but the interactive map is a very cool, technologically relevant application of the data in the directory.

    According to the DESE website, most of the information in the map comes from the Missouri Comprehensive Data System (MCDS). That information is updated weekly, so the Missouri School Directory Interactive Map is virtually always up to date.

    We want to hear from you: Have you ever used the Missouri School Directory Interactive Map? How did it help you? Leave a comment on the blog or chat with us on Facebook or Twitter.

    Was this post helpful? Share it with friends using the hashtag #MoEdTools, and be sure to bookmark Missouri Parent News for regular updates on legislation and funding issues affecting Missouri’s K-12 public schools.


  • What are Missouri State Schools?

     

    What are state schools, and how are they different from local public schools? That’s what we’ll talk about today on the Missouri Parent Blog.

    The public schools that most of us are most familiar with are traditional public schools administered at the local level through a local education authority, or LEA. LEAs are more commonly simply called school districts.

    State schools, on the other hand, serve children with severe disabilities. Mid-Missouri’s Public Radio station, KBIA explains:

    “In Missouri, the state schools aren’t integrated into local public school systems. They are separate, regional schools that serve only students with severe mental and physical disabilities.”

    These schools are administered by the State of Missouri through the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education’s Division of Learning Services’ Office of Special Education.

    According to DESE, there are three State Board of Education Operated Programs: School for the Deaf, School for the Blind, and the Missouri Schools for the Severely Disabled. Each of these is considered to be a state school system. (Source)

    Who Administers Missouri State Schools?

    A. Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE)
    B. Division of Learning Services
    C. Office of Special Education
    c. Missouri State Schools
    School for the Deaf
    School for the Blind
    the Missouri Schools for the Severely Disabled

    Funding for state schools comes from federal and state moneys. In some cases, local districts are also required to contribute toward the cost of a child’s education who attends a state school but is a resident of the local district.

    If you’d like to learn more about Missouri’s three state-administered school districts, we recommend the following posts:

    The Individuals with Disabilities Act (IDEA)
    Missouri School for the Deaf (MSD)
    The Missouri School for the Blind (MSB)
    The Missouri Schools for the Severely Disabled (MSSD)

    To continue learning about Missouri public schools, bookmark Missouri Parent News. For daily updates, connect with Missouri Parent on Facebook and Twitter.


  • The Missouri School for the Blind

     

    Missouri School for the Blind is a state-run residential school in St. Louis where legally blind students from birth to 21 years old have received a free, quality, public education since 1851.

    The mission of MSB is to provide individualized instruction, resources, and educational services ensuring that students with visual impairments achieve the academic, social, employment, and life skills empowering them to enjoy full productive lives.

    MSB achieves its mission through two primary programs areas. First, MSB has a residential K-12 school in St. Louis. Second, it offers outreach services throughout the state. MSB is a statewide resource for families and educators on blindness and/or deafblindness. (Source)

    MSB’s residential program provides students with an array of athletics and clubs, and the school is fully accredited by the North Central Association of Schools for the Blind (NCASB).

    Its outreach services support families, provide parent education, and publish listings of vision education and mobility service providers. Outreach also includes a media library and professional development opportunities.

    About Missouri State Schools

    MSB is one of three school systems in Missouri that is administered by the State Board of Education, rafter than by a local school district. Students attend MSB at no cost to their families or their local school districts.

    The other two systems are the Missouri School for the Deaf and the Missouri Schools for the Severely Disabled.

    If you’d like to learn more about Missouri’s three state-administered school districts, we recommend the following posts:

    The Individuals with Disabilities Act (IDEA)
    What are Missouri State Schools?
    Missouri School for the Deaf (MSD)
    The Missouri Schools for the Severely Disabled (MSSD)

    To continue learning about Missouri public schools, bookmark Missouri Parent News. For daily updates, connect with Missouri Parent on Facebook and Twitter.


  • Missouri School for the Deaf

     

    The Missouri School for the Deaf is a state school for students with hearing disabilities. MSD, which is located in Fulton, offers a comprehensive K-12 education with accredited academics and vocational training, as well as a wide array of extracurricular activities, sports, and residential life activities.

    Although most of MSD’s students are residential, many families of deaf children relocate to Fulton so that their children can attend MSD as day students while living at home. Children can go home as often as they’d like; students who live nearby can go home each night, but students who live further away might only go home on the weekends.

    As a state school, MSD is free for students to attend; the state pays for room, board, tuition, laundry, books, and other education and residential services. A deaf student’s access to a quality education is never inhibited by his or her parents’ ability to pay for it.

    According to MSD’s website, MSD students graduate “prepared for the world of work and for post-secondary education opportunities.” MSD calls its graduates, “self-supporting men and women who live and work in all parts of the state and throughout the nation.”

    MSD doesn’t just educate students. The Resource Center on Deafness at MSD is the state’s “official source of programs, services, information, and resources supporting the educational needs of deaf and hard of hearing children.” (Source)

    The Resource Center helps deaf and hard of hearing children, their parents, and their schools from birth until high school graduation.

    The Missouri Legislature established the Missouri School for the Deaf in 1851. Located on an almost 90-acre campus in Fulton, Missouri, MSD is the oldest residential deaf school west of the Mississippi River.

    About Missouri State Schools

    MSD is one of three school systems in Missouri that is administered by the State Board of Education, rafter than by a local school district. The other two systems are the Missouri School for the Blind and the Missouri Schools for the Severely Disabled.

    If you’d like to learn more about these three Missouri’s state-administered school districts, we recommend the following posts:

    The Individuals with Disabilities Act (IDEA)
    What are Missouri State Schools?
    The Missouri School for the Blind (MSB)
    The Missouri Schools for the Severely Disabled (MSSD)

    To continue learning about Missouri public schools, bookmark Missouri Parent News. For daily updates, connect with Missouri Parent on Facebook and Twitter.


  • The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA)

     

    The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, or IDEA, is America’s federal law governing special education. It requires public schools to provide disabled students with a free education that’s specially designed to meet their needs.

    To better understand IDEA, it helps to understand what kinds of disabilities qualify a student for IDEA support.

    According to IDEA, a child with a disability is a child who has:
    · an intellectual disability
    · a hearing impairment
    · a speech or language impairment
    · a visual impairment
    · a serious emotional disturbance
    · an orthopedic impairment
    · autism
    · a traumatic brain injury
    · other health impairment
    · a specific learning disability
    · deaf-blindness
    · multiple disabilities

    Before a student is qualified for IDEA, he or she must be evaluated according to §§300.304 through 300.3. If the evaluation reveals that the child needs special education, then her or she qualifies for IDEA as a disabled student. However, sometimes a student’s evaluation reveals that while he or she needs related services, the student is not disabled. Those students don’t fall under IDEA.

    IDEA supports individuals from birth through age 22, but at Missouri Parent, we’re most concerned with how IDEA impacts K-12 public education. According to the Center for Parent Information and Resources, IDEA helps schools understand standards of achievement for students with disabilities:

    “Our nation’s special education law, the Individuals with Disabilities Act (IDEA), sets high standards for their achievement and guides how special help and services are made available in schools to address their individual needs.”

    IDEA standards are the minimum expectation of public school systems, though. States and districts can —and often do — exceed those expectations by offering exemplary educational services. In Missouri, students are integrated into their local school’s classrooms wherever possible. Students with sever disabilities can attend a Missouri state school. You can read more about state schools here.

    IDEA was passed in 1975 as the Education for All Handicapped Children’s Act, and has been revised and reauthorized through the years. Its current iteration is known as IDEA 2004.

    If you’d like to learn more about Missouri’s educational programs for disabled students, we recommend these posts:

    Missouri School for the Deaf (MSD)
    What are Missouri State Schools?
    The Missouri School for the Blind (MSB)
    The Missouri Schools for the Severely Disabled (MSSD)

    To continue learning about Missouri public schools, bookmark Missouri Parent News. For daily updates, connect with Missouri Parent on Facebook and Twitter.


  • The Missouri Schools for the Severely Disabled

    The Missouri Schools for the Severely Disabled (MSSD) is one of Missouri’s three state operated school districts, serving children and youth from 5 to 21 years old who have severe disabilities.

    MSSD’s mission is to “ensure students learn authentic skills in a safe environment to be productive and integrated into their home, community, leisure and work.” (Source)

    To that end, MSSD’s curriculum aligns with Missouri’s state standards for English language arts, mathematics, science, social studies, health/physical education, and fine arts. And teachers use an integrated, trans disciplinary approach in the classroom.

    MSSD teachers are fully certified, and usually have at least two aides in their classrooms. In most cases, the adult-to-student ratio is one-to-two. Teachers are also supported by specially trained occupational, physical, and speech therapists and registered nurses who either work for the school full time or travel between schools, depending on the school’s needs.

    A Student is referred to MSSD when his or her local school district isn’t able to support his or her specific educational needs. The student’s disabilities must fall into a range from severe to profound, as defined by Missouri’s IDEA classification system.


    Unlike resident students at the Missouri School for the Blind, most of MSSD’s students live at home. Because there are 75 MSSD schools across the state, most students can be bussed to and from school each day.

    Each of MSSD’s 75 schools falls into one of three regional Areas in Sedalia, St. Louis, and Springfield. At the Area level, those schools have the support of an Area director and an Area administrative office. MSSD’s main administrative office is located in Jefferson City.

    Like Missouri’s other state schools, MSSD receives federal and state funding. But even though “MSSD is supported by funds appropriated annually by the Missouri Legislature,” local school districts also provide support. The law requires them to contribute towards the cost of education for each child from their district attending an MSSD school. (Source)

    If you’d like to learn more about Missouri’s three state-administered school districts, we recommend the following posts:

    The Individuals with Disabilities Act (IDEA)
    What are Missouri State Schools?
    Missouri School for the Deaf (MSD)
    The Missouri School for the Blind (MSB)

    To learn more about Missouri public schools, bookmark Missouri Parent News. For daily updates, connect with Missouri Parent on Facebook and Twitter.






  • Top 10 by 20 Initiative Part IV: Preparing, Developing, and Supporting Effective Educators

    This post is Part 4 of a series on the Missouri Top 10 by 20 initiative. To read this series from the beginning, click here.

    Missouri Top 10 by 20 is a statewide improvement effort that aims for student achievement in Missouri to rank in the top 10 states in the nation by 2020. The plan includes four sub-goals. Today on the Missouri Parent Blog we’ll look at Goal 3: “Missouri will prepare, develop and support effective educators.”

    Since initiating Top 10 by 20 in 2009, educators have been presented with new professional development tracking tools, new assessment requirements, and new training opportunities. We’ll highlight a few of those tools and opportunities here.

    Missouri Gateway Assessments (MEGA)
    Testing-related tools and tracking are available through the Missouri Educator Gateway Assessments (or MEGA) website. The site offers details about teacher assessments, including the dates, times, practice tests, and test registration details required for Missouri’s educators to get — and keep — state certification.

    Missouri Educator Profile (MEP)
    The MEP is a new assessment, started in September 2013, that “is designed to measure a person’s work style as it relates to the field of education.” Educators can use their MEP results to compare their working habits against those of experienced and effective educators in the field. (Source)

    Content Area Exams
    New content area exams were implemented beginning in September 2014. These exit exams must be taken and passed by educators in each area of certification they which to receive. The exams are aligned with national standards and replace the Praxis test used by previous generations of educators. (Source)

    Missouri Standards-Based Performance Assessments
    Missouri implemented standards-based performance assessments in the fall of 2014. These nonprofit testing service ETS (known for the SAT, GRE, CLEP, TOEFL, and many other tests) designed the new standards-based assessments.

    According to Paul Katnick, Interim Assistant Commissioner for the Office of Educator Quality at DESE:

    "One of our primary goals is developing and supporting effective educators who can provide students with the skills and knowledge they need for success in postsecondary education and the workplace. The performance assessments will help prospective educators make the most of their student teaching experience as they prepare to enter the teaching profession." (Source)

    These new standards-based assessments are intended to measure teacher, counselor, librarian, principal, and superintendent performance in clinical experiences, including student teaching. They also provide teachers with a tool for planning next steps in their professional development.

    Grade Point Average (GPA):
    Beginning with college students graduating in December 2016, the state will require a minimum 2.75 cumulative GPA in all college coursework in order for teachers to achieve state certification.

    Future educators will need to have a 3.0 GPA in their professional education classes and in classes that are related to the specific certification they hope to obtain. (Source)

    To learn more about educator standards for Missouri’s teachers, administrators, librarians, and counselors, visit the Missouri DESE website.

    Stay up to date on Missouri 10 by 20 and other Missouri public education policy and funding initiatives by coming back often to the Missouri Parent Blog, liking us on Facebook, and following us on Twitter.

    Learn More About Missouri Top 10 by 20:
    Missouri Updates Top 10 by 20 for Fiscal Year 2015
    Top 10 by 20 Initiative Part II: Graduating College and Career Ready
    Top 10 by 20 Initiative Part III: Entering Kindergarten Prepared for School
    Top 10 by 20 Initiative Part IV: Graduating College and Career Ready

    Learn More About Educator Development and Evaluation in Missouri:
    Leadership Development Program Announced for Missouri Educators
    Understanding Missouri’s New Educator Evaluation Standards
    What are Missouri’s Essential Principles of Effective Evaluation?


  • Missouri High School Students Awarded for Citizenship


    The Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) recently recognized 15 high school seniors for their exceptional citizenship. The 2014 Outstanding Achievement in Citizenship awardees are:

    • John Bantle, Rockwood Summit High School
    • Theresa Abby Bergman, Oakville High School
    • Seth Boeke, Stockton High School
    • Alexander Jackson Bollinger, Fort Zumwalt South High School
    • Talor Crawford, Webster Groves High School
    • Jessica Dennis, Lee’s Summit North High School
    • Sophia Etling, Parkway South High School
    • Nora Faris, Concordia High School
    • Charles Darren Green, Malden High School
    • John Korenak, Lindbergh High School
    • Shelby Linneman, Brentwood High School
    • Kaitlee Metcalf, Hume High School
    • Nathan Rickard, Francis Howell High School
    • Danica Ridgeway, Jefferson City High School
    • Lauren Wilbert, Carl Junction High School

    State Board of Education President Peter F. Herschend (left), State Board of Education member Dr. O. Victor Lenz, Jr. (right), and Missouri Bar President Jack Brady (center left) with all of the 2014 Missouri Citizenship Awardees following the awards ceremony on April 14, 2014, in Jefferson City. — at The Missouri Bar.

    This year’s recipients received their awards at an April 14th luncheon in Jefferson City. Missouri Bar President John Brady and State Board of Education President Peter Herschend presented seniors with their awards.

    The Outstanding Achievement in Citizenship award, which is organized by DESE with assistance and financial support from The Missouri Bar, awards students for exemplary community service and academic and extracurricular achievements in civics and government. Nominations are reviewed by a panel of educators and by members of the Missouri Bar’s Advisory Committee on Citizenship Education.


  • Missouri's Annual Performance Reports Released

    The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) has released the results of the Missouri Assessment Program tests. The full release and results can be found at this link on the DESE website.

    You can also find a district-by-district breakdown of the scores in a PDF here.

    According the DESE, "MAP test scores and other performance measures are used to develop school- and district- level Annual Performance Reports (APRs). The APR, the foundation for Missouri's accreditation requirements for public school districts, provides an update on how schools and local education agencies are meeting state education standards in five areas: academic achievement, subgroup achievement, college and career or high school readiness, attendance, and graduation rate. APRs will be released later in August."

    Regarding the results in today's report DESE says student achievement held steady in communications and increased in science.

    Regional reports from news media with interactive charts can be found at the links below:

    The Joplin Globe

    St. Louis Post-Dispatch

    St. Louis Beacon

    KSDK (with auto-play video)


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