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Charter School Renewals, Revised Literacy Requirements, MSIP Update Highlight June Board Presentations

Thu, 06/14/2018 - 12:16

Two new State Board of Education members, Carol Hallquist and Peter Herschend, were sworn in Thursday as the board held its first meeting in six months. Five previous meetings were cancelled due to a lack of a quorum. 

The board approved multiple recommendations and received status updates from staff members of the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education on Thursday. 

Six Missouri charter schools received authorization to continue operations for the 2018-19 school year, highlighted by a 10-year renewal for Scuola Vita Nuova. The K-8 charter school in Kansas City was classified as a high quality charter school after earning an Annual Performance Review (APR) score of 85 percent or greater for three of the last four years. Scuola Vita Nova is sponsored by the University of Central Missouri. 

Five other charter schools received five-year renewals:

  • Brookside Charter School (Kansas City; sponsor, University of Missouri-Kansas City)
  • Eagle College Prep Endeavor (St. Louis; sponsor, University of Missouri-Columbia)
  • Gordon Parks Elementary (Kansas City; sponsor, University of Central Missouri)
  • Lafayette Preparatory Academy (St. Louis; sponsor, University of Missouri-St. Louis)
  • Lift for Life Academy (St. Louis; sponsor, Southeast Missouri State University)

In collaboration with the Department of Higher Education, DESE has updated literacy requirements to ensure sufficient training for educators so that effective reading diagnosis and instruction will be provided to all students. With state-mandated dyslexia screenings for children in grades kindergarten through third grade taking effect for the 2018-19 school year in all regular Missouri public and charter schools, the updated requirements will provide future Missouri educators with additional literacy training in the areas of special education, elementary education and early childhood instruction. Required coursework will address curriculum, instruction and assessment in the following areas for students:

  • Language acquisition
  • Phonological and phonemic awareness
  • Phonics
  • Vocabulary
  • Fluency
  • Comprehension
  • Writing process, and
  • Using authentic text and purposes

“Our committee worked quickly to act on the recommendations put forth by the dyslexia task force,” Office of Educator Quality Assistant Commissioner Paul Katnik said. “For the many students who struggle with reading challenges, there simply is no time to waste. The changes proposed today will equip teachers with the skills they need to help all students succeed.”

The State Board of Education also received a progress report regarding the framework of the sixth version of the Missouri School Improvement Plan. DESE worked with six development teams to review, revise and create the draft Performance, Process and Resource standards. The development teams were organized around five major areas, which are reflected in the proposed MSIP 6 standards:

  • Academic achievement
  • Climate and culture
  • Effective practices
  • Leadership and governance
  • Success-ready graduates

“One of MSIP 6’s biggest goals is to examine both overall student outcomes and the best, most effective practices by school districts,” Office of Quality Schools Assistant Commissioner Chris Neale said. “These have been aligned to ensure that Missouri produces success-ready graduates.”

Tools to measure success under MSIP 6 are still being developed, as is the basis for classification recommendations.