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Missouri Sends Initial Shipment of Antigen Tests to Schools Statewide

State officials began shipping thousands of antigen test kits to public and private schools across the state today. Nearly 330 districts/schools applied to participate in Missouri’s BinaxNOW Antigen Testing Program for K-12 Institutions, requesting a total of nearly 583,000 test kits for use among symptomatic students and school personnel. These minimally invasive nasal swab tests must be administered by a health professional (e.g. a school nurse), and yield results in just 15 minutes.

State Coronavirus Relief Funds Now Available to Reimburse Substitute Teachers

The Governor’s Office recently announced a new allocation from the state’s Coronavirus Relief Fund (CRF) to support Missourians wishing to serve or who recently began serving as substitute teachers in Missouri schools. Additionally, the Missouri State Board of Education recently approved an alternative route for individuals to obtain a certificate to serve as a substitute teacher to help address the shortage of substitute teachers throughout the state.

Seven Missouri Schools Earn National Blue Ribbon Accolades

Missouri’s seven Gold Star Schools for 2020 have also been recognized as U.S. Department of Education National Blue Ribbon Schools. The National Blue Ribbon Schools program recognizes individual schools for either their outstanding academic achievement (top 15 percent in the state based on assessment scores and graduation rates) or their performance at high academic levels while serving a significant proportion of disadvantaged students.

Missouri’s 2020 National Blue Ribbon Schools include:

Darrion Cockrell Named 2021 Missouri Teacher of the Year

Darrion Cockrell, a physical education teacher at Lindbergh Schools’ Crestwood Elementary (St. Louis), was selected by a committee of his peers and education partners across the state as the 2021 Missouri Teacher of the Year. He becomes the 52nd Missouri Teacher of the Year since the program’s inception in 1957, is the second recipient from the Lindbergh school district, and is the first male to capture the state’s top education award since 2015.

Former Charter School Executive Director Pleads Guilty in Fraud Scheme

Former St. Louis College Preparatory (SLCP) charter school executive director Michael Malone pled guilty today in federal court to three counts of wire fraud related to a multi-million dollar scheme involving state education funds. Malone intentionally over-reported student attendance information so that SLCP received more state and federal funding than it was due. Sentencing information for Malone’s charges is forthcoming. Each charge of wire fraud carries a maximum possible penalty of twenty years imprisonment, a fine of $250,000 or both.

Missouri Recognizes Seven Gold Star Schools

The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) has announced seven Missouri Gold Star Schools for 2020. The program, which aligns with the national Blue Ribbon Schools program sponsored by the U.S. Department of Education, recognizes schools for outstanding academic achievement or schools that perform at high levels while serving a significant proportion of disadvantaged students.

Missouri’s Gold Star Schools for 2020 include: