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Moving to Missouri

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Relocating to Missouri? If so, the following links can help you find a school or college, or apply for a teaching certificate.  The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education welcomes you to the Show-Me State.    

Facts about Public Schools
Missouri’s public school system serves more than 916,000 students, prekindergarten through grade 12, in 520 school districts and 56 charter schools in 39 charter local education agencies. Missouri school districts range from fewer than 20 to nearly 26,000 students. All but a few school districts are fully accredited by the State Board of Education. (K-12 Statistics)

Use the Missouri School Directory to find a public school district in the community to where you are moving. Use the “School Districts Sorted by County” button to find all the school districts in a county or near a particular city. When you have narrowed your search, you must contact local school officials to verify that a particular address is in a specific school district.

Charter Schools
Charter schools are independent public schools that operate without some of the restrictions of traditional public schools. Charter schools offer another public school choice for families moving to Kansas City or St. Louis.   

Selecting a School
Missouri does not directly rank or compare public school districts or school buildings. However, the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education compiles an “annual report card” about every district, building and charter school.  Use this report to find important statistics about specific districts or schools. Some private organizations, such as SchoolMatch.com and GreatSchools.org, provide independent comparisons of public and private schools.

Private & Home Schools
Missouri does not accredit, regulate or monitor private, parochial or home schools. Under Missouri law, any family may choose to home school.

Looking for a Teaching Job?
If you need a teaching certificate to secure a job in Missouri, contact the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education for details about licensing requirements for professional educators and procedures for completing the mandatory background check. Missouri JOBS may help you find employment. 

Do You Have Preschoolers?
If your family has young children, you may be interested in the Parents as Teachers program, a popular service offered by every school district in Missouri.  PAT provides information, home visits and other support to help families get their children (birth to kindergarten entry) off to a great start in life.

If you have a young child (birth to age 3) with special needs or a condition that may cause developmental delay, the First Steps program can provide invaluable assistance.

Online Learning Opportunities
The Missouri Course Access and Virtual School Program (MOCAP) has developed a catalog of virtual online courses for students. Beginning with the 2019-20 school year, students will be able to take an entire course from any Internet-connected computer, available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. MOCAP's mission is to offer Missouri students equal access to a wide range of high quality courses, flexibility in scheduling, and interactive online learning. The Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) and the State Board of Education oversee administration and quality assurance activities such as related content and delivery of courses. Local Education Agencies (LEAs) that provide virtual education outside of MOCAP are responsible for ensuring alignment and other statutory requirements are met.

Higher Education
The Missouri Department of Higher Education publishes a comprehensive directory of the colleges and universities in Missouri (public and private, 2-year and 4-year) as well as private business, technical and trade schools. 

Didn’t Find What You Need?
For answers to specific questions about public education in Missouri, please contact us.

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