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Office of Quality Schools

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Within the Division of Learning Services, the Office of Quality Schools works to manage the Missouri School Improvement Program (MSIP), the state’s accreditation system for public school districts. This office also administers a wide range of state- and federally-funded programs that assist local schools (Title I, Title III and other federal programs), charter and other innovative schools, as well as developing a statewide system of support for schools, communities and families. Schools also are provided assistance on federal and state-developed improvement initiatives which are coordinated with other state and regional services.

Announcing waiver opportunities from the US Department of Education:

Title IV, Part A Waiver:

The U.S. Department of Education is offering states flexibility under the Title IV, Part A Student Support and Academic Enrichment Grant due to the challenging times caused by the Coronavirus disease (COVID-19). The Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) intends to submit a waiver to the U.S. Department of Education requesting approval to waive the following requirements:

  • Section 4106(d) of Title IV, Part A of the ESEA, related to LEA needs assessments.
  • Section 4106(e)(2)(C), (D), and (E) of Title IV, Part A of the ESEA, with respect to content-area spending requirements for Title IV, Part A funds.
  • Section 4106(b) of Title IV, Part A of the ESEA, with respect to the fifteen percent spending limitation for technology infrastructure for Title IV, Part A funds.

Please note that all other requirements in Title IV, Part A of ESEA will continue to apply.  DESE is providing all LEAs in the State with a notice and an opportunity to submit public comment on this request. Comments are due via email to webreplyfedpro@dese.mo.gov by Monday, December 7, 2020.

TITLE IV, Part B Waiver:

Title IV, Part B of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), the law authorizing the 21st Century Community Learning Center (21st CCLC) program, defines community learning centers as entities providing activities during out-of-school time (OST), or “non-school hours or periods when school is not in session”. The U.S. Department of Education (USED) posted a notice in the Federal Register announcing state education agencies, the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE), may apply for a waiver to the definition of out of school time for the 2020-21 school year only. The intent of the waiver is to provide more flexibility for a 21st CCLC sub grantee to operate as needed to support education during remote or hybrid models of schooling during the 2020-2021 school year in response to COVID-19. This waiver would permit a 21st CCLC sub grantee to operate whenever students are not physically in school receiving in-person instruction. Specifically, under the waiver, the DESE may permit a 21st CCLC sub grantee to provide academic enrichment services to students while the students are participating in instruction or lessons given remotely by the students’ teacher and when students are engaged in independent learning activities. These services must be offered at a 21st CCLC location that meets the requirement in ESEA section 4204(b)(1)(A)(i) that it be a safe and easily accessible facility. Any interested 21st CCLC sub grantee must request and receive prior approval from the DESE Extended Learning Section. Please submit all comments to exl@dese.mo.gov by Monday, December 7, 2020.