School Improvement

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School Improvement

Welcome to the School Improvement page.



Competency-Based Education Grant Program

Competency-Based Education Grant Program

The department administers these grants for local competency-based education programs. Districts may apply for grants to support eligible programs, which offer students flexible opportunities to progress, demonstrate mastery and earn course credit; provide individual learning options; assess proficiency based on attainment of critical knowledge and skills; and assess mastery through performance tasks.

Competency-Based Education Grant Program Q&A

Thursday, November 17, 2023
3:00 - 4:00 pm
WebEx Link

During this meeting, participants have a chance to ask questions to learn more about the CBE Grant Program with Stuart Smith, Improvement and Accountability Manager from the Office of Quality Schools.

Competency-Based Education Task Force

Competency-Based Education Task Force

The Competency-Based Education Task Force was established to study and develop competency-based education programs in public schools. The task force is made up of members appointed by the governor, the speaker of the house of representatives, the president pro tempore of the senate, and the commissioner of education.  The objectives outlined in legislation to guide its work include:

  • Work toward implementing competency-based education courses statewide and devising a plan for Missouri to lead the way in competency-based education courses;
  • Solicit input from individuals and organizations with information or expertise relevant to the task force's objective, including experts and educators with experience related to competency-based education programs;
  • Hold at least three public hearings to provide an opportunity to receive public testimony including, but not limited to, testimony from educators, local school boards, parents, representatives from business and industry, labor and community leaders, members of the general assembly, and the general public;
  • Identify promising competency-based education programs;
  • Identify obstacles to implementing competency-based education programs in Missouri public schools;
  • Develop comprehensive graduate profiles that describe meaningful and critical knowledge skills that students should have upon graduation that can be implemented into a diploma designation;
  • Develop findings and recommendations for implementing competency-based education models and practices in Missouri public schools, including recommending changes to existing legislation, rules, and regulations; and
  • Develop findings and recommendations for implementing a competency-based performance assessment.
Four-Day School Week

Impact of Four-Day School Week on Student Achievement and School Growth

In 2011, under the authority in Section 171.031, RSMo, the first local education agency (LEA) in Missouri adopted a four-day school week. The number of LEAs operating a four-day week schedule increased modestly until 2020, when the numbers began to grow significantly each year. In order to understand the implications of these changes, DESE’s Office of Quality Schools commissioned SAS® Institute to investigate student outcomes with regard to the four-day school week. This report presents the key findings of the study, summarizes similar investigations, and proposes an outline for further study of the four-day school week.

Additional Information:

Missouri Data Visualization Tool (MO DVT)

MO DVT is a web-based application that offers easy-to-use reports and analysis on academic performance, including achievement and growth data aggregated by subject, year, and grade. See the introductory video to learn more.

MO DVT will be available to Missouri educators on February 9, 2024.

MO DVT Training Sessions for Missouri Educators

February 15, 2024, 9:00 – 11:00 a.m. – live web session

June 17 – 20, 2024

In-person trainings in Kansas City, Springfield, Columbia, and St. Louis. Registration will be available in March 2024. Check back for more information

Recovery High Schools

The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) is seeking proposals to pilot the Recovery High School Program (§ 167.850, RSMo.). The pilot program will allow up to four public high schools to design and specifically serve eligible students diagnosed with substance use disorder or dependency. Successful proposals will outline a high school model that provides both a comprehensive four-year high school education in an alternative public school setting while also delivering a structured plan of recovery for each student.

School Innovation Waiver Program

School Innovation Waiver Program

Through the School Innovation Waiver program, schools or districts may apply to the Missouri State Board of Education for waivers of certain statutes or rules for these purposes:

  • Improving student readiness for employment, higher education, vocational training, technical training, or any other form of career and job training
  • Increasing the compensation of teachers
  • Improving the recruitment, retention, training, preparation, or professional development of teachers

When granted, waivers are effective for three years and require annual reports to the department.

Turnaround Schools

Content to be updated.