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Missouri School Boards' Association
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Helping School Boards Succeed.
Helping School Boards Succeed.

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MSBA Region 9 and Region 12 kicked off the Spring Regional Meetings this week. The best part of the meeting is always awarding the MSBA FutureBuilders John T. Belcher Scholarship!

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The best thing about the MSBA Annual Conference in Cooperation is MASA is you! Over 100 presentations by school districts are showcased at the conference and provide valuable information on successful programs school leaders want to know. Right now get your school team together and submit your presentation for a chance to present at the conference on September 30, October 1 and October 2. Submit by March 31. Late submissions will not be accepted! Submit here: http://www.msbanet.org/board-development/events/conferences/annual-conference
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Good news from Missouri's public schools. Students in the Southern Boone School District get hands-on experiencing growing their own food in the Southern Boone Learning Garden. Veggies such as squash, sweet potatoes, lettuce and swiss chard were recently featured for dinner at the Region 6 meeting.
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2015-11-17
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RIP, my friend.

Your time is over. Your impact was significant, albeit too short. You were known for offering dignity, character, hope and promise. You were once embraced by our great state and nation. But somehow along the way, it became “in vogue” to ignore you, to discard you. You will be missed.

I’m referring to "respect." Yes, you read that right: the character trait of respect is becoming extinct in certain circles in our great state and country.

We don’t have to look very far to see examples of extreme polarization in our politics and the frequent harsh rhetoric and personal attacks associated with that polarization. The days when our political leaders could disagree over policy issues and then go have dinner together seem to be over. Campaigns for public office frequently feature vicious, inaccurate, character-defaming attack ads, and that tone continues once the elections are over. Respectful disagreement on issues deteriorates quickly and that has serious implications for our democracy on the national, state and local level.

Clearly, the tone of our politics must change if we are to maintain the trust of voters and patrons. As role models, as leaders and, minimally, as adults, shouldn’t we hold ourselves to the same standards that we expect our children to abide by? Shouldn’t we avoid behaving in ways for which our children would be suspended if they behaved similarly in school?

By and large, school board members set the standard for good governance in a climate of respect for patrons and for one another. We must encourage our fellow candidates and elected officials at the state and national levels to follow suit. Respect must be revived. Our children are watching.
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Good news from Missouri public schools. Gasconade County R-I (Hermann) students share something old, something new, something bold, something blue.

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Jefferson City's Southwest Early Childhood Center was recently named by MSBA as a runner-up for the Early Childhood Education Program of the Year Award.
Preschool programs at the center are based on active learning and hands-on experiences with people, objects, events and ideas. Classrooms contain interest areas organized around specific kinds of play that help foster exploration and learning.

SWECC preschool places a premium on parent involvement and spends considerable time reaching out to families and the community. This outreach develops excellent two-way communications and helps strengthen the programs.

Also housed at SWECC is the elementary gifted program involving 142 students. These students interact with the preschool students in numerous activities and even help by teaching units on what they have learned.

Congratulations to the Jefferson City School District for a well-deserved honor.
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Frankly, I’m sick and tired of it and I know you are, too.
Melissa Randol, Executive Director

I’m fed up with the truth about public education being distorted with inaccurate reports and false gossip -- most of it intentionally drafted to damage the image of public education. The lies spread like wildfires through social media or cable television. Somehow, folks think that if it’s in print or online or on TV, then it must be true.

School board members, we need to be telling the truth about public education every opportunity we can in order to effectively counter those who have an agenda to dismantle our public school system. We need the good news stories to be told every single day – in fact, that’s our goal at MSBA. We must get to the point where we are blasting a good news story out at least once a day through our social media channels, our website, to the media. Now with 518 school districts and 886,423 students being taught by 86,470 fantastic teachers and administrators and being governed by 3,624 of the most selfless, giving people in our society, known as school board members, we should have plenty of material to meet our goal.

Yes, it’s difficult for you to brag on yourselves – you’re busy doing the work, so taking time to share is sometimes difficult. Let us be your voice. Give MSBA a heads-up about a fantastic program in your school, an amazing teacher or an outstanding student, an administrator who goes above and beyond or a board member who gives it his or her all. We’ll make it easy to brag. We have an email set up to collect these stories at goodnews@msbanet.org– give us a short overview of who or what you want to tell us about and who we should contact to get more information. Give us the information and we’ll get the message out. 

MSBA is the most quoted education voice in Missouri – we’ll use this voice to share your stories. The public – especially our state and federal elected officials – need to hear your truth. The 886,423 students in our state are counting on the truth prevailing.
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The Northwest R-I's Early Childhood Center was recently named by MSBA as the winner of the Early Childhood Education Program of the Year Award. The program supports child development in a number of ways including a kindergarten curriculum that supports students as they transition to elementary school. Because the center is located in the same building as the community senior center, students interact with the senior center clients through a variety of activities, including music, plays, physical activity and gardening. 

Parental involvement is key in the preschool program with monthly parent events being held throughout the year. Programs emphasize healthy eating in addition to literacy and child abuse prevention.

Exemplary programs require exemplary staff and at Northwest staff are encouraged to regularly attend conferences on early learning as well as positive behavior interventions and support training. 

Congratulations to the Northwest R-I School District for a well-deserved honor.
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Congratulations to Jill Esry, 2015 winner of the Paul Morris Community Service Award. Jill has served on the Independence School Board for 5 years. She is an exemplary leader in her community, serving for over two decades as a PTA member and leader, as well as a volunteer for Meals on Wheels. http://bit.ly/1OlJeWZ
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Vocab size as early as age 2 impacts school performance for years to come. It's time for Missouri to invest more heavily in early childhood education. http://bit.ly/1FXCs1w
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