Missouri's education system will be the focus of a newly formed state House committee that will consider ways to improve outcomes and better prepare students for college and adulthood. The House Interim Committee on Education has scheduled its first meeting for next Thursday at the state Capitol. The panel will examine education issues during the summer and fall before lawmakers return in January for their next legislative session. Republican House member Steve Cookson of Poplar Bluff will lead the interim committee. House Speaker Tim Jones created the new education committee.
Although kids may not be in the classroom, Missouri educators are still working this summer to prepare for the upcoming school year.
The National Education Association (NEA) is hosting a meeting July 1 through 5 to discuss pressing educational issues. Public school teachers, librarians, coaches and custodians are just some of the members of the Missouri NEA that are working to improve educational issues around Missouri. About 10,000 delegates from around the nation will be present at the NEA Representative Assembly this year.
The Missouri Board of Education is recommending a new assessment tool state wide for early childhood development. The Desired Results Developmental Profile, created by the California Department of Education, is an assessment that will help determine a child’s learning needs before he or she enters kindergarten.
The assessment will not only give teachers an idea of how their student is progressing, but it will also help give the state a better idea of how ready kids in Missouri are for kindergarten.
The University of Missouri System Board of Curators unanimously passed a proposal to extend employee benefits to eligible adult dependents who meet certain criteria. This extension now means that same-sex partners may be eligible for these benefits, which include health, vision, and dental insurance. John Fougere is the chief spokesperson for the UM system. He said the decision will help the system attract a talented faculty and staff.
The Columbia/Boone County Department of Public Health and Human Services will start a summer food program from Monday, June 10, at Douglass Park in Columbia.
This is the 13th year of providing nutritional summertime lunches in Columbia. Because the program is federally subsidized, the U.S. Department of Agriculture mandates that every meal contain a serving of milk, protein, grains, fruit and vegetables. Meals will be prepared by Columbia Public Schools and served by volunteers. There will be five volunteers serving pre-wrapped food and drink as cafeteria line.
Southwest Play School is the first parent-owned and operated preschool in Columbia and has been educating children for almost 50 years. Sharen Garrett started teaching at Southwest 19 years ago. She’s been teaching her whole life, and now plans to retire. Garrett teaches at the co-op weekdays, while parent-volunteers work alongside the children for a set number of days each semester.
“The needs for co-ops have changed," Garrett said. "I just love what I do. I love the children, I love their parents. You know it’d be terrible to go to job every day you didn’t love what you did.”