Education

http://www.columbia.k12.mo.us/dhs/dhs/ / kbia

Federal education funds are going toward an enhanced immersion program and community partnerships to help some of Columbia’s most educationally at-risk students.

Frederick Douglass High School is among 14 schools across the state receiving funding from the federal School Improvement Grants program. The award includes $1.5 million to Douglass High School for use over three years.

Fayette High School continues to hold prayer sessions despite a legal complaint that claims the sessions are unconstitutional.

Fayette Superintendent Tamara Kimball says district administrators haven't considered ending the Friday morning sessions since the American Humanist Association filed a complaint in November. She says the district doesn't believe it has done anything wrong by allowing the Fellowship of Christian Students to conduct the sessions.

rustinpc / flickr

The University of Missouri  has raised half of the $3 million it needs to build a teaching winery.

The Columbia Missourian reports that the university now is seeking matching money from the state for the facility. Plans calls for a research building and wine and food education facility to be added in later phases.

Classroom
File Photo / KBIA

Missouri lawmakers are facing pressure to address a student transfer law and unaccredited school districts.

The law requires school districts without state accreditation to cover the costs for students who want to attend an accredited district within the same county or a bordering one. It makes no exceptions for those without room for new students.

Missouri now has three unaccredited districts. About 2,000 students have transferred from two districts in St. Louis County and transfers could start soon in Kansas City.

taylor.a / FLICKR

The superintendent of the Missouri School for the Deaf is leaving her position after 12 years.

Hakan Dahlstrom / Flickr

Missouri has been awarded a $7.5 million federal grant to continue a program that helps the state's lowest-achieving schools.

The U.S. Department of Education announced the award from the federal School Improvement Grants program on Monday. In all, the agency awarded more than $43 million in such grants to seven states.

computer keyboard
Remko van Dokkum / Flickr

The path to a high school equivalency certificate in Missouri is about to be rewired.

Starting in January the GED exam, which has been used in the state since the 1940s, will be replaced.  It’s a move driven by digital change and an age old consideration -- cost.

Keyboards replace pencils

MU Hospital
KBIA

The University of Missouri will use a federal grant to form a new research center for patient-centered outcomes.  

The researchers leading the project say the goal is to help doctors more easily navigate the complex web of health systems and providers, and come up with the best treatment options for patients based on their individual circumstances.

Chris Belcher
Kristofor Husted / KBIA

Now that Columbia Public Schools Superintendent Chris Belcher is eligible for retirement, he is weighing his options for next year. That’s according to an email Belcher sent out last week to Columbia Public Schools staff.  One of his options could be a teaching position with the MU College of Education.

District spokersperson Michelle Baumstark says Belcher sent the email to remain transparent about his situation with staff.

Columbia School Board
KBIA File Photo

Tuesday was the first day candidates could file to run for the school board, and School board member Tom Rose has announced he will not run for reelection.

After seven years on the school board, Rose's term will expire in April. Rose plans to focus on his private veterinary practice, but he said he will still be involved with education.

“I'll still stay involved in the school, especially involved in early childhood education and those types of things but I also see that there are, can certainly give an opportunity for other people that had expressed interest in serving on the board as well," Rose said.

KOMUnews / Flickr

Several officials at Lincoln University are losing their jobs in reorganization by the public university in Jefferson City.

The Jefferson City News Tribune reports the building and grounds director, a tutor and the vice presidents for administration, academic affairs and university advancement will be losing their jobs.

The vice president for student affairs will become the dean of students with reduced responsibilities and a nearly 22 percent pay cut.

students in classroom
Brad Flickinger / Flickr

On Monday, Columbia Public Schools decided to redistrict the area around Mill Creek Elementary School, which means next year, about 100 students will be switching to either Grant, Paxton Keeley or Russell Boulevard Elementary Schools.

missouri house floor
File Photo / KBIA News

A proposal to circumvent thousands of potential student transfers in the Kansas City area will be considered by the state legislature next year.

If passed, the proposal would allow local school districts to set class sizes and student-to-teacher ratios, and once reached, those districts could not be forced to accept transfer students from unaccredited school districts. The bill has been pre-filed by Democratic Senator Paul LeVota of Independence.

missouri capitol
File photo / KBIA

A group of eight Missouri lawmakers are calling upon Gov. Jay Nixon and Attorney General Chris Koster to investigate concerns raised about Education Commissioner Chris Nicastro.

The lawmakers made the request Wednesday following a The Kansas City Star report. The report disclosed emails that raised questions about the selection of CEE-Trust as a consultant. The Indianapolis-based firm's bid for developing an improvement plan for the Kansas City district and other struggling schools was nearly three times higher than the closest competitor.

jay nixon
File Photo / KBIA

Gov. Jay Nixon wants Missouri's universities to freeze undergraduate tuition next year while also proposing more state funding.

The governor says the budget he recommends next year will include an additional $36.7 million for public universities. The 5 percent funding increase would be distributed using a performance-based funding system.

Nixon announced the proposal Wednesday at Missouri State University in Springfield.

The governor called for a tuition freeze at four-year schools for Missouri undergraduates in the 2014-2015 academic year.

Great Circle prepares teens for independent living

Dec 11, 2013

Great Circle was formed in 2009 by the merger of the Boys and Girls Town of Missouri and Edgewood Children’s Center, two large organizations dedicated to helping children in need of treatment. 

Mo. court upholds student transfer law in KC case

Dec 10, 2013
John Murden / Flickr

The Missouri Supreme Court has again upheld a law requiring unaccredited school districts to pay for students who chose to attend elsewhere.

The court's unanimous decision Tuesday applies to the Kansas City School District and its suburban neighbors. A similar ruling earlier this year dealt with St. Louis area schools.

A 1993 Missouri law requires unaccredited school districts to cover the costs for students to attend nearby accredited schools.

chris nicastro
Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education

Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon says it is a good time for the state Board of Education to "monitor and evaluate" concerns raised about Education Commissioner Chris Nicastro.

The Springfield school district is discussing how to make high school, particularly the senior year, more challenging for its students.

TIGER program helps to ease the loss of a pet

Dec 6, 2013

The loss of a pet can be difficult for some to go through.

The MU College of Veterinary Medicine implemented a new program that helps pet owners and veterinary students go through losing a pet. TIGER, or Together In Grief Easing Recovery, was developed as a collaboration between the Research Center for Human Animal Interaction and the Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital.

George Varney / KBIA

The University of Missouri Columbia named its new chancellor Thursday. R. Bowen Loftin, who announced in July he was stepping down as Texas A&M’s president, will now take over as chancellor for MU on Feb. 1, 2014.

Before becoming president of Texas A&M in 2010, the 64-year-old Texas native served as a professor of engineering and held leadership roles at Dominion University and University of Houston.

students in classroom
Rachel Rice / KBIA

Columbia Public Schools is working to improve class attendance rates.

jay nixon
File Photo / KBIA

As part of Gov. Jay Nixon’s mental health initiative program, two hundred Missouri K-12 teachers, counselors and administrators gathered in Columbia this week to learn how to identify, understand and respond to signs of mental illness.

Jermine Alberty is a mental health first-aid instructor. He says one of the first things he does in a session is ask his trainees to write down derogatory terms related to mental illness.

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KBIA is covering the announcement of MU's next chancellor live and online. Check this space regularly for updates.

University of Missouri System President Tim Wolfe announced today the appointment of R. Bowen Loftin as MU's next chancellor. Loftin previously served as president of Texas A&M from 2010 to last July.

MU to announce next chancellor

Dec 4, 2013
File / KBIA

The University of Missouri plans to announce its next chancellor on December 5th, in the Donald W. Reynolds Alumni Center.

Former chancellor Brady Deaton retired on November 15th, and had served as chancellor of the university for 9 years. Many faculty members anxiously await the announcement of the new chancellor, especially those who have worked under multiple chancellors.

Professor of Biochemistry Frank Schmidt said he’s seen two types of chancellors at MU over the years.

students in classroom
Rachel Rice / KBIA

A Missouri House interim education committee is recommending changes to student transfers, more funding for early childhood education and increased learning time for students.

farmer in a field
Frank Morris / Harvest Public Media

Five Missouri universities are working together to offer students a broader agriculture education.

columns at university of missouri
File Photo / KBIA

The University of Missouri wants to establish a clinical campus in Springfield in an expansion of the university's medical school, but first it needs a 5,000- to 6,000-square-foot building between the city's two major hospitals.

columns at university of missouri
File Photo / KBIA

The search for a new University of Missouri chancellor continues.

After the University of Missouri's governing board held a closed meeting on Wednesday, UM system spokesperson John Fougere said there will not be an announcement made today regarding Brady Deaton's replacement. The governing board held a similar meeting this past Sunday evening.

General counsel Steve Owens is serving as the interim chancellor until university system president Tim Wolfe makes a new hire.

News coverage from the KBIA newsroom, including:

  • Details on a clinical testing facility slated to open in Columbia in 2014
  • A Jefferson City man gets the death penalty for a 2009 murder
  • Two state legislators want the state education commissioner to resign

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