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MCPSA Weekly Bulletin
May 26, 2014
In This Issue

Advocacy Updates

MCPSA Conference Update

MCPSA Conference - Nina Rees

Westbrook & Co.

BAFC Consulting

Governing Board Model Policies

Federal Programs

Common Core in the News

National Charter Schools Conference

Annual Missouri Department of Education Cooperative Conference for School Administrators

DESE Transition Institute

MCPSA Governing Board Seminars

Supporting Struggling Readers with Complex Texts

Summer Curriculum Camps

Grant, Loan, and Sponsorship Opportunities

Quick Links

MCPSA Consultants

Federal Programs Consulting
Bette Morff


Special Education Consulting
Katie Uldall Welch


Conference 2014
Save the Date:
October 1 - October 3, 2014

Chase Park Plaza
212 N Kingshighway Blvd
St Louis, MO 63108
Our Partners

Edmentum: Providing Online Learning Programs for your School

At Edmentum, our goal is to provide industry-leading digital solutions that empower educators and students. Our programs provide personalized learning that engages students and continuously measures student progress. We are dedicated to partnering with charter schools to dramatically improve achievement for every student.

Designed by educators, for educators, our programs provide the flexibility you need to easily fit into your school’s existing curriculum and programs. Edmentum partners with you to deliver comprehensive service offerings and expertise to ensure program success and drive student achievement.

For more information on Edmentum's programs, visit their website or contact James D. Mayfield Smith
Join Our Mailing List

Advocacy Upates

The Veto of Senate Bill 493 Compromises a Quality Public Education for All Missouri Students

This afternoon Governor Jay Nixon indicated he would veto Senate Bill 493 when it reaches his desk stating the Bill would "create further disruption for students in struggling school districts by eliminating the requirement that unaccredited school districts pay for transportation costs". Governor Nixon also cited the inclusion of the private school option as problematic stating, "throughout the legislative session I repeatedly made it clear that any efforts to send public dollars to private schools through a voucher program would be met by my veto pen. The General Assembly ignored my warnings, and this veto will be the result."

We agree with Governor Nixon’s belief that, "every child in Missouri deserves a quality public education". Governor Nixon has been supportive of strengthening the accountability requirements for charter public schools, which has been necessary and appreciated. We believe Governor Nixon does want what is best for the children of Missouri. However the impact on the charter public school provisions not becoming part of the Missouri State Statutes has the opposite effect.

The charter public school provisions would have:

  • Authorized additional sponsors for charter schools;
  • Triggered MO DESE withholding charter school funds upon notification of closure ensuring and ensured neither the Sponsor or State would be held liable for charter school closure costs;
  • Clarified the requirement of a performance contract;
  • Lengthened the time MO DESE had to approve new charters and added due process language to ensure that every application submitted by a Sponsor is considered and, if not, deemed approved;
  • Created an expedited process for expansion and replication of high quality charters; and,
  • Clarified that the financially distressed category for public schools does not apply to charter schools in the first three years of operation.

Instead, without these necessary changes, Governor Nixon's veto compromises the ability to ensure that every child in Missouri has access to a quality public education. This is particularly true in unaccredited districts where the needs are greatest.

If the Governor's concern is the inclusion of a private school option (an item not related to charter public schools) we wish he would have allowed the Bill to move into Statute and then worked with legislators to remove the piece of the law creating the greatest concern. We believe concerns regarding transportation of transfer students could have been worked out in a negotiated manner.

Since 2010, 15 independent studies have found that students attending charter public schools do better academically than their traditional school peers. 1 in every 20 students in the United States now attends a charter public school with more than 2.5 million students enrolled in nearly 6,500 charter public schools. Over 1 million students are on waiting lists for public charter schools. The demand has never been higher including the State of Missouri.

This veto, compounded with yet another Legislative Session closing and Governor Nixon not bringing to the Senate a slate of Commissioners for the Missouri Charter School Commission, an independent, statewide Sponsor, results in children in unaccredited districts, and throughout the State of Missouri, being let down. Every child in Missouri may deserve a quality public education however the result is many children will once again not have that option available to them.
Missouri General Assembly Legislative Update

The 2014 Legislative Session has closed. What a week! Click here for a recap of the education Bills with impact on charter public schools in Missouri.
MCPSA Conference Update
This year's Annual Conference schedule is coming together and we are excited to bring to you and your staff terrific, thought provoking, educational break out sessions, an opportunity to network with colleagues across the State of Missouri, and a chance to participate in ADVOCATING FOR MISSOURI'S CHARTER PUBLIC SCHOOLS!

Information regarding the Annual Conference (October 1st - 3rd) can be accessed via our website at As breakout sessions are added the schedule is updated.

In addition to a greater conference focus on ADVOCACY, Sessions include:

  • Ensuring Teachers Master Core Skills Through Effective Practice;
  • Leading With Data;
  • Diversity Planning for Charter Schools;
  • Facilities Acquisition, Development and Management;
  • Developing a Real Estate Strategy;
  • Charter School Funding: Inequity Expands;
  • Missouri Legislative Session 2015: Priorities for Charter Schools;

The schedule for the October 3rd teacher professional development sessions has been completed and in addition to the Conference Premiere of Metro Theatre's Unsorted, includes:

  • Common Core Essentials: Assessment and Grading Systems;
  • Common Core and Special Education: Addressing Unique Needs;
  • Autism Spectrum Disorder and Applied Behavioral Analysis;
  • Common Special Education Compliance Questions and Answers;
  • Increasing College Retention and Graduation Rates Through 'Cohorting';
  • Digital Platforms for RTI;
  • Rigorous Response to Intervention Model for K-1;
  • Critical Components for Teaching with Project Based Learning

Several of Missouri's Sponsors have alerted the Association they've extended an offer to schools in their portfolio to cover all or a portion of teacher registration costs. This is a FANTASTIC offer from the Sponsors and we greatly appreciate their support of quality professional development for teachers!

LET US KNOW YOU'RE COMING! Registering more than 5 people but not sure exactly who? No problem! Send an email to indicating the number of people and we will hold those spaces! In addition, we will provide you with an invoice, register a place holder for you, and you can let us know the names later!

If you know who will be attending and would rather register online, you can do so here.

Do you have a student group whom you would love to see participate in this year's October 2nd Student Showcase? Let me know and we will work with you to ensure they are included and have the opportunity to showcase their talents!

Discount hotel rooms are available at a cost of $154.00/night at the Chase Park Plaza through September 10th.  To reserve one or more of these rooms, please contact the Chase directly toll free at 877-587-2427 or locally at 314-633-3000 and please note that you are part of the Missouri Charter Public School Association annual conference.

You and your team are important to the Missouri Charter School Sector! We want you to attend Conference and join the collective voice of quality charter school education in the State of Missouri!

MCPSA Keynote Speaker - Nina Rees


We are pleased to announce that Nina Rees has agreed to serve as one of our keynote speakers at the MCPSA annual conference! Nina Rees is the President and Chief Executive Officer of the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools, the leading national nonprofitorganization committed to advancing the charter school movement.

Rees has over 20 years of experience in Washington, D.C., most recently as Senior Vice President for Strategic Initiatives for Knowledge Universe, a leading global education company with investments in early childhood education, before- and after-school programs and online instruction.

Prior to her tenure at KU, she served as the first Assistant Deputy Secretary for Innovation and Improvement at the U.S. Department of Education. In this capacity, she oversaw the administration of 28 grant programs, supporting 1,300 projects and was responsible for spearheading innovative federal programs and policies such as school choice, charter schools, alternative routes to teacher certification and school leadership. She also helped coordinate the implementation of several provisions of the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act. Prior to joining the Education Department, Rees served as Deputy Assistant for Domestic Policy to Vice President Dick Cheney.

Rees has also served as the senior education analyst at the Heritage Foundation where she authored more than two dozen policy briefs and served as the foundation's chief spokesperson on education. She has appeared on various news outlets including CNN, C-Span and PBS's NewsHour and her articles and opinions have been published in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and The Washington Post.

Rees currently serves on the board of advisors of the Education Policy and Governance Program at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government and the National Association of Charter School Authorizers. She also writes a weekly blog for U.S. News and World Report.

Rees holds a B.A. in Psychology from VA Tech and a master’s in International Transactions from George Mason University. She lives in McLean, VA with her husband and daughter.  MCPSA is very excited that Ms. Rees will be joining us in October!

Westbrook & Co., P.C.

School Finance is Not What We Do, It is Who We Are!

MCPSA is pleased to announce that Westbrook & Co., P.C.has joined the growing list of MCPSA Preferred Partners bringing even more value to our member schools.  Westbrook and Co. has served charter schools in auditing, accounting, payroll, budgeting, special projects and advisory services since the inception of charter schools in Missouri. For many other accounting and auditing firms in the state, school finance is a part-time, summer fill-in work. This is not the case at Westbrook & Co. The firm provides more services to charter schools than all other accounting firms in the state combined. The firm consists of 22 professionals of which nine perform extensively charter school services.

Members of the firm regularly speak at state and local conferences on school finance, attendance and various other topics. They believe in educating their clients and helping them better understand the environments in which they must operate.

The firm has a very good relationship with DESE. Westbrook & Co., P.C. has performed special projects for DESE over the last several years. These projects have provided a unique and special insight to the firm's staff. DESE's selection of Westbrook & Co. to perform such projects says much about DESE's opinion of the quality of the firm's work.

If you are one of the firm's many charter clients, then they thank you for allowing them to be a part of your educational process. If you are not a current client, then they encourage you to ask other schools and learn about the "Westbrook difference."

For more information about how Westbrook & Co. can serve your school, please contact Brad Steele by telephone at (816) 470-3584 or by email at
BAFC Consulting

BAFC Consulting - Experience and Commitment to Help Charter Schools Succeed

MCPSA is excited to announce we have partnered with BAFC Consulting to bring even greater benefits to our member schools.  The experienced team at BAFC Consulting understands the unique challenges facing Missouri charter schools, and our consultants have the experience and expertise needed to meet those challenges head on.

BAFC provides a broad range of services to help charter schools succeed, including:

  • Human Resources and Employee Recruitment
  • Financial Planning and Management
  • MOSIS and Core Data
  • Social Media
  • Information Technology
  • State and Federal Programs
  • Facilities Management
  • Early Childhood Education
  • Continual Improvement
  • School Turnaround
  • Special Education

Since its formation in 2012, BAFC Consulting has supported the diverse needs of dozens of schools and school districts throughout Missouri. Their team of consultants includes a broad range of experienced educators with decades of experience in virtually every area of organizational management. BAFC consultants include former superintendents, chief financial officers and senior administrators from some of the most celebrated schools and school districts in Missouri.


BAFC Consulting works with clients to determine a pricing plan that meets the needs of each organization. Our pricing structure can include hourly rates for individual consultant services as well as flat rates for specific projects.

Contact Us:

To learn more or to arrange a consultation with our team, contact us at (314) 255-2299 or by email at For more information about BAFC Consulting in general, visit us at

* Be sure to mention you are a member of the Missouri Charter Public Schools Association for special pricing.

Governing Board Model Policies

On The Horizon - Model Governing Board Policies for Missouri Charter Schools!

MCPSA, in partnership with our legal counsel Stinson Leonard Street, are in the process of developing a set of model governing board policies for Missouri's charter school governing boards. Whether a new or existing school these policies will provide you the templates for everything you need to govern a charter school in the State of Missouri.

We anticipate having these available in June and will be offering a special, reduced rate for our member schools! If you're in the process of researching the purchase of model governing board policies we hope you'll consider 'holding off' until the MCPSA policy suite is ready for you!

Federal Programs Update

MCPSA will host a Spring NCLB Federal Program Workshop with Federal Programs Consultant Bette Morff.

The following are objectives of the workshop:

  1. Discuss the charter school Highly Qualified Teacher requirements
  2. Discuss the Community Eligibility Provisions for the School Foods program
  3. Explain the differences between Title I targeted programs, school wide programs and use of the school wide pool option
  4. Discuss the flexibility allowed when using the school wide pool option
  5. Discuss the importance of the needs assessment in the school wide plan detailing Title I uses of funds
  6. Discuss allowable costs for each NCLB federal program
  7. Discuss the tiered monitoring process
  8. Provide information about the payment process for Federal programs (i.e., payment requests, timelines, timing of draw downs, and CMIA)
  9. Discuss various NCLB Federal compliance areas such as parental involvement, required policies, etc.

Workshop materials will be emailed prior to the workshop to all member charter schools.

To register please email Bette Morff ( Please plan to attend one of the NCLB Federal Program Spring Workshops

St. Louis Charter Schools
Date: Thursday, May 29, 2014
Time: 8:30 through 12:30
Location: Construction Training School
6301 Knox Industrial Drive
St. Louis, MO 63139

Kansas City Charter Schools
Date: Tuesday, June 3, 2014
Time: 9:00 through 1:00
Location: University Academy, Mayerberg Room
6801 Holmes
Kansas City, MO 64131

NCLB Consolidated Budget Application Workshops

The Federal Compliance Section of DESE will be hosting regional workshops this year. They are free of charge and open to all schools. The objective of these workshops is to provide assistance in completing the NCLB Consolidated Budget Application.

Several charter schools have asked if they need to attend one of these workshops if they plan to attend MCPSA's Federal Program Workshop. During the scheduled Federal Programs Workshops (St. Louis, May 29 and Kansas City, June 3), Bette plans to discuss the NCLB Consolidated Budget application process. But that will not be the main focus of the workshop. 

If these workshops fit your schedule and you want the opportunity to meet with Donna Cash or another Federal Program supervisor, then we encourage you to attend. Otherwise, Bette is available to provide assistance in completing your school's NCLB Consolidated Budget Application.

She can provide assistance in a variety of ways. If you want direct assistance, please contact her at providing proposed dates and times and she will try to accommodate your needs. If you would like assistance over the phone, she can be reached at 573-291-9814 and is available at any time. If you simply want your budget application reviewed before you submit it, just email Bette and she will review it and provide suggestions, if needed.

Title I and McKinney-Vento

DESE released guidance regarding Title I expenditures for children and youth experiencing homelessness. Beginning with the 2014-2015 school year, schools will be able to use Title I funds to pay for the additional costs of transporting homeless children and youth to their school of origin. This is a major change from past guidance. It also allows for other services to homeless to be paid with Title I funds as well. For any questions, clarification, please reach out to Bette Morff (

Common Core in the News

National PTA President Otha Thornton explains why the organization continues to support the standards and what everyone should know about them.

National Charter Schools Conference

Each year, the National Charter Schools Conference brings together more than 4,000 charter school teachers, leaders, and advocates to learn practices and policies that make a difference in our classrooms.


With more than 120 breakout sessions on the hottest topics impacting charter schools, the National Charter Schools Conference is one of the best professional development opportunities of the year for charter school professionals. Join over 4,000 over your colleagues under one roof at the Mandalay Bay Resort and Convention Center, located in the heart of the famous Vegas strip.


  • Find out how your peers recruit top talent and learn other useful practices by attending the Talent Development series,
  • Get real advice and insight on lessons learned from high-performing rural charter schools, the unintended consequences of going digital, and how to provide and receive staff feedback


  • Earn up to 20 CEU credit hours (additional fee)
  • Take national best practices for student success back to your classroom
  • Learn how you can leverage your autonomy to create custom programs for exceptional students


  • Get advice from others at the Administrator’s Front Desk networking lounge or at the COO/Business Manager’s Roundtable
  • Gather best practices for all areas of your work—learn how to recover from a financial crisis, respond to school violence, or how to use operational assessments to plan for the future


  • Meet other charter school board members from across the country in the Board Room Networking Lounge
  • Get the information you need on fundraising, financial management, understanding student data, and strategic planning


  • Connect with your peers at the welcome reception and strand-specific happy hours; problem-solve and share best practices at the networking lounges and peer-to-peer coffees. Get extra time to talk directly with expert presenters during “Office Hours.”
The National Charter Schools Conference is one of the best professional development opportunities of the year for charter school professionals and we hope to see you there!

To Register, Click Here!
Save the Date - 53rd Annual Missouri Department of Education Cooperative Conference for School Administrators

The 53rd Annual Missouri Department of Education Cooperative Conference for School Administrators will take place July 27-29 at the Holiday Inn Executive Center in Columbia. More information regarding speakers, events and registration will be available at a later date. Read more here!

DESE Transition Institute

Registration is now open for the DESE Transition Institute to be held June 23-25, 2014. The theme this year is Engagement: Parent, Student, Community.

Participants will be given opportunities to receive valuable, up-to-date information on how to improve engagement for students, their parents, and increase positive school and community engagement. Keynote speakers and breakout sessions will focus on parent involvement in their child's educational career; dropout prevention strategies for school personnel, agency personnel, and parents; technical assistance in transition action planning; and, agency involvement in engaging students.

To register follow this link:

This year's institute will be held at the Holiday Inn Executive Center, 2200 I-70 Drive SW, Columbia, MO 65203. Registration fee will be $15 per person. The fee may be paid in advance or at the time of registration. Payment may be check or money order to be made out to Treasurer, State of Missouri. No purchase orders will be accepted. Registration fee is nonrefundable but substitutes will be allowed. If mailing your registration fee in advance, mail to: Lina Browner, Office of Special Education, DESE, P. O. Box 480, Jefferson City, MO 65102. Please indicate the name(s) of all registrants(s) for whom the check is paying. Registration will begin at 10:00 a.m. on Monday, June 23. Opening session begins at 12:00 p.m. (noon).

Registrants will be responsible for their lodging costs and all other expenses. Lunch will be provided on Tuesday, June 24, 2014. Registrants will be responsible for all other meals during the Institute. There will be a list of area restaurants in your packets for your convenience. The room rate for this event is $64.20 per night with one and two bed rooms available. You must contact the hotel directly to reserve rooms. Reservations can be made by calling the Holiday Inn Executive Center at 573-445-8531, toll free at 888-465-4329, or online at (whether calling in or reserving online, use Event Code "UMM" to receive the discounted rate).

The agenda will be uploaded by May 15, 2014.

Governing Board Trainings
Don't Forget to Register for these Upcoming 2014 Governing Board Seminars.  The topics include:
  • June - Safe Schools Act and Student Discipline
    • St. Louis - June 12, 2014 -6:00-8:00 pm
    • Kansas City - June 19, 2014 - 6:00-8:00 pm
  • July - The Governing Board and School Leadership Relationship - Governing vs. Managing
    • St. Louis - July 10, 2014 - 6:00-8:00 pm
    • Kansas City - July 24, 2014 - 6:00-8:00 pm
  • August - Your Board Toolkit: Committee Structure, Policy Development, Dashboards, By-Laws - A Roundtable Event
    • St. Louis - August 14, 2014 - 6:00-8:00 pm
    • Kansas City - August 21, 2014 - 6:00-8:00 pm
  • September - Media Management and Strong Communication Structure
    • St. Louis - September 11, 2014 - 6:00-8:00 pm
    • Kansas City - September 4, 2014 - 6:00-8:00 pm
  • October - When a Board Member Doesn't Play by the Rules
    • St. Louis - October 9, 2014 - 6:00-8:00 pm
    • Kansas City - October 14, 2014 - 6:00-8:00 pm
  • November - Meeting Expectations: Vision, Mission, Goals and Core Values
    • St. Louis - November 13, 2014 - 6:00-8:00 pm
    • Kansas City - November 6, 2014 - 6:00-8:00 pm
  • December - Managing and Engaging Stakeholders
    • St. Louis - December 11, 2014 - 6:00-8:00 pm
    • Kansas City - December 4, 2014 - 6:00-8:00 pm

St. Louis trainings will be held at the St. Louis Community College at Forest Park, 5600 Oakland Ave., St. Louis, MO 63110.

Kansas City trainings will be held at the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, 4801 Rockhill Rd., Kansas City, Mo 64110 in the Brookside Room.

Cost:  Cost is $40.00/board member per training session.

Please note:  Attendance at these sessions applies toward State/Sponsor governing board member training requirements.

For more information on these upcoming sessions, or to register, please visit the appropriate link below.

Kansas City Seminars -
St. Louis Seminars -

Supporting Struggling Readers with Complex Text
2014 MCPSA/Write Brained Learning Curriculum Camps
Write Brained Learning, in partnership with MCPSA, is excited to announce dates and locations for our 2014 Summer Curriculum Camps. Each week-long experience gives your school the training, tools, and time to develop a Common Core aligned, inquiry-based, and rigorous curriculum that contains all of the curricular components required by DESE.

We promise an engaging and productive week, but don't just take our word for it:

"Each day of the 5 day session, teachers and leaders focused on one part of the unit design process with ample time for reflection and focused conversation about the process and product. As a result, teachers walked away with high quality units ready to use with students. The collaborative nature and embedded work time made for a very productive week for our teachers and leaders!"

-Melissa Blevins, Director of Achievement
Pathway Academy Charter School

For complete details, including information on early bird pricing and on-line registration, please download the flyer.

If you have any questions about registration or the camps in general, please contact Kelley Barnes at
National Proofpoint Day - May 30th

My father was the first generation in our family to graduate from college. I still remember going to his ceremony at the Blackham Coliseum and taking him out to dinner later. He studied business administration and we gave him a beautiful leather briefcase with a customized nameplate as his gift. My father's college attainment meant that I was always thinking about where I would go to college (granted my early choices were all based on NCAA teams). This has also meant that my elementary-school aged children assume that college is a normal part of their education. As a career educator, I know how powerful visibility and messaging is for our students to envision a different future for themselves. They are the reason that I choose to serve on the national advisory of First Generation Initiative (FGI).

FGI is launching National #proofpoint Day, May 30th, to inspire more of our youth to be the first in their families to complete a college degree. I really value your voice and would be honored if you could champion the #proofoint message within your community. Whether you were the first in your family or can tell the story of your family's first, help us demonstrate to this next generation that they have supporters and cheerleaders across the country.

Join hundreds of thousands of FG’s; future FG’s and FG allies in wearing green on Friday, May 30th to serve as a vocal and visible proofpoints--- influence the way a kid and their family dreams about their future.

If you're interested in learning more about First Generation Initiative, there is a toolkit that you can download at their website:

Join hundreds of thousands of FG’s; future FG’s and FG allies in wearing green on Friday, May 30th to serve as a vocal and visible proofpoints--- influence the way a kid and their family dreams about their future.

Thank you,
Rhonda Broussard
Executive Director
St. Louis Language Immersion Schools
Grant, Loan and Scholarship Opportunities

What Would You Do With $500? Apply for an Association of American Educators Scholarship or Grant Today

Here’s some good news for educators this spring: You could receive up to $500 from the Missouri Charter Public School Association partner, the Association of American Educators, for professional development or for classroom supplies. You don't have to be an AAE member to apply and the application is online. What do you have to lose?

You can host a field trip, attend a conference, buy new calculators, or pay for a graduate course. In fact, use it for any number of items or activities that will help your students learn more effectively:

Teacher Scholarships:
Up to $500 for tuition, books, travel expenses, conferences, workshops, registration fees, other expenditures.

Classroom Grants:
Up to $500 for books, software, calculators, lab materials, math manipulatives, art supplies, audio-visual equipment, other materials.

Teachers from across the country have received these awards. Lisa Bender, a marketing teacher from Maryland, used the money design a project exposing students to entrepreneurial concepts. Similarly, Maureen Barrett, a teacher from New Jersey, received a scholarship to supplement the cost of attending a national professional development conference. The application is simple, the awards are worth it!

AAE’s goal is to support educators so that they most effectively educate our students. Applications are due on October 1st. Apply online today:

Scholarship Central

Scholarship Central is a free, online system through which any student in the St. Louis area can easily learn about and apply to St. Louis area scholarship and interest-free loan programs.

To see a list of available scholarships, please click here.