Manage Your Subscription and Profile
View Previous Issues 

MCPSA Weekly Bulletin
April 15, 2014
In This Issue

Early Bird Conference Registrations

Governing Board Model Policies

Charter Schools and the Prevailing Wage

Charter School Benefit Structures

Alternative Education Forum

Always Prepped - Custom Data Dashboards for Your School

MCPSA Governing Board Seminars

Teacher Education Day

MCPSA's Consulting Team

Summer Curriculum Camps

Federal Programs Update

Common Core in the News

SLISS' Language Immersion Co-Laboratory

Excellence in Education Awards

School Grants for Healthy Kids

Grant, Loan, and Sponsorship Opportunities

Quick Links

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

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

Arthur J. Gallagher - Insurance and Risk Management for your School!

Our Charter First program is designed for charter schools by charter school leaders and school insurance experts.
It is:
  • The most appropriate coverage at the lowest price.
  • An all-in-one inclusive package, including Workers Compensation, Liability, School Board, Property, and Risk Management Services.
  • More than just insurance — It is Helping to Keep Your School Safe!
For more information about the Charter First program contact Steve Wightman at:
(314) 800-2294 or
Join Our Mailing List

Last Month to Receive Early-Bird Rate for Conference Registrations!
This year's conference will be held Wednesday, October 1st through Friday, October 3rd at the beautiful Chase Park Plaza hotel in St. Louis.

Early bird registration for member schools will run through Friday, May 2nd!  Full-price conference registrations will be accepted through Friday, August 15th.

To register for conference, please click here. 

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.

Keep watching this section of the newsletter for exciting conference updates including speakers, sessions, and special events!
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!

Charter Schools and the Prevailing Wage

Charter Schools and the Prevailing Wage - Further Information

Earlier this year MCPSA provided notification via the Weekly Bulletin that charter public schools in Missouri are required to pay prevailing wage for any facility construction and/or renovation work per the Department of Labor. We have been seeking additional clarification. Through the City of St. Louis Mayor's Office we were able to receive the following from Jeff Edmondson, the Program Director for the Division of Labor Standards:

"Generally, a charter school is exempt from all laws and rules relating to schools, governing boards, and school districts. However, sections 160.400-160.420 provide that a charter school is a public school and is considered a quasi-public governmental body. A charter school is also considered to be a public school within a school district and the personnel employed by the charter school are public school employees. It is for these reasons that it is the position of DLS that charter schools are covered by the prevailing wage laws."

For additional information please feel free to contact the Division of Labor Standards at 573-751-1224.

Charter School Benefit Structures

Charter School Leaders,

In our efforts to research benefit structures, interest in benefit cooperatives, and to advise and inform new school development groups MCPSA is working in conjunction with member school KIPP:Inspire to determine the types of benefits member charter schools are offering and the extent to which governing boards are funding benefits.

We would appreciate you or your business manager taking a few minutes in the next week to complete this brief survey ( Once we have received all of the data collected it will be summarized and shared with our members. As helpful as this data will be for us we believe it will also be informative for each of you as you consider your school's benefit structure.

In advance, thank you very much for your assistance.


Please submit these responses to MCPSA by May 30, 2014!

Alternative Education for the Middle and High School Student - Important Forum for MCPSA Members!

Alternative Education for the Middle and High School Student

Member schools and sponsors with or anticipating the addition of a middle school or high school student population are invited to The Alternative Education Discussion Forum!

St. Louis:
Thursday, May 8th
Time: 8:30 - 11:00 AM
Location: 209 Rue St. Louis St. Florissant, MO 63031

Kansas City:
Date: Tuesday, May 20th
Time: 8:30 - 11:00 AM
Location:  TBD

There are MANY challenges in educating nontraditional/alternative middle and high school students. These challenges are compounded in the State of Missouri where the expectations and assessment of alternative students are the same as for any student. For our charter schools, whom often have a high percentage of alternative students enrolled, the question becomes how to meet the academic needs of these students while the school's total performance is compared to that of schools with a more traditional student population.

MCPSA and ACE Learning Centers invite you to an Alternative Education Discussion Forum. The intent of this Forum is important as we will take a deep dive into:

  • Defining exactly what/who an alternative student is;
  • Evaluating the current Missouri landscape and what the the Missouri Statutes say about alternative students and education;
  • Considering the challenges of educating alternative students in the public school arena;
  • Learning about the ACE Learning Centers model for educating alternative students;
  • Considering the 'ideal'
    • What are the best models for educating alternative students?
    • What statutory changes need to happen to meet the true educational needs of alternative students?
  • Strategizing toward next steps regarding policy and accountability changes

If interested in attending, please RSVP to Doug at

Always Prepped - Administrator and Teacher Data Dashboards Customized for Your School

The Missouri Charter Public School Association is pleased to announce a new cooperative purchasing agreement has been established with Always Prepped! Always Prepped is the leading reporting and data solution for school administrators, principals, and teachers.

Always Prepped has developed FERPA and COPA compliant technology that seamlessly allows you to integrate or upload excel reports of your academic, behavioral, and attendance information in one place.

School Leaders can use this dashboard to:

  • Easily build attendance; behavioral & academic graphs from excel reports and apps such as PowerSchool, NWEA, Khan Academy & more.
  • Quickly upload past reports to build longitudinal student graphs to view trends in learning.
  • Automatically connect data from educational apps that teachers use in their classroom with all other academic data to build a holistic view of their students.
  • Free up hours of reporting and analysis for you and your teachers and spend more time using this data to drive instruction.

As part of our agreement, Always Prepped will be offering special pricing to our MCPSA member schools from now until April 30th. The pricing breakdown is as follows:

  • March 31, 2014 – April 30, 2014
    • Annual License Price (retail) – $2,500/school
    • MCPSA Charter School Pricing
      • $1000/school (1-4 new subscriptions from MCPSA members)
      • $750/school (5-9 new subscriptions from MCPSA members)
      • $500/school (if 10+ schools sign up)

Schools that sign up in March or April will also have their annual license pricing locked in forever.

For more information or to schedule a free demo please contact Chris Mott at (240) 389-4152 or email him at

*Make sure to mention you are a MCPSA member school.

MCPSA Governing Board Seminars - Dates and Topics Announced through December, 2014
Don't Forget to Register for these Upcoming 2014 Governing Board Seminars.  The topics include:
  • May - Fiduciary Responsibility and Charter School Financial Management
    • St. Louis - May 7, 2014 - 6:00-8:00 pm
    • Kansas City - May 21, 2014 - 6:00-8:00 pm
  • 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 -

MCPSA Teacher Education Day - October 3, 2014!

Meet the MCPSA Consulting Team!!!
The Missouri Charter Public School Association is pleased to announce that we have contracted with with four expert consultants, bringing even more value to your MCPSA memberships.  These consultants are:

Becky Odneal - State Compliance Consulting

Becky has been an independent educational consultant to public charter schools, school districts, and education associations around the state of Missouri for the past four years. Becky has extensive knowledge in the areas of education policy, quality data collection and reporting, and accountability. 

Becky's services are available to our member schools at an exclusive rate of $80.00/hour.  For more information on Becky and the services she offers, please click here.  Becky can be contacted at
Bette Morff - Federal Compliance Consulting  

Bette has been a member of the MCPSA team for over 4 years and is an expert in all aspects of federal compliance for schools.  All MCPSA member schools receive 10 hours of Bette's time included as part of their member benefits.  Any additional time needed can be purchased at the discounted rate of $65 dollars/hour.  For more information on Bette and the services she offers, please click here.  Bette can be contacted at

Karren Colbert - Common Core Consulting

Karren is the President at Write Brained Learning and has a passion for creating and conducting job-embedded professional development.  Karren holds a BS in Elementary Education and a MEd in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Missouri, Columbia where she also serves as an Adjunct Professor. She has extensive knowledge in the area of preparation and implementation of Common Core standards into schools.

Karren's services are available to our member schools at an exclusive rate of $80/hour.  For more information on Karren and the services she offers, please click here.  Karren can be contacted at

Katie Uldall Welsh - Special Education Consulting

Katie is a certified special educator currently completing her Special EducationCoordinator Certification. She has extensive knowledge in the areas of special education compliance, reporting, IEP procedures and preparation, as well as delivery of instruction.

Katie's services are available to our member schools at the exclusive rate of $80/hour.  For more information on Katie and the services she offers, please click here.  Katie can be contacted at
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.

Currently, MCPSA is working with Karren Colbert of Write Brained Learning, to offer a second series of Common Core workshops. Details coming soon!

If you have any questions about registration or the camps in general, please contact Rachelle Morgan at
Federal Programs Update
NCLB Consolidated Amended Budget - Due April 30, 2014

If you need to amend your current 2013-2014 NCLB Consolidated Budget, the deadline is April 30. DESE has not been making any exceptions to this deadline. Please make sure you have reviewed your accounting records and make any necessary revisions by the deadline.

Common Core in the News
Missouri Will Implement Common Core Next Year With Amended HB 1490

 St. Louis Language Immersion School's Language Immersion Co-Laboratory

St. Louis Language Immersion Schools (SLLIS) was designed to combine language immersion and inquiry-based teaching in a public school environment. In our commitment to inquiry-based instruction and professional growth, SLLIS routinely sends teachers and administrators to visit peer schools across the US to learn from their practice. In our visits, we’ve learned that many of our peer schools are asking themselves the same questions about inquiry and student action in an immersion setting. This co-laboratory is intended to create a space for educators across the US to share their best practices, research, and questions about growing inquiry and making it visible in our instruction.

In conjunction with the College of Education at University of Missouri-St. Louis, SLLIS will bring national thought leaders in immersion and inquiry education together to provide opportunities for transformational insights into student learning, teaching practices and institutional support for inquiry in immersion programs.

With its theme and overarching question of Creating a culture of inquiry, the co-laboratory will invite educators to reflect deeply on how they design and facilitate inquiry-based learning for their students. The conference experience includes both large and small group sessions, each addressing one or more of the following strands:

Student as inquirer:
  • How do we effectively create a culture of thinking?
  • How do we help learners develop dispositions that support thoughtful learning across school subjects?
  • What are the unique challenges and strategies for demonstrating thinking in L2?
Teacher as inquirer:
  • How do we effectively create and support a culture of thinking among teacher teams?
  • How do we help teachers reflect upon their own practice and model inquiry for their students?
Administrator as inquirer:
  • How can we effectively advocate for local or state support for inquiry and immersion?
  • How do we encourage and implement inquiry and action for our instructional teams?
  • What can we learn from the structure of professional learning opportunities locally and virtually?
Educators from all grades PreK-8 and all subjects, especially from International Baccalaureate schools, are encouraged to attend, as are educators from all types of schools. University faculty and graduate students in language and education are also encouraged to attend.

For more information please click here.
Excellence in Education Award
St. Louis Magazine is creating a new program called Excellence in Education and its mission is to recognize and reward the outstanding teachers in the St. Louis area.

The award program is based on an open nomination process.  Please encourage your faculty and students to go online to and nominate a teacher or administrator in elementary, junior or high school who they think is deserving of this special award.  The winners will be featured in the fall issue of SLM's St. Louis Family and treated to surprises and award recognition.

Please note, applications are due by May 12, 2014!
School Grants for Healthy Kids

Action for Healthy Kids welcomes schools to apply for 2014 -2015 School Grants for Healthy Kids. The grants are funded by their partners CSX Transportation, Kellogg Company, Kellogg’s Corporate Citizenship Fund (and more!) and will range from 500 to 5,000 dollars.

In addition to financial support, AFHK will provide the roughly 1,000 chosen schools with significant in-kind contributions in the form of programs, school breakfast and physical activity expertise and support to engage volunteers. We’ll also give schools management expertise and support to develop strong alternative and universal breakfast or physical activity programs.

Award amounts will be based on building enrollment, project type, potential impact, and a school’s ability to mobilize parents and students around school wellness initiatives. Applications must be filed by May 2, 2014

Grant available for ALL STATES – School breakfast program pilot and/or expansion – to include alternative breakfast programs (i.e., breakfast in the classroom, grab and go breakfast, breakfast after 1st period, breakfast on the school bus) and universal breakfast programs. Average grant size is $1,400 per school.

IMPACT: Schools must realize an increase in daily ADP of school breakfast program by 25%, and must provide information to students/parents on nutrition and caloric content of foods available. Schools must also join the celebration during Every Kid Healthy Week by hosting a family-friendly health-promoting event during April 2015. (Note: Multiple schools within a district are encouraged to apply. Schools must participate in the National School Lunch Program and National School Breakfast Program; and must have a free/reduced priced meal eligibility greater than 50% to be eligible. Priority selection will be given to schools with student enrollment greater than 500 students).

If you’re interested for your school, an archived hour-long introductory webinar session is available to learn how to apply.

Grant, Loan and Scholarship Opportunities
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.