January 27, 2015                                                                                            Archives

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The MSU Riley Center presents The Great Gatsby performance and teacher workshop

A workshop on “Teaching The Great Gatsby,” presented by Laura Hyche and Dr. Charlotte Tabereaux, will be held for K-12 teachers from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Saturday, February 21, 2015 at the MSU Riley Center, 2200 Fifth St. in Meridian. To register, call 601-696-2204 by 5 p.m. Thursday, February 19, 2015, and provide your name, school, phone number and email. Lunch will NOT be provided. 5 CEUs will be awarded. You will pay for CEUs after the workshop by registering with ctabereaux@riley.msstate.edu or calling 601-696-2204.

The Montana Repertory Theatre will present The Great Gatsby at NOON Tuesday, March 3, 2015, for grades 6-12 at the MSU Riley Center. Principal roles are played by actors whose past credits have included both Broadway and national touring productions, and productions at the nation’s leading regional theaters. Tickets are $6 per person. For reservations and the Study Guide, visit http://www.msurileycenter.com/index.cfm/educational-programs/school-shows/.


National Educational Summit to be held in Long Beach – March 12 & 13, 2015

The Universal Design for Learning Implementation Research Network (UDL-IRN) is hosting a summit focusing on UDL implementation and associated research on March 12 & 13, 2015 at the University of Southern Mississippi-Gulf Coast. The intent of this summit is to gather practitioners and researchers to build networks for supporting the systematic implementation of UDL in pre-school, K-12, and higher education classrooms from across the globe. This venue provides an excellent opportunity to build your professional network, share resources, ideas, and lessons learned. More information can be found at http://udl-irn.org/2015-udl-irn-summit-registration/.


National World War II Museum Middle School and High School Essay Contests

The 2015 Essay Contest is now open for submissions! This year, The National WWII Museum asks, “How do you define a hero?” The flag-raising on Mount Suribachi at Iwo Jima on February 23, 1945 is one of the most famous moments of WWII. The six men who helped to raise the flag are often referred to as heroes. Out of the six men who raised the flag that day, only three survived until the end of the war. One of the surviving men, Cpl. Ira Hayes (Pima) was repeatedly asked by admirers if he considered himself to be a hero as a result of his wartime actions. Hayes replied, “How could I feel like a hero when only five men in my platoon of 45 survived, when only 27 men in my company of 250 managed to escape death or injury.” This year, as the world remembers the 70th anniversary of this iconic event, The National WWII Museum asks students to think about what it means to be a hero.

The Museum will select one winning essay from each grade. Winners will receive a $250 prize. Three honorable mentions from each grade will receive a Museum baseball cap. Winning essays will be posted on The National WWII Museum’s website, along with the names of the honorable mentions. Entries must be submitted online by 5 p.m. March 31, 2015.

For more information and contest rules, visit: http://www.nationalww2museum.org/learn/education/for-students/essay-contests/.


MAAESF Standard Setting Committee Nominations

Superintendents, District Test Coordinators, and Special Education Directors: The MDE Office of Student Assessment has authorized Measured Progress to complete the Standard Setting Process for the Mississippi Alternate Assessment of Extended Science Frameworks (MAAESF).  The Standard Setting Process is used to define the cut scoresto correspond to the identified performance levels.  A cut score is simply the score that serves as the top and bottom range of each performance level.
To be legally defensible for high stakes assessments and meet the Standards for Educational and Psychological Testing, the cut scores must be appropriately set.  For that reason, standard setting is a critical component of the test development process.  In this process, the panelists will

  • participate in discussions.
  • be willing to listen and be open to the feedback of others.
  • use their background and expertise to utilize the assessment data to establish cut scores.

In order to form the MAAESF Standard Setting Committee, we need a total of

  • 15 Special Education teachers (five at the Elementary level, five at the Middle School level, and five at the High School level)
  • 15 Content teachers (five at the Elementary level, five at the Middle School level, and five at the High School level)
  • 3 District Administrators (one at the Elementary level, one at the Middle School level, and one at the High School level)
  • 3 Superintendents (one at the Elementary level, one at the Middle School level, and one at the High School level)

Once the nomination survey has closed, Sharon Prestridge will contact the District Superintendent for his or her approval of the selected nominee(s) to participate on the MAAESF Standard Setting Committee. The MAAESF Standard Setting Committee will meet at the Jackson Hilton, 1001 East County Line Road in Jackson, for two days on June 2 and 3, 2015.  For participants who live 75 miles or more (one way) from Jackson, hotel accommodations will be provided on the nights of the June 1 and 2, 2015.  Measured Progress will make the reservations for lodging for the selected participants and will handle travel and meal reimbursement.  The participant will be engaged in the review from 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. each day.  Continental breakfast and lunch will be provided each day.  Measured Progress will reimburse mileage at the government rate.
To access the nomination survey, please click this link, MAAESF Standard Setting Committee Survey.  If you are not viewing this e-mail in HTML, the survey address is http://cspr.mde.k12.ms.us/TakeSurvey.aspx?SurveyID=m650n57
The deadline to submit nominations is Friday, February 21, 2015.  If you have any questions, please contact Sharon Prestridge at 601-359-1970 or via e-mail at SPrestridge@mde.k12.ms.us.


Google in the Classroom

Google in the Classroom Conference hosted by the University of Mississippi School of Education will be held Thursday, February 5, 2015, at the Oxford Conference Center.  Join us to learn how to use Google's free tools in your classroom! Click here to register. For more information, contact Dr. Julie James at jjames1@olemiss.edu.


Mississippi Arbor Day Celebration

The Mississippi Museum of Natural Science will hold an Arbor Day Celebration from 10 a.m. to noon Friday, February 13, 2015. The event will be an excellent field trip opportunity. Highlights include: the National Geographic Giant Map of Africa with unique and playful cartographic activities; displays and crafts focused on Mississippi trees and their role in our environment; and a live tree giveaway. Cost: $6 for adults; $4 for children; $5 for seniors (60+). Group rates available.


Mississippi History Now

Mississippi History Now, an online publication of the Mississippi Historical Society, provides teaching materials for Mississippi history and social studies teachers on the state’s history.  In December, a new article by Dick Molpus entitled “Philadelphia, Mississippi: A Story of Racial Reconciliation” was posted.  It pertains to the 1964 Freedom Summer murders of Goodman, Chaney, and Schwerner; and how the community has since come together for justice and racial reconciliation.  It’s a powerful story, and there is a great lesson plan to go along with it.  The link is here:  http://mshistorynow.mdah.state.ms.us/.

Additionally, the Mississippi Department of Archives and History has a wonderful site dedicated to producing lesson plans on Mississippi history:  http://mdah.state.ms.us/new/learn/classroom-materials/lesson-plans-and-teaching-units/

Questions can be directed to Melissa Janczewski Jones, Editor & Historian, at mhnow@mdah.state.ms.us.



To submit information for consideration in the EdUpdate, email the information to Tabatha Burkett at tburkett@mde.k12.ms.us by noon on Thursday. Please include a contact name and an email or phone number as part of each item.



Are you a licensed educator seeking employment in a Mississippi public school district?  Are you seeking the most current district vacancies available?  If so, please visit our job board at http://teach.k12.ms.us to discover your career opportunities.

For information on employment in the MDE, contact the Office of Human Resources at 601-359-3511 or visit the "Active Recruitment List" on the State Personnel Board Web site at www.msps.ms.gov for a list of openings in all state agencies.