Missouri


State Highlights 04/01/09 to 01/31/10

The Missouri SpecialQuest State Leadership Team is housed within the Head Start Collaboration Office and has been successful in achieving their objectives, which are congruent with the work of the Head Start Collaboration Office. The co-Liaisons have provided consistent, strong and focused leadership to the State Leadership Team. The Region VI State Technical Assistance Specialist with the National Child Care Information and Technical Assistance Center provides additional support to the team and will continue to be involved by facilitating future Missouri State Leadership Team quarterly calls. The entire team membership is invested in and passionate about the inclusion of young children with disabilities.

 

Two SpecialQuest Community Teams have members on the Missouri State Leadership Team. These Community Teams completed the Community Perceptions of Inclusion (CPIP) tool annually and shared their progress with the State Leadership Team by regularly reporting local successes and issues. The other six graduate programs in Missouri were invited to participate in state meetings, and while several graduate team members attended, one in particular became very active and was subsequently invited to join the State Leadership Team.

 

The Missouri State Leadership Team reviewed the position statement on inclusion jointly developed by the Division of Early Childhood (DEC) of the Council for Exceptional Children (CEC) and the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC), resulting in a common shared understanding. They also used the joint statement as a guide in developing their vision statement, which reads,

 

All young children in Missouri are safe, healthy, and capable of reaching their full potential.

 

Missouri is now working to integrate their definition of inclusion into the state’s strategic plan.

 

A major focus of Missouri’s work has been to embed inclusion into professional development across the state by integrating the SpecialQuest materials into a variety of initiatives. These include a revision of the core competencies for Youth and Early Childhood Professionals and the Child Care Plus curriculum, which is used by local Child Care Resource and Referral agencies. Inclusion Specialists with the Missouri Office of Child Care Resource and Referral Network (MOCCRRN) are using the SpecialQuest approach and materials in workshops across the state.

 

Missouri has also integrated SpecialQuest content into a statewide social-emotional child care orientation and training module and they are currently developing a social-emotional curriculum that will be based on both the Center on the Social and Emotional Foundations for Early Learning (CSEFEL) curriculum and the SpecialQuest curriculum and approach. The SpecialQuest approach and materials have been built into Part C training modules. And finally, Missouri, in partnership with Kansas and Illinois, developed a Core Knowledge Curriculum that consists of 42 hours of training with inclusive practices embedded in each module of the curriculum using the SpecialQuest content.

 

Another strong focus of Missouri’s work has been to build family leadership. The Missouri State Leadership Team developed survey tools to document how family members were involved in the early care arena and to solicit feedback on their experiences. The Missouri Disability Resource Center currently is expanding their statewide database of family member leadership. A SpecialQuest inclusion brochure with contact information for the Missouri Family to Family Resource Network at the University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities (UCEDD) was developed and disseminated to a wide audience. In order to support the attendance of family members, parents were offered stipends to participate in the SpecialQuest Training of Trainers, along with higher education staff and a wide range of crossagency participants. The above examples illustrate some of the ways that Missouri has worked to build strong family partnerships.

 

In looking at sustainability, the work of the Missouri State Leadership Team has transitioned to the Head Start State Collaboration Advisory Group to provide interim leadership. Ultimately, the work will continue under the Coordinating Board of Early Childhood. The current membership of the Missouri State Leadership Team has committed to continue their quarterly meetings and to share information about inclusion with their agency staff. The quarterly meetings will be done via technology in the form of the ‘Go To Meeting’ site. Agencies represented by the team will rotate both hosting and facilitation responsibilities.

 

Over the span of the SpecialQuest grant, the Missouri State Leadership Team has grown in their knowledge of each other’s programs, their understanding of inclusion, and their commitment to work together to develop a cross-agency professional development system on inclusion for Missouri. They are strongly committed to carry this work forward into the future.

 


 

State Highlights 04/01/09 to 01/31/10

The Missouri State Leadership Team currently has 22 members who hold a variety of state, professional development, and community roles. The Missouri team is working on the following areas of focus:

 

Recent highlights of the Missouri State Leadership Team:

 

The SpecialQuest State Leadership Team Communities in Missouri are Children’s Therapy Center Early Head Start in Sedalia, and Missouri Valley Community Action Agency in Marshall. The communities receive quarterly site visits from the SpecialQuest Coaches. Both teams continue to meet quarterly and are working on their action plans developed based on the Community Perceptions of Inclusive Practices results.

 

Recent highlights of Children’s Therapy Center Early Head Start:

 

Recent highlights of Missouri Valley Community Action Agency:

 


 

State Summary 10/01/08 to 03/31/09

Missouri's State Leadership Team has 20 members who hold a variety of state, professional development, and community roles. The team realizes the need for more parent voices and is inviting additional parents to participate in the workgroups the team has formed. Four SpecialQuest Graduate Team Communities in the state of Missouri attended the last State Leadership Team meeting. Each program gave the State Leadership Team feedback on how they have used the SpecialQuest approach and materials.

 

Most State Leadership Team members have been working together on the Early Childhood Comprehensive System (ECCS) and the revision of the Statewide Memorandum of Understanding (MOU). The SpecialQuest Birth–Five vision and requirements dovetail with these other two initiatives. Meeting attendance is high, conflict is low, and when it does arise, the team handles conflict well. All members are committed to the process and understand how important their work is.

 

State Leadership Team meetings have been held each quarter all year. Workgroups have been formed around the following action plans:

 

 

These workgroups meet face-to-face, via e-mail or phone calls between the quarterly meetings. Standing agenda items include Graduate Team Community reports, Ambassador reports, members sharing how they have used the SpecialQuest Multimedia Training Library, approach and materials, and workgroup updates. The State Perceptions of Inclusion (SPIP) will be done for the second time in June 2009.

 

Both Graduate Team Communities, Children’s Therapy and Missouri Valley, will be doing the Community Perceptions of Inclusion (CPIP) during Summer 2009 at their quarterly meetings with their SpecialQuest Coach. Neither team has developed action plans yet, but both are interested in doing so following the CPIP process.

 

Missouri Valley

The Missouri Valley team has eight members, including a strong family representative. Three members are from the original SpecialQuest team. The team plans to add a representative from their school district.

 

The SpecialQuest Coach will facilitate the second CPIP with this Graduate Team Community in May 2009. At that time, action plan development and progress in embedding action steps into an existing regional planning group will be discussed again.

 

Children's Therapy

The State Leadership Team Liaison, the SpecialQuest Ambassador, Coach, and Coordinator made a quarterly visit in February 2009. Eight team members were present at the meeting, all representing the Early Head Start program. An update on the SpecialQuest Birth–Five resources and activities was provided and the "What is SpecialQuest?" movie was shown. The discussion and presentations created a clearer understanding of the Graduate Team Community role with the State Leadership Team.

 

The SpecialQuest Coach and Ambassador will co-facilitate the second CPIP with this Graduate Team Community in April 2009. The team will develop action plans based on the process during that meeting.

 


 

State Summary 04/01/08 to 9/30/08

Missouri's State Leadership Team has 20 members who hold a variety of state, professional development, and community roles. One member is the parent of the child with a disability who also works in Early Intervention. Two team members are SpecialQuest graduates and are the representatives for the two SpecialQuest State Leadership Team Communities in the state. The team is inviting additional parents to participate in the workgroups to ensure the family voice is reflected in their work. The State Leadership Team Liaison is the Director of the Missouri Head Start Collaboration Office (MHSCO). The Liaison responsibilities are part of her daily roles and responsibilities. The Assistant Director of the MHSCO also participates on the team and both staff members are available to work and support the SpecialQuest Birth–Five State Leadership Team.

 

This team left the National Leadership SpecialQuest in May of 2008 in Dallas with the outline of four action plans. At the quarterly State Leadership Team meeting in August 2008, action plans were reviewed and expanded based on the State Perceptions of Inclusive Practices (SPIP) results.

 

The four action plans from the National Leadership SpecialQuest evolved into five action plans:

 

  1. Early Childhood Comprehensive System;

  2. Family Leadership;

  3. Professional Development;

  4. Inclusion/Public Relations; and

  5. Evaluation

 

However, it was acknowledged and agreed upon that the action plans overlap and that evaluation should be a component of each of the other four. Members divided into workgroups and shared back with the large group what they had accomplished and dates they had set for meetings prior to the third quarterly meeting.

 

Due to other initiatives in the state, plus SpecialQuest Birth–Five, the team is motivated and feels they have an opportunity to make changes in the Early Childhood system. The workgroup structure they have adopted and the addition of parents of children with disabilities to these groups will support the team to implement their action plans.

 

The two SpecialQuest State Leadership Team Communities in Missouri are Children's Therapy Center Early Head Start in Sedalia, and Missouri Valley Community Action Agency (MVCAA) Head Start, in Marshall. These two communities are working to expand the SpecialQuest approach birth–five and complete the Community Perceptions of Inclusive Practices annually. The team communities receive quarterly site visits from the SpecialQuest Coaches and are represented on the State Leadership Team.

 


 

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