About Southwest Center for Educational Excellence
The Southwest Center is an educational service agency serving 42 school districts and three colleges and universities. The 42 school districts educate over 55,000 students, employ over 7,000 employees with a total annual budget of $540,000,000. The Center was founded in 1996 with the plan to provide networking opportunities, share strategies for improving education and avoid unnecessary duplication of services. Charter members include the following districts – Avilla R-XIII, Carl Junction R-I, Carthage R-IX, College Heights Christian Schools, Diamond R-IV, East Newton R-VI, Golden City R-III, Jasper R-V, Lamar R-I, Liberal R-II, McDonald County R-I, Neosho, Seneca R-VII, Webb City R-VII and Westview C-6.
During each school year, the SW Center holds three major events for member districts. The Administrator Summit is a one day event for administrators of member districts. It is an opportunity to focus on leadership, legal issues and other topics pertinent to district leaders. The Technology Summit provides a collection of topics with experienced presenters from which to select to meet individual and district needs – from planning infrastructure, selecting devices and use of technology in the classroom. The Celebration of Schools is an evening to recognize accomplishments by member districts. Awards are presented recognizing innovating programs in member schools, supporters of member districts, school board members and area legislators.
Following is a list of activities which benefited member districts during the 2012-13 school year:
- Development of a collaborative legislative platform with the Cooperating School Districts of St. Louis and CSD-GKC.
- Working with Legislators and representation on local, state and federal educational issues and updates on key votes and legislation.
- Opportunity for administrators and teachers to network with others on a regular basis.
- Professional development offerings by nationally known education leaders and trained staff on relevant, quality and research-based classroom instruction and leadership opportunities. During the 2013-14 school year, the SW Center is hosting an Innovation Academy featuring Alan November.
- Discounts for instructional programs sponsored by participating vendors.
- Participation in the Administrator Summit, Technology Summit and Celebration of Schools.
- Participation in two Teacher American History Grants - Traveling America’s C’s, Decisive Moments in American History andPreserving America’s Midwestern Heritage Grant. It appears these will be the final two of seven History grants the SW Center has participated in totalling $6.6 million dollars.
- Current updates from staff on DESE issues and events.
- Collaborative opportunities provided to meet state requirements for certified and support staff.
- Personalized assistance on district issues and needs.
The SW Center will meet with district representatives to customize workshops to meet your district needs. Topics to consider include
- Implementation of Common Core state Standards
- Effective Instructional Strategies
- Literacy in Non-ELA Classrooms
- Cognitive Coaching
- Rigorous and Relevant Instruction and Assessment
- Engaging Students in Assessment
- Making History Come Alive with History Trunks
- Use of Data to Improve Instruction
- Building Effective School Climate
- Teacher Evaluation and Look Fors
- Grade level Camps
- MANY MORE
As always, the SW Center works to provide member districts with resources and a support system to assist schools in meeting the needs of their students. For additional information on programs available, please contact the Executive Director Jim Horton or the Director of Professional Learning Melissa Massey at (417) 673-7078.