In 1996 - Six administrators in charge of curriculum (Richard Phillips, Emmett Sawyer, John Urkevich, Cliff Mohn, Ray Doudy, Wayne Wheeler, and Larch Farrell met with Mike Willard in Columbia to discuss the need for a state-wide curriculum organization. Plans were developed and in 1997 a meeting was held in Columbia to introduce the idea.
Group leaders, Richard Phillips, Cliff Mohn, John Urkevich, Wayne Wheeler, and Mike Willard led discussions for the 125 in attendance and the work began on structuring the organization. Richard Phillips, John Urkevich, Nick Ginos, Emmett Sawyer, and Paula Sprouse served on the committee to select an Executive Director. Richard Phillips and Larch Farrell also met with Dr.Orlo Schroyer, DESE, to secure a grant from the Department to help get the organization started. On July 1, 1998 the organization officially began with Mike Willard as Executive Director. Office space was rented on Dix Road in Jefferson City and Bess Tighe was hired as an administrative assistant. Executive Committee members included Richard Phillips (President), John Urkevich (Vice President), Emmett Sawyer, Cliff Mohn, Nick Ginos, Paula Sprouse, Connie Hurst-Bayless, Vic Lenz, Wayne Wheeler, and Larch Farrell, as an advisor.
Tony English, Assistant Superintendent from the Eldon school district, was hired as Assistant Director in 2001 and was named as Director in 2004. Sharon Waite, Assistant Superintendent from the Mexico school district, was hired as a consultant in 2004 and became Assistant Director in 2005. Dr. Wesley Bird, formerly DESE Math Coordinator, was hired as a consultant in 2007. In 2008, Sharon Waite was named Director and Dr. Bird became the Assistant Director with Chris Niemoeller, Curriculum Director from the Northwest school district, hired as a consultant. Both Tony English and Mike Willard continue to conduct workshops and work on a part-time basis.
SMCAA was created to help school districts improve curriculum as a means to increasing student achievement. The original target of achievement was the MAP Tests. Feedback to school districts from MAP Tests was in the form of a score. Information regarding the content and applications assessed was not available.
In response to the need for the information, Mike Willard began work in 1998 with the Instructional Materials Lab (IML) at MU to create the first version of an in-state electronic alignment tool (EAT). IML secured a grant to create a program that would align local curriculum with the Show-Me Content Standards. Mike identified the needed curriculum components and got IML to create a relational database so teachers could align more than the Content Standards and eventually the Process Standards and generate reports to help them analyze the components of their written curriculum with MAP results. The tool still allows districts to generate these reports.
SMCAA works with districts throughout the state of Missouri to assist with the writing of effective curriculum that meets MSIP standards, identification of effective instructional practices for the implementation of that curriculum, aligned assessments that assess the standards in the curriculum. SMCAA also provides support to district curriculum directors, provides help and ideas for instructional leaders and suggests methods for monitoring curriculum and instruction.
Today SMCAA holds three annual conferences, one in the fall, late winter and June; in-district curriculum development workshops, formative and summative assessment trainings across the state, curriculum director training workshops and retreats, curriculum training workshops for administrators, district curriculum reviews; subject specialty trainings; and a curriculum – instruction-assessment academy for members in the summer, as well as consultation for districts working to improve their curriculum as a guide to increase student achievement. SMCAA also provides two hour free webinars once a quarter on timely topics as well as 3 regional meetings a year with at least one webinar available.