Fulton Focus

For the parents and patrons of Fulton Public Schools

October 1, 2015

A Message from the Superintendent

Dear Parents and Patrons,

It is Homecoming Week in the Fulton School District with the theme, Hawaiian Luau. Most all students in the district have activities throughout the week climaxing in Friday Night football against North Central Missouri Conference foe, the Boonville Pirates.

Friday Night football is always an exciting time. The past few years we have attempted more flexibility with non-high school students attending the game. However, that flexibility also came with younger children being injured from running and horseplay on the grounds and in the stands; and adults being hit with a variety of flying objects.

Consequently we are forced to re-implement a few prior rules: all elementary age children will only be admitted with a responsible adult and be supervised by that adult; middle school students are required to sit in the Middle School section; and any child misbehaving will be asked to leave the area and not readmitted.

Even though I generally prefer a more relaxed flexible approach, the District must have rules to ensure spectator safety. Please come and enjoy Homecoming festivities with Fulton High School!

Jacque A. Cowherd, Ed.D.


Homecoming is Friday!

Hawaiian Luau is the theme for the 2015 Fall Homecoming. FHS Student Council planned and is implementing a wonderful week for all students! Each day, there was a theme for Spirit Week. Ranging from Tacky Tourist Day to Ohana (family/Hornet pride) Day, kids of all ages across the District participated and had a lot of fun in the midst of their learning. On Wednesday, a movie was shown on the baseball field for students and their families and tonight, there will be a bonfire for FHS students. Culminating the weeks' activities will be the parade and football game on Friday and the Homecoming Dance Saturday night.

All FPS Schools will release 1 hour early on Friday for the Homecoming Parade. The Homecoming Parade will follow the normal route down Court Street into downtown. The parade will begin at 3 p.m. on Friday, October 2. Coronation of the Homecoming King and Queen will take place at half-time of the football game vs Boonville.

What is a Grad Coach?

Graduation Coaches are in the second full year of existence at Fulton High school and are modeled after the very successful program at Hazelwood West called Project Walk. This program was chosen not only because the Graduation Matters Committee saw a marked improvement in their graduation rate, but because it emphasized relationship building.

The following is a testimonial from a Graduation Coach at FHS:

When I started working with one of my grad kids, the student had very low grades (Ds and Fs in everything except PE). The lowest grade was 4% in a class required for graduation, and the student hated the class. The amount of work and content was overwhelming, so the student shut down. The student barely did any work and tried to miss the class often. The student tried to make excuses to leave -- needed to talk to the principal or counselor, needed to go to the nurse or restroom, left something in another classroom, etc. I talked with the teacher and gathered up all the work that was supposed to be completed plus the work that was due right away. We just starting chipping away at the work little by little, and we checked the grade about every day. Each time an assignment was completed and turned in, we could see the percentage going up. Once the student got above water and caught up on all the missing work, it wasn't so overwhelming. The student started understanding the content and kept up on the work as it was assigned. The student stayed in class and actually started finishing the work during class time. The final grade for the semester was a B- in that class. Since working with a grad coach, this student has never gotten in that large of a hole with grades--last semester, the lowest grade was a C-!!!. The student still struggles with certain classes, but knows once the overwhelming feeling starts to let me know. We'll talk to the teacher and come up with a plan. To me, this is what being a grad coach is all about--showing our grad kids that we care about them and that they can trust us, then helping them find not only academic success, but also successes in other parts of their lives--jobs, relationships with family and friends, extra-curricular activities, etc. As Graduation Coaches we act as ours kids' advocates, mentors, teachers, parents, enforcers, or whatever is needed at the time with each student.

When surveyed about their participation in the Graduation Coach program, Grad Kids said the best things about having a grad coach are:

    • “I’m still in high school because of my grad coach.”

    • “She helps me keep track of my grades. Also, she helps me keep track of any work I’m missing.”

    • “The best thing about having a grad coach is the relationship you can build with them. You feel like there is someone you can go to when something isn’t right and they do their best to change it or make it better.”

    • “Best thing is she helps me if I don’t even need it.”

    • “Giving me goals and making ways for me to catch up on my work.”

    • “I truly do think my grad coach cares and tries his best to push us hard.”

    • “Sometimes they make you work when you don’t want to.”

    • “They want you to do your best and pass school.”

    • “I couldn’t find a reason to say anything negative about a positive program. Keep it coming."

Students were also asked if they think their grad coach cares about them; one student answered, “Yes! (But sometimes he wants to punch my brain.)”

Finally, when asked if the Grad Coach program helped them with their grades, ninety-two percent of them said their grades have improved since being given a Grad Coach.

In order to have a Grad Coach, a student must be failing in at least three classes. As of right now, of the 42 students served, only four are not on track to graduate and two of those are returning after leaving school for one to two semesters.

Graduation DOES matter!

Fulton Middle School Social Studies Students Aren't Just Learning History, They Are Living History

You are stranded in Canadian forest. A thick grove of fir, pine trees, and brush surround the mountain valley. It is late fall and getting cold. There is a pond nearby that has not yet frozen. You must survive here for a year. This was the 'hook' for 7th and 8th graders in Mrs. Windmann, Mr. Krankowski, and Mrs. McDaniel's Social Studies classes. Students were then asked to describe the shelter they would build, the clothing they would make to protect themselves from the elements, and the tools they would create to acquire food. Teachers dressed up as survival experts, and decorated their room like a real life forests to immerse students in the lesson. After the activity, students connected their survival experience to the real lives Ojibwa Indians. The Ojibwa were able to live and survive in the Canadian wilderness for generations by using the natural resources that were available to them.

Later in the unit, students were asked to correctly identify eight Native American artifacts, and determine which Native American cultural region utilized them. This helped students answer the essential questions for the unit, "How did native Americans adapt to their environments?" Mr. Ryan Krankowski states, "The main goal of the FMS Social Studies department this year is to immerse students in the past. Requiring them to be active participants in historical research provides kids with real world skills and applications that can be used in a number of different content areas".

Currently, 7th and 8th grade Social Studies students are looking at paintings and examining what they have seen before learning about the facts of that particular European nations' exploration and settlement. Students are then asked to re-create the painting they saw in dramatic play format, and explain what they were exploring from different people's perspectives within the painting. Students in Mr. Krankowski, Mrs. Windmann, and Mrs. McDaniel's classes acted out the landing of Columbus, dressed up like explorers and natives, and determined what resources would be needed to start their own colony. These students aren't learning history from a textbook--they are reliving it!

Sixth grade students recently completed balloon globes. They used paper mache on the balloons as their medium on which to paint the world. Students studied the geography of the world in detail and were expected to recreate it on their globe. The continents, oceans, equator, and many other geographical details were added to their globes. Mr. Krankowski explains, "I am always impressed with the work that Mrs. Yates and Mr. Hoskins are doing in 6th grade. By requiring kids to tap into their creative potential they are providing them with a fun hands on experience that will help them to remember key Social Studies concepts".

Students in the 6th grade connected knowledge gained from their globe projects to their studies of the Five Themes of Geography. The Five Themes provide a basic skill set for students when they study the Geography of the world. This foundation for World Studies will be accessed throughout their time as Social Studies students at Fulton Public Schools. The 6th grade globe project is an experience that most students never forget.

There are two ways to study history--memorizing facts from a textbook or by immersing students in the material. Engaging students in the content, time period, setting, and place they are studying is the premise behind Living History. The students and teachers use historical tools, activities, dress, creative skills, and technology in their interactive presentations. Mr. Krankowski explains, "Creating a love for History is paramount. Once kids are on board, teaching them to infer, investigate, write, utilize technology, read, analyze, and develop becomes a much easier task".

To see pictures showcasing Social Studies classroom activities and work being done at Fulton Middle School, be sure to 'like' the FMS Social Studies Facebook page!

Important Dates

Friday, October 2 Dismiss 1 hour early (Homecoming)

Monday, October 12 No School (Teacher Professional Development)

Tuesday, October 13 End of 1st Quarter

Wednesday, October 14 MAP Gold Medal Awards 6 p.m. Roger D. Davis Gymnasium

Wednesday, October 14 Board of Education Meeting 7 p.m.

Friday, October 30 No School (Earned Day Off)

Monday, November 2 No School (Active Shooter Training for all staff provided by The Callaway County Sheriff's Department)

Monday, November 9 No School (Teacher Professional Development)