Fulton Flier

Week of February 1st

Dear Fulton families,

I hope that you had an opportunity to get outside and build a snowman, sled down a hill, or just walk with the snow crunching under your feet this weekend. I was skeptical if we would receive anything, but it was nice to see beautiful white flakes falling from the sky on Sunday morning. It is icy out there- stay safe!

This week is National School Counseling Week with a theme of School Counselors: All In for All Students. National School Counseling Week, sponsored by American School Counselor Association, highlights the tremendous impact school counselors have in helping students achieve school success and plan for a career. National School Counseling Week is always celebrated the first full week in February.

What a better way to kick off this week than with a SHOUT OUT to our

Awesome School Counselors, Mrs. Shields & Mrs. Wilson!

Counselors are....

C aring

O organized

U understanding

N nurturing

S upportive

E mpowering

L eaders

O ptimistic

R eliable


Dr. Burks

Reminder: Please complete survey by Feb. 5 regarding in-person or virtual learning

Recently, HCPSS announced that on March 1, 2021, the school system will begin the first phase of a transition to a hybrid instructional model, which provides the opportunity for students to attend school in-person for part of each week and receive virtual instruction for the remainder of the week. We’re excited at the prospect of welcoming your child back in person to brick and mortar Fulton!

You will need to inform HCPSS of your decision regarding whether you will send your child to school for 1-2 days per week. (Please note: students receiving Special Education services and certain others requiring additional learning support are given the option for up to 5 in-person days per week.) If you prefer, you may choose instead for your child to continue virtual learning full time for the remainder of the current school year.

To notify HCPSS of your decision, follow the instructions provided at the end of this message to complete a two-question survey by 4 p.m., Friday, February 5, indicating:

  1. The type of instructional model – hybrid or fully virtual – that you choose for your child
  2. Whether bus service will be used (if your child is eligible)
  • If your child is designated as a walker, transportation will not be provided. If you are unsure if your child is eligible for bus service, search for your address on the School Bus Locator to find your child’s transportation eligibility. (At this time, the School Bus Locator should only be used to determine if your child receives transportation services, because pickup times and bus stop locations are being updated and are subject to change.)

This information may be helpful in making your decision:

- Week of March 1: Students identified for the 5-days-per-week program

- Week of March 15: Students in Pre-K, Kindergarten, and grades 1-2

- Week of March 29: Students in grades 3, 4, 5

  • HCPSS is striving to offer students two days per week of in-person learning. However, if the number of requests exceeds capacity, due to social distancing requirements, HCPSS may offer only one in-person day per week.
  • For families that opt to send students back in-person, HCPSS will make every effort to group siblings together. However, the school system cannot guarantee that siblings will be in the same grouping. Please take this into consideration when making your decision.
  • If you choose for your child to remain fully virtual, you may later request to switch to the hybrid in-person model at any time during the 2020-2021 school year. However, approval of that request is dependent on available space, social distancing guidelines, and other factors.
  • Additional information on HCPSS spring planning can be found online.

Follow these instructions for completing the survey form, by 4 p.m., Friday, February 5:

  1. Log in to HCPSS Connect
  2. Select More Options from the left panel
  3. Select “In-Person Commitment” from the middle of the page
  4. Complete the questions in the form for each child and select “Save”

If you need assistance in completing the form, or have any questions, please call our school office at 410-880-5957.

Virtual/Hybrid Learning FAQs

We have received a lot of questions regarding Hybrid learning. To help, we wanted to ensure you were aware of the HCPSS Help Resources (page that lists FAQs); additionally, we have created a Fulton Hybrid FAQs document for families, based on the questions we have received. Please note, we are still in the beginning stages of planning- as we work closely with Central Office to prepare for students in March, we will frequently update our FAQs and communicate with our Fulton Community.

Quarter 2 report card

You may recall that due to the challenges with adjusting to virtual learning, the Howard County Public School System made some temporary changes to grading that may have been reflected on your child’s Q1 Report Card. Specifically, students in primary grades earned either an I (Independent) or W (With assistance) if they had engaged in synchronous instruction, and students in intermediate grades received A, B or C grades if they had engaged in synchronous instruction.

As was mentioned at the time, those changes were put in place for 1st quarter only. For Q2 SY20-21 grades, teachers will assign the appropriate grade based on student performance. In the primary grades that means students may receive an I (Independent), W (With Assistance), or N (Not Apparent at this Time). In the intermediate grades, students may receive any grade from A to E.

If you have any questions about 2nd quarter grading, please contact your child’s teacher.

Attention parents of 5th graders!

Do you need some help completing your middle school requests on Synergy? Mrs. Shields will be offering office hours on Wednesday, February 10th and Thursday, February 11th from 1:30-2:30 pm for 5th graders and their families who need assistance. Reminder-requests need to be made through the PARENT HCPSS CONNECT accounts, not student accounts.

Code: ShieldsHelp

Kindness Calendar Challenge

Fulton will be participating in a Kindness Calendar Challenge during the month of February. Our goal as a school is to complete 1,000 kindness challenges. That's about 1 or 2 per student!

Your child's teacher will be asking who was able to complete that challenge for the day or days prior during SEL time. If we can reach our goal, and I KNOW we can, Dr. Burks, Mrs. Caroland and Mrs. Brickner will get a PIE IN THE FACE.

Link to calendar: Kindness Calendar

Let's spread that kindness, Fulton!

Happenings occurring February 10th and 11th.

Please save the date and have your child/ren join us for a little fun on February 10th and 11th. This is a great way to have your child connect and engage in fun activities with his/her peers.

It's February and we are celebrating African American History & Empathy- A message from our Diversity, Inclusion & Equity Team

We were excited that our students were able to learn about influential leaders last month! We have so many influential leaders in our community! Thank you to Mrs. Shuttleworth, Mrs. Schuman, Mrs. Ro, Mr. Johnson, Mrs. Mundy, Mrs. Mull, and Mrs. Barshook for sharing your influential work! Click here to see their spotlight if you missed it!

During the month of February, we will be celebrating African American History and Empathy. Please enjoy grade specific resources below:

RECC - 3

1. Interactive Slides featuring African American History and Empathy!

  • Click present and click on any symbol or photograph to find information!

2. Extra resources featuring books, read aloud, and games!

3. Kindness Calendar

  • You should have received the Kindness Calendar from Mrs. Shields! To extend on our empathy focus, please check out the calendar and complete as many acts of kindness as you can!

4. Naming It: Helping Parents Talk About Racism

  • Check out this resource created by one of our paraprofessionals at FES: Wendy Usher, Licensed Master Social Worker.


1. Interactive Slides featuring African American History and Empathy!

  • Click present and click on any symbol or photograph to find information!

2. Extra resources featuring books, read aloud, and games!

3. Kindness Calendar

  • You should have received the Kindness Calendar from Mrs. Shields! To extend on our empathy focus, please check out the calendar and complete as many acts of kindness as you can!

4. Naming It: Helping Parents Talk About Racism

  • Check out this resource created by one of our paraprofessionals at FES: Wendy Usher, Licensed Master Social Worker

Last but not least, we are asking all Fulton Community members... How do you honor and celebrate African American history and heritage? What activities have you completed or plan to complete from the kindness calendar? Share your family’s traditions and acts of kindness by completing our Parent survey.

If you have any questions, please reach out to Ms. Caitlyn Gudenious at caitlyn_gudenius@hcpss.org.

Self-Compassion from The School Psych Corner

Recognize and Validate Grief or Stressor

Lots of people around us are experiencing some form of loss, and are adjusting right now. The many difficult emotions you may be experiencing – sadness, disappointment, anger, guilt, frustration, or loneliness – are normal responses to abnormal conditions. We are all processing changes and may be grieving; and with grief, it is important to take a compassionate approach to ourselves and those around us.

How can I practice self-compassion?

  • Recognize and name the emotions you are experiencing. Check in with yourself, just like you would for a for a friend. Give yourself permission to feel your feelings, whatever they may be.
  • Guilt, especially survivor’s guilt, is common during a widespread crisis, but it is not productive. Try to let it go.
  • Practice self-kindness. Treat yourself the way you would treat a friend! Kindness and compassion toward yourself is never selfish; in fact, it will help you maintain strength and resilience, ultimately enabling you to be a more effective support for others.
  • Recognize the common humanity around you. We are all in this together. Many people around the world are having the same kinds of experiences, thoughts, and feelings as you.

If you have questions or are looking for support for your child, please reach out to Mrs. Maria Brickley maria_brickley@hcpss.org or Mr. Bradley Dunagan bradley_dunagan@hcpss.org.

Is your family file complete? Would we be able to reach someone in case of an emergency?

We are asking all parents to complete the Family File if you have not done so for this school year.

1. Visit www.hcpss.org/connect.
2. Log in to your account. (User name = your email address)
3. You will see a list of options on the left side of the screen. At the bottom of the list, choose "More Options" and then "Family File."
4. Follow the prompts to update the information.
5. You will receive a confirmation upon successful completion of the Family File.

* If it is not allowing you to click "Next" on a particular page, there is information missing.

* If you have more than one child at FES, please be sure to update information for all of your children.

Are you looking for a great way to motivate your children to read?

We are partnering with Nothing Bundt Cakes in Columbia to provide a SWEET incentive for our students to read. All you have to do is print out the Reading Tracker and use it to have your child/ren log their daily reading time. Once your child has read for at least 400 minutes, you and your child/re can bring the tracker the bakery and Nothing Bundt Cakes will reward them with their flavor choice Bundtlet.

Please review the Parent Letter for more information and you can print out the Reading Tracker here.

We will be partnering with Nothing Bundt Cakes for the month of February and March.

The PTA Perch

Our next PTA meeting will be held on Tuesday, February 9th at 7:00pm. We hope to see you there!

As a way to provide a fun enrichment activity to all of our students (RECC through 5th), we partnered with the National Aquarium for a virtual field trip. Each grade will virtually “visit” the aquarium on different dates in mid March. There is no fee for this event. More details coming soon.

PTA is also hosting a fundraiser on Saturday, March 6 from 10-11am with KidzArt.

Join Ms. Ebbie and your friends and classmates again for a virtual art class! We had SO much fun together last time!

One lucky winner will win a cupcake decorating kit from Decadent Dessert! It will include 4 cupcakes, icing, and sprinkles. Thank you Decadent for donating this delicious prize!! We will pick a name during the live class. 🧁💕

Register using this link: www.KidzArtMD.com and click on “Register Now”

Upcoming Dates

  • February 2nd: 11:00am- 9:00pm PTA's Galliano Fundraiser

  • February 3rd 9:00 - 11:00 am - MAP Reading for grades 1-5

  • February 4th: 7:00pm FES Fireside Read Aloud

  • February 5th: Quarter 2 Reports Cards available for review in Synergy; Parent/Teacher Conference Registration Window Closes; Virtual Learning Survey Due

  • February 9th: 7:00pm PTA Meeting

  • February 10th 9:00 - 11:00 am - MAP Reading for grades 1-5; PTA's Chick-Fil-A- Fundraiser; 3-Hour Early Dismissal; Parent-Teacher Conferences

  • February 11th: 7:00pm FES Fireside Read Aloud; Parent Teacher Conferences

  • February 12th School Closed for Students - Professional Work Day

  • February 15th Schools and Offices Closed - Presidents’ Day

  • February 24th: PTA's River House Pizza Kit Pickup

Worth Repeating!

Upcoming MAP Testing for Grades 1-5

On Wednesday February 3rd and 10th, students in grades 1-5 will take the Measured Academic Progress (MAP) assessment. The data from the MAP assessment will help our teachers measure your student’s academic progress. The MAP test does not affect grades and the difficulty adjusts depending on how your child responds. It is normal for students to only answer about half the questions correctly. To learn more about the MAP assessment, please visit: https://www.nwea.org/the-map-suite/common-questions-families/

Please mark your calendar and make note that there will be synchronous sessions on
Wednesday, February 3rd and 10th from 9:00-11:00.

  • MAP reading will take place on February 3rd from 9-11 am.
  • MAP math will take place on February 10th from 9-11 am.

For our students in first grade, who are new to this assessment, their teacher will spend some time prior to February 3rd to review what the assessment looks like and how to come prepared for the testing sessions.

Teachers in grades 1-5 will share more specific information regarding the google meet code and any other testing information regarding these MAP sessions through Canvas as we get closer to the February dates.

If you have any questions, please email our Assistant Principals at molly_caroland@hcpss.org or leslie_brickner@hcpss.org

Yearbook Update

This has proven to be an unprecedented school year! We do not want to miss the opportunity to document such a unique and momentous school year. The Fulton Yearbook Committee is very excited to put together a yearbook unlike any other. The yearbook will capture many candid shots from the school year and class pictures captured online. We are hopeful to include individual pictures this year. In order to accomplish this, we are asking for your interest in whether or not you would purchase the yearbook for school year 2020/2021. Please help us by completing the following 3-question survey.

Fulton Elementary School

Tanisha Burks, Principal

Molly Caroland, Assistant Principal

Leslie Brickner, Assistant Principal