Fulton Focus

For the parents and patrons of the Fulton School District

October 21, 2016

A message from the Superintendent

Dear Parents and Patrons,

Student safety and appropriate student behavior has always been a priority in all Fulton Schools. As we communicated in August, our bullying policy met the spirit and intent of the new Missouri law. However, your Board of Education elected to review and revise that policy to parallel the new Missouri law. Consequently, we now have a specific bullying policy, JFCF Bullying, and JFCG Hazing, a hazing specific policy. In addition, our current discipline regulations, JG-R1 Student Discipline was updated to reflect new language. All will be posted in the on-line Policy manual soon, but you may click on the hotlink to view the mentioned items immediately.

During the October and November staff professional development sessions, all FPS staff has or will be completing an Active Shooter refresher course, provided by the Callaway County Sheriff’s office with assistance from the Fulton Police Department and other local agencies. The course activities are extremely intense; consequently, your teachers and administrators are well trained with strategies to protect your student. As you review the next letter regarding the Bush Elementary incident, kudos to Bush Administrators and staff for keeping all students in the building safe and isolating the BB Gun until Police assistance arrived.

Please take a time to continue reviewing this issue as we are highlighting your building administrators for National Principal’s Month!

On behalf of the Board of Education and Administrative we sincerely appreciate your confidence and support. Thank you for sending great kids for us to work with!

Jacque A. Cowherd, Ed.D.


Bush Elementary Incident

October 19, 2016

Dear Parents,

This morning, the administration at Bush Elementary was notified that there was a student possessing and perhaps shooting a BB Gun after school on Tuesday. The student was identified and it was discovered that a loaded BB Gun was in his backpack.

The Fulton Police Department was called immediately. The student is in Fulton Police custody. The Fulton Police Department and Fulton Public Schools are investigating the incident.

All students and staff are safe. Fulton Public Schools will continue to take necessary steps to ensure the safety and security of our students and staff.

Questions may be addressed to me by phone (573) 590-8000 or email (jcowherd@fulton58.org).


Jacque A. Cowherd Ed.D

Standards Based Grading

Several years ago the Kindergarten, 1st, and 2nd grade classrooms of Fulton Public Schools transitioned to a grade reporting model called Standards Based Grading. This year, our 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade classes will begin making this transition in the subject areas of Math and English Language Arts.

While we believe this to be very beneficial to students, parents, and teachers, it does look a bit different than traditional grading. Instead of being given only one cumulative grade for a specific subject (such as receiving an “A” in Math), students are scored on their ability to demonstrate proficiency of a given skill, or standard.

As an example, suppose a student is excelling in grade level addition, but struggling with subtraction. Rather than attempt to combine or “average” these two different standards, Standards Based Grading simply reports them separately as two different grades. This model is very beneficial to parents, students, and teachers in that it helps communicate specific areas students are excelling in, while identifying potential areas for growth where more support might be needed.

For each standard, students will be given a score on a 4-point scale. The scale can be broken down as follows:

4 = Exceeds grade level standards

- Consistently meets requirements for exceptional work.

- Demonstrates exceedingly high level of knowledge or understanding

3 = “Proficient” or meeting grade level standards

- Consistently meets requirements for proficient work on the standard

- Demonstrates acceptable level of knowledge and understanding

2 = “Progressing” towards grade-level standards

- Meets some requirements of proficient work

- Demonstrates some knowledge and understanding

1 = Needs Support

- Meets few or no requirements for grade level work

- Demonstrates little knowledge and understanding

As a general rule, you should not expect your son or daughter to receive a “4” on all, or even any standards. While traditional grading models stop at “A”, when a student has shown they’ve learned all the material, Standards Based Grading provides us an opportunity to challenge learners who are achieving beyond their current grade level. A “3” should be celebrated and viewed as a success, having demonstrated proficiency in grade level material, while a score of “2” or “1” should be viewed as areas the student is struggling in and may need additional support.

While we transition to this grading model, your 3rd, 4th, and/or 5th grade students will still receive traditional letter grades in other subjects, such as Social Studies and Science. Our intention is to begin using Standards Based Grading with these subjects in the future.

Our goal is to communicate with you with a clear and accurate understanding of how your student is doing in school and our hope is that this transition will better enable us to do that. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us or your child’s teacher and we’ll be happy to discuss this with you.

Thank you for all of your support in your child’s education.

Meet the Principals of Fulton Public Schools

Fulton High School

Chris Mincher, Principal, went to Fort Zumwalt West High School, Westminster College, William Woods University and the United States Army Study Abroad Program in Iraq and Afghanistan. Chris has been in education for 10 years and has been the Principal of Fulton High School for the past two years.

Kati Boland, Assistant Principal, went to Jacksonville High School in Jacksonville, Illinois. She received her undergraduate degree from MacMurray College and her master's degree from William Woods University. Kati has been in education for 16 years with 15 of those years being with Fulton Public Schools.

Ryan Waters, Activities Director and Assistant Principal, spent the majority of his early years in Elsberry, Missouri and graduated from Pierce City High School. Ryan has received degrees from Crowder College, where he also played baseball, Missouri State, and William Woods University. Ryan has been in education for 10 years.

Fulton Middle School

Beth Houf, Principal, has been in education for 16 years. The last two years have been as Principal of Fulton Middle School. Prior to that, she was the Principal at McIntire Elementary, teacher at Bartley, and also taught in Jefferson City. Beth grew up in Rolla and attended college at Mizzou.

Steve Kerr, Assistant Principal, graduated from Wapello High School. He attended Culver-Stockton College for his bachelor's degree and William Woods University for his master's degree. This is Steve's eighth year in education.

Bartley Elementary

Connie Epperson, Principal, has been with Fulton Public Schools for 27 years! She attended Knox County High School and Culver-Stockton College. Connie's graduate degrees are from Mizzou and William Woods University.

Bush Elementary School

Lynne Engle, Principal, began her career with Fulton Public Schools in 1991 as a second grade teacher at McIntire Elementary. She has been the Principal at Bush Elementary School since 1997. Lynne graduated from Salem High School in Salem, Missouri. Mrs. Engle spent the first four years of elementary school in a one room school called Metham School which housed grades 1-8! She attended William Woods for her bachelor's and master's degrees and Lincoln University for her Specialist degree.

Holly Broadway, Assistant to the Principal, grew up in Kansas. Holly received her bachelors degree from Friends University in Wichita, Kansas; master's degree from UMSL; Specialist degree from William Woods and is currently working on a Ph.D. at William Woods University. This is her 14th year in education.

McIntire Elementary School

Mark Clements, Principal, grew up in the St. Louis area and attended high school at Grandview R-II High School in HIllsboro, Missouri. After graduation, Mark attended Westminster College and also played football. His first teaching assignment was at Fulton Middle School teaching 6th and 7th grade. Mark then moved to Montgomery City and taught social studies for 9 years before returning to Fulton as the Principal at McIntire Elementary. He has been back for two years.

Billy Cannon, Assistant to the Principal, graduated from Blair Oaks High School. Billy attended Lincoln University where he also played football and baseball. Billy has been in education for 22 years with the last 19 being with Fulton Public Schools.

Fulton Education Center

Jen Meyerhoff, Director, has lived in Fulton since she was in the 6th grade. Jen attended Southeast Missouri State and William Woods University for her degrees. Jen has been in education for 17 years and is the only one of our Principals that attended Fulton Public Schools!

Important Dates

October 31: NO SCHOOL Earned Day Off

November 6: Fall Back Daylight Savings Time ends

November 9: MAP Gold Medal Awards, Roger D. Davis Gymnasium 6:00 p.m.

November 9: Board of Education Meeting 7 p.m.

November 14: NO SCHOOL Professional Development Day

November 23-25: NO SCHOOL Thanksgiving Break