Fulton Focus

For the Parents and Patrons of Fulton Public Schools

August 21, 2015

A message from the Superintendent

Dear Parents and Patrons,


Our 2015-2016 School Year is off to a good start. The Elementary Breakfast in the Classroom has been well received by students and staff; most kids seem to be pleased with the opportunity. Walking through the buildings, classrooms are in full swing with academic activities.

As you are most likely aware, building hours have been adjusted as a means of shortening transportation times. Yes, change is interesting and we are working through a few bugs in the system. In addition, an additional bus route is being added to accommodate movement within the district. Those affected by the route change will be receiving written notification in the next day or so.

Finally, the main messages of this Fulton Focus include information on District Map Performance and the upcoming Tax Levy Hearing.

My very best regards,

Jacque A. Cowherd, Ed.D.

Superintendent

jcowherd@fulton58.org or Ask the Superintendent button at www.fulton58.org

2015 Missouri Assessment Program (MAP) District and Building Results

The 2015 spring assessment was the first time Missouri and Fulton Public School students were tested on new standards for English Language Arts and Mathematics. The new standards were more rigorous and raised the standard of learning. This was also the first year students were tested online in grades 3-8. High school students have taken their state assessments online since 2010.

These test results set a new baseline for student performance and should not be compared to the previous tests based on different content standards. The state uses the analogy of comparing a student’s performance in running a mile with swimming a mile. While both tests are measured by time, the swim could not be used to determine if a student improved as a runner. Each test has different knowledge and skills, therefore, proficiency levels cannot be compared.

Assessment is one way of ensuring the children’s educational needs are being met. There is value in evaluating student learning to ensure they are meeting their educational goals. Achieving proficiency helps ensure students graduate prepared for college, a career and/or the military.

The district uses assessments in the classroom, school, district, and state levels to make critical decisions about instruction, interventions and support, advanced educational opportunities and policies. High quality assessments are effective tools that educators, parents and students can use to understand and measure student progress in a meaningful way.

English Language Arts (ELA) results were mostly positive, however, Math results reflect the power of consistent instruction on the Missouri Learning Standards for students in the lower grades, while students in the upper grades experienced the change in the standards during their educational career. As students have the opportunity to adapt to new standards, the district expects improved student performance on the state assessment. Furthermore, this year’s Algebra I scores do not include some of the district’s highest achieving students. The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education does not allow students to “double test” these students who in the past has taken Algebra I in 8th grade. Therefore, most of the higher performing students who would have been included in the Algebra I scores took Algebra II as freshmen and took the Algebra II End-of-Course MAP assessment. Science assessments were also administered online for the first time in 2015 in grades 5 and 8. There were no changes in the standards or item types from the paper/pencil version of the 2014 test.

Missouri will continue to use the current Missouri Learning Standards for English and math for the 2015-16 school year.

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Tax Levy Hearing

Annually, the Board of Education is required to adopt an annual tax levy for collection of ad valorem taxes in accordance with Missouri Statutes and directions from the Missouri State Auditor’s office. The 2015 Tax Levy Hearing is scheduled for 5:00 p.m., August 26, 2015 at the Central Office, 2 Hornet Drive.

The total levy is based on the district assessed valuation as provided by Callaway County. The Operating Levy pursuant to law and regulations fluctuates with district assessed valuation. The Debt Service Levy is established as the amount to pay annual principal and interest plus an amount approximating one year’s reserve.

Each levy is expressed as a dollar amount per $100 of assessed valuation.

The Operating Levy is adjusted annually for an entity to have level ad valorem tax receipts while not over taxing or under taxing patrons. Therefore increasing assessed valuation theoretically reduces the levy while decreasing assessed valuation theoretically increases the levy exclusive of any voter action authorizing an increased levy.

The Debt Service Levy calculation is based on the amount of principal and interest owed plus one years’ reserve payment. As with the Operating Levy the actual rate may fluctuate with Assessed Valuation.


A power point presentation with tax rate calculation data can be found on the FPS web site at

http://www.fulton58.org/vimages/shared/vnews/stories/55d3756b10734/Tax%20Levy%20ppt.pdf


The chart below reflects the 2014 actual levy and the 2015 recommended levy.

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