Fulton school board focuses on tutoring, safety

Fulton Public School superintendent Jacque Cowherd Cowherd, Dennis Depping and Katherine Christensen chat between lunch and a classroom tour during their work session visit at McIntire Elementary Wednesday.

Fulton Public School superintendent Jacque Cowherd Cowherd, Dennis Depping and Katherine Christensen chat between lunch and a classroom tour during their work session visit at McIntire Elementary Wednesday. Photo by Dean Asher.

Like many children his age, Fulton fifth grader Tristan Clay has big dreams.

During a presentation to the Fulton School Board Wednesday night, Clay said McIntire Elementary’s Blue Jay Buddies after-school tutoring program is going to help him realize those dreams.

“One word about what I want to do in 2013 is accomplish, and Blue Jay Buddies will help me do that,” Clay told the board before going on to list goals such as achieving straight As and graduating from fifth grade. “Because I am getting my homework done, my grades have gone up. I’m doing better in math.

“My goal in the future is to go to college and play college football, and someday to play in the NFL. (Because of Blue Jay Buddies) I am able to get the help I need to be the student I want to be.”

McIntire Principal Beth Houf, librarian Brenda Johnson and reading intervention teacher Linda Williams also addressed the board about Blue Jay Buddies, a cooperative tutoring and mentoring program between the elementary school and Westminster College. The program has a team of 20-30 volunteers who work with the elementary students three days a week on their homework, with an added emphasis on reading skills for those enrolled in a reading intervention program. Houf said there currently are 20-25 McIntire students who participate.

In other business during Wednesday night’s board meeting, Superintendent Jacque Cowherd said he had put much of his focus over the past month on student safety.

After the Dec. 14 shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut, Cowherd said he called school resource officer Maj. Roger Rice with the Fulton Police Department to ask “what should we do? What do we need to be doing?”

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