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story.lead_photo.caption Fulton School District 58 Board of Education discussed new updates on the A+ program, extracurricular activities and curriculum for the end of this school year and the beginning of next. Photo by Paula Tredway / Fulton Sun.

The Fulton School District 58 Board of Education met Wednesday night in the high school commons to hand out awards to some outstanding students and talk about updates happening within the district's schools.

To start, Seth Sayler was awarded academic all-state. The Fulton High School Student Council executive team was honored with the Missouri Association of Student Councils' Gold Honor Council Award. The students who represent the team are Lima Sherzad, Kayla Neal, Kayanna Gaines, Makenzie Horr, Paige Clines, Alex Trowbridge and Rylee Caswell.

And finally, the Fulton High School Piano Lab was recognized for its piano solos at the Central Methodist University Music Festival. Those students include Elexis Clark, Angelina Derry, Isaac Kronk, Axelle Lannou, Lilli Moreland, Kayla Morse, Kiah Pittman and Victoria Wiseman.

The board then moved into school updates and A+ Coordinator Jessica Geldner spoke about the program. Due to COVID, some of the requirements for seniors graduating in 2021 have been changed. The hours required have been reduced from 50 to 25 and the student's EOC and ACT scores have been waived.

Students still have to maintain a 95% attendance and a grade-point average of 2.5.

Next, Activities Director Ryan Waters talked about Fulton Public School's extracurricular activities. The high school offers 26 school-sponsored clubs and 13 Missouri State High School Activities Association athletic teams, while the middle school has seven school-sponsored clubs and nine MSHSAA teams.

Waters believes it is important for every student to get involved with something, whether it be a sport, choir, band, etc. He stressed that it provides students with better participation and better attendance, as well as a better GPA. Looking at the high school, 325 of 665 students were actively listed on a MSHSAA roster and 411 of 665 students were involved in the sponsored clubs.

Waters then mentioned a letter he received with the idea of changing the Fulton Volleyball Invitational to the Melissa Hoerber Invitational to honor her and the passion she had for the sport. The board agreed.

Waters also spoke to the board about the longevity extra-duty salary schedule. After voting, the stipend committee decided all persons who are being paid a stipend on a percentage basis will qualify for the longevity scale and all new hires/existing coaches will start on step 1 of the Fulton longevity scale. In order to move up on the longevity scale, a coach or director must remain in their current program.

Assistant Superintendent Dr. Chris Hubbuch gave a quick curriculum update. MAP testing at the Fulton Middle School will conclude this week, and the results from the i-Ready and NWEA will be available for review at the June board meeting. At the elementary schools, Hubbuch explained, a task force will be assembled in July to review elementary literacy programs and to recommend a program for adoption.

Then in the fall, the task force will continue to work to make sure the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education's newly-approved priority standards and MSIP 6 guidelines are met. As far as summer school goes, Hubbuch pointed out that enrollment is underway and the principals are hiring a few remaining staff members.

He also talked about the Missouri Reading Initiative. Following the pandemic, the 2021-22 school year will be the return to curriculum development at Fulton Public Schools. Fulton Middle School has decided to participate in the Missouri Reading Initiative as part of the English Language Arts revision and development process. This is an on-site professional development network of experienced trainers delivering a comprehensive program of research-based, instructional strategies in literacy for teachers, special-education teachers and principals.

The goal is to enhance the quality of literacy instruction, which will lead to improved student achievement throughout all grade levels.

To end the meeting, the board made motions to accept or adopt the Nabholz Construction Amendement No. 1, the fiscal year 2021 budget update and the 2021-2022 pay schedules.

High school graduation is scheduled for 7 p.m. Friday, May 28, at Robert E. Fisher Stadium. Each graduating senior will receive 10 tickets and gates will open at 6 p.m. The second-annual Senior Car Parade is set for Friday, May 21, and the Senior Award Ceremony will be Wednesday, May 26.

The next board meeting is scheduled for 7 p.m. Wednesday, June 9.

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