Fulton Middle School

  1. PLC Story
  2. PLC Practices
  3. Achievement Data
  4. Awards
  5. Resources

Fulton Middle School is a 6-8 building located in central Missouri. Collaborative culture has been the foundation of all of our work at FMS. We have moved from a school with low trust and collaborative practices, to one where risks are encouraged and celebrated. Teaming practices have been developed and implemented. Culture and climate have been a daily focus specifically for building leaders and the leadership team and have evolved to all members of the staff and students taking responsibility for this area.  Feedback is gathered frequently to help us improve practice.

Over the past four years, teams have worked to identify the standards which are most essential to each gravel level in each subject. Grading, assessment, and instruction has shifted focus to analyze these essential learner outcomes. Our staff has worked the past three years to become assessment capable teachers. This means we have done much professional development on the purposeful practice of quality assessment and grading. We have shifted our thinking and practice from traditional to standards based approaches of assessment. Much time has been devoted to developing proficiency scales around each standard so that staff and students (and parents) truly understand the learning progression to mastery and beyond. We are beginning the process of standards based grading on our grade cards as well. During the 2017-2018 school year, our physical education department piloted standards based grading (SBG). During the 2018-2019 school year, our elective and 6th grade team implemented SBG. Next year, 7th grade will join and the following year our whole building will be SBG. We have also made the shift to involve our students in the assessment process through data binders. These are in digital form for each content areas. Students track learning for each objective individually in their data binders for each class.

Personalized learning matters at Fulton Middle School. We started the year with each student creating a genius hour project based on a topic of personal interest. These passions have helped us to drive our instruction over the year. Our staff professional development plans have also shifted to Passion Professional Development, on a topic that is of most interest to each individual staff member. Our goal has been to move from compliance to engagement to empowerment of all learners at FMS!

Another goal we have is to sustain our PLC practices through time, no matter the school personnel. We have started to build practices and protocols to make this a reality. One of the biggest structures we have put in place is our Book of FMS for staff. This is a resource that was created to be a living guide for staff on the practices of our school. It is located in the resource section. To put together the book FMS, we polled our staff on what information was needed to help transistion year to year. They gave us multiple topics and then the leadership team put the resource together. We take time each fall to interacively train on this resource and add to it as needed throughout the year. It has been so valuable and helps us to stay focused on our collective commitments in action.

Our school has made exponential gains in a short period of time through dedication to the professional learning community process with all students, staff and our community. We have moved from the designation of a Missouri Focus School to a Missouri Exemplary Professional Learning Community-- one of only 24 middle school's in the state to attain this honor. We look forward to continuing our journey of living our mission of educating, engaging and empowering all learners at escalating levels!



(This is a link to our presentation Navigating Successful PLC in the Middle. It showcases our story of growth as a professional learning community. The file was too large to upload to the resources, but really highlights the changes and work we've done over the past 4 years to best serve our students.)



1. Monitoring student learning on a timely basis.

Fulton Middle School has both student-driven and teacher-driven systems of monitoring student learning on a timely basis. Each student has an electronic data binder created in Google Classroom. (the overview is attached in the resource page. (titled Data Binder Prototype) In this data binder, there is a section for each class as well as attendance and benchmark data. Each teacher has uploaded objective sheets for each of the essential learning outcomes with proficiency scales. Students then record each assessment towards the objective on the objective sheet. A sample objective sheet is attached in the resources page. (titled Copy of 6th Grade/Explo Original Proficiency Scale) As teachers introduce a new objective, students have the resources at the tip of their fingertips. An example of the proficiency scales for a unit can be found in the resources. (Copy of 6_29_18 World History Proficiency Scales and the Excel 6th - Social Studies)

Teachers also have a variety of ways that they monitor and give feedback regarding learning. As a 1-1 school, there are many effective tools that give instantaneous feedback, such a GoFormative, Socrative, Google Forms, Padlet, Flipgrid and many, many more. Our staff has developed common formative and summative assessments.

Our staff went through the process of identifying essential learning outcomes (ELO’s) through with the support of work by Larry Ainsworth and his text Power Standards. We were trained by our regional professional development PLC trainers on this work. We started by looking at each standard for endurance, readiness and leverage. (reference September PD Days presentation)Through collaborative conversations, we identified ELO’s that were the most impactful in each of these areas. After we identified our preliminary ELO’s, we then split up with specific roles of checking for redundancy, confusion and missing pieces. The alignment roles can be found in the resource section. (alignment roles) This process has been ongoing and we revisit and revise each year. These ELO's are the objectives that comprise our grade cards. Common formative and summative assessments have also been an ongoing process at Fulton Middle School. We have included a piece of our professional development in our resource section. (FMS Grading for Learning Day Two) Our common formative and summative assessments are developed at the grade level and then aligned by department.

I have also included more of our specific training on these topics in the resources (November & December 2017).


2. Creating systems of intervention to provide students with additional time and support for learning.

We rely heavily on corollary questions three and four to develop our system of both intervention and enrichment at FMS. We feel strongly that this is something for ALL students, not just an option for those that may or may not take part. Our intervention and enrichment is embedded in the school day during both one period as well as throughout individual classes. While we have created a dedicated time in our schedule for intervention/enrichment called academic lab, we are also very intentional to weave intervention and enrichment in our classrooms DURING the time a unit is taught.

At the beginning of our journey to becoming an exemplary professional learning community, our intervention time consistently of 25 minutes of random work depending on the grade level and teacher. To many, it appeared to be a study hall or play time. One of the first changes that we worked on was to make this time what was needed for all students. We named our intervention time "WIN-What I Need" to help convey the message is that we were to get intentional and specific. This was considered 5th period and everyone stopped, dropped and intervened or enriched at the same time. We utilized fall benchmark data to set up our first round of WIN. Students were paired with teachers based on needs. Students that showed that they already knew the subject matter had opportunities to go deeper into the content. Utilizing Google Forms, we were able to have students sign up for the intentional enrichment to best meet interest and need. An example of this form can be found here: https://goo.gl/forms/kLG26FKpqyUcBP413 Teachers were then able to make fluid moves to WIN rosters to best meet the needs of students.

Although this was a positive shift from prior practice, we knew that we needed more than 25 minutes to truly support all learners. After two years, through collaborative conversations with all stakeholders, we then moved to a full period WIN time, renamed Academic Lab. Same premise, yet more time. The only struggle is that we had to stagger these throughout the day instead of having these all at the same time. While we lose some flexibility in scheduling, we are able to go deeper to support the needs of all students. We have also worked to integrate tiers of support within each of the classrooms through our unit design process.

In order to set up our academic labs, we utilize benchmark data from NWEA as well as classroom assessments. As a problem solving team we start by analyzing the big data and developing groups based on what our students need. We then take our grouping to our grade level and explo teams for feedback and input and then assign all students an academic lab based on his/her individual need. These groupings are typically 6-9 weeks, but can be adjusted as benchmarks are attained or if we feel a student needs more or less intense intervention.

In order to personalize our enrichment and intervention, we started the year in academic lab with each student completing a "Genius Hour" passion project. (FMS Genius Hour 2018-2019 in resources) The goal behind this was to unleash the genius in ALL of our students to better know and understand them better. Stuedents spent the first two weeks of school completing their own individual project and then we moved into either intervention or enrichment. This structure helped us to build positive relationships and relevancy from the start.


3. Building teacher capacity to work as members of high performing collaborative teams that focus efforts on improved learning for all students.

Our school has a variety of teams to help us meet our mission and strive to become our vision. A sample of our leadership structure is found in the resource section. (titled fms-plc-leadership-framework.pdf) At the foundation is our full staff. We are ALL PLC. It isn't a time of day or meeting. PLC is who we are. In order to organize and support our staff we are divided into many different teams. Our leadership team is comprised of a cross section of our faculty. This team's purpose is to carry out training from our regional training, plan PD, help with the general good of the order of the building and monitor school smart goals. We utilize the PLC rubric for lead teams as an evaluation tool of our effectiveness. This team is on a two year rotation in order to help us build shared leadership.

We also have each staff member as part of a building focus team. The purpose of our focus teams are to bring our building goals to action. We have an academic focus team, family and community involvement and tier 2/3 positive behavior supports. (the specifics for each team is included in the document attached on the resource page)

We also have grade level teams. The  purpose of these teams revolve around the four corollary questions. We utilize the PLC Team Rubric for Evaluation of Effectiveness. Our explo team also makes up one team.

We also have department teams at each grade level based on the content taught. These teams carry out the data teaming processes (Data Teams at FMS, included in resources). The SMART goal writing process is part of this process. It is at the end of our first link included in step 1/2. These teams also utilize the PLC Team Rubric for Evaluation of Effectiveness to monitor progress.

Our last team is our problem solving team. We meet weekly to monitor data and referrals from our grade level teams to ensure students are able to attain the supports needed to live our mission.

Achievement Data Files

Additional Achievement Data

We have highlighted multiple pieces of data for this section of the application. The attached PDF shows our building data as well as a detailed explanation on the items listed below: 

  • State of Missouri Fulton Middle MSIP 5 Summary for Annual Performance Report-this showcases our exponential growth over the past four years. APR data is utilized as it takes in account cohort growth and progress and the new tests and standards we have adopted over the past four years. It is broken down by academic and subgroup achievement as well as attendance data. We could not have made this growth happen without our dedication to the PLC process.
  • APR Comparison Data-this shows our scores in relationship to bigger schools (that are more well known in our state)that are in close proximity to Fulton Middle School as well as schools that are in our conference.
  • Building Goal Example: Reading and Math-this highlights how we utilize benchmark data to develop and monitor building SMART Goals
  • Data Team Goals for an 8th grade science unit: Showcasing the goal setting and monitoring at the unit level.
  • Mental Health Screener information: We collect data twice a year on the mental health of our students. This data is then used to create systems of supports for our students.
  • Office Discipline Data: This data was selected to show our dedication to decreasing the loss of instructional time through dedication to the support of classroom management and implementation of research based positive behavior supports and interventions.

Due to our delay in detailed state testing data, we added a new benchmarking tool, NWEA, to our building this year. We selected this assessment in a collaborative process of focus groups by both students and teachers. This assessment has been used to measure our students to the national norm as well as make better informed and timely data decisions on instruction and intervention. This is our first year of utilizing NWEA, but it has been so helpful as we work to meet the needs of our learners. We will use NWEA to help us refine building SMART goals in upcoming years.

In conclusion, we feel strongly that academic data is crucial, but is the tip of the iceberg for our students. Social emotional and behavioral data must continually be collected, analyzed and acted upon to meet the foundational needs of safety and support. We feel that Fulton Middle School works diligently to meet the needs of the whole child, every day in every way.

2019-DESE Missouri Exemplary Professional Learning Community

2019-Student Written Jane Goodall Roots and Shoots Mini-Grant for Packs of Love (packs for students that go into emergency foster care)

Kindness Certified School, 2019

2018-Melody Hapner VFW Regional Teacher of the Year

2016-Beth Houf, NAESP National Distinguished Principal of the Year representing Missouri

Karen Koontz, Fulton Public Schools Support Staff of the Year 2018

Lucy Shrout, Fulton Public Schools Teacher of the Year 2012

Common Sense Media for Education Digital Citizenship Certified School, 2015

FPS Stellar Staff of the Quarter: Trish Alexander, Stephanie Horstmeier, Jo Williamson, Sheila Shoemaker, Kristin Clark, Meg Plybon, Bethany Moebes, Ashley Windmiller, Megan Youse, Melody Hapner

Grants achieved in past four years

Callaway Chamber of Commerce Education Grant, Fulton Foundation Grant-Dinner Theatre
Thrive Hive-School Store, Fulton Foundation Grant
Student-Led Coffee Shop, Fulton Foundation Grant
Apiary Art Club, Fulton Foundation Grant
Robotics Sphero-Robert and Lisa Pierce STEM Grant
Hornet Ambassadors-Fulton Foundation Grant
Celebration Bus-Fulton Foundation Grant
Fabricator Fridays with Project Extra-Fulton Foundation Grant