2018-19 News Archive

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Independence Teacher Rachael Wilcox Selected as Regional Teacher of the Year
Posted on 07/02/2019
Rachael Wilcox, a first-grade teacher at Independence Elementary School, has been named a Regional Teacher of the Year by the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE). She was selected as one of ten recipients in the St. Louis Region and one of 34 from across the state who are now eligible for consideration as the Missouri Teacher of the Year. Wilcox was honored as the 2019 Francis Howell School District Teacher of the Year.  Read more about Independence Teacher Rachael Wilcox Selected as Regional Teacher of the Year
Elementary students participate in virtual reality activity
FHSD Elementary Students Travel to the Moon
Posted on 07/01/2019
In honor of the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing, this year’s elementary STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math) summer camp took a trip to space. Students participated in activities and challenges that allowed them to explore the different areas of STEAM through a new lens.  Read more about FHSD Elementary Students Travel to the Moon
What Happens in FHSD Over the Summer?
What Happens in FHSD Over the Summer
Posted on 06/11/2019
This summer FHSD has a record 3,750 students participating in 14 different summer school programs in 16 different buildings, but that’s not all! In addition to the 375 staff members running the summer programs, other District employees are preparing for the 2019-20 school year. “It’s a common misconception that our District is closed during the summer months,” said FHSD Superintendent Dr. Mary Hendricks-Harris. “But in reality, it is a busy time for many of our staff, even those who are not at school year-round. We never stop working to ensure that our students receive a top-notch education during the school year.”  Read more about What Happens in FHSD Over the Summer
Students loading FHSD bus
Bus Transportation Update
Posted on 06/10/2019
Over the summer, the District will be continuing its work of bringing bus transportation in-house for the 2019-20 school year. FHSD employees from several departments are collaborating with the new transportation department and working to get everything in place for the switch on July 8. This transition date will mean the last two weeks of summer school transportation will actually be provided using Francis Howell’s new buses. This will also give the District the opportunity to get the new fleet into service before the start of the regular school year on August 8.  Read more about Bus Transportation Update
Kindergarten students participate in craft activity
FHSD Class of 2032 Participates in Kindergarten Summer Success Program
Posted on 05/30/2019
Many members of the FHSD class of 2032 began their academic careers this week in the Kindergarten Summer Success Program. Every elementary school in the District provides this opportunity for kindergarten students to make new friends and to familiarize themselves with their new school.  Read more about FHSD Class of 2032 Participates in Kindergarten Summer Success Program
Tracy Branstetter and Maggie Henke award GSN Grants
Two FHSD Teachers Awarded Gifted Support Network Grants
Posted on 05/17/2019
Castlio Elementary SEGA teacher Tracy Branstetter and Independence Elementary Spectra teacher Maggie Henke have both been awarded grants from the Gifted Support Network (GSN). The GSN educator grant was created to provide teachers with resources to facilitate enrichment for high-ability students. This enrichment can include anything from purchasing classroom supplies for a specific project to activities for students to work on outside of the classroom. The grant is open to all educators in the St. Louis metro area who work with gifted or high-ability students (and is not limited only to educators in gifted education programs).  Read more about Two FHSD Teachers Awarded Gifted Support Network Grants
FHSD Celebrates Teacher Appreciation Week
FHSD Celebrates Teachers during Teacher Appreciation Week
Posted on 05/06/2019
Teachers deliver so much to students—inspiration, knowledge, and motivation. They play a pivotal role in our children’s lives, inspiring a lifelong love of learning and discovery and making a difference in their well-being and long-term success. Join us in showing our thanks and appreciation to our dedicated educators during Teacher Appreciation week, May 6-10, 2019.  Read more about FHSD Celebrates Teachers during Teacher Appreciation Week
Rachael Wilcox and fourth grader Avery M. Payne
Mrs. Wilcox: District Teacher of the Year
Posted on 04/25/2019
By Independence fourth grader Avery M. Payne - Teacher of the Year Rachael Wilcox didn’t always want to be a teacher. She actually wanted to be an actress. Mrs. Wilcox was in high school when she told her mom, “I’m just not going to be a teacher. They have to work too hard. I’m going to be an actress. I want to get an Academy Award.”  Read more about Mrs. Wilcox: District Teacher of the Year
Take the Community Relations Survey
2019 Community Relations Survey
Posted on 04/16/2019
The Francis Howell School District is seeking feedback from our stakeholders on the annual Community Relations Survey. This is an opportunity for community members to provide input on the efforts of the District to involve citizens in decision-making, report plans and progress, and respond to the concerns of citizens. The survey only has seven questions, and can be completed in just a few minutes.   Read more about 2019 Community Relations Survey
FHSD elementary students participate in Battle of the Books
Elementary Students Compete in Battle of the Books
Posted on 04/09/2019
On Friday, April 5, fourth and fifth grade students across the ten elementary schools in FHSD huddled around their team tables as they battled one another in a friendly but intense game of trivia. The event, which was hosted by Independence Elementary, gathered some of the top readers from each school to participate in this year’s “Battle of the Books.”  Read more about Elementary Students Compete in Battle of the Books
Howell of Fame Recipients Announced
2019 Howell of Fame
Posted on 04/04/2019
The Francis Howell School District is excited to announce the recipients of the 2019 Howell of Fame Awards, which celebrate the outstanding achievements of volunteers and staff. This year’s 14 recipients will be honored at the annual Howell of Fame Awards ceremony on Monday, May 6, along with 2019 District Retirees, District Teacher of the Year, Teachers of the Year from each building, District Support Staff Employee of the Year, and Support Staff Employee of the Year from each building.  Read more about 2019 Howell of Fame
Occupational Therapists Making the Impossible, Possible
FHSD Recognizes Occupational Therapists for Making the Impossible, Possible
Posted on 04/01/2019
April is Occupational Therapy month, and the Francis Howell School District is taking this opportunity to say thank you to all of the occupational therapists (OT) employed by the District. Not only do they support students, but parents, teachers, and administrators in making the impossible, possible.  Read more about FHSD Recognizes Occupational Therapists for Making the Impossible, Possible
Students participate in activity during Abilities Awareness Week
Different Abilities Highlighted During Abilities Awareness Week
Posted on 03/19/2019
Throughout FHSD, educators are helping share the mindset that different abilities aren’t disabilities. Students learn that just because someone may do something differently or at a different pace than you do, doesn’t mean that they can’t do it at all. To help further facilitate this mindset, Independence Elementary School hosted Abilities Awareness Week.  Read more about Different Abilities Highlighted During Abilities Awareness Week
Rachael Wilcox stands with Dr. Mary Hendricks-Harris and Principal Emily Pavia
Independence Teacher Rachael Wilcox Named 2019 FHSD Teacher of the Year
Posted on 02/26/2019
The Francis Howell School District is proud to announce that Rachael Wilcox, a first grade teacher at Independence Elementary School, has been selected as the 2019 FHSD Teacher of the Year. Her goal, simply stated, is to inspire students both personally and academically. Wilcox feels her most important contribution is building relationships with her students.  Read more about Independence Teacher Rachael Wilcox Named 2019 FHSD Teacher of the Year
Lisha Ewing stands with Dr. Mary Hendricks-Harris, Mark Delaney, and FHU community members
Francis Howell Union ESC Lisha Ewing Selected as 2019 FHSD Support Staff Employee of the Year
Posted on 02/26/2019
The Francis Howell School District is proud to announce that Lisha Ewing, Educational Support Counselor at Francis Howell Union, has been selected as the 2019 FHSD Support Staff Employee of the Year. Ewing has distinguished herself as a dedicated employee by continually going above and beyond to support her school community.  Read more about Francis Howell Union ESC Lisha Ewing Selected as 2019 FHSD Support Staff Employee of the Year
Student works with a robot
FHSD Celebrates Coding During “We Love to Code Month”
Posted on 02/04/2019
During the month of February, students across the District will be provided opportunities to participate in various coding activities as part of “We Love to Code” month. This is the fourth year FHSD has hosted a District-wide event focused on coding, but the first time the event has spanned an entire month.  Read more about FHSD Celebrates Coding During “We Love to Code Month”
FHSD 2019-20 Kindergarten Registration
FHSD Begins Kindergarten Registration for the 2019-20 School Year
Posted on 01/09/2019
The Francis Howell School District offers rewarding kindergarten programs for children beginning at age five. FHSD Kindergarten emphasizes meeting the social, emotional, intellectual, and physical needs of young children. Readiness skills in language arts, reading, math, music, visual arts, social studies, science, physical education, and health are introduced and taught in a child-centered environment. Children learn to interact and cooperate with one another, and gain self-confidence to be successful learners.  Read more about FHSD Begins Kindergarten Registration for the 2019-20 School Year
Independence students dress up in paradise attire
Independence Donates to the First Responders in Paradise, California
Posted on 12/17/2018
Recently, our country and District have turned their attention to the town of Paradise, California, which has been devastated by deadly wildfires. Independence Elementary fourth graders Livi E. and Mylie H. did not want to just sit back and watch the heartbreaking news. They wanted to support those out west who were risking their lives to save others.  Read more about Independence Donates to the First Responders in Paradise, California
FHHS students working in science lab
FHSD Named to Ninth Annual AP District Honor Roll
Posted on 12/14/2018
FHSD has been honored by the College Board with placement on the 9th Annual AP® District Honor Roll. FHSD is one of only five school districts in Missouri, and one of only 363 in North America, to achieve this distinction. To be included on the 9th Annual Honor Roll, the District had to increase the number of students participating in AP while also maintaining or increasing the percentage of students earning scores of 3 or higher on an AP Exam. Reaching these goals indicates that FHSD is successfully identifying motivated, academically prepared students who are ready for Advanced Placement. This is the fifth time that FHSD has been named to the prestigious list.  Read more about FHSD Named to Ninth Annual AP District Honor Roll
FHSD Implements New Website Accessibility Monitoring System
FHSD Implements New Website Accessibility Monitoring System
Posted on 12/03/2018
FHSD strives to communicate effectively with all members of the community. To ensure that the District and all school and program websites are accessible to everyone, FHSD has implemented a new accessibility monitoring system. Monsido is an online scanner that tracks website accessibility compliance as outlined by the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG). The tool highlights occurrences in the website that are non-compliant with these industry standards and provides guidelines on how to rectify them.  Read more about FHSD Implements New Website Accessibility Monitoring System
Students load a school bus
FHSD to Bring School Bus Transportation In-House for 2019-20
Posted on 11/16/2018
School bus transportation is typically the second biggest expenditure for school districts after salary and benefits. FHSD has used First Student (and its predecessor Laidlaw) to provide student transportation services for the District since 1999. The 2018-19 school year is the final year of the most recent two-year contract extension.  Read more about FHSD to Bring School Bus Transportation In-House for 2019-20
Harvest Ridge students stand with firefighters at Operation Warm
Firefighters Deliver Coats to FHSD Students in Need
Posted on 11/14/2018
More than 400 children in the Francis Howell School District will be warm this winter thanks to the efforts of the Cottleville Firefighters Outreach. Students at elementary schools across the District recently received brand-new coats as part of Operation Warm, a nonprofit focused on ensuring kids have a winter coat, helping to improve school attendance and overall wellness.  Read more about Firefighters Deliver Coats to FHSD Students in Need
Infinite Campus Changing to Campus Parent and Campus Student
Infinite Campus Changing to Campus Parent and Campus Student
Posted on 11/05/2018
Providing easy access to your student’s information is a top priority for FHSD. Class schedules, assignments, attendance, course registration, report cards, and transcripts are all accessed through Infinite Campus, the District’s student information system. Infinite Campus is undergoing some upgrades to improve communication and enhance the user experience for parents and students.  Read more about Infinite Campus Changing to Campus Parent and Campus Student
FHSD Veterans Day Events
FHSD Celebrates Veterans Day
Posted on 11/05/2018
In honor of Veterans Day and in appreciation for the men and women who have served our country, FHSD schools will participate in a variety of events to recognize our heroes. A list of the activities occurring throughout the District can be found below:  Read more about FHSD Celebrates Veterans Day
An Indian family displays cultural dress and items
Five FHSD Schools Recognized by Johns Hopkins for Community Engagement
Posted on 10/23/2018
The National Network of Partnership Schools (NNPS) at Johns Hopkins University recognizes schools and their communities that team up to use a research-based approach to organize and sustain excellent programs of family and community involvement. This year, five different FHSD school programs have been recognized as “Promising Practices,” earning them a prestigious place in the NNPS annual publication.  Read more about Five FHSD Schools Recognized by Johns Hopkins for Community Engagement
Community members donate blood at Independence Blood Drive
A Brave Third Grader and a Blood Drive
Posted on 10/04/2018
The annual fall blood drive is a perfect example of why Independence Elementary is a National School of Character. For third grader Kinley Galbierz, this was more than just another school event. Kinley was born with a genetic blood disorder that prevents her body from producing enough productive red blood cells. As a result, she depends on regular blood transfusions to keep her alive.  Read more about A Brave Third Grader and a Blood Drive
National Physical Therapy Month
FHSD Celebrates National Physical Therapy Month in October
Posted on 10/03/2018
School-based physical therapy involves dynamic collaboration with students, staff, and parents to ensure that every student is able to successfully navigate the school environment and effectively learn, socialize, and play. At FHSD, this includes assessing all areas where a student might interact during the school day – bus, classroom, hallways, playgrounds, gymnasiums, and lunch rooms – to ensure that the student can be as independent as possible in their functional mobility.  Read more about FHSD Celebrates National Physical Therapy Month in October
FHSD Transportation Audit Image
FHSD Transportation Audit
Posted on 08/16/2018
School bus transportation for students in the Francis Howell School District has been provided by First Student since 1985. While this partnership has served the transportation needs of FHSD well for more than 30 years, the District recently commissioned an analysis to proactively examine the efficiency of the operation and to verify current service levels to determine if there are any opportunities for improvement.  Read more about FHSD Transportation Audit
What's New for 2018-19
What's New for the 2018-19 School Year?
Posted on 08/01/2018
The start of the 2018-19 school year is just around the corner! Parents and guardians planning for the new school year need to make sure children are up-to-date on their immunizations.  Read more about What's New for the 2018-19 School Year?
Welcome Back Message from Principal Emily Pavia
Welcome Back, Independence!
Posted on 07/27/2018
Welcome back, Independence families! I hope you all had a wonderful summer break spending time with family and friends. We are super excited to have everyone back and are looking forward to getting to know our new students and families! We continue to have new families enroll each day. We have been busy this summer planning and strategizing for the new school year!   Read more about Welcome Back, Independence!
Add Immunizations to Your Back to School Checklist
Add Immunizations to Your Back to School Checklist
Posted on 07/19/2018
The start of the 2018-19 school year is just around the corner! Parents and guardians planning for the new school year need to make sure children are up-to-date on their immunizations.  Read more about Add Immunizations to Your Back to School Checklist
Peachjar Electronic Flyers
Peachjar Electronic Flyers
Posted on 07/19/2018
Francis Howell School District is always looking for ways to save taxpayer dollars and still improve convenience for parents and students. Both goals are achieved with the Peachjar flyer distribution system. FHSD delivers school information and approved flyers from community organizations electronically through Peachjar. These eflyers are emailed directly to you, and can also be viewed by clicking the Peachjar button on the home page of your school’s website.  Read more about Peachjar Electronic Flyers
Sign-up for SchoolMessenger Text Messages
Sign-up for SchoolMessenger Text Messages
Posted on 07/19/2018
FHSD and all schools in the District use a variety of communication channels to share important school information with parents/guardians. FHSD uses the SchoolMessenger Notification System to provide timely communication to parents about emergencies, weather related closures, attendance, and other messages that are closely related to the mission of our schools.  Read more about Sign-up for SchoolMessenger Text Messages
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