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Dr. Mary Miller Richter Award (2019-2020)

In honor of Mary Richter, Missouri’s founding Director of the Schoolwide Positive Behavior Support (SW-PBS) initiative, the Dr. Mary Miller Richter Awards are presented each year to honor one school and one district that exemplify the ideals, principles, and practices of positive behavior support. The award recipients demonstrate a firm commitment to improving the lives of students, the educators who teach them, and the community in which the school resides through innovation, creativity, and/or a firm commitment in staying the course despite barriers.

For the 2019-2020 school year, the Fulton 58 School District was one of two districts recognized for the Mary Miller Richter District of Distinction Award. Fulton 58 School District is a rural district serving 2362 students in Fulton, Missouri. The first district school began implementing Schoolwide Positive Behavior Support in the 2006-2007 school year. By the 2011-2012 school year, all five district schools were implementing. These five schools have been recognized for exemplary implementation of Schoolwide Positive Behavior Support 37 times for an average of 7.4 times per school!

The District PBIS Team’s purpose is “to promote a collaborative culture across all buildings that will establish and sustain PBIS, ‘The Fulton Way!’” Their recent work focuses on developing a district wide system to support Tier 2 implementation across school sites including standardized identification procedures for students who may be at-risk and creating/piloting a classroom implementation observation process to monitor fidelity of Tier 1 at the classroom level. The District PBIS Team also made a deliberate focus to provide district wide professional development on PBIS at all school sites that promoted a consistent message and focused on sustainability of evidence-based practices.

In addition to developing and implementing key systems, practices, and data-based decision making, the Fulton 58 School District has taken some unique steps to help educate others about SW-PBS and assist in promoting research within the field. For the past several years, multiple buildings across the district have been Lead Presenters for breakout sessions at the MO SW-PBS Summer Institute. The buildings continually share information regarding their implementation journey and are always willing to provide examples and templates to others. This past year the District PBIS Team also presented at the MU Center for PBIS’s Winter Professional Learning Institute on how they engage stakeholders in the district PBIS structures. They have also been invited to be an exemplar presenter at the 2020 National PBIS Leadership Forum.

The Fulton 58 School District exemplifies the core SW-PBS features that lead to improved student outcomes and they continue to strengthen implementation across school sites as they strive to engage all students to function as successful, responsible, and productive citizens.