Educational opportunities in Callaway County and the surrounding area include an excellent public school system and a variety of private schools. Parents can be assured that their children have access to a learning environment that is progressive and state of the art. Callaway County is committed to developing the academic programs necessary to equip each student with the skills needed to meet the challenges of the 21st century.
FULTON PUBLIC SCHOOL DISTRICT
Fulton Public School District is award-winning at all levels - from state-recognized teachers and administrators to the state's top recognition, the Student Performance and Distinction Award. Fulton has been rated as one of the 100 best communities for music education in America. The district features a national service-learning leader school and has obtained three Missouri Gold Star School Awards. The district boasts one of the top-performing schools in the Missouri Assessment Program (MAP) and continues to be a leader in technology-equipped classrooms. The Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education recently awarded the district a 21st Century Community Learning Center grant. Educators are top-notch as well - the district boasts a winner of Missouri's Distinguished Elementary Principal of the Year award and a Missouri Teacher of the Year Finalist.
The Fulton Public School district encompasses 106 square miles and enrolls about 2,400 students. The district operates six school sites: three elementary schools (kindergarten through fifth grade), a middle school (sixth through eighth grade), a high school (ninth through 12th grade) and an alternative school.
Preparation for school starts early, with programs that begin at birth, including the "Parents as Teachers" program. Elementary students have high-speed Internet connections available and participate in the Accelerated Reading and Math online curriculum. Among the unique programs for Fulton's elementary students are a huge aquarium for fun but serious biology learning and an annual student-written and performed opera.
Middle school and high school students benefit from a traditional curriculum as well as computer science, band, choir, art, and vocational and college preparatory classes. Both the middle school and high school are designated Gold Star schools. Fulton High School's A+ Schools status entitles graduates to financial support at higher education institutions.
OTHER PUBLIC DISTRICTS
Three other public districts - North Callaway Public Schools, New Bloomfield R-III and South Callaway R-II Schools - serve the educational needs of youth in the communities outside Fulton.
New Bloomfield R-III has experienced a 3 to 5 percent annual growth in recent years. District residents passed a bond issue in 2001 that has allowed the district to expand to meet this growth. In both the 2001-2002 and 2002-2003 academic years, the district's annual performance report ranked highly enough for the district to be cited for Distinction in Performance. In addition to solid academics, New Bloomfield students enjoy sports, music and drama, and the district offers FFA, FBLA and FACS programs.
North Callaway Public School District is comprised of three elementary schools, North Callaway High School, and an alternative school. North Callaway High has been recognized for excellence in academics and is an A+ School. Additionally, The North Callaway R-1 Technology Plan has received an "Exemplary" rating from the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education; statewide, less than 10 percent of plans reviewed were rated this high. North Callaway's students have received awards for Student Performance and Distinction three years in a row.
South Callaway R-II Schools start learning early with its Early Childhood Learning Center. Students here are encouraged to get off to a strong academic start, particularly in reading, through innovative reward programs. The focus on reading continues at South Callaway Elementary School. At South Callaway Middle School, the students' horizons are broadened with programs in computer technology, fine arts and foreign language. South Callaway High School students boast a graduation rate considerably higher than the state average through a broad curriculum and extensive extracurricular activities. Gifted and talented students in the district enjoy special programs starting in grade one, and there is an alternative school for students who have special needs.
MISSOURI SCHOOL FOR THE DEAF
One of the most renowned educational facilities in all of the state - and the nation - is the Missouri School for the Deaf (MSD), located in Fulton. The facilities and services of this institution provide a well-rounded educational program for deaf students from all parts of the state. MSD prepares them for the world of work and for post-secondary education with programs that are customized for each student. MSD graduates live and work in all parts of the state and throughout the nation.
The Missouri Legislature established MSD in 1851, making it the oldest state-supported school of its kind west of the Mississippi River. The 90-acre campus provides facilities for elementary, middle school and senior high school students as well as dormitories for boarding students, who comprise the majority of the school's student population. However, in recent years, several families have moved to Callaway County so that their children can attend MSD as day pupils.
Students are admitted to MSD via referral from a local school district. MSD is a state-supported school; therefore, like public schools, tuition is free. There is no charge for room, board, laundry or books, and the studentŐs residential district is not billed for these services. Parents are welcome to visit their children on campus at any time.
Education at MSD is offered in a bicultural (deaf and hearing) and bilingual (spoken English and American Sign Language, or ASL) environment. MSD offers a full academic education and provides students with the necessary educational background for college work. Students enjoy a wide variety of extracurricular activities, including field trips, parties, dances, games, movies and scouting. At the junior and senior high levels, competitive sports include boys' football, basketball and track and girls' volleyball, basketball and track. The campus has gymnasiums and a heated indoor swimming pool.
Westminster College in Fulton is an independent, four-year, coeducational college offering students a dynamic liberal arts and sciences education. Westminster's campus covers 86 acres, at the heart of which is a lovely, tree-shaded area enhanced by the stately Greek Revival architecture of the surrounding campus buildings.
In existence since 1851, Westminster provides classes in an interactive, seminar-style environment. More than 800 students from 20 states and 26 countries attend Westminster College. The school's distinguished Center for Leadership and Service integrates leadership skills, character development and community service opportunities into the curriculum. More than 50 clubs and organizations exist on campus, ranging from student government to college athletics.
Among Westminster's honors and distinctions are:
Outstanding Value in Education - Barron's
Top 160 National Liberal Arts Colleges in the United States - U.S. News and World Report
Elite 100 National Liberal Arts Colleges in the United States - Money magazine
Top 20 "Hidden Gems" Among U.S. Colleges and Universities - Washington Post
Each year, Westminster is proud to host a series of prestigious lectures that encompass the fields of business, law, history, politics and education. Winston Churchill delivered his famous "Iron Curtain" speech on the campus in 1946. Other distinguished speakers over the years have included U.S. presidents, world leaders and scholars.
Commemorating Churchill's famous speech and lifetime of leadership is the Winston Churchill Memorial and Library, located on the Westminster campus. It is the only museum in the United States dedicated to the visionary leader, paying tribute to Churchill's personal achievements as well as his significance throughout history.
Westminster recently constructed a modern, $18 million academic building, The Wallace H. Coulter Science Center. This 80,000-square-foot facility was designed by faculty and students to benefit learning in all majors. It houses state-of-the-art classrooms and labs in a high-tech but personalized environment.
WILLIAM WOODS UNIVERSITY
William Woods University (WWU) is a student-centered, professions-oriented liberal arts institution located on a scenic residential campus in Fulton. Founded in 1870, WWU offers degrees in more than 40 different undergraduate and graduate majors in both traditional and outreach settings. More than 900 students attend classes on the Fulton campus, representing approximately 35 states and 20 foreign countries. The William Woods campus sits on 170 gently rolling acres that include two picturesque lakes and an impressive sculpture garden.
William Woods is proud to hold many honorable distinctions. It is home to North America's foremost program in equestrian education and was the first to offer a four-year equestrian science degree. The school is one of only 25 institutions in North America to offer a baccalaureate degree in interpreting/American Sign Language. The Mentor-Mentee Program at William Woods provides opportunities for unique student-faculty research partnerships. An innovative program called LEAD (Leading, Educating, Achieving and Developing) provides significant tuition reduction and promotes learning outside the classroom. WWU is mid-Missouri's leader in graduate and adult programs for working adults, with courses offered in communities throughout the state.
Both the college and the community of Fulton come together to share cultural activities at the Gladys Woods Kemper Center for the Arts. The 41,000-square-foot building provides academic facilities for visual, performing and communication arts students, as well as a broadcast studio for the campus FM radio station, KWWU. An art gallery featuring revolving exhibits is open year round for public viewing.
A unique instructional facility on campus is the equestrian complex. The university owns more than 100 horses and offers education in all four seats: saddle seat, hunter/jumper, dressage and western. The equestrian complex includes several stables, indoor and outdoor arenas, and a cross- country course.
Other academic facilities include Dulany Auditorium, where university residents and community members enjoy plays, musicals, concerts and lectures. Constructed in 1907, this is the oldest building standing on the campus and contains original stained-glass portraits in its windows. The Bernard W. Weitzman Model Courtroom was built to host actual trials as well as educational mock trials. The school is also home to a state-of-the-art lab for interpreting/American Sign Language students and a Center for Human Performance, where athletic training students get on-the-job experience.