What's New for the 2018-19 School Year

Posted on 08/01/2018
What's New in 2018-19?

The 2018-19 school year will kick off on Thursday, Aug. 9, 2018. As students stream back into classrooms, they will encounter some new programs and initiatives. Here’s what’s new in FHSD:


Center for Advanced Professional Studies (CAPS)
CAPS programs are nationally recognized, innovative high school programs. Students fast forward into their future and are fully immersed in a professional culture, solving real-world problems, using industry standard tools and are mentored by actual employers, all while receiving high school and college credit. CAPS is an example of how business, community, and public education can partner to produce personalized learning experiences that educate the workforce of tomorrow, especially in high skill, high demand jobs.

This year three different CAPS strands will be available for students in St. Charles County:

Health Care
This course strand is ideal for students who intend to go into a medical field. Students will engage in the team approach to health care at hospitals and/or healthcare facilities, giving students actual experience with health practitioners. Students will have the opportunity to learn about a variety of careers in the medical field, from medical practitioner to hospital administrator. Students will participate in medical training and clinical presentations prior to participating in clinical rotation assignments.

Global Business and Entrepreneurship
This course strand is designed for students to create real startup ventures and/or solve real business needs. They will be mentored by real employers and gain marketable professional skills. Students will develop professional skills that are necessary to thrive in collaborative, innovative, and fast-paced environments. Students engaging in entrepreneurship will learn startup principles and develop an entrepreneurial mindset. They will turn ideas into actions, by validating their ideas, perfecting a pitch, and seeking resources and opportunities for a product or service. Students engaging in global business will work with organizations to work on projects that solve real needs.

Technology Solutions
This course strand is designed for students interested in developing professional and technical skills required for careers in various areas of technology and creative design. Students will have the opportunity to explore the following areas: coding, cybersecurity, database management, graphic design, hardware technologies, management information systems, network design/ technologies, operating systems, software engineering, web development, and emerging technologies. Students will collaborate with mentors and business partners to produce client projects and design their own products or prototypes, as well as solve real-world problems.


Cybersecurity is a new course offering for the 2018 – 19 school year. The course introduces the tools and concepts of cybersecurity and encourages students to create solutions that allow people to share computing resources while protecting privacy. Nationally, computational resources are vulnerable and frequently attacked; in Cybersecurity, students solve problems by understanding and closing these vulnerabilities. Cybersecurity raises students’ knowledge of and commitment to ethical computing behavior. 

Fine Arts
“From Broadway to Hollywood” is a new course that has been added to the curriculum.  This class focuses on the drama student’s interest in production styles, comparing live theatre to cinema. Students will study Broadway performers and screen legends, paying particular attention to the craft of each style. Students will review and analyze various film genres and styles in comparison to stage performances.

“Food for Thought” Food Truck
FHSD has partnered with Sodexo, our food service provider, to launch a food truck that will be an extension of the District’s culinary arts curriculum. The “Food for Thought” food truck will be run by trained Sodexo personnel with help from FHSD high school culinary arts students. It will serve international cuisine with menus designed by students. The food truck is a full restaurant on wheels, offering students experience interacting with customers, cooking a wide array of cuisines, and learning necessary restaurant skills such as food preparation, sanitation, and daily operations. The truck was purchased with funds provided by Sodexo.

Facilities Usage
The Francis Howell School District will implement a new facility usage fee structure for the 2018-19 school year. The facilities usage program will cover rental of all District facilities, including gyms, playing fields, theaters, classrooms, and commons areas. The potential revenue from facilities utilization could exceed $1 million annually once the program is fully functional.

FHSD strives to be a good community partner while also remaining a good steward of taxpayer dollars. The facility usage fees will offset the cost of utilities, maintenance, and custodial services necessary to provide these facilities to a variety of community groups. More information is available on the District website.


School Safety

MSHP Walkthrough Initiative
For the 2018-19 school year, the Missouri State Highway Patrol (MSHP) is rolling out a “Walkthrough Initiative,” and FHSD schools will be taking part in this new program. When MSHP officers are available, they will stop by participating schools and walk the halls to engage with students and faculty. Officers will have guidelines they must follow to ensure their visit is not disrupting critical testing or other events.

The Walkthrough Initiative will not replace any existing school resource officers, but adds an extra layer of security for the school and allows students to interact with troopers in a positive way. The District welcomes the presence of local state troopers in our buildings, and views this as an opportunity to enhance our existing school safety plans.

4E Training
FHSD staff are annually trained regarding safety procedures, and for the 2018-19 school year the District has partnered with the St. Charles County Police Department to provide 4E (Educate, Evade, Escape, and Engage) training for certified staff. 4E training is an intensive preparedness program conducted by law enforcement officers that includes active shooter simulations. This training will be implemented with all District staff over the next 24 months.

Employee Wellness
Francis Howell, Parkway, and Pattonville school districts are partnering with CareATC to provide near-site clinics for employees who participate in their insurance plans. The CareATC clinics will provide access to comprehensive medical care, including primary care, medications, and lab tests. The clinics will be built and staffed by CareATC and provide lower cost, higher quality medical care without the overhead costs associated with a hospital-based medical practice. Those cost reductions translate into saving tax dollars for all three school districts.

Before and after school appointment times means it will be easier for FHSD employees to schedule a visit outside of their workday, and staff members should miss less time at work. Better access to preventative care for employees will result in the reduction of lost time, and the District is anticipating that fewer substitutes will be needed in the long term. The worksite clinics are a “win-win” for both the school districts and their employees, saving time and money, and improving healthy outcomes for staff members.  

Strategic Plan Committees
Last fall, more than 2,000 District stakeholders provided input on the District’s strategic planning efforts, either in person at nine different community meetings, or online in three different surveys. The Board of Education approved the new strategic plan in February, and implementation begins during the 2018-19 school year.

The District is asking community members to be a part of our new strategic advisory committees. These committees will work on the five goal areas identified in our new strategic plan:

1. Life, College, and Career Success

2. Engaging Learning Environment

3. Staff, Leaders, and Organizational Performance

4. Engaged Family and Community Partnerships

5. Resource Effectiveness and Efficiencies

If you are interested in serving on one of these committees, more information will be available on the District website later in August.    

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