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Farmington High School earns award

Farmington High School is one of only 10 schools in the nation selected to receive a High Schools That Work award from the Southern Regional Education Board.

Farmington High School Principal Matt Ruble will accept the Gold Award for Improved Implementation next month at the 2009 HSTW Summer Staff Development Conference in Atlanta, Ga.

The award honors schools throughout the country that have shown the most progress in implementing the HSTW school-improvement model from 2006–2008, according to the HSTW Assessment. Winners are chosen based on the progress of teachers and community leaders in improving school practices.

Located in St. Francois County, Farmington High School is one of 38 Missouri schools to implement the HSTW plan.  Farmington High has participated since 2005-06.

“It is truly an honor to be named as a Gold Award recipient through the HSTW organization,” Ruble said.  “Our leadership teams will continue to focus on providing a high-quality education for all students at FHS.”

More than 1,100 high schools in 32 states participate in the HSTW school-improvement initiative, which is based on the premise that most students can master rigorous academic and career/technical studies if school leaders and teachers create a school environment that is motivational, challenging and supportive.

The HSTW initiative is the nation’s first large-scale effort to engage state, district and school leaders in partnership with teachers, students, parents and the community to equip all students with the knowledge and skills needed to graduate from high school and succeed in college and the workplace.

The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education’s Division of Career Education supports the program by providing grants to high schools that adopt the HSTW model as a stand-alone initiative, or in partnership with a middle school that participates in the parallel Making Middle Grades Work program.  Grants also are available to assist area career centers with their implementation of the Technology Centers That Work school-improvement model.

“Farmington High School joined the HSTW network as a good school which had decided that being a great school is necessary to provide the quality of education the young people of Farmington deserve as they prepare for their future,” said Doug Sutton, DESE’s director of career education initiatives.

“The school illustrates the spirit of change and the gains in performance that High Schools That Work advocates and supports through assessment, staff development and technical assistance,” said Gene Bottoms, SREB senior vice president and HSTW founder.

The Southern Regional Education Board, based in Atlanta, was founded in 1948 as America’s first multi-state compact for education.  The president of the SREB, Dave Spence, will present the award to Farmington High School on July 8, during the opening session of the HSTW summer conference. 

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