Skip to content

Farmington R-7 begins new school year

Gibbs: First day ‘fairly smooth’ for Farmington School District

Kevin R. Jenkins, Daily Journal editor

Students in the Farmington R-7 School District headed back to the classroom Aug. 22 to begin the 2023-24 school year — some with a lot of enthusiasm, some with a few tears… and maybe a few fears as well.

This was also the first day of school in the district for Farmington’s new superintendent, Dr. Kyle Gibbs, who reported that everything appeared to go very well.

I think that, from everything I’ve seen, things definitely went fairly smooth,” he said. That’s a credit to the administration in each building, all of the systems that they have in place and the work that they do with the staff.”

Gibbs believes that the excitement shown by the district staff “trickles down” to the students feeling confident as they walk into their school building.

“The teachers were geared up and ready to go,” he said. “So, all the credit goes to all of those parts that just make it all work. When everybody came back last Tuesday, everything flew into action. I was out in three of the buildings today and it was like school’s been going on for a while. That’s because of the hard workers we have out there.”

Gibbs said that even the school bus schedules went fairly smooth during the first week of school.

“This time of year, it’s always a challenge. Bus routes can be interesting — just to get them rolling — but they had a lot of hands-on deck those first two days of school to make sure that we tried to straighten that out as quickly as possible.”

A new addition to the school district is a new student information system.

“We started with a new student information system this year that is called Infinite Campus because our other one was phased out by the company,” Gibbs said. “And so that’s provided some challenges, but the staff that’s responsible has been working through that, and it’s all starting to get ironed out, for sure.”

Asked about the school district’s focus on the dominant theme of “One Community,” Gibbs said, “That is somewhat I think originated with our communications director, Mindy Southern, last year. That was a phrase that they started using even at the back-to-school kickoff last year and so, we’re just trying to make sure we continue with that. What I think it means, and what I’ve tried to embrace, is that we’re not just one community in the school. We all have major parts of play in supporting these students and supporting their success both you know while they’re with us, even when they’re beyond our walls and out in the ‘real world.’

“There’s a lot of wraparound services that come for our students inside the school, but then we’re supported by all the businesses and industry — along with all of the emergency services outside of the school — to make sure that we’re progressive in our thinking and that our students feel safe at school and feel safe in the community, that they’re supported by the community and that there’s a sense of pride.”

Gibbs is aware that not everyone in the community has children who are of school age.

“The statistics are showing more and more all the time that, in some communities, around 25% have kids in the school. We need to make sure we involve all of our community and those that have a valuable part to play. So, we’re looking at ways to communicate to the broader audience than just some of our messaging that goes out to parents of our students to make sure that we show what’s going on in our schools and the great impact that our teachers are having. We hope that the generation coming up is being prepared because they’re going to be the ones serving the whole community, not just a select few that we communicate with. It’s just finding that broader voice to make sure we get the information out to everybody.

Important school dates to remember:

Monday, Sept. 4: Labor Day Holiday; Friday, Sept. 22: Staff Professional Development, no students; Friday, Oct. 6: Homecoming, students dismissed early and all staff early dismissal; Wednesday, Oct. 11: Staff Professional Development Day, students dismissed early, noon events; Tuesday, Oct. 24: Parent Teacher Conferences K-12, full day for students, events from 3-7 p.m.; Wednesday, Oct. 25: Parent Teacher Conferences (K-8), students dismissed early, events from noon to 4:30 p.m.; Thursday, Oct. 26-Friday, Oct. 27: No school for staff and students; Wednesday, Nov. 8: Staff Professional Development Day, students dismissed early, events from noon to 3 p.m.; Wednesday, Nov. 22-Friday, Nov. 24: Thanksgiving Break; Wednesday, Dec. 6: Staff Professional Development, students dismissed early, events from noon to 3 p.m.; Friday, Dec. 22-Jan. 3: Christmas Break; Monday, Jan. 15: Martin Luther King Holiday, no school; Friday, Feb. 16: Staff Professional Development Day, no students; Monday, Feb. 19: Presidents Day Holiday, no students; Friday, March 15: Staff Professional Development Day, no students; Monday, March 25-Monday, April 1: Spring Break, no students; Monday, April 8: Solar Eclipse Day, no school for students or staff; Sunday, May 19: 2 p.m. Graduation at Farmington Civic Center; Tuesday, May 21: Last Day of School, students dismissed early.

Leave a Comment