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Farmington keeping an eye on future with Facebook

Taking the next logical step on today's information highway, officials with the Farmington School District began establishing a Facebook page for each school.  The decision was made to efficiently reach students, parents and grandparents. Administrative Assistant Cherilyn Grimes gets ready to work on the Lincoln Intermediate page.  

Craig Vaughn, Farmington Press

In a never-ending attempt to communicate with students, parents and the community, officials with the Farmington School District recently increased the district's social media presence by creating Facebook pages for each school.

“The addition of building Facebook pages just seemed like a natural progression for our District Communications Team,” said Mindy Southern, the district’s educational technology facilitator. "We have had a district Facebook page for over a year now. With each Facebook post we put out there we receive analytical data from Facebook.

"The data is showing us that we are reaching thousands of people with each of our posts. So, creating a Facebook page for each building is a way for us to improve communication with parents and the community at the building levels.”

In addition reaching out to parents and community on specific issues and announcements, district officials are hoping each building will also use Facebook to celebrate the success of its students.

“We are always looking for ways to share the wonderful learning opportunities and special events in our building with our Roosevelt family,” said Dr. Travena Hostetler, the assistant principal at Roosevelt Elementary. “The addition of a building Facebook page will give us another opportunity to share what is going on around Roosevelt.”

For Mark Phillips, the principal of Jefferson Elementary, the move to each building was only logical - especially with the amount of people who have Facebook accounts.

“I think it’s great that we are using this avenue to get news and happenings out about the school,” Phillips said. “In the age we live in, more people get their information from Facebook. Anything you can show the school in a positive light and spread the word about all of the all the great things at our build can only be positive.”

According to Southern, adopting a Facebook page for each building will also allow each building’s principal, communication team leaders and communication members to work together in various roles to continue the flow of information with the community.

“Expanding our Facebook accounts to include each building strengthens our online presence to reach an even broader population than we have been able to reach in the past,” said Dr. Nathan Hostetler, the principal of the high school. “There are so many incredible things happening in the district and at each school that we haven’t been able to tell the story with just one Facebook account. This is just a natural step as we strive to communicate as effectively as possible.”

The district will continue using the Twitter feeds as a way of communication as well. According to Southern, Facebook offers another option.

“This will not replace our Twitter feeds,” Southern said. “Facebook and Twitter often are used by different demographic groups. Most of our teens don't use Facebook as much as their parents and grandparents do. Facebook allows us to communicate with a wider audience more often.”

Southern hopes that parents, students, staff and the community members will "like" each school page and share with others. Furthermore, those with any questions about the use of Facebook should contact Southern at msouthern@farmington.k12.mo.us or Allyson Hensley at ahensley@farmington.k12.mo.us.

Craig Vaugh is a reporter for the Farmington Press and can be reached at 573-518-3629 or at cvaughn@farmingtonpressonline.com.

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