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Farmington BOE recognizes award-winning instructors
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Farmington BOE recognizes award-winning instructors

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Farmington School Board

Teresa Smith, program director for Jobs for America’s Graduates for the state of Missouri, and JAG instructor Erica Dement hold three awards that Dement and the Farmington School District earned.

The Farmington School Board held its regular session on Tuesday evening at Truman Auditorium. District Superintendent Matthew Ruble afterward provided an assessment of the beginning of the school year.

“We’ve actually had a great start, with all the different protocols and safety measures we have in place, it’s certainly been helpful,” he said. “We’re working through some of the pieces like contract tracing and quarantines, which we hate. We want students on campus.

“It’s Homecoming Week this week, everybody’s excited about that. The parade will be on Friday, it will be the regular parade route through downtown. It starts at 1:30 p.m. The Homecoming Game will be Friday night against Cape Central. Coronation will be at halftime. We will Livestream the assembly, we are spreading that out into four different assemblies by grade.”

Dr. Jamie LaMonds, high school principal, introduced JAG instructor Erica Dement to the board and explained what the JAG program entailed.

“JAG stands for Jobs for America’s Graduates, it’s a specialized program in its sixth year,” she said. “It’s an awesome program to get some of our students that struggle to find their place at the high school or in general and help them get ready for life after high school. It’s grown significantly over the years and Ms. Dement has thrived in getting recognition throughout her career here.”

Teresa Smith, program director for Jobs for America’s Graduates for the state of Missouri, spoke about the program and presented three awards.

“JAG is a 40-year-old non-profit organization that operates in 39 states,” she said. “It’s an in-school program and looks a little bit different in each school. Currently, we have 60 schools with over 80 programs in those schools in the state of Missouri. In the JAG program, the largest key to success is the JAG specialist. How they relate to the kids. The employer engagement, their relationship to the community to help these kids not only graduate, but to help them be successful in college, military or job. I have three separate awards to give to Farmington Schools.”

The Peak Performance Award was given to Dement for return-to-school rate for a multi-year school.

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The High Performer Award was also given to Dement, recognizing exemplary work in demonstrating the Gold Standard for Project Based Learning (PBL) and implementing them into her JAG curriculum. She also went above and beyond mentoring and helping others from across the state learn how to use PBL effectively in their classrooms, Smith said.

The third award went to the Farmington School District from JAG National. Smith explained how this award is achieved.

“One of the highest awards that is recognized by JAG National is the Five of Five Award,” she said. “This award is truly hard to get and there’s only 16 schools in the state of Missouri that accomplish this. This is recognition for exceeding five of five performance outcome standards for the Class of 2019 including graduation rate, employment rate, positive outcome rate, full-time jobs rate and full-time placement rate.

“Thank you for supporting the JAG Program, the building administrators and for Jerry Wills and Erica Dement for being the greatest middle school and high school JAG specialists.”

Director of Business Services Don Eaton updated the board on the monthly financial report.

“We are starting off with a total of $42.4 million in revenue,” he said. “Expenditures are $49.9 million. The reason for that big gap is that we still had unexpended construction monies available at the beginning of the year. Those are budgeted as expenditures, but those revenues came in prior years. What that translates to as far as the operating funds, is a deficit of $590,000, $106,000 in debt service funds and $6.8 million in construction monies. In Missouri you are allowed to have a deficit budget as long as your beginning balances plus your expected revenues are enough to cover that deficit, and that’s the case. This is a legal budget.

“We’ve officially been approved for about $592,000 in CARES funds from the county. That is in the budget on the revenue side and the expenditure side. We are working on the second application for county money now. We’re working on a grant from DESE that would provide WiFi access on some more of our buses.”

Eaton then talked about the difficulty in working with the state’s budget formula and how it rapidly changes this year.

“In September, it was 83%,” he said. “We’re planning on 94%. It’s still a pretty good cut for a district our size. I think the key is going to be flexibility. It’s going be like something we’ve never done. Try to be as conservative as we can and have something to fall back on.”

Mark Marberry is a reporter for the Farmington Press and Daily Journal. He can be reached at 573-518-3629, or at mmarberry@farmingtonpressonline.com

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