Faculty Staff To Obtain Civil Rights Coaching

FARMINGTON – Schools superintendent Jon Laffoon says that all Farmington School staff are required to undergo “cultural sensitivity” training as civil rights were established last year.

Laffoon briefed the Farmington School Board members of the mandatory staff training at their December 14 meeting.

“We had a civil rights assessment last year. And the agreement on that civil rights assessment was that the entire district, everyone in the district, classified and certified, would come in one day this year and do any required training for the OCR (Office) of Civil Rights) would agree, “Laffoon said.

Laffoon said he could arrange a cultural sensitivity training session with a Little Rock attorney on Feb.12. The board approved Laffoon’s proposal to make February 12 a blended learning day so that virtually all students can attend classes that day.

After the meeting, Laffoon said the civil rights determination was based on a disciplinary issue with a student last year. Laffoon did not have all of the information about the situation as it occurred before he started as Headmaster in July.

“What I do know is that we had a problem with student discipline and that there was an agreement between the district and the civil rights bureau,” Laffoon said.

He said he didn’t know how long the February 12 training session would be.

In other business areas, Laffoon said the district’s finances are in a “good place”. One of Laffoon’s goals is for the district to increase its legal balance so that it doesn’t have to transfer money from the construction fund for payroll.

In the past, Farmington had to send money to plan loan payments. The district then transferred money back to the building fund as the proceeds would go to the school.

Laffoon said it appears the district will not have to make that transfer this year. A monthly chart made available to the board shows that the legal balance for Period 5 is nearly $ 2.3 million, compared to approximately $ 1.5 million for the same period in 2018-19 and approximately $ 1.25 million for the same period in 2019-20.

“This is one of the goals we talked about,” Laffoon told the board members.

The board approved wage increases for positions affected by the new minimum wage increase, which will rise to $ 11 an hour in January. A first year child nutrition worker will receive $ 11.36 per hour starting January 1, and a child nutrition replacement will be paid $ 11 per hour.

The board also approved the increase in the pay for student temps from $ 9.25 per hour to $ 9.35 per hour. According to the law, the school can pay temporary workers 85% of the minimum wage.

Laffoon noted that Covid-19 cases are increasing across the state and said Farmington is ready to spin across the district if necessary.

“We hope we don’t have to,” said Laffoon.

The Farmington Schools began their two-week vacation break on Friday. On Monday, December 21, the district’s Covid-19 dashboard showed 12 cases of active students with 130 students in quarantine and seven cases of active employees with three employees in quarantine.

Board member Jeff Oxford praised the work Laffoon and school staff have done in response to the pandemic to keep students safe in the classroom. Oxford added that the students did their part to help as well.

On behalf of staff, the board accepted the resignation of Mike Adams, the high school’s chief soccer / social science teacher, and approved Brittany Reano’s hiring as a paraprofessional special education teacher.

The board also approved April 23, 2021 as a blended learning day to give teachers the opportunity to catch up before the final month of school.

Before the regular meeting, the board held a closed hearing of the students. In the open session, the board agreed to Laffoon’s recommendation to admit the students to the second chance program.

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