SOUTHERN JEFFERSON COUNTY PARENTS AS TEACHERS
RECEIVES NATIONAL RECOGNITION AS A BLUE RIBBON AFFILIATE
Festus, Crystal City, Dunklin and Jefferson R-7 School District Endorsed Sites Demonstrate
High-Quality Implementation of Evidence-Based Home Visiting
FESTUS, MO - Parents as Teachers serving the Festus, Crystal City, Dunklin and Jefferson R-7 school districts has earned a prestigious endorsement from the Parents as Teachers National Center, Inc., (PATNC) as a Blue Ribbon Affiliate, making it one of the top performing home visiting affiliates within the PATNC’s international network.
Being named a Blue Ribbon Affiliate affirms that the Parents as Teachers program serving southern Jefferson County is a high-quality member of the home visiting field, implementing the evidence-based Parents as Teachers model. Families in the Festus, Crystal City, Dunklin and Jefferson R-7 community are positively impacted by the services delivered by this program. “To earn the Blue Ribbon Affiliate status, we underwent a rigorous self-study and review process from the National Center. The process confirms that we are meeting Parents as Teachers’ standards of fidelity and quality,” said Kim Richardson, director of Parents as Teachers. “Blue Ribbon Affiliates are exemplary programs, delivering highest quality services to children and families.”
The program serves nearly 270 families in the four school district consortium, providing education to parents and children from before the children are born until they reach Kindergarten. It equips parents with knowledge and resources to prepare their children for a stronger start in life and greater success in school through home visits, group connections, child screenings, and connections to community resources. Clint Johnston, the Superintendent of the Jefferson R-7 School District says the work of the Parents as Teachers program has made a tremendous impact on the District. “Research has proven that educational success begins long before a student reaches an age of attending school in kindergarten. To be one of seven programs in the State to attain this Blue Ribbon Affiliation is a remarkable accomplishment impacting the four schools served within the consortium."
The quality of the program is reliant on a great staff using the tested curriculum to get the desired results. This award is verification that the program is being implemented as designed. “Designation as a Blue Ribbon Affiliate is a testament to the hard work and dedication of the Parents as Teacher staff,” said Dr Link Luttrell, Superintendent of the Festus R-6 School District. “It is vital to reach children before they begin kindergarten to lay the foundation for a lifetime of learning.” Dr. Clint Freeman, Superintendent of the Dunklin R-5 School District added, “It’s a great accomplishment for our districts and the PAT organization has made adjustments for COVID to keep working hard for our kids.”
Parents as Teachers’ rigorous endorsement process demonstrates an affiliate's accountability and credibility to the community, its funders, elected officials, and the partner organizations with which they work. Crystal City Superintendent Matt Holdinghausen sums it up nicely, "Parents as Teachers is an excellent organization that has helped us identify students for our early childhood program and our preschool. All the awards they receive are well-deserved."
Today, the U.S. Department of Education named Festus Elementary School a National Blue Ribbon School. This is the third time since 1999 that Festus Elementary has earned the honor, a first for a Missouri school. “The National Blue Ribbon School Program recognizes public and private elementary, middle, and high schools based on their overall academic excellence and their progress in closing achievement gaps among student subgroups,” said Dr. Nicki Ruess, Assistant Superintendent for Teaching and Learning. “Being recognized, once again, as a National Blue Ribbon School affirms the continuous hard work of our students, educators, families, and community.”
One criterion for eligibility for the Blue Ribbon Award is scoring in the top 15% within the state on Reading/ELA and Math state assessments. "Designation as a Blue Ribbon School is a testament to the daily, consistent approach that all staff members take to ensure that students are successful,” said Superintendent Dr. Link Luttrell. “High Student Achievement does NOT happen solely by chance but takes a myriad of stakeholders all working together towards accomplishing identified goals aimed at individual student success."
Last month, the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education named Festus Elementary a Missouri Gold Star School. Being named a Gold Star School is often a precursor to being awarded the Blue Ribbon School designation. This is the third time Festus Elementary has been named a Gold Star/Blue Ribbon School. The previous two times were in 1999 and in 2014. “The Honor of being named a Missouri Gold Star School and a National Blue Ribbon School for the 3rd time is very humbling,” said principal Dr. Darin Siefert. “It is possible because of the tireless work of teachers, staff, and administrators to ensure that all students are succeeding at high levels, no matter their individual circumstances. It also would not be possible without the support of great parents, families, community members and most importantly the students themselves!”
Festus Elementary is the first school in the state of Missouri to be named a Blue Ribbon School three times. Luttrell adds, “It speaks volumes to what we already know – Festus Elementary School is a great place to learn!'
From March through most all summer, the US Department of Education (USDE) and the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) provided free meals to ANY student at no cost during the school closures across our nation. However, the federal ‘waivers’ providing the free meals expired recently.
Earlier this month, the USDA, which has oversight of the school breakfast and lunch programs, announced an indefinite extension of the waivers.
Extension of the waivers means that ALL breakfast and lunch meals will be FREE to ALL students regardless of income!!! Please encourage your child(ren) to participate. The program is temporary and will only last as long as funding allows. Therefore there will likely be a return to ‘paid’ meals in the future.
The free meals also applies to the food distribution for Festus Online students. If you would like to sign up for free meals for your Festus Online student you can do so by clicking here. Meals are being distributed from the Festus Elementary Upper Cafeteria parking lot from 10am-11am Monday thru Friday when school is in session.
If your child currently has an oustanding meal debt it will still need to be paid. A la carte items, extra food items or extra milk are not covered by the program. Students must have funds in their lunch accounts if they plan to purchase those particular items.
When the funding expires, we will have to resume charging for the meals. So, if you think you qualify for free or reduced priced meals, please go ahead and complete this year’s application so when the time arrives for us to once again charge for meals you will already be set up to receive free or reduced-price meals without interruption.
Our 2020-2021 school bus routes are now complete.
|K-5 AM ROUTES||K-5 PM ROUTES||6-12 AM ROUTES||6-12 PM ROUTES|
For more than two months, more than 70 Festus R-VI School administrators and staff have been working on a plan to safely re-open school. Six committees met several times to address the issues our schools will face when it comes to welcoming students and staff back into the classroom. The results of that work is this 31-page Re-Entry Plan. A shorter 2-page summary can be found here. It is important to note, that his plan is fluid and subject to change based on the circumstances at the time and on the guidance and recommendations from the Jefferson County Health Department. It reflects the situation as of today, July 20, 2020 and could look much different by the time school starts on August 24. Superintendent Dr. Link Luttrell will be available to answer questions Thursday night, July 23 from 6-7pm in a Facebook Live Question and Answer session on the District Facebook page.