LF Board votes to add another ag teacher

NJPA to fund half the annual salary for three years 

By Tina SnellStaff Writer

With Supt. Stephen Jones voicing concern with the district getting caught up in tracking students’ progress and core studies, the Little Falls School Board voted Monday to add another agriculture teacher to the roster.

“While visiting with members of the community, I have learned what people want. Many have asked me about returning vocational opportunities to the schools,” Jones said.

Jones said it is hard for just one ag teacher to keep the program sustainable. Since the garden project caught people’s attention, along with the high tunnel and greenhouse, people have come forward to help solve this problem.

Unable to tweak the budget to add another full-time teacher, the district sent a letter, signed by board members, to  the National Joint Powers Alliance (NJPA) in Staples, The letter talked about the district’s support toward increasing opportunities in agriculture education and asking for their help with half the cost of another teacher.

The correspondence said, “… does affirm our three-year commitment to providing 50 percent funding (salary and benefits) for a full-time agriculture teacher. This letter likewise provides assurance of continued exploration of educational opportunities through this position in collaboration with Central Lakes College. In addition, the partners in this initiative will continue to seriously explore other educational avenues including research into magnet school designation and examination of the College of Excellence.”

The NJPA agreed to provide $30,000 annually for three years for another ag teacher in Little Falls.

“Little Falls Community Schools, NJPA and Central Lakes College will meet after the holidays to continue work toward implementing the program for the 2014-15 school year,” said Jones.

The teacher would be an employee of Little Falls Schools and under its jurisdiction.