A new look for Farmington’s schoolsThe start of the 2009-10 school year brought a lot of change to the Farmington School District.
The start of the 2009-10 school year brought a lot of change to the Farmington School District. From the opening of a new high school and the addition of a fifth elementary school to a realignment of the middle school grades, Independent School District 192 is a very different place than it was even a year ago.
The Farmington School District is growing. It has a current estimated student population, drawn from Farmington, parts of Lakeville and some nearby townships, of 6,507. That population is expected to grow to 8,000 within 10 years.
Farmington students are served by five K-5 elementary schools, two 6-8 middle schools and a state-of-the-art new high school built to accommodate 2,000 students in its current configuration and 2,400 with the addition of some new classrooms as the school population increases.
The district’s mission statement, the result of a strategic planning process that began in 2006, is: “The community of Farmington area schools develops citizens of integrity who excel in and beyond the classroom.”
The district employs nearly 750 people, including more than 400 licensed teachers. More than half of District 192 teachers hold masters’ or more-advanced degrees.
The Farmington High School athletic department offers 26 varsity-level sports, and the district offers a number of other co-curricular activities, from marching band and theater to a wide variety of clubs and organizations.
Farmington’s five elementary schools are small enough to give students a feeling of belonging, yet large enough to provide programs and opportunities found in larger districts.
There are a number of programs for gifted and talented students, and every school has an active parent volunteer program which helps to provide extra attention to students in the classrooms. Outside resource people are brought into each of the buildings to work with students who need additional assistance.
Students can receive instruction through a number of specialists in each school building. Classes such as art, physical education, music, library and computer lab are offered in every elementary school building.
Every building is located on a large site with room for ball diamonds, skating rinks, tennis courts and running tracks.
500 Maple Street
Principal - Ben Januschka
Farmington Elementary School, the oldest elementary building in the district, was built in 1955, with additions in 1964 and 1997. Classrooms for children in grades K-5 line the hallways, and the gymnasium has an open performance area built in for concerts and other performances. One of the building’s unique features is outside, where every year a butterfly garden attracts hundreds of Monarch butterflies for fourth grade children to study.
Akin Road Elementary
5231 195th Street
Principal - Karen Bergman
Akin Road Elementary School opened to students in the 1980s to house the students in the mid-section of the Farmington community. Akin Road Elementary, another school for children in grades K-5, has computer lab rooms, extra meeting rooms and an open library/media center which is accessible from classrooms on either side of the building.
North Trail Elementary
5580 West 170th Street
Principal - Steven GeisNorth Trail Elementary School, which hosts children in grades K-5, opened in 1997, and primarily serves children in the portion of District 192 located within the city of Lakeville.
Grades are arranged in “pods,” with all classrooms for each grade surrounding a common gathering space for larger groups. A stage area is set up in the school gymnasium for performances and all-school assemblies.
6100 West 195th Street
Principal - Jon ReidMeadowview Elementary, opened during the 2002-03 school year and is home to kids in grades K-5. It has a “cafetorium,” a cafeteria which shares space with bleacher seating for auditorium-type performances.
4100 West 208th Street
Principal - Kim GrengsThe district’s newest elementary school, Riverview Elementary opened in the fall of 2009 in the building that was formerly home to Farmington Middle School East. The building features large, bright kindergarten classrooms and science labs for students.
Farmington’s middle schools went through some significant changes for the 2009-10 school year. After years of offering a sixth- and seventh grade Farmington Middle School East and an eighth- and ninth grade Farmington Middle School West the district has moved ninth graders to its new high school and created a pair of sixth- through eighth-grade middle school buildings. Both schools offer full media centers and gym space and offer a number of athletic and other co-curricular opportunities for students.
Levi P. Dodge Middle School
4200 West 208th Street
Principal - Chris Bussmann
Dodge Middle School, located in the former Farmington Middle School West building, is named for Levi P. Dodge, a longtime Farmington School Board member credited with establishing the city’s first library. During his school board tenure from 1866 until his death in 1893 Dodge insisted teachers be college educated. During the naming process board chair Bob Heman called Dodge “a founding father of the education system” in Farmington.
Dodge was born May 25, 1839 in New Hampshire. He served as a hospital steward and assistant surgeon during the civil war and came to Farmington in 1865 to serve as the city’s first physician.
Robert Boeckman Middle School
800 Denmark Avenue
Principal - Barb Duffrin
Boeckman Middle School, located in the former Farmington High School, is named for a longtime superintendent of the Farmington School District.
Boeckman, led the district from 1969 to 1989, a tenure longer than those of all of his successors combined. Boeckman was superintendent when the school that now bears his name was built. Those who knew him then say he was a hands-on superintendent who paid regular visits to the schools — there were only two when he started in the district — and took pride in learning every employee’s name. He is also remembered as a financially responsible leader.
Farmington High School
20655 Flagstaff Avenue
Principal - Ben Kusch
The Farmington School District takes pride in all of its buildings, but it’s the new high school that’s gotten the most attention lately. And rightly so. The 450,000-square-foot building is state-of-the-art in every way, from the computer labs and the projectors in the classrooms to the cooling system that uses ice produced overnight to cool the building during the day. The ninth- through 12th grade building had an enrollment of 1,714 as of Aug. 21, 2009. Students can participate in sports and in a number of co-curricular activities.
The building has numerous windows and gets a lot of natural light. Much of the back of the building is glass, allowing a view out to one of the school’s most prominent features — a 3,000-seat, artificial turf stadium that is home to the Tiger football, soccer and track teams and that in the spring of 2010 will be the home field of the new FHS lacrosse teams.
FHS offers more than 130 courses, from college preparatory classes and vocational programs to fine arts courses and agriculture. Students are also offered courses in art, business education, English, personal and family life sciences, technology education, video production, world languages, social studies, science, music, physical education and health.
Students can also take courses through the Dakota County Technical College, and the Post Secondary Education Options program. Both alternatives take students from the high school classroom into the post-secondary school classroom. Students can also participate in internships and mentorships through FHS programs.
Farmington High School is home to the Tigers athletic program. School colors are orange and black, and worn proudly by the student body, staff and the community.
FHS offers a number of athletic options for teens. Boys athletic programs include football, basketball, track, cross country, wrestling, golf, baseball, tennis, hockey, swimming, and soccer. Girls programs include basketball, cheerleading, cross country, dance, golf, gymnastics, hockey, soccer, softball, swimming, tennis, track and volleyball.
Recognizing that students have different interests, FHS also offers many co-curricular activities. Students can participate in drama and musicals, math team, mock trial, speech team, student council, FFA, yearbook, prom committee, KFHS television staff, Tiger Leadership Council, National Honor Society and the school newspaper, the Prowler Press.