Alternative Learning Program Awarded
FARMINGTON — Farmington High School was one of only four schools in the state to be recognized for its 2017 test scores in English, reading and writing for students in the alternative education program.
Farmington received “Carolyn Pollan’s Top Highest Achieving Alternative Education Program” award at a Leadership Day held Feb. 13 at the state Capitol. The other three schools recognized were Bentonville, Harmony Grove-Ouachita and McCrory.
The award was based on scores for the spring 2017 ACT Aspire exams.
Farmington’s ALE program, called Cardinal Academy, now is housed at the old high school but last year it was located at Boston Mountain Educational Cooperative in West Fork. The cooperative’s ALE center closed and Farmington brought its program back on campus for the 201718 school year.
Farmington received the high achieving award for its students attending the ALE center in West Fork.
Farmington High Principal Jon Purifoy gives a lot of the credit for the award to Glenda Bolinger, who serves as the Cardinal Academy facilitator in Farmington. In West Fork, Bolinger wore several hats for the cooperative’s ALE center, including nurse, secretary and bookkeeper.
“It’s a good program and is successful,” Purifoy said. “The person who leads it also makes a difference.”
Bolinger loves the students and cares about them, Purifoy said, noting she is a “mother figure” to many of the students in the program.
“She is one of the reasons we’re getting these awards because of the connections she makes with the kids. Relationships are a big deal for all kids,” Purifoy said.
Bolinger is quick to point out she is not a certified teacher in the program and does not take credit for the test scores.
She acknowledges, though, that alternative education takes everyone involved working as a team.
“You have to be willing to step out of your comfort area,” Bolinger said.
In addition to her other duties, Bolinger also has received training required by Arkansas Association of Alternative Educators and Virtual Arkansas and training in aggression reduction.
Both Purifoy and Bolinger said moving the ALE back to Farmington has benefited students.
“It’s an advantage in the fact these kids can be more involved with activities going on at the high school,” Purifoy said. “They are our kids. At Boston Mountain, they were mixed with other kids.”
Bolinger said the program has access to a school bus and that is another plus for having the program on campus.
“If opportunities come up for the students, we can take advantage of them,” Bolinger said.
A former Farmington High School student, Lance Payne, also was recognized at the Leadership Day for a Student Diamond Award. These awards are given to students based on teacher nominations and takes into consideration a student’s character and what he or she may have had to overcome in life. Payne now is a senior at Greenland High.
Glenda Bolinger, facilitator for Farmington High School’s alternative education program, and Jon Purifoy, school principal, accept an award from the Arkansas Department of Education and Arkansas Alternative Education. Lori Lamb, director of the state’s...