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Good Morning North Region,

I hope everyone is experiencing a great year, enjoying a change in the
weather, and looking forward to some Holiday's (or furlough days as is the
case with us at 4 towers) but nonetheless, some days off to re-energize and
spend with family or friends.

I have a few things to re-emphasize and hopefully clear up some confusion on
a few others. To keep from assaulting your email, I will address all of
these topics at once...so please read all the way through.

1.  Please take 15 minutes between now and next Wednesday to fill out your
monthly report for October. Last month, we had a significant increase in the
number of teachers that had not submitted their September report by the 10th
of October. This also happened to be the first month that I did not send out
a reminder. I'm sure I'm giving my reminders way to much importance but I'm
going to take the blame for that and promise to do better with my reminders.
I know this seems trivial when compared to the rest of what you face in a
day but it also takes such a short amount of time. I would appreciate your
help.

2. In filling out your report, please be aware that we are trying to head
off a few problems that we have identified. It is our intention to be
helpful and supportive while at the same time ensuring that everyone is
honoring their extended day contract so as not to jeopardize anyone's
opportunity to secure an extended day contract. These problems are usually
simple misunderstandings of what counts for extended day and how it should
be reported. Here are a couple of observations:

      A. You need to report every hour you spend on your extended day
contract even though you may only get paid for one hour each day. My first
Vocational Supervisor told me when I was hired to report only one hour per
day because that was all I was getting paid for. Mr. Farmer corrected me at
some point and I began recording every hour I worked. This can be very
valuable information when justifying a program to your local system. The
number of hours most of you put in would astound your county offices. From a
legislative standpoint, it speaks volumes about the commitment and
dedication Ag teachers have to their programs and drives the benefits per
dollar spent through the roof.
      B. The 20 hours per month required by an extended day contract should
be evenly distributed throughout the month. The intention is not to work 20
hours over 7-10 days and then go home. If the minimum 20 hours are worked,
they should be spread out over 20 days. The average hours worked for the
month of September is well over 50. If you put in this many hours total and
had a day or two where you put in none, obviously you are more than honoring
your commitment.

      C. The activities that qualify for extended day funding are limited.
Mr. Farmer put it as simply as I have ever heard it put and it has stuck
with me for a long time. He said that if it is an activity that any normal
teacher would be expected to do...then it probably does not count as
extended day. In other words, lesson plans and grading papers are not
extended day activities.

*Here is the official DOE extended day description:

* Agricultural Education Extended Day Grants.

(i) Supervised Agricultural Experience. Extended day pay shall be provided
to any certified
agricultural education teacher who works beyond the regular work day to
provide instructional
services and supervise entrepreneurial projects, placement, agriscience, and
research projects
related to the studentís classroom instruction.
(ii) Leadership Development. Extended day pay shall be provided for any
certified agricultural
education teacher who works beyond the regular work day to provide
leadership and career
development opportunities through the Future Farmers of America (FFA)
Organization.

(iii) Teachers receiving agricultural education extended day pay shall meet
the program
requirements listed in the Agriculture Education Program Standards and
Policies Manual.

3. Please invite your Representative and/or Senator to an FFA event. The
legislature will convene soon and it will be in all of our best interest to
have a positive image of our programs on their minds. A CDE being hosted by
your school, an FFA meeting (make sure you have good attendance), a holiday
cookout, or a Leadership/Personal Development class all make great events
for them to attend. Please take pictures and send them to me so we can
include them on the GVATA website. If you have already conducted an
event...Thank you very much and still send me some pictures!

4. If you have conducted any type of collaboration activity with an academic
area, please send me a description and a brief write-up and/or pictures of
the event. Our goal is to develop a small guidebook of collaboration
activities that can be shared with all teachers at the Summer Conference. It
is becoming more and more important that we show others what we have known
all along...that we teach academics and often better than the academics do.
We need North Region well represented in this handbook. As of right
now...we're not. Please share.

5. If you are teaching in a program that has ever been Industry Certified, I
would like to hear from you. It has been many years since any program
underwent re-certification. I would like to start with those programs that
were certified in the past as they face the smallest hurdle to be
re-certified. Also, programs that have recently received a Capital Equipment
Grant are likely to have the equipment needed to become certified. Since
there is no money for certification, the needed equipment is the biggest
hurdle for most programs. If you have the equipment listed in the Industry
Certification Guide on our website, I would encourage you to investigate the
certification process. Again, anything we can do to raise the prestige and
esteem of our programs directly impacts students and gives greater
justification for our programs.

6. Start an Alumni! If you can find 15-20 supporters (parents of Officers,
past members, ag community leaders, administrators) to come to a meeting,
you are well on your way to forming an Alumni chapter. If you can't get
together 20 supporters...you need to get out more. Alumni Chapters can be a
huge benefit to the local chapter and Blane or myself would love to talk to
you about how. If you are interested, please give me or Blane a call.


I know this is a long email but I appreciate your patience. I understand how
hard you are working and I feel it is incumbent on me to protect and grow
the opportunity for you to do that work. You know the impact you have on
kids. All 6 of these objectives are designed to help others see that impact.
I am grateful for any help you can offer.

Have a great day, let me know how we can help,

Stan

-- 
Stan Mitchell
North Region Coordinator
Agricultural Education
204 Four Towers
University of Georgia
Athens, Ga. 30602
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