Ben Franklin Middle School

Back to School Newsletter- August 2021

Welcome Back!

Happy New Year everyone! We are excited to have our scholars back in the building! We have some details to help you plan for school opening on Wednesday, August 25. There sure is a lot to think about when you’re raising a middle schooler! We hope this newsletter answers the questions you may have about registration, New Student Orientation, Back to School Night, school pictures, attendance, immunizations, transportation and more. This information and all links can also be accessed online at our Ben Franklin website by clicking the button below.

Upcoming Events

August 16

  • New Student and 6th Grade Orientation 4-4:30pm

August 17

  • New Student and 6th Grade Orientation 8- 8:30am & 11:45am-12:15pm

August 23

  • 8th grade football and 7/8th grade volleyball start
  • Back to School Night 5:30-7:30pm

August 25

  • 1st day of school

August 31

  • School Pictures *Picture ordering forms will be sent home with students on Friday, August 27

September 6

  • No School- Labor Day


All Fargo Public Schools families must complete/update registration information via PowerSchool for the 2021-22 school year PRIOR to the beginning of the school year. Log into your Powerschool account and click on Forms to complete/update your student and family information. If you have moved, you must contact the Ben Franklin office to verify that your new address is within our attendance boundary and provide us with a copy of proof of residence, such as a new lease/mortgage or utility bill.

There is a computer available in the main office for families that do not have a computer or access to the internet. Please call in advance for an appointment. If you need help getting logged into your Parent Powerschool account or need assistance with registering, please call the Ben Franklin office at 701-446-3600.

You can also choose to pay your child's 2021-22 school fees online via credit card using SchoolPay, which is accessed through your Powerschool account. You may take care of the following fees:

  • Deposit money in your student's lunch account
  • Pre-purchase a yearbook for $15
  • Pay activity fees for fall activities
  • Purchase a District Student Activity Pass $30
  • Go to the Non-Profit link on the left side to join the Ben Franklin PTA $10


Beginning July 1, 2021 Fargo Public Schools implemented a $1.00 convenience fee on credit and debit card transactions, due to increasing processing costs. Payments made over $200 will incur a 3.99% processing fee for charges not related to student registration, food services or student activities. This charge is collected through SchoolPay and used to offset processing costs. Read more about why this processing fee is being implemented here. FPS will continue to offer other payment methods, including cash and paper checks, which carry no additional charges.

New Student and 6th Grade Orientation

Times are Monday, August 16 from 4-4:30pm, Tuesday, August 17 from 8-8:30am or 11:45am-12:15pm. Families can choose one of 3 sessions to attend. The counselors will have a short presentation in the auditorium for students and families. Topics will include school policies, schedules, busing, school meals, attendance and much more. It is a great opportunity to learn more about Ben Franklin and ask questions. Following these half hour presentations in the auditorium, there will be time for you and your student to do a self-guided tour of the building.

Back to School Night Monday, August 23rd 5:30-7:30pm

5:30-6:00pm- Doors open, schedules will be available to pick up at main entrance

5:30-6:00pm- Welcome to Band meeting for 6th grade band students/families in Auditorium

5:30-6:30pm- Co-curricular meeting for 7th/8th grade students/families participating in activities in Gym 2

6:00-6:20pm- 6th grade team meetings (see below)

6:30-6:50pm- 7th grade team meetings (see below)

7:00-7:20pm- 8th grade team meetings (see below)

*Students/ families may walk schedules and meet teachers when not in their team meetings

Big picture

School Photos

School pictures for all grades will be on Tuesday, August 31 during the school day. All students will be photographed for their Student ID Card and the yearbook. There is NO CHARGE for your Student ID Card. Picture order forms will be sent home with students on Friday, August 27th for those wanting to order pictures. Here is the link to order online:
Big picture

Physical Education Class

Your child will participate in a physical education class every other day throughout the year. The goal of physical education is to develop physically literate individuals who have the knowledge, skills and confidence to enjoy a lifetime of healthful physical activity. Students should dress for physical education in clothing conducive to physical activity with shoes appropriate for gym flooring and outdoor activity. We have a limited supply of phy ed shirts that students may purchase to be worn during class. Shirts are $10 and may be purchased during New Student Orientation, Back to School Night or from the Main Office. *This shirt is not required for the class grading or participation.

Personal Learning Devices

Students will be allowed to take home their PLDs during the first week of school. Seventh and eighth graders will get their devices on the first day of school and sixth graders on the second day.

· PLD responsible use applies both at school and at home Responsible Use Policy

· Unless opting out, parents/students accepted the terms of the PLD Take Home Contract when registering. We ask that parents do not opt out of the PLD take home initiative unless there are extenuating circumstances. Thank you for partnering with us in this extension of student learning.

Daily Schedule and Arrival at School

Doors open at 7:45am. All students will go to the cafeteria, library or gyms for intramurals depending on supervision. Breakfast is served in the cafeteria starting at 7:45am. At 8am, team centers are open for students wanting help from teachers. At 8:40am, students will be allowed to go to their lockers and to class. Lockers will be used this year and backpacks will not be allowed to be worn in the hallways or classrooms. Classes start at 8:50am each day.
Big picture

Transportation/ Bus Information

Busing information and transportation routes can be found on the FPS website at Information will be sent to families directly from Valley Bus once the routes have been established.


*Research shows that attendance is the single most important factor in school success. Attendance is located next to Student Services or by calling Mrs. Buerkley at 446-3610.

Absences: Parents/guardians are reminded to call the attendance office at 446-3610 to inform us of your child’s absence before 9:00 a.m., the morning of the absence. Feel free to call the attendance number at any time, 24 hours a day, to leave a message. This message should include the student’s name, ID number, grade, the date(s) and reason they will be absent. If no phone contact has been made, the student must present a written excuse, signed by his/her parent to the attendance office when returning to school. Any absence not verified by phone or note will be considered unexcused. Tardiness/Returning to School: Students coming to school after classes have begun or returning to school after an appointment must stop by attendance for a return slip. They need a signed note or doctor’s note to check in unless we have already received a phone call.

School Nurse

The Nurse is a support staff that works with medication issues, consultations and safety issues. The school nurse will not diagnose medical issues.

  • Hours -typically 8:30 AM – 2:30 PM

  • Monday-Friday

  • If you have questions call Nurse Ellen Sondreal @ 446-3640.

Health Information needs to be completed yearly online. Since little of the information on this card may change from year to year, the data is stored and you will simply be doing an update of this information as needed. Please remember that our school nurse needs permission to administer Ibuprofen, Tums, or Tylenol (Acetaminophen). If you wish this to be an option, please indicate this online.

Emergency Care Plan: If your student has a health issue that will require more than standard first aid care, a special form called the “Emergency Care Plan” will need to be completed by a parent/guardian and signed by the student’s Health Care Provider. These forms will be available at registration from the school nurse and are on line as well.

Medication at School: Daily medication, short-term antibiotics, and OTC medications: A “Medication Administration” form must be completed by a parent/guardian and signed by the student’s Health Care Provider. Medications brought to school must be in their original containers.

Self-Administration Medications: If a student needs to carry a medication on them while at school a “Medication Self-Administration” form must be completed by a parent/guardian and signed by the student’s Health Care Provider. If a student needs an Asthma inhaler, make sure they have their inhaler with them. The “Medication Self-Administration” form should be brought to school as soon as possible. Medication forms also need to be renewed each school year.

All required forms are also available on the Ben Franklin website under “Quick links - District Forms – Medication Forms” or at this link below:


This is a reminder that every child entering grade 7 is REQUIRED to receive a Tetanus/Diphtheria/Pertussis (Tdap) vaccine and Meningococcal vaccine. To receive optimum disease coverage and ensure school requirements are met prior to entering grade 7, it is

recommended your child receive these two vaccinations once they turn 11 years of age. All students in 7th and 8th grade should have one dose of Tdap and Meningococcal recorded on their immunization record before the start of the 2021 -2022 school year. Please bring a copy of the updated immunization record to the school, email it to or fax to 701-446-3698. For questions pertaining to your child's immunization record, please call your child’s healthcare provider or Fargo Cass Public Health at 701-241-1360.

Nutrition Services

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has announced that it will extend the free school meals program helping to keep millions of children fed amid the Corona Virus Pandemic through the new school year.
What you need to know:

  1. All School Student Meals are Free for the entire year…Breakfast and Lunch.

  2. This includes only full meals – not individual items such as milk or ala carte.

  3. No Application is Required for free meals…However, to prove eligibility for other school benefits (such as waived fees for sports, exams, band rentals, etc.) households must fill out an eligibility application so benefits can be determined.

Student Fees Assistance and Benefits Application (Also known as Free and Reduced-Price Meals)

Students may deposit money to their lunch account by filling out an envelope in the main office (for cash or check) or parents can access SchoolPay in Powerschool.

Fall Activities

Start Dates:

August 23: 8th Grade Football

August 23: 7th/8th Grade Volleyball

August 30: 6th Grade Boys and Girls Cross Country

September 20: 6th Grade Volleyball

*7th and 8th graders participating in activities or athletics need to have both HIPAA and Concussion protocols signed off on in Powerschool.

*Middle School activity fees are $30 (7th & 8th graders) unless the athlete is participating at the varsity level at North (high school is $50). These fees must be collected before the student can participate. Ben Franklin activity fees can be paid online through SchoolPay or turned in to our Main Office.

*Seventh and eighth graders participating in athletics must have a current physical turned in BEFORE being allowed to practice. North Dakota requires yearly sports physicals. They must be dated on April 15th or after. Please click on the link to print out the physical paperwork or ask your doctor for one- Forms can be turned in to the main office, brought to the first meeting or practice or attached online in Powerschool.

*Seventh graders and any new 8th graders participating in activities also must attend a Co-curricular meeting. Ben Franklin's Co-curricular meeting is Monday, August 23rd from 5:30-6:30pm in Gym 2.

Parental Communication- E-Alert Directions

Communicating with parents is always our goal at Ben Franklin Middle School. This Summer Newsletter is printed and sent to each parent. In an effort to contain costs, subsequent newsletters are posted online only.

Content E-Alerts are sent to users who have subscribed to a homepage or website section of interest. You will receive an email notification when newsletters, daily announcements or School Board agendas are posted.

Click here to sign up and begin the process of setting your subscriptions.

Content E-Alert Directions: In order to provide the best possible communication between our district and your household, we request that you complete 3 easy steps to sign up and subscribe to E-Alerts for sites and sections that you find relevant.

Click the link above to sign up and begin the process of setting your subscriptions.

Step 1 - Enter your First Name, Last Name, and Email Address

Step 2 - Select the areas of Fargo Public Schools that you wish to receive notifications

Step 3 - Click Sign Up at the bottom of the page

You will receive an email that will contain a link to verify your account. You may unsubscribe at any time by using the Unsubscribe Link at the bottom of the email notification.