FPS e-Newsletter for November 18, 2021
- SPOTLIGHT -
Cabinet Column — FPS Annual Report
The Fargo Public Schools 2020–21 Annual Report has been posted online. To review the document, simply click on this link. This document includes information on educational programs and services available to our students and families. Additionally, it provides a snapshot of a unique year in Fargo Public Schools as the District adjusted to the impact of COVID-19 in our community.
Read more about the 2020-21 Annual Report in this Cabinet Column from FPS Superintendent Dr. Rupak Gandhi or watch the #FPSLearns below..
Feature Column — Thanksgiving: A Native American Perspective
There is more to the story of Thanksgiving than the old folktale of the pilgrims inviting the "Indians" to a feast which became known as the "First Thanksgiving," and it’s important that we teach the facts from many perspectives. The Indians were actually the Wampanoag, who suffered a 75% loss of their people as a result of the contact with explorers and settlers on their homelands on the east coast. This was due to foreign illnesses and, more so, the aggressive actions done to them in the takeover of their precious lands.
Learn more about how to teach students about Thanksgiving with a Native American perspective in this Feature Column from FPS Indian Education Cultural Specialist Ricky White.
Feature Column — A Focus on Choice Ready Graduates
As Director of Career and Technical Education, I am often asked what Fargo Public Schools (FPS) is doing to help students become prepared for life after high school. For every student, this 13- year journey from elementary school to middle school, and middle school to high school is a slow process. It can feel like a mirage as students and parents/guardians navigate their way to graduation. However, I would like to imagine this experience a bit more like Santa’s workshop, where a team of elves is working delignating behind the scenes throughout the years to create events that will provide a memorable learning experience for each student, and the gift to graduate “Choice Ready.”
Read more about what it means to be "Choice Ready" in this Feature Column from FPS Director of Career & Technical Education Denise Jonas.
- HEALTH & SAFETY -
COVID-19 Mitigation Strategy Update
As of November 10, masks are strongly encouraged (not required) for all individuals in school buildings during non-instructional hours and district facilities that are not schools. This recommendation is subject to change based on the guidance being provided for general community events. In addition to other mitigation strategies including but not limited to screening, testing, and handwashing, universal masking will continue to be required for all students, staff and visitors in school buildings during instructional hours.
In accordance with updated guidance from Fargo Cass Public Health, effective Monday, January 17, 2022, masks will be recommended (not required) in all Fargo Public School buildings at all times. Universal masking will still be utilized inside all Fargo Public School buildings during instructional hours until January 17, 2022.
Masks will still be required for all riders and drivers on FPS transportation, including school buses and activity buses due to a federal requirement.
Pre-Registration Required at COVID-19 Testing Sites
Pre-registration is required for all individuals wishing to be tested at either of Fargo Public Schools' COVID-19 testing sites or at the Fargo Cass Public Health (FCPH) testing site. Individuals can register by following this link or using the QR code provided. Registration is good for both the FPS and FCPH sites.
COVID-19 testing is available to asymptomatic individuals at the FPS testing sites located at North High School and South High School from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. on days that school is in session. Those with symptoms must be tested at the FCPH testing site at 3051 25th Street South, Fargo, Suite K. The site is located in the Family Fare strip mall between Hi-Ho burgers and Grand Junction Grilled Subs. If an individual receives more than one test, they must wait until all test results come back before they can return to school.
FPS COVID-19 Data
- NEWSMAKERS -
Diving State Champion
South High School's Katie Iverson was second in the 200-yard individual medley and third in the 100 backstroke. North High School's Addison Cerney was third in the 200 IM.
Student Congress Awards
Davies' Cady Wang finished fifth in House I and qualified for the National Speech and Debate Association (NSDA) Nationals. South's Nathan Rateau was also fifth in House I and is an alternate for nationals.
Library Media Specialist Honored with Unique Opportunity
South Signing Day
Davies Signing Day
North Signing Day
11A Football Coach of the Year
- YOUR FPS -
2022 State of the Schools & Public Focus Group
Fargo Public Schools will hold the 2022 State of the Schools Address & Public Focus Group on Thursday, January 13, 2022 from 6-8:15 p.m. at South High School, 1840 South 15th Avenue, Fargo in the theater.
Parents, staff and community members are invited to participate and are encouraged to pre-register by 4 p.m. on December 17, 2021 by signing up online at www.fargo.k12.nd.us/focusgroup or calling 701.446.1005. Questions posed in the focus groups will concentrate on the District’s Strategic Plan. Pre-registered attendees will receive reading materials electronically in advance of the event. For more information, including the questions to be discussed in the focus groups, visit www.fargo.k12.nd.us/focusgroup.
Hear for the Kids Podcast: Trauma
Free At-Home Pre-K Program Available to FPS Families
A free at-home Pre-K program is available for Fargo Public Schools families. Waterford Upstart is an online kindergarten readiness program that gives your child a fun start in reading, math, and science in just 15 minutes a day, five days a week.
Students learn a variety of ready skills including letter recognition, letter sounds, initial sounds, real words, vocabulary and more. On average, children who use Waterford Upstart enter kindergarten reading at nearly a first grade level.
The program is entirely free. Waterford Upstart provides everything you need to help your child get ready for kindergarten, even a computer. Learn more about the program and how to register by viewing this flyer.
Ben Franklin One Act Play
Crazytown will be performed at 7 p.m. on Friday, November 19 in the Ben Franklin Middle School auditorium. Tickets are free to the public. The show is appropriate for all ages and has a runtime of about 75 minutes.
South High School Musical
Guys and Dolls runs from Thursday, November 18 through Sunday, November 21. Thursday-to-Saturday performances are 7:30 p.m. with a Sunday matinee at 2 p.m. Tickets are $8 for adults and $6 for students and seniors and can be purchased at the FPS online Theater Box Office.
FPS Federal Credit Union Giving Tree
- FEATURE -
Explorer Academy Open House and Ribbon Cutting Ceremony
On Tuesday, November 16, Fargo Public Schools (FPS) held an open house and ribbon cutting ceremony for its newest facility and program, the Explorer Academy, which opened this school year.
The FPS Explorer Academy is North Dakota’s first K-8 special education day public school with integrated project-based STEAM and gross motor program opportunities. It strives to support the whole child by embedding social-emotional learning in all facets of their educational experience. The Explorer Academy staff strive to build relationships with every student to guide and engage them in self-regulation skills to enhance their academic and social-emotional growth.
Read more about the Explorer Academy and the open house and ribbon cutting ceremony.
Carrying on the Veterans Day Family Tradition
The last time Mark Seeba saw his father, Walter Seeba, smile was when he showed the 91-year-old Korean War veteran a news clip about his grandson — and Mark’s nephew — U.S. Navy Lieutenant Commander Ryan Seeba giving a Veterans Day presentation to Mark’s Washington Elementary fourth grade class last year. Walt was too sick to say anything, but Mark knew his father was happy to see Ryan carrying on his tradition.
Ryan returned this year to give another Zoom presentation on the day before Veterans Day. Read more about Lieutenant Commander Ryan Seeba's presentation to his uncle's class.
- COMMUNITY -
Cellist Visits Ben Franklin Before F-M Symphony Orchestra Performance
While in town to solo with the Fargo-Moorhead Symphony Orchestra, cellist Amit Peled visited 6-8th grade cello and bass students at Ben Franklin Middle School on Friday, November 12th. During his visit, he performed various pieces of music, led listening activities, discussed his early life in Israel, what it is like being a teacher and traveling artist, and answered student questions about his instrument and other topics. Students were shocked to learn that he was playing on a more than 300-year-old instrument.
Adopt-A-School Partner Honored
Heat Transfer Warehouse, an FPS Adopt-A-School partner with McKinley Elementary, received the 2021 Corporate Leader in Philanthropy award from the Association of Fundraising Professionals ND, North Plains Chapter.
Through the Adopt-A-School partnership team members read to kindergarten students every Friday and have developed positive relationships between the students and community members. Whenever the school or Parent Teacher Association (PTA) need volunteers Heat Transfer Warehouse team members volunteer to fill their needs during school carnivals, Dr. Seuss Lunch, and for many more activities. Heat Transfer Warehouse also promotes school pride and donates either a sweatshirt or jacket along with a bag or backpack to every student and staff member at McKinley Elementary.
Fall 2021 AlumniNews
City of Fargo Recycling Challenge
The program provides mid-morning milk for elementary students snack. The City of Fargo donated $192.15 to the "Got No Milk" program in 2020, helping purchase 549 cartons of milk. Read this release from the City of Fargo to learn more about the program and recycling drop-off sites.
- BOARD FOCUS -
Board Column - Governmental Affairs Committee Update
The 67th North Dakota Legislative Assembly held a special session during the week of Monday, November 8. The impetuses for the session were to address redistricting as a result of the decennial census and to appropriate funds from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA). Other bills could be added to the session by working through the Delayed Bills Committee, agency requests, or a two-thirds majority of legislators.
Read more about bills that garnered the most attention from the FPS Board of Education Governmental Affairs Committee in this Board Column from Board of Education Vice President Robin Nelson.
The Board of Education of the City of Fargo meets in regular session on the second and fourth Tuesdays of each month, beginning at 5:30 p.m. Currently, regular meetings are being held virtually via teleconferencing due to COVID-19 impacts. Please be sure to check each meeting agenda for the meeting location and any special instructions.
Read the Board Briefs from the November 9 regular meeting of the School Board.
- IN FOCUS -
Living Wax Museum
Four classes of Kennedy Elementary third grade students slipped into character to portray historic individuals for the Living Wax Museum as part of the curriculum unit on biographies. Each student chose a person, researched that figure, wrote a biography, and dressed up like that individual to give a 1-to-2 minute presentation.
(photo courtesy Lynnae Tiedman)
Students in seventh-through-12th grade interested in joining the debate teams at all three FPS high schools took part in the Debate Workshop in the South High School library on October 30. The workshop taught newcomers what debate is all about, gave them a chance to experience debating, and featured speakers to give information about this year's debate topics.
Lunch Bag Project
Students involved in the DECA club at South High School used profits from the school store to buy food and used it to make meals to donate to Churches United's Moorhead location Micah's Mission, and distribute to homeless families in need.
Living Wax Museum
(photo courtesy Lynnae Tiedman)
Congressman Armstrong Visit
Congressman Kelly Armstrong spoke to students in Mr. Derek Ouren's government and AP government classes on November 9 at North High School. The congressman spoke about the importance of getting involved in the government at all levels and answered questions.
Trick or Canning
The Air Force Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps (AFJROTC) held its annual "Trick or Canning" donation drive on November 3. The cadets walked local neighborhoods collecting canned and non-perishable items to donate to the Fill The Dome food pantry effort. More than 30 cadets volunteered and collected nearly 1,000 items to donate. (Photo courtesy Meredith Muhs)
Every day when the trumpet players at Ben Franklin Middle School are warming up to play, they buzz on their mouth pieces, making a noise similar to a police siren. Ben Franklin band teacher Greg Calrow decided to have a contest to see who could produce a sound most like a police siren and brought in expert judges — Officer Sauvageau and Officer Siegel, School Resource Officers from the Fargo Police Department. (Photo courtesy Greg Calrow)
Congressman Armstrong Visit
Trick or Canning
South Veterans Day Ceremony
South High School held a Veterans Day Observance Ceremony on November 10. The ceremony included the traditional United State Air Force Flag Folding Ceremony, performances by the South band and choir, and the recognition of local veteran Maurice Bonemeyer. Bonemeyer, a World War II veteran, was captured by Germans during Battle of the Bulge and spent five months in a German prisoner of war camp.
National Anthem Singers
The Horace Mann Roosevelt Choir, directed by LeeAnn Kramlich, sang the Star Spangled Banner at the Fargo Force hockey game on October 29. The singers and their families enjoyed the game after their performance. (Photo courtesy Brie Hawkins)
Hat Not Hate
Longfellow Elementary is promoting bullying prevention through the Hat Not Hate initiative. Knitters and crocheters make blue hats and then distribute them to schools across the country during October, which is National Bullying Prevention Month. Blue represents awareness and solidarity and is the color of bullying prevention. The hats are meant to empower students to be strong and stand up to bullying.