FPS e-Newsletter for January 14, 2021


Cabinet Column - Legislative Priorities

Fargo Public Schools is committed to giving our students the best possible education. In doing so, the Fargo Board of Education strategically sets legislative priorities to better our children's future. In this Cabinet Column, Business Manager Jacki Gapp details the proposed fiscal plan for education from North Dakota Governor Doug Burgum. She also outlines what Fargo Public Schools hopes to accomplish during the 2021 legislative session.

Feature Column - Information Technology COVID-19 Adaptations

We are closing in on the one year mark of when schools shut down their physical classrooms and transitioned to online learning. Since then, Fargo Public Schools (FPS) has made vast changes to make sure every student, teacher, and staff member has the technology and resources they need to successfully learn or work from home. In this feature column, Information Technology Director Bill Westrick outlines the ample adaptations FPS has made to technology through COVID-19.


Instructional Level Update

On January 11, the Fargo Public Schools (FPS) COVID-19 Instructional Plan Committee met to review COVID-19 data. Per recommended guidance from local healthcare agencies, Fargo Public Schools will return to in-person instruction 5-days a week for all grade levels beginning January 19, 2021. Additional information about the transition to in-person instruction five days a week will be communicated by school administrators. For more information about the transition, read this letter from Superintendent Dr. Rupak Gandhi.

Early Childhood Special Education will continue as a 4-day per week program.

Students who are currently enrolled in the Virtual Academy are able to continue through second semester.

The FPS COVID-19 Instructional Plan Committee will meet again on Monday, February 8, 2021 at 6:30 a.m. to review data, determine if there is a significant number of cases impacting schools, and discuss the status of a potential vaccination plan for staff.

Virtual Academy Meal Pickup Change

Due to a potential winter storm on Friday, Fargo Public Schools Nutrition Services will host the weekly Virtual Academy Meal Pickup on Thursday, January 14 from 2:30 to 3:30 p.m. Pickup locations will remain at high schools as normal. No meal pickup will be available on Friday, January 15. All families that requested meals this week should plan to pick up meals on Thursday from 2:30 to 3:30 p.m.

What: Virtual Academy Meal Pickup Change

When: Thursday, January 14 from 2:30 to 3:30 p.m.

Friday, January 15 pickup CANCELED

If you have questions, please contact the Nutrition Services Department at 701.446.1152.


Fargo Public Schools (FPS) is providing a weekly report of COVID-19 data within the district. This data, in consideration with other factors, continues to be utilized by the FPS COVID-19 Instructional Plan Committee. Information is updated every Friday and can be found on the FPS COVID-19 page.


Davies Band Performs for State of the State Address

The Davies High School Wind Ensemble received the honor of playing for the North Dakota State of the State Address. This distinction was part of the ensemble's duty as the 2020 Governor's Band. Read this article to learn more about how the ensemble safely performed for the event. Watch the video below to see part of the band's virtual performance.
Davies Wind Ensemble State of the State Address Performance

Bell Bank Check Presentation

Thank you to Bell Bank for presenting the Fargo Public Schools Development Foundation with a check of $12,350 for Emergency Lunch Needs. The funds were provided as part of Bell Bank's Pay It Forward program. The Emergency Lunch Fund helps ensure that every child has access to a nutritious school lunch alongside their peers, regardless of their financial situation. This donation will provide 5,040 elementary lunches or 4,574 middle/high school lunches.

Pictured L to R are: Becky Bakke, Executive Director of Fargo Public Schools Development Foundation and Julie Peterson Klein, Bell Bank Chief Culture Officer


Staff Recognition Program Starts Soon!

Starting January 18, parents and community members are invited to nominate a Fargo Public Schools teacher, administrator, or support staff member they feel serves our students with excellence for consideration of a yearly recognition award. Online instructions, forms, and the application process can be found at:

The District will award the following this spring:

Teacher of the Year Award − awarded to a certified staff member

Administrator of the Year Award − awarded to a principal, assistant principal, director, or coordinator

Support Staff of the Year Award − awarded to an educational support staff member, custodial/maintenance department staff member, or nutrition services staff member

Nominations will be accepted online January 18-29, 2021.

No School January 18

There will be no class on Monday, January 18 as Fargo Public Schools holds a staff professional development day. Classes resume Tuesday, January 19 for the start of the second semester.

Hear for the Kids Podcast

Vaping is a common and dangerous trend among today's youth. It can be difficult for parents, guardians, and teachers to notice when students use e-cigarettes because vaping tools emit no smell and are easy to hide. In this episode of Hear for the Kids, Fargo Cass Public Health Community Health Educator Melissa Markegard talks about how students from elementary age to high school age are at risk of vaping. She also discusses nicotine dangers and how parents can help prevent their children from becoming addicted.
My Student Wouldn't Vape, Would They?

Trollwood Performing Arts School 2021 Summer Registration Opens Soon!

Get ready to Color Your Summer! Trollwood Performing Arts School is excited to welcome students back to the stage with a full array of 2021 summer performing arts educational opportunities. 2020 was a difficult year for those who are passionate about performing arts. Many classes and performances were canceled due to COVID-19. Upcoming summer arts programming will help students rekindle their affection for the arts, boost their creativity, and pave the way for their future, whether they aspire to pursue a career in the arts or any other professional opportunities.

Registration opens Monday, January 18 at 5: 00 p.m. at this link. More details coming soon!

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Scholarship Applications and Opporunities

The Fargo Public Schools Development Foundation administers scholarships on behalf of community businesses, families, and organizations. Scholarships are made available through annual donations and investment income from endowed funds. Scholarships are established by people just like you who wish to honor loved ones or recognize someone who has made a difference in their lives. Click here for access to all scholarships that are available.

Graduating seniors from Davies, North, South, and Woodrow Wilson High Schools may select their school below to see which scholarships are available:

Davies High School

North High School

South High School

Woodrow Wilson High School

The Foundation also administers the Fargo Area Dollars for Scholars program and awards an average of 50 scholarships annually to deserving graduates from Davies, North, South, Woodrow Wilson, and other area high schools. Click here to access Fargo Area Dollars for Scholars.


Clara Barton Hawthorne Husky Hutch

The Clara Barton Hawthorne Elementary School Husky Hutch program is expanding thanks to generous donations. Husky Hutch started in 2017 by Clara Barton Hawthorne Office Assistant Julie Emery Hetland after she noticed a need for expanded food assistance at the elementary level. Husky Hutch started with a small cabinet of supplies and has grown into a large storage room full of food and other household necessities. Watch the video below to see what the store looks like and all the supplies that it holds.

The pandemic has increased needs in our community, and Husky Hutch has been able to help families through a difficult time. Last winter, Husky Hutch was supporting 22 students, which averaged to be roughly 250 pounds of food per month. From the beginning of the pandemic last March to now, Husky Hutch has been supporting 41 students, which averages 900 pounds of food per month.

If you are in need of assistance or would like to donate, please contact your school principal or counselor. You may also email

January 11, 2021


School Board Schedule and Links

Regular School Board meetings occur on the second and fourth Tuesday of each month, beginning at 5:30 p.m. Meetings are currently being held at South High School in the Theater to accommodate for social distancing. Read the Board Briefs summarizing the January 12 regular meeting of the Fargo School Board. For more information, visit the School Board website.


If I Were Mayor Essay Contest

Each spring, the North Dakota League of Cities sponsors a statewide "If I Were Mayor" essay contest. This contest encourages young people to think about public service and future community leadership.

The contest is open to any third and seventh grade student living in North Dakota. Each grade will be judged separately. Students may submit essays through a teacher or on their own. Click here to learn more about contest rules and how to submit an essay.

- FPS in the News -

Fargo Public Schools - SchoolTalk

This newsletter is published weekly on Thursdays during the school year when classes are in session. Material for publication is due by Noon on Tuesday of the week of desired publication.