From the Principal
Happy New Year to you all! In education we learn to look at a year in a couple of different ways but with much of the same ideals. Now that January is here and 2020 becomes 2021, many of us look at our personal lives and what we have accomplished the last year in terms of success. We also think about ways that we would like to improve and how to make that happen. and create goals and plans.
At McKinley, that process takes place in May and August with a few differences. We set goals as individuals, grade levels, and as a school. We write them down and revisit them multiple times while assessing our progress as we go. Another difference is that we answer to more than ourselves when it comes to achievement. Winter break is a time to take a breath before we push on to the finish line. We would like to invite you to join us in the journey all the way to the finish line.
How can you help? You can help by supporting your students in their school work. Ask them questions about their learning encouraging them to share details of new concepts. Communicate with their teachers asking for assistance when needed and supporting classroom policies as well. The simplest way to help is to make sure that your children are at school every day and on time. Learning takes place all day long. For our McKinley community these simple steps are part of our culture. But still, it never hurts to visit the basics. Let’s start strong in 2021 making great gains toward our goals!
THE WILDCAT WAY
We are CARING
We are RESPECTFUL
We are RESPONSIBLE
We are SAFE
We are McKinley
New Year's Resolutions for Families
- "Unplug" more. Set a goal of spending one day a week, or even one day a month, totally unplugged from TV, cell phones, video games, etc. Play some board games, work on a craft project, or share family stories.
- Eat well. Involve the whole family with making adventurous, healthy meals. Make it fun with trying new recipes and making it a goal to eat out less and do more at home. Increase vegetable intake.
- Add more activity to your family time. Exercise is easier to do with a group, so participate in some fun activities outside as a family, even if it just means to take a family walk after dinner.
- Read! When is the last time you went to the library together? Pull out old books you haven't read together in awhile. Make it a contest of who can read the most books in a week!
- Create a chore chart! Make your own lives easier by spreading the responsibility of household chores among family members!
- Get more sleep! Set a well structured and organized bedtime routine and stick to it! Everyone will be healthier and happier!
Fargo Public Schools Accepting Nominations Beginning January 18 for Teacher, Administrator, and Support Staff of the Year Awards
Fargo Public Schools Accepting Nominations Beginning January 18 for Teacher, Administrator, and Support Staff of the Year Awards
Parents and community members are invited to nominate a Fargo Public Schools teacher, administrator, or support staff member they feel is serving our students with excellence for consideration of a yearly recognition award. Online instructions, forms, and application process can be found at:
Nominations (online only) for each award will be accepted January 18 – 29, 2021.
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
McKinley Students of the Month for November 2020
Reminder...please dress your students warmly. If the temperature does not exceed -15 below zero wind chill, we will go outside for the entire recess break! Each class is outside for 20 minutes.
Kindergarten Registration for School Year 2021-2022
Kindergarten Registration for Fall 2021 opens online at www.fargo.k12.nd.us/registration on February 1, 2021. Child must be age 5 by July 31, 2021 to attend school in the fall.
Registration is a two-step process:
STEP ONE: REGISTRATION ONLINE
Complete online registration forms at www.fargo.k12.nd.us/registration. For assistance, please contact your child’s school to schedule an appointment to complete in-person. (masks are required for all visitors)
STEP TWO: SUBMIT DOCUMENTATION
Upload or bring the following documents to your child’s school before August 25 to finalize registration.
· Child’s certified birth certificate
· Child’s immunization record, with 5-year shots
· Document (i.e. current city utility bill or bank statement) that includes parent/guardian name and current address to verify the correct
If you do not know which school your child will attend, call 701.446.1043 or check online at www.fargo.k12.nd.us/boundarymaps.
If you need PowerSchool help, please call 446-1030
Fargo Public Schools Illness Guidelines Children with the following symptoms should not be sent to school and/or school activities if they have:
- Indication of a temperature of 100 degrees or above
- Undiagnosed rash or sores
- Vomiting or diarrhea
- The student is diagnosed by a physician to have a contagious infection and places the student on a prescription. First dose of medicine must have been taken 24 hours prior to returning to school
- Their temperature has remained below 100 degrees for 24 hours, without the use of acetaminophen, (i.e., Tylenol), etc. to keep the temperature down.
- Please contact our Health Aide, Mrs. Gorder with any questions at 701-446-5208.
SCHOOL CLOSING/LATE START
The mission of the Fargo Public Schools is to educate and empower all students to succeed. Each day in the school year is essential to carry out this mission and provide instruction to our students. Fargo Public Schools makes every effort to keep schools open each day. Our first choice will always be to remain open, but at times the weather conditions within the city merit a school closing.
2020-21 School Year
With distance learning as an option during the 2020-21 school year, Fargo Public Schools administration has considered all options on how to handle a snow day, including cancelling school and making up the day on the days noted in the school calendar (April 30 and May 17), learning from home through distance learning, or cancelling the day and considering not making up the day if our school calendar exceeds North Dakota requirements for instructional hours.
For the 2020-21 school year, Fargo Public Schools will do the following if our weather prevents us from having school:
- School will be cancelled for the first one to two snow days that fall Monday through Thursday. If there is a snow day on a preplanned Friday distance learning day, distance learning will occur. If one to two snow days occur, we will make up the days on either April 30 and or May 17.
- Any additional snow days after two days will either be a distance learning day at home or will be cancelled and the makeup requirement waived.
When our winter weather hits, Fargo Public Schools will continue to communicate about our snow days and if any changes are needed. Please pay close attention to our District newsletter, SchoolTalk¸ and be ready for announcements on days when our winter weather hits.
Making a School Cancellation Decision
Fargo Public Schools maintains close communication with officials of the U.S. Weather Service, local government, and neighboring school districts in order to make decisions regarding inclement weather and other emergency situations that are in the best interest of the safety of our students, staff and parents. The decision to hold classes is based on the general weather conditions which exist for the majority of Fargo students.
Each weather event is looked at individually with multiple sources of information consulted before making the final decision on whether or not to hold school due to inclement weather. The decision to keep schools open or to close them results for weighing factors including excessive snow, temperature or wind chill numbers, wind speeds, road conditions, and the safety of bussing students.
The decision to close school will be made and communicated in as timely of a manner as possible. Closing our schools has a tremendous impact on our parents and community. We strive to make the decision if needed with enough time for parents to make arrangements for supervision of their children. However, at times, a decision the morning of a school day may need to be made to see what weather materializes overnight; if a decision is made in the morning, the decision will be made by 6:00 a.m.
Parents, please keep the following in mind:
If school is in session, and a parent decides that a student should remain at home due to weather conditions, that decision will be respected by the school. Parents should use their own judgment in determining if the weather is suitable for their children to make the journey to school. It is always up to parents to make the final decision about whether or not to send their student to school if they believe weather conditions present a safety issue. The absence for the day would be considered an excused absence.
If school is called off, parents will be contacted via the automated phone, email and text system based on the contact information supplied to the school office(s). Parents are encouraged to update contact information with the school on a regular basis so we have up to date contact information. This can be done through PowerSchool or by calling the school office. School cancellation information will also be broadcasted via local media, and will be posted across our website and social media sites (Facebook and Twitter).
If weather or a situation develops during the day, and it is determined that an early dismissal is in the best interest of the students, parents will be contacted via the automated phone, email and text system based on the contact information supplied to the school office(s). Parents are encouraged to update contact information with the school on a regular basis so we have up to date contact information. This can be done through PowerSchool or by calling the school office. School closure information will also be broadcasted via local media, and the information will be posted on our website and social media sites (Facebook and Twitter).
In our elementary schools, principals will proceed with an orderly dismissal consistent with the instructions provided by parents on the Plan for School Closing Due to Weather or emergency form filled out at the beginning of the year.
Procedures for School Cancellation, Early Release or Late Start
When school is cancelled due to weather, the following occurs:
- All schools are closed
- The Early Childhood Special Education preschool program is cancelled
- Before and after school programs are cancelled
- All Adult Learning Center classes are cancelled
- All daytime programs are cancelled including before and after school programming
- All after school or evening co-curricular/athletic activities, including practices and games, and facility rentals are cancelled
If weather develops during the school day that merits an early dismissal, the following occurs:
- All schools are closed
- If school is cancelled prior to 11:00 a.m., there will be no afternoon Early Childhood Special Education preschool
- Elementary schools will proceed with dismissal procedures according to the plan provided by parents at the beginning of the school year
- The Early Childhood Special Education preschool program will proceed with dismissal procedures according to the plan provided by parents at the beginning of the school year
- For after school care, the sponsoring organization will notify parents if care will be available
- All after school or evening co-curricular/athletic activities, including practices and games, are cancelled
- For evening community rentals of school facilities, individuals should check with sponsoring organizations regarding possible cancellations
If the start of school is delayed by two hours, the following occurs:
- Schools start exactly two hours later than the usual time; middle and high school students should consult their school handbook for additional information regarding the period schedule. School handbooks are available on school websites. Students should not arrive to their school until the scheduled late start time as supervision will not be available
- Buses will run two hours later than usual. (example: Usual pick up at 7:35 a.m. will occur at 9:35 a.m.)
- There will be no morning student co-curricular activities
- There will be no before school childcare; afternoon services will be offered
- No morning classes at Woodrow Wilson High School will be held; afternoon classes at Woodrow Wilson High School will be held as usual
- No morning Early Childhood Special Education preschool programming will be held; the afternoon programming will be held as usual
- No morning classes for the Adult Learning Center at Agassiz will be held; afternoon classes will be held as usual
- The Educational Day Program and Project InVEST at Agassiz will start two hours late
- A grab-n-go breakfast will be available at all buildings for students. Lunch options will be available 45 minutes prior to the start of afternoon class at Woodrow Wilson High School
- Staff members should consult their email or the Employee Portal for additional information on when they should report to work
- Keep your contact information updated with your school. It is imperative that your child’s school has up to date contact information on file with which to contact you. Please be sure to have your current phone and email address on file with your school. Updates can be made by logging into your PowerSchool account or contacting your school office.
- Stay connected during potential weather events. Weather related announcements will be shared through our mass calling system, shared with our local media outlets, and posted on our website and social media sites (Facebook and Twitter). If there is not an announcement through these means, school is scheduled as normal.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do you make a weather-related cancellation decision?
Fargo Public Schools administrators review each weather related event individually when making a school cancellation decision. The District maintains close communication with officials of the U.S. Weather Service, local government, and neighboring school districts while making the decision to remain open or closed. In the end, each school district in our area makes their own independent school closure decision. The decision to hold classes is based on the general weather conditions which exist for the majority of Fargo students.
When and how will parents be notified of a weather-related school cancellation?
The decision to close school will be made and communicated in as timely of a manner as possible. Closing our schools has a tremendous impact on our parents and community and we aim to communicate closures to parents as quickly as possible. If a closure decision is made, it will be communicated through the following means:
- Through the automated phone, email and text system based on the contact information supplied to the school office(s)
- Through a media release to our local media outlets
- Through postings on website, including all school pages
- Through postings on Facebook and Twitter
Why don’t the large school districts in this area always make the same weather related decision?
Fargo Public Schools consults with West Fargo Public Schools and Moorhead Area Public Schools during weather related events. Each district has its own unique features and bussing situations. While we are all located in one close geographic area, weather can impact each district differently. Therefore, each school district in our area makes their own independent weather related decision.
If there is a “no travel advisory” in North Dakota, why is school still held sometimes?
At times, the area may have a “no travel advisory” in place during a winter weather event. Many times, that is an advisory for travelers outside of the city limits. Fargo Public Schools has very limited rural bus routes and our buses do not use the interstates for travel purposes for our regular routes. The decision to hold classes is based on the general weather conditions which exist for the majority of Fargo students. If the City of Fargo issues a no travel advisory for inside the city limits, the school district will most likely close schools.
Jill Linnell, Counselor
Romelle Speral, Administrative Assistant