FPS e-Newsletter for May 13, 2021


Cabinet Column - Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund

Fargo Public Schools will receive approximately $44 million as part of the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund, which was recently passed by Congress. These dollars will be used to fund supports that will counteract learning loss due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In this Cabinet Column, Associate Superintendent Missy Eidsness breaks down how Fargo Public Schools plans to spend the funds. You will also find a link for community members to provide feedback.


FPS COVID-19 Mask Update

Following approval from the Fargo Board of Education, Fargo Public Schools (FPS) is changing its mask policy and is set to suspend its FPS Smart Restart Plan. The following changes have already been implemented or are set to go into effect:
  • Effective May 11: No mask requirement on elementary playgrounds or outside activities at all schools
  • Effective May 11: Students and staff considered close contacts from outdoor exposure will not be prohibited from school or activities
  • Effective June 7: Suspension of FPS Smart Restart Plan
  • Effective June 7: Masks become optional

For more information on these changes, read this letter from Superintendent Dr. Rupak Gandhi.


Fargo Public Schools (FPS) is providing a weekly report of COVID-19 data within the district. This data, in consideration with other factors, is utilized to gauge the safety of in-person learning during the pandemic. Information is updated every Friday and can be found on the FPS COVID-19 page.

Pandemic-EBT Program Information

Children who qualify for free and reduced-price school meals can receive Pandemic-EBT food assistance. If you have questions or need assistance acquiring this service, call the North Dakota Department of Public Instruction at 701.328.2732. For questions about EBT cards and fund issuance, email

COVID-19 Vaccine Live Webinar

The North Dakota State University Center for Immunization Research and Education will hold a live webinar to help answer your questions about the COVID-19 vaccine. Local health experts, including Fargo Public Schools Board of Education Member and Sanford Pediatrician Dr. Tracie Newman, will attend and share expertise. See the graphic below for event details. Click here for the webinar link.
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Dahlen Named 2021 Administrator of the Year

Congratulations to North High School Principal Andrew Dahlen for being named the Fargo Public Schools 2021 Administrator of the Year! On May 7, Dahlen was surprised at a staff training meeting, which allowed dozens of teachers to gather and celebrate the announcement. Dahlen has been with Fargo Public Schools since the 1993-94 school year as North's principal. Click here to read more about his accomplishments and why his colleagues say he is extremely deserving of this award. Watch the video below to see Dahlen's reaction during the surprise.
Fargo Public Schools 2021 Administrator of the Year

Davies Turf Groundbreaking

Davies High School celebrated the groundbreaking of its new turf field on May 10. Turf Committee members, Principal Troy Cody, Assistant Principal and Activities Coordinator Lenny Ohlhauser, Superintendent Dr. Rupak Gandhi, and several other community members gathered on the current grass field to put the first shovels in the ground. Excavation by Hellas Construction Inc. will begin on May 17. The project is expected to be complete by the end of July 2021, and a ribbon cutting ceremony will be held at the first home game in August. The $1.3 million privately funded turf field will increase student access to outdoor space and greatly reduce field constraints due to inclement weather.

Medica Donates Supplies to Husky Hutch

Thank you to Medica for donating 27 boxes of supplies to the Clara Barton Husky Hutch! Representatives from Medica made the delivery on May 7 that included soaps, cleaners, detergents, cleaning supplies, and more. Fargo Public Schools is grateful for this large donation that will assist elementary students and families in need. Husky Hutch amenities are available to students and families in all elementary schools across the Fargo Public School District.

Woodrow Wilson Accolades Celebration

Congratulations to the 22 students at Woodrow Wilson High School who achieved Accolades for the 2020-21 school year. Accolades represent quality attendance, commendable scholarship, and respectful character. The following list of students were honored at a ceremony on May 12: Mathias Barnhardt, Gabriella Birchem, Hadley Bunn, Kyleigh Bussard, Mariah Conner, Jojuana Currie, Daevian Dimas, ShyAnne Eggert, Akram Gaal, Maxwell Hall, Corey Henkelman, Kally Hoggarth, Chris Matembera, Kayla Peightal, Kristy Phanor, McCoy Prellwitz, Brooke Qualley, Andrea Quam, Tiana Rodriguez, Daniel Sampson, Aubree Smith, and Jacob Thomas.


Hear for the Kids Podcast: Resetting Your Focus

After a school year that entailed several changes, many people are looking forward to summer break, especially as our community inches back to normal. While summer brings relief to many, the emotional impacts of pandemic stress can linger. In this Hear for the Kids podcast, you will learn how to rejuvenate your outlook on life by celebrating the small things and trying something new.
Pushing Reset

Eleanor Laing Law Literacy Grant Approval

The Fargo Public Schools Development Foundation recently awarded three Eleanor Laing Law grants totaling nearly $26,000. These funds will support Fargo Public Schools innovative literacy and library projects in the 2021-22 school year. Click here to view a list of the projects and how they will benefit students.

Graduation Ceremony Livestream Links

Congratulations to the class of 2021! Graduation is officially one month away at Fargo Public Schools (FPS). To accommodate for safe viewing and those who are unable to attend, FPS will livestream graduation ceremonies at these links:

Woodrow Wilson High School, June 4 at 7:00 p.m.

South High School, June 6 at 12:00 p.m.

Davies High School, June 6 at 3:00 p.m.

North High School, June 6 at 6:00 p.m.

Free Counseling Sessions Available to Students and Staff

Fargo Public Schools (FPS) is offering additional counseling opportunities to all students and staff members thanks to a grant through the North Dakota Department of Human Services. Services will be provided through Together Counseling.

While counseling is always available for FPS students and staff, the COVID-19 pandemic has brought added pressures to daily life and increased needs for mental health services. The staff and student programs will provide sessions to address coping skills, wellness strategies, time management, family conflict, and stress reduction caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Sessions are free, confidential, and virtual. Insurance will not be billed.

Click here for more information on COVID Student Support Program sessions.

Click here for more information on COVID Staff Support Program sessions.

Sessions with Together Counseling can be scheduled by calling 701.404.0997. You must indicate your session is part of the FPS COVID Support Program.


Bennett Cereal Box Donation Drive

A donation drive at Bennett Elementary School had the entire school clapping and cheering. The school collected 517 boxes of cereal for the Great Plains Food Bank. As a way to show off their hard work, they set up all the boxes in the halls for a massive dominoes display. Click here to read about their success donation drive celebration and watch a video of the event.

Adapting After Trauma and Stress

Trauma of any kind can be hard on your mental health but working on becoming more resilient can help you feel more at ease. As part of Mental Health Awareness Month in May, Fargo Public Schools will be sharing information about how to handle emotional situations. In this week's advice, Mental Health America shares some steps to help you recover from trauma.

Additionally, here are more resources to help you heal:





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 held in the Board Room at the District office building. Read the Board Briefs summarizing the May 11 regular meeting of the Fargo School Board. For more information, visit the School Board website.



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.