Discovery Middle School

Newsletter - May 2021

Building a Foundation for Success!

This Month's Newsletter Features the Following:

  • Canvas Learning Management System
  • FPS Mask Mandate
  • Free Counseling Sessions Available to Students and Staff
  • May/June Letter Day Calendar and upcoming events
  • Music Performance in May
  • National Latin Exam
  • Library information
  • Join Cross Country
  • Counseling Corner
  • Summer School Sign Up
  • Nursing Nuggets
  • SRO Corner with Officer Kjonaas - Fargo Police Explorer Opportunity
  • Co-Curricular Activities/Sports Physical informatioin
  • Attendance Reminder
  • Entrance to the Building During School Hours
  • Adventures for Teens Link


Beginning Fall 2021, teachers and students in grades 6-12 will use the Canvas learning management system to post and access information about assignments and course progress. Additionally, MasteryConnect is a formative assessment tool teachers will use to collect formative assessment data to track student progress toward proficiency of course learning outcomes.

Why is FPS adopting Canvas and Mastery Connect?

Currently, middle and high school students and parents access attendance, grades and course content in multiple systems: PowerTeacher Pro, EDUCal and Google Classroom. Additionally, external resources such as electronic textbooks, subscription databases, free and licensed resources can be integrated directly into Canvas. The adoption of Canvas and MasteryConnect will make it possible to house everything in one place for students and parents, while maintaining the flexibility for teachers to embed external content as needed. Our goal is to increase access for students and families by streamlining the systems they use.

Why now?

Sixth grade teachers will implement evidence based reporting (EBR) beginning fall 2021. We had purchased a plugin to make EBR more user-friendly for teachers, students and parents within PowerTeacher Pro, but discovered several shortcomings as we field tested it in middle and high school classrooms. The Teaching & Learning and IT teams agreed a system our size needs a scalable, integrated, standards-based solution. While a slower transition may seem like a good idea, it has become apparent that it is more complicated to use and maintain multiple systems simultaneously.

How will this impact me?

Next fall, middle and high school teachers will post assignments in Canvas instead of EDUCal. EDUCal accounts will continue to be available to copy/paste assignments from this school year, but students and parents will login to PowerSchool as usual, and click a button to be directed to Canvas for assignments and messages about courses. And, there is an app for parents and students to access this information on their phones.

Additionally, teachers will use Canvas or Mastery Connect gradebooks instead of PowerTeacher Pro. The Canvas gradebook is a traditional gradebook, and MasteryConnect is a standards-based gradebook. Both gradebooks are integrated with the Canvas Learning Management system, so if teachers choose to grade assignments within their Canvas course, these scores will be automatically populated in their gradebook. While there will be a learning curve on the front end, teachers should save time entering grades in this new system.

FPS will continue to require masks for students and staff while on school property or at school events.

Free Counseling Sessions Available to Students and Staff

Fargo Public Schools (FPS) is pleased to offer additional counseling opportunities to all students and staff members thanks to a newly awarded 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.


Please see below the 2021 May/June Letter Day Calendar. Please Click the following link for a printable version: May/June Calendar.

Our bell schedules and instructional level calendars are always posted on our Discovery website. We also gave each student a printed copy in their Advisory class.

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Upcoming Events

May 17

  • No school - Storm Make-up Day

May 19

  • Co-Curricular Music Groups - Outdoor performance
  • 6th Grade @ 11:10
  • 7th/8th Grade @ 12:15

May 31

  • No school - Memorial Day

June 3

  • Last day of classes

Music Performance in May

On Wednesday, May 19th, the co-curricular music groups (Vivo, Primo, Jazz and Honor Bands, Chamber Orchestra, Con Brio, Eaglets, and Soaring Strings) will present two outdoor performances for immediate family members. The 6th grade co-curricular groups will perform at 11:10am. The 7th/8th grade co-curricular groups will perform at 12:15pm. The performance will be held on the south side of Discovery near the auditorium. Immediate family members who would like to attend either concert should park in the south lot. Plan to bring lawn chairs, your lunch and some sun protection. If inclement weather is forecasted, the concerts will be moved to Thursday, May 20th. Students will need to bring $2 for pizza or bring a lunch from home. If you have further questions, please contact your child’s music teacher (Mrs. Barnum, Mrs. Ruef, Mr. Lucht, Mr. Salzer, or Mrs. Stotts). We’re are excited to show a little bit of what we have accomplished this year. See you then!


Congratulations to 8th grade Latin student Prince Tarlue who earned a Maxima Cum Laude Silver medal for outstanding performance on the National Latin Exam.

Friendly Reminder from Mrs. Donat

All library books are due Tuesday, May 25th.

PLD, Power Cord, and Case Turn-In

PLD's, power cords, and cases will be turned in June 1-3.
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Summer School and PLD’s

  • Incoming 9th graders: Pick up PLD at summer school location (Davies or South High) on the first day of summer school.

  • Incoming 7th and 8th graders: PLD will be checked out to students for summer school at Discovery June 1-3.

Summer Reading Ideas

Read aloud to younger kiddos! 6th grade FACS students enjoyed reading E for Everyone books in the library with Mrs. Donat after reviewing read-aloud techniques. The reader and listener benefit in this great summer activity!

Join a summer reading program; earn incentive prizes!

Read a book from a “best of the best” linked list.

Association for Library Service to Children Notable Books of 2021

goodreads Voted Best Middle School Books 2020

Common Sense Media Best Books for Kids

Newbery Medal

Coretta Scott King Award

Pura Belpré Award

Robert F. Sibert Informational Book Medal

Barnes and Noble Book Awards

Read a Sora eBook or listen to an audiobook.

FPS website<Learning Portal<Middle School Resources<Sora icon (On student devices, open Chrome; Middle School Resources is the home page.)

Sora highlights books in many categories for quick selection. Here are a couple!

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Join Cross Country!!

Looking for a fun and exciting sport to join? Cross Country may be the perfect fit! You will learn team building and leadership skills as well as experience the sport of endurance running. All students are welcome no matter your ability or experience.

Any boys entering 7th or 8th grade interested in participating in cross country, please contact John Watkin at

Any girls entering 7th or 8th grade interested in participating in cross country, please contact Jason Edwards at


As the end of the school year rapidly approaches the Discovery Counselors are working to finish up our end of the year programming. We will be visiting classrooms for our final lessons, helping out with scheduling, prepping our new 6th graders for their transition to middle school, and communicating with families as needed. All summer school letters and information has been sent out. If you have any questions regarding summer school please feel free to reach out to your child’s counselor. We look forward to a fun end of the year and are excited for 2021-2022!

Mr. Napton: A-D - 446-3314

Mrs. Ferderer: E-J - 446-3318

Mrs. Harmelink: K-Q - 446-3312

Mr. Snowden: R-Z - 446-3313

Summer School 2021 Sign Up - Registration open until May 19

Summer School 2021 Registration Booklet is now available on along with the program details.

Summer School registration for high school classes and all sports camps opened Tuesday, March 2nd. Families are able to pay fees for Middle School Music Camps, Highway Safety, Summer Leadership School, and some sports camps as part of the on-line registration:

Middle School Registration is also available on the website now.

EL Summer School Registration

  • Elementary EL will also use a google link that will be completed with help from the students’ EL teacher.
  • Middle school EL will use the regular middle school registration link that will be sent to families by March 2nd.
  • High School EL will use the regular registration line
  • Semester 1: June 8 – 30 (EL K – 12)
  • Semester 2; July 6 – 28 (EL Grade 6 – 12 Only)
    • Face to Face on-campus M-Th or 100% Virtual with required daily Zoom class meeting

To our current 6th and 7th Graders who will be 7th and 8th grade the school year of 2021-22:

Summer school will be offered in both summer semesters this year. The first semester will run June 8th through June 30th and the second semester will run July 6th through July 28th Monday through Friday 8:00-12:00. Families can choose to participate fully face to face or fully virtual. Friday’s will be fully virtual for all to allow for weekend flexibility.

To our current 8th graders who will be 9th graders the school year of 2021-22:

Summer school will be offered in both summer semesters this year. The first semester will run June 8th through June 30th and the second semester will run July 6th through July 28th Monday through Thursday 8:00-2:00 and Friday 9:00-2:00. Families can choose to participate in a hybrid model or fully virtual. Friday’s will be fully virtual for all to allow for weekend flexibility.

Targeted Reading and Targeted Math classes will be offered for students entering 7th, 8th, and 9th grade in need of additional support in Math and Reading content areas. Families will be sent a letter with more information if their child is recommended for summer school by Discovery. You can also sign them up as a parent by using the link at the end of this message.

Exploration Science and Exploration Social Studies are opportunities that will continue to be offered. New this summer is the addition of Exploration Reading and Exploration Math. In these classes, students will work collaboratively to tackle real-world, current event situations while expanding their Middle School learning opportunities. The Exploration classes are open to all students entering 7th and 8th grades.

If you have any questions please contact your student’s counselor.

A-D Sean Napton 446.3314

E-J Taylor Ferderer 446.3318

K-Q Katie Harmelink 446.3312

R-Z Joseph Snowden 446.3313

Use the link below to register. Registration closes Friday, May 21st.

Intermediate Summer Band - Registration open until May 19

Intermediate Summer Band will meet from June 8 - June 30, 2021. The program will run Monday through Thursday and is available to any Fargo resident who has completed 6th or 7th grade band. We will meet in the Discover Middle School Auditorium for an informational meeting at 1:00 p.m. on June 8, 2021, where you will receive the final schedule, procedures, contact information, and have your questions answered. Please see the attached link for more information: link
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  • An estimated 1:12 children had asthma in 2017.
  • Asthma is the leading chronic health condition among children.
  • Asthma is more common in children than adults.
  • The top reason that children miss school is related to asthma.
  • o There were 13.8 million missed school days related to asthma in 2013.

Asthma is a chronic disease of inflamed airways and lungs, characterized by recurrent episodes of shortness of breath (difficulty breathing) wheezing, coughing and chest tightness. It can occur at any age but is frequently diagnosed in children. Asthma attacks may be triggered by a variety of factors including cold air, viruses, cigarette smoke, anxiety, and exercise. If your child has been diagnosed with asthma, he/she may be on maintenance and/or emergency medications to help control this disease. Your child may need to keep some medication at school or with him/her. School policy states that a child may keep and receive medication at school with a "request for medication administration" signed both by the doctor and the parent. In more serious cases, if a child needs to always keep an inhaler or emergency medication with him/her, a "request for self-administration" may also be completed by the physician and signed by the parent. Pediatricians in the Fargo/Moorhead clinics should have these forms available at their offices. Parents may also be asked to complete an "Emergency Care Plan" if their child has any medical condition related to the Asthma, which could potentially cause a medical emergency while at school. If you have any questions or need forms, please contact your school nurse.

Please view the link below for more information related to asthma.

SRO Corner with Officer Kjonaas - Fargo Police Explorers Opportunity

Police explorers is a career-oriented program that gives young adults the opportunity to explorer a career in law enforcement by working with local law enforcement. The program is available to students who will be 14 years old when the program begins in the fall of 2021. The program provides educational training programs for young adults on the purposes, mission and objectives of law enforcement. It also provides career orientation experiences, leadership opportunities and community service activities. The primary goals of the program are to help young adults choose a career path within law enforcement and to challenge them to become responsible citizens of their community.

Explorers will participate in numerous activities to include: Tour of facilities, Ride-Alongs, Dispatch tour, Police K-9 Demo, Firearm Safety, Use of Force, Defensive Tactics, Arrest and Search Procedures, Fire Department Tour, Drug Enforcement, DUI Enforcement, SWAT and BOMB, Crime Scenes, Traffic Stops, Traffic and Crowd Control, Community Events, a Summer Field Trip, and an Award Ceremony.


  • Interest in Law Enforcement
  • Age 14 to 20
  • Clear Criminal Record
  • Respectable Driving Record
  • 2.0 GPA or Better
  • Mature, responsible, self-disciplined and dedicated
  • Attend at least 70% of the meetings
  • Be willing to volunteer time
  • Pay annual dues for insurance and remain current

How to Join

To apply, you must complete an application using the link below. For questions or more information, contact Lt. George Vinson at 701.476.4092.

City of Fargo Police Department


Students planning to participate in athletics in the 2021-2022 school year can get their physical done and turned into their school office before the end of the school year. Any physical dated after April 15, 2021 is good for the 2021-2022 school year. All athletes will need a new physical on file before they can participate in their athletic activity.
Don't wait - get it done today!

The "Form B" option that was available this year will not be an option for 2021-2022.

Click here to download the NDHSAA Approved Physical Form

Physical Information from NDHSAA:
Prior to participation (including practice) a student participating in NDHSAA sanctioned athletic activities and representing his/her school must have on file with their school, an annual NDHSAA-approved Athletic Pre-Participation Health History Screening and Physical Examination clearance form completed by a qualified health care professional (i.e. Doctor of Medicine of Osteopathy, Nurse Practitioner or Physician Assistant under the supervision of a physician); the Athletic Pre-Participation Health History Screening and Physical Examination is valid for one school year; a physical examination completed before April 15 is not valid for participation the following school year.


Fall 2021 Co-curricular start dates will be updated soon on the Discovery website. All dates are subject to change. Discovery's Co-curricular parent/athlete meeting is scheduled for Thursday, September 2nd at 6:00 p.m. in the auditorium.

Co-curricular Activities Start Dates


For absences, please call the Attendance Office directly at 701-446-3310 or email at Please leave a message if the call is not picked up right away.

If you are planning on picking up your student during the school day, please call the Attendance Office as early as possible so that we can get your student a pass and have them ready in the office.


PLD Help Students can find immediate help for their PLD on the FPS Student Tech Help page located on Middle Level Resources.

If they can’t find what they need, they can email Mrs. Hyde at for additional help.

Adventures For Teens

View the online middle school newsletter for teens.

Discovery Middle School

Amy Herrick, Principal

Amanda Quintus, Assistant Principal

Dan Shultis, Assistant Principal