FPS e-Newsletter for December 10, 2020


#FPSLearns - Annual Report Access

The Fargo Public Schools (FPS) 2019-20 Annual Report is now available to view. In this #FPSLearns video, Superintendent Dr. Rupak Gandhi demonstrates how to access the annual report from the FPS website. He also provides details on some report highlights. You can access the full Annual Report document at this link.
#FPSLearns 2019-2020 Annual Report Release

Feature Column - Getting Creative with Nutrition

School nutrition programs across the country have been asked to run increasingly complex operations during COVID-19. The Fargo Public Schools Nutrition Services team has risen to the occasion and gotten creative with dishes that work well both in cafeterias and in take-home meal formats. In this feature column, Nutrition Services Director Cindy Hogenson outlines the many adaptations from her team. She also shares details regarding which COVID-19 related changes could become permanent.

Feature Column - Marketing Education Opportunities

Entrepreneurial ideas are all around us, we just need to open our eyes to them. Fargo Public Schools high school learners have a considerable edge to explore their entrepreneurial mindset and management skills through Career and Technical Education (CTE) pathways in Marketing Education and co-curricular activities. In this feature column, CTE Director Dr. Denise Jonas tells us about all the opportunities students at FPS have in the entrepreneurial world.


Updated Quarantine Guidelines

On Wednesday, December 2, the North Dakota Department of Heath issued new guidance reducing the number of days close contacts need to quarantine following an exposure to a COVID-positive individual. Fargo Public Schools has adopted this guidance, which is now in effect for staff members and students. To learn more about the new quarantine guidelines, read this letter from Superintendent Dr. Rupak Gandhi.

Instructional Level Update

On December 7, the Fargo Public Schools (FPS) COVID-19 Instructional Plan Committee decided to keep the current timeline for elementary and secondary students to return to in-person learning. The plan is as follows:

Elementary Schools:

Level 4 – In-Person Instruction (4 days per week) until January 19, 2021

Middle Schools:

Level 3 – Hybrid Learning until January 19, 2021

High Schools:

Level 3 – Hybrid Learning until January 19, 2021

It is important to know that the FPS COVID-19 Instructional Plan Committee will adapt and make changes based on new information or guidance, if needed. For more details about this instructional plan decision, 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, 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.


Juelke to Set Up Scholarship with Award Funds

Fargo Public Schools is proud of South High School English Learner Language Arts Teacher Leah Juelke for her accomplishments and becoming at Top 10 Finalist for the Global Teacher Prize. The winner was announced December 3 via a virtual awards ceremony. Ranjitsinh Disale, a teacher from India, won the $1 million prize. Disale decided to share half of his prize money with the other nine finalists. Juelke will now receive $55,000 and has decided to use the money to develop a scholarship fund. For more details about Juelke and her mission for the scholarship, read this feature article.

Davies Student Selected as Coca-Cola Scholarship Semifinalist

Davies High School Senior Emily Gao has been chosen as a 2020-21 Coca-Cola Scholars Program Semifinalist. She is one of just over 1,600 semifinalists from nearly 100,000 applicants this year. Coca-Cola will award 150 students with $20,000 through this scholarship program. Winners will be announced at a later date.

FEA Educator of the Month

Congratulations to the November Fargo Education Association (FEA) Educators of the Month! The teacher of the month is Patty Donat from Discovery Middle School. The support staff of the month is Carol Maus from Jefferson Elementary School. Every month, colleagues nominate each other through sharing gratitude and recognition. One teacher and one support staff member are selected.


State of the Schools Address & Public Focus Group

The Fargo Public Schools will hold the 2020-21 virtual State of the Schools Address & Public Focus Group on Thursday, January 14, 2021 at 7:00 p.m. Parents, staff, and community members are invited to participate and are encouraged to pre-register by noon on December 30, 2020 by signing up online at Questions posed in the focus groups will concentrate on scheduling the school calendar and instructional time in Fargo Public Schools. Reading materials for attendees are available online. Focus group information will be sent electronically in advance of the event. For more information, visit

Board Approves New Name for Woodrow Wilson High School

At its December 8 meeting, the Fargo Public Schools Board of Education chose Dakota High School as the new name for the existing Woodrow Wilson High School. The current name will be retired following the 2020-21 school year. The new name will be in place for the 2021-22 school year.

School Out Days - Winter Break

There will be NO SCHOOL December 24, 2020 through January 3, 2021 for Fargo Public Schools Winter Break. Classes resume as scheduled on January 4, 2021. Fargo Public Schools wishes you a safe and happy Winter Break!

Free Winter Break Take-Home Meals

Fargo Public Schools (FPS) is offering free breakfasts and lunches to students during winter break. Meals must be pre-ordered by 4:00 p.m. on Thursday, December 17. Meals will be available for pickup on Wednesday, December 23 at a variety of locations and times. Your pickup time and location can be selected when filling out the meal order form. Meals will include both cold and frozen food items. Student names and ID numbers are required at pickup. To order meals, fill out this Winter Break Student Meal Order Form.

Holiday Meal Baskets

Please consider helping make the holiday season brighter for families in our community by donating items for a meal basket. These meal baskets provide Fargo Public Schools students and families with a full holiday meal and other food items to help get them through winter break. Read this informational letter to learn more about how to donate.

The Giving Tree

You are invited to participate in The Giving Tree! The Fargo Public Schools (FPS) Federal Credit Union is partnering with FPS Student Wellness and Family Facilitators to help district students and families in need. The impact of COVID-19 has increased the number of families who are experiencing hardships this year, and the need in the community is greater than ever. Visit this link and view the picture below to learn more about how you can help.
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Trollwood Winter Academy Registration Now Open

The magic of Trollwood Performing Arts School is finally coming back! Several classes are available that fit a wide variety of performance interests. Winter Academy runs January 9 through February 14. Follow these links to view class details and to register:

Click here to register for Totally Trollwood Winter Academy (Grades 5-8)

Click here to register for Trollwood Winter Academy (Grades 9-12)

Caring Catalog Fundraiser

Trollwood Performing Arts School and the Fargo Public Schools Development Foundation are partnering with the FM Area Foundation for its Caring Catalog fundraiser. The donation drive takes place now through December 14. Please consider donating to these worthy causes that help educate and empower students to succeed.

Click here to donate to the FPS Development Foundation.

Click here to donate to Trollwood Performing Arts School.


South High School Choir Performance

With student performances currently on hold, the South High School Belle Orso Voci (BOV) Choir put together a virtual performance of the song "More than Enough" by Susan LaBarr. Two groups of BOV students sang their parts on two different days. They performed under the direction of Choir Teacher Sara Lichtblau. The video was produced by parent Russ Peterson, Technical Director David Wilhelmi, and Jazz Band and Music Composition Teacher Race Hoglund.

“More than Enough” Text by Wendell Berry, Music by Susan LaBarr Text © 2012 Wendell Berry, Music © 2015, Walton Music Corp.

Fargo South BOV Choir, "More than Enough" Music by Susan LaBarr

FPS Mentorship Programs

Fargo Public Schools (FPS) believes the mentorship of new teachers ultimately benefits students. When youth are taught by teachers who receive comprehensive support, their education and knowledge retention abilities grow. This is why FPS offers a number mentorship programs to accelerate teacher talent. To learn more about how the programs operate and their benefits, read this feature article.


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. There will only be one meeting in December and July. Meetings are currently being held at South High School in the Theater to accommodate for social distancing. Read the Board Briefs summarizing the December 8 regular meeting of the Fargo School Board. For more information, visit the School Board website.


Cass Clay Alerts

Fargo residents are encouraged to signed up for Cass Clay Alerts ahead of the winter season. These alerts will notify citizens of Snow Emergency Declarations, street closures, and emergencies. The Cass Clay Alerts system has replaced the previous emergency alert system. To learn more about Cass Clay Alerts, read this message from the City of Fargo.

Santa Village Opening for Season

Santa Village at Rheault Farm in Fargo is set to open for the season on December 12. The North Pole themed experience is free, but guests are encouraged to bring donations such as canned goods, cash, or new toys to support local charities. Keeping COVID-19 in mind, the Fargo Parks District is limiting the in-person experience and reducing operating hours. For full details, visit the Santa Village webpage.

- 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.