FPS e-Newsletter for November 19, 2020


Cabinet Column - Virtual Academy Options

Fargo Public Schools has adapted and grown its Virtual Academy options as we navigate COVID-19. We are committed to ensuring the safest education environment for students and staff. In this Cabinet Column, Associate Superintendent Dr. Robert Grosz explains the Virtual Academy options for elementary, middle, and high school levels.

Feature Column - Winter Activities

Fargo Public Schools is thankful for the activities that it has been able to offer students during the fall amid COVID-19, and it is hopeful that winter and spring activities will return. In this feature column, Director of Student Activities Todd Olson shares details on how the fall season was handled and the expectations for winter and spring activities.

Feature Column - What Should We Call Native Americans?

Fargo Public Schools is committed to creating an environment that welcomes and includes all cultures. That includes learning more about how each individual would like to be referenced. In this feature column, Indian Education Program Coordinator Melody Staebner tells us how to be inclusive and respectful when referring to Native Americans.


Instructional Level Update

The Fargo Public Schools COVID-19 Instructional Plan Committee has modified the timeline for elementary and secondary students to return to in-person learning.

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

To learn the rationale for the modification to the instructional plan, read this letter from Superintendent Dr. Rupak Gandhi.

Student Activities Executive Order

North Dakota Governor Doug Burgum has updated his November 13 executive order, providing a practice timeline for student activity practices during the current suspension. Winter practices may resume November 30 with additional precautions. Those precautions include no locker rooms, coaches must be masked at all times, no travel outside home territories, no spectators, and facilities restricted to players, coaches, and staff. Competitions will continue to be suspended until December 14. Click here to read the full update from Governor Doug Burgum.

*This article has been updated from its original version, as the announcement came after publication.


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.

We'll Get Through This Together - Virtual Academy

Fargo Public Schools (FPS) understands the concerns that students, staff, families, and community members have during COVID-19. The District is committed to giving students safe opportunities to participate in education and activities. Watch the video below to see how FPS is making sure students are getting the education they need and deserve if they choose to learn from home in the Virtual Academy.
We'll Get Through This Together - Virtual Academy


Davies Student Advances to Entrepreneurial Showcase

Davies High School student Zoe Bundy is part of finalist team in a statewide entrepreneurial competition. Bundy has been participating in the Nice Idea program, which is put on by The Nice Center at North Dakota State University. She and her team will compete on North Dakota Innovation Day (November 19) at 1:00 p.m. to showcase projects that include creativity, problem-solving, and entrepreneurial thinking. To watch Bundy and her team via livestream, following this link to register.

North Cheer Team Win State Stunt Competition

Congratulations to the North High School Cheer Team for its accomplishments in the State Fall Cheer Competition. The stunt team took first place in its category. The girls in that group are Jalana Steinmetz, Sofi Jacobson, Haylee Kenowski, and Hailey Morse. The team also took fourth place in the dance category. The state competition was held at North High School on Saturday, November 14.

South Student Sings for Met Opera Virtual Choir

South High School student Stella Peterson is being featured in a Metropolitan (Met) Opera video showcasing high school students from around the country. Peterson and the other students recorded themselves singing "Prisoners' Chorus" from Beethoven's opera Fidelio. Met Opera technicians then gathered all the videos and edited them together into a virtual choir. Watch the video below to see Peterson and other students sing.
Virtual Choir: Prisoners' Chorus from Fidelio

Students Earn Spots on State Honor Choir

Fargo Public Schools (FPS) is proud of the 24 students who earned positions on the North Dakota American Choral Directors Association (NDACDA) Junior High and Middle Level Honor Choirs. Due to COVID-19, the NDACDA is cancelling the honor choir performance. However, the organization is providing a virtual opportunity for these students to attend workshops with professional musicians in February. Click here for a full list of FPS student who made the honor choir.

Lewis & Clark Teacher Awarded Doosan Discovery Grant

Lewis & Clark Elementary School Gifted and Talented Teacher Stacy Anderson has been awarded a $500 Doosan Discovery Grant. The funds are given to teachers who incorporate creative classroom projects involving science, technology, engineering, or mathematics (STEM). Mrs. Anderson pitched a robotics coding idea that is aimed at sparking creativity and curiosity.


School Out Days - Thanksgiving

There will be NO SCHOOL on November 25, 26, and 27 as our nation celebrates Thanksgiving. The holiday was designed to show gratitude for the year's harvest and events. School will resume as scheduled on Monday, November 30.

Substitute Teachers Needed

Fargo Public Schools is actively recruiting substitute teachers. The effects of COVID-19 have put staffing struggles on many school districts across the country, and the need for substitutes is greater than ever. For more information about substitute qualifications, compensations, and incentives, read this letter from FPS Human Resources.

FPS Federal Credit Union Giving Tree

Many families are in need this holiday season, and you can help make their season brighter. The Fargo Public Schools (FPS) Federal Credit Union is partnering with the District's student wellness and family facilitators to host a Giving Tree. To learn how to participate and what items are needed, view this poster.

New Administrator Profile

Meet Lori Nappe, the new dean of students for the Virtual Academy Elementary School. She is one of several new administrators either changing roles or joining Fargo Public Schools this school year. Get to know these new administrators through this profile series.


Clara Barton Hawthorne Holiday Store

Clara Barton Hawthorne is continuing its gift giving lesson and tradition through its Holiday Store. More than 1,000 items are currently set up in a room at Clara Barton so students can buy gifts for their loved ones for just $1 each. To learn more about the holiday tradition and how it is changing due to COVID-19 this year, read this feature article.

JROTC Program Serves Community

The Fargo Public Schools Junior Reserve Officers' Training Corps (JROTC) program has been able to stay active in the community in a safe way during COVID-19. In the last few weeks, members have done various color guards and service projects. Read this article to learn more about how the program members have helped our community and see pictures of their work.


Board Feature Column - Governmental Affairs Committee Priorities

The Fargo Board of Education's Governmental Affairs Committee advocates at the local, state, and federal levels for public education. Currently, the committee is focusing on two priority categories: behavioral health and education funding. In this feature column, Board Member Robin Nelson explains why these areas are important and what the committee is hoping to achieve.

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 November 10 regular meeting of the Fargo School Board. For more information, visit the School Board website.


Flu Shot Clinic

Fargo Cass Public Health will hold a walk-in flu shot clinic on Friday, November 20. Those wishing to receive a flu shot are encouraged to register ahead of their visit. To do so, visit the North Dakota Vaccination Registration Website.

What: Walk-in Flu Shot Clinic

When: November 20 from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

Where: Fargo Cass Public Health, 1240 25th St S, Fargo

For more information on the clinic, view this release from Fargo Cass Public Health.

Fargo Public Library Crafts to Go

Need an activity to keep the family busy during Thanksgiving break? The Fargo Public Library is offering a number of craft kits for you to pick up and bring home. Children can get supplies for a foam ball turkey, teens can enjoy a snowflake ornament craft, and adults can pick up supplies and instructions for a book page tree. These craft kits are available Monday, November 23.


- 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.