Discovery Middle School

Newsletter - March 2021

Building a Foundation for Success!

This Month's Newsletter Features the Following:

  • Upcoming Distance Learning Days
  • Frequently Asked Questions (as we are "Full Back")
  • 6th & 8th Grade Transition Events (including Eagle Expo and 8th Grade Send Off)
  • March Letter Day Calendar and upcoming events
  • Upcoming NDSA testing (North Dakota State Assessment)
  • Youth Risk Behavior Survey Information
  • Student Leadership Update
  • Summer School Sign Up
  • Attendance Reminder
  • Spring Break Meals
  • In Need of Masks?
  • School Counselors
  • Kindergarten Registration
  • Trollwood Summer Registration
  • PTA Message - Call for donations to Liz's Closet
  • Yearbook Deadline - March 5
  • SRO Corner: Vaping...what should parents be looking for?
  • Spring Sports Practice dates & information
  • Library Happenings: PLD Checkups and Reminders, March Library Fun, Fargo Public Library, Digital Safety
  • Entrance to the Building During School Hours
  • Adventures for Teens Link

Upcoming Distance Learning Days Information

In partnership with Fargo Cass Public Health (FCPH) and other Cass County school systems, Fargo Public Schools (FPS) has arranged for specific days in March and April for our staff to be vaccinated. In order to complete staff vaccinations in the most efficient manner for both FCPH and FPS, school operations will be impacted. Therefore, Fargo Public Schools will have students learn asynchronously via distance learning on the following days: Thursday, March 11, Friday, March 12, Wednesday, March 31, Thursday, April 1. Our Secondary students will have access to asynchronous lessons and assignments for each of their scheduled classes.


Here are the details from Discovery regarding the asynchronous lessons:


  • There will not be asynchronous lessons or assignments for advisory or for study hall on those days.
  • For the March 11th and 12th distance learning days, students must complete the assignment/exit ticket by March 23 to be counted present.
  • For the March 31 and April 1 distance learning days, students must complete the assignment/exit ticket by April 6 to be counted present.
  • Secondary and teachers will plan 35 to 45 minute asynchronous lessons/activities for each of their class periods.
  • Your child’s teachers will post the asynchronous lessons/activities and assignments/exit tickets for distance learning by 7:00 am each day in EduCal.

Important Building-Wide Information

As we find ourselves a full month into "full back", we wanted to take some time to reiterate some important building-wide information with students, families and staff.


Here are some important questions that are most frequently asked:


Any changes to lockers?


No.


Students will be able to continue to use their lockers as they did during hybrid. We will continue to follow the same requirements for safe locker usage:

· Students may visit their locker at the beginning of school and at the end of the day, unless they have a lunch, then they can stop at their locker to pick that up on the way to the lunchroom.

Lockers are for coats, hats, cold weather wear, after school activities items and anything they don't want to carry around for the day.

· Students may choose not to use lockers and use their backpacks instead.

· Students may not congregate at their locker before, during the day or after school. If this is an issue, locker usage may be revoked until proper social distancing protocol can be observed.

· Students need to take with them what they need for the day (other than a lunch) and may not stop at their locker in between classes.

· Students should use hand sanitizer before and after using their locker and combination lock.


What are the expectations about cell phones and other electronic devices?

Students typically are told to store their cell phones in their lockers. Not all students are utilizing lockers at this time, therefore, students will be able to have their cell phones in their backpacks, zippered binders or on their person during the school day.

However-please note:

Students should silence their phones or turn them off during the day.

· Students should not have their phones out in the classroom or hallways unless specifically instructed by a teacher or staff member. If it is showing in a pocket, that is fine, it just cannot be physically out in their hands/laps/desks.

· We will still follow the: we see it, we hear it, we take it as we have done in the past.

· Student cellphones will be turned into the main office to the grade level principal. Students will get one warning when it is turned into the main office. The next time, the student's parents/guardians will need to come and pick up the student phone.

· Cellphones are often one of the germiest things around, please encourage your child to wipe their phone down as often as they can using appropriate sanitizing wipes for technology.

· Students should make sure they have their "find my phone" app and report any missing phones to the school resource officer if they are certain it is lost or may be stolen


Use of Airpods or Headphones

The use of airpods or headphones while in the building/classrooms will be treated in the same manner as the cell phone policy above. Airpods and/or Headphones should not be worn in the hallways during passing time so students can be aware of their surroundings.


What will passing time look like?

Students are to wear their masks and walk on the right side of the hallway during passing time. Students may not congregate in the locker bays or hallways but must walk directly to their next period class. There are lines marking the hallway "lanes" and directional arrows in the hallways and in the stairwells.

For dismissal at the end of the day, students are encouraged to exit from one of the three main door areas (gym-door 31, main-door 30, auditorium-door 28) Please have a conversation with your child about the best door for them to exit from given the mode that they travel home (picked up in south parking lot, bus, picked up in west parking lot, etc


What is the dress code at Discovery?

It is observed district-wide. Please see AP 6325 Student Dress

Transition Events (for incoming 6th graders & outgoing 8th graders)!

On another note, as we find ourselves in the month of March, the Admin team has been busy planning for our "Transitions" which includes our outgoing 8th graders (To Davies) and our incoming 6th graders (Coming from our feeder elementary schools).


Counselors have been at our feeder elementary schools meeting with incoming 5th graders and assisting them in registering for their classes at Discovery for next year!


For our 8th graders, the counselors have continued to meet with them to pick and register for their 9th grade course selections at Davies for next year!


Future Eagles Expo (for incoming 6th grade students):

We are in the process of planning what our Eagles Expo is going to "look like" given the current Instructional Level and COVID protocols agreed upon across the district. At this time, we cannot conduct field trips and we are continuing to limit in school visitors. Also, it is important to note that, at this time, all transition events (across the district) are to be conducted virtually. Therefore, Discovery is still continuing to plan for this event and will provide further information in the coming weeks for incoming 6th graders and their families.

Tentative Dates for the Eagles Expo are April 13th and 15th.


8th Grade Send Off/Celebration:

For our current 8th grade students, we are also in the process of planning an event in which we celebrate our outgoing 8th graders (as has been previously done in the past, such as the Clap Out). As to what this will "look like", again we must operate within the guidelines that the district has set forth at this time. Current 8th grade Student Leadership participants are in the initial brainstorming phase about possible ideas. The Send Off/Celebration will take place during the last week of school in June 2021. Stay tuned for more information!

Smart Restart Update

See the Smart Restart Update from 3.4.2021 regarding Distance Learning Days.

MARCH LETTER DAY CALENDAR

Please see below the 2021 March Letter Day Calendar. Please Click the following link for a printable version: Revised March 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

March 1


  • 6th Grade Boys & Girls Basketball Begins



March 15-19

  • No Classes - Spring Break


March 29

  • 7th & 8th Grade Track Begins (tentative)

Upcoming NDSA Testing for All students

North Dakota State Assessment or NDSA testing will still occur across the state and district this school year.


The testing window is March 15- May 7, 2021. Discovery students will be taking the NDSA test in April 2021. The testing date is still to be determined and therefore, more information will follow.


Testing includes the following content areas- Math & English Language Arts (and Writing). 8th grade students will also take the Science portion of the NDSA. All testing will occur through an online testing platform.

2021 Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS) & 2021 Youth Tobacco Survey (YRBS)

Discovery Middle School’s 7th and 8th graders will be taking part in the 2021 North Dakota Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS) and the 2021 North Dakota Youth Tobacco Survey (YTS) sponsored by the North Dakota Department of Public Instruction and Department of Health on Tuesday, 3/23/21 during Advisory. The YRBS survey will ask about nutrition, physical activity, injuries, tobacco, alcohol, other drug use, sexual behavior and school climate. The content of the YTS survey includes tobacco questions related to: prevalence (electronic vapor products, cigarettes, smokeless tobacco, cigars, and pipes); knowledge and attitudes; cessation; environmental tobacco smoke; media and advertising; minors' access; and school curriculum.


Students in grades 7-8 will be asked to fill out a questionnaire that takes about 45 minutes to complete. Doing this survey will cause no risk to students. The survey has been designed to protect student privacy. No student or class will ever be mentioned by name in a report of the results. The results of the survey will help establish trends over time that can be utilized in school planning and curriculum development.


We would like all selected students to take part in the survey, but the survey is voluntary. No action will be taken against the school, you, or your child, if your child does not take part. Students can skip any question they do not wish to answer. In addition, students may stop participating in the survey at any point without penalty.


The survey will be available in the front office for you to preview if you desire. At this time, if you decide you do not want your child to take part in the survey, we will have you sign the appropriate form.

STUDENT LEADERSHIP UPDATE

2020-2021 has been a different year for our Student Leadership program. Up until second semester, we had held mostly virtual meetings and were unable to participate in many of our usual events. Given the circumstances, our students have still done a great job at representing Student Leadership at Discovery by going on the morning announcements, planning a spirit week this past fall, and continuing to be positive role models within our building. Throughout the remainder of the year, we look forward to more in person meetings and events. Some things for our students to look forward to include planning a spirit week, hat day, Discovery clean up day, teacher room service, and more! We look forward to continuing to work on cultivating leadership skills and making a positive impact at Discovery.

Summer School 2021 Sign Up

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


Summer School registration for high school classes and all sports camps will open 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 www.fargosummerschool.com
  • 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 8t 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.

https://forms.gle/9eqiqoU68CBuacYE6

ATTENDANCE- REMINDER

For absences, please call the Attendance Office directly at 701-446-3310 or email at dmattendance@fargo.k12.nd.us. 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.

SPRING BREAK MEALS

Fargo Public Schools (FPS) is offering FREE food assistance for enrolled FPS students while school is closed for Spring Break March 15-19. Food boxes will be available to all students regardless of financial means to ensure all have access to food when not in school. All students, whether learning in-person or in the Virtual Academy, are encouraged to participate. Food boxes must be preordered.


What: FREE Spring Break Food Boxes

Order Deadline:

  • Tuesday, March 9 at 4:00 p.m.

Pickup Time:

  • Thursday, March 11
  • 3:00 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.

Pickup Location:

  • FPS Operations Center
  • 3901 40th Avenue South

Click here to preorder food boxes.

*Families with more than one student must place separate orders for each student.

IN NEED OF MASKS?

Discovery Middle School has received donations of over 1300 brand new masks. Because of this generous donation, we are able to provide new masks to those who need them. If your student is in need of a new mask or two, please contact Benjamin Jystad-Spar (jystadb@fargoschools.org) or Daniel Otto (ottod@fargoschools.org) with the following information:

  • Student Name

  • Grade Level

  • Team Name

We will work on getting a new mask or two to students in need until supplies run out. Thank you for continuing to support Discovery Middle School as we strive to provide a great educational experience while making sure students and staff are safe.

SCHOOL COUNSELORS

This past month, our Discovery School Counselors have been working on registration for the 2021-2022 school year. We have visited our current 6th and 7th graders Science classrooms to get them registered, held individual meetings with our current 8th graders to prepare them for their transition to Davies, and have started to travel to our feeder elementary schools to prepare the 5th graders for their transition to Discovery. It is a busy time of year, but also very exciting as we think to next year and all of the upcoming opportunities for our Discovery students. We will soon be sending out information regarding summer school, so please be on the lookout for more information to come! If you have any questions regarding registration for your student, please reach out to your student’s counselor.


Mr. Napton A-D – 446-3314

Mrs. Ferderer E-J – 446-3318

Mrs. Harmelink K-Q – 446-3312

Mr. Snowden R-Z – 446-3313

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KINDERGARTEN REGISTRATION OPENED FEBRUARY 1ST

Kindergarten Registration for Fall 2021 opened 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 school

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

Trollwood Performing Arts School 2021 Summer Registration Open

Get ready to Color Your Summer! Trollwood Performing Arts School is excited to welcome students back to the stage with a full array of 2021 summer performing arts educational opportunities. 2020 was a difficult year for those who are passionate about performing arts. Many classes and performances were canceled due to COVID-19. Upcoming summer arts programming will help students rekindle their affection for the arts, boost their creativity, and pave the way for their future, whether they aspire to pursue a career in the arts or any other professional opportunities. Click this link to register. Click this link to view the full programming brochure.

Calling all Discovery Families!

As the new year and new semester has started, Liz’s Closet has handed out many face masks, water bottles, personnel care items and many other things to our students on a daily basis. It’s time to restock the shelves but during a pandemic it’s hard to do. PTA has partnered with Student Services to get those shelves stocked in a safe way for students and staff.


Liz’s Closet was started by a former Davies student and daughter of one of our Discovery Teachers. Liz’s Closet is now in all three middle schools in the Fargo School District. Any student in need can access the closet which is located in Student Services, and any trusted adult in Discovery can help access it. The staff members are very discrete and help the students anonymously with their needs.


Shelf space is limited so instead of purchasing physical items, it has been requested to instead focus on gift cards to retailers such as Amazon, Wal-Mart and Target to name a few. If you are able to help, please send gift cards to the Discovery school office, and they will be distributed where the need is greatest. If you are not able to shop, or want to combine a small gift with others for more impact you can make an online donation with this direct link through PTA School pay https://schoolpay.com/link/Lizs-Closet-donation-2021


Let’s work together and get the shelves stocked in Liz’s Closet.


Discovery PTA

YEARBOOKS - DEADLINE MARCH 5TH

Yearbook orders will be taken online through SchoolPay. The cost is $20.00. To ensure that your child will receive a yearbook at the end of the year, it must be ordered and paid for in advance. The deadline for ordering a yearbook is Friday, March 5, 2021.

SRO Corner with Officer Kjonaas: Vaping...what should parents be looking for?

Fargo Cass Public Health is committed to protecting our youth and preventing minors from purchasing, using or possessing tobacco products, including all vaping devices. We continue to see vaping throughout our schools and youth use beginning at a younger age. As parents, it is important to know what to look for as the tobacco industry continues to evolve. These devices are easily concealed and disposable vape usage is on the rise. There are many popular brands on the market, such as Air Bar, Hyde, Luxe, Mr. Fog. Most of these devices are extremely discreet and come in many flavors like Blueberry Ice, Aloe Grape and Neon Rain. The amount of puffs per device depends on the device itself, however, we’ve seen devices offer up to 2,500 puffs. Disposable devices do not need to be charged and use a salt-based nicotine that the human body absorbs easily.


What to look for:

  • Have there been changes in your kids’ behavior such as increased mood swings, irritability, anxiety, or impulsivity?
  • Are your kids suffering from more frequent headaches or nausea?
  • Are there sweet/fruity smells coming from behind closed doors?
  • Are there small vials or eye dropper bottles?
  • Unfamiliar chargers, coils, or batteries?
  • Are you hearing terminology used that you’ve never heard before or seems out of place (like ‘zero out’, ‘I lost my pen’, or referencing people’s names you don’t know)?


We encourage you to learn more at our website: www.sickofbeingaddicted.com.


You can also check out this video about vaping and what we are seeing locally in our schools, https://youtu.be/EFuC5F_P1Tk.

SPRING SPORTS PRACTICE DATES

The NDHSAA has outlined the starting dates for spring activities. Please check out the following information and contact the coach if you have any questions or concerns.


Track 7/8th : March 29

Tentative start date due to weather. https://www.fargo.k12.nd.us/Page/41

Dave Lee - leed@fargo.k12.nd.us

Sean Napton - naptons@fargo.k12.nd.us


Track (6th Grade): April 5 or 12

Tentative start date based on the start date of 7/8th grade track and field. Please stay tuned to the Discovery website for updates. https://www.fargo.k12.nd.us/Page/41

Brent Aasby - aasbyb@fargo.k12.nd.us

Jeremy Nesvold nesvolj@fargo.k12.nd.us

Crystal Ridl - ridlc@fargo.k12.

Baseball: March 22
Hans Anderson

Phone: 701-446-3548

Email

Softball: March 22
Courtney Walsh

Phone: 701-446-2079

Email

Girls Soccer: March 29
Nick Christianson

Phone: 701-446-4058

Email


Girls Tennis: April 5
Paul Kolesar

Phone: 701-446-5715

Email

Boys Golf: April 12
Adam Gronaas

Phone: 701-446-5725 Email


PHYSICAL AND CONCUSSION FORMS

Prior to participating in NDHSAA sanctioned athletic activities (including practice), the student must have on file with the school a current NDHSAA approved physical and concussion form. Preparticipation Physical Examinations completed for the 2019-20 school year will be accepted during the 2020-21 school year upon submission of a parent and athlete signed waiver (previously known as Form B). Students who did not have a Preparticipation Physical Examinations completed for the 2019-20 school year must complete a Preparticipation Physical Examinations completed for the 2020-21 school year. The NDHSAA recently approved a new physical form for use beginning April 15, 2020. The new physical forms are available for download from the NDHSAA website.


When you completed your student’s online registration there was a question asking if your student is participating in a sport. If yes, you were directed to the required online concussion and HIPPA forms to sign electronically. Paper copies will not be accepted.


CO-CURRICULAR MEETINGS

All students planning to participate in any co-curricular activity (i.e. Athletics, Music, Drama, Speech, Debate, Student Congress, DECA, FBLA, Skills USA, etc.) and their parent/guardian should refer to and complete their co-curricular meeting online.


This meeting can be viewed online via the registration forms in each parent’s PowerSchool account. When you registered your student you were directed to view the online co-curricular meeting at that time.


If students/parents have any questions they should refer to the Student Activitiy Handbook, Student Activities Website or contact their building Activity Coordinator.


FEE WAIVERS

If a student is financially unable to participate in an activity requiring a fee, waivers or other resources are often available to assist. The typical guideline used for eligibility is qualifying for free or reduced lunch. Students are encouraged to visit with their counselor if they may qualify or need any assistance.

PLD Checkup

It is that time of year already where we are starting to talk about the end of the year. Students will have a PLD check up to be sure PLD’s are still in good working order next month. The PLD will be checked to be sure it does not have damage and that the student has the PLD, power cord, and carrying bag. These will all have to be returned at the end of the school year in good condition.

Important PLD Reminders for Your Student

  1. To avoid screen damage and a $20 repair fee, students should never carry a PLD by the screen. The safest way to carry a PLD is by its base or in its case!
  2. Please encourage your child to bring his/her PLD, charging cord, and earbuds in the PLD case to school daily. There should be no extra items such as papers and pencils in the PLD case.
  3. At school games should not be played on a student’s PLD unless they have been assigned by a teacher for learning purposes.
  4. Students should not install any apps that have not been directed by a teacher.

March Library Fun!

We are celebrating Read Across America Day and Dr. Seuss’s birthday with Seussical trivia and prizes the first week in March.

FARGO PUBLIC LIBRARY

Fargo Public Library offers many teen activities. Events include Teen Winter Read-a-Thon, Virtual Escape Room, and Crafts to Go. Check out the details at the Fargo Public Library site.

Digital Safety

Looking for digital safety activity for your child to do at home with the PLD? This site provides activities that teach and reinforce safe online surfing. Perhaps you will want to work on it as a family!

ENTRANCE TO THE BUILDING DURING SCHOOL HOURS

The safety of our students is our top priority. For that reason, Fargo Public Schools has put in place security measures in elementary and middle schools. It is important to make an appointment with the main office if you wish to see a principal or counselor. We are taking great measures to limit the amount of people in our building as part of the FPS SmartRestart Plan. Due to the FPS Smart Restart Plan, in Levels 1, 2, and 3 Fargo Public Schools is restricting non-essential visitation. Please see the FPS SmartRestart Plan on the Fargo Public Schools website for additional details.


To make an appointment, please call the Discovery Main Office at 701.446.3300.

FPS STUDENT TECH HELP

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 hydeg@fargoschools.org 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