FPS e-Newsletter for November 5, 2020


Feature Column - Native American Heritage Month

November is Native American Heritage Month, and Fargo Public Schools is celebrating the more than 30 Native American cultures that are found in our schools. In this Feature Column, Indian Education Program Coordinator Melody Staebner gives us an Ojibwe language lesson, helps us avoid stereotypical representations, and tells us what are acceptable ways to celebrate Native American culture.

School Board Feature Column - Woodrow Wilson Decision

Following ample research, numerous discussions, and a community engagement process, the Fargo Public Schools Board of Education unanimously approved to rescind the name of Woodrow Wilson High School. In this Feature Column, School Board President Rebecca Knutson tells us about her decision to vote in favor of rescinding the name, what kind of considerations the Board used, and shares data from a community engagement survey.

Woodrow Wilson High School Name Change Submission Period

The Fargo Public Schools (FPS) Board of Education is inviting public input on the new name of Woodrow Wilson High School, per FPS Administrative Policy 3260. Students, staff, and community members wishing to submit a name suggestion may do so using this Naming Process Form. The formal public input period is open through November 8 at 5 p.m. The School Board will select a name based on submissions at a later date. FPS will transition the school to its new name by the beginning of the 2021-2022 school year.


Instructional Level Update

The Fargo Public Schools COVID-19 Instructional Plan Committee has developed an instructional level timeline for elementary and secondary students to return to in-person learning five days a week.

Elementary Schools:

Level 4 – In-Person Instruction four days per week until at least November 30, 2020

Middle Schools:

Level 3 – Hybrid Instruction transition to Level 4 – In-Person Instruction (four days per week)

  • Sixth grade transitions to four days November 30, 2020
  • Seventh grade transitions to four days December 14, 2020
  • Eighth grade transitions to four days January 19, 2021

High Schools:

Level 3 – Hybrid Instruction until January 19, 2021

The FPS COVID-19 Instructional Plan Committee’s adopted plan sets a goal of returning to in-person instruction for all grade levels five days a week beginning the second semester, which begins on January 19, 2021.

To learn more about the decision and how it was made, read this Smart Restart 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.

We'll Get Through This Together - Safety Protocols

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 taking necessary precautions to keep students, teachers, and staff safe while at school.
We'll Get Through This Together - Safety Protocols


Agassiz Excellence Award

Three staff members at the Agassiz building were honored with the Agassiz Excellence Apple Award. Each member has been an integral part in making programs run smoothly through COVID-19. As part of the award, each was given an apple that has special significance. Six years ago, an apple tree was planted outside the building. It is now producing fruit for people to enjoy. Terry Cote, Ila Hegg, and John Rux received the awards.

FEA Teacher of the Month

Congratulations to the September and October Fargo Education Association (FEA) Teachers of the Month! Kathy Vetter of Jefferson Elementary School and Keith Lehman of North High School were the September recipients. Julie Eiler of North High School and Beth Thompson of Ben Franklin Middle School were the October recipients. Thank you all for your hard work and dedication!

South Students Earn Cash for AP Exam Scores

Good grades and cold hard cash! That's what dozens of students have at South High School after receiving high scores on their Advanced Placement (AP) exams, thanks to a program through the National Math and Science Initiative (NMSI). Students who took AP exams in science, technology, engineering, and math were awarded $100 for each high score. Overall, South students earned nearly $13,000 for their efforts, which was a more than $2,000 increase from last year. Click here to learn more about how the NMSI program helps students succeed in STEM fields.

Instructional Resources Awards

Congratulations to Eagles Elementary School Library Media Specialist Jennifer Hess and the Fargo Public Schools Development Foundation for receiving awards at the North Dakota Library Association Annual Conference! Hess was given the Youth Excellence Program of the Year Award, and the foundation was named the School Library Benefactor of the Year. Read this feature article to learn more about these awards and how the recipients were surprised with their honors.


School Out Day - Veterans Day

There will be NO SCHOOL for all students and staff on Wednesday, November 11 as our nation celebrates Veterans Day. The day honors and recognizes those who served in the United States Armed Forces. School will resume as scheduled on Thursday, November 12.

New Administrator Profile

Meet Jaclyn Shultis, the new dean of students at Horace Mann Roosevelt 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 within the district through this profile series.

Watch South Theatre Performance Via Zoom

South High School performs its theatre production of "Almost, Maine" on November 5, 6, 7, and 8. No in-person audience will be allowed; however, those wishing to view the production will be able to watch via live stream for FREE from the comfort of their home.

Show Times:

November 6 @ 7:30 p.m.

November 7 @ 7:30 p.m.

November 8 @ 7:30 p.m.

November 9 @ 2:00 p.m.

Zoom Information:

Zoom link:

Webinar ID# 867 1919 4728

Passcode: 902250

To learn more about the play's storyline and cast, view this production program.

Kennedy Pumpkin Decorating Contest

The Kennedy Elementary School Parent Teacher Association sponsored a virtual pumpkin decorating contest. Many students and their families carved, painted, or bedazzled their gourds. Check out the video below to see the winners that were chosen by district staff, the Fargo Police Department, and the Fargo Fire Department.
Kennedy Pumpkin Contest Winners 2020

Hear for the Kids: Reducing Substance Abuse

Friendships, connections, and activities are important parts of every child's life. They can also be effective tools in keeping youth away from drugs. In this episode of the Hear for the Kids podcast, a member of Level Up Fargo talks about how to help kids find ways to avoid substance abuse.

National School Psychology Week

Fargo Public Schools (FPS) is celebrating National School Psychology Week November 9-13. The recognition highlights everything that school psychologists and educators do to help students thrive. FPS is thankful for the hard work and dedication from our psychology team: Adeline Johnson, Kayla Bunkowski, Sean Soehren, Erica Cossette, and Emily Dillard. For more resources on school psychology, visit the National Association of School Psychologists website.

Outstanding School Counselor Award Nominations

Do you know an outstanding Professional School Counselor? Nominations for the North Dakota Outstanding School Counselor of the Year Award are being accepted now through December 3. Please send nominating letters to your student's building principal. Letters can be a maximum of two pages. The winners will be announced in February at the North Dakota Counseling Association Mid-Winter Conference. In 2020, Carl Ben Eielson Middle School Counselor Kylie Wallender was selected.

AD-Ventures: Seasonal Activities for Kids

AD-Ventures is a district publication intended to help families find activities for their children throughout the community. AD-Ventures for Kids is for youth in grade levels K-5. AD-Ventures for Teens is for youth in grade levels 6-8. These are published on the first of each month during the school year. Click the active links above for the November issue of each publication.


Nutrition Services Frozen Meals

Fargo Public Schools Nutrition Services is rivaling even the most popular frozen meal brands with its creativity and resourcefulness. The team has overcome many challenges as everyone adapts to COVID-19, and it is finding ways to make sure all students get the nutritious food they need, whether they are learning at school or at home. Read this feature article to learn more about the innovative and delicious foods the Nutrition Services team is making.

Cookie President Election

Madison Elementary School students got a delicious Election Day lesson. They all got a chance to vote on the next "Cookie President." Everyone was given a chocolate chip cookie and a fudge stripe cookie to do "research" on each candidate. They then submitted their votes for their favorite cookie. After counting the ballots, the fudge stripe cookie was declared the winner.


City of Fargo Recycling Month

The City of Fargo and MinnKota Recycling are holding a "Cans to Cartons" Recycling Challenge throughout November. MinnKota Recycling will donate one cent per pound of aluminum cans to the Fargo Public Schools Got No Milk program, which provides milk for elementary students for their mid-morning snack. Read this release from the City of Fargo to learn more about the program and recycling drop-off sites.


- 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.