Back to School Updates August 2021

First Day of School for ECSE

Our first day of preschool is Thursday August 26, 2021. Although the first day of school for Fargo Public Schools is Wednesday August 25th, we will not have school that day as there is no preschool on Wednesdays.

COVID Update

2021-22 School Year

For the 2021-2022 school year, Fargo Public Schools will strive to resume all school operations to the best of it’s ability while continuing to follow COVID-19 mitigation strategies approved by the Fargo Board of Education. These strategies are:

  • Screening, testing, ventilation, proper handwashing, and respiratory etiquette.
  • Asking students and staff to stay home when experiencing ill symptoms and getting tested.
  • Universal indoor masking for all staff, students, and visitors to buildings.
  • Maintaining three feet of physical distance between students, to the best of the school’s ability.
  • COVID-19 post-exposure guidelines of:
    • Mask to mask exposure: exemption to quarantine
    • Fully vaccinated contacts: if no symptoms, no quarantine but should monitor for symptoms.
    • If one or both individuals are unmasked: 14-day quarantine. Contacts may release from quarantine after day 10 if no symptoms or after day 7 with a negative test collected on day 5 or later.

This approach differs from the 2020-2021 school year where many school operations, such as facility rentals and field trips, and activities were limited or cancelled. At this time, those operations are expected to continue while following the mitigation strategies outlined above.

ECSE thanks you for working with us in our efforts to keep student learning and safety our highest priority and for following the expected mitigation strategies. Please help us continue to keep our school buildings open to families!

Masks and ECSE Students

As stated above, FPS has put several COVID mitigation strategies in place in an effort to keep all our students and staff safe while continuing to keep school open. These mitigations include "universal indoor masking for all staff, students, and visitors to buildings." Many of our ECSE parents are wondering what this means for our district's youngest students. This is the plan moving forward for ECSE:

1. We ask that all parents send 2 masks to school with their child.

2. If a student does not arrive with a mask, we will provide one for them.

3. For those students who struggle wearing masks, we will attempt to build tolerance and stamina in a variety of ways: modeling, positive reinforcement, visual supports, social stories, etc.

4. It is our hope that our students will begin to tolerate mask wearing as best they can, but we will meet each child's individual needs and work from there.

5. All staff and visitors, however, will need to wear masks when inside the building.

6. Masks will not be required, however, when students are on the playground or when parents are dropping off or picking up their child outside of the building.

Arrival and Dismissal Times

Our morning ECSE session will run from 8:00-10:30 am and our afternoon session will run from 12:10 pm-2:40 pm. For students at Agassiz, staff will meet parents dropping off and picking up their students right outside of Door #10 ( along 9th Ave South). For students at Longfellow, staff will meet parents outside Door #14 ( along 29th Ave North close to the playground). We ask that parents wait outside until staff come outside to meet the children. On cold weather days, you may want to wait in your car with your child until you see staff exit the building.

Meals Served At ECSE

Thanks to a federal grant, we will be serving breakfast to our AM students and lunch to our PM students at both Agassiz and Longfellow at no costs to parents. If you prefer to have your child eat a cold meal brought from home, please let your child's teacher know.

Although the meals are free to all students, we do encourage all parents to complete a Student Fees Assistance and Benefits Application at the following link as it may provide additional funding benefits for your family and school. https://secure.ezmealapp.com/ApplicationScreen.aspx

Supply List

Last week we mailed out parent letters with information to include your child's teacher's name and a supply list. While our supply list is quite short, there are a few items that will help your child have a success year at ECSE. In case you did not yet receive the letter, here is the list:

School Supply List for Early Childhood Special Education: Please label your child's school supplies including extra clothing!

  1. Large backpack

  2. Change of clothes in a plastic bag

  3. Diapers or pull ups and a container of unscented diaper wipes.

  4. 2 - Boxes of Kleenex

  5. 2 – Clorox/other Disinfecting Wipes

  6. Water bottle

Open House

We will have our ECSE Open House on Wednesday August 25th from 5:00 pm-7:00 pm at both Agassiz and Longfellow. Parents are asked to enter Agassiz through Door # 10 and Longfellow through Door # 14. All visitors attending Open House will be required to wear masks inside the building. Open House is a great opportunity to meet your child's teacher, introduce yourself and drop off your child's supplies to include toileting items. Families will not have specific appointments, but rather can come anytime during the 2 hour block that they are available. Please know, however, that since multiple families may be in the classroom at one time, it will not work to have individual in depth conversations with the teacher about your child. If you feel this is needed, please schedule a time to meet in person or virtually when the teacher would be more readily available. As the school year goes on there will be many opportunities, such as conferences and IEP meetings, to talk more in depth with your child's teacher.

We cannot wait to have your child at our school and partner with you to help your child learn and grow.