BF September Newsletter

Hello Ben Franklin Families!

The 2021-22 school year is off and running! Here are some updates for our Wildcat families:

Parent/Teacher Conferences: Mark your calendars! Parent/Teacher Conferences will be held at all three middle schools on the following dates:

  • Tuesday, October 12th from 4:00- 8:00 p.m.
  • Thursday, October 14th from 4:00- 8:00 p.m.

*Watch for updates on virtual/Zoom conferences.

Join Ben Franklin Middle School PTA! Our PTA meets every other month in the library at 5:30pm. Here are the dates:

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Ben Franklin Main Office

Main Office - 446-3600

Shane Martin, Principal - 446-3604

Jennifer Olson, Assistant Principal - 446-3605

Cory Holten, Dean of Students/Activities Director - 446-3606

Jaime Dougherty, Administrative Assistant - 446-3607

Sue Berg, Office Assistant - 446-3608

Laura Jacobson, Activities Secretary - 446-3609


Ann Buerkley - 446-3610


Stacey Penoncello, Registrar/Secretary - 446-3611


Lannette Christmann (A-G) - 446-3612

Patti Bathie (H-N) - 446-3613

Sarah Klimek (O-Z) - 446-3614


Jamie Benson- Student Wellness & Family Facilitator - 446-3666


Officer Taylor Savageau, SRO - 446-3619


Ellen Sondreal, School Nurse - 446-3640


Shelly Kosienski - 446-3717


All students should have had their photos taken on August 31 during the school day. Photos are taken of all students, whether or not you want to purchase pictures, because all students receive a photo ID card. If you are new to Ben Franklin or want to have your picture retaken, picture retakes are Friday, October 15th, during the school day. Stop in the main office to sign up for retakes. Your original picture packets will need to be returned, once they have arrived. We will hand photos out as soon as we get them in.

Fargo Public Schools Guidelines for Success

Below is a graphic of our Guidelines for Success. These guidelines were developed across all three middle schools in FPS a few years ago and guide our practices within our buildings across all setting (example in classrooms, hallways, bathrooms, etc...)
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Fargo Public Schools is pleased to announce that we are using the Raptor Visitor Management System in all of our schools to strengthen our program of campus safety for students and staff. Part of keeping students and staff safe is knowing who is in our buildings at all times, and the Raptor system allows us to do so. The Raptor system also allows us to better screen visitors, contractors, and volunteers in our schools to provide us with a safe environment for our students and staff.

Upon entering the school building, visitors will be asked to present an ID, such as a Driver’s License, which can either be scanned or manually entered into the system. If a parent or guardian for any reason does not have a US government-issued ID, the school staff member can use any form of identification and manually enter the person’s name into the Raptor system. Once entry into the building is approved, Raptor will issue a badge that identifies the visitor, the date, and the purpose of their visit. A visitor’s badge will not be necessary for those who visit our schools simply to drop off an item in the office or pick up paperwork.

A video overview of our pilot and how the system works is available at:

Please see the graphic below for the approved masks to wear at Fargo Public Schools. The masks in the green column are to be worn while in school buildings.

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Yearbook orders can be paid online in SchoolPay or by bringing cash or check to the main office. The cost is $15. To ensure that your student 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, February 11, 2022.


Research shows that attendance is the SINGLE most important factor in school success.

FIRST STEP: Always call or send a note when your student will not be in school.

  • A parent/guardian must call the attendance office to report a student absence by 9am. If no phone call is received, the student will need a signed note excusing them when they check in to attendance upon return.
  • Students coming to school after classes have begun or who are returning to school after an appointment, must stop at the Attendance Office for a return slip. They need a signed note to check in unless we have already received a phone call.
  • If you know in advance that your student will be absent, please send a signed note to attendance including student name, grade, date and time of absence, parent name and phone number and reason for absence.
  • Absence for family vacation- A note needs to be turned in to the Attendance office prior to the absence. Students must arrange for homework before the absence. The students is responsible for makeup when they return to school.

SECOND STEP: Early release passes

  • Students leaving during the day must pick up a release slip from the Attendance Office by 9am. Their signed note from home must include student name, grade, time of release, reason and phone number. Students will be excused to meet their ride at the time listed on the note. Parents do not need to enter the building.
  • Any absence not verified by phone or note will be considered unexcused.


Communicating with parents and families is always our goal at Ben Franklin Middle School.

You may subscribe to Ben Franklin's Newsletter and Daily Announcements on our website by going to “Content E-Alerts” on our website. Parents/guardians can sign up to receive alerts about new Daily Announcements, Newsletters, etc., for each school your students attend. E-Alerts are sent to users who have subscribed to a homepage or website section of interest. You will receive an email notification that content has been modified.

You may also want to add our school calendar to your personal calendar. This will help you stay informed about all the activities that are happening at Ben Franklin.

Ben Franklin Cycle Days Calendar

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Fargo Schools is using the Canvas Learning Management System for courses in grades 6-12. Teachers and students will access Canvas to maintain coursework and assignments throughout the year. Parents of students in grades 6-12 can access Canvas as an "observer" to monitor their child's courses.

To help you get started with Canvas, an observer account has been created for you and is already attached to your student(s). The login for the account is the email address this message was sent to ([login_id]).

To activate your account, please:

1) Go to

2) On the login screen, click Forgot Password?

3) On the request password screen, enter this email address ([login_id]) and then click Request Password.

4) An email will be sent to this email address from "FPS Canvas". It may take a few minutes to arrive. When the email comes, open it and click the link provided to set a new password.

5) Set a new password for your account (and remember it!) and accept the terms and service, and you will be good to go.

6) For future access, you can click on the Canvas icon within PowerSchool Parent, and you may also choose to load the Canvas Parent app on your phone.

You can find tips on how to use Canvas as a parent at:

Thank you for your attention.

Fargo Public Schools - Technology

What if my student has to quarantine or is gone for extended illness/etc?

Regarding quarantine, this is taken from the FPS COVID-19 webpage on quarantine guidelines/procedures:

  • 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.
    • COVID-19 Close Contact Procedure

For our students who are quarantined, or absent for any extended illness/hospitalization (COVID or non-COVID-related), etc. our procedures are as follows:

  • Students and families have access to the Ben Franklin announcements on our website so they can stay abreast of the happenings in the school while they are not in the building.
  • Parents/guardians should call the Ben Franklin attendance clerk to notify school of child’s absence at 701. 446.3610.
  • Student should always reach out to their teachers via e-mail with any questions and include parent/guardian in the e-mail addresses so everyone can stay in the loop.
  • Student should check their class Canvas course and their school e-mail account daily if they are feeling well enough to do so for updates and correspondence. Assignments will be posted on Canvas and teacher work with our students on being flexible with assignments such as in-person labs, etc.
  • Counselors are happy to set up Zoom appointments with students who are out of the building to provide additional support if needed or do check-ins when the student is out. Students or parents/guardians should let the counselor know if this is something they would like to do.


Written Notification of School Accountability Report

Dear Parent/Guardian,

North Dakota’s Insights dashboard provides important information about K-12 districts and schools. Insights features easy-to-read reports on multiple measures of school success, including:

· Test Scores

· Graduation Rates

· English Learner Progress

· Student Engagement

· State Accountability

Transparency to the Public

North Dakota is committed to informing communities about how well our schools are doing. North Dakota’s future success depends on tapping into the potential of all students so that they graduate choice ready with the knowledge, skills, and disposition to be successful. State education departments are required to annually create an accountability report for every public school in the state. The school accountability reports outline how schools are performing on the accountability elements North Dakota selected within its ESSA plan.

How is our School Doing?

To find out more information about our School Accountability Report, visit the dashboard at, select “Find My School”, and search alphabetically for our school. The school accountability report is posted under the Dashboard heading. Please note, the data made available to the public masks or hides data for groups with 10 or fewer students to protect confidential information about individual students. Therefore, if data is not available to less than 10 students, it will say “no data available”.

Family Engagement

We have strong plans for working to improve the educational programs at our school. We would like you and your child(ren) to continue to be active participants in our educational system. Please help support our high expectations for student achievement by participating in the school educational initiatives, offering input and support in our endeavors to raise student achievement, or volunteering at the school. Meeting our school’s goals will take a united effort, and I look forward to working with our families to ensure success for each student.

Continuous Improvement

All schools engage in continuous improvement for general support; therefore, our school has completed a continuous improvement plan through Cognia (formerly AdvancED). As part of the overall school improvement plan, a strategy map is generated for each school. Our strategy map, outlining our key school improvement initiatives, is available on the Insights Dashboard.

Ben Franklin has a student membership count of 846 students and it is not a participating Title I school.

If you have any questions regarding the information in the memorandum, please contact the school at

1420 8th St N, 701-446-3600 and/or


Shane Martin

Building Principal

FPS Dispute Resolution Policy