SchoolTalk

FPS e-Newsletter for January 28, 2021

- SPOTLIGHT -

Feature Column - Navigating Bus Routines through COVID-19

Have you ever used a GPS when all of a sudden it says "recalculating" and then sends you in a new direction? That has somewhat been the case for transportation operations at Fargo Public Schools (FPS) through the everchanging terrain of COVID-19. In this feature column, Transportation Coordinator Chris Pinkney shares details on how FPS has renavigated plans to make sure kids can safely ride the bus and get to school on time.

Feature Column - COVID-19 Travel Guidelines

As spring break approaches, families may be wishing to take vacations. While FPS does not require students or staff to quarantine following travel, the District asks that they adhere to COVID-19 guidelines that have been put in place by local, state, and federal organizations. In this feature column, Coordinator of Safety & Emergency Management Mackenzie McCormick explains recommendations from the North Dakota Department of Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Fargo Cass Public Health, and Fargo Public Schools.

State of the Schools Address and Survey

Fargo Public Schools invites parents, community members, and staff members to view our State of the Schools Address and participate in a brief survey about inclement weather day procedures and instructional time. FPS greatly values all feedback and thanks you for your time. Watch the video to learn more about the District. Click here to take the survey.

State of the Schools

- FPS SMART RESTART -

Successful Start to Level 4 - In-Person Learning

The start to fulltime in-person learning has been largely successful throughout Fargo Public Schools. Since the start of Level 4 - In-Person Learning on January 19, COVID-19 cases have remained at some of the lowest numbers the District has seen all year. Read this feature article to learn more about the decision-making process to bring students back to fulltime in-person learning and how schools are handling the transition.

Virtual Academy Meal Pickup Change

The Virtual Academy meal distribution pickup time is changing. Starting Friday, February 5, Virtual Academy families can pick up meals on Fridays from 1:30 p.m. to 2:15 p.m. at Davies, North, and South High Schools. Meals are ordered weekly. Click here to order Virtual Academy take-home meals.

COVID-19 Vaccine Safety and Approval Process

The North Dakota School Nurse Association (NDSNA) understands that some people may have concerns about the safety of the COVID-19 vaccine. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the vaccine has been proven to be safe and effective. In the video below, the NDSNA discusses how the vaccine was safely developed in a quick manner, addresses concerns, and debunks myths.
COVID-19 Vaccine Conversation for School Staff

Instructional Level

Fargo Public Schools is currently operating with in-person instruction 5-days a week for all grade levels. Early Childhood Special Education will continue as a 4-day per week program. Students who are currently enrolled in the Virtual Academy are able to continue through second semester.


The FPS COVID-19 Instructional Plan Committee will meet again on Monday, February 8, 2021 at 6:30 a.m. to review data, determine if there is a significant number of cases impacting schools, and discuss the status of a potential vaccination plan for staff.

FPS COVID-19 Data

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.

- NEWSMAKERS -

Davies & South Earn State Dance Titles

Congratulations to the Davies and South High School dance teams who competed in the North Dakota Association of Dance and Drill State Competition on January 23 at the Jamestown Civic Center.


Davies Eagles Elite are State Champions in Large Varsity Pom and placed second in Large Varsity Jazz, Hip Hop, and High Kick.


Fargo South Bruinkix are State Champions in Class A Small Varsity Jazz, second in Small Varsity Pom, and fourth Varsity High Kick.


Both teams earned Team Scholar awards for their commitment to academics, and Fargo South’s Bruinkix coach Taylor Vasek (pictured in yellow dress) was named North Dakota Association of Dance and Drill Coach of the Year.

Country Financial Critical Needs Fund Donation

Thank you to Country Financial Andy Dunphy for donating $4,800 to the Fargo Public Schools Development Foundation. These funds will support the critical needs of students and teachers at Bennett and Jefferson Elementary Schools.


Pictured L to R: Andy Dunphy, Country Financial and Tonya Dent, 5th Grade Teacher at Bennett Elementary

- YOUR FPS -

Last Call! Staff Recognition Program Nominations Now Open

Parents and community members are invited to nominate a Fargo Public Schools teacher, administrator, or support staff member they feel serves our students with excellence for consideration of a yearly recognition award.


Nominations close tomorrow, January 29, 2021. Online instructions, forms, and the application process can be found at: www.fargo.k12.nd.us/StaffRecognitionProgram.


The District will award the following this spring:

Teacher of the Year Award − awarded to a certified staff member

Administrator of the Year Award − awarded to a principal, assistant principal, director, or coordinator

Support Staff of the Year Award − awarded to an educational support staff member, custodial/maintenance department staff member, or nutrition services staff member

Calendar Survey and Committee

Fargo Public Schools (FPS) is requesting input from parents, students, and staff members regarding school calendar planning. Please consider taking the 2022-23 and 2023-24 Calendar Survey. Follow the link and click "next" to start the survey. Information gathered from the survey will assist the Calendar Committee in planning the schedule for the next two school years. The survey closes February 4.


Additionally, FPS is currently seeking parents from all three grade levels (elementary school, middle school, and high school) to serve on the Calendar Committee. If you are interested in joining, please contact Amy Nojang at nojanga@fargo.k12.nd.us by the end of today, January 28, to be considered for this committee.

Hear for the Kids Podcast: Finding Hope through COVID-19

As the global pandemic passes the one-year mark, people may find themselves battling COVID-19 fatigue. After staying vigilant regarding the coronavirus for so long, you might be feeling tired of the protocols and saddened by your current situation. In the Hear for the Kids Podcast posted below, you will learn ways to find hope and retrain your brain to be more positive.
Finding Hope While Battling COVID Fatigue

National School Counseling Week

Fargo Public Schools (FPS) invites you to celebrate National School Counseling Week which takes place February 1-5. The week is designed to bring attention to the tremendous impacts school counselors have on youth. Click here to learn more about the FPS school counseling program and its counseling staff. Make sure to tell them "thank you!"

Trollwood Performing Arts School 2021 Summer Registration Now 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. Watch the video below to hear students speak about their experiences at Trollwood.


Click this link to register.


Click here to view the summer course brochure.

Trollwood - Level of Professionalism

Giving Hearts Day

Giving Hearts Day, a 24-hour online giving event, is February 11. The day is a large fundraising event that benefits North Dakota and northwestern Minnesota non-profits. Each organization finds a sponsor to generously match donations. Trollwood Performing Arts School and the Fargo Public Schools Development Foundation are both taking part. Tax deductible donations can be scheduled now. You may also wait to give on February 11.


Click here to donate to Trollwood Performing Arts School.


Click here to donate to the Fargo Public Schools Development Foundation.

- BOARD FOCUS -

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 January 26 regular meeting of the Fargo School Board. For more information, visit the School Board website.

- COMMUNITY NEWS -

Community Health Survey

Health providers in the region are requesting feedback to gain a better understanding of health in our community. Fargo Cass Public Health, Clay County Public Health, Essentia Health, and Sanford Health have partnered to develop a Community Health Needs Assessment. Click here to take the survey.

If I Were Mayor Essay Contest

Each spring, the North Dakota League of Cities sponsors a statewide "If I Were Mayor" essay contest. This contest encourages young people to think about public service and future community leadership.


The contest is open to any third and seventh grade student living in North Dakota. Each grade will be judged separately. Students may submit essays through a teacher or on their own. Click here to learn more about contest rules and how to submit an essay.

- IN FOCUS -

- 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.