Summer Kindergarten Registration

Do you still need to register your Kindergartner to attend Fargo Public Schools this fall? Check out these summer registration dates for your soon-to-be kindergartner. Don’t delay — school starts August 27!

During the summer, some of our elementary schools are closed. However, if your child will attend any of the following schools, please register at that school during the following dates and times.

two young students balancing on ski boards in a gymnasiumJefferson and Kennedy
June 2 – 27 from 8:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.

Lincoln, Longfellow, and Washington
June 9 – 26 from 8:30 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.

Bennett, Centennial, Hawthorne, Jefferson, Kennedy, Lincoln, Longfellow, and Washington
July 7 – 25 from 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.

If your child will attend a school other than the ones listed above, please register at the District Office during the following times:
Monday – Thursday,
7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and
Friday, 7:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.

 

 

Child must be age 5 by July 31, 2014 to attend Kindergarten this fall.

When you register, please be sure to bring:

  • Your child’s certified birth certificate.
  • Your child’s current immunization record.
  • To verify the correct neighborhood school, please bring a current utility bill with your name and current address on it.

If you have any questions, please call 701.446.1000 or visit www.fargo.k12.nd.us

Graduation Ceremonies & Live Broadcasts

The 2014 graduation ceremonies for the Fargo Public School District’s three comprehensive high schools will all take place on Sunday, June 1 at the FargoDome. For the first time, the ceremonies will each be broadcast live on the Fargo Public Schools YouTube channel, accessible at FPS YouTube Live Events and also through each high school’s home page on the District website, listed below.

The Presentation of Colors for all three ceremonies will be carried out by the students of Fargo Public Schools AFJROTC ND Unit #20061.

South High School at 12:00 p.m. www.fargo.k12.nd.us/South
There are 207 graduates.
Speakers are Heidi Moore (Presider), Asia Wright (Welcome), Cody Hassler and Claire Erickson (Commencement Address), and Andrew Kelsh (Closing). Musical performances by the South High Band under the direction of Sebastian Tackling, and the South Concert Choir under the direction of Sara Lichtblau.

Davies High School at 3:00 p.m. www.fargo.k12.nd.us/Davies
There are 271 graduates.
Master of Ceremonies is Allison Cwikla. Student speakers are seniors Andrew Park, Siddharth Gupta, and Katie Spokely. Musical performances are Graduation Day and One Hundred Years by the Davies Concert Choir under the direction of Deb Wald and Crown Imperial by the Davies Concert Band under the direction of Daniel Leeman.

North High School at 6:00 p.m. www.fargo.k12.nd.us/North
There are 215 graduates.
Welcome by Dianessa Dizon. Student speakers are seniors Radhika Katti and Betsy Pladson. Musical performances are National Anthem by McKinley Solberg, Pomp and Circumstance and Fanfare and Recessional by the North High Band under the direction of Brian Tessman, and In Whatever Time We Have by the North High Concert Choir under the direction of Shelley Zietz.

Congratulations to the Classes of 2014!

group of high school students in graduation caps and gowns

 

Guilty or Not Guilty? You Decide…

High school students learned firsthand how our legal system works by playing lawyers, witnesses and jury members in a mock trial before a seated judge.

 

The juniors and seniors in the Davies High School Street Law class staged a mock trial in front of a real judge in a real courtroom last week.  Judge Ralph Erickson, chief judge of the United States District Court for the District of North Dakota, presided over People v. Rose, for both a pre-trial motion to suppress evidence and then the subsequent trial. The students played the roles of attorneys, witnesses, jury, bailiff, clerk, and others. The outcome of the pre-trial motion and the trial was not predetermined.

courtroom scene

The People v. Rose mock case involved issues of poisoning, assault with a deadly weapon, and search and seizure. Two students are poisoned at a high school club initiation; there is an accused student (Rose), along with a question of admission of evidence (a computer and files) seized during a search. Students argued the issues based on the Fourth and Fourteenth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.

Community members involved with the legal system and profession helped the students prepare for the mock trial. Dr. Stacey Tronson from Globe University and her paralegal students worked with the Davies students.  Cass County State’s Attorney Tracy Peters mentored the prosecution team and Nick Thornton, an attorney with Fremstad Law Firm who has handled more than 2,000 defense cases, mentored the defense for the mock trial.

“My students were very nervous and excited about this opportunity to learn about our legal system.  It has been such a great opportunity for the students to challenge themselves and practice their critical thinking skills as they strategized how to win the case,” said Davies instructor Sherry Warner-Seefeld, who teaches the high school Street Law class.

The purpose of the mock trial is educational. Students learn about the American legal system through a simulated case experience. This project-based learning activity challenges students and builds their 21st Century Skills of teamwork, analytical and creative thinking, and presentational or communication abilities. An inquiry-based lesson such as this engages learners and deepens their understanding. Participants experience first-hand the difficulties judges, lawyers, and juries face in determining which facts in a case are relevant and what legal arguments are effective.

courtroom scene

Mock trials such as People v. Rose are developed by the Constitutional Rights Foundation and include the facts of a hypothetical case, witness statements, relevant legal authorities, complete trial instructions, and procedural guidelines. Mock trials are not scripts, but rather give a set of facts and allow witnesses and lawyers to create testimony and questioning consistent with the facts. The outcome is then judged solely on the evidence presented and testimony given.

If you’re curious as to the verdicts handed down on the Davies’ version of People v. Rose, here are their results:

Pre-trial motion:
Defense attorneys argued that documents from Sam Rose’s home were illegally seized and moved to have them suppressed.  The judge ruled those documents admissible.

Three counts for the trial:

  • Count 1 – Poisoning or adulterating drink (California Penal Code, section 347) Ms. Rose was acquitted.
  • Count 2 – Assault with a deadly weapon or by means of force likely to produce great bodily injury (California Penal Code, Section 245) Ms. Rose was acquitted.
  • Count 3 – Drug Possession (California Health & Safety Code, Section 11377) Ms. Rose was found guilty.

courtroom scene

Judge Erickson held a discussion with students following the mock trial to review his observations and suggestions regarding their legal arguments for the case.

High School PRANK Day – It’s Not What You Think!

A group of local high school seniors participated in the annual tradition of senior “skip” day—but instead of being reprimanded, they are being praised!

 

On Wednesday, May 21,  the Bruin Class of 2014 at South High skipped morning classes and dedicated themselves to activities that benefit the next generation of Bruins, something known as “Senior P.R.A.N.K. Day” (People Really Appreciate Nice Kids). Now in its third year, the day focused on the connection that the seniors made with the K – 5 students through play and fun activities that reinforced the Six Pillars of Character the elementary students learn and emulate throughout the school year.

Elementary and high school students play with a rainbow-hued parachute.

The seniors went to Clara Barton, Hawthorne, Jefferson, Lewis & Clark, and Lincoln Elementary Schools and engaged the K – 5 students in a variety of activities in and out of the classroom to work, play and assist the classroom teachers. Afterwards, the seniors returned to South High for their annual senior class barbecue picnic, and attended a teambuilding presentation by Rollie Johnson, who has worked extensively with the local Homeless & Hungry program.

older student helps younger students aim ball for a gymnasium game.High school male looks on as elementary kids work in books on floorOne One high school male and line of elementary students pull on rope for game of tub-o-war.High school female sits at table with kids playing dominoes.

Education That Works

Education That Works is a partnership between the Fargo, Moorhead and West Fargo Public School Districts, United Way Cass Clay, and the Greater Fargo-Moorhead Economic Development Corporation that is investing in the region’s economic future.

An Opportunity to Invest in Our Students

The Greater Fargo-Moorhead Economic Development Corporation (GFMEDC) has identified a unique opportunity to invest in the region’s economic future—through today’s teachers and students.

Following discussions with regional business leaders that chronicle an increasing need to compete and perform more strongly in a global market, the GFMEDC has determined a forward-thinking solution to the issue. GFMEDC has created the Education That Works initiative, in response to an unmet need for workers and leaders. Workforce members are needed who can think critically, collaborate, and develop creative solutions to challenges, thus allowing regional businesses to perform and compete at a higher level and in a global marketplace.

Education That Works is a partnership between the Fargo, Moorhead and West Fargo Public School Districts, United Way Cass Clay, and the Greater Fargo-Moorhead Economic Development Corporation.

logos for Fargo Public schools, Moorhead schools, West Fargo Public Schools, United Way Cass Clay, and Greater Fargo Moorhead Economic Development Corporation

“We must prepare a workforce ready to meet today’s needs and tomorrow’s challenges. The Education That Works initiative pledges to invest resources and work with local school districts, educational leaders, and corporations to prepare today’s students for tomorrow’s workforce,” said Jim Gartin, President of GFMEDC. “The landscape is changing for education. Supporting economic growth and stability includes producing a workforce that is highly skilled. Industry is calling for people versed in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math). It’s paramount we prepare today’s educators to provide curriculum and learning that produces strategically strong individuals to fill those needs.”

The Solution
The Education That Works partners have identified professional development of the region’s teachers to have the greatest impact on best preparing our students to be the innovators and leaders of the future. The goals of Education That Works include providing enhanced professional development for current educators, preparing tomorrow’s educators differently, and communicating 21st Century Skills development with stakeholders and the business community.

hand holding technology devices such as computer, mobile phone, cords, etc.

It is the belief of the Education That Works partners that the community can help improve the performance caliber of our future workforce and tomorrow’s leaders by elevating the learning opportunities for students. Their initiatives propose creating that change by:

  • Providing experiences and opportunities for teachers to reflect on current classroom practices to ensure students are actively engaged in learning that helps them uncover the passions they want to pursue beyond high school.
  • Providing time for teachers to collaborate with business partners to develop and implement authentic and relevant learning experiences that align to the needs of today’s workforce.
  • Partnering with businesses to provide supplemental learning opportunities for students.

Jodell Teiken, Director of Standards-Based Instruction for the Fargo Public Schools is excited about this forward-focus on learning. “The most meaningful learning experiences are those in which the learner is truly curious and committed to the learning outcome,” she commented. “It’s amazing the number of hours a student will spend shooting baskets or rehearsing for a play; we want that same excitement for and commitment to learning in the classroom.  In order to do that, students need to be invested in more than the grades on their report card.”

What does this initiative look like for 2014?
This first year effort is focused on providing professional development for teachers that establishes common language and a deeper understanding of 21stCentury Skills, plus encourages the incorporation of technology and project-based learning in the classroom. This style of learning utilizes inquiry and collaborative problem solving rather than more traditional learning methods such as reading textbooks and fact memorization.  Students are encouraged to plan, experiment, and reflect, making cross-curriculum connections and producing products for audiences beyond their classroom teacher. The 2014 initiative components are:

  • Summer Tech Camp – a three-day technology immersion experience for teachers, June 10 – 12
  • Engaging 21st Century Learners – a three-day project-based learning teacher workshop, July 21 – 23 or July 28 – 30
  • C.O.D.E. (Creating Opportunities for Digital Experiences) –  a two-day student technology camp for middle school students, June 24 & 25 or July 15 & 16

What are 21st Century Skills, and why should we focus on them?
One of the first goals of Education That Works is to establish a common understanding and definition of the 21st Century Skills and their Four C’s, to be utilized by all the education partners and their students. They are:

  • Communication: sharing thoughts, questions, ideas and solutions
  • Collaboration: working together to reach a goal
  • Critical Thinking: Looking at problems in new ways, linking learning across subjects and disciplines
  • Creativity: Trying new approaches to get things done with innovation and invention

Adaptation of the Common Core State Standards is a trending topic. Colleges, businesses, and parents agree communication, critical thinking, creative problem solving, and collaboration skills are essential regardless of a student’s score on the latest standardized test. By emphasizing 21st Century Skills, teachers help students learn the content standards through applying skills that will make them successful in college and careers.

Some may ask why Education That Works is undertaking professional development of our teachers—because isn’t professional development a responsibility of each school district? And the answer is absolutely yes, it is each school district’s responsibility to provide ongoing professional development for its teachers. All three school districts have identified the implementation of 21st Century Skills as a priority in long term strategic planning as well as short term operational goals. Metro teachers use professional time within the school year calendars to learn and share strategies to bring these skills into their classrooms. However, this time isn’t sufficient to produce the kind of learning, collaborating, and reflection needed to challenge and rethink traditional teaching practices. By offering professional learning opportunities in the summer, the three districts will be able to reach more teachers and respond to the needs of our community as quickly as possible.

Businesses already understand the economic impact this initiative is opening up for the region. At a May 20 press conference, Xcel Energy announced a $25,000 sponsorship of Education That Works. Ben Fowke, Xcel Energy President and CEO said, “An estimated 50% of the labor force will retire in the next ten years. Our company’s continued success and growth depends on a workforce with the skillset to fill those jobs. If we build a strong community, we build strong businesses. With this donation, Xcel Energy is pleased to invest in the community and our future.”

People holding large $25,000 check mock-up

Pictured left to right: Sherri Thomsen, President, United Way Cass Clay; Jim Gartin, President, Greater Fargo Moorhead Economic Development Corporation; Ben Fowke, President, Xcel Energy; Dr. Lynn Kovash, Superintendent, Moorhead Public Schools; Kirsten Baesler, Superintendent of North Dakota Public Instruction; Dr. Jeffrey Schatz, Superintendent of Fargo Public Schools; Charlene Briner, Chief of Staff, Minnesota Department of Education; and Dr. David Flowers, Superintendent of West Fargo Public Schools.

Microsoft has also committed to be a Gold-level sponsor, and it is anticipated that more businesses will support Education That Works as they see the positive effects of the initiative’s efforts.

Education That Works is expected to launch a public awareness campaign that includes a website and video in early June to communicate the valuable work of this partnership to more teachers, parents, students, businesses, and the greater community. Sherri Thomsen, President of United Way Cass Clay, summed up the initiative’s goals with her statement, “Education is fundamental to healthy, thriving communities.”

For more information on the 2014 components of Education That Works and how you or your student can get involved, click on the links below:

workshop logos

C.O.D.E. Student Tech camp website

Summer Tech Camp Teacher Workshop website

Ed Clapp Elementary Construction Timeline

Get a construction update on Ed Clapp Elementary School, including a general timeline for the project and an ongoing web link.

By Fargo Public Schools Business Manager Broc Lietz

Although you do not see anything currently resembling an elementary school, there is much progress occurring on the sight of our newest school-to-be in Ed Clapp Park.

Excavation site work for Ed Clapp Elementary. Heavy equipment and earth mounds.

Given the sensitivity regarding ground stability of building an elementary school on the former site of Mount Fargo, the first major phase in the Ed Clapp Elementary project is massive excavation work needed to prepare the site for footings.  This work is currently underway, with plans to have the dirt removal at the south end of the site completed this week.  Once this occurs, the process of backfilling the space and appropriately packing the ground will begin. The entire phase is scheduled to take two or more weeks to complete.  The excavation and backfill process is being done is stages, completing the south half of the building site first, and then beginning the north half of the site once foundation work starts on the south end.

Construction of an access road is scheduled to be completed the week of May 19, which will bring all construction traffic into the site from the North.

By the end of May, footings will begin to be placed for the south end of the building, followed by footings for the north end by mid-June.  If all goes as planned, and the weather cooperates, you could likely see walls being placed by July 1.  The goal is to have the largest sections of the building, including the two-story portion, gym, and commons area, fully enclosed prior to winter.  The remaining single-story portions should be enclosed by early to mid-winter.

Much of the internal construction will occur throughout the winter months between November 2014 and March 2015.  Final finishes and an owner’s final walk-through will occur between April and July 2015. Ed Clapp Elementary School has an estimated completion date of August 1, 2015.

Once the district receives a certificate of occupancy, the moving process begins to prepare for the start of school in August 2015.

This project is the collective work of many partners, including Fargo Public Schools, Fargo Parks, City of Fargo, Carlson Library, Bethel Evangelical Free Church, CSM Park Place Limited Partnership, and the entire neighborhood of Bluemont Lakes.  This is a unique in-fill project, and the collaboration amongst all parties has been tremendous as we continue to move forward with this new school.

Check the Ed Clapp Elementary website (www.fargo.k12.nd.us/EdClapp) in the months ahead for ongoing status updates and construction photos of this project throughout the entire process.

Your Invitation to a World Premiere

A world musical premiere is happening right here in Fargo– and you are invited to attend!

Fargoans have a new feather to put in our caps: the world premiere of a new choral piece by a Grammy Award-winning composer will happen on May 19 when 80 seventh grade vocal students from Discovery Middle School perform The Golden Queen. The piece has been commissioned by the American Composers Forum (ACF) for their ChoralQuest middle-level music program, and is composed by Concordia College music professor, choral director, and award-winning composer, Dr. René Clausen.

panoramic photo of the entire choir in rehearsal being conducted by Sarah Barnum

Part of the ACF commission includes direct coaching and instructional time for the choral students with the composer. “Students at Discovery can expect a rich experience working with Dr. Clausen on this new composition,” said Suzanna Altman, Director of Education and Community Engagement for American Composers Forum. “The ChoralQuest series is designed to breathe new life into the available repertoire for choral students, and to give composers the unique challenge of writing works for young, changing voices.”

An opportunity to work with a composer on a new piece is a very unique occurrence in any musician’s career, and for it to happen while these vocal students are in middle school is “an amazingly special honor” according to Sarah Barnum, one of the vocal music teachers at Discovery. She will be directing the combined seventh grade choirs for the piece’s premiere.

Clausen, Barnum, and Wolter (Right to Left) stand before the choir in rehearsalDr. Clausen (pictured, far right) has made three visits to Discovery to work with the students. At his first visit in November, he listened to the choir perform to better understand their capabilities. He also quizzed the students about their interests and what they are passionate about in their lives. Beyond the silly “puppies and bacon” responses from the students, Clausen did learn that self-identity and growth were important issues for the seventh graders.

Barnum conducts the choir in rehearsalTypically, a composer would write both the music and lyrics for a commissioned piece. What makes this composition unusual is Dr. Clausen invited the Discovery students to create poems as inspiration for the lyrics of this new piece, using those important issues they identified. In the end, the words Dr. Clausen chose to accompany his musical score are a poem written by two fifth graders from Clara Barton-Hawthorne Elementary School.

Madison Hokstad and Stella Peterson (whose father, Russ Peterson, works with Clausen at Concordia) wrote Servants of the Sun Goddess to express a theme of growth and growing that Dr. Cluasen identified earlier with the seventh graders. Stella’s mother suggested the girls write about sunflowers. Madison likes to write poems and loves to incorporate “professional” words into her writing. The girls used a thesaurus for the word “glen” in their poem. “The other words just found themselves on the paper,” said Stella. Listen to a recording of the girls’ recitation of their original poem.

“This is a great honor,” said Stella, when asked about collaborating with an award-winning composer. “It’s kind of fun to experience a bit of popularity,” shared Madison. Neither of the girls has heard the music yet, so are anticipating the premiere with much excitement.

Wolter and Barnum confer about sheet music near a pianoDr. Clausen brought all of his award-winning composition skills and choral directing experience to this new piece—it has not been vocally scaled back to make it an “easy” piece for young voices. “One of the biggest challenges to presenting this new work has been preparing our students for the caliber of the piece.  There are multiple splits for both the men and women, and the piece really stretches the ranges within each section of the choir,” said Barnum.

A sentiment echoed by James Wolter, who is also a vocal music teacher at Discovery. He will be accompanying the choir on piano for the premiere performance. “I can tell the students are excited about this new piece based on their work ethic. We received the score in late March, which means we will have roughly ten rehearsals before the concert. You can tell the students want to do this piece justice as they have been working diligently perfecting notes and rhythms. The students have already surpassed my expectations of how they were going to perform this challenging piece. It is so exciting to see students grow and achieve so much!” said Wolter.

Dr. Clausen has returned to Discovery twice more in recent weeks to work with Barnum’s and Wolter’s combined seventh grade choirs on their performance of his new piece.

Consider this your invitation to hear this newly commissioned work for yourself, on Monday, May 19 at 7:00 p.m. in the Auditorium at Discovery Middle School, 1717 40th Avenue South. In addition to the premiere of The Golden Queen, there will be other selections performed by the seventh grade choirs and performances by the eighth grade choirs at this Spring Vocal Concert.

seventh grade choir studentsThe Golden Queen will be published American Composers Forum and distributed exclusively by the Hal Leonard Corporation following the Fargo premiere and made available for middle-level choir performance across the country.

Read the full media release regarding this exciting world premiere.

Fargo Public Schools Names Two Principals

The Fargo Public Schools announces the assignment of two elementary principals within the District.
photo portrait of Rebecca FoldenRebecca Folden has been named the principal at Clara Barton-Hawthorne Elementary School. Folden will assume her new position on July 1, and will replace Principal Tanya Wrigley-Lingle, who has accepted the previously announced position of principal at McKinley Elementary School.

Folden is an alumnus of Valley City State University, and a graduate of Fargo North High School. She has been serving as the administrative intern for Clara Barton-Hawthorne Elementary since August 2011 and the Fargo Public Schools Elementary Summer School Director for the past four years. She has been a teacher with the Fargo School District since 2000. Folden began her education career as a fifth grade teacher at Lewis & Clark Elementary, followed by ten years there as a fourth grade teacher. In 2004 she became the lead teacher at Lewis & Clark. She has served on Lewis & Clark’s PBIS (Positive Behavior and Intervention Supports), character, advisory, and NCA writing committees prior to moving on to her current position at Clara Barton-Hawthorne. Folden has served as an instructor at North Dakota State University, as the President of Valley Reading Council, and as a club gymnastics coach.

Folden holds a master’s degree in Curriculum and Instruction from Minnesota State University-Moorhead and a Bachelor of Science degree in Elementary Education from Valley City State University. She earned her elementary principal credential through Minnesota State University-Moorhead.

 

photo portrait of Megan KiserMegan Kiser has been named the principal at Lincoln Elementary School. Kiser will assume her new position on July 1, and will replace Principal Jennifer Schuldheisz, who has accepted the previously announced position of principal at Ed Clapp Elementary School, which is currently under construction and scheduled to open in 2015.

Kiser is an alumnus of Concordia College. She has been serving as the administrative intern for Horace Mann-Roosevelt Elementary since August 2011. She began her education career with the Fargo Public School District as a third grade teacher at Carl Ben Eielson Elementary School in 2001, following one and a half years as a substitute teacher. Kiser moved to Madison Elementary in 2002, and taught third and fourth grades there for nine years prior to accepting her current position as administrative intern. She has served on Madison’s school improvement committee as co-chair, as their school climate team co-chair, and on the Madison team leader council. While at Horace Mann-Roosevelt, Kiser has led their professional learning initiatives and served as a new teacher mentor. Kiser has provided professional development in the Daily 5 literacy structure for elementary teachers. She is also the first certified ENVoY trainer for North Dakota, a professional development focused on non-verbal instructional and classroom management strategies. She was recognized by the North Dakota Principals Association as a 2014 Bell Ringer for those efforts.

Kiser holds a master’s degree in Reading from Minnesota State University-Moorhead, and a Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education from Concordia College, Moorhead. She earned her educational leadership credential from North Dakota State University.

Just like NASA Astronauts

A group of Fargo Public Schools eighth grade science students got to experience something similar to NASA astronauts earlier this month at a local pool as they compelted a unique curriculum unit.

 

Question:  What do 192 Fargo Public Schools eighth graders and NASA astronauts have in common?
Answer:    They have all completed weightlessness training exercises wearing SCUBA gear in a swimming pool.

Student slined up in water and along pool edge waiting for SCUBA diving instruction

Nearly all of the Ben Franklin Middle School (BFMS) eighth grade students from Barry Olson and Linda Coon’s science classes participated in a Discover SCUBA course in the North High School swimming pool at the beginning of May. Multiple sessions of the one-day course were taught by certified SCUBA instructor Jefri Jones, who is also a science instructor at BFMS.

SCUBA instructor adjusts a students' SCUBA gear while in pool.

SCUBA instructor shows students how to use breathing apparatus while in pool

SCUBA is an acronym for Self-Contained Underwater Breathing Apparatus. The BFMS students spent dry classroom time studying the apparatus’ operation, as well as learning diving protocol and safety procedures. Then, they went to the pool and got wet for some actual dive time. What made this Discover SCUBA course unique is that the students also completed science curriculum activities while in the water.

Student SCUBA divers assemble a tubular frame underwaterThese SCUBA students studied the connections between science, technology and innovations, beginning with the SCUBA gear itself. They also studied the effects of gravity on motions within the solar system. The students experienced simulated weightlessness while underwater, just as NASA astronauts do during their underwater training time to prepare for space walks. The students completed the underwater assembly of a tubular frame in an exercise designed to mimic astronauts’ activities working in space to repair satellites and telescopes. Their teachers even covered a few related astronomy lessons prior to the pool time.

In addition to the science curriculum activities, the participating students must write response paragraphs of their SCUBA experiences for Language Arts and an acrostic poem to describe their dives. Just like the NASA astronauts are required to do, right?

Student SCUBA divers give a thumbs up sign while underwaterRegardless of their assignments, and based on the attentiveness, smiles, and “thumbs up” evident in these photos, the BFMS students enjoyed their Discover SCUBA course.

 

Most images accompanying this article were taken by Jefri Jones.

 

2014 U.S. Presidential Scholar at Davies High

For the second consecutive year, Davies High School has a Presidential Scholar in their midst.

 

On Monday, May 5, U. S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan announced the selection of the 2014 U.S. Presidential Scholars, which includes Davies High School senior Siddharth Gupta. Gupta is one of two students selected for the honor from the state of North Dakota.

In total, 141 American high school seniors are selected for this honor due to their outstanding academic achievements, leadership, community service and demonstrated commitment to high ideals. The U.S. Presidential Scholars will be honored for their accomplishments in Washington, D.C. from June 22 – 25, and will receive a medallion in a special ceremony sponsored by The White House.

Since 1983, each Presidential Scholar has the opportunity to name his/her most influential teacher. Each distinguished teacher is then honored with a personal letter from the Secretary of Education. Gupta has selected Davies math instructor Michelle Bertsch for recognition.

In addition, North High senior Ahmed Attia and South High senior Gerritt Postema were accepted as U.S. Presidential Scholar Semi-Finalists, a round of 565 candidates.

There were more than 3,900 candidates for these 2014 honors. The 2014 U.S. Presidential Scholars are comprised of one young man and one young woman from each state, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico and from U.S. families living abroad, as well as 15 chosen at-large and 20 U.S. Presidential Scholars in the Arts. Created in 1964, the U.S. Presidential Scholars Program has honored more than 6,500 of the nation’s top-performing students.

The two students selected as U.S. Presidential Scholars for North Dakota in 2013 were Davies High School seniors Maneesh Apti and Anjali Lall.