Be “In the Know” on FPS News, Events, and More!

Sign up for SchoolTalk, the Fargo Public School’s weekly community e-newsletter, and stay informed of District newsmakers, events, and more!

students watch a Native American Hoop Dancer perform

Fargo Public Schools (FPS) publishes an e-newsletter titled SchoolTalk weekly on Thursdays when classes are in session.

Regular features of the e-newsletter include:

  • Newsmakers – awards and recognition received by students and staff
  • Your FPS – current news, events, and topics within the District
  • Features – an in-depth look at FPS people, programs, or projects
  • Your Community – community happenings that benefit students and families
  • In-Focus – photos of District classroom activities and events
  • Columns – submissions from the Superintendent, cabinet members, school resource officers, and others on topics relevant to students, their families, and  our schools
  • Links – to the latest School Board meeting broadcasts and briefs, the District’s blog, and more

Make sure you’re the first to know Fargo Public School District news, events, and more…have SchoolTalk delivered right to your email inbox – subscribe online at www.fargo.k12.nd.us/newsletter.

 

 

Career Opportunities with Fargo Public Schools

Job hunting? Fargo Public School District #1 has career opportunities! Check out current openings for teachers, coaches, custodians and others.

photos of variety of staff interacting with students

With the start of the school year quickly approaching, Fargo Public Schools is looking to fill the following positions across a broad spectrum of professional fields:

  • Teachers
  • Coaches
  • Custodians
  • Nutrition Services Workers
  • Lifeguards
  • Paraprofessionals
  • Library Assistants
  • Substitutes
  • and others!

Access the full list of current openings, job descriptions, and the online application process through the District’s Human Resources website.

 

Benefit for FPS Teacher and Coach on Saturday 8/16

Students are eager to give back to Cameron Dockter, an injured teacher who has given to them in classrooms and on sports fields for 29 years.

 Coach Dockter hugs a Fargo South football player in victory following a game.

 

 

 

 

 

WHAT:    Benefit for Cameron “Doc” Dockter
WHEN:    Saturday, August 16, 2014 from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m.
WHERE:  South High Stadium Field, North entrance; 1840 South 15th Street, Fargo

A fundraiser event will be held on Saturday, August 16 at the South High Stadium Field to benefit Cameron Dockter, a teacher and coach with the Fargo Public Schools who sustained severe injuries in late May. Event activities include a picnic lunch, with a suggested donation of $5, flag football scrimmages, a silent auction, and a truck pull. More event details are available at www.facebook.com/docsbenefit.

Cameron “Doc” Dockter has been in the teaching profession for 29 years. He currently teaches sixth grade Social Studies and Language Arts at Carl Ben Eielson Middle School. He is also the assistant football coach and head coach for boys’ Track and Field at South High School.

Dockter was injured in a horseback riding accident on May 25. He sustained a severe pelvic fracture in the accident. All benefit proceeds will assist Dockter in paying medical and other expenses relating to treatment for the injuries he sustained.

Lend A Hand, a program of Dakota Medical Foundation, will provide up to $5,000 in matching funds. Online donations to support Dockter may be made at www.dakmed.org/lendahand. Click on DONATE and then select the Cameron Dockter Benefit Fund.

Cash or check contributions may be made payable to Cameron Dockter Benefit Fund and directed to Bell State Bank and Trust, 3100 – 13th Avenue South, Fargo, ND, 58103.

District Announces Administration Position

The Fargo Public Schools announces the assignment of a middle school assistant principal within the District.

 

Cathy Selberg has been named the assistant principal of Carl Ben Eielson Middle School. Selberg replaces Patricia Cummings, who has accepted the previously announced position of FPS Director of Student Support Services.

photo portrait of Cathy SelbergSelberg is an alumnus of Minnesota State University-Moorhead, and a graduate of Fargo North High School. She has been serving as the seventh and eighth grade reading intervention instructor at Carl Ben Eielson since 2008. She has been with the Fargo School District since 1989. Selberg began her education career as a
K – 6 Learning Disabilities teacher from 1989 to 1991, followed by ten years as an elementary level teacher at Clara Barton, Longfellow and Madison Elementary Schools. In 2001 she became the District’s Language Arts Teacher Specialist, and then returned to the classroom as an elementary level teacher for grades one, four, and five at Longfellow from 2003 to 2008. Selberg has also served as an adjunct instructor at North Dakota State University and Minnesota State University-Moorhead for their Education departments.

Selberg holds a Master of Science degree in Education and a Bachelor of Science degree in Elementary Education from Minnesota State University-Moorhead. She earned her Administrative Credentials through Minnesota State University-Moorhead. Selberg also holds a North Dakota Middle Level Endorsement and her K – 12 Reading Credential.

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.