Fargo Public Schools recently held a State of the Schools Address and public focus group. Read a summary of what was shared at the event.
By Fargo Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Jeff Schatz
On November 2, 2017, Fargo Public Schools hosted the 2017 State of the Schools Address and Public Focus Group at Discovery Middle School. One hundred sixty-one people attended the event, which began with an overview of the status of the Fargo Public Schools.
Fargo Public Schools (FPS) currently has an enrollment of 11,364 students. These students attend school each day in one of the 23 FPS school buildings that dot the landscape throughout the city of Fargo. New student growth for the District is predicted over the next five years at an annual increase of 100 to 150 students. This would place the District on a trajectory of reaching almost 12,000 students by 2022.
Our teachers and support staff account for more than 3,300 full and part time employees. This makes Fargo Public Schools the fourth largest employer in the greater metro area. Our teachers are highly qualified: more than 65% of our teachers hold a master’s degree. This dedicated group of people are committed to serving our community and upholding our mission to
“Educate and empower all students to succeed.”
There is much to be proud of in the Fargo Public Schools. However, there are also challenges. The challenges facing the FPS include:
- Student mobility
- Higher expectations on schools to provide more services to address social issues in the community, including mental health and challenging student behaviors
- Sustainable long-term funding
Following the overview of the District, FPS staff members provided presentations (mini TEDx talks) about 21st Century Skills, technology in the classroom, project based learning, and career and technical education. The following staff members presented:
- Louis Lauer, Librarian – Jefferson Elementary
- Brenda Cain, Librarian – Washington Elementary
- Todd Spellerberg, 6th Grade Teacher – Discovery
- Elizabeth Smithmeyer, Librarian – South
- Amy Soma, Library Services Coordinator
- Dr. Denise Jonas, Director Career and Technical Education (pictured above)
- Jodell Teiken, Director Standards Based Instruction
After the State of the Schools Address, attendees broke out into small groups to discuss four questions posed by the District regarding the direction of education for our students. A final report from the 2017 State of the Schools Address and Public Focus Group event will be created once input has been compiled from all of the focus groups. It will then be posted online at www.fargo.k12.nd.us/focusgroup.