On Tuesday, a crew of Fergus Falls Public Schools staff worked up a sweat during our Build Day at the newest Habitat for Humanity house! We sheathed 75% of the house.
The Fergus Falls Envirothon students took five of the top six places at the Northwest regional competition in Detroit Lakes last week. Fergus Falls took 1st, 3rd,4th, 5th, and 6th. The top four teams advance to the State competition Monday, May 15th at the Prairie Wetlands Learning Center. First Place Team (Jaden Miller, Logan Bredenberg, Clayton Peppel, Josiah Uggerud, Tommy Erickson,), Third Place ( Olivia Swanson, Ella Roberts, Kendal Hanson, Libby Lindgren, Alexis Wellman) Fourth Place (Logan Hovland, Cooper Batzlaff, Braden Bucher, Carson Grenier, William Brandt).
The Envirothon is an outdoor environmental learning competition for high school students. Area competitions are administered by the state's Soil and Water Conservation Districts, in partnership with conservation organizations, educators, and other natural resource agencies.
The Envirothon encourages students to learn more about Minnesota's natural resources, as well as public policy and the roles of government and landowners in managing the state's resources. The program helps students develop critical thinking, cooperative problem-solving, and decision-making skills.
Schools and teachers benefit by providing learning opportunities to students who excel in the sciences and ecology. The community and state benefit by having concerned and well-informed citizens who can make good decisions about the environment.
Teams of students compete by visiting five learning stations and taking a 20-point exam on an environmental topic. The topics are:
The exams are administered by a local natural resource professional, who also gives the students a brief overview of the topic and explains some of the core concepts. Teams also prepare and give an oral presentation on the current events topic.
From a personal standpoint, this column is one of the most challenging for me to write as my thoughts on the topic are complicated. The article itself is prompted by the conflict of ideals within our country and comments directed to the district during recent public forums.
The latest of these comments concerned sexually explicit excerpts from novels found in the Kennedy Secondary School media center and ALC library. The descriptions were graphic and would be considered offensive by many parents. I was uncomfortable listening to the reading of the passages which means that I would have been uncomfortable having my own children read the passages as well. But my opinion needn’t be the opinion of everyone else. The First Amendment could be considered the single most protective measure of our democracy and our freedoms. It is best known for protecting our rights to free speech and freedom of expression.
What is the school’s role in screening material and determining its appropriateness or inappropriateness? Most parents are likely to expect schools to screen out materials whose content may be too mature in nature for students. That’s a fair expectation. Parents send their children to school with the understanding that we will provide a safe and largely wholesome environment. We accept that responsibility.
Minutes from the meeting of the Fergus Falls Public Schools School Board.
News from Kennedy Secondary School, our grades 5-12 building.
The Fergus Falls Area Learning Center is a choice alternative education program. “Our mission is to foster a caring and respectful environment with a focus on real world learning.”
The Area Learning Center of Fergus Falls has a long history of providing educational options, and has been in existence since 1982. Students and their parents have a variety of program options to choose from when enrolling at the Area Learning Center of Fergus Falls. These program options include: Middle School ALC; High School Day Program; Independent Study; Credit Recovery; and Credit Recovery Summer School. All students must meet state criteria for participation in an alternative school. Students are eligible to participate through age 21.
Relationships and challenging curriculum are a key components of the programs the Area Learning Center. The ALC is committed to establishing and maintaining relationships with students, parents, and community supports, along with working to meet individual student needs. The ALC applies a variety of techniques to support students in earning their high school diploma.
Advisory: Students enrolled in the day program are a part of an advisory where students participate daily in discussion topics, team building/leadership activities, community building activities, and skill building activities.
Restorative Justice Circles
Structured day program with feedback to students on classroom behavior and credit earned toward graduation every class period of the school day.
Credit Recovery built within the school day.
Individualized curriculum pace.
MAAP Stars participant for 10 years at the high school level.
Community Service Projects: Toys for Tots; Pay it Forward
Work Experience and On the Job Training
The REACH program is a school within a school model, alternative education program for middle school students. The program is located within the Kennedy Secondary School.
Academic skills are emphasized in conjunction with workplace and community living skills needed to be successful in the community. Learner performance is monitored and encouraged through daily and weekly monitoring of individual progress. Academic, social, and communication skills are evaluated daily.
The Day Program is designed to meet the needs of students not successful in the traditional high school setting ages 14 to 21. Students attend a traditional length school day that is a combined class schedule of structured classes and independent study classes. In a structured class, a student works in a small classroom setting to meet the course objectives to earn high school credit. In an independent study class, the student works individually on a course facilitated by a certified instructor at their own pace to complete a course. Student progress toward graduation in the areas of attendance, behavior, and course credit earned is evaluated with each class period. The Day Program operates on the school district calendar and is in session from 8:25 – 3:20 daily.
The Independent Study program is designed to meet the needs of students that are unable to attend a traditional school day program. Students choose this option when they are already attending an educational program full time and still need additional credit to graduate, have passed their graduation year and only need a small amount of credit to graduate, are working full time, parenting, or have any other obstacles preventing them from attending the traditional school day but aspire to achieve. Digital curriculum is used to meet the varied student academic needs. A certified teacher works with students to facilitate learning.
To be considered a full time student, a minimum of 20 units of work must be completed at a passing grade level each week. Independent Study students have the freedom to choose which classes, and how many classes they will work on each day. Some coursework can even be done from home. This flexibility can help cut out some of the stress of trying to juggle keeping up with school along with other obstacles that may be in place.
If you are interested in enrolling in an alternative program please contact your high school counselor.
For more information please email or contact the Area Learning Center at 218-998-0544, ext. 9230, or email the Area Learning Center at:
On behalf of the Fergus Falls Public School District, I extend a warm welcome. We are honored that you have entrusted us with the care and education of your child.
The Fergus Falls Public School District is a special place. Our mission statement outlines our commitment to each and every child: “The mission of the Fergus Falls Public Schools is to prepare productive and engaged members of society by creating an environment where all students reach their full potential.”
What will your child’s experience be as a member of our school community? Children will be surrounded by adults who care about them. We will provide the necessary support to help ensure that each child is successful. Children will be challenged. That’s how new skills are developed and how learning, confidence and leadership is fostered.
In providing a robust 21st century learning environment - we emphasize the five “Cs” - Core Knowledge, Creative Problem Solving, Communication, Contributing Citizen and Character. These core competencies ensure that our students will be well-positioned for success wherever their dreams take them.
We pride ourselves on providing a rigorous academic curriculum with a diverse selection of electives. We support our students with a 1:1 technology initiative to augment instruction, we have strong vocational programs and excellent participation among our students in the arts. A large percentage of our students are involved in co-curricular activities and our programs are highly respected and competitive. In summary, we offer the family atmosphere of a small rural school combined with the opportunities typically only found in much larger districts.
Through the process of discovering and developing their talents, interests and skills, our students are going to make great memories, grow in confidence, become leaders in our school and community and form lifelong friendships. Once an Otter, always an Otter!
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