The hallways shone like polished glass. Smiles and good cheer were in abundance. Excitement was in the air. It was the open house celebration for the Fergus Falls Public Schools. Our opportunity to roll out the red carpet and welcome our students and families back for another year.
Our educational approach continues to emphasize meeting the needs of the whole child. Our goal is to know every child personally. We have a caring and committed staff. For students who need additional emotional support, we have a complete team of counselors, therapists, family outreach liaison, a chemical dependency counselor and other highly trained professionals to help students work through their struggles.
For students who need additional academic support we have a comprehensive system in place to ensure students receive the help they need which includes ADSIS/Response to Intervention and Title I supporting reading and math skill building, along with our Otter Adventures program and summer school. A traditional school and classroom environment is not the best fit for all students. We also offer an alternative learning center (ALC) and virtual school (iQ Academy).
No student learns well on an empty stomach. Minnesota students now have daily access to a free breakfast and lunch. We also participate in the Feeding Backpack Program offered through a partnership between Friends of Friends and the United Way of Otter Tail and Wadena Counties. This helps to ensure no student experiences food insecurity.
As for the educational experience offered in Fergus Falls. Simply put, we offer a remarkable array of opportunities for students to explore their interests and develop their knowledge and skills. Our curriculum can meet the needs of any child whether one is seeking a rigorous college preparatory curriculum, loves artistic expression through art and music or prefers a hands-on, applied learning experience through our numerous career and technical education offerings. In addition, our Prairie Science Classroom offers a unique environmental learning opportunity for 4th and 5th grade students through a partnership with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife that is only found in one other school district across the United States.
Co-curricular activities? You’ve come to the right place. We offer twenty-five fully sponsored athletics at the high school level and nine fully sponsored activities: debate (MSHSL), speech (MSHSL), musical, one act play (MSHSL), history day, knowledge bowl, math league, solo/ensemble music contests (MSHSL) and one partnership - Trap Shooting. This does not include FFA, the Fergus Falls High School Fishing Team, along with a number of various clubs.
Of course, opportunities are only part of the equation. From Amit Kalantri, “People regret not achieving enough success in life, they should regret missing many opportunities.” We can create an educational system full of opportunities, but students still need to take advantage of them. They need to work hard to develop their skills and abilities and to acquire new ones. Students need to attend school regularly and we need the help from our Otter families and our community to help make that happen. Our students are missing too many days of school and it is having an impact on their education.
A good part of success in life is simply showing up, having a positive attitude and possessing a strong work ethic. If those three conditions are in place, our students and our school district will have a great year. Thank you for your continued partnership!