November 29, 2022
I hope that everyone enjoyed a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday. Although we can certainly receive bad weather in October and November, I usually don’t consider winter’s formal arrival until after Thanksgiving. Well, here we are and the lawns are a mottled green and white signifying that the winter season is officially upon us. Which leads to the topic of school closures.
Closing school ranks near the top of decisions that superintendents don’t like to make. I have been making those decisions for over a decade now and I have seldom made one where everyone was happy and in agreement. I believe I have made good decisions the vast majority of the time, but I have also made some bad ones. I have canceled school only to see a beautiful, sunny winter’s day unfold. Then there have been times where I have not canceled school thinking things would be fine, only to see the roads and weather conditions turn nasty.
The regular meeting of the School Board of Independent School District No. 544 was held in the Otter Community Room at the Kennedy Secondary School. Chair Melaine Cole called the meeting to order at 5:15 pm. The following members were present: Kirby Anderson, Melanie Cole, Missy (Melissa) Hermes, Matthew Lemke, and Stephen Vigesaa. Natalie Knutson was absent. Jeff Drake, Superintendent, Renae Macheledt, Finance Director, and Elaine Jahnke, HR Director, were also present.
The Pledge of Allegiance was recited by all present.
Missy Hermes, clerk, established a quorum.
Families can access federal funds through the Child Tax Credit. Deadline is November 15, 2022.
Families with no income or low income could get at least $3,000 per child with the Child Tax Credit, plus $1,400 with the third stimulus payment - even if they have never filed taxes before and if they have not filed taxes this year. It is estimated that more than 33,000 children in Minnesota could miss out on this money if their parent/guardian has not filed.
There is an easy form to file in 15 minutes or less at: https://www.getctc.org/en
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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