Supt. Ness: Levy process explained

School districts set a preliminary levy in September. The preliminary levy will appear on a proposed tax statement sent out to taxpayers in November. The school district must conduct a hearing and set the final levy in December. The Fergus Falls School District’s hearing date is scheduled at 6 pm, December 11 in the Otter Community Room at Kennedy Secondary School. The levy that appears on property taxes are paid next spring and fall.

Because school districts need time to review the preliminary levy, they are allowed to set the preliminary levy at the “maximum.” This allows schools to adjust their levy for any errors that have been discovered in the state’s calculations. The final levy set in December must be a specific dollar amount. This year’s proposed levy of $6,421,177.29 is $250,583 less than last year. The primary reason for the decrease is from refunding bonds, which is similar to refinancing your home to get a lower interest rate.

Classroom Wish List
The Fergus Falls Public Schools would like to thank the 544 Education Foundation, along with their donors, for their work on this year’s classroom wish list. Each fall, the 544 Education Foundation advertises a classroom wish list gathered from teachers. The public is invited to fund all or part of each wish.

This year, 67 items were funded. Some examples of items funded include: sensory observation set, Excellerations linking manipulatives, race and roll ramps, stability balls, programmable robots, Scoop rockers, Bilibo rocking chairs, Kindle Fires, classroom laminating machine and pouches, wobble stools, Lego simple machines set, “The Boxcar Children” series chapter book set, “I Have, Who Has” Math Games, Chinese Checker Boards, Scrabble games, puzzles, watercolor paint sets, Magformers designer magnetic construction set, Dwyer wind meters, “Who Was….” Collection for AR library, scientific calculators, Rachael Ray cookware, and Shark professional iron.

With the Adopt-A-Class program, businesses in the community adopt a classroom – preschool to 6th grade – for $100. The classroom teacher and students form a partnership with their assigned business and together they learn about each other. The School District so appreciates the 65 businesses that said yes when contacted. The more children are a part of their community, the stronger their educational experience will be.

A special thanks to the following Adopt-A-Class businesses: 20/20​ Optical​, 715 ​Hot​ ​Heads, Affinity​ ​Plus​ ​Federal ​Credit​​ ​Union, American​ Federal​​​Bank, American​ ​National​ ​Bank​, Ameriprise​ Financial​, Applebee’s, Bank​ of​ ​the​ ​West,Bell​ ​Bank, Big ​Chief​, Bimbo​ ​Bakeries, Bremer ​Bank, Cooper’s ​​Office ​Supply​, Country​ ​Inn ​&​ Suites/Bigwood​ ​Event ​Center​, Cullen’s ​Home​ Center/Fergus​ ​Home ​&​ ​Hardware, The​ Daily​ ​Journal, Dairy ​​Queen, Du-Ha, ​Inc., Fergus​ ​Falls​ ​Area ​College​ Foundation​, Fergus ​Falls​​ ​Friends​ ​of​ ​the​ ​Public ​Library​, Fergus​ Falls​ Noon​ Kiwanis​ ​Club, Fergus​ Falls​ Senior​ ​Citizens​ ​Program, Fergus ​Locker​, The​ ​Flower​ ​Mill, Gate​ ​City​ ​Bank, Green ​Plains​, Harmony ​​Studios, Hastings ​Law​, InVision​ (Dr.​​ ​Denise ​Hanson)​, InVision​ ​(Dr. ​​Tara ​Kempfer), Kaddatz ​Galleries, LB ​​Homes, Lake​ Country​ Graphics, Lake​ Region​ Healthcare​ ​​Corporation, Leighton​ ​Broadcasting ​(Lakes​ ​Radio). M-R ​Sign​ ​Co., The ​​Market, Mill ​Street​ Residence​, Minnesota​ ​Department​ ​of​ ​Natural​ Resources​, Minnesota ​Motor​ Co.​, Nelson Auto​ ​Center, Northern​ ​Aire​ Lanes​, Otter ​​Tail ​Power​ Co.​, Otter ​Tail​ ​Telcom, Ottertail Coaches​, Pioneer ​Pointe, Pizza​ ​Hut, Pizza ​​Ranch, Premier​ ​Meats ​​&​ Seafood​, Primp, RDO​ ​Equipment, Ringdahl ​Ambulance, Riverview ​Heights​, Security State​ Bank, Service​ Food​ ​Market, Subway, Taco​ ​John’s, Thiele ​Technologies​, Thrifty ​White​ Pharmacy, Vision Concepts​, West ​Central​​ Initiative​ and West​ ​Tool ​​&​ ​Design.

Supt. Ness: Conference week

Parent–Teacher Conferences

Parents are invited to attend the Parent-Teacher Conferences starting on Thursday of this week.  It is important to meet and hear how your child is doing in the classroom beyond their letter grade.  Conferences are scheduled from 4-7:45 pm on the evenings of Thursday, October 12 and Monday, October 16; and from 8 am-3:15 pm on Friday, Oct. 13. Students in grades K-8 have scheduled conferences, while parents of 9-12 high school students are encouraged to attend at any time.


High School Career Exploration Day

The 12th Annual Career Expo for 2017 – Connections to Your Future – will be held at Kennedy Secondary School on Thursday, October 12, 2017. Over 700 local and area high school students will be able to meet with professionals in a diverse range of career fields to learn about future work opportunities, as well as educational and training requirements. For the second year, juniors and seniors from Fergus Falls High School will also have the opportunity to visit local employers to learn about exciting career options right here in Fergus Falls, and to chart career paths and plans for their future. The day will allow students to visit with post-secondary colleges, technical colleges, and military representatives. Also, students will have the opportunity to visit businesses that are in high demand in West Central Minnesota.


In addition, the students will hear keynote speakers, Nathan Johnson, CEO and Administrator of PioneerCare Center, and Katie Johnson, Vice President of Marketing and Communications at Lake Region Healthcare Corporation. They will address the field of healthcare and the many career opportunities within the organizations, as well as how to obtain careers both educationally and financially. They will also hear a speaker panel composed of individuals in the workforce and the different career paths they took to get to where they are today.


During this Career Exploration Day, the Fergus Falls High School 9th and 10th grade students will stay on campus, but students in grades 11 and 12 will have the opportunity to tour area businesses. There will also be eight area schools arriving at Kennedy Secondary School to participate in the event. We want all the students to leave the Career Expo knowing they can achieve their aspirations and dreams.


This event is sponsored by: Fergus Falls Community Education, Fergus Falls High School, Fergus Falls Area Chamber of Commerce, Fergus Falls Economic Improvement Commission, Minnesota State Community & Technical College – Fergus Falls, West Central Initiative, Minnesota Workforce Center/Rural MN CEP, Lake Country Service Cooperative and Lake Region Healthcare Corporation.


Junior Envirothon

We had 13 of our Middle School students compete at the Junior Envirothon, hosted by the Prairie Wetlands, on October 4th.  There were 32 teams from the Region that competed. Our three teams included: 8th Graders–Alex Lindgren, Anna Erickson, Samantha Robb and Erika Lahti, who took first place overall; 6th graders–Luke Norgard, Riley McGovern, Lance Johnson, Davis Shol, and Leighton Buckmeier, who took 4th overall; and  7th grader–Emma Stans, along with 6th graders Lainy Bailey, Sonja Lahti and Isabelle Best, took 5th overall.  Congratulations on the great showing by the Otters!


Hall of Fame

The Hall of Fame banquet and ceremony was held on Saturday, October 7. Congratulations to the new inductees – John Erickson and Dan Prischmann who were inducted as Distinguished Alumni; Kevin Pearson and Daryl Tysdal who were inducted as outstanding athletes; and Dave Ellis and Mike Kiess who were inducted for Distinguished Service.  Craig Olson was the Master of Ceremonies for the evening.  Each inductee was introduced by an influential person in their lives followed by their induction speech. It was a great night!  A special thanks goes to Mindy Fuder, 544 Education Foundation, Sue Thorsen and Derek Abrahams for their hard work coordinating the event.

Supt. Ness: Homecoming 2017!

Homecoming Week!

Congratulations to King Noah Raitz and Queen Maggie Salwei! They were crowned during Monday’s Homecoming coronation ceremony and chosen by their classmates to reign over this week’s Homecoming festivities.

Also, congratulations to all the 2017-18 royalty: 9th grade – Karley Kugler, Jack Uhrich, Makayla Huus, Austin Rinke, Maddie Longtin and Noah Tarczon; 10th grade – Aliyah Harris, Parker Jacobs, Chloe Nelson, Ethan Olson, Sabrina Fronning and Cody Norgren; 11th grade – Miranda Hoffman, Matt Johnson, Jadyn Mckeever, Connor Hexum, Sydney Thacker and Tyler Hansen; 12th grade queen candidates – Camryn Appert and Naomi  Beske; and king candidates – Nathan Rund and Max Wolfe.

This exciting week continues to be filled with other annual Homecoming activities, too.  Athletic activities include tennis vs Apollo; girls soccer vs Sauk Rapids Rice; and volleyball vs Sartell on Tuesday, along with boys soccer vs Brainerd on Thursday. Friday’s Homecoming game vs Thief River Falls starts at 6 pm with the dance following from 8-11 pm.

Friday’s schedule includes the senior picture, ironman volleyball, and powderpuff football. It also includes the parade, which starts at 2 pm and follows the usual route down Friberg and then downtown on Lincoln. Spectators at the football game will be treated during halftime to the Flag show and royalty introductions.

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