Supt. Ness: Derek Abrahams receives MSHSL Leadership Citation Award

At the Prep Bowl, Mr. Derek Abrahams, Fergus Falls Public Schools’ Activities Director, received a recognition from the Minnesota State High School League for his leadership in the development of the Why We Play Program.  The Leadership Citation Award was in recognition of his leadership and commitment to coaches and students.  Mr. Abrahams has been participating in the development of this program over the past year, and is currently leading the implementation of the first phase of the program with our coaches. The program focuses on the development of positive relationships with coaches, students and parents.  Congratulations Mr. Abrahams and thank your for your leadership!

Positive District Audit

At the November 20th School Board meeting, the school board heard the first reading of the 2016-17 District audit.  The fund balance grew to $4.8 million or 17.6% of expenses.  The state average for all school districts is 21%.  The recent student growth is contributing to this positive fund balance growth trend.

According to the Minnesota Department of Education’s school profile information, out of 499 school districts and charter schools in the State of Minnesota reporting data for 2016, the Fergus Falls Public Schools are ranked as follows (1 is the highest): 74th in enrollment compared to 75th last year; 467th in state special education funding per student ($517 Fergus Falls vs $1,205 state average); 478th in state funding per student ($8,120 vs $9,435 state average); 448th in federal funding per student ($173 vs $442 state average); 194th in General Fund levy per student ($1,068 vs $1,673 state average); 452nd in total General Fund funding per student ($9,951 vs $12,047 state average); 414th in total funding per student ($12,056 vs $14,251); 481st in administrative costs per student ($734 vs $1,016 state average); 441st in instructional costs per student ($5,652 vs $7,453 state average); 334th in support costs per student ($2,424 vs $2,810 state average); 482nd in capital expenditures per student ($255 vs $677 state average); 451st in total General Fund expenditures per student ($8,811 vs $11,279 state average); and 460th in total expenditures per student in all funds ($11,021 vs $15,884 state average). Our ranking is low in many categories, while our academic test scores are very good.  

KSS 7th and 8th Grade Students Make a Difference

Kennedy Secondary School students in grades 7th and 8th conducted a non-perishable food drive at Service Food from 4 p.m. – 7 p.m. on November 13. The event helped support our local United Way Feed The Hunger Backpack Program.  The students handed out a grocery list of needed items, which were purchased by generous customers. The items were brought to the Community Education office to fill food backpacks for the Thanksgiving Holiday weekend.

The mission of the Food Backpack Program is to help alleviate childhood hunger by providing 116 hungry children in Fergus Falls with nutritious and easy-to-prepare food at times when other resources are not available, such as weekends and school vacations.  It is difficult for students to concentrate and learn if their stomachs are empty.  There is already a challenge in making sure students progress in their education – and being hungry just complicates this issue.

The 7th and 8th grade students made a difference in the lives of 116 kids.  Our Community Education program and KSS Middle School students have a strong partnership with the United Way and are starting their third year of involvement in the backpack program. Thank You! If you have questions, feel free to call Mary Matteson, at 218-998-0544 ext. 9201 or Jon Steinbrenner, Assistant KSS Principal at 218-998-0544 ext, 9609.