Fargo Public Schools
|Fargo Public Schools|
|Fargo, North Dakota, USA|
|Locale||415 North 4th Street|
|Superintendent||Dr. Jeffrey M. Schatz|
|Number of students||around 11,000|
Fargo Public Schools (FPS) is a public school district in Fargo, North Dakota, United States. The district owns and operates in three comprehensive high schools, three middle schools, and fourteen elementary schools. FPS also operates an alternative high school and a special needs pre-school. Total student enrollment in FPS is around 11,000.
Governance and Funding
The Fargo Public Schools is governed by a nine-member Board of Education, whose members may serve an unlimited number of four-year terms. Board members oversee the district’s annual operating budget, which is $134 million during the 2013-14 school year. Currently, the school district’s operating levy is 139 mills. Sixty-nine percent of the district’s general fund revenue comes from the state’s foundation aid. The balance comes from property tax (30%), and the remaining 1% comprises federal funding, interest, and other sources. Of its expenses, 57% goes to Salaries. The remaining expenses include benefits (19%), fund transfers (6%), supplies (5%), purchased property services (5%), transportation and travel (4%), equipment (2%), contracted services (2%), and the remaining dues, fees, and registrations at less than 1%.
The school system employs more than 1,800 permanent employees. Included in that number are approximately 965 teachers, of which 59 percent hold a master’s degree or higher. Specialists are placed in all district elementary buildings, to deliver instruction in visual arts, library/media services, music, and physical education.
All of the district’s teachers meet weekly in Professional Learning Communities, or PLCs, in order to improve teaching practices and student learning. Secondary teachers attend professional development days each semester that focus on improving the District’s educational process. This is in addition to the weekly professional development sessions offered to individuals and small groups throughout the year.
Also among its staff, through a partnership and cost-sharing agreement with the City of Fargo, are seven School Resource Officers, police officers who are placed in the district’s middle and high schools. They are a part of the Cass-Clay Unified School Response Network, which originated in the Fargo Public Schools in the mid-2000s.
In 2011, the Fargo Public Schools was awarded a 5-year certification as an accredited school district by the North Central Association Commission on Accreditation and School Improvement. Its curriculum and education delivery is guided by a Strategic Plan developed in 2000, which focuses on seven goals: academic performance, the arts, character, citizenship, communication, life skills, and self-reliance.
The district offers high school students 213 courses within 25 curriculum areas. Advanced Placement (AP) courses include biology, calculus, chemistry, and physics, in addition to language and the arts. Career & Technical Education curriculum in the Fargo Public Schools includes automotive, industrial, graphic arts, manufacturing, and information technologies.
Through its special education department, the school district serves over 1,300 children with special needs, ages 3–21.
Other academic and extracurricular programming offered by the district includes gifted services, summer school, remedial learning, arts education, and latch-key programs through the YMCA and Fargo-Moorhead Youth Commission.
At the middle level, the district offers an Individualized Learning Center (ILC) program, where the student receives differentiated instruction (tailoring a pupil’s teaching to his or her learning needs) in a small group setting for the purposes of tutoring or homework. Service learning (community volunteerism) is sometimes a part of the ILC experience, depending on location.
The district educates its students through a city-wide grade-level configuration of grade K-5 elementary schools, grade 6-8 middle schools, and grade 9-12 high schools. The district’s elementary and middle school buildings constructed and/or remodeled after 1994 utilize the shared “pod” or “team center” concept, which assigns groups of students and teachers together for interconnected teaching and learning using common resources.
The district offers, on average, more than 50 extracurricular activities at each of the comprehensive high schools. This includes athletics, clubs, music, and the performing arts. Many directly relate to or include academic coursework.
Since 1999, the Fargo Public Schools has been named 13 times to the “100 Best Communities for Music Education,” a national survey by the NAMM Foundation which evaluates several criteria, including time reserved for music education, the budget, staff collaboration, professional development, how music standards are taught, equipment provided by the school district, and administrative support. In 2011, the district’s School Resource Officer program was recognized as the Model Program of the Year by the National Association of School Resource Officers.
- Fargo Davies High School (comprehensive high school)
- Fargo North High School (comprehensive high school)
- Fargo South High School (comprehensive high school)
- Woodrow Wilson High School (alternative high school)
- Ben Franklin Middle School
- Carl Ben Eielson Middle School
- Discovery Middle School
- Bennett Elementary School
- Centennial Elementary School
- Clara Barton Elementary School
- Hawthorne Elementary School
- Horace Mann Elementary School
- Jefferson Elementary School
- Kennedy Elementary School
- Lewis and Clark Elementary School
- Lincoln Elementary School
- Longfellow Elementary School
- Madison Elementary School
- McKinley Elementary School
- Roosevelt Elementary School
- Washington Elementary School
- "Fargo Public Schools 2011 Tax Insert". Financial Documents. Retrieved 21 June 2012.
- "Fargo Public Schools Program of Students". Course Descriptions. Fargo Public Schools. Retrieved 21 June 2012.
- "Fargo Public Schools Elementary Program Overview". Elementary Program Overview. Fargo Public Schools. Retrieved 21 June 2012.
- "Fargo Public Schools Middle Level Program Overview". Middle Level Overview. Fargo Public Schools. Retrieved 21 June 2012.
- "Fargo Public Schools High Schools Program Overview". Secondary Program Overview. Fargo Public Schools. Retrieved 21 June 2012.
- "NAMM 100 Best Communities for Music Education Award". NAMM Foundation. NAMM Foundation. Retrieved 9 June 2014.