Column: From the Desk: By Jerry Ness

Governor Mark Dayton has proclaimed the week of January 22, 2018, as Paraprofessional Recognition Week. There are over 20,000 paraprofessionals in Minnesota working hard every day to make sure every child has the education they need to succeed in school and life.

Paraprofessionals are individuals who work in a variety of positions in a school district. Their roles include, but are not limited to, instructional assistants, Title I paraprofessionals, pupil support assistants, special education paraprofessionals, job coaches, lunch room and playground assistants, hall monitors, media center assistants and health office assistants. Please thank them for their hard work by recognizing their efforts and contributions!

Governor’s proclamation

WHEREAS: Minnesota is home to more than 28,000 paraprofessionals who provide services in multiple settings within schools, including support for instruction, for student activities, and for individual students, as well as numerous other tasks that contribute to educational success; and

WHEREAS: The support and services provided by paraprofessionals are integral to student achievement, resulting in even better, more effective Minnesota schools; and

WHEREAS: The state of Minnesota and the Minnesota Department of Education are committed to excellence in education and recognize the important role that paraprofessionals play in ensuring educational success; and

WHEREAS: The Minnesota Department of Education will celebrate the contributions of paraprofessionals during Paraprofessional Recognition Week, which runs from Jan. 22 through Jan. 26, 2018.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, MARK DAYTON, Governor of Minnesota, do hereby proclaim the week of January 22-26, 2018, as: PARAPROFESSIONAL RECOGNITION WEEK. 

Fergus Falls Public Schools is fortunate to have amazing paraprofessionals that integral to our District.  Thank you for your dedication and service to our District.

Spelling bee champ

Congratulations to 8th graders, Erika Lahti, as our Spelling Bee Champion and runner up Luke Schroeder! Both students will advance to the Region Spelling Bee on Tuesday, February 6, 2018, at Lakes Country Service Cooperative. Five students from the Region Spelling Bee will advance to the Multi-Region State Spelling Bee which will be held Tuesday,  Feb. 20, 2018, also at Lakes Country Service Cooperative in Fergus Falls.

The following students participated in the Spelling Bee on Jan. 16: 

Grade 5 – Maria Ricks, Karlie Petersen, Sophia Rufer, Thomas Erickson, Josiah Uggerud, Mayah Fear, Braden Bucher, Hannah Horgen, Taylen Arndt, Beatrice Schierer, Olivia Swanson, Tyler Stensgard, Gavin Tommerdahl, Abigail Tungseth and Lucas Hanson.

Grade 6 – Isabelle Best, Kaydence Knutson, Fiona Rundquist, Sonja Lahti, Brooklyn Brown, Orion Franklin,Wyatt Huckeby, Brandon Brendmoen, Jacob Johnson, Ashlyn Swenson, Lilian Jensen, Jose Rodriguez, Cora Walker, Wes Carlson, Andrew Heacox and Luke Kurth.

Grade 7 – Caden Litt, Leila Nasri, Oliver Thorson, Charlie Fuder, Rebecca Schindler, Samuel Weber, Christian Reed, Paige Olson and Ethan Leopold.

Grade 8 – Luke Schroeder, Erika Lahti, Benjamin Schierer, Dylan Obowa, MacKenzie Krava, Olivia Daniels, Benjamin Tollerson, Andrew Johnson,  Ella Mayer, and Tess Seay.

January 15 inservice

Each year the District provides a number of inservice opportunities for our staff.  On Monday, Jan. 15, MLK, Jr. holiday, we started out the day celebrating the Vikings win and listening to “I have a Dream” speech by Martin Luther King, Jr.

The Otter Tail County Collaborative is assisting us in understanding poverty and the resources available in our county.  Speakers Troy Haugen–LCSC, Mary Phillipe–United Way, Kristi Wentworth and Melanie Cole–OTC shared resources and programs available to our students and families.

A number of breakout sessions followed the opening presentations. Staff could choose from coding, guided reading, behavior management, English as a second language, chemical use in the school and community, Pear Deck program, or an update on our Long-term Facility Committee.  A good day of learning ended with faculty and professional learning community meetings.

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