The Fergus Falls Public Schools utilizes our District Curriculum Review Advisory Committee to review the district’s curriculum on a regular basis. The committee is comprised of community members, teachers, a school board member, and two ex-officio members: Carri Thompson, curriculum coordinator and myself.

We are currently in the process of seeking interested committee members from within our community to serve on this committee. In a typical meeting, committee members listen to reports from a few specific curriculum areas and are encouraged to ask questions and give their opinions regarding the curriculum. 

Last May, I shared that Sue Briese’s DCRAC term had ended and she was encouraging others to serve on this committee. She had stated, “I would like to thank the DCRAC for allowing me to serve as a community representative on this committee. 

I wish all community members could experience being a part of this committee.  It is evident in the presentations that the education staff spends countless hours outside the classroom critiquing existing lessons, researching curriculum and investigating the best methods to implement curriculum to keep current with educational practices and learning.

Committee members are able to see first-hand the passion in the presenters…it is inspiring! It represents the dedication of the staff of our district, and instills confidence in the education system being taught to the students to enable them to have the best learning environment they can…Our District makes me proud.”

Again, thank you, Sue! If you are interested in serving on this committee please contact Carri Thompson, curriculum coordinator at cthompson@fergusotters.org. The committee meets in the early evening on the third Monday of each month.

Community partners

Two wonderful partners to ISD 544 are the Dollars for Scholars and the 544 Education Foundation. They both recently held their annual reorganizational meetings to start off another year.

Dollars for Scholars Executive Director Nancy Eldridge-Hess shared that Dollars For Scholars is celebrating their 25th anniversary serving Fergus Falls schools!  Over the years, they helped 943 students attend college through their scholarships totaling $725,000.

Currently, they have $1.5 million in assets. The senior scholarship awards luncheon has already been scheduled for April 26, 2017.

During their September meeting, Dollars For Scholars elected Jean Bowman, president; Kathryn Vukonich, vice president; Heidi Konynenbelt, Secretary; and Sherri Money as the treasurer.

In new business, they approved new board members, Matt Olsen and David Grage.

Chad Felstul and Jean Larson were also recognized and thanked for serving two terms on the Dollars For Scholars board.

Mindy Fuder, executive director of the 544 Education Foundation shared that during the 2015-2016 school year, the 544 Education Foundation gave out $30,196 in grants and $39,696 in senior scholarships. 

The 544 Education Foundation has 494 memberships, four honorariums, 43 major donor donations, 155 memorials, eight corporate memberships, 43 arena donations, and 70 “other” donations (M2L2, scholarships, track apron, football field turf, tennis courts and other projects). 

During the 2015-2016 fiscal year the 544 Education Foundation organized the second annual PLGC Legends Golf Tournament and have accumulated 356 new members since Sept. 1, 2013 and 52 major donors.  They are looking to hit their goal of 500 new members in five years. The board is looking forward to this year where they will further develop and implement their strategic plan. 

Jerry Ness is the superintendent of Fergus Falls Public Schools.

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