School Lunch

A Facebook post on Friday, Dec., 7 stated a concern with school lunches and follow-up posts questioned the use of the Otter Angel account at the Fergus Falls Public Schools. The post was concerned that the meal consisted of an undercooked chicken leg and two carrots along with a claim that meals were better at the Kennedy Secondary School than they are at the Area Learning Center.  I would like to clarify this concern to make sure the public is informed on meal choices and options, preparation requirements, and the Otter Angel Account.

The meal choices last Friday, at both the ALC and the Kennedy  Secondary School, were chicken drumstick, chicken patty, spicy chicken patty, ham or turkey on bun, grab & go salad, or the grab & go wrap or the Otter Value Meal – cheeseburger, pizza, corn dog, popcorn chicken or softshell taco.  Students also had access to the veggie/fruit bar where students serve themselves. Our district staff encourages students to take the vegetables and fruits available each day.

All meals are prepared to strict health standards. The chicken leg was cooked to a verified 180 degrees and to the point of falling off the bone. Because chicken legs vary in size, some students receive two chicken legs in order to obtain at least 4.16 ounces required by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). The Fergus Falls School District, and schools around the nation, are required to follow these guidelines.

The Fergus Falls Public Schools are committed to providing healthy, nutritious and quality meals to all of our students. Please contact our food service director, Lance Wells, at 998-0544 x9754 or Superintendent Jerry Ness at x9010, if you have comments or concerns.

Otter Angel Account and Donations

We continue to thank the community for supporting the Otter Angel Account, an account that pays for school meals for students who have no money in their lunch account. As of Dec. 7, the Otter Angel Account has been used 447 times since Sept. 4, 2018, an average of seven students per day. In Minnesota, students who qualify for free or reduced meals eat for free; therefore, they have no need to access the Otter Angel Account.

Fergus Falls Public Schools would like thank the generous donations to our students from the Church of the Nazarene (Fergus Falls) for their donation of $8,000 to support students from financially struggling families—$5,000 of the funds will be designated towards purchase of winter gear for students— $3,000 will be designated towards the Otter Angel Account.

We would also like to thank West Central Initiative for their donation from the Inga M. Johnson endowment of $3,000 to the Otter Angel Account; American Crystal Sugar for their donation of $1,587 to purchase a TIG welder for the Fergus Falls High School’s Modern Manufacturing Learning Lab; and for the numerous instruments donated to our band program.

The District would also like to thank Minnesota Motors for paying the admission for everyone at all of our home games on Dec. 4 – gymnastics vs. Morris, girls hockey vs. Alexandria; girls basketball vs. Detroit Lakes, and the high school band concert on December 3 and the choir concert on December 10.

School Facility Rental

After the Dec. 10 article, “Ethiopian Prophet Demissie Visits Fergus Falls,” appeared in The Daily Journal, questions from the community arose why the School District would allow this event in the auditorium. District policy #902 encourages the use of school facilities by community groups that have as their objective the development of personal character and civic welfare. To be eligible for use of school facilities, community groups must be established within the school district boundaries and composed primarily of residents of the school district. Abundant Life Assembly Church of Fergus Falls rented the auditorium to host the event mentioned in the article.

The Fergus Falls School District’s citizens voted to build the school with its 1,200 seat auditorium in the late 1960s. Countless concerts and other large events sponsored by community groups have been held in this wonderful facility.

Congratulations to Tom Uvaas!

The Fergus Falls boys’ swimming and diving invitational tournament was officially renamed the Tom Uvaas Otter Invite!  Congratulations Tom on an honor well deserved!  Also, congratulations to the Otters for winning the invite on Saturday, Dec. 8.

Jerry Ness is the superintendent of the Fergus Falls School District.

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