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 […]

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Each year, the Fergus Falls Public Schools’ counselors send out this timely reminder: For many of our students and staff, the holiday season may be a sad and stressful time. Students are often dealing with difficult family situations. There will be students in our schools who may actually dread the next few weeks. Students may […]

Each year, our school counselors provide a school profile to the Minnesota Department of Education. The following is what was written for the Fergus Falls High School’s Profile… The Fergus Falls High School (FFHS) is a four-year public school with an enrollment (grades 9-12) of 634. The Graduating Class of 2019 has 162 students. The […]

Welcome back to school! The staff and I are eager to start the new school year and help your child learn and develop. We just finished a great week of inservice preparing for the school year. It is exciting that our district’s enrollment continues to grow, especially in the primary grades. The school board added […]

This year’s graduation ceremony will be at 7 p.m. on Friday, June 1, in the Kennedy Secondary School Gold Gym. There are no tickets required for attending the ceremony, and seating is on a first come first-seated basis. There will be a mandatory rehearsal for seniors on Friday, June 1, at 11 a.m. in the […]

From the Desk The STEM students competed in the high mileage car contest and did very well – congratulations!! The E85 team made 14 six-mile runs and tied for second in most runs. The best run was 316 mpg and the average of top six runs was 302 mpg. There were 19 E85 cars total. […]

From the Desk Seventeen Fergus Falls High School Otter artists took part in the Section 8AA Art Show and Contest. Eight schools participated and over 120 individuals showed their individual creations. Alexandria Tech hosted the event on April 26. Students were involved in three workshops ranging from junk assemblage sculpture, careers in art, boosting imagination […]

From the Desk: By Jerry Ness The Fergus Falls High School theater department presents its spring production, Leading Ladies, just in time for Mother’s Day weekend. Opening May 11 at A Center for the Arts, the story features two English Shakespearean actors, played by seniors Tyler Hauge and Thomas Bowman. “Jack” and “Leo” find themselves […]

From the Desk Last week was a great week in the district! We interviewed and hired many teachers for the next school year, Dollars for Scholars awarded $60,000 to 64 senior students, McKinley students reached their Jump Rope for Hearts fundraising goal, th grade held their Honors Breakfast, Special Olympics basketball tournament was a highlight […]

From the Desk Congratulations to Tyler Hauge and John Helland. Tyler Hauge: The Fergus Falls High School sent off a state speech participant, Tyler Hauge, on Thursday afternoon in the KSS Gold Gym. The band played and students heard Tyler explain his category – Serious Prose Interpretation.  Tyler performed well and placed 10th at state. […]

Column: From the Desk This past week has been very difficult for Fergus Falls. I just don’t understand neglect and abuse of a child. This tragedy has affected many in our community including our Fergus Falls Public Schools’ students and staff.  Jill Damrau, first-grade teacher, shared the following email with staff last week …“ Our […]



Column: From the Desk Over the past couple of weeks, the Otter family lost two of its Hall of Famers.  First, Wally Pearson passed away on March 17; and on March 30, Greg “Fuzz” Noren died.  Mr. Noren’s funeral will be held at First Lutheran Church at 3 p.m., Tuesday, April 10.    Wally Pearson […]

Column: From the Desk Congratulations to Alexandra McKinnell and Nathan Zierden for being selected the Minnesota State High School League’s Triple AAA winners for the Fergus Falls High School!  Triple A stands for academics, arts and athletics. Alexandra has been involved in orchestra, visual arts, tennis, hockey and softball. She plans to attend Northwestern, Cornell […]

Column: From the Desk: By Jerry Ness The LTFC met six times, starting in September 2017.  The LTFC is comprised of community members, staff, administration and school board members. The Committee toured and reviewed information related to all of the District’s facilities and enrollment data.  After discussing many options, the LTFC agreed that the District […]

Column: From the Desk: By Jerry Ness History Day students featured their projects in the KSS auditorium from 10 a.m.  – 2 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 15, in preparation to compete at regionals on Thursday, March 1. This year’s topic is Conflict and Compromise in History. The following projects were featured in the Junior Division:  […]

Column: From the Desk The Fergus Falls Public School District will join school districts throughout the state to salute their local education leaders during Minnesota’s annual School Board Recognition Week Feb. 19-23. The commemorative week is designed to recognize the contributions made by Minnesota’s school board members, including the Fergus Falls School Board, who are […]

Column: From the Desk Congratulations to Snoball King Joe Grecco II and Queen Katie Mach and to all the Snoball royalty: Seniors – Peter Anderson, Emily Haugmo, Nathan Zierden, and Rosemary Rundquist; Juniors – Greta Christenson, David Simonsen, Julia Kunz, Ryan Ratz, Isabelle Kremeier and Mason Hoffman; Sophomores – Carlie Meis, Brock Kotschevar, Madi Connolly, […]

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 […]

Column: From the Desk: By Jerry Ness Congratulations to the 36 new inductees into the Fergus Falls High School’s National Honor Society (NHS) chapter. The NHS held their annual Induction Ceremony at 7 p.m., Jan. 8 in the KSS Auditorium. Elizabeth Abrahams, high school social studies teacher, is the advisor for our NHS chapter. NHS […]

Column: From the Desk: By Jerry Ness 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 […]

Column: From the Desk: By Jerry Ness Public schools are the cornerstone of our communities. We welcome students of all backgrounds, abilities and incomes, and each of us plays a role in ensuring our schools are open to all. Each year during American Education Week, Fergus Falls Public Schools honor the Fergus Falls Education Association Teacher […]

Column: From the Desk: By Jerry Ness You are invited to attend the annual Veterans Day Program at 10 a.m. on Friday, Nov. 10 in the Gold Gymnasium at Kennedy Secondary School, 601 Randolph Ave., Fergus Falls.  Our high school presents a wonderful tribute to our veterans through music, dance and speeches. Fall musical The Fergus […]

Column: From the Desk: By Jerry Ness All staff and students at Cleveland are invited to participate in Cleveland Elementary’s Friendship Week. Positive friendship choices are encouraged each and every day. Friends are respectful, kind, friendly, supportive, trustworthy and important. Monday is: “Be a good Sport” – wear a jersey or sports gear; Tuesday: “Show that […]

Column: From the Desk: By Jerry Ness School districts set a preliminary levy in September.  The preliminary levy will appear on a proposed tax statement sent out to taxpayers in November.  The school district must conduct a hearing and set the final levy in December. The Fergus Falls School District’s hearing date is scheduled at 6 […]

Column: From the Desk The 12th Annual Career Expo for 2017, Connections to Your Future – will be held at Kennedy Secondary School on Thursday, Oct. 12, 2017. Over 700 local and area high school students will be able to meet with professionals in a diverse range of career fields to learn about future work […]

Column: From the Desk: By Jerry Ness Congratulations to King Noah Raitz and Queen Maggie Salwei! They were crowned during Monday’s Homecoming coronation ceremony and chosen by their classmates to reign over this week’s Homecoming festivities. Also, congratulations to all the 2017-18 royalty: 9th grade – Karley Kugler, Jack Uhrich, Makayla Huus, Austin Rinke, Maddie Longtin […]

The Fergus Falls Public Schools would like to thank the Minnesota Motor Company for sponsoring the football game on Friday, September 22. Minnesota Motor Company and Heartland Chevy Dealers have paid for everyone’s ticket — so everyone gets into Friday night’s game FREE! They are inviting the community to come out and cheer on the […]

Column: From the Desk: By Jerry Ness Back-To-School Welcome We are excited to start a new school year and partner with parents to provide their child with an excellent education. We are also excited to welcome 70-plus new staff members, including 25 teachers to Fergus Falls Public Schools. Our kindergarten class is again over 200 students […]

The graduation ceremony for the Class of 2017 is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. Friday, June 2 at the Kennedy Secondary School’s Gold Gym. The Fergus Falls Public Schools will honor the graduates from our three high schools — Fergus Falls High School housed at Kennedy Secondary School, Area Learning Center located at Roosevelt […]

Column: From the Desk: By Jerry Ness Adapted Bowlers Many of our student adapted bowlers qualified for the state tournament!  The state tournament was held on Friday, May 19, at the Brunswick Zone in Brooklyn Park.  Congratulations to our bowlers who qualified: Singles – Daylon Jensen, James Foner, Izac Randklev, Josh Stengrim, David Gerner, Nate […]

Last week, there was a news story on KVLY and many Facebook posts regarding Fergus Falls Public Schools’ practice of “stamping” students’ hands (who are in Kindergarten – Grade five) when their lunch balance was low.  Stamping hands as a reminder for a low lunch balance has been a long-term practice in our School District.  […]

Column: From the Desk The 25th Annual Dollars for Scholars Scholarship Awards luncheon was held on Wednesday, April 26 at the Bigwood Convention Center. The chapter was able to give out $67,000 in scholarships to 80 graduating seniors from Fergus Falls!  The Fergus Falls Public Schools would like to thank the Dollars for Scholars for […]

Darrel was a man I greatly admired. He was an active listener and when he spoke, like EF Hutton, everyone listened. Darrel was long on common sense and it’s unfortunate that more people didn’t get to enjoy his wonderful sense of humor. As I stated in a column earlier this year, I was unsure of […]

Congratulations to Christine Harrington, Isabella Nehk, Lydia Stephens and Tyler Hauge for qualifying for the National Individual Events Tournament of Champions in Kansas City, Missouri on May 12th-14th! Harrington, a senior, will be competing in two events: Dramatic Interpretation and Poetry. Her drama piece, “She Said Yes: the Unlikely Martyrdom of Cassie Bernall” by Misty […]

Molly Stoddard, instructional systems specialist at the Prairie Wetlands Learning Center, shared that Fergus Falls did very well again in the junior duck stamp competition. Congratulations to Karolyn Papon (Bufflehead) and Adrian Blondeau (Canvasback) for placing first, along with Jayda Emerson Dewey (Barrow’s Goldeneye) and Alaina Bailly (Hooded Merganser) for placing third in the grade […]

Kindergarten registration On Monday, March 20, Fergus Falls Public Schools welcomed the Class of 2030 to kindergarten registration. What an exciting time for the children and parents. During the event, parents were able to hear a presentation from Principal Scott Colbeck regarding being prepared for the first day of school. While the parents were meeting […]

As you read this column, I am hoping the Otter boys’ basketball team is on their way to defeating Columbia Heights or have already won. This team has again captured the hearts of the community by their strong play and exciting brand of basketball. Congratulations to coach Matt Johnson, his staff and the players for […]

Column: From the Desk By Jerry Ness Last week, I was asked to make a presentation on education: Then and Now. I spent most of the presentation on the now, but began with comments on the multiple areas that have been added to education’s role over the years. When I grew up in Argyle in […]

A few weeks ago, Mentors Bill Swanson, Darrin Hanson, and Aaron Demuth shared that the FIRST Team #3293, the Fergus Falls OtterBots, bagged and tagged their competitive robot. Swanson stated, “I’m very proud of what these students accomplished in six short weeks, and especially with a small team. They really deserve recognition and credit for […]

Due to the space concerns and needing to add additional classroom sections at Cleveland School, the School Board made the decision to move the fifth-grade to Kennedy Secondary School at the Feb. 13 School Board meeting. During the Feb. 27 work session, the School Board heard options for student placement at Kennedy Secondary School for […]

Anyone who is interested is invited to participate in the process of determining what pieces of equipment will be purchased, along with the design of the new middle school playground. The first meeting is scheduled at 5 p.m. on Thursday in the cafeteria at the Kennedy Secondary School. The second meeting is scheduled for March […]

During the Monday School Board meeting, the Fergus Falls Public School Board approved moving the fifth grade to the Kennedy Secondary School starting in the 2017-18 school year. The key reason behind the move is class size. Currently, class sizes are large at Cleveland and we do not have room to add sections to reduce […]

February is registration month for next year’s high school courses. To inform parents of a great opportunity for their students, a STEM — Science, Technology, Engineering and Math — meeting is scheduled at 5:15 p.m. tonight in room 102V in the Roosevelt Education Center. For easier access to Roosevelt Education Center, please park in the […]

Congratulations to King Tyler Hobbs and Queen Taylor Watkins and all the 2016-17 Snoball royalty. Seniors: Abigail MacFarlane, Ethan Rinke, Alice Schindler, Justin Mortenson. Juniors: Noelle Dew-Tomhave, Broc Evenson, Kalley Rastedt, William Pajari, Chloe Sandford and Joe Grecco ll. Sophomores: Amy Johnson, J.B. Sandahl, Julia Johnson, Javonte Tommerdahl, Grace Metcalf and Titus Seland; and Freshmen: […]

You are invited to a public meeting regarding student placement for next year starting at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday in the Kennedy Secondary School Auditorium. Optional tours of KSS will begin at 5 p.m. for those interested — please meet in the foyer near door A. Informally, the school board members have individually shared their preference […]

During the School Board work session on Jan. 9, the board discussed the student placement options for our fifth-grade students for future years. Portable classrooms were ruled out of the discussion first because of their additional cost and seen as only a temporary fix. The discussion then turned to the fifth grade moving to Kennedy […]

The Fergus Falls School Board held its reorganizational meeting on Jan. 9. The new officers are: Chair woman Melanie Cole, Vice Chairman Matthew Lemke, Treasurer Natalie Knutson and Clerk Blaine Danielson. The 2017 board and committee representation include: Minnesota State High School League and Co-Curricular — Matthew Lemke; Special Education Cooperative Board — Melanie Cole; […]

Both our students and staff take the gift of giving seriously, especially around the holidays. Our staff has collected personal funds and shared with students and charity organizations. Students have raised funds through Penny Wars and collected items through food drives, Toys for Tots, and Presents for Pets. I have seen many, many displays of […]

The following articles are from Ms. Laurie Roder’s STEM language arts class — published in their STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) newsletter. These are the last two articles from this class project in order to explain STEM. STEM 10: An overview by Natalie Swanson What comes to mind when people think of STEM? Do […]

Last week was a terribly difficult week for the Fergus Falls Public Schools with the news of the death of senior student Trent Adam. The following letter was posted to our website along with resources for parents on how to support their children: With great sadness, I share with you that one of our senior […]

The following articles are from Ms. Laurie Roder’s STEM Language Arts class — published in their STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) newsletter. I will continue to share one or two articles each week from this class project in order to explain STEM. STEM Academy by Weston Arntson In the STEM Academy at Kennedy Secondary […]

Congratulations to Rylie Sheridan for being named to play in the 2016 Minnesota Football Showcase (High School All-Star Game). All the players will practice at Augsburg and Concordia Colleges from Wednesday through Friday and play the game at 3 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 3 at the U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis. Congratulations to Marie Fuchs […]

To update the public on next year’s student or grade level placement, we have scheduled a 5 p.m. meeting on Dec. 12 in the Kennedy Secondary School Auditorium. At this meeting, citizens and parents will hear an update on the Student Placement Committee’s proposed recommendation with an opportunity to provide feedback. Everyone is also invited […]

Fall Musical – Cinderella This year, make plans to attend the Fergus Falls High School’s fall musical where students will be performing Rodgers and Hammerstein’s “Cinderella.” There will be over 50 students involved as part of the cast, crew or orchestra. Performances are scheduled at 7 p.m. on Nov. 11, 12, 18, 19 and at […]

Farm-fresh produce is on the menu at the Fergus Falls Public Schools. Our district is partnering with Fresh Connect Food Hub in Fergus Falls to procure local items for its farm to school program. Fresh Connect purchases fruits and vegetables directly from small and midsize farmers in the region, and makes them available for schools […]

Positive Audit for 2016 Nine years ago, the audit report documented an unreserved fund balance deficit of $1.4 million. The audit also documented a deficit of $564,000 in the facility’s operating capital reserve. The school district entered into a financial condition called statutory operating debt, the school district’s version of bankruptcy. These were tough times […]

Thirty-four teams from the region competed in the Junior Area Envirothon on Oct. 5, at the Prairie Wetlands Learning Center.  The Fergus Falls Middle School sent two teams of five, and two alternates to compete in the event. One of our teams, consisting of members Erika Lahti (seventh), Marissa Hurley (eighth) Samantha Robb (seventh), Alex […]

he College and Career Expo will be held in the Gold Gym at Kennedy Secondary School from 8:30 am to 1 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 6. High school students from Fergus Falls along with area high schools – Twin Oaks, Hillcrest Lutheran Academy, Campbell-Tintah, West Central, and Pelican Rapids will visit with college reps and […]

Many of us look back at our high school homecoming with fond memories.  This week is no different for the students at the Fergus Falls High School. Coronation, games, parades and the dance are all part of a fun week at FFHS! The 2016 Homecoming Coronation was held on Monday night. Congratulations to King Evan […]

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 […]

The Fergus Falls Public Schools has seen an increase of 172 students since the beginning of last year, for a total enrollment of 2,869 students.  65 of the new students are in our local buildings and 107 students are registered online with iQ Academy Minnesota. Most of the 447 iQ Academy students are open enrolled […]