Dr. Jeffrey M. Schatz
Superintendent, Fargo Public Schools
Education is a cornerstone of the Fargo-Moorhead metro area. With strong public and private preschool through college programs, community education, higher-level degree opportunities, it is evident this community strongly supports and has a high expectation of its educational systems. That community support has created an economic resource of well-educated and creative individuals who are the valued employees, entrepreneurs and innovators of the future.
The Fargo-Moorhead area is unique in that it has a broad spectrum of K–12 academic offerings for the community. The educational system is strong in public education options with numerous school districts in a relatively small geographic area. Further, there a many private, parochial school options for families to consider. This strong, overarching educational system and options for our community make this an amazing location to raise a family.
School districts in this area work together on curriculum development and program offerings to ensure all districts meet the 21st century academic and workforce needs. Fargo, Moorhead, West Fargo and Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton have joined forces with the Greater Fargo Moorhead Economic Development Corporation and the United Way of Cass-Clay to form the “Education That Works Initiative”. The initiative focuses on bringing teachers, administrators and professors together to plan and execute curriculum that meets the academic and future workforce needs.
In 2013, the Cass County Career and Technical Education Center (CCCTEC) was established to coordinate high school level career and technical education (CTE) programming accessed by Fargo, West Fargo, Northern Cass and Central Cass school districts. The CCCTEC provides students with access to a variety of CTE courses not otherwise possible for each district individually. The CCCTEC efficiently delivers courses and training in multiple areas, such as aviation, healthcare, business management and engineering. Regional businesses and administrators are used as classroom speakers, field trip locations and real-life career examples.
In K–12 education in the Fargo-Moorhead area, students have the luxury of a variety of class offerings, educational support programming and co-curricular learning opportunities. Teachers and staff focus on each student’s individual needs to ensure they grow academically each year. Formal education has turned its focus to the benefits of cross-discipline learning, incorporating science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics (STEAM, or sometimes STEM) to better prepare our students for emerging workforce needs and innovative careers. In the classroom, 21st century learning now intentionally incorporates the skills of critical thinking, collaboration, creativity and communication as our students learn the mechanics of reading, writing and arithmetic.
When a student graduates from high school, they are “choice ready” for college/continued education, a career or military service, all of which are available to them right here in the greater FargoMoorhead area. Teachers and counselors help high school students explore the options available to them through classes, career pathways, projectbased learning opportunities and more.
Not only are schools a place for students to learn and grow, they are also strong economic engines for our communities. Our K–12 schools and colleges are some of the largest employers in the area. They employ not only teachers, but employees in skilled trades or support roles. They also focus on the next generation of the community and workforce, preparing the youth to be the future citizens, homeowners, workforce, creators and innovators that will lead us through a globally connected 21st century world.
Education is a valuable commodity, and our region is fortunate to have such a strong educational backbone to offer its community. Fargo Public Schools is proud to be partners with our metro area districts as we work to together to “educate and empower all students to succeed.”