Flowers: West Fargo educational foundation – A force for good
West Fargo Public Schools has had an educational foundation since the 1980s. However, it had lain dormant until last year when a group of school board members and committed alumni approached district leadership about reinvigorating it. We have reawakened the foundation in order to support an outstanding school district of which we are all proud, in order to achieve even greater things for our students, our staff and the community. The new WF Educational Foundation Board has established governance bylaws and is prepared to launch initiatives in alignment with school district needs and the foundation’s purposes.
The WFPS strategic plan focuses on foundation/basic skills; college- and/or work-ready students; and the demonstration of 21st century skills (especially the “Four Cs” of communication, collaboration, critical thinking and creativity). The district is striving to support our students to be prepared for the exciting and dynamic opportunities here in our own community, as well as in the global marketplace. The district has collaborated with the business community, and welcomes both pressure and support to achieve the lofty goals in our strategic plan. Not all that we aspire to accomplish can be done without additional resources, or as quickly as we would hope.
This is where the foundation hopes to step in. The mission of the foundation is to: “Create exemplary futures for West Fargo Public Schools students, by enhancing the district’s capacity for all students to achieve 21st century skills.” The foundation wants to provide resources to support the district’s efforts to provide exemplary education through the following strategies:
Focus on successful practices and support taking them to scale – STEM education, 21st-century skill attainment.
Strengthen partnerships that make connections for students and staff between school and the real world of work.
Enhance networks and create connections that support the district efforts.
Achieve tangible results and have a measurable impact for the students.
Recognize and build pride for the accomplishments of current and past WFPS students.
Marshal and rally West Fargo alumni, and their various acquired skills, to aid this endeavor.
West Fargo Educational Foundation board members hope that community members, businesses, district staff and proud alumni are as excited as we are to support our students and school district. We hope there is willingness and interest to contribute time, talents or dollars to help carry out the work of the West Fargo Educational Foundation.
An example of an immediate initiative supported by the foundation is the WFHS “Hall of Fame” celebration, which is held in the fall during Homecoming Week. It is a time when outstanding alumni, staff or community supporters of WFPS are recognized. An example of another initiative under study and in need of financial support focuses on transportation of students for whom there is no governmental support – for example, 4-year-olds who have no means to get to Head Start, or English Language Learners who have no means to meaningfully participate in after-school activities because of a lack of family transportation. Another initiative might be to support students who cannot afford, but aspire to take, Advanced Placement tests.
If you are interested in contributing, or in assisting in any way with the work of the West Fargo Educational Foundation, please contact Foundation Board President Alison Ottesen, firstname.lastname@example.org or Heather Konschak, the district’s Community Relations Coordinator, email@example.com. To learn more about the Foundation, please visit their website: www.westfargofoundation.com.
David Flowers is the superintendent of West Fargo Schools