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School Board meetings to allow input from audience

The West Fargo School Board will begin a new policy of openness by accepting comments from the audience during regular Board meetings as the District attempts to create better channels of communication. The directive came from Board President Duane Hanson during Monday night's Board meeting held in the Horace Elementary School Library.

Dr. Dana Diesel Wallace also voiced her desire to look for ways to improve communication and morale within the District.

"I think it's time to address two long-standing issues, communication and morale," Wallace said in an interview following the meeting.

Addressing the issue of low morale among staff, Wallace said we need to find better patterns of communication.

"What are the causes of it [low morale]? Lack of communication? No communication? Lack of empowerment of teachers? Rules? Are there issues at certain schools?" Wallace asked.

"Part of it is, What can I say? and who can I say it to? We've got to build the sense where people can feel they can talk," Wallace added.

The Board also took on a new approach to the District's spending strategies following a report revealing lower tax accessments than expected for the year.

After lengthy deliberation, the Board approved a new 12-month position for a Human Resources Projects and Systems Manager, but held off on approving a proposed Dean of Schools part-time position until more data can be compiled. They also opted to wait on taking action on the request for seven full-time Interventionist positions at the K-5 levels, and the equivalent of 2.5 full-time Reading Specialists.

The resignation of District Manager Mark Lemer was officially accepted by the Board. He will stay until the end of June to finish out his contract, and said he will help in the transition.