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School Board encourages residents to attend: Open Forums to be held to get community input on building projects

The West Fargo School District will begin holding a series of open forums to get community input on new school construction projects being considered by the district. The proposed projects include building high school and middle school facilities adjacent to the Sheyenne Ninth Grade Center, constructing a new elementary school south of the Interstate, and expanding Horace Elementary School.

Anyone interested in learning more about the proposed building projects is encouraged to attend the meetings. The first meeting will be held on Thursday, April 2, from 6:30 to 8 p.m., at Cheney Middle School, located at 825 17th Ave. E.

Additional forums will be held on Monday, April 6, at the Sheyenne Ninth Grade Center; Wednesday, April 8, at Westside Elementary School; Thursday, April 16, at South Elementary School; and Tuesday, April 28, at West Fargo High School. All meetings will be held from 6:30 to 8 p.m. Participation and discussion will be encouraged.

The March 23 school board meeting was held at South Elementary School. South student, Allison Inman, was honored by the board for winning the Geographic Bee. As an additional treat, board member Patti Stedman, and her son, Dustin, volunteered to demonstrate the new climbing wall purchased by South PTA last June. The climbing wall is used for physical fitness training in gym classes at South.

Board members gave administration approval to move forward on their search for real estate properties suitable for relocating the district offices next fall. The district plans to move Community High School students, the ELL newcomers' center, and adult education programs into the Leidal Education Center to make room for a group of middle school students at the Lodoen Community Center. The board toured five possible sites last week. Two of the sites being considered are located in West Fargo, while one site is located in the Osgood area, and two are in south Fargo. Several board members voiced concern that the property site chosen for new district offices should be within the City of West Fargo if at all possible.

The board approved the resignation of Steve Marquart, a teacher who has been employed by the district for 15 years.

In other action, the board approved a petition from the West Fargo Education Association recognizing them as the appropriate bargaining unit for upcoming negotiations for licensed teachers, librarians, counselors, school psychologists, speech and language pathologists, School-To-Work coordinators, and any non-administrative positions requiring a North Dakota teaching license.

They also reviewed and approved ten letters of agreement of non-renewals for positions that are contingent on additional grant funding prior to renewal. Robin Hill explained that most of the positions will be reinstated when grant money is approved.

The next school board meeting will be held at Westside Elementary School on April 14, at 6 p.m., with a Committee of the Whole meeting at 5:30 p.m.