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On occasion, our editorial staff receives invitations to review new book releases covering a wide gamut of literary styles and topics. Last month, a book about Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity (ADHD) was mailed to me. I read it with interest. With so many students in our schools affected by attention deficit disorders, I knew the book would provide some valuable insight to help me understand what families of children with ADHD go through.
As students and staff returned to school this week in West Fargo, they were greeted by some changes. The district's long-awaited STEM Center, focusing on Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math, for 160 sixth and seventh graders, opened in the Lodoen Education Center at 109 3rd St. E., in classrooms where the Community High School and Adult Education classes used to be held. Tabitha Joyce is the new interim principal for the Center. In addition, about 90 eighth-graders will be taking part in the STEM program at the Sheyenne Ninth Grade Center this year.
Representatives from the Village Family Service Center in Fargo were at the West Fargo School Board meeting on August 24th to present findings from the district's Employee Engagement Survey conducted last spring. Emphasizing that the 295-page report they brought with them should be studied carefully before drawing conclusions from the data collected by the survey, they shared a general overview with the board and audience members. Out of the 945 possible respondents, there was over an 80 percent participation rate.
Enrollment numbers for the first day of school in West Fargo were officially announced by the district offices this afternoon (Wednesday, Aug. 26). Total enrollment for preschool and K-12 have reached 6,955 students, with 337 new students enrolled this year. The figures reflect a 5.1 percent increase since the first day of school last year.
Hoping to settle on a contract before school begins on August 26, negotiations teams for the West Fargo teachers union and district representatives came away from the August 19 meeting disappointed. The two teams had left the bargaining table at the previous meeting with an offer from the district which included a 3.25 percent increase in total compensation for the 2009-2010 school year, and 4.75 percent for the following year.
After listening to comments and suggestions from parents and residents attending three community input meetings, West Fargo school board members decided October 6 is too early to go back to the voters with a second bond election.
The negotiations teams for the West Fargo School District and the West Fargo Education Association went away from the bargaining table on Tuesday night (August 11) with a challenging homework assignment. With this year's budget already locked in place, Tom Gentzkow, head negotiator for the district, urged WFEA to consider the district's offer of an 8 percent total compensation increase over the negotiated two-year period.
After talking one-on-one to parents and residents, West Fargo school board members and administrators have been told repeatedly that the first bond election package was too big and too expensive. So they have come up with a new scaled-down school construction project proposal that they hope will pass in a second bond election. But they want input from the community to guide their decisions before moving forward.
While you're visiting Bonanzaville for Pioneer Days this weekend, don't forget to stop by the Quilters' Guild of North Dakota's booth and see their beautiful raffle quilt. This year's quilt is called "Prairie Elegance." Designed for a queen size bed, the quilt measures 86"x 96," and is fashioned after the popular Victorian crazy quilts. The Prairie Elegance quilt was sewn by members of the Quilters' Guild, using silk, cotton and polyester brocades, satins and velvets.
The parking lot and bus loop have been paved at the new Osgood Kindergarten Center, however, progress on the project is slightly behind schedule. In a report to the school board during the Monday, August 10 regular board meeting, building and grounds director Pete Diemert assured the board that about 95 percent of the construction is completed at the site, with crews working seven days a week. Dr.