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. Dana Diesel Wallace told the board that the last time she toured the building with Diemert, she noticed several minor things that still need to be done inside.

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  "One thing you'll notice right away if you go through the commons area, is the concrete floor," Wallace said. She explained that the flooring has been on back order and might not be installed by the time school starts for district kindergarteners on August 27.

  "It's a gorgeous building," Darren Sheldon, the new principal at the Osgood Kindergarten, said. Sheldon commended Betty Hanson and others in the district who worked hard in the planning of the facility.

During registration for classes this fall, parents will be asked to provide two phone numbers where they can be reached in case of emergencies or unusual circumstances. Rob Kaspari, technology director for the district, said the contact numbers will be vital in helping the district implement a new system called ConnectED, which is being developed to help get information to parents quickly. Possible instances when the system would be used is to notify parents when there are late buses, lockdowns, or schedule changes due to weather-related circumstances, such as blizzards or spring flooding.

  Kaspari said under the plan, parents would be notified quickly by phone, email, or text messaging, with a short message, such as, "lockdown, students safe." Once the ConnectED system is up and running, there would be safeguards in place to guarantee the program doesn't become a common, everyday message board, and is used only in rare instances.

  In board action, the board gave administration authority to fill out and sign off on electronic forms online to meet requirements for the annual certification of compliance. In the past, the board has signed paper documentation, however, this year, the form was emailed to the district.

  • They also authorized the district to hire additional staffing positions if enrollment numbers exceed expectations, in order to allow the district to hire needed staffing before school starts.
  • The board approved the applications for Title I, Title II, Title IV, and Title VI funds, authorizing Assistant Superintendent Louise Dardis to continue to act as the district's representative for the programs.
  • The board approved extended leaves for two district teachers to allow them to serve as elementary reading and math coaches for the district through a one-year program funded through the state. Both instructors will return to their regular teaching positions the following year.
  • Heard a performance report from Mari Bell, special education director for the district.
  • And receieved an update on the STEM Center program from Tabitha Joyce, principal for the new center.

  The next regular school board meeting will be held on August 24 at the Leidal Education Center, beginning at 6 p.m. Meetings with the West Fargo Education Foundation and West Fargo Building Authority will begin at 5:30 p.m.