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West Fargo School Board hears parents' busing concerns

WEST FARGO — Parents presented a petition asking the West Fargo School Board to change its busing policies at the board’s meeting on Monday, Aug. 27.

Jennie Mawson, who created an online petition at said the petition gathered 250 signatures in 24 hours and by Monday it had reached nearly 575 signatures.

“Our story has become a concern for more than the Osgood neighborhood,” she said. “We understand this will not be fixed overnight, but with no notice from the school, is there anything that can be done?”

The School Board accepted the petition and listened to the parents’ concerns, which centered around children walking to school, but took no action.

Board President Patti Stedman said the item was not on the agenda as an action item but district officials will consider the matter in the future.

West Fargo Schools uses a .9 mile radius system to decide who qualifies for busing. The district will provide busing to students who live more than .9 miles from their school, but those that live within the radius, or in the no-bus zone, must find an alternative way of getting to school.

“The no-bus zone does not necessarily mean a no-walk zone,” District Spokeswoman Heather Leas said.

Parents who signed the petition said they are concerned about the safety of their children walking alone as well as children having to walk in winter weather.

Ashlee Snyder, Fargo, said she has no way of getting her school-age children to school. Snyder has five children, including an 11-month-old who she said she cannot take out to walk the older children to school.

Snyder said she and her husband are a one-vehicle household. She asked the board to consider a policy that would take socioeconomic factors into account to provide busing for students from lower income families.