Community input imperative to key district decisions on facilities
During the summer of 2017, our entire board and administrative team breathed a sigh of relief
because enrollment projections were not pointing toward the need for a long-range facility
planning task force.
Then the first day of kindergarten hit, and we saw over 100 students more than we thought we were going to — 974 kindergarten students walked our halls in August 2017.
This made us reevaluate our ability to wait a year with the long-range facility planning discussions, and a community committee was assembled.
Community support is important to our board, and to the success of our district. As board
members, we value the opinion of our community, and have created many different committees
to engage our stakeholders and provide an avenue for them to provide their perspectives to us.
One of the most visible of these community initiatives has been the long-range facility planning
(LRFP) task forces that we've had in advance of the 2011, 2015, and the 2018 bond
The members of the 2018 LRFP task force spent countless hours in meetings and on their own
reviewing past, current, and projected data, facility information, and finances. They identified
pros and cons for 11 different projects for potential inclusion in the bond, and evaluated each
project against criteria like sustainability, short- and long-term outcomes, how it might affect the
district's finances, needs versus wants, how it might impact the taxpayer, and most importantly,
what impact it would have on our kids.
It was this LRFP task force that ultimately crafted the recommendation to the School Board for
the $106.9 million referendum that our community is being asked to consider on Sept. 25.
The task force selected projects to include in their recommendation based on how well
they addressed increasing enrollment, equal opportunity measures and the safety of our
students and staff.
They also remained cognizant of what the addition of each project meant to
the bottom line of our taxpayers, and worked to keep the impact minimal.
I am grateful that we live in a community who shares in the responsibility to shape our district for
the children that are here now and will be here in the future. I cannot imagine how difficult it
would be to make these decisions in isolation, so would like to say, "Thank you," for engaging
with us in this process.
We look forward to future meetings with our community members on all
manner of important topics, as we watch West Fargo continue to be the district of choice in