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Jeffrey M. Schatz, Published April 10 2013

Letter: Fargo schools’ long-range plan process looks to exciting future

This school year, the Fargo Public Schools Board of Education has been working on reviewing the district’s Long Range Facility Plan. The process of developing a new long- range plan for the schools is an important one for our district. The district’s last plan was fulfilled with the opening of Davies High School in 2011 and movement of Woodrow Wilson High School to the Agassiz building.

Our district continues to change and grow. Because of this, we must take a critical look at our schools, facilities and attendance boundaries to ensure we plan appropriately for the current status and projected change in Fargo in order to provide the very best education for all Fargo students.

Since October 2012, the board has hired consultants to provide enrollment, demographic and facility data; updated the district’s LRFP guiding principles; and created a community task force to review all the information and provide the board with recommendations on what should be included in the district’s next long-term plan. The board hired two companies to gather data to help districtwide decisions to be made – ICS Consulting and RSP and Associates. ICS Consulting is completing its final districtwide facilities assessment report on all district facilities. RSP and Associates conducted a series of analyses on the district’s enrollment and demographics. They worked with city, county and other regional agencies to collect the data needed for their reports.

The community task force has begun meeting. In a series of meetings this spring facilitated by RSP and Associates, the task force will work through the data available on Fargo and our students to come to consensus on recommendations. Those recommendations will then be presented to the public for feedback through forums held in May. Once feedback is received, the task force will continue to work on its final recommendation to present to the school board. The goal is to have a plan presented to the board by July.

A website has been developed that contains a wealth of information on the Long Range Facility Plan process: www.fargo.k12.nd.us/lrfp. The website contains information on our facilities, enrollment projections, Fargo neighborhood demographics, process timeline, and task force meeting information. Information will continue to be added to this site as the process continues.

It will be a busy spring for Fargo Public Schools, filled with a good amount of discussion and decision-making as we review our current situation and look to the future as we continue to provide outstanding educational experience’s for all of our students.

Schatz, Ph.D., is superintendent of Fargo Public Schools.