North Dakota governor responds to push to reopen schools

Published: Jul. 8, 2020 at 11:18 PM CDT
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FARGO, N.D. (Valley News Live) - Across the valley, parents are waiting to find out how school will be conducted in the fall. The interest was heightened as President Donald Trump urged state governors to finalize in person reopening.

Nancy Arneson described her family’s experience with distance learning.

“It was awful. There’s really no way around it.”

The experience was a challenge for her 13-year-old son.

“(He was) getting straight A’s, doing just great in school, and then coming home and doing these home assignments, " said Arneson. “We’re lucky that he passed.”

At the federal level, the push to have physical classes in the fall can be felt; a push acknowledged by North Dakota Governor Doug Burgum, saying he agrees with reopening.

“It’s an important part of our fabric of our communities,” said Burgum. “It’s an important part of our future.”

Schools in the valley have been taking to the community to get input on what parents want. West Fargo Public Schools sending home surveys, with 63% of responses saying they hope the state will allow schools to fully reopen. Governor Burgum explained that the state is looking at the environment and who will be coming back into the building.

“We’re committed to getting our schools open and operating in a way that’s safe for the students and safe for the faculty, administration, staff,” Burgum said. “Testing is going to be one piece of that.”

For Arneson, she says she knows she doesn’t have all the answers, but knows that what’s best for her son is getting back through those school doors.

“I feel like he already lost a lot last year by not finishing out the school last year,” said Arneson. “I can’t imagine him going into another school year and having the same thing happen.”

Moorhead Public Schools will know their plan by the week of July 27th. For North Dakota, Governor Doug Burgum is expected to share the state’s guidance next week.

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