Fargo Public Schools is proposing to push back the start of classes to September

The first day of class is currently scheduled for August 27
Published: Jul. 22, 2020 at 2:23 PM CDT
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FARGO, N.D. (Valley News Live) - Fargo Public Schools is considering pushing back the start of the new school year to September in a draft plan it unveiled to parents Wednesday.

The plan is still seeking input from parents and will be reviewed by the school board in a work session scheduled for July 30, according to FPS. The board won’t approve it until August 11.

Fargo Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Rupak Gandhi released his proposal for the upcoming school year during a virtual information session on Wednesday. All students and staff will be required to wear a face mask and do a health screening before arriving to school.

The coronavirus pandemic has impacted the school year from many districts across the country.

Gandhi said he wants classes to start on September 8 to give families, students, and staff an opportunity to familiarize themselves with the new way of learning.

“It provides an opportunity for our students to build a relationship with their teachers before they start in an online environment, if that’s where Fargo Public Schools starts,” Gandhi said. “And then to make sure we’re are adequately prepared to implement everything that we have outlined in our plan.”

As it currently stands, the first day of classes for Fargo schools is scheduled for August 27.

Included in the proposed plan is an option for students to study in a virtual academy, which would be strictly online.

The district is included a risk level color odometer as part of its proposal that will guide student teaching.

Red and orange are in the highest risk range while blue and green are low.

Gandhi said if the school year were to start right now, it would be in the yellow range. That means middle school and high school students will do strictly distance learning.

Elementary school students, however, would do a combination of in-class learning for two or three days a week and the other days distance learning.

“Simply because as a school system, we cannot guarantee that we can provide six feet apart for all of our students, and social distance,” Gandhi said.

The determination of risk would be made by a committee comprised of educators, health officials, and parents.

All students would also receive a device, such as an iPad or a laptop depending on their grade level. Some of that equipment still hasn’t arrived.

“Today, we still know because of a delay in shipment, the chromebooks that we ordered, just as one example, are not going to be delivered until September 9,” the superintendent said.

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