Fargo Public Schools discuss plan for the fall

Published: Jul. 22, 2020 at 10:23 PM CDT|Updated: Jul. 22, 2020 at 11:12 PM CDT
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FARGO, N.D. (Valley News Live) - Five different plans are being considered for the upcoming Fargo school year, all tied to the level of risk for COVID-19.

They include all students and staff return to school if there’s a low risk to everyone, distance learning if there’s a high risk.

“This is about the 3,500 staff that are going to be in the building that are going to be working with our students and potentially affecting 15,000 lives within our FPS family alone,” said Jenifer Mastrud, Fargo teacher and FEA President.

Fargo Superintendent Rupak Gandhi says on the current risk scale the district sits in the middle at yellow.

“If we were only to look at death rate, hospitalization rate, and transmission rate, Cass Public Health would say that we are in the green,” Dr. Gandhi said. “However, if we had to look at the ability to implement social distancing, we know that is not something we can do in all the classrooms if we were to open classrooms for all of our students.”

This would mean middle school and high school students would incorporate distance learning. Kindergarten through 5th grade would adopt a hybrid model both in and out of the classroom.

“They would attend on an A/B day which would allow them three days a week the first week, two days the second, or vise versa.”

Making it even more challenging, Dr. Gandhi says these risk levels can vary by schools.

“We have a wide variety of schools that are different sizes so there might be a situation in which school A is in orange and school B is in green,” Dr. Gandhi said.

For both families or teachers, there are options.

Small groups of higher grade level students, who need more assistance would be allowed on campus.

Also, no student will be forced to go back to campus.

“For parents who are concerned about sending their kids, for educators who are concerned,” Mastrud said.

Teachers will be specifically dedicated to a virtual academy where families can choose to stay home.

The board won’t approve a final plan until August 11.

These proposed plans are not set in stone and are expected to change as the district navigates the weeks ahead.

Copyright 2020 KVLY. All rights reserved.

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