West Fargo School Board votes to head back to the classroom

Published: Oct. 12, 2020 at 10:57 PM CDT
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WEST FARGO, N.D. (Valley News Live) - West Fargo Public Schools will move all students back to the classroom.

The decision was made Monday night after dozens including parents, students, and staff attended the school board meeting, several weighing in.

In a 5-2 vote, the school board decided to revise the “Return to Learn Plan” for the district.

This means 100% of the students will be allowed to return to the classroom if Cass County is in the yellow, green, or blue.

Students will not immediately return to the classroom. It will be done in phases with kindergarten through 5th grade coming first, followed by middle school students, and then high school students.

The district says they will give parents and staff a minimum of a two-week notice before any transitions are made. Also, the new plan must be approved by health officials first.

According to a survey this month and several parents speaking tonight, this change is what many families were looking for.

“I am so nervous moving into our second year of distance learning that it will stunt my chances to properly prepare for the ACT, which is vital to get into a good college,” a student said, asking to return to the classroom.

“In the long run, I and others are worried that we are creating a lot of severe long-term problems including increased mental illness, loss of learning, and a lack of support,” a concerned parent said.

However, many teachers did not share the same sentiment as parents. Many came forward asking that the district continues in a hybrid model.

Teachers expressed concern about how the change will be enacted, not having enough space in the classroom to stay socially distanced, and increased vulnerability especially as COVID-19 cases rise in the county.

“I have to do whatever you guys decide for my children, and you are exposing my family to more transmissible moments if you allow the people back full time,” Shaina Eagleson, a Sheyenne High School science teacher, said.

A timeline has not yet been set for when the transitions to the classroom will begin.

School leaders say families will have the option to choose distance learning if they would like.

Find more information about the plan approved by the board by clicking here.

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