West Fargo Public Schools not changing COVID mitigation thresholds

(Valley News Live)
Published: Nov. 30, 2021 at 9:16 PM CST
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WEST FARGO, N.D. (Valley News Live) - At a special meeting Tuesday evening, the West Fargo School Board discussed removing the 5% threshold in the district’s response protocols that triggers consideration for moving a school to temporary distance learning.

The majority of schools in the West Fargo District have less than 1% of students with active Covid-19 cases; however, 5.2% of students at Legacy Elementary are positive. (You can access the data reports here.)

In an email to families, the district says Tuesday’s discussion was precipitated by the ND Department of Health recommending the change to district leaders for the following reasons:

  • Students learn best when they are onsite at school.
  • Closing a school creates a hardship for families that need to find childcare for their students on days when they would have been in school.
  • If students are not in school, the potential exists for them to be in daycare settings or with at-risk family members, which moves the potential for the spread of COVID from school to other places in the community.
  • WFPS has seen significant success with its in-district rapid testing program and can also facilitate testing at a much higher rate than anticipated when these thresholds were adopted.

Nine people spoke at Tuesday’s meeting. After roughly an hour of discussion, the Board voted to keep the language of the COVID-19 metrics and thresholds as-is. They say district administration is still expected to review case data and consult with healthcare partners when considering whether a school should be moved to distance learning once the 5% threshold is met.

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