Fargo school leaders eliminate year-round schooling option to deal with overcrowding

FARGO, ND. (Valley News Live) - While many things are still up in the air, Fargo Public School leaders say when it comes to controlling capacity issues, they will no longer consider the option of year-round schooling at Discovery Middle School and Davies High School.

This was one of the three ideas presented by the district as a possible solution to overcrowding. The three ideas presented were year-round schooling at Discovery Middle School and Davies High School, a unique grade configuration that would move 9th graders from the crowded schools to another building, or the idea of boundary changes.

The board said year-round schooling is a major change that could be considered to improve educational opportunities in the future. However, it will not be part of the discussion to battle the overflow of students.

“I’m more nervous about the difference of trying to implement that with one versus the other. Is this a larger conversation that we want to have? said Fargo Superintendent Rupak Gandhi. “I also think that it needs to be part of the community conversation.”

While the board ultimately came to this conclusion, it's not without public outcry. Board member Kristi Ulrich said out of any of the three proposed topics, she received the most heat from concerned parents about this one.

“This conversation, I’ve taken the most phone calls of since the options have gone out. People are calling me right and left,” Ulrich said.

The two remaining topics are still on the table.

School leaders spent a large amount of time discussing continued interest in the idea of building a new middle school that could house 8th and 9th graders temporarily until it would ultimately serve its purpose as a new district middle school. Rupak Gandhi said this idea is in the very early stages of consideration. He said that the board has set a goal to reach out to the necessary resources to see if this is a viable option.

Gandhi said the district’s long-term vision is to have a consistent feeder pattern. They are looking at how the remaining two solutions would impact this vision.

One Fargo mom said she is just glad to see that the board has a vision they are moving toward.