Fargo special education teacher up for termination

Published: May. 13, 2020 at 5:51 PM CDT
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A Fargo school teacher’s job is up for termination after school officials say he has a negative impact on student’s learning ability.

An agenda for a special Fargo Public School Board Meeting on Thursday morning shows members will vote to discharge special education teacher Jameson Varholdt after raising several red flags in the 2019-2020 school year.

Varholdt was only in his first year at Kennedy Elementary School, but a performance review on Varholdt’s fall 2019 semester shows it was anything but smooth sailing.

Of the 18 things Varholdt was reviewed on, 14 of them are highlighted in red on his review stating he did not meet the required criteria. Some of Varholdt's deficiencies include excessive tardiness, failing to create lesson plans or attend required meetings, as well as taking excessive breaks.

Documents state in December 2019, Varholdt 'signed out to eat lunch at 12:15. Told colleagues he had eaten lunch with students and would take his lunch in the staff lounge. At 12:45, the bus to go to TNT arrived. Jameson was radioed because staff couldn’t find him as he was not in the lounge.' Documents say just one month later Varholdt then missed the bus altogether with his students.

Documents in Varholdt's file also indicates he did not keep to his schedule which caused other staff to not know where he was when his students were in crisis.

Varholdt's file states his 'current deficiencies in carrying out the primary duties of a teacher is having a negative impact on his students ability to learn basic subject matter,' and says his 'lack of follow through and disregard to foundational best practices is interfering with the safety, academic and social-emotional progress of students.'

Varholdt's plan warned in January he could be suspended or fired if he did not correct his actions.

Varholdt was previously a teacher at both Sheyenne High and Fargo North as a history and special education teacher.

The school board's meeting is set to start Thursday morning at 7:30.

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