By Superintendent Dr. Jeffrey Schatz
This school year, the Fargo Public Schools Board of Education has been working on reviewing the District’s Long Range Facility Plan (LRFP). A community task force has been meeting since March to develop recommendations to forward to the Board of Education for consideration.
The task force meeting facilitation was recently taken over by FPS administration from the consulting firm RSP & Associates. The last two meetings of the task force have been directed by Cabinet- level administrators, who presented data and information to help task force members better understand the District’s student population demographics, attendance boundaries, academic achievement, future facility maintenance, and financial constraints. At the meeting on May 2, task force members worked in groups to provide recommendations with corresponding rationales for the following questions:
- What recommendations or comments do you want to forward to the school board regarding overall capacity issues facing the school district?
- What recommendations or comments do you want to forward to the school board for their consideration regarding configurations and neighborhood schools?
- The school district facilities assessment report indicated that there are needs regarding the ongoing operational maintenance in several school buildings. What recommendations or comments do you want to forward to the school board for their consideration regarding these needs?
- We know that the far south end of Fargo is and will be experiencing significant student growth. Some schools are experiencing overcrowding in their buildings. What recommendations or comments do you want to forward to the school board for their consideration in dealing with this situation?
- The City of Fargo completed a citywide study called Go 2030. From that report, are there items you want the school board to consider during their deliberations about the Long Range Facilities Plan?
- Are there other recommendations or comments you want to forward to the school board for their consideration?
From their responses, six themes developed:
- Grade Configuration/Paired Schools
- Academics & Magnet Schools
- New Construction/Remodeling/Repurpose
- Public Relations/City, Parks, Schools
- Neighborhoods & Safety
- Long Range Operational Maintenance
At the meeting on May 16, the task force worked to further define potential recommendations for consideration in the District’s next long term plan. As the task force continues to meet in June, they will work together to refine the recommendations. Once finished, the recommendations will be forwarded to the Board of Education to consider.
Information on the LRFP process, including task force meeting agendas and materials, is available online at www.fargo.k12.nd.us/lrfp. I encourage you to stay abreast of the development of the plan. The process of developing a new long range plan for Fargo Public Schools is an important one for our District and will help define the future of our schools.