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Planning For The Future

By Fargo Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Jeff Schatz

 

Fargo Public Schools is pro-actively working to plan for the future of our students, and the District’s ability to deliver the high quality educational experience our constituents have come to expect. Currently, administration is working to build the 2017–18 budget and plan for any future needs of our District buildings. Here is an update on the status of our budget and the continued work of our Long Range Facility Plan:

Budget Update:
The North Dakota legislative session is nearing its completion. The K–12 funding bill for 2017–19 has yet to be decided, which is a crucial factor in the building of the Fargo Public Schools annual budget. As it stands now, the funding bill will not include new dollars in per pupil payments. Additionally, there is a risk that some pass through grants will not be funded, which will then impact some programs in the district. The passage of our local mill levy vote on March 7 will bring some new dollars to the revenue side of the budget equation. However, it takes new dollars from both state and local revenue sources to help offset increasing annual costs. While the final action on the majority of our revenue is pending, Fargo Public Schools administration will continue to construct the expense side of the budget for the 2017–18 school year.  Once the final revenue piece to our budget is known, administration will begin to review the budget and work to bring a balanced budget to the Fargo School Board for approval.

Long Range Facility Plan Update:
Beginning in 2013, Fargo Public Schools has maintained a Long Range Facility Plan. Since its original approval, a potential remodel or addition to Discovery Middle School has been included in the plan, dependent upon the growth on the south side of Fargo and subsequent growth in student enrollment. We have reached the point in time where that option needs to be fully explored. On April 11, the School Board directed administration to proceed with a feasibility study for Discovery Middle School to see what needs exist for the school. The study is two-fold; a review is needed to see what space needs exist for the school, along with a review of its infrastructure to determine if any remodeling is also needed. Discovery was built in 1994 as a junior high school. It now serves as a middle school and the educational delivery model has changed from its original inception. This consideration will also be taken into account during the feasibility study. Administration will proceed with its study and once completed, report the findings to the School Board for its review.

Administration will be focusing on these two major projects in the coming months. Time seems to have a way of flying by, and we as a school district need to be continually planning for the future and responding to the needs of our students and staff, to be able to adequately Educate and Empower all students to succeed.

Educate and Empower all Students to Succeed.