2020-21 School Year
On August 10, 2020, the School Board of West Fargo Public Schools adopted a Return to Learn plan that governed all activities in the district for the 2020-21 school year. This plan included three critical components:
West Fargo Public Schools has designed our safety plan with consideration for preventative and responsive measures for both home and school. We constructed this plan through collaboration with local and state health officials, in alignment with CDC guidelines. The plan is explicit in determining action steps if stakeholders are exposed to or infected with COVID 19. We will continue to enhance this plan to support the safety and well being of all.
West Fargo Public Schools elementary and secondary leadership teams are continually monitoring and improving our curriculum - what we teach and how we teach it. Our focus is on research-based instruction and best practices. The standards provided by the state are not a curriculum, but provide a target for our district to utilize as we determine the resources that we implement and use to educate our youth in West Fargo.
In periods of uncertainty, services focusing on social emotional learning become a priority and relationships are the primary focus of SEL development in West Fargo Public Schools. We know that school closures may have caused chaos, unpredictability, and fear. A child who has experienced this trauma might feel unsure of what to expect when things change. Predictability and routine can help children who have experienced traumatic events adapt to transitions in the classroom a little easier so that they feel safe and ready to learn.
Testing & Vaccination
While separate from our Return to Learn plan, testing and vaccination were two other key strategies in West Fargo's ability to safely keep students and staff onsite.
West Fargo Public Schools partnered with Fargo Cass Public Health, the ND National Guard, and Fargo Public Schools to provide rapid testing clinics specifically for school staff starting in November 2020. These testing efforts moved to each school in the district at the end of January 2021 and were available until mid-May.
West Fargo Public Schools partnered with Fargo Cass Public Health and Fargo Public Schools to create opportunities for staff to be vaccinated with as little impact to the instructional environment for students and families. At the end of the year, the district partnered with Essentia Health to provide a vaccination clinic for WFPS students and families.
On May 10, 2021, the School Board of West Fargo Public Schools authorized the suspension of the Return to Learn plan effective May 31, 2021, and the adoption of a health and safety plan for summer school and summer activities during June 2021. The key priority of the June document is to implement reasonable accommodations to reduce school-wide and community spread.
Both the CDC and the ND Department of Health are still recommending schools adhere to mitigation strategies like mask-wearing, physical distancing, and general good hygiene. While WFPS will continue to follow the majority of CDC and ND Department of Health mitigation strategies, we believe that with the smaller population that participates in school and activities during the summer, as well as the non-compulsory nature of these events, June provides an opportunity to step back from mandatory enforcement of mask wearing.