Fargo & West Fargo Schools Discuss Task Force’s Behavioral Report For Students

FARGO, N.D. – Fargo and West Fargo Public school leaders are working to meet the needs of students with behavioral challenges, and they’re doing it with a little help from a Least Restrictive Environment-Behavior Task Force.

West Fargo Public Schools Superintendent Beth Slette says the district has noticed an increase in complex behaviors in some of their students, specifically in kindergarten through fifth grade.

“Teachers are of course educated to teach and some of those behaviors really require a skill set that we don’t have and so I think bringing this community and this group together has really opened the doors and opened the eyes to some of the challenges that we’re seeing and what we can do to overcome them and to help the students,” Slette Said.

That’s all thanks to a behavior task force put together for West Fargo and Fargo Public Schools. The more than 50 community members as well as school faculty have met six times from September to December.

“Ultimately what we’re here for is to help children gain access to that education that they deserve,”¬†Slette said.

To do that the task force also has mental health experts to help the districts break down barriers they face in helping their students with special needs.

“The Anne Carlsen Center, North Dakota Autism Center, TNT Fitness. There’s quite a few. We really try to reach out to a variety of agencies that provide services to children and to really talk about how can we get the best services for students within the schools to meet their needs specifically in the areas of mental health and behavioral challenges,” Slette said.

Fargo Public Schools Superintendent Rupak Gandhi says both districts are working together on this because it impacts the entire community.

“I think this is just a community issue. This is an issue across both school districts and as we see that these are challenges that not just remain to Fargo Public Schools but to West Fargo Public Schools as well. Why not just work together to see ok this is what we need to do in our schools to meet the needs of all students?” Ghandi said.

Slette says when it comes to meeting those needs, the task force is already helping to break down some of the barriers.

“The information that we gained from this task force is extremely valuable to us because we now have created partnerships just by being at the table and having these conversations and I think it’s opened the eyes to some as to what some of the barriers are facing in the schools when getting the help that kids need within the schools during the school day,” Slettte said.

Each school board will now meet separately to discuss the next steps they’ll take in each of their districts.

Categories: Community, Local News, North Dakota News