Superintendents ready to face challenges of new school year

Despite all of the challenges the school districts are facing, they feel ready to meet the needs of their students.

FARGO, N.D. – Over the next two weeks, 30,000 students will head back to school in-person for the first time since the pandemic began.

The school districts of Fargo, West Fargo, and Moorhead, have spent the summer carefully preparing for all of the challenges that lie ahead of them, especially COVID-19.

“Every generation has had a challenge, and this is our challenge. If we all pull together and we listen to each other and work together, we can solve big problems and do hard things,” West Fargo Schools Superintendent Beth Slette said.

“COVID-19 obviously has significant impacts, but we also need to recognize that we need to have conversations and talk about the civic unrest in our society, and making sure our students feel included in Fargo Public Schools,” Fargo Schools Superintendent Dr. Rupak Gandhi said.

Despite all of the challenges the school districts are facing, they feel ready to meet the needs of their students.

“Our staff will rise to any occasion. There is no bar that is set to high. Scrapping all of their professional experience, and then being able to do it with new tools in a new format, and to be able to do it successfully and still meet the needs of our kids is absolutely incredible,” said Gandhi.

All three school districts will start the year using the hybrid learning model with some classes being taught in person and others being taught virtually.

The superintendents say these first two weeks in the hybrid model are crucial to bringing students up to speed on the importance of wearing masks, washing hands, and having a zero contact learning environment.

“Prior to COVID-19, we were working on to really create collaborative environments in our schools,” said Slette, “With COVID-19, it goes against everything we want to do.”

All three school districts are expecting to have to switch between multiple learning models throughout the school year.

“The one thing I’d like to ask of our communities is for grace and understanding. We’re new to this as well,” said Moorhead Schools Superintendent Dr. Brandon Lunak.

“What we want our students to come into this school year with is hope, optimism, and then to look back and be proud of their resiliency and their grit,” said Gandhi.

Fargo Schools begin on Wednesday, West Fargo Schools begin on Thursday, and Moorhead schools begin on September 8th.

Categories: Community, Coronavirus, Local News, Minnesota News, Moorhead, North Dakota News