Helmut Schmidt was born in Germany, but grew up in the Twin Cities area, graduating from Park High School of Cottage Grove. After serving a tour in the U.S. Army, he attended the University of St. Thomas in St Paul, Minn., graduating in 1984 with a degree in journalism. He then worked at the Albert Lea (Minn.) Tribune and served as managing editor there for three years. He joined The Forum in October 1989, working as a copy editor until 2000. Since then, he has worked as a reporter on several beats, including education, Fargo city government, business and military affairs. He is currently The Forum's K-12 education reporter.
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The Fargo School Board unanimously approved a new two-year teacher contract tonight during a special meeting. It took less than two minutes to get the 6-0 vote. A minute and a half later, the meeting was done. "It was quick because we feel good about it (the contract)," Board President Robin Nelson said. "This week's timeline was short, but that's because we wanted teachers' raises in the first paycheck." The contract calls for teachers to get pay raises of 4.13 percent in 2007-08 and 3.01 percent in 2008-09.
Fargo teachers overwhelmingly approved a contract Wednesday that calls for pay raises of 4 percent in 2007-08 and 3 percent in 2008-09. About 84 percent of the roughly 780 Fargo Education Association members voted, union President Ellen Dunn said. Of that, 605 members, or 92 percent, voted for the contract. Forty-nine voted against the contract and two ballots were blank, Dunn said. "I'm glad it's over so we can get on with what we're supposed to do, and that's working with kids," Dunn said. The contract now goes to the Fargo School Board for approval.
Fargo South High School will open today with about 2,100 students between two campuses. Fargo School Board members and city commissioners agree that's too big for a quality education. But how to tackle the problem? That's where the groups part ways. The School Board says the answer is to build a $43 million high school in what is now a soybean field a half-mile south of the city limits. The School District has an architect and plans to sell bonds this fall to have the school in place by 2011.
Minnesota State University Moorhead opened the school year Monday with 7,204 students, down about 2.5 percent from last year's opening enrollment of 7,382, a university spokesman said. On Tuesday, the four campuses of Minnesota State Community and Technical College combined to open the school year with 5,447 students, up 4.2 percent from last year's 5,223, said Carrie Brimhall, director of enrollment management. A rigorous new curriculum called "Dragon Core" is attracting more freshmen to MSUM, but demographic trends and a tougher payment policy have led to a continued decline in enrollment,
Fargo teachers overwhelmingly ratified a contract today that calls for pay raises of 4 percent in 2007-08 and 3 percent in 2008-09. About 84 percent of the roughly 780 Fargo Education Association members voted, union President Ellen Dunn said. Of that, 605 members, or 92 percent, voted for the contract. Forty-nine voted against the contract and two ballots were blank, Dunn said. "I'm glad it's over so we can get on with what we're supposed to do, and that's working with kids," Dunn said. The contract now goes to the Fargo School Board for approval.
The West Fargo School Board unanimously approved a two-year pay and benefits package for its classified employees Monday. The vote increases their pay and benefits 4.73 percent in 2007-08 and 5.03 percent in 2008-09. It will cost $454,315 in 2007-08, bringing classified staff expenses to $10,068,042.
The West Fargo School District and Fargo Oak Grove Lutheran School saw strong growth with Monday's opening of the school year. Oak Grove added 86 students, mostly at the elementary and middle school levels, to bring its pre-kindergarten through grade 12 enrollment to 491 students, President Bruce Messelt said. West Fargo, meanwhile, had 6,218 students enrolled, or 236 more than at the start of school last year, Business Manager Mark Lemer said.
For some people, learning to swim starts with wading in the shallow end of the pool. For the more adventurous, it's a jump off the dock. It's the latter that might best describe the West Fargo School District's leap to block scheduling that starts with today's opening of school. The district will teach all students in first through ninth grade in much longer classes: 45 minutes or more at the elementary level to 90 minutes for high school freshmen.
Fargo teachers and the School Board have a new contract ready to ratify. Negotiators for the Fargo Education Association and the board cobbled the pact together quickly Wednesday night, thanks to the work of an impasse mediation panel and a renewed sense of collaboration at the bargaining table. The contract includes salary increases over the next two years of 4 percent and 3 percent, respectively, not including money for lane changes (increases in pay tied to higher degrees and work toward them). With all benefits included, the district will pay $2,643,438, or 5.06 percent, more in total c
There's nothing like a shiny new car to make an owner feel proud. Hopefully, shiny new schools get the same results from students and parents in Fargo and West Fargo. On Monday, the fast-growing West Fargo School District opens Aurora Elementary School in the Eagle Run subdivision and Sheyenne Ninth Grade Center just north of the Osgood subdivision. Both schools are state-of-the-art and can be expanded if needed. Fargo, meanwhile, opens a new version of Jefferson Elementary on Aug.