FARGO — New boundary changes to be phased in over three years at Fargo Public Schools will begin at the start of the 2022 -23 school year, but no overall grandfathering clause will be allowed for family units, with a few exceptions.
The Fargo School Board passed transition Plan A on a 5-3 vote on Dec. 8 and passed the no grandfathering clause on Tuesday, Feb. 9, on a 6-2 vote, with one member not present. To be grandfathered during a school boundary change would have given students an opportunity to stay in their originally zoned school.
Although the boundary change plan will not include a grandfathering clause, no two or more students from the same dwelling will be forced to attend two different high schools at the same time, said Assistant Superintendent Robert Grosz. Students who are already participating in a varsity school sport would also be allowed to continue at the current high school.
Transportation, which will require school buses to run in different directions in the same neighborhood, will be provided during a phased-in period of three years and continue as normal during the fourth year, Superintendent Rupak Gandhi said.
The plan will impact 393 middle school students and 434 high school students by assigning the area west of 25th Street and north of 17th Avenue South to Ben Franklin Middle School and Fargo North High School.
Some Kennedy Elementary students would go to Carl Ben Eielson Middle School and Fargo South High School, and all Eagles Elementary students would go to Discovery Middle School and Davies High School.
The plan would also increase capacity at Discovery Middle School by 181 students, at Davies High School by 238 students, at Carl Ben Eielson Middle School by 134 students and at Fargo South High School by 150 students.
The Fargo Public School district’s goals are to increase enrollment at Carl Ben Eielson Middle School and South High School and to create more space at Discovery Middle School and Davies High School to alleviate capacity concerns at those buildings.
Next school year, fifth grade students can choose to attend sixth grade at their new middle school, Grosz said.
"It's not the best long term plan," said board member Jennifer Benson, who was one of two dissenting votes. "To me, it's about bouncing families around and a significant amount of students. ... I don't support the plan for this kind of adjustment."