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West Fargo School District making hires for the future

School District prepares for its 15th elementary school

Students eat lunch in the commons of Horace High School on Wednesday, Oct. 27, 2021, in Horace, North Dakota. Michael Vosburg / Forum Photo Editor
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WEST FARGO — To keep up with growth and continue a focus on student health, the West Fargo School District is increasing its positions for school counselors and nurses.

The West Fargo School Board has been cycling additions of staff since April, and will continue to add more teachers to get ready for the upcoming school year and the opening of the district's 15th elementary school, Meadowlark Elementary School.

Earlier in April, board approved hiring two additional counselors and two reading teachers, an administrative assistant, and an additional paraprofessional. The board also approved changing the positions of deans of elementary schools to assistant principal positions so that the professionals can achieve administrative credentials.

The requests were due to increased enrollment at the far south side buildings, as well as the addition of grade 11 at Horace High School during the 2022-2023 school year.

Assistant principals will now be placed at Legacy Elementary School, Deer Creek Elementary School, Osgood Elementary School and Brooks Harbor Elementary School. Currently, four elementary schools already have assistant principals rather than a dean of students.


"You'll see more come in in the future," Human Resources Director Brittnee Nikle said.

School District Business Manager Levi Bachmeier said some positions will be paid for by unused ESSER funds, or funds that were provided as part of the COVID-19 pandemic relief but will eventually be paid for from the general fund like other positions.

"Just about everything you see on here, with very rare exception, would be in the permanent staff bucket," Bachmeier said. "We'd just request then at the end of the two years to transfer them out of the grants and into the general budget."

"The addition of two school counselor positions will strengthen the district’s wellness goal by continuing to support social emotional learning and safe and compassionate environments in our schools," Nikel said.

Adding counselors also also helps the district meet requirements.

The district is also increasing the number of nurses at schools, increasing nursing hours to a 7.5 hour per day schedule.

"We are also requesting a reclassification of the lead nurse position to better represent the duties and responsibilities associated with the role," Nikel said.

The district's certified staff numbers have increased 140% through February 2022 from just four years ago. It has had to step up recruitment efforts due to the current staffing shortages and high turnover.


"We must support the ongoing needs of our staff for mandated leave requests," Nickel said in a memo to the school board.

An additional custodian was a also added to Horace Elementary School due to the addition added to the building.

In another round of staff requests in April, the board approved hiring four new special education teachers for across the district. A transportation supervisor, additional human resources staff members, six full time positions and a number of part-time staff were also added.

The West Fargo School Board will meet next at 6 p.m., May 9.


Readers can reach West Fargo editor Wendy Reuer at or 701-241-5530 . Follow her on Twitter @ForumWendy .

Related Topics: WEST FARGO
As the West Fargo editor, Wendy Reuer covers all things West Fargo for The Forum and oversees the production of the weekly Pioneer.
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