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Parents give input on Fargo School District's strategic plan

Fargo parents told school officials Wednesday that they don't agree with some goals in the school district's strategic plan. It was the second of five meetings hosted by Fargo School District administrators and school board members to get input o...

Fargo parents told school officials Wednesday that they don't agree with some goals in the school district's strategic plan.

It was the second of five meetings hosted by Fargo School District administrators and school board members to get input on the plan.

"It's a document that controls our destiny," said School Board President Dan Fremling. "It helps us in the decision-making."

The plan, which was developed in 2000, lists seven goals for students, ranging from academics

to communication skills

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to character.

Among the estimated 40 members of local Parent Teacher Associations who attended the meeting were some who criticized the goals as too lofty.

"It sounds good, but I don't think it's realistic," parent Char Laney said of academic goals.

Many parents recommended redefining goals and making career exploration a priority, if not a graduation requirement.

"Wouldn't it be nice if they (students) had to have a plan before they graduated?" said Lynn Pflugrath, who has a junior at Fargo South High School.

School officials are exploring whether to make goals such as community service a graduation requirement and whether to add different diplomas such as an honors diploma.

Both ideas didn't get much support from parents Wednesday or from principals two weeks ago. There were concerns that additional graduation requirements could increase dropout rates and whether different diplomas would affect at-risk and gifted students.

Teachers will give officials their input today.

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Feedback from about 250 people will help guide the school board for the next five to 10 years.

"I think that's going to be key - hearing a little different take (from each group)," said board member Don Faulkner. "(It will) give us some information as a board about where we are now and where we should go."

To see the strategic plan: http://www.fargo.k12.nd.us/education/sctemp/b6bc835d33aecd20f573f5ee69ea9adb/1258580347/StrategicPlan.pdf

Readers can reach Forum reporter Kelly Smith at (701) 241-5515

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