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W.F. approves girls hockey

West Fargo High School will have its own varsity girls hockey team starting next fall. To a ripple of applause, the School Board approved creating the standalone program, and bringing it to full funding in three years - two years faster than has ...

West Fargo High School will have its own varsity girls hockey team starting next fall.

To a ripple of applause, the School Board approved creating the standalone program, and bringing it to full funding in three years - two years faster than has been done with programs in the past.

For the 2007-08 season, the district will pay $27,000 for the head and assistant coaches, transportation, officials and ice rental. Hockey supporters will pay $5,000 for equipment and supplies and $14,000 in other startup costs.

In year two, the district will pay $29,000 and hockey supporters will pay $3,000. In year three, the district will pay the full $32,000 in projected program costs.

West Fargo girls will play on the Fargo North team through this year.

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Business Manager Mark Lemer said the School Board picked the three-year funding plan to show its commitment to cutting back on the fundraising athletes and other students do to support programs.

In other business, the board:

- Voted 7-0 to have administrators look for an interim assistant principal for Westside Elementary School.

The school has 624 students, said Principal Carol Zent. Enrollment growth was so great this fall that a number of students had to be sent to other schools.

More students also meant more staff. The school has about 70 employees. Forty-four of them are teachers, with 18 having three years or less of experience, Zent said.

"I could use some help," Zent told the board.

No pay range has been set for the post, said Human Resources Director Robin Hill. She will study if it's more feasible to seek a retired principal or superintendent to fill the position through the end of the school year, or to hire from within the teaching ranks.

- Established the mill levies for the 2006-07 school year.

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The School District will levy 254.02 mills on an estimated valuation of $127,038,523. That is expected to bring in $32,270,326, Lemer said.

The breakdown for each fund is: general fund, 185 mills, $23,502,127; sinking and interest, 35.95 mills, $4,567,035; building fund, 10 mills, $1,270,385; special assessments, 7.9 mills, $1,003,604; high school tuition, 3.05 mills, $387,467; technology, 5 mills, $635,193; alternative education, 4.12 mills, $523,399; special reserve fund, 3 mills, $381,116.

- Was told that a new scoreboard for the high school athletic complex could cost $50,000 to $80,000, with supports and installation. A higher-priced scoreboard could include amenities such as instant replay.

Staff and the board also discussed whether the district should consider accepting sponsorship advertising.

- Approved hiring three paraprofessionals. Two will work with students at Cheney Middle School, and the third will work at Westside Elementary. The net cost is expected to be $35,301.

Readers can reach Forum reporter Helmut Schmidt at (701) 241-5583

Helmut Schmidt is a reporter for The Forum of Fargo-Moorhead's business news team. Readers can reach him by email at hschmidt@forumcomm.com, or by calling (701) 241-5583.
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