The following is a press release from Fargo Public Schools:

On August 10, the Fargo Public Schools (FPS) COVID-19 Instructional Plan Committee met to decide the FPS Instructional Level for the start of the 2020-2021 school year, in accordance to the FPS Smart Restart Plan. After thoughtful deliberation, the COVID-19 Instructional Plan Committee determined to open the school year under the following levels:

Elementary Schools: Level 3 – Hybrid Instruction

Middle Schools: Level 3 – Hybrid Instruction

High Schools: Level 3 – Hybrid Instruction

This decision was made based on the following four guiding principles outlined in the FPS Smart Restart Plan:

  • Ensure the safety and well-being of all students and employees.
  • Promote equity and accessibility to learning for all students.
  • Provide instructional delivery systems to meet the needs of all students.
  • Foster positive relationships and interactions. 

The goal of the Fargo Public Schools COVID-19 Instructional Plan Committee is to help Fargo Public Schools reach Level 5, where all students and staff can safely return to in-person instruction. Specific criteria used to help make this determination included, but are not limited to: guidance from the state, guidance from Fargo Cass Public Health, Cass County COVID-19 death rate, Cass County COVID-19 hospitalization rate, Cass County COVID-19 transmission rate, and considerations to the implementation of the FPS Smart Restart Plan. When considering specific Cass County data, a 14-day rolling average of COVID-19 cases was used.

The committee also discussed using “thresholds” or a model to help guide the determination of the FPS Instructional Plan Level today and moving forward. Based on the committee’s discussion, it was decided that at this time no specific thresholds will be determined for the change of level. However, the committee will continue to monitor data specific to Fargo Public Schools once schools open and look toward establishing thresholds for future decisions. This is due to the large number of variables and factors taken into consideration when determining the Instructional Level for Fargo Public Schools.

The committee also decided that, when possible, it will work to provide at least a two-week notice prior to making a change in Level for Fargo Public Schools. However, due the changing data and the ability for the number of COVID-19 cases in our community to suddenly increase or decrease, sometimes a two-week notice may not be feasible. The 18 members of the FPS COVID-19 Instructional Plan Committee are committed to meeting every two weeks, reviewing COVID-19 specific data in Cass County and making the best decision for Fargo Public Schools using the four guiding principles stated above.

Additional information has been added to the FPS Smart Restart website, www.fargo.k12.nd.us/smartrestart, and more information will be added as we near the start of school on September 2.