The West Fargo Public School District’s School Board met Friday and approved the district administration’s request to continue education in the current hybrid instructional model, until further notice.

At Governor Doug Burgum’s press conference earlier this week, he announced Cass County would be moved to the orange level. West Fargo Public Schools Superintendent Beth Slette says the North Dakota Department of Health contacted her to let her know that the change was ‘not intended for districts to change their instructional model.’ The changes were made to get higher compliance in the community.

Slette says she has visited with officials from both Essentia Health and Fargo Cass Public Health, who are in favor of West Fargo Public School’s current hybrid learning program and a phased-in approach to bringing students back on site to the district.

“We are still planning to move forward with that,” Slette says. “We are, we have been and we will continue to prepare to bring all students back.”

Superintendent of Public Instruction Kirsten Baesler tells WZFG News in-person education continues to be valuable.

“Some students and teachers can be successful in distance learning, but this year's move to more online learning has shown just how valuable in-person education is to all students,” Baesler says. “It is the state's goal to get our students back in school buildings as soon as we can safely do so.”

She has instructed districts to revise their return to learning plans to reflect a detachment from the state’s county levels, saying it is important that these types of decisions are made by families and school leaders in each district, with the state providing support to local control and each individual school’s needs.

Baesler also highlighted the high numbers in each county.

“Sadly, right now we are failing our children by letting community transmission remain so high,” she says. “I pray every North Dakota citizen will do their part so our children don't have to suffer the continued loss of learning, security, and the social and nutritional needs that schools provide.”