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Help is on the way for Fargo students showing decline in math and reading

Fargo schools officials say they have a plan to get students back on track.
Published: Aug. 27, 2021 at 5:57 PM CDT
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FARGO, N.D. (Valley News Live) - Fargo schools have a plan to get students back on track. Earlier this week, the school board addressed a lag in academic performance as a result of the pandemic.

“Our data is showing a similar trend that we do see a decrease in the number of students who are proficient in the area of language arts and math.” said Associate Superintendent Dr. Robert Grosz.

While the district can’t say how many students have fallen behind, they do point to grades 4th through 8th, where there’s concern with reading, and significant decline for students grades 3rd through 9th in math performance.

Dr. Grosz said federal dollars distributed to the district have given the school the resources needed to help get Fargo students back on track.

Some strategies the district has already put into place. They hired 23 licensed teachers to provide additional intervention and resources for students of all ages.

“Every building will have an additional teacher to provide additional intervention focused on literacy and math.” said Associate Superintendent Missy Eidsness.

The school district is also in the process of hiring 15 mentors and tutors to give students the small group or individual help they may need.

“Looking at the data, who are the students that need that help? Then they are assigning them to those periods and that will be in small groups,” said Dr. Grosz, “Trying to provide really intensive intervention in small or large groups, and the just in time intervention that’s needed for students across our system.”

Eidsness said some of the federal dollars will go to hiring social workers to support students social and emotional wellbeing.

“To support our families that might have more hurdles.” said Eidsness.

Dr. Grosz added what is happening in Fargo is not unique and that data from across the country shows similar declines.

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