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Published January 21, 2014, 08:59 AM

More than 100 attend Grand Forks School Board forum

Grand Forks School District residents learned more about the district’s finances and demographics at a public forum Monday.

By: Jennifer Johnson, Grand Forks Herald

Grand Forks School District residents learned more about the district’s finances and demographics at a public forum Monday.

More than 100 people split off into small discussion groups during the meeting at South Middle School to talk with School Board members from Grand Forks and the Grand Forks Air Force Base districts.

North Dakota law requires school districts to hold a public forum every two years. The purpose of the forum is for the public to review local demographic trends and see how they might affect a district’s current practices, according to state law.

In one classroom, discussion among six residents ranged from questions on student busing, youth mentoring problems and how to maintain high-quality staff. When asked to suggest ways for the district to save money, participants were invited to write down their suggestions so board members could collect and condense the information later.

Some asked about student fees. Tammy Adam, a district resident, said she wouldn’t be surprised if fees increased.

“If travel needs to be parent-funded, I get it — gas goes up, maintenance goes up,” she said.

Superintendent Larry Nybladh also provided a number of brief updates, including construction on the new elementary school, slated to open in 2015, and a recently completed parking lot at Central High School.

The public forum gave parents a chance to meet School Board members. Some complimented the district and staff for its work, and School Board member Bill Palmiscno replied that he thinks the district provides a good education for students.

“I think everything we’ve done is to benefit our kids,” he said.

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