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Fargo, ND: District task force addresses "growing problem...severe behavioral...problems"

Jan 22, 2019, Inforum, Fargo, ND: Regional center for Fargo, West Fargo students with behavioral problems is task force's top choice In an effort to address the growing problem of students with severe behavioral or mental health problems in the Fargo and West Fargo school districts, a 50-member task force was formed and its report was presented Tuesday , Jan. 22, to a joint meeting of school boards from the two school systems…. The issue has been of concern as classes have been interrupted and entire schools affected in some instances. Some of the students that could be considered for the special programming would be those exhibiting complex behaviors such as violence or be identified as emotionally disturbed or on the autism spectrum. … The top choice of the group, although there wasn't a clear consensus, was to have a special program at a regional center that wasn't attached to a current district building. … What the diverse task force also wanted to see as the No. 1 goal was to address the academic, social and emotional needs of each child and monitor progress so they could return to a less restrictive environment. In fact, the name of the task force was the "Least Restrictive Environment-Behavior Task Force." The other two top alternative plans as voted on and ranked by the task force were a special program within the district attached to an existing school or a regional center with part of the programming contracted with an outside mental health or behavioral agency. … Currently the Fargo district has a special program for middle school students with a higher level of behavioral problems but nothing for elementary students. There had been plans last spring to create a small elementary school for students with severe behavioral needs in the Agassiz facility in south-central Fargo, but concerns from staff and parents drew that to a halt and the task force was formed in September.

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