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WDAY: The News Leader

Published September 13, 2013, 06:37 PM

West Fargo growth overcrowds schools

West Fargo, ND (WDAY TV) - The dramatic growth in West Fargo has surpassed the expectations of city and school planners, to the point a new school already is over capacity.

By: Kevin Wallevand, WDAY

West Fargo, ND (WDAY TV) - The dramatic growth in West Fargo has surpassed the expectations of city and school planners, to the point a new school already is over capacity.

Administrators with Liberty Middle School have sent a letter out to parents outlining plans to reduce class sizes and deal with a continuing "walk-in" population of new students.

With contractors still putting the finishing touches on West Fargo's Middle School, comes news the shiny school is full; in fact, more than full. Class sizes in seventh and eighth grades are too large, according to administrators. The reason- a thriving, growing West Fargo. As soon as farm fields are cleared, houses are going in. The schools are just trying to keep up. Four more teachers here have just been hired to deal with the population that grows. 759 students in grades six through eight today alone.

Michelle Weber, Liberty Middle School Assistant Principal: “It just keeps growing, and just this week we have had three different families, and over the last few days, six new students. And if that continues to be the pattern, we have to be prepared for that growth.”

It has taken some patience and tolerance among West Fargo parents. With the hiring of new teachers, some students will be asked to move to a new team, within the school building. Kris Johnson is the mother of two students here at Liberty.

Johnson, Parent: “Not sure of the people building the houses are not telling the schools they are building these houses. I am not sure what is going on. It’s crazy growth, but it is good for us I guess.

One reason for the at capacity sign up here at Liberty- well the third floor is home to West Fargo fifth graders who are here from Aurora and Freedom Elementary Schools; those two are full.

210 fifth graders to be exact. All these growing pains as West Fargo stretches its boundaries south and west.

The building of Liberty has eased crowding at Cheney. Last year at this time, there were just over 15-hundred students. Today, 11-hundred.

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