At a special session Wednesday, Oct. 21, the Grand Forks School Board is expected to hear an update on the progress of the district’s Facilities Task Force from representatives of SitelogIQ, the educational consultant hired to guide and facilitate the work of the task force.

The board expects to receive a summary of what the group has accomplished so far and the timeline moving forward.

The session, which begins at 5 p.m. at the Mark Sanford Education Center, will be broadcast live at The public is “strongly encouraged” to view the livestream, according to a notice from Grand Forks Public Schools.

Since it is a work session, there will be no opportunity for citizen comments, said Tracy Jentz, communications and community engagement coordinator for the school district.

The task force’s 40-plus members -- mostly community residents -- have been meeting fairly regularly since March to gain an in-depth understanding of the challenges the district is facing in a wide range of areas, including finances and deferred maintenance, with the goal of providing recommendations for board consideration early next year.

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In recent months, members have toured 10 of the district’s 18 schools, led by the district’s buildings and grounds director and other administrators, to see firsthand -- among other things -- the examples of physical design features that support modern learning practices and, in some schools, specific structural, electrical and other heating, ventilation and cooling needs.

The task force of interested volunteers, with a variety of backgrounds, was assembled early this year as part of the district’s long-range plan to prepare for a referendum, which has been pushed to 2021.

Due to the public health emergency posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, Wednesday’s work session will be conducted with social-distancing protocols in line with CDC recommendations and as allowed under Gov. Doug Burgum’s executive order suspending a portion of North Dakota Century Code.

Those who attend in person will be required to wear a face covering when entering and moving throughout the building. When seated and six-foot distance can be maintained, face coverings may be removed. Hand sanitizer is available for use upon entering the building.

Anyone with disabilities who may need assistance to access the meeting should call the superintendent’s office at (701) 787-4880 at least 24 hours before the start of the meeting.