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Grand Forks School Board hears from Ben Franklin staff on progress as a demonstration school for new teaching methods

The Grand Forks School Board heard from elementary school staff tasked with trying out experimental teaching methods in North Dakota at its Monday meeting.

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Dr. Larry Nybladh is the new Superintendent of schools in Grand Forks. photo by Eric Hylden/Grand Forks Herald

The Grand Forks School Board heard from elementary school staff tasked with trying out experimental teaching methods in North Dakota at its Monday meeting.

Beth Randklev, principal of Ben Franklin Elementary, presented regarding the school's performance as a demonstration school. As the demonstration school, Ben Franklin Elementary tests teaching methods, such as grouping students by ability level in reading and math, that both develop the skills of its teachers and ensures students can learn at their individual paces.

Although Ben Franklin Elementary has been a demonstration school since 2012, Randklev said such experimental education methods date to 2005, when the school's changing needs became apparent.

"We had No Child Left Behind, and we were going to be leaving some behind," Randklev said. "Our demographic was changing, we weren't a title school, our kids weren't making enough progress every year, and we had to figure out another way."

Other items discussed by the board at its meeting included the procedure for Superintendent Larry Nybladh's semiannual performance evaluation, additions to the district's 2016-17 strategic plan and recognition of the Grand Forks Education Association and Grand Forks Principals Association as representative organizations for salary and benefit negotiation.

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District Business Manager Ed Gerhardt also noted the tax levy proposal approved at September's board meeting was submitted to the county auditor on Oct. 7.

The board will hold its next regular meeting on Nov. 14.

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