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School Board:

There are five members on the Bismarck School Board who are elected for four-year terms. Elections are held in June. The board members for 2016-2017 are Matt Sagsveen, president; Karl Lembke, vice president; and members Heide Delorme, Rick Geloff, and Scott Halvorson. The Board holds regular meetings the second and fourth Mondays of each month at 5:15 p.m. in the Tom Baker Room at the City/County Building at 221 N. 5th St. Watch the meetings live or rebroadcast on cable government channel 2.

School Day:

Elementary schools (grades K-5) start at 8:30 a.m. and end at 3:05 p.m. Middle schools (grades 6-8) typically start at 8:10 a.m. and end at 3:20 p.m. Senior highs (grades 9-12) run from 8:25 a.m. to 3:28 p.m. Some early bird classes are also offered at the high schools.

Senior High:

Bismarck Public Schools has 4 high schools. The present Bismarck High structure built in 1934 was remodeled in the 1990's, and had 1,229 students on the first day of school this year. Century opened in 1976 and has a population of 1,233 students. Legacy opened in 2015 and had 1,125 students in 2016-17 on opening day. South Central High School is an alternative senior high started in 1983 for students who have dropped out of a conventional high school. The schedule at SCHS is more flexible, and classes are smaller so students receive more individualized instruction; 116 students were signed up on the first day of school this fall. Total senior high enrollment (grades 9-12) at the beginning of the 2016-2017 school year was 3,703. To learn more, call the senior high schools or the Curriculum Director, (701) 323-4084.

Special Education:

The Special Education Department provides special education and related services to young people with disabilities ages 3-21. Individualized Education Program (IEP) planning teams determine eligibility for services. Our goal is to support the education of students with disabilities in the general education environment. Call (701) 323-4029.


See Extracurricular

Student Handbooks:

Elementary and senior high schools have handbooks, which contain more detailed information about individual school policies and curriculum. Middle school policies are contained in their student planners.

Students In Transition/Homeless:

Bismarck Public Schools is committed to ensuring that children who are homeless have access to quality education. Eligible families or youth are those who lack a stable, adequate, and permanent place to sleep at night. If you or people you know are living in make-shift conditions (motel, car, camper, tent, or with relatives/friends) until they can afford a place of their own, the Students in Transition program can help. Call (701) 323-4051.

Summer School:

In grades 1-5, there is a 6-week summer program called Camp Edventure designed to boost academic success of all elementary students. It runs from 8 am to noon daily and is state funded and free to students. Classes are no larger than 15 students per teacher. For more information on elementary summer school, call (701) 323-4280. Middle schools and senior highs offer a growing number of free summer school classes in June and July, based on student demand and teacher availability. There is a waiting list, so students are encouraged to register early (January-February) at their schools.


On a $100,000 home, the average taxpayer would pay about $449 in school taxes in 2016-17. The average cost to educate a child in Bismarck in 2015-2016 was $9,926 compared with the same year's North Dakota average of $10,523.

Teacher Training:

The district is committed to hiring and retaining the best staff possible. Since hundreds of teachers apply for a limited number of openings each year, the school system is able to hire qualified, experienced teachers. The district provides many courses and in-service opportunities so teachers can improve their instructional skills. In BPS, about 50% of teachers have masters degrees or above.

Test Scores:

Bismarck students consistently do well on national standardized tests. For example, the most recent American College Test (ACT) composite scores for high school seniors for the most recent year available (2014-2015) were as follows: BHS = 20.5; CHS = 22.5; ND = 20.6; USA = 21.0. A perfect ACT score is 36. Only a few Bismarck seniors take the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) because it is not required for admission to most Midwest colleges and universities.

Also, most BPS students score in the proficient or advanced ranges on the North Dakota State Assessment (NDSA), and they outscore state averages of other N.D. students. Reading and math scores below are from spring of the 2014-15 school year; science scores are from fall 2014.

District Test Scores
October 2012 Reading Math Science
3 46%/44% 51%/54% ----
4 43%/41% 43%/49% 66%/68%
5 49%/48% 37%/41% ----
6 43%/49% 36%/38% ----
7 43%/44% 38%/35% ----
8 42%/46% 35%/40% 60%/60%
11 55%/63% 37%/41% 64%/64%

The above scores represent students who are proficient or advanced in math, reading and science on the State Assessment. Scores include all students participating in the NDSA, including students with disabilities who were tested with accommodations. ND Alternate Assessment scores are not included in these calculations. For more information, go to "Assessments" above.


See Records.

Transfers Between Schools in Bismarck:

Students who live in Bismarck and want to attend a Bismarck Public School outside of the attendance area in which they live must complete a Transfer Request Form. K-12 forms are available online at http://www.bismarckschools.org/ under Registration & Transfer on the left or contact Central Registration, (701) 323-4110. Requests are approved on a space-available or needs basis. For more information, call the Asst. Superintendent of Elementary, (701) 323-4068, or Asst. Superintendent of Secondary, (701) 323-4074. There is no open enrollment for students living outside of Bismarck.


Transportation: See the information below or call (701) 323-4502 if you have questions.
Elementary (K-5): Busing is available for elementary students who live beyond a half mile from their school. Students must live inside the school's attendance boundary to be eligible.

Secondary (grades 6-12): Busing is provided to students who live more than one mile from our 3 public middle schools and BHS, CHS and Legacy high schools. Students must live inside the school's attendance boundary to be eligible.

Rural, Special Needs, or Head Start Busing: We provide transportation for all students living outside the city limits and within the school district boundary. Transportation is also provided for some special needs students as assigned by the Special Services Department, and for eligible Head Start preschool students.

Vocational Education:

See Career and Technical Education

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