Blair Emerson / Bismarck Tribune
BISMARCK—The high school graduation rate for Native American students in North Dakota continues to rise in 2017, and yet a significant gap persists when compared to the overall student population. According to the latest data from the state Department of Public Instruction, the graduation rate for Native American students in 2017 was 67.3 percent, up from 65.2 percent in 2016. Dropout rates continue to decrease for Native American students, as well.
BISMARCK—Some North Dakota teachers want to better understand the needs of their Native American students, as well as incorporate more Native culture into their classroom instruction. This past fall, the North Dakota Department of Public Instruction, for the first time, administered a survey to identify Native students' needs to teachers and paraprofessionals in 29 schools in the state. Previously, it was only sent to principals and superintendents.
PARSHALL, N.D.—Parshall School District has reached a settlement with a former elementary school principal, who alleged he was run out of the school for reporting a teacher and coach was sexually harassing girls, including his daughter. According to the district's attorney, the district agreed to pay $25,000 to the daughter of former elementary school principal Lewis Reese, although the district did not admit any liability.
BISMARCK - By next summer, all schools in North Dakota will have access to high-speed internet. Gov. Doug Burgum and State Superintendent Kirsten Baesler, along with the Shawn Riley, the state's chief information officer, and Dakota Carrier Network CEO Seth Arndorfer, announced a plan to upgrade broadband connectivity for state and local governments, K-12 schools and higher education institutions.
BISMARCK — Fewer emergency teacher certifications were issued in areas of teacher shortages for the 2017-18 school year, according to preliminary data from the North Dakota Education Standards and Practices Board. There were 25 alternate access licenses — provided through an emergency measure which allows people without a teacher license to teach for one year — distributed compared to 83 during the past school year. "We don't know the why yet; we just know the number," said Rebecca Pitkin, executive director of the ESPB.
BISMARCK — Gov. Doug Burgum on Tuesday, Sept. 12, announced the creation of a new task force to improve public education in the state. Burgum's Innovative Education Task Force will identify ways to enhance K-12 education by promoting new, creative methods of teaching. The group will meet over a 15-month period and provide recommendations to the governor and the state Legislature.
PARSHALL, N.D. — A small school district located in western North Dakota on the Fort Berthold Indian Reservation is looking to replace its elementary and high school buildings with a new K-12 school — that's if a $5.4 million bond referendum is approved at the end of the month. The two schools face structural issues and asbestos, according to the district superintendent, who assures the schools are safe, but fears the high school could be condemned if repairs aren't made.