State Superintendent Visits Boys & Girls Ranch - KMOT.COM - Minot, ND - News, Weather, Sports

State Superintendent Visits Boys & Girls Ranch

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Not everyone learns in the same way. What may be easy for one child to understand can be more difficult for another. It could be because of physical, mental, emotional or medical issues. Schools such as the Dakota Memorial School through the Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch can help.

Kirsten Baesler says the ranch is doing great work helping students to succeed. But there are hurdles the program is experiencing and she says she's hoping to help.

She's in charge of education in the state, but this time, it was Superintendent Kirsten Baesler learning how the Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch helps students who are struggling academically.

The Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch houses the Dakota Memorial School on three campuses, Minot, Fargo, and Bismarck. All have the same aim, helping students succeed in a non-traditional school setting.

"I felt it was very important for me to learn about the services they provide. And have an opportunity with them to share with me what we might be able to do as the department of public instruction to facilitate the education services and streamline the services that are given to some of our most needy children in North Dakota and their families," says State Superintendent Kirsten Baesler.

With state funding, the Ranch helps a student when another school has exhausted all other options. Both day students and residential students at the ranch are offered more structure though monitored class schedules, small class sizes, and medical treatments.
"We have the sixteen beds, we cannot get any bigger residentially but our dayside we really wouldn't need to have a cap for that. So if I could get enough staff in place we could have up to twenty/thirty day students in the community if we could," says Principal Tracy Hanzal.

They also face financial and staffing challenges. Educational leaders at the ranch say Baesler can see how important funding and governmental regulation could be for the ranch.

"You know, a lot of people talk a lot of oil and wind and what wonderful resources they are. They are nothing compared to our young people. Our young people are our most precious resource. Should we not do everything possible to make sure they get all of the services and education that they need?" says Superintendent Marcia Bartok.

Approximately 150 students are helped through the ranch.



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