Bismarck Public Schools, North Dakota
|Bismarck Public Schools|
|Bismarck, North Dakota|
|Number of schools:||22|
|Website:||School Home Page|
|Board of Education|
|Board president:||Matthew Sagsveen|
- 1 About the district
- 2 Superintendent
- 3 School board
- 4 Budget
- 5 Teacher salaries
- 6 Schools in Bismarck Public Schools
- 7 Academic performance
- 8 Issues
- 9 Contact information
- 10 See also
- 11 External links
- 12 References
About the districtBismarck, North Dakota, the county seat of Burleigh County. According to the United States Census Bureau, Bismarck is home to 64,751 residents.
Bismarck outperformed in comparison to the rest of North Dakota in terms of higher education achievement in 2010. The United States Census Bureau found that 33.5 percent of Bismarck residents aged 25 years and older had attained a bachelor's degree compared to 27.1 percent for North Dakota as a whole. The median household income in Bismarck was $53,186 compared to $51,641 for the state of North Dakota. The poverty rate in Bismarck was 9.7 percent compared to 12.1 percent for the entire state.
Note: The United States Census Bureau considers "Hispanic or Latino" to be a place of origin, not a race. Therefore, the Census allows citizens to report both their race and that they are from a "Hispanic or Latino" place of origin simultaneously. As a result, the percentages in each column of the racial demographics table will exceed 100 percent. Each column will add up to 100 percent after removing the "Hispanic or Latino" place of origin percentages, although rounding by the Census Bureau may make the total one or two tenths off from being exactly 100 percent. This Ballotpedia page provides a more detailed explanation of how the Census Bureau handles race and ethnicity in its surveys.
The superintendent of Bismarck Public Schools is Tamara Uselman as of April 15, 2014. She has served in the position since her appointment in 2011. Uselman previously served as the superintendent of Perham School District in Minnesota from 2003 to 2011.
The Bismarck School Board consists of five members elected at-large to four-year terms. Each board member receives $400 per month along with reimbursement for expenses accrued during district business.
|Bismarck School Board|
|Member||Assumed Office||Term Ends|
School board elections
- See also: Bismarck Public Schools elections (2014)
Members of the School Board are elected to four-year terms on a staggered basis. Three seats were up for election on June 10, 2014 and two seats will be on the ballot in June 2016.
Public participation in board meetings
The School Board maintains the following policy related to public participation in board meetings last updated in 1994:
All regular and special meetings of the Board shall be open to the public unless the Board is meeting in executive session as allowed by law. So that the Board may hear the viewpoints of citizens throughout the district, and also conduct its business in an orderly and efficient manner, it shall schedule one or more periods of a specified length of time during each meeting for brief comments and questions from the public.
The Board prefers that members of the public wishing to make formal presentations before the Board make arrangements in advance with the Superintendent of Board president whenever possible, so that such presentations may be scheduled on the agenda.
Comments and questions at a regular meeting may relate with any topic concerned with the Board's conduct of the schools. Comments at special meetings can only deal with the call of the meeting.
Speakers may offer criticisms of the school operations and programs, but during a meeting, the Board will not hear personal complaints against any person connected with the school system. The Board may question speakers to clarify concerns but, as a general rule, will not debate such concerns until the Superintendent has presented a position statement at a subsequent Board meeting. Those who speak are urged to limit their remarks to a maximum of five minutes. Any group addressing a common concern should designate a spokesperson.
—Bismarck Public Schools website, (2014), 
|Expenditures by Category|
|School Year||Staff Expenses||Student Services||Operational Expenses||Debt Service||Other||Budget Total|
|Total||% of Budget||Total||% of Budget||Total||% of Budget||Total||% of Budget||Total||% of Budget|
Teacher salaries at Bismarck Public Schools are categorized based on higher education achievement and years of service. A teacher with a bachelor's degree can earn higher salaries by pursuing graduate degrees. The salary schedule also accounts for graduate degrees by providing higher starting salaries and greater potential salaries. The following table lists salaries for district teachers during the 2013-2014 school year:
|Degree level||Minimum salary ($)||Maximum salary ($)|
|B.A. + 15||41,921||52,092|
|B.A. + 30||43,260||58,228|
|B.A. + 45||44,084||67,841|
|MA + 15||47,071||73,842|
|MA + 30||48,101||75,040|
|MA + 45||49,337||76,235|
|MA + 60||50,161||77,435|
Schools in Bismarck Public Schools
Bismarck Public Schools served 11,017 students during the 2010-11 school year.
The district operates 22 K-12 schools listed below in alphabetical order:
|Bismarck Public Schools|
|Bismarck High School|
|Centennial Elementary School|
|Century High School|
|Grimsrud Elementary School|
|Highland Acres Elementary School|
|Horizon Middle School|
|Lincoln Elementary School|
|Miller Elementary School|
|Moses Elementary School|
|Murphy Elementary School|
|Myhre Elementary School|
|Northridge Elementary School|
|Pioneer Elementary School|
|Prairie Rose Elementary School|
|Roosevelt Elementary School|
|Saxvik Elementary School|
|Simle Middle School|
|Solheim Elementary School|
|South Central High School|
|Sunrise Elementary School|
|Wachter Middle School|
|Will-Moore Elementary School|
The North Dakota Department of Public Instruction conducts annual testing to determine student proficiency in reading and math. Each district receives an annual report card comparing annual testing performance with benchmarks established by state education officials to comply with federal standards under the No Child Left Behind Act. The annual report also assesses whether a district has met the state's benchmarks for attendance and graduation rates.
Bismarck Public Schools did not meet the state's Annual Yearly Progress (AYP) goals for the 2012-2013 school year. The state report card found that district students achieved a 93% attendance rate compared to the state benchmark of 95%. The district's 86.8% graduation rate fell below the state goal of 89%. The table below detail district performance on math and reading tests during the 2012-2013 school year:
Sex abuse case against former teacher
Former Wachter Middle School teacher Susan Duursma faces felony solicitation of minor charges in Burleigh County based on alleged actions between March and July 2013. Duursma is accused of engaging in an inappropriate relationship with a 15-year old student. She was placed on unpaid leave in November 2013 and resigned from the district in February 2014. Duursma's attorneys seek to dismiss charges because a recording made by the student and his friends of an encounter was illegal without Duursma's permission. The defense has also asked the court to move the trial out of Burleigh County due to extensive media coverage of the story. A three-day trial is scheduled for May 2014.
- North Dakota
- List of school districts in North Dakota
- Bismarck Public Schools elections (2014)
- School Board Elections portal
- Bismarck Public Schools
- City of Bismarck
- North Dakota Department of Public Instruction
- North Dakota School Boards Association
- National Center for Education Statistics, "ELSI Table Generator," accessed April 11, 2014
- North Dakota Department of Public Instruction, "Graduation," accessed April 15, 2014
- Bismarck Public Schools, "About Bismarck," accessed April 15, 2014
- United States Census Bureau, "Bismarck, North Dakota," accessed April 11, 2014
- Burleigh County Elections, "Elections," accessed April 11, 2014
- United States Census Bureau, "Frequently Asked Questions," accessed April 21, 2014
- Bismarck Public Schools, "Administration," accessed April 15, 2014
- Michelle Farnsworth, Great Plains Examiner, "Uselman takes over Bismarck schools at critical time," September 25, 2011
- Bismarck Public Schools, "Board Member Compensation and Expenses," January 26, 2004
- Note: This text is quoted verbatim from the original source. Any inconsistencies are attributed to the original source.
- Bismarck Public Schools, "Public Participation at Board Meetings," October 24, 1994
- Bismarck Public Schools, "Bismarck Public SchoolsFISCAL YEAR: 2011-12," accessed December 11, 2013
- Bismark Public Schools, "School Focus: 2013-2014 Annual Report," accessed December 10, 2014
- Bismarck Public Schools, "2013-2014 Salary Schedule," accessed April 17, 2014
- Bismarck Public Schools, "District Schools Information," accessed April 15, 2014
- North Dakota Department of Public Instruction, "Annual Adequate Yearly Progress Report," May 5, 2013
- Jenny Michael, The Bismarck Tribune, "Prosecutors want Bismarck teacher sex case to go to trial," March 27, 2014