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Continued Growth for Bismarck Public Schools

Bismarck Public Schools is looking to add more teachers and school buildings.

Bismarck Public Schools Superintendent Tamara Uselman said there are 320 new students in the school system.

"We hired 66 teachers, and given the amount of growth we've had since then we plan to hire four more approximately," Uselman said. "And then if we haven't any more growth we should be ready for the school year."

Uselman  is hopeful teachers will be hired before school begins. It is challenging to find teachers in mathematics, Latin and special education, she said.

A concern for the upcoming school year is class sizes. Uselman claims some kindergartens class sizes are up to 31 students. A teaching aid was hired for these larger class sizes, she said.

The school district is going for a bond in the November election. The school district is looking to add two elementary schools and one high school in the Bismarck area.

"The school board last year started, in Novemember, meeting with the community to say how are we going to address what we see as space issues," Uselman said.  "Our demographer told us to expect at least 250 new students more per year every year for as far out as we can see. What that means is that every other year we would need a new elementary school."

Possible locations of the new elementary schools would be near Lincoln and northwestern Bismarck. A realtor for the school system is looking for a large space of land for the potential high school, Uselman said.

"The bottom line is this; we need space. The board needs to provide space but it also needs to be accountable to the taxpayers,"Uselman said.

Uselman claims the potential addition for new schools will provide more opportunities for students to get involved in activities.  

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