Boarding school is in session north of Bismarck

Published: Aug. 17, 2022 at 7:07 PM CDT
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BISMARCK, N.D. (KFYR) - Soon, school hallways will be packed with students going to class. St. Mary’s and Shiloh start school on Thursday and Bismarck Public Schools starts next week. One school located north of Bismarck had desks filled with students Tuesday.

Out on the prairie, there is a school tucked back into the rolling hills. Dakota Adventist Academy has been educating ninth through twelfth-grade students right outside of Bismarck since 1977. The boarding school currently houses 34 students.

“What we’re trying to do is have kids kind of spread their wings, try being more independent at a younger age,” Vice Principal Jovannah Poor Bear-Adams said.

An average day for students here can start at 6 a.m. and go until 6 p.m. depending on the classes they choose. Electives students can choose from include construction and pottery.

”Being able to work with other kids now it’s actually really nice, asking for help and not doing it by yourself,” twelfth-grader Abigail Chin said.

Most students come from North Dakota and South Dakota. This year, there is one international student from Korea. The three-to-one ratio of students to teachers is one reason parents and students are drawn to the school.

”You are starting from where you are and building from that, and that is a benefit from a small campus like this,” Poor Bear-Adams said.

Campus numbers are lower this year than expected as the academy tries to enroll 40 to 45 students per year.

The entire campus plans to go to Lake Metigoshe for several days next week to do activities such as waterskiing, archery and bonding time.

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