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Bismarck Public Schools has 16 neighborhood schools, which served 6,160 students, grades K-5, in fall of 2016-2017. Contact any elementary school for information or call the Assistant Superintendent of Elementary Schools, (701) 323-4068.


The North Dakota High School Activities Association governs extracurricular activities. For information on participation and eligibility requirements, call Bismarck School District's Activities Office, (701) 323-4080.

Emergency School Closings:

The Superintendent of Schools may close schools in the event of hazardous weather, epidemics, or other emergencies that threaten the safety or health of students and staff. In the case of inclement weather, the Business and Operations Director will make a recommendation to the Superintendent by 5 a.m. If schools are to be closed, the Superintendent will alert all local news media. The official weather station is KFYR AM 550. Once school starts, buildings will not be closed unless we are directed by authorities to do so. During bad weather, parents should use their own good judgment in determining whether their children should attend. Weather-related absences will not count against attendance or test exemption. For school information during an emergency, go to www.bismarckschools.org on the home page or under District Alerts on the left.


The Bismarck Public School District is an equal opportunity employer. Most employees are screened, tested and interviewed at length before being hired. The district is one of the largest employers in the city, with full-time, part-time and seasonal staff. The following is a breakdown of employees at the beginning of the 2016-2017 school year: teaching staff=1,055; support staff=978; professional support staff=97; administrators=57; total=2,187.

English Language Learner (ELL):

Bismarck Public Schools offers programming, as needed, at elementary schools for limited English proficient students under the ELL (English Language Learner) program. Call (701) 323-4290.


The Bismarck Public School District is the largest in the state. The opening day enrollment for 2016-2017: elementary (K-5) = 6,160; middle school (6-8) = 2,895; senior high (9-12) = 3,703; total = 12,758, an increase of 348 students over fall 2015.


On the elementary level, the school district offers string musical instrument training for children beginning in grade 4. Band now begins in middle school in grade 6. The Bismarck Parks and Recreation Dept. runs our elementary athletic programs, (701) 222-6455. We also co-sponsor fall co-ed cross country meets and a spring track and field event.

At the middle and high school level, the district offers many co-curricular activities. Fine arts include a wide variety of music, visual art, speech, and drama opportunities. The fall sports program has football, girls' volleyball, girls' swimming, girls' golf, boys' cross country, girls' cross country, boys' soccer and boys' tennis. The winter sports program offers boys' basketball, boys' hockey, girls' hockey, girls' basketball, gymnastics, figure skating, wrestling, and boys' swimming. In the spring, we have boys' track, girls' track, girls' soccer, girls' tennis, girls' softball, boys' golf, and baseball. The number for the Activities Office is (701) 323-4080.

Field Trips:

See Transportation


BPS has a non-profit foundation for accepting donations for programs, scholarships, teacher mini-grants, etc. Call (701) 323-4093.

Gifted Program:

Bismarck Public Schools has a Levels of Service program. Coordinators work with classroom teachers in the school district's 17 elementary schools. For more information, contact the Assistant Superintendent of Elementary Schools, (701) 323-4068.


Elementary school grades are given at the end of each trimester, which are Nov. 18, Feb. 17, and May 25 in 2016-17. Middle school and senior high students receive reports at the end of each nine weeks: Oct. 28, Jan. 13, Mar 24, and May 25. Standards-based progress reports are used in grades K-5: a score of 1 means the student has a limited understanding of the benchmark/goal, a 2 means the student has partially met the benchmark/goal, and a 3 means the benchmark/goal has been met. In grades 6-12, letter grades are used, though middle school will be converting to standards-based report cards in a few years. Grades for traditional report cards are as follows: A = excellent, B = above average, C = average, D = below average, F = failing, and I = incomplete. Senior highs also allow students to take one elective class per semester on a pass/fail or S/U basis: S = satisfactory and U = unsatisfactory. This enables students to receive credit for taking a class without having a letter grade affect their Grade Point Average (GPA).


In 2015-2016, 822 students graduated from Bismarck's three public high schools: BHS = 369; CHS = 428; SCHS = 25. In 2016-2017, graduation ceremonies for South Central High School will be at 4 pm and the Adult Learning Center at 7 pm at the Career Academy on Thursday, May 25. Bismarck High, Century, and Legacy seniors will graduate Sunday, May 28, at the Bismarck Event Center. LHS will be at 1 p.m.; BHS at 4 p.m.; CHS is at 7 p.m.

Graduation Requirements:

Bismarck Public Schools requires students to have a minimum of 24 credits to graduate (15 required core subjects and 9 electives). Required subjects are 4 credits of English, 3 credits of Social Studies, 3 credits of Math, 3 credits of Science and 2 credits of Physical Education. The state of ND requires 22 credits.

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