Dakota Memorial School (DMS), the on-campus school of Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch, started last week; and we have the highest beginning enrollment numbers we've ever had. The need for the specialized education program by DMS is in great demand, especially for middle school students.
To meet the growing need, we converted two offices on our Fargo campus into classrooms. This allows us to educate additional middle school students through the DMS Day Program. We also remodeled the school in Minot to fit the increased needs of our students and to make room for us to serve more kids.
Most of the kids who come to DMS have never had success in school. Now they are in a new place, with new people. What they do not know is that we are a place like no other and that every DMS staff person in the school is committed to making this a good school experience.
To welcome our students back to school, Ranch staff made fun signs for the walls and name tags for each locker. During the first week, our Fargo teachers asked the kids to write on a post-it note what they want the teacher to know about them. Here are some that jumped out to me:
I wish my teacher knew that I really want to get good grades.
I am a master procrastinator.
I like drawing.
I am a dancer and a cheerleader.
I wish my teachers knew that I was average.
...that reading is boring and I have trouble staying awake in class.
I like saying NO! even if I don't mean it.
I love that our children trust their teachers enough to share their thoughts, talents, and fears. DMS provides each of these students with an individualized education plan in a sensory-balanced environment. This means that each child is given the tools they need to focus in the classroom and to learn in a way that works best for them.
To top it all off, when kids are ready to return to their home school, we will work with them, their families, and their home school teachers and staff to ensure they have a smooth transition and can continue to be successful.
I wish our students knew how strong and talented they are. I wish they knew how many people believed in them. I wish they knew how much God values them...and I am glad that with time, all my wishes will come true for each of them.
We are always grateful for your continued prayers and support of these special children.
God bless you all,
Senior Development Officer
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Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch is a Christian residential treatment and educational center for children and their families. We help the most troubled, complicated, and amazing kids by providing best-in-class psychiatric therapy and trauma-informed care, where we look kids in the eye, walk with them, and help them become their best selves.