Dakota Memorial School

Children Succeed at Dakota Memorial School

At Dakota Memorial School, we help the most troubled, complicated, and amazing kids by providing best-in-class education where we look kids in the eye, walk with them, and help them become their best selves in this world and in Christ.

Dakota Memorial School Purpose Statement:

Our greatest contribution is to be sure there is a teacher in every classroom who cares that every student, every day, learns and grows and feels like a real human being.

          ~ Donald O. Clifton

Dakota Memorial School, the on-campus school of Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch:

  • Serves both residential and day program students.
  • Delivers a personalized education to children in elementary, middle, and high school (grades 7-12 in Bismarck and Fargo; grades 4-12 in Minot).
  • Supports students with complex learning needs due to psychiatric, behavioral, and trauma issues.
  • Consists of trained educational staff (teachers are highly qualified according to ND Century Code), and provides special education, 504, and Title services.
  • Works closely with children’s home schools for a smooth transition and credit transfer.
  • Is an AdvancED systems-accredited school dedicated to continuous school improvement.

At Dakota Memorial School, we surround each child with the tools they need to succeed, and engage them in the areas that fit their unique needs.

Balanced Learning Environments in classrooms let kids choose the environment best for their learning style. These include specialized work stations, special lighting, and specially trained staff. If students feel restless or unable to focus, they are encouraged to move around to find the space that works best for them at that time.

Spiritual Life Services give all children at DMS the opportunity to examine their spiritual beliefs and find hope. Spiritual life programming is voluntary, meaning children are not forced to participate in religious activities. Teachers are free to incorporate their Christian faith into the curriculum.

Occupational Therapy teaches children how to filter out unimportant sensory information coming at them from all their senses—touch, sound, sight, movement, body awareness, taste, and smell. In-school occupational therapists work with students to assess and treat sensory processing issues. They help students find positive and appropriate ways to address their sensory needs, both in school and in the residential environment.

Trauma-informed care addresses the significant trauma most of our children have experienced. Instead of looking at children and asking, “What is wrong with this child?” we ask, “What happened to this child?” We understand that children’s behaviors all serve a purpose, so instead of punishing them for their behaviors, we find out the reasons behind the behaviors and help them develop new, more appropriate ways, to cope with their feelings and emotions.

Social-Emotional Learning is aimed at building the mindsets, skills, and attitudes that enable students to succeed in school and in life.

Many of our students experience academic success for the first time at Dakota Memorial School.

Courses Offered

  • Language Arts (e.g. Developmental Reading, Life Skills English, Speech, Literature, Creative Writing, Composition)
  • Mathematics (e.g. Life Skills Mathematics, Consumer Mathematics, Applied Mathematics, Pre-Algebra, Algebra 1, Algebra 2, Geometry)
  • Science (e.g. Earth Science, Life Science, Physical Science, Biology, Ecology, Geology)
  • Social Studies (e.g. Life Skills Social Studies, U.S. History, World History, Government, Economics, World Geography)
  • Career and Technical Education (e.g. Introduction to Technology, Photography, Innovations & Inventions, Entrepreneurship, Production Technology, Welding, Construction Technology, Horticulture, General Business, Keyboarding, Computer Applications, Personal & Business Law)
  • Physical Education/Health
  • Family and Consumer Science (e.g. Child Development, Foods, Living On Your Own)
  • Visual Arts (e.g. Painting, Drawing, Graphic Design, Architecture, Animation, Public Art/Gallery Displays, Ceramics, Video Game Design, Wood Burning, Sculpture, Printmaking, and Textile)

About Our Education

Ready to Enroll Your Child?

Most of the children admitted to a residential treatment program at the Ranch attend Dakota Memorial School. We gather the education records and any other information we need during the residential admissions process.

You can also enroll your child in Dakota Memorial School as a Day Student, while they continue to live at home. The admissions process at DMS includes the completion of an application packet, as well as the submission of education records, health records, and releases of information. You must also obtain a signed contract from the child’s school district of residence.



Jen Clark
Phone: 701-857-4244
Fax: 701-837-0700




Dakota Memorial School does not discriminate in admission, employment or administration of its programs based upon race, color, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, religion or handicap.