New Students Starting School This Late In The Year - - Bismarck/Minot/Williston/Dickinson-KXNEWS,ND

New Students Starting School This Late In The Year


Imagine moving your kids to a new school with just weeks left in the school year.

It's a new trend many districts across the state are experiencing.

<<New students continue to walk through doors of Bismarck public schools, even with less than a month of school left.

Many families continue to flock to North Dakota because of the booming economy.

Jon Berg finds out just how many new students are calling Bismarck home, and where they're all coming from.

"We are getting new kids every single week," Superintendent Tamara Uselman said.

Since the beginning of the school year, the Bismarck Public School district has enrolled 624 new students, 42 of those just this month.

"And so kids are joining a classroom that late in the school year, trying to find their place and staff I think are knocking it out of the park to try and make kids feel welcome on a short timeline," Uselman said.

Isacc Stevenson is one of the new faces, his first day at Will Moore elementary was April 8th.

"I didn't want to move, because all my friends were out there and stuff," Stevenson said.

Isacc's dad has been working and living in North Dakota for the last year and a half, but it wasn't until this month Isacc and his mom decided to leave sunny California, and move to Bismarck.

"Transition is ok, we're just not used to the cold, cause we're from the low dessert, which is like summertime 113 and the coldest maybe 30, maybe," Laurie Stevenson said.

Despite the unseasonably cold spring, Isacc is fitting right in with the rest of his class and his mom is also hoping to get a job, thanks to the state's booming economy.

"California, jobs are kind of scarce, so yeah I moved here too also to get a job," Laurie said.

"I like it here, it's nice and I've made a lot of friends at school," Isacc said.

The Superintendent says this is becoming pretty common in North Dakota, more families moving to the state for job opportunities.

"Prior to the economic health growth that we've seen lately you'd see shifting and they'd tend to be North Dakota or Midwest kids, now we're seeing them from all over the United States and different parts of the world," Uselman said.

For this school year all the new students in the district come from 39 of the 50 states in the nation.

"And then we've had kids come from eight other countries; Canada, Mexico, China, Philippines, India, Iraq, Uganda and Saudi Arabia, so I think the face of North Dakota kids is changing."" Uselman said.

Even though our weather is cooler than California, the Stevenson's are getting used to calling Bismarck home.

"The people here are very nice, real nice, I had neighbors come over and bring me some food and welcome me here to North Dakota and I was like ok we don't have that in California, but they're real nice here," Laurie said.

A good first lesson for Isaac AND his parents, as the family continues to adjust to a new school, jobs and community.

Uselman says she's talked with other administrators in the state and says many other school districts are seeing the same trend, all the way from Fargo to small districts like Stanley.>>

While Bismarck currently claims 39 of the 50 states in the country, that number has been on the rise.

Last school year the district welcomed students from 38 of the 50 states.

In 2010 to 2011 34 states in the country

And during the 2009-2010 school year the district only claimed 24 of the 50 states.

Williston and Dickinson are also feeling the impact.

For this school year Dickinson has students from 35 states and Williston 38.

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