Individualized Education Programs for Children
with Complex Learning Needs

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 supports students with complex learning needs due to psychiatric, behavioral, and trauma issues. Our highly trained teachers and support staff deliver a personalized education to children in elementary, middle, and high school (grades 7-12 in Bismarck and Fargo; grades 4-12 in Minot). With research-based assessments upon enrollment, students are placed in classes aligning with their academic levels and goals. Elementary and middle school students are promoted to the next grade, while high school students earn credits toward graduation. A formal graduation ceremony is held each spring to recognize students who met the requirements to earn a high school diploma.

Why Choose Dakota Memorial School?

Dakota Memorial School is a place where your child can succeed, academically and socially, maybe for the first time. At Dakota Memorial School, we surround each child with the personalized tools they need to succeed, and engage them in the areas that fit their unique needs. We are a fully accredited school designed to provide best-in-class, trauma-sensitive education for at-risk children. The staff at Dakota Memorial School are committed to providing a quality education in a safe and secure environment, while focusing on student needs and helpings students achieve academic success. Dakota Memorial School differs from a public school in that it offers a holistic and therapeutic educational environment for children with severe mental health and behavioral issues, while still giving your child access to special education, 504, and Title services. Our unique school serves both residential and Day Program students. We are committed to working closely with your child's home school for a smooth transition and credit transfer.

Our Learning Principles

Balanced Learning Environment

Our classrooms include specialized workstations, special lighting, and specially trained staff. We encourage students to move around and find a space where they can focus.



At Dakota Memorial School, we are committed to helping each student reach their full potential.


Spiritual Life Programming is voluntary and open to all children at Dakota Memorial School. Every child has the opportunity and flexibility to examine their spiritual beliefs and find hope.

Occupational Therapy

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.


We understand that children’s behaviors all serve a purpose, so we find out the reasons behind the behaviors and help them develop more appropriate ways to cope with their emotions.

Social-Emotional Learning

We help kids build the mindsets, skills, and attitudes that enable them to succeed in school and in life. Kids learn to understand themselves, connect with others, and work together.



I’m actually getting help from the teachers... if I have a stressful day, I can turn to them and they’ll listen. From day one, they have been pushing me to do the work.

Jacob, a 15-year-old Ranch Resident

About Dakota Memorial School

Operating in Minot, Bismarck, and Fargo, Dakota Memorial School (DMS) provides individualized educational programming for students ages 10 –18 who have been admitted to Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch for residential treatment, or who live in the surrounding community and attend the day school. DMS is a K-12 accredited private school district staffed by North Dakota-certified teachers and administrators, para-educators, and support personnel. The school is accredited by both the North Dakota Department of Public Instruction and Cognia.

Dakota Memorial School — Bismarck
1227 35th Street N
Bismarck, ND 58501

Dakota Memorial School — Fargo
7045 15th Street S
Fargo, ND 58104

Dakota Memorial School — Minot
6301 19th Avenue NW
Minot, ND 58703


Sherry Wagner, Principal
Dakota Memorial School
6301 19th Ave. N.W.
Minot, ND 58703

Mallory Halvorson, Principal
Dakota Memorial School
1227 35th St. N.
Bismarck, ND 58501

Shayla Leinen, Principal
Dakota Memorial School
7151 15th St. S.
Fargo, ND 58104

Tina DeGree, Superintendent/Director of Education
Dakota Memorial School
6301 19th Ave. N.W.
Minot, ND 58703


Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch is an Equal Opportunity Provider.