Love and Five Friends

Love and Five Friends

Love and Five Friends

We had an influx of Day Students at our on-campus Dakota Memorial School in early April. I am sure there are multiple reasons for the timing.
Day Students are children who have behavioral, social, or psychiatric challenges that their home schools are unable to meet. They don’t need residential treatment, these kids are living in the community. But, when it comes to school, the resources available in their home school do not match their needs. So, the school districts and parents or guardians work together to have the child attend school on one of our campuses. The parent or school district transports the child to and from our campus, and we provide the very best education to each of these precious kids. Over the last several years we have worked with kids from over 40 different school districts.

Dakota Memorial School teachers and staff have specialized training in teaching children who have experienced significant trauma. I am always amazed at the ability of these wonderful people to teach very rigorous curriculums, the same requirements as any accredited school district, to students who have been largely labeled as “unteachable.” Through a truly personalized approach for each individual child, strengths in learning can be identified and leveraged. Adult-to-student ratios are kept very low, and children learn.
Even more important is an overriding commitment to hospitality in our schools. Again, these are often children, like those we serve in residential care, who have had a difficult relationship with school. Often bullied, often overlooked, often labeled, they come to us with trepidation, usually quite sure this will be another place that will fail them. We work to ensure that doesn’t happen.

We look at long-term success, like graduation as a measure of impact. However, the first day can set the tone for the future. That’s why this text, sent by our Fargo Principal, Shayla Leinen, bodes good things ahead… “A new day student started today. Her mom sent me what she texted her when she got home from school: ‘I had a good day mom, I felt loved and made like 5 friends'.”
Please keep our children, staff, and teachers in your prayers. 

In His love,

Joy Ryan, President/CEO
Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch

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