What's Happening in December

The gift of getting unstuck

By Tamara Uselman, Superintendent

At a recent meeting of several BPS employees the question was raised, “What is the best of the best about Bismarck Public Schools?” Replies ranged from “the staff” to “the facilities” to “the kids” – and then a principal just nailed it. He said, “Our people pitch in all over the place to get the work done”.

Case in point: earlier this winter the following incident played out over the bus radio. A youngster waiting at a bus stop (wait for it…) pressed his tongue to a pole and there he stayed, unable to get loose. The bus rolled up to the stop. There stood the child, anchored to the pole, scared and embarrassed. In true North Dakota fashion, the driver didn’t panic. Ernie simply got off the bus, poured his warm coffee over the student’s tongue to thaw it from the frozen post. Ernie then helped the Little board his bus, finished his route, and insured a school nurse was made aware.

Good work like Ernie’s is done well in hundreds of places and spaces across BPS every day. As 2017 closes out, please hear a shout out of thanks to each of you, for all you do for the children, families, and staff of Bismarck Public Schools.

From my people to you and your people, happy holidays and happy New Year! Click on my card to see a slideshow of BPS employee cards. Add your photo or card at https://dropevent.com/gallery/pho60049. Use the caption feature to add your building, name, and role/department.

Employee Ugly Sweater Contest!

Ugly Sweater Contest on Thursday, Dec. 21st. Share your photo to the BPS Foundation Facebook page and the picture with the most likes will win prizes! Prizes include a t-shirt with your school’s logo and gift cards. To participate, give a dollar to your school secretary. All proceeds benefit the BPSF Picture Perfect fund, which provides school pictures for students in need.

District 4000 main number to be fully automated

Bismarck Public Schools is moving to an automated telephone system for the main 323-4000 DISTRICT number starting Friday, January 5.

People who call the 323-4000 number to reach a school will still be able to do so by pressing 1. School phones will be answered by a secretary or the caller can press 0 to reach the secretary or choose another option.

The other recorded phone options at 323-4000 are as follows: Press 2 for Student Services and Programs like Registration or Child Nutrition. Press 3 for district Business Offices. Press 4 for administrative offices such as Human Resources or the Superintendents.

If callers know their party’s extension, they can press 5. They can also press 5 to leave a message if they aren’t sure who they need to talk to about a certain issue. Messages will be routed the next business day.

Superintendent Tamara Uselman says it would be a good practice for BPS employees, parents and the community members to put frequently-called school or school district numbers in their cell phones, homes and/or offices. There’s also a staff directory at the top of each school and district web page and a printable district phone and fax directory at the bottom of each web page at www.bismarckschools.org.

Student loan relief—the best gift of all

Start saving money on your student loans now, so you have more money to enjoy your holiday season. In partnership with Missouri River Educational Cooperative, they are providing a voluntary Student Loan Relief Benefit, powered by ISLoan Solutions. They will educate you and provide options for forgiveness* and refinancing that may help lower, or even eliminate, your student loan payment. To learn more, visit https://northdakotaschoolshh17.myisls.com/register and enter code NDHH17.

Join your Missouri River Educational Cooperative colleagues who are saving an average of 90% on their monthly payments and are projected to receive an average of $55,653 in tax-free loan forgiveness.

If loan forgiveness makes sense, you will be able to:

  • Immediately lower your monthly student loan payment
  • Reduce your student loan obligation
  • Significantly lower your cost to earn additional degrees
  • Receive a personalized 10-year loan forgiveness plan outlining your projected tax free savings

Staff training available!

The CHI St. Alexius Heath Employee Assistance Program will be offering staff development and leadership training for employees, supervisors, and managers. There will be live site presentations and webinars in January. Pre-registration is required. To pre-register, email Carmen at ccschacher@primecare.org, and include your name, company you are employed by, a phone number and your email as that will be where they send any information to. For details, View the Brochure.