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Bismarck begins a new school year

Bismarck R-5 welcomed back its Indians on Tuesday. The district’s 2023-24 school year is well underway. (Jeannie Barton-Northrup)

R-5 school district welcomes about 500 Indians back to class for the 2023-24 academic year

Jeannie Barton-Northrup,

The school year began on Tuesday for Bismarck students, staff, and parents.

A range of emotions played over the faces of those returning for another year and those new to the school district. School staff was on hand, eager to assist the youngest of the newbies.

“We missed the little guys over the summer, and we are excited to see their little faces,” said Katie Martinez, elementary school principal. Harley Labruyere is the mother of Brayleigh, a very enthusiastic kindergartener. “She’s been super excited since yesterday,” said Labruyere, “but I’m an anxious mess!”

Anxiety was a common theme for parents with children attending kindergarten. Gabrielle and Tyler Pearl watched their son, Cameron, bravely walk into school for the first time.

“I’ve been in a daze all morning,” said Gabrielle. Tyler said, “I’m nervous, but I know he’s gonna do great.”

Cameron wasn’t quite as enthusiastic as other first-time school attendees. He expressed that he was not quite ready and was slightly angry about attending classes for the 2023-24 school year.

Siblings Nate and Peyton Vance were of a similar mind about the school year.

“Gonna get it done,” said sophomore Nate. Peyton, who is in eighth grade this year, said, “I’m excited about shop and PE, but I think it’s going to be a long year.”

The Bismarck R-5 School District is divided into an elementary building and a high school. The elementary works with grades pre-kindergarten to fifth, and the high school has kids from sixth grade to seniors.

The district superintendent is Jason King. Abraham Warren is the high school principal, and Katie Martinez is the elementary school’s principal.

About 500 students attend the Bismarck School District, and at least 90% of students graduate. This rating places the school district in the top 50% graduation rate for Missouri schools.

To contact the school, call 573-734-6111.

School information is available on the website at and the Facebook page at

A few important dates to keep in handy, according to the school district calendar, are:

  • Sept. 1 – No School for Staff Development
  • Sept. 4 – No School for Labor Day
  • Sept. 9 – All School Reunion (No time set)
  • Oct. 26 – Early Dismissal at 12:30 p.m. and Parent/Teacher conferences from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m.
  • Oct. 27 – No School
  • Nov. 20 to 24 – No School for Fall Break
  • Dec. 20 – Early Dismissal at 12:30 p.m.
  • Dec. 21 to Jan. 2, 2024 – No School for Christmas Break
  • Jan. 3 – No School for Staff Development
  • Jan. 15 – No School for MLK Day
  • Jan. 19 – Homecoming
  • Feb. 19 – No School for President’s Day
  • March 14 – 5:30 to 7:30 Parent/Teacher conferences
  • March 15 – No School for Staff Development
  • March 25 to Apr. 1 – No School for Spring Break
  • April 8 – No School
  • May. 3 – No School for Staff Development
  • May 21 – Last Day of School and Early Dismissal at 12:30 p.m.

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