Monday, June 7, 2021 - 03:38 am

BISMARCK, N.D. – Gov. Doug Burgum today kicked off the fifth annual Governor’s Summit on Innovative Education, highlighting recently passed legislation that paves the way for personalized learning and thanking educators for their work through the pandemic.

The Governor’s Summit on Innovative Education provides a platform to bring together stakeholders in North Dakota education communities to share existing ideas and practices, inspire new ones and empower networks that support progress.

“With this monumental legislation and K-12 funding passed by the 67th Legislative Assembly, the door is now wide open for school districts to advance efforts to create personalized learning and empower our youth to be career, college and life ready,” Burgum said. “We’re grateful to our state’s educators for their amazing work on continuing to provide a top-notch education during this incredibly challenging school year and for their commitment to creating a world-class education system right here in North Dakota.”

Among the legislation highlighted by Burgum:

  • Senate Bill 2196, the “Pathways to Graduation” bill – the No. 1 recommendation provided by the Governor’s Innovative Education Task Force – gives students additional flexibility in meeting graduation requirements by reducing the hours they’re required to spend in a classroom. This will allow for more personalized education and let students work on other academic goals and learning methods after they demonstrate mastery of a subject.
  • House Bill 1388 authorizes K-12 schools to develop virtual learning academies to personalize education and add flexibility to models of learning for students.
  • HB 1478, dubbed the “learn everywhere” bill, allows graduation credits to be fulfilled through internships, apprenticeships, extracurriculars, clubs and other educational opportunities by demonstrating competencies in course standards. 
  • SB 2289 creates a scholarship around the Choice-Ready Framework, which emphasizes the importance of career, college and military readiness.

In support of the Pathways to Graduation bill, Burgum also unveiled the “Portrait of a Graduate,” a framework whose development began with the Innovative Education Task Force and supports personalized learning. The portrait serves as a guide and focuses on seven attributes critical to ensuring graduates are prepared for career, college and community: critical thinking, communication, empathy, collaboration, learner’s mindset, adaptability and perseverance.

Featured summit speakers include State Superintendent Kirsten Baesler, CEO Hadi Partovi, educational leader Ron Berger and child and adolescent psychiatrist Dr. Stuart Ablon.


Burgum also presented the #InnovativeND Awards to the following individuals:

  • Frontline Innovation Award: Camarilla Cummings, teacher New Town School District
  • Collaborative Culture: Robin David, Mentor Center director, Grand Forks Public Schools
  • System Transformation: Dickinson State University President Steve Easton and Dickinson High School Principal Kevin Hoherz
  • Student Leadership: Alyssa Traylor, West Fargo student at Sheyenne High School.

The free summit is the kickoff to Innovative Education Week, which includes IgniteND. More than 800 teachers, students, school administrators and community leaders registered to attend the summit in-person or virtually. Attendees also participated in a visioning workshop to generate future recommendations for state leaders to consider.

A link to the summit is available at