BISMARCK, N.D. (KFYR) – Williston’s newest school, the ASB Innovation Academy, welcomed students and teachers through its doors for the first time this week. The former swimming pool was transformed into a school using community donations.
Not only is renovating an old pool into a school a new concept for the district, but the innovative learning techniques are as well.
Around 270 fifth through seventh grade students were randomly chosen to attend school at the ASB Innovation Academy this year. The school’s capacity is 400, and will eventually include eighth graders. Classrooms and teaching methods allow students to have a more personalized learning experience.
“It focuses very strongly on social-emotional learning as well. So, students really get an opportunity to collaborate, get to work with one another. And then we have our businesses come in and they share how to apply what they’re learning to a real-world learning opportunity, and that’s really what this building is all about,” said WPSD#1 Superintendent Jeffrey Thake.
Construction has taken longer than initially planned.
“We had a slight delay because we had an outbreak of COVID in the middle of July,” added Jeffrey Thake.
So, now the school is coordinating with construction workers to finish electrical work and flooring.
The school is using a $15,000 grant to start its first big collaborative project. Fifth graders are creating a greenhouse, sixth graders will use it to grow plants, and next year, seventh graders will can and sell the vegetables at a famer’s market.
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