After years of over-population in the District 1 Williston Public Schools, board members have come up with a solution that would not only help their problem, but it’s also a major development for the future.
“Education is really the only thing that really has not moved in that direction. We’re still stuck in this 1890s, everyone is going to sit in a desk in a row. Our curriculum for the high school hasn’t changed in 150 years and we’re not really preparing kids to get out into the workforce and figure out how to work with another person,” Williston Public School District 1 School Board President Joanna Baltes said.
The Innovation Academy is a two-story, $12 million, 20,000 square-foot project, giving 400 fifth through eighth-grade students in the area a new environment to learn hands-on and get away from the traditional school day.
Wyndy McGinley who will serve as the academy’s principal says this will allow for more one-on-one assistance and hands-on student-specific work like culinary arts or broadcast journalism.
“We’re trying to break out of the norms. This is education re-imagined” McGinley said.
One former District 1 student who was No. 1 in her class at Williston High says the new school is a big step in the right direction.
“When I took honors classes in middle school, that’s what started it all for me and wanting to be better in school, and the sooner they start the more they’re going to want to be their best in school and I think it’s great,” Brooklyn Douglas said.
McGinley said the lottery for kids to attend the school is complete, and families have been notified as well as the school staff has been hired as well.