On Friday, Sept. 25, at 5 p.m., there will be a grand opening and ribbon-cutting ceremony for the new Fox Hills Elementary School, 2610 Wolf Den Parkway, Watford City. This event will recognize the efforts and support that has been put into the making of this building while providing a tour of all of the state-of-the-art aspects of Fox Hills Elementary School.
Although the McKenzie County School District No. 1 is excited to have a grand opening of the new Fox Hills Elementary School, it will be different than initially planned, due to COVID-19 and CDC guidelines. “The open house will follow health and safety guidelines and social distancing as much as possible; tiered scheduling is being considered to ensure the number of attendees will be limited,” stated Dr. Steven Holen, Superintendent of Schools, McKenzie County District No. 1.
The details of the open house are still being finalized, but the general idea is to share the building with the community and celebrate its opening.
In addition to the event, the McKenzie County School District No. 1 staff is also planning on creating a virtual tour, to give more community members an opportunity to view the building.” The current situation makes it somewhat challenging; however, we believe it is important for the community to see the new building and to celebrate its completion and value to our school district,” explained Holen.
Since the start of the school year, Sept. 8, this two-story 90,000 square foot building has effectively addressed the overcrowding situation in Watford City‘s current elementary school. Holen explained that this new building has been beneficial, especially with the current COVID-19 pandemic situation. “We have approximately 450 students in each of our two elementary school buildings, which provides some efficiencies for families and bus transportation. The class sizes are very positive this year at the elementary level, with classes averaging below 20 students in each of the buildings. The new elementary school allowed the school district to reconfigure all grade levels to the desired format of two K-5 buildings, a 6-8 middle school, and a 9-12 high school,” added Holen.
He also said that the environment has been a “vast improvement in distributing the grade levels more equitably and provides a positive educational environment for all grade levels K-12. The attendance boundary for the elementary level is new to our community. However, the enrollment split between both elementary schools is almost equal and successful regarding the implementation of our first boundary line. The overall impact on all grade levels K-12 is significant with this new building as it changes our environment for the current elementary, middle school, and high school and brings the overall facility plan developed several years ago to reality.”