Grand Forks Discovery Elementary
Grand Forks, North Dakota
When increasing growth in Grand Forks, North Dakota prompted a need for a new elementary school, the Grand Forks Public School District used the opportunity to custom-build a 21st-century academic building modeled around collaboration, creativity, and critical thinking. Starting with the 1st grade, students are grouped by ages into professional learning communities with a unique flexible learning commons and faculty room to ensure that no child learns alone. Shared spaces include a Band Room, Music Room, Special Education, Administration, Offices, a Learning Resources Center (with reading stacks and computer stations), Cafeteria and Teaching Kitchen, and Gymnasium. Secured access is integrated into the design so as to protect students without distracting them, and the plan is designed for flexibility, with the option to add on three additional sections for each grade.