Williams County School District 8

Williams County School District #8, previously New Public School District #8 or New Public Schools, was a school district headquartered in Williston, North Dakota.[1]

The district mainly served unincorporated areas that were rural territories near Williston.[2] Additionally the district included a portion of Williston itself and all of Blacktail and Long Creek.[3] It was the geographically largest school district in North Dakota.[4]

The district only served grades K-8. High school students were sent to Williston High School in the Williston Public School District 1,[5] to the Nesson School District's Ray School in Ray, and to the Tioga School District's Tioga High School in Tioga.[6]

History edit

It was established in the early 1950s,[6] as a merger of various smaller school districts.[7]

By 2016 the district held two bond elections that were defeated by voters. That year the district leadership decided to use the building fund to pay for a 22,400-square-foot (2,080 m2) facility, with a cost of $16.9 million, meant to take the place of Stony Creek Middle School.[2]

The name changed to its final name, Williams County 8, in 2017.[8]

In 2020 a vote was held on whether it was to merge with the Williston District 1 to form a new district. 59.6% of the District 8 voters approved, as did 86.6% of the District 1 voters. The no percentages were 40.4% for District 8 and 13.4% for District 1. Some land that was in District 8 was given to other school districts.[7]

In 2021 the Williams County district merged with the Williston District to form the Williston Basin School District 7.[9]

Area edit

The east-west dimension of the district was 70 miles (110 km), with the North Dakota-Montana border as the westward edge.[6]

Schools edit

None of the schools were in the Williston city limits even though the district administration was in Williston.[6]

  • Garden Valley Elementary School (K-5)[10] - It is 9 miles (14 km) east of Williston. In 1997 it had 60 students.[6]
  • Round Prairie Elementary School (K-5)[11] - It is 15 miles (24 km) west of Williston. In 1997 it had 34 students.[6]
  • Missouri Ridge (6-8)[12]

Previously all schools were K-8 schools.[4]

Previously it operated Harney School, a K-8 one room school,[4] located in a mobile home.[13] Named after board member Tom Harney,[14] the facility was on a gravel road off of North Dakota Road 1804,[15] 13 miles (21 km) east of Williston,[14] and south of Tioga.[16] It opened circa 1984 as the area population increased due to the discovery of oil.[4] It historically had the lowest student enrollment of any of the schools.[13] 12 was the peak enrollment.[4] In 1997 the school had three students, making it the smallest of any North Dakota school. That year it had three computers in the back of the classroom along with a fax machine, a microwave, and a refrigerator.[15] In the 2002-2003 school year, the number of students was six. For the 2003-2004 school year there was only one student enrolled, and the school closed after that year.[4] At the end of its life the school had a fax machine and was wired to connect to the internet.[4] Its second classroom, in the school's final year, functioned as an ad hoc dormitory for the sole teacher. Scheduling was flexible to accommodate the single student and break up monotony.[16] The school board intended to not provide hot lunches nor school bus services for the lone student.[14] The student's father took him to and from school. The superintendent allowed the student to do archery practice as he was the only student.[13] Stony Creek was to take the former student after the closure of Harney.[17]

The district also formerly operated Stony Creek School, immediately east of Williston.[6] In 1997 it had 152 students.[6] In 2016 it was a middle school only.[2] By 2021 the school was in disuse and the district was determining how to give the school back to the property owner.[18]

References edit

  1. ^ "Williams County School District #8". www.district8nd.com. 2014-10-20. Archived from the original on 2014-10-20. Retrieved 2021-08-21. ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICE 111 7th Avenue West Williston, ND 58801 - Previous address: "1209 9th Ave. NW Williston, ND 58801" and the same link identifies the "Old Office" as "1201 9th Ave. W."
  2. ^ a b c Krause, Melissa (2016-03-16). "Rural Williston school district to build new school despite two failed bond issues". Bismarck Tribune. Williston Herald. Retrieved 2021-08-22.
  3. ^ "2020 CENSUS - SCHOOL DISTRICT REFERENCE MAP: Williams County, ND" (PDF). U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved 2021-08-21. - The 2010 map shows the district's old name
  4. ^ a b c d e f g "One-room, one-student school closing". Bismarck Tribune. Associated Press. 2004-05-26. Retrieved 2021-08-21. - The article mistakenly uses "Williston Public School District No. 8" to mean "New Public School District #8"
  5. ^ "Williston Public School District #1 And Williams County School District #8 Reorganized as Williston Basin School District #007" (PDF). Williams County School District. p. 10 (PDF p. 11/72). Retrieved 2021-08-22. - Linked from here ("Reorganization Document Final" links to https://5il.co/lvuc which links to the document site)
  6. ^ a b c d e f g h "Important facts about state's small schools". Bismarck Tribune. Bismarck, North Dakota. 1997-10-05. p. 11A. - Clipping at Newspapers.com.
  7. ^ a b Kelly, Jamie (2021-06-29). "New Williston school district opens Thursday". Williston Herald. Retrieved 2021-08-21.
  8. ^ "Enrollment History Public School Districts 2009-2021". North Dakota Department of Public Instruction. Retrieved 2021-08-19. - Check the 2017-2018 spreadsheet, which lists "Williams County 8", and compare to previous years which show "New 8".
  9. ^ "Home". Williams County School District 8. Archived from the original on 2021-07-25. Retrieved 2021-08-21.
  10. ^ "Garden Valley". www.district8nd.com. Retrieved September 19, 2018.
  11. ^ "Round Prairie". www.district8nd.com. Retrieved September 19, 2018.
  12. ^ "Missouri Ridge". www.district8nd.com. Retrieved September 19, 2018.
  13. ^ a b c "This little country school has just one student". Bismarck Tribune. Associated Press. 2003-09-28. Retrieved 2021-08-21.
  14. ^ a b c Eckroth, LeAnn (2003-06-30). "Harney retires from District 8 board". Williston Herald. Retrieved 2021-08-22.
  15. ^ a b Hanson, Mark (1997-10-05). "Tiny school, big bytes". Bismarck Tribune. Bismarck, North Dakota. pp. 1A, 11A. - Clipping of first and of second page at Newspapers.com.
  16. ^ a b "Alone on the Range". Education Week. 2004-10-08. Retrieved 2021-08-22.
  17. ^ Eckroth, LeeAnn (2004-03-29). "Harney School to close". Williston Herald. Retrieved 2022-07-04.
  18. ^ "Amendment to Williston Public School District #1 and Williams County School District #8 reorganization as Williston Basin School District #7" (PDF). Williams County School District 8. Retrieved 2021-08-22. - From this page, see "Amendment to Reorganization Plan" which leads to https://5il.co/lvul

External links edit