Mead School District opening Riverpoint Academy Tuesday

SPOKANE, Wash. - The Mead School District will be changing the face of education Tuesday when classes start at Riverpoint Academy, a program focusing on science, technology, math and engineering.

Riverpoint isn't your typical school. Everything about the space at the academy is designed to keep students engaged. You also won't find many textbooks there, as it's all about technology. In fact, when students arrive Tuesday, each one gets an iPad.

"What we are going to do is take the world that's out there and use that as our textbook," Assistant Superintendent Dan Butler said. "For example we're looking for people to bring us real life problems that need to be solved in our community."

Riverpoint Academy

The school was two years in the making, and students will be working on problem solving in the bio-medical studio and in the entrepreneurship lab.

"We expect our students to fail fast, which means you are going to try to do something and its probably not going to work right the first time and that's OK," principal Danette Driscoll said.

Once they figure out a solution they can then actually create it at the prototype station.

"Really this is about where students have to put together their thinking of a product that hopefully is going to solve a problem," Driscoll said.

The school is free and open to 11th and 12th graders in the Mead School District; 75 students are enrolled this year. In addition to learning in a unique atmosphere, those students also have the opportunity to create the culture of a new way of learning.

The Riverpoint Academy joins KTEC, which opened its doors to students in North Idaho last week, as a school whose primary focus is on practical application of technology.