Award Year: 2020

Sweetwater Elementary School

1304 2nd Avenue NE
Devils Lake, ND, 58301-1821

(701) 662-7630

Dr. Debra Follman, Principal at time of Nomination

Devils Lake 1

School Website

School FaceBook


The mission of Sweetwater Elementary School to foster relationships and to promote academic, social-emotional, and physical growth with every student every day.

Student Demographics
  • Black/African American: 2%
  • White: 64%
  • Hispanic: 1%
  • Asian: 1%
  • Native American: 32%
Community Service - Collecting Items and Donating to the Community Shelter

Community Service - Collecting Items and Donating to the Community Shelter

Sweetwater Elementary has a culture that represents the mission of fostering relationships with students, families and community. Service learning activities provide an opportunity for teaching the curriculum while inspiring students to the change makers our world needs. From visiting the elderly to reading with preschoolers, community service promotes growth for a well-rounded student, teaching empathy, charity, and a feeling of belonging.

Genius Hour has been a major focus at Sweetwater for the last few years. Giving students 20% of class time (an hour each week) guided by their own interests allows students to learn about what they want, to follow their passions, and explore their creativity. Since implementing Genius Hour into the weekly schedule, students have embraced researching, questioning, collaborating, and communicating their passions. The expansion of this creativity makes school a place that is inclusive to all types of students and makes Sweetwater a place all learners want to be.

The high degree of student engagement is evident in classrooms as the faculty has shifted from student compliance to active participation. Students are excited and demonstrate a positive attitude in learning experiences. This engagement, coupled with the strong relationships that staff members strive to build with students, has maximized student achievement. Strong student engagement and relationships create a natural bridge to families. Family engagement is at an all-time high with the use of technology to ensure two-way communication. The result is a true family-school partnership that creates a high quality educational experience.