Independence Arts and Technology Ribbon Cutting
The Academies of the Independence School District celebrated the grand opening of Independence Arts and Technology on Saturday, October 20. The Independence Chamber of Commerce partnered with the ISD to hold the ribbon cutting ceremony, following the all district parade.
The former MyArts building just north of the Independence Square is now home to the district’s newest college and career readiness opportunities for high school students interested in art, robotics, broadcasting and digital marketing. The Independence School District purchased the building that sits at 315 N. Main Street for $10 from Jackson County. The old automotive dealership made for an ideal centralized location to continue to advance the Academy offerings for students from Truman, Van Horn and William Chrisman.
“The building was a great deal for us financially and I could not be happier about the opportunities this creates for our high school students,” Superintendent Dale Herl said.
The broadcasting space is state-of-the-art, which will allow students from all three ISD high schools to produce newscasts and other digital content. The broadcasting space connects to a classroom utilized by digital marketing students.
The building is also home to the First Bots of Independence robotics team. The robotics team is comprised of students from all three high schools. The students say the large open space gave them a significant advantage as they took home honors at the World Championships in 2018.
The front of the Independence Arts & Technology building is an art gallery, where students can show and sell their work. Advanced art students attend classes here and learn both the business side and creative side of the art world.
Independence A & T also has an expanded space for students to produce large screen printing jobs. The student-operated retail store, All Things Independence, is less than a block away. Both locations have screen-printing equipment. Students are learning the business and operational skills as they collaborate with other area businesses.
Independence Arts and Technology is the newest addition to the programs offered to ISD high school students through the ISD Academies. The ISD operates in a wall-to-wall Academy model, allowing every high school student at the district’s three high schools the opportunity to choose their Academy, earn dual credit, an Industry Recognized Credential and an Associate’s Degree if they choose. The ISD offers more than 90 courses for college credit with more than 400 college credit hours available.
The ISD has received numerous awards for its innovative programming. The Missouri Chamber of Commerce named the Academies of the Independence School District the Education Innovator of the Year. The award is given to one educational institution or program demonstrating forward-thinking strategies to better prepare students for their futures. The ISD was recently named the School District of the Year by the Boy Scouts of America Heart of America Council. The student operated store All Things Independence was awarded Emerging Business of the Year by the Independence Economic Development Council. The Independence School District has also been awarded the MASA McKinstry Innovation Award which recognizes innovative practices in education.
KCTV5 News recently featured Independence Arts & Technology on their morning news https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XSdj0VC0Lec&feature=youtu.be and https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7GrATFFmZMw&t=2s.