School History

  • The Grand Forks Air Force Base (GFAFB) is a U.S. Air Force Base located north of Emerado, N.D. and approximately 16 miles west of Grand Forks, N.D., which is located in the heart of the Red River Valley at the junction of the Red Lake River and the Red River of the North. The Base was established in 1957 and is the home of the 319th Air Base Wing (319 ABW) assigned to the U.S. Air Force Expeditionary Center of the Air Mobility Command (AMC).  It is the only base in AMC to receive remotely piloted aircraft systems, such as the RQ-4 Global Hawk Unmanned Aerial Vehicle.

    Since the 1960s, Nathan F. Twining and Carl Ben Eielson schools were located on the Air Force Base, both hosting Kindergarten-8th grade students. In 1972, with the increasing enrollment and reaching building capacity, the 7th and 8th graders from Carl Ben Eielson transitioned to Nathan Twining and Carl Ben Eielson became a Kindergarten-6th grade school. In 1993, the 6th graders transitioned to Nathan Twining, making Carl Ben Eielson a Kindergarten-5th grade school. 1995 was the highest year for enrollment at Nathan Twining, with approximately 890 students in Kindergarten-8th grades.

    Nathan Twining and Carl Ben Eielson schools faced a large decline in enrollment in the late 1990s when the federal government began reorganizing and closing military installations through the Base Realignment And Closure (BRAC) process. By 2001, due to continued declining enrollment, the schools reconfigured once again and Carl Ben Eielson became a K-3 school and Twining hosted grades 4-8. In April 2014, with the enrollment at both schools at an all-time low due to changing missions, the Grand Forks Air Force Base School Board voted to consolidate Nathan F. Twining Elementary and Middle School and Carl Ben Eielson Elementary School for the start of the 2014-2015 school year, and Carl Ben Eielson School was closed. Nathan Twining now has an enrollment of approximately 280 students in grades K-8.  

    Over the years, the Grand Forks Air Force Base's mission has changed significantly and resulted in a decline in student population. With our smaller population, Nathan Twining school now has a much closer "family" than what was seen before and classrooms have a smaller teacher to student ratio. The school staff is more united than ever seen before, which benefits all of our students.

    Students in our school are unique as being dependents of military members. It is seldom that we have students stay at our school for longer than three years. As a school on a military base, we also have students who transfer into our school at the beginning, middle, and end of our school year. Many of these students transfer in from schools in other states or Department of Defense schools.

    It is the goal of each faculty member to provide the best possible education for every student who walks through our doors.

    Twining is a great place to learn, grow, and belong!