SARASOTA, Fla. (WWSB) - There’s a brand new high school in the town of Parrish and it opens for classes next week.
Construction workers are putting the finishing touches on Parrish Community High School on Erie Road as teachers and staff are waiting anxiously for 7:30 a.m. Monday morning.
“We’re definitely prepared, we can’t wait 'til those buses roll in come Monday morning on the 12th," said Principal Craig Little.
He and his staff are eager to start teaching the 540 9th and 10th grade students attending this school for the 2019-2020 year. Staff said each year after this one, they’ll add an additional grade level until they reach 9th through 12th grades.
“A lot of kids that are going into their 11th and 12th grade school years are already, kind of connected to their school already," Little explained. "This gives us a nice fresh start to build traditions with those kids and build that culture.”
There’s school choice in Manatee County, so why choose Parrish Community High?
“One thing we’re really excited about is the automotive department," Little said. "Kids can really walk out of here with an industry certification that will get them work ready to join the work force with a competitive salary.”
It’s the only one of its kind in Manatee and Sarasota counties. Plus, there’s an engineering, agriculture and commercial art department too.
New state-of-the-art technology includes large computer panels installed in every class that connect with teachers iPads, but beyond the cool features, staff are ready to make a lasting impact on these kids’ lives.
“My ‘why’ is to help students that maybe aren’t always treated how they could be treated and they don’t necessary see their full potential," said Allison Wright, dean of students. "[To help them] to reach that potential and see that just because they came from somewhere that maybe isn’t so great, that doesn’t mean that they have to stay there.”
As for security measures, Principal Little said they have perimeter fencing, a student resource officer on site and 95 percent of the doors have Maglocks. Maglocks allow the doors to be barred down if necessary and there’s a magnet that requires an access code to get in. They also have the ability to lock down the whole building with one button.
For more information about the Parrish Community High School, click here.