MANOR, Texas (KXAN) — While wearing their back to school best and reconnecting with classmates after a summer spent away from school, roughly 800 students walked through the front doors at Manor Senior High School Monday morning to a sparkling new campus four years in the making.
The school is the first of its kind in Central Texas in that it’s the only public high school offering classes exclusively for juniors and seniors.
When senior Britney Mendoza walked into her new black box theater class, she couldn’t help but be impressed.
“I’m really proud that I got to come here for my senior year,” Mendoza said.
Voters passed a bond to pay for the $48 million school in 2014, but it’s only now that students are seeing the payoff.
By splitting up upper and lower classmen, the district is hoping to keep class sizes small and very specific.
The school offers seven different career and technical education classes, which are all designed to give students a hands-on experience.
Those classes include a course on law, where the building is laid out like a courtroom. There’s also cooking classes in the kitchen, and veterinary classes in a vet doctor’s office.
After serving as a model in a salon for cosmetology students, Superintendent Royce Avery said the classes are meant to give Manor students a leg up.
“Kids have to be able to get that additional, certifications and things, so we got to push that,” he said. “Just leaving high school with a high school diploma is not good enough anymore.”
The new high school is now the second in the district. Its creation essentially slit Manor High School in half, with lower classmen staying and Manor High, and upperclassmen going to Manor Senior High.