STISD set to open junior high in San Benito next year

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POSTED: Tuesday, July 22, 2014 - 4:49pm

UPDATED: Wednesday, July 23, 2014 - 8:41am

Upcoming seventh and eighth graders from Hidalgo, Cameron and Willacy Counties will now be eligible to enroll at STISD's newest junior high in San Benito.

"It is an open enrollment school, just like our other schools, so anybody wanting to go can. Now, we're serving students in three counties, so anybody living in Cameron, Hidalgo or Willacy County will be able to attend if they're moving into the seventh grade," said STISD superintendent Marla Guerra.

The campus will be smaller so that students and teachers can have more one-on-one time at the new college prep school.

"we do everything we can to make sure our students don't fall in between the cracks," said Guerra.

The junior high will hold about 550 students. But because the district is beginning the transition with just seventh grade, only about 250 will be enrolled for the first year.

The new STISD junior high school will be located inside this building, which is currently the South Texas Academy for Medical Professions. Then, this institution will be relocated from San Benito to Brownsville, where high school students can get even more hands-on experience in the medical field.

"We're offering experience for students: internships in doctor's offices, hospitals, nursing homes," said Guerra. "So students get a full gamete, a full comprehensive education. The academic plus the hands on training that they're receiving."

The school district also wants to expand its presence in Cameron County, seeing as how its only school in the county is the medical high school in San Benito.

"We want the community to get to know us, get to know all about us, and the quality education we're gonna provide, and hopefully we'll be full," said Guerra.

The junior high is expected to be up and running the fall of 2015.

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