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  • Historic day for Adelanto students

    City's first high school opens
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  • EDITOR’S NOTE: This is the second in a series of education stories that will appear in the Daily Press this week, as many local children head back to school.
    ADELANTO — The first high school to be located within the city limits of Adelanto will open its doors Monday.
    Students and community members have been looking forward to this day for nearly three years after construction and budget delays extended the timeline of the school’s new campus opening.
    “After all that we’ve been through the past few years — this is like homecoming,” said Martin Calderon, a physics and chemistry teacher at the site. “We’ve been somewhere faraway for a long time. It’s a feeling of elation and peace.”
    Calderon said Saturday that teachers were on campus setting up and making preparations for incoming pupils.
    “We have a lot of teachers here setting up and putting finishing touches,” Calderon said.
    At a three-day orientation last week, students and parents flowed into the “A” wing to pick up class schedules, school maps and to take tours of the campus. The class of 2015 — the school’s first ever senior class — met Wednesday to have a barbecue and celebrate the start of the school year.
    “We are very, very blessed,” said Brenda Landry, an English teacher and activities director at the school. “The school is beautiful. Everyone is positive, excited and happy, and waiting for the kids to arrive. There is just a positive energy on campus right now.”
    Romaine Collins, 15, walked with his two half-brothers from near Desert Trails Prep Academy to attend the orientation Tuesday. He  said he plans to join the school’s first swim team and is scheduled to take math, world history, English 2, biology and physical education.
    “I think it’s nice,” Collins said. “It’s a bigger campus and we can explore more, have more fun.”
    Keiani Marsh, 15, is transferring to Adelanto High this year from Etiwanda High School in Rancho Cucamonga. Her family this past summer moved to “new Adelanto” in the southern part of the city this past summer. The 10th-grader said she hopes to continue getting straight As to earn herself a full-ride scholarship to a prominent basketball university.
    “I’m probably going to go to Florida State or somewhere big with basketball,” she said. “Anywhere where I get a full-ride scholarship.”
    Mark Graham, of WLC Architects, said previously that the $85-million campus was envisioned to double as a community hub. With 322,000 square feet of building space on 58 acres of land, the school has the capacity to hold a student body of 3,600.
    On Friday the number of students enrolled had reached 1,812 and was “growing by the minute,” according to Victor Valley Union High School District Superintendent Ron Williams.
    Last year, the school had about 1,300 students matriculate, up from 999 in the 2012-13 school year when only freshman and sophomores were invited to attend, school officials said.
    Silverado High School in Victorville is Adelanto’s closest neighboring high school. School officials expected Silverado to feed students into the new campus. According to the numbers from the California Basic Education Data System, Silverado has seen a drop in enrollment by about 475 students for the 2014-15 school year. The Victorville high school’s student population so far totals 2,229 students.
    “The staff at AHS is excited to begin the school year and welcome the opportunity to establish a culture of excellence here,” Williams and Adelanto High Principal Ebony Purcell said in a joint e-mail statement. “The students of AHS are fortunate not only to be coming to such a beautiful campus, but also to be taught by an embracing staff who are willing to go to above and beyond to ensure their success.”
    Brooke Self may be reached at 760-951-6232 or BSelf@VVDailyPress.com. You can also follow her on Twitter at @BrookeSelf or @DPEduNews.
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