MANATEE-  Manatee County kicks off the first day of school opening three new schools around the district, including Parrish Community High School. 

540 freshman and sophomore students will walk into the brand new school Monday with state of the art facilities and technology.

“Most important though you’re going to see an excited staff eager to get to work,” Principal Craig Little said.

The school will offer brand new programs… including an automotive lab.

“Kids can really walk out of here with an industry certification,” Little said. “That will get them work ready to join the workforce with a competitive salary, we’re the only school that offers that in the Manatee and Sarasota Districts.”

They also have agriculture and horticulture programs and medical labs.

“We’ll also have engineering offerings,” Little said. “Art is going to be not traditional art, but commercial art, which will have a nice little extra piece for kids to learn that are interested in art.”

Parrish High School is one of three brand new schools opening this year. 

“No one remembers a time when we opened three new schools in one year,” Barber said. “So this is really something different.”

District Spokesperson Mike Barber says constructing three new schools is a monumental task, only possible with community support.

“They renewed a half cent sales tax,” Barber said. “For school district capital needs, which helped give us the funding to build these three new schools.”

The School District had to hire more teachers and staff to open the three new schools.

“We started recruiting teachers earlier than we did in the past,” Barber said. “And I’ll just give you an example. A year ago at the beginning of July we were still looking to hire 151 teachers.”

They are starting this year off with just 11 vacancies.