MANATEE COUNTY, Fla. — Manatee County opened three new schools Monday as kids started their first day of school for the 2019-20 school year.
It's a full year of changes and full year of firsts for students, especially those attending the new elementary school and new high school in Parrish, and even the new middle school in Lakewood Ranch.
All three schools are east of the interstate where there has been a ton of growth over the last decade.
It was a landmark day for many families in Parrish. Before the high school opened, the students living in the area were split up between Lakewood Ranch, Braden River, and Palmetto High Schools.
"Never thought we'd see it. They were bused all over the place," said Timothy Horton, who dropped off his daughter Monday.
"I didn't think it would ever happen. I didn't think I'd look at my window down the road and see a huge school there," added Emily Horton, who attended school on the inaugural day.
Right now Parrish Community High School only has 9th and 10th graders attending.
With the opening of Parrish High, Barbara Harvey Elementary, and Doctor Mona Jain Middle, enrollment this year is roughly 49,000 students.