The beginning of the school year is always an exciting time for students, parents, teachers, supporting staff and administrators. But the opening of an innovative new charter middle school and a high school by the REAL Journey Academies makes 2018 even more special.
And the fact that it is putting schools in the old Kmart building on Highland Avenue that sat empty for 16 years is icing on the cake. For all that time, it was a magnet for the homeless.
Now it is a place where students can get a head start on their careers.
The New Vision Middle School opened on Aug. 1 with 300 students. Entrepreneur High School opened on Aug. 6 with just a freshman class of about 200 students. The plan is to add a class each year for the next three years until both schools have an enrollment of about 1,200.
Entrepreneur is the first high school within Highland’s city limits.
The 118,000-square-foot school has the feel of a college campus. A huge skylight allows trees and a large atrium to thrive inside the building.
Even more exciting than the building is the attitude of the teachers and administrators, preparing students to be ready to launch their own businesses or continue their education in college or vocational schools.
“This is what’s needed the way the economy is going,” said Lonnie Yancsurak, chief of business operations.
By the time students graduate from Entrepreneur High, that part of Highland should be thriving with new businesses at the San Bernardino International Airport, the new Sterling Natural Resources Plant on Del Rosa Drive, the new hotel next to the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians’ casino just up the street.
We hope those expansions will be powerful magnets for new businesses on the west side of Highland.
For years, many educators have preached that a college degree is the only way to succeed.
But we know there are a lot of vocations that promise a more comfortable living than, say, an art history major.
Congratulations to REAL Journey Academies and welcome to Highland.