JACKSON, MS (WLBT) – The opening of two new south Jackson schools will help alleviate overcrowding, get student out of portables and offer them a new world of learning.
Gladys Noel Bates Elementary and Thomas Cardozo Middle School held official ribbon cutting ceremonies Sunday.
The schools, located on McDowell Road Extension, are named in honor of two Mississippi civil rights pioneers.
Bates, an African American teacher now retired and living in Denver, sued the state in 1948 charging salary discrimination against black teachers and principals.
Cardozo, who died in 1881, was the first African American state superintendent of education.
The nearly $28 million dollar complex occupies over 165,000 square feet.
The elementary school has 21 classrooms for up to 550 students.
The middle school has 32 classrooms to accommodate 650.
There are separate dining rooms and a gymnatorium.
"I think the school is very beautiful, and I'm very happy and excited that my son is taking part," said Aheisha Harvey, mother of a five year old kindergarten student at Bates Elementary.
"We hope to focus on the science and technology. We will have a science lab in which all of our students will rotate through this lab. We will primarily focus on fifth grade because our fifth grade students will take the state science assessment," said Bates Elementary principal Mitchell Shears.
"It's designed with children in mind. It's sleek, it's airy. We have computer technology classes, state of the art science, art rooms. Students will take away the fact that they have been enriched and have been a part of a wholesome learning environment that's nurturing," said Cardozo Middle School principal Dr. Josephine Kelly.
Students will begin classes at the new schools Tuesday.
Jackson Public Schools are Monday for parent teacher conferences.
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