Opening Northfield High School at Paul Sandoval Campus

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As McKenzie Price walked in for her first few moments at her new school on registration day, her eyes gazed up to the two-story window facing the main entrance.

She was short on words, but she couldn’t hold back her excitement.

Its big, and it smells new, she said. Its cool.

McKenzie is a freshman at Northfield High School (located at the Paul Sandoval Campus), which fills a significant need for more school options in Northeast Denver, where both the Stapleton and Northfield neighborhoods are located.

The neighborhoods ” seated on and around land that used to house the Stapleton Denver International Airport ” are growing in correlation with demand to attend DPS, the fastest growing urban school system in the country.

For families who have been living in the Stapleton neighborhood for several decades, the new high school option could not have come at a more perfect time.

When we first moved into the house that Im in now 21 years ago, which is in the old Stapleton neighborhood, there were no schools. None of this was here, said Melinda Miller, who is the parent of incoming 9th Grade Student Harper Stckle at Northfield High School. When I had children, I wondered where they would go to school. Here we are, and schools have popped up just in time for my son to attend.

The schools opening could not have happened without Denver voters approval of the 2012 DPS Bond, which funds the building of new schools ” including Northfield High School and the Paul Sandoval Campus ” in neighborhoods across our city. It is also funding expansion and renovation projects at other schools throughout the school system.

The fact that it passed shows that Denver voters take education seriously, and that they want their children to get the most and the best opportunities available, said Stan Mills, a parent at Northfield High School.

One of the most exciting opportunities at this new school community is the diverse draw of students from neighborhoods across Denver. The school is connecting families in Far Northeast Denver neighborhoods, including Montbello and Green Valley Ranch, with families from Northeast Denver neighborhoods such as Park Hill, Old and New Stapleton and Northfield.

Diversity is our world, said Kim Neal, a parent at Northfield High School. To have that so abundantly in this school is going to be terrific for our son.

For Northfield High School staff, diversity is at the core of an intentional vision to prepare students for college, career and the world around them from day one of freshman year all the way to the graduation stage.

The community helped craft [that vision] and this really feels like a shared vision and a shared dream developed among a lot of people from a lot of different places, said Northfield High School Advisor Jamie Doak. Its a cool opportunity for kids to get to know each other from neighborhoods they may not have interacted with in the past.

Theyre able to see other lifestyles and build new friendship with people from different backgrounds than their own, said Ezekiel Ocansey, a Special Education Paraprofessional MI at Northfield High School. These students are part of a founding class that is going to bridge so many communities all in one.