Hope School students begin the school year in a new building

Local News

MARIANNA, Fla. (WMBB) — Students at Hope School were off to a fresh start this school year.

After moving out of their old building, Principal Braxton said they have a lot more space at the old Riverside Elementary School.

“We were landlocked at the other school and we were just running out of space. We had, let’s see, one, two, three, four portables that we were using for classrooms,” said Millicent Braxton.

Teachers used to have to share portables, but now they each have their own classroom and there’s room for more.

The 10-time Special Olympics basketball champions have a bigger gym to practice in and they even built a wheelchair-friendly track.

“The kids love the new campus, or they seem to, I think we’ve had a little bit of anxiety, but not too bad, so far. The teachers love it. The parents seem to love it, and it is much bigger than we anticipated,” said Braxton.

Students with disabilities can start attending Hope School at 3-years-old and they can stay until they’re 22.

With the extra space, Dr. Braxton said she has room to expand programs and potentially start new ones.

“We have a lot of kids out in the community that don’t have, once they leave Hope School, they don’t have anything to do, so if we had a program for them, they could get some job skills and continue to do some things here while they’re still at Hope School,” said Braxton.

The adults with disabilities program would allow Hope students to stay until they’re 29-years-old.

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