Panama City, Fla. (WMBB) – Oscar Patterson Academy welcomed 250 students after closing their door four years ago.

After Hurricane Michael damaged the school Administrators are in high hopes for the new changes taking place.

Oscar Patterson’s principal Charlotte Blue said although she is excited about the school opening, it has come with some challenges. She said more students than expected enrolled in the K-2nd grade this school year. With staffing issues, Blue said she is focusing on hiring more teachers.

In the meantime several upgrades and donations have been made to continue the success of the school. She said the Navy lab recently donated several hands-on tools so the students can learn more about science.

“Microscopes and magnifying glasses and Legos, things so that kids can do activities with Legos and the different manipulatives so they can have hands-on experiences and enjoy science,” Blue said.

Blue also designed a book vending machine that will be filled with District approved books. Students who show good behavior will be rewarded a coin once a month and can choose a book from that machine to take home with them.

“Success is not just one person, it’s no just me because I’m the principal. Success is everybody playing a role and playing a part and doing their best to contribute to see what we can achieve,” Blue said.

Blue said she appreciates all of the community involvement and support.

Oscar Patterson Academy has K-2nd grade students this school year and are planning to keep growing. Blue said they will add a grade each school year until it’s a K-5th.