New Denton High School campus welcomes students for first day

Thursday was the first day of school for 38 school districts across North Texas, including Denton ISD.

The Denton school district is celebrating the opening of a new 490,000-square-foot Denton High School campus for 2,200 students.

Voters approved the new school in May 2018 as part of a plan to upgrade the district’s older buildings.

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It’s equipped with geothermal heating and cooling systems for maximum energy savings. It also has upgraded security and technology features as well as spaces for students to collaborate.

"We have security upgrades in regards to cameras, doors, ballistic film. The same bond package that built this school also included security for all schools. A grant allowed us to put film in all our entries," said Denton ISD Superintendent Jamie Wilson. "We do our very best to make sure we have a safe and secure environment for our kids to learn and our families to send their kids to."

The surveillance camera system will allow Denton police to directly view hallways, classrooms and more.

"That’s actually the intent. We’re still working through the technology issues of that, the software that we share. But that’s what it was designed with that intent," Wilson said. "It’s one of the things everybody is exploring to make sure there is access to that, and it’s really needed the evenings or different times if someone or an alarm goes off at school to isolate what’s going on."

The new high school is made possible with money from a 2018 voter approved capital improvement plan. The now vacated and old Denton High campus will be renovated and become a new middle school. All of it necessary to keep up with growth.

"Denton county is growing by about 3% in population annually, and it’s just continuing to grow and grow and get bigger and bigger," Wilson said. "Up until this last bond referendum, we had built 11 schools in 10 years and not one of those was in the city of Denton. So now that these campuses, we are coming back to and are rebuilding new."

The new Denton High campus is getting a thumbs up from incoming freshmen to faculty members who are confident tradition and a new beginning will make an important impact in Denton County.

"I think we’re looking forward to capturing everything we put into this building. From the new technology to some of the new protocols we’re putting into place for the kids and some of the new faculty," said teacher Bob West. "We’ve got a great amount of new faculty, folks who’ve come on board to be a part of that new bronco tradition."

Other districts returning on Thursday include Avalon, Bells, Bonham, Brock, Bynum, Carrollton-Farmers Branch, Cooper, Crowley, Denison, Elkhart, Ennis, Fannindel, Forney, Fruitvale, Gustine, Howe, Italy, Lake Dallas, Little Elm, Maypearl, Midlothian, Midway, Millsap, Mt. Vernon, Palestine, Palmer, Ponder, Princeton, Rice, Scurry-Rosser, Terrell, Trenton, Waxahachie, Whitewright, Wills Point, Wortham and Wylie ISDs.

Here's the first day of school for every district in North Texas