CHARLOTTE, N.C. — A new Charlotte school has opened its doors, and it's creating more space and allievating overcrowding.
It’s a new year, in a new school, with new students for veteran educator and Palisades High School Principal Erik Olejarczyk.
What You Need To Know
Palisades High School opened on Aug. 29
It is one of five new school buildings for CMS
Palisades High School will help relieve Olympic High School and Harding University High School to prevent overcrowding
“This has been a culmination of a year's worth of work,” Olejarczyk said. “So we’re hitting the ground today.”
Since he left Olympic High School a year ago, Olejarczyk and his team have been busy preparing to open the doors at Palisades High School.
“So just all the plans, been working really hard in the summer to make sure that we were in a great place day one for our kids,” Olejarczyk said. “So we could get them here safely and we could get them home safely.”
The new high school in south Charlotte is set to relieve the overflow of students at nearby Olympic and Harding University high schools by moving more than 1,300 students to the new facility.
“A lot of the kids that I’m seeing, I’ve built relationships with their siblings,” Olejarczyk said. “So it’s good that I’ve already built that rapport with their families.”
But even on day one, Olejarczyk says they are already seeing more students.
“Like in the movie ‘Field of Dreams,' if you build it they will come. And they are coming,” Olejarczyk said. “We’ve got about 400 more students than what we were projected for, but we’re happy to have all the families.”
Still, Olejarczyk says his team is ready for the challenge.
“What got me in education is helping our young people and helping our students be on a path that will allow them to be happy at the end of the day,” Olejarczyk said. “To be able to make a wage where they can live a happy life and achieve all their goals and things of that nature.”
He's making sure to build that community and trust, right as students walk in the door.
“In spite of whatever is happening outside of these four walls, we want our kids to feel safe, we want them to feel happy and let them know that people care about them here,” Olejarczyk said. “So that’s really our goal for year one. Is to create that culture where kids and families know that we are here to advocate for them. And to help them with whatever they need.”