This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

The Hempstead School District has a lot to celebrate: over the past few years, the graduation rates have soared to new heights, making it one of the most improved school districts in New York State, according to education officials.

Along with the success, a brand-new elementary school will open its doors this September.

According to the New York State Department of Education, the high school graduation rate increased from 47% in 2016 to 81% in 2021. And the reason for their success means setting a high bar for excellence, according to school officials.

Whether students plan on attending college or jumping right into the workforce, Superintendent Regina Armstrong says preparing them for success is the number one priority. 

Over 500 high school seniors have enrolled for the upcoming school year, 66% of them with 15 credits or more.

Along with higher high school graduation rates, there’s a brand new elementary public school ready to welcome students For upcoming school year: the first built from top to bottom in Hempstead in 50 years.

So, on Sept. 9, 675 children, grades kindergarten through fifth grade, will walk the halls of the newly constructed Rhodes Academy for the Humanities and the Arts.

In addition to classrooms, the building comes complete with what they are calling a Gymatorium, which serves as a gym and auditorium, state of the art kitchen, cafeteria, stem and art labs, and music room. 

Of course, COVID safety protocols will be in place at all schools within the district. While there’s no vaccine mandate, masks are a must when indoors which ensures a safe and healthy learning environment.