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      Exclusive sneak preview of Dr. Abraham P. Cano Freshman Academy

      The start to a new school year means new school supplies and classes for most students, but for some Harlingen students it also means starting off the year at a brand new campus.

      Action 4 News got a sneak preview of the new Dr. Abraham P. Cano Freshman Academy in Harlingen.

      It has state of the art fixtures and finishes-- the gorgeous Dr. Abraham P. Cano Freshman Academy is a first for Harlingen CISD.

      "The epicenter of what we call transformation in our district is the 9th grade academy," said Harlingen CISD Superintendent Dr. Steven Flores.

      It TMs all thanks to voters who approved a $98.6 million bond to help build it.

      The Dr. Abraham P. Cano Freshman Academy is a one-grade campus that is expected to help set more students entering high school on the right path-towards graduation."It comes back to the most important year, which is the 9th grade year. It's about credit accumulation and grade point averages," said Flores

      HCISD Superintendent Dr. Flores and school Principal Vivian Bauer believe the academy will be a success in helping over 1300 incoming freshman not only be more prepared for the rest of high school, but also more focused on their future career goals.

      That allows them to be valued and feel valued to the point where success is the only option we'll have. So again the question isn TMt how many students do we graduate four years from now, the real question is how many of them are on track for graduation and prepared for college and career," said Flores.

      Flores told Action 4 News the new academy will help meet the needs of students more than ever before because it allows for better teacher and student collaboration.

      I don TMt want to minimize senior year that TMs obviously when seniors graduate, but they don TMt get to graduation if they don TMt take care of their freshman year. We know that our students and in the Rio Grande Valley we know that having a certificate, having an associates, having a bachelors, masters or a doctorate degree is so so critical," emphasized Flores.

      All freshmen will go through this campus before heading off to start sophomore year at either Harlingen High School or Harlingen High School South.

      Flores anticipates that with the new academy 98 percent of Harlingen freshman will successfully move on to their sophomore year.

      The campus will also help with overcrowding at the two high schools.

      District officials say the school will be ready for the incoming Ravens when school starts on August 26th.