Mr. Morales took the time to get acquainted with his brand new students since one of the main thrusts of this new school in Alviso, is for students to get individual attention. Director Jose Arreola says in order to learn, children need to know they're important.
"My push to teachers is not to just focus on the loudest in class, but to make sure every kid speaks during class, every kid gets his name called on, and that sort of attention really helps kids be engaged in school," says Arreola.
Some of the children here already know how important this school is to their future.
"My mom said it's better to come here because I get a better opportunity to go to college and when she was little she didn't have a opportunity like this," says Yesenia Urena, an 11-year-old student.
The Downtown College Prep charter school opened its doors for 88 students. Half are from Alviso, the others from Sunnyvale and San Jose. The school focuses on mostly first generation immigrant children. Class sizes are limited to 25 students, but to be in this school parents and students need to want one thing.
"That they want to go to college," says Arreola.
Some of these children have planned further than college.
"I want to go to Santa Clara University and I want to be an animal vet," says Grecia Monterroso, a sixth grader.
"I'm going to go to college. I want to graduate and get a good job as a doctor," says Urena.
The school has taken over a portion of the old Gardner Health building along Gold Street in Alviso. At this point the school is only offering sixth and seventh grade classes. This is first middle school Alviso has ever had. Downtown College Prep plans to grow along with its students and open Alviso's first High School in a few years.
Netflix and the Severns Family Foundation have pledged almost a half million dollars to help this school succeed.