More turmoil at Montbello High School

A mom from Montbello writes:

The students of Montbello were going to have a walk out the week after the vote on the school turnaround.  The admin and police of the school stopped them from doing it.  They blocked doors and made their presence known on the outside of the building.  I was there to observe this.  I also observed many admin escorting kids back into the school.  The students were told on the inside that they would be suspended if they carried this out.

Mr. Smith and his VP/admin are threatening students, ie…

On Fri. Dec 10th there were several fights.  One in particular involved two girls.  Mr. Smith went to break it up and took a right hook in his face by one of the girls.  Some of the students were saying things like “Way to go”, “You got him”, “Smith can’t break up two girls fighting”, and they laughed, just typical things kids will say and do.  Smith then threaten the bystanders with suspensions.  Apparently if the students breath wrong or say something the admin doesn’t like they will threaten suspension.  They students are walking on egg shells.  The kids feel like it is prison and not school any longer.

Weekly staff meetings are NO longer attended by Mr. Smith and he is the one that is to be leading the meeting.

The new principal of Montbello for next year has been asked several questions as to what really is going to happen with the school for the last three attending classes and teachers.  They have NO answers as to what is happening.  Their response is that they haven’t been given any answers by DPS.

All scores, attendance etc. are up significantly and NO one wants to acknowledge this.

Smith and DPS won’t talk to the staff about any of this.  Teachers have tried to make appointments with Smith and he will cancel at the last minute or not show up at all.  He has gone as far as to not answering phone calls.  The teachers are being ignored.

The teachers and students have found out that there aren’t going to be busses for the rest of the year for sports or any extracurricular activities.  They were told that there is NO money for that.  What was done with the money?  Funny enough there is money for their special interest programs, the flop of the “Open House” they had.

The remainder of Montbello, Sophomores, Juniors, Seniors, for next year will only have ½ the classes than what they have in place.  Apparently they are only going to have the core or basic classes.  Where are all these kids/students going to go.  We as parents can’t be taking our kids across the city to a different school.  These students and teachers are being thrown out of their school.

Mom went on to say, “The teachers I talk to and many other people are very upset, frustrated, and to the point of tears as am I.  I hold it back at the meetings and in front of people.  One more thing: the teachers already know that 1/2 of them are without a job, due to the class cut backs for the remainder of the classes next year.  This sucks.”

This report makes it painfully obvious just how deficient the “implementation plan that never was” really is.  Has Principal Smith taken up fly fishing?  Where is the district’s oversight in ensuring the school faces as little turmoil as possible while it moves through the rest of the year?  How are kids supposed to learn in an environment like this?

DPS releases “call for new schools”

Tonight, the district presented its “Call for Quality Schools,” which is the open call for proposals from (mostly) new charter schools.

There are a couple new developments, like asking for evidence of English-language learner support.  They’re also asking for schools in some specific areas, with the Near and Far Northeast sectors being the most up for grabs.  The crazy thing is that they’re asking for new proposals before the official census data actually becomes available, expected in March or April 2011.

At any rate, here’s the “call”:

Call for Quality Schools Presentation 2011