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Mixed reaction to restructuring of Montbello-area schools

9:04 PM, Oct 12, 2010   |    comments
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The schools have been some of the lowest performing in Denver Public Schools.

Hundreds gathered at Martin Luther King, Jr. Early College to discuss the latest plan on Tuesday night.

"I want them to be successful, but at the same time, looking at how many changes are happening, it's kind of a lot happening at once," parent Janet Damon said.

Since April, a group of community members, teachers and principals have developed the following strategy:

- Ford elementary will be replaced with Denver Center for International Studies ECE-5 program.

- New principals at Green Valley Elementary and McGlone Elementary will decide whether to hire new staff or keep current employees.

- Oakland Elementary will be replaced with SOAR charter elementary school

- The current program at Rachel B. Noel Middle School will be phased out and a new arts program will begin. Also, the school will be co-located with a KIPP middle school within the building.

- Montebello High School will eventually give students three options: a collegiate prep academy, a new Denver Center for International Studies and a high tech early college.

Despite a dismal 59 percent graduation rate, some seniors and alumni at Montebello don't like the idea of breaking up the school.

"I want to be able to come back in later generations to see how it's grown or expanded, no matter how the grades have gone up or gone down, I don't think it should be about numbers I think it should be about growth," James Brunt, a senior at Montbello, said.

"Eventually phasing out the total existence of Montebello High School ... that's unacceptable, that's my alma mater, that's my foundation," Montbello graduate and volunteer at the school Coressia Sanders said.

Some parents with young kids are looking forward to changes to the current system.

"I'm excited about the new schools that they're offering. I'm excited about Denver Center for International Studies. I'm excited about a lot of the options for the elementary," Damon said.

The school board will make a decision on the plan in November and the changes would begin as early as next school year.

(KUSA-TV © 2010 Multimedia Holdings Corporation)

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