For the second time in three months, the Denver college board voted unanimously Thursday to reunify a complete highschool that had been dismantled up to now decade.
Montbello Excessive College in far northeast Denver will reopen in fall 2022. To make that occur, three small faculties — Denver Heart for Worldwide Research Montbello, Noel Neighborhood Arts College, and Collegiate Prep Academy — will shut on the finish of the 2021-22 college yr, and a constitution college will doubtless have to maneuver.
Throughout city, West Excessive College will reopen this fall. Each West and Montbello excessive faculties have been beforehand shuttered and changed by smaller faculties that district leaders hoped would enhance training for the Black and Hispanic college students who attended them.
However lately, the communities round West and Montbello advocated for the return of their complete excessive faculties, which had served not solely as academic establishments however as neighborhood hubs. Take a look at scores and commencement charges have improved districtwide from a decade in the past, and new district management has moved away from believing that one of the best ways to spice up educational achievement is to shut faculties and reopen new ones.
There are at the moment three faculties on the Montbello campus: DCIS Montbello and Noel Neighborhood Arts College, that are run by the district, and STRIVE Prep Montbello, a constitution college. District-run Collegiate Prep Academy is situated in a unique district constructing.
At Thursday’s college board assembly, nobody spoke in opposition to the decision to shutter DCIS Montbello, Noel, and Collegiate Prep Academy. The decision requires the district to open a brand new complete center college and highschool on the Montbello campus. The venture can be funded by $130 million from bonds accepted by Denver voters in November.
“Individuals within the Montbello neighborhood wished their highschool again, and that’s precisely what we’re doing right here right this moment,” college board member Tay Anderson mentioned.
Nevertheless, some dad and mom and college students from STRIVE Prep Montbello requested the board to rethink relocating their constitution college, which is slated to occur as a part of the plan.
“Have you ever guys ever felt like [if you were] moved from a brand new college, [you] felt lonely on the primary day? That’s precisely how I’d really feel if we’d be moved away,” mentioned scholar Benjamin Montez. “STRIVE Prep Montbello is a key gem in our neighborhood.”
Board members didn’t immediately deal with the problem of relocating STRIVE Prep Montbello. However board Vice President Jennifer Bacon, who represents Montbello, pledged extra typically to proceed to interact in conversations with the neighborhood.
“On the very least, we owe it to our neighborhood to do the very best that we will to be clear on subsequent steps,” she mentioned, “and to proceed to have conversations in order that we will guarantee not solely that voices are heard however that the facility or skills to make change for our neighborhood are shared.”