“This is your school! And we look forward to giving you the school that you all deserve.” Montbello High School assistant principal, Jason Ortiz exclaims, looking out at the future Montbello High School class of 2024.
This is the message delivered loud and clear to an auditorium of sophomores from Collegiate Prep Academy, Noel Community Arts School, and DCIS Montbello on a Wednesday afternoon in March.
Welcome to a Montbello class meeting. A weekly event run by the Montbello High School leadership team designed to welcome and prepare each grade level for their new school.
“Every week, we gather an entire grade of students from Collegiate Prep Academy, Noel Community Arts School, and DCIS Montbello to share excitement about attending MHS, and more importantly, to listen to their ideas and feedback on school offerings, culture, and more. We are putting decisions in their hands,” said MHS principal, Neisa Lynch.
What kind of decisions are students making during these class meetings? Everything from elective courses and clubs to their class song gets discussed. And students are excited for the new opportunities.
“I’m excited for more classes! I’m excited they are going to have a college class for therapy because that’s what I want to go to school for,” said one sophomore.
“I’m also excited for different classes because I want to be in law enforcement, and right now we don’t have those [options],” added another.
Another student weighed in, “I liked the class meeting. I like that it’s becoming a whole school now, instead of three separate schools. I’m probably going to join the Car Club and do football and baseball.”
It’s clear that the leadership team at Montbello High School has made it their mission to ensure all students feel informed and cared for during this time of transition. During the class meetings, students are introduced to different MHS staff members, learn about class schedules, graduation requirements, student leadership opportunities, and athletics, before participating in an open Q&A section.
“We know it’s not easy to move from one school to another. We are holding these class meetings as a way to keep students informed and to build a strong school culture– one that our students take pride in creating,” said Principal Lynch.
Part of building school culture? Creating an environment of fun. Assistant principal, Kevin Wilson, hypes up the class and excitement levels grow as a photo of Oprah flashes to the screen. “Look under your chairs! You get a prize and you get a prize!” He calls out; handing Montbello swag to the lucky winners.
As the school meeting concludes, students head out of the auditorium with MHS t-shirts in hand, laughing and talking as they make their way to the lunch tables.
“I’m excited to see what happens next time.” One student says to another. And we can’t help but agree.
In alignment with the high school, the Montbello Middle School leadership team held similar events for their future middle school students this past February. Students were able to ask questions, learn about the courses and activities their school will have, and stock up on Montbello Middle School swag!
The new Montbello High School and Montbello Middle School will open their doors in August of 2022. To learn more about either school, visit their websites: montbelloms.dpsk12.org or montbellohs.dpsk12.org or follow them on social media @MontbelloMS and @MontbelloHighSchool