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Thursday, July 31, 2014

District to open new alternative school

Thursday, December 27, 2012

(Photo)
The Hacker Middle School annex will become the local school district's new Bennett Mountain High School -- a school for at-risk students.
The Mountain Home School District will start its second semester next month with a new school aimed at helping at-risk students here.

Geared for those in grades 9 to 12, Bennett Mountain High School will open Jan. 7 in the Hacker Middle School annex building.

For the full story, pick up a copy of the Mountain Home News or click on this link to subscribe to the newspaper's online edition.


Comments
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RMHS is an accredited HS, one of my children just graduated from there, and amazingly they have a HS diploma, not a GED. Now as stated in here they do offer GED help/support, but most of the kids there get a diploma, so please check your facts before you state something. And since I did have a child there, who was also at MHHS, I can tell you, that if you're looking for something better for your child, you would be best to have them attend RMHS as opposed to something MHHS is "trying". I do not put a stigma on children, "at risk" can mean so many things, but in that, it "will" also include those who are truly trouble. So, do you want your child confined, since they aren't allowed to leave, with these "at risk" children all day? If you are truly looking for a great alternative I implore you to go check out RMHS. Why would you send your child to a "start up" with no experience in this area, when you have a school right now, that's well tested, approved and doesn't have to deal with the politics of the MHSD. RMHS, doesn't allow the "at risk" kids in their school, they have a set of Golden Rules, that if are violated, you will be expelled, done and done, I don't see MHHS doing this, since they don't do it now. And again, Im not judging, we all know how MHSD is being run into the ground and they don't hold anyone or anything to a true standard, they just move the line when convenient to them. And since you went to MHHS and know you didn't like it, because of all these issues, why continue with your child, move them to something better, out of the MHSD hands, we did and the end product was so much better. Your child sounds like shes on the right track, why derail it now with confining her to something worse.

-- Posted by scoutin on Tue, Jan 1, 2013, at 9:03 PM

Also, according to RMHS, they do offer high school diplomas, not just GEDs. This, of course, could be inaccurate. But, that was the case when I attended (which admittedly has been awhile). At that time, they offered their facilities for students to study and prepare for, and take the GED test. But, the standard classes they offered were for a high diploma.

This is also stated in their handbook:

"Richard McKenna Charter High School is an accredited, nontraditional, public high school. Richard

McKenna offers high school courses through an onsite school program which serves around fifteen

students per teacher in Mountain Home, Idaho, and an online program that serves several hundred

students throughout the state of Idaho; all of these courses lead to a high school diploma."

-- Posted by gcs on Tue, Jan 1, 2013, at 4:32 PM

Just to clarify, I'm not ashamed because the Bennett name would be attached to an alternative school. I have no problem with alternative schools. I attended RMHS for awhile while I was pregnant. I realize that "at-risk" can mean a lot of things other than a dangerous teen who is a bad influence. I attended because I was due the first day that my senior year would be starting at MHHS. Because RMHS has a different schedule, I attended while pregnant to make up credits that I'd be missing out on since I wouldn't be able to attend the first semester of my senior year at MHHS.

That aside, I also know that "at-risk" also includes such innocuous things like students that have been exclusively home-schooled and would have trouble being mainstreamed into regular high school.

So, "at-risk" doesn't bother me. I don't assume anything about the student who would attend. My issue is with where this money is coming from. Given that another levy for "bare-boned essentials" was just passed, how in the world do they suddenly have the funding for this?

-- Posted by gcs on Tue, Jan 1, 2013, at 4:21 PM

You know the problem with all of this is we as people are always first to judge and draw negative conclusions on what you read in this newspaper and for the record anything new in this darn town. I also went to Mountain Home High School and hated it like most other kids, the cut ups in class and the unnecessary distractions were just unneeded yet seem to be allowed, I would also opted for this type of school if it was available. I see people here talking about at risk kids, my daughter will be attending, she works, pays her own bills while living at home and has worked since age 15,has her own car and is a responsible young adult just wanting to get away from all the drama at the High School. Don't tell me as a parent that we need to take a parenting class when we are as parents just fulfilling a legitimate request to attend this school from our daughter. People here should not judge without knowing the entire circumstances behind each attendee. Don't be quick to judge this new school that I'm sure will be a positive in the end, and make responsible, respectable adults for this community. Look around people we have more theft and drug problems in this town to worry about than other peoples kids just trying to make things better for themselves.

-- Posted by momofsmartkid on Tue, Jan 1, 2013, at 8:56 AM

This school is an accredited high school/alternative school where you receive a high school diploma. McKenna does not offer this. They only offer a GED(That's ok). The rules and regulations at this school are very strict.. Much more than the Mountain Home high school. They are not allowed to leave school grounds.. not even for lunch. The sad part about the whole thing is how a stigma is being put on the students due to Mountain home school district using the term "at risk. I just wish there was something better that could have been stated than that, or explained in the paper, That's ok though I remember when McKenna's students were labeled,and it turned out to be a good school, with good kids.

-- Posted by momofsmartkid on Tue, Jan 1, 2013, at 7:47 AM

My paternal grandmother's maiden name was Bennett. These are the Bennetts that Bennett Mountain was named for. I'm ashamed right now.

-- Posted by gcs on Tue, Jan 1, 2013, at 12:26 AM

Momofsmartkid: I know exactly what "at risk" means, so Im guessing MHSD is pulling the wool over your eyes, since you believe your child will do better in an "at risk" environment. Think about it, your child doesn't like HS, so you're going to put her in a group of children who the MHSD feels are "at risk" of not making it through to see a diploma or has issues with other classmates, you are totally right, your child will do just fine. If you're looking for a good environment then place your child in RMHS, they are truly there for your child's education, and nothing more. They don't have to worry about politics, levies, and the likes as I have stated before, they have one mission, teach your child. And think about what you just said, "this is very much MHSD.. just smaller", think about it, your child doesn't like the environment she's in now, but now you're putting her in a more condensed version, with the possible worst of the worst, that makes sense. If you care about your child as much as you do, then try something new, not the same old thing, condensed into pure "at risk".

-- Posted by scoutin on Mon, Dec 31, 2012, at 8:38 PM

momofsmartkid: You are correct in what you say. Some kids just can not stand the misbehaviours and "stuff" that goes in our public schools. They want to learn and graduate. They want an environment where they CAN learn and get ahead. Richard McKenna has provided this environment for years. They "will not" put up bad behaviour. They have rules, strict rules, and either the parents and the student agree to them or don't attend the school. So, you are correct, not all kids attending these schools are bad, misguided kids.

I am not sure how the accredidation is going to be for this new Mtn. Home School. I do know that McKenna is an accredited charter school. Or did Mtn. Home just open up another regular highschool. Didn't think to ask that.

Is this a charter school or another regular highschool?

I think if the school district would follow their own guidelines and really punish bad behavior, whether mommy or daddy likes it or not, then maybe we would have a positive learning environment. My kids may have been in school all day, but their behaviors were still dealt with appropriately at home. My kids were still MY responsibility at the end of the day, not the teachers.

By the way, I am glad that your child has the want and desire to do better. Congratulations to you and your child.

-- Posted by midea on Mon, Dec 31, 2012, at 11:02 AM

You must be kidding yourselves about what "at risk means?" my daughter is going to attend this school and has good grades!!!! She does not like High school.. so what! I didn't either and if an opportunity like this arose for me back then I would have taken it! I am succesful and a productive individual and I love my kids and give them the utmost attention.. Some kids just want to finish high school early..This is very much MHSD.. just smaller. There are several reasons these kids are attending this school.. Look into it before you judge.

-- Posted by momofsmartkid on Sun, Dec 30, 2012, at 4:39 PM

unbelievable. I just read the article and the comments posted and I agree on all parts. I'm not afraid for the kids at Hacker to be in such close proximity to this new High School. I've seen these students, the ones selected for the new school. They're kids, that need love, understanding and a parent who cares. I'm not saying all parents DON'T care and I'm not saying it's easy being a parent. The teen years are harder than the "terrible two's" but teens still need to be loved and held accountable for their actions. My point of view is, the H.S. staff just didn't want to deal with them so they pawn them off on someone else to deal with. We adults need to stop being "friends" with our kids and let them know they're loved but still need to hold up their end of the bargain of being a responsible member of society.

-- Posted by pursuitofhappy on Sun, Dec 30, 2012, at 10:04 AM

Sorry for the double post, server error.

-- Posted by scoutin on Fri, Dec 28, 2012, at 9:41 PM

Please tell me they will have a resource officer there, since these are "at risk" children. I like how the MHSD put this right next to Maverick too, easier for these kids to go smoke and be truants. The MHSD will not manage this well, and these kids will become worse off, RMHS has the right idea and since it's not a part of the MHSD, they don't have to worry about politics and levies, meaning the children there will get an education, not be used as pawns against their parents to extort more money from them. These "at risk" kids are already losing and they haven't even begun class. Way to go MHSD and the rest of the political ignoramuses who want nothing more than to watch this town lag behind the state, country and most parts of the world, when in reality if they were true public servants it could excel and lead, with such a diverse population. Oh well, some peoples greed, ignorance, selfishness, vanity and the likes, when placed "wrong", can ruin everyone's life. Thanks.

-- Posted by scoutin on Fri, Dec 28, 2012, at 9:41 PM

Please tell me they will have a resource officer there, since these are "at risk" children. I like how the SD put this right next to Maverick too, easier for these kids to go smoke and be truants. The SD will not manage this well, and these kids will become worse off, RMS has the right idea and since it's not a part of the SD, they don't have to worry about politics and levies, meaning the children there will get an education, not be used as pawns against their parents to extort more money from them. These "at risk" kids are already losing and they haven't even begun class. Way to go MHSD and the rest of the political ignoramuses who want nothing more than to watch this town lag behind the state, country and most parts of the world, when in reality if they were true public servants it could excel and lead, with such a diverse population. Oh well, some peoples greed, ignorance, selfishness, vanity and the likes, when placed "wrong", can ruin everyone's life. Thanks.

-- Posted by scoutin on Fri, Dec 28, 2012, at 9:39 PM

Well, the MHSD knew about this atleast year ago when I withdrew my child from the highschool because the Principle actually called me and asked me to re-enroll my child in lieu of this 'new' program they were about to unveil-- this was back in October 2011. This is the same 'program' that he described to me over the phone. But suprisingly, this is the first I have heard of it since we spoke...so it certainly slipped in under the radar.

-- Posted by Rocklady on Fri, Dec 28, 2012, at 7:18 PM

I remember when the school board asked us to pay for improvements to the middle school, they said this building was unsuitable for use because of the asbestos content. This needs to be checked out by an impartial party.

-- Posted by Fairplay on Fri, Dec 28, 2012, at 4:50 PM

midea, you are correct. However, I am unable to remember if it was just something the MHSD said---or if this was documented by another source. As we all know, the MHSD has not been honest. There is mention of an alternative school in the MHSD Board Minutes and they had talked about this in the meetings prior to the levy.

Given the conduct of the MHSD Board and MHSD Admin, none of this should surprise anyone. They are all about smoke, mirrors and lies. Just keep handing them more money. The more they get, the more they spend and want.

Glad that levy passed now? Proud of what they are spending your money on?

-- Posted by OpinionMissy on Fri, Dec 28, 2012, at 2:58 PM

I believe I am correct when I say that, I remember when my kids were young and in school, AND school bonds were going on, that this building was being or about to be condemned. But, lo an behold, after all these many, many years it is still being used. Funny how easy it is to be able to reuse supposedly "condemned or to be condemned" buildings, huh?

Opinion Missy: Do you remember this? Am I correct?

-- Posted by midea on Fri, Dec 28, 2012, at 2:48 PM

MH Resident...........You are absolutely 100% correct with your statement. And did this ever get voted on, or just slipped through.

-- Posted by Yankeezz on Fri, Dec 28, 2012, at 12:33 PM

Crew25,

The kids at Richard McKenna get a high school diploma just like at the regular high school...only differnce is thaat Richard McKenna runs the school correctly and doesnt ask for money. They are not broke there. They are the only ones doing it right. If you want to see how they operate just go there and see for yourself. Its a great program.

-- Posted by mhg4316 on Fri, Dec 28, 2012, at 10:57 AM

Another High School here! Maybe the parents need to go back to Parenting School instead of passing the burden onto others. We do not need problem kids who do not want to learn thrown into a situation next to the Middle School. Middle School kids are at the age where they are very influenced by others. This isn't going to help anyone. Only the allowing to keep more teachers on the payrolls.

-- Posted by Yankeezz on Fri, Dec 28, 2012, at 9:01 AM

ConcernedParentsin MH,

Welcome to the shananagins of the MHSD! Just wait a couple minutes and they will ask for ANOTHER levy to take care of "Bennet Mountain High"

70!! 70 "at-risk" in this little school district?? Haven't read the paper yet, but what are the qualifications to fall into this "category"? Hope I am wrong but it smells like someone could be embelishing some numbers just to start this branch of the HS.

-- Posted by clam chowder on Fri, Dec 28, 2012, at 8:19 AM

As a parent of a student at Hacker and another one starting next year, I am extremely concerned about bringing in a bunch of high schoolers right on to the same location as 5th and 6th graders. And not only that but at risk high schoolers??? I feel like my middle schooler will be the one at risk when school is out and they have to leave the school to start walking home...just for starters. I do not understand why this location was chosen. There were all sorts of issues when the 7th graders were a part of the Middle school and it got better once they were moved to the Jr. High. This will be 10 times worse! I feel like this plan was not thought out at all or involved people who do not have children this age to worry about. Please reconsider this location!!!!

-- Posted by ConcernedParentsinMH on Thu, Dec 27, 2012, at 9:50 PM

According to the paper the new alternative school will open its doors January 7, 2013. The Superintendent says the district has up to 70 current HS Students identified as "at-risk" however they only have room now for 30 students.

What about the remaining 40?

Why does the district want them to wear a polo shirt as a type of school uniform? Sounds like putting a label on kids

-- Posted by MsMarylin on Thu, Dec 27, 2012, at 8:47 PM

Thank you to the people who voted FOR the most recent levy for the MHSD. This is another fine example of how the MHSD misuses funds. They are "broke" (no money) but do something like this.

The people that send their kids to McKenna do so because they do not like the MHSD and MHSD Administration. Creating this alternative school is not going to help to recapture the students (or money) you have lost. The MHSD is run by arrogant fools. Unless you correct that, you folks will continue to see your numbers drop.

Thank you MHSD for the reminder once again of why I voted no and will vote no in the future. It never was about the kids---just another ego trip.

-- Posted by OpinionMissy on Thu, Dec 27, 2012, at 8:18 PM

Instead of a school for kids who won't listen or behave.....maybe a class for parents who will not teach their kids responsibility. They should be paying more taxes to cover the extra costs of someone else raising their kids. The kids doing well in this environment shows that they would do well by getting life and family education at home before going to school. I feel bad for those kids, but they need more than alternative school....keeping them away from the public or whatever this accomplishes.

-- Posted by goatbeard on Thu, Dec 27, 2012, at 12:46 PM

Great news from a district that is strapped for cash and claims not to be able to maintain all facilites to current standards. Smart move. NOT !!!!!!!!!!

-- Posted by Old guy on Thu, Dec 27, 2012, at 11:57 AM


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