Last Chance High
Chicago’s Moses Montefiore Academy – “Last Chance High” – serves students with severe emotional disorders, who have been expelled (frequently more than once) from the city’s other public schools. Last Chance High‘s first episode can be so overwhelming that we want to run for the doors, as the cameras show us – without much explanation – the disruptive behavior and disrespect for their teachers these students display on a daily basis. The school’s faculty and administrators spend so much time trying to maintain order that it is hard to imagine much teaching goes on. Across subsequent episodes, producers Brent and Craig Renaud take us deeper and deeper into this world. We get to know these students and the emotional carnage of their lives; we get to know their parents, some in jail, some indifferent, but some struggling to help their sons and daughters make something good of their lives. The school’s teachers and mentors burn out and break down, but some go the extra mile to provide these students life-changing experiences or simply a shoulder to cry on. For its uncompromising look at school violence and its compassionate depiction of this educational community, Last Chance High receives a Peabody Award.
PRIMARY PRODUCTION CREDITS
Executive Producers: Shane Smith, Eddy Moretti, Suroosh Alvi, Jason Mojica, Jim Czarnecki. Supervising Producer: Martina Veltroni. Producers / Directors: Brent Renaud, Craig Renaud.