Madrone High School is Misunderstood


Ashley Calderon, Contributor

Growing up, I always heard adults say, “Do well in high school or you’ll be sent to Madrone.” I remember hearing “Madrone is for bad behaved students.” Many parents and students believe that getting sent to Madrone High School ends the students hopes for a good future because of the rumors they have heard, due to the fact that it is a continuation school.

People within our community make it seem like it’s an unfortunate school. Some students from past years that have ended up at Madrone were gang-affiliated and once people see that, they automatically assume it’s a dangerous school.

Madrone isn’t all about the bad rumors you’ve heard or been told before. It’s actually a great school, and students from the school would agree. Madrone is very supportive towards their students, and they want to make sure they can have success in life.

Many of the students who were once at San Rafael High School or Terra Linda High School academically were not doing well there. The students at Madrone are there for many different reasons. These reasons include bad attendance leading to getting behind in credits in certain subjects or just in need of extra support from teachers. The students are usually older than 16 as well.

All of the staff put a lot of effort into demonstrating that Madrone is not a school for bad students. Madrone teachers and staff have shown that they help their students by making sure students stay on track with classwork. Besides academically supporting each student individually and allowing a better pace that benefits the students. Maria Hernandez, a current senior at Madrone, said, “They care about the students by always checking in on us about our grades.”

Madrone is less stressful than San Rafael High School. A senior at Madrone who wanted to stay anonymous said, “Madrone is less stressful than SR because there’s no homework.” Madrone allows students enrolled to get a high school diploma and obtain the opportunities they need in order to have a better future and to be able to attend college. Students are also able to graduate early and this can give them an earlier start in their career. It motivates their students to be on time and never be absent for school.

Madrone being a small school has definitely helped with giving these students a second chance within this community. Franklin Escobar, a senior at Madrone said, “Madrone has helped me with my school work because since there are not a lot of students, teachers have more time to focus on each student.” One by one, teachers can help students with their school work.

The small population of students allows for better communication amongst their peers. Bryan Colomo, a senior at Madrone said, “Madrone has a good environment where everyone gets along with each other.” Ms. Morgan, former Madrone teacher and now teacher at SR, also said, “Many of our students come back to see us so that they can share their post-secondary experiences with us and to check in. Madrone is like family.”

Madrone as a whole is always trying to be successful and improve. The staff at Madrone are always trying to provide the best so ask that students reach out to them when they feel like something needs to be improved. The school has improved by bringing in the same opportunities that are offered at other High Schools.

Madrone has various different organizations, and programs come in to help support their students. For example, 10,000 Degrees has come in to help students submit their FAFSA. Students at Madrone receive the same internship opportunities as other High School students. “Madrone has helped me with connecting me with resources like internships or field trips to career centers,” said Colomo. The school has helped many of their students towards a bright future.

Not to mention, their flexible schedule has also benefited the students because it allows them to go through their day with no gaps in their classes. Being out of school at 2:25 P.M. has helped the students who have jobs after school.

Students sent to Madrone have also realized how this was another opportunity for them and are taking school seriously. Students have been able to catch up on credits and work hard at a benefiting pace. Maria was a student at San Rafael High School and she knew that being transferred to Madrone would be the best choice for her future because she would be able to catch up on incomplete credits in order to Graduate.

It is possible for students who were once struggling to have the opportunity to come back to San Rafael High School. When I spoke to Colomo he said, “I wanted to do well so I could be back at San Rafael High School but realized Madrone offered better opportunities like support and this is what is best for me.”

Students from Madrone don’t have negative things to say about their school due to the support and assistance they receive from their staff. Madrone has been beneficial for the students because of the opportunities, and resources they provide. The students appreciate the extra support and assistance they have received from teachers.

“I loved working at Madrone. It will be a highlight of my teaching career. I taught at Madrone for 12 years,” said Ms. Morgan. “I’d encourage any student or parent that is concerned about attending Madrone to spend some time there observing.”