Saving the Mont: Lessons in School Reconstitution


On December 9th, 2009, the faculty and staff of John C. Fremont High School, were summoned after school to the auditorium. There, with armed Los Angeles Unified School Police at the doors, Superintendent Ramon Cortines told the staff that the school would, under the authority of No Child Left Behind, be reconstituted, and that all staff members would have to reapply for their jobs.


This would be the first time such a move would be attempted in the Los Angeles Unified School District. For six months, from December 9th, 2009 until June 25th, 2010, many of the faculty and staff fought the specter of reconstitution or, as it later came to be called, restructuring. It was fought at school, in the community, at the School Board, and on the internet, gaining attention from a number of educators across the country.


A website, Save Fremont, at, carried the opinions and information we sought to convey during this difficult time. The website expired in July, 2010. However, some of the posts have been saved, at least the ones done by the creator of this site, Chuck Olynyk. It is my hope that those whose schools are facing reconstitution might be able to learn from what we did to try to save Fremont, or, as many of us came to call it, “the Mont.”