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Her favorite coaching memory is when her volleyball team went to the Elite 8. She is looking forward to spending more time with her grandchildren and her father, working out, golfing, kayaking, and at the lake. Her best memories at Clever have been helping students overcome their struggles and accomplish their goals. Stewart will miss the hugs and some really awesome friends and co-workers. After retirement, she is looking forward to spending more time with her husband, children, and grandchild also traveling, gardening, playing with her dogs, reading, volunteering, and going to concerts.

Stewart will be greatly missed at Clever Schools! Honoring our Retirees Terry Holmes is retiring after teaching for 25 years in Clever and 34 total years of teaching. Some of her favorite memories are late night read-a-thons until midnight in the library, reading and enjoying sharing books. After retirement, she is looking forward to spending time with her grandbaby and watching her daughter be inducted into the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame. Honoring our Retirees Mary Harris is retiring after 27 years of teaching with 23 of those at Clever.

Harris has taught both in the elementary classroom and K Spanish. One of her favorite memories was one morning during circle drive duty when she was helping a kindergartener out of his car and he turned to his dad and said, "That's my hola teacher". Harris says she will definitely miss the people she works with and Clever Schools will miss her too! Honoring our Retirees Robin Green is retiring after 34 years of teaching with 27 of those at Clever Elementary.

Green has loved teaching 2nd grade, Kindergarten, and coaching high school cheerleading. She will miss being with both the kids and adults that she loves every day. She plans to spend more time in her garden and with her grandchildren once retired. Clever Schools will miss the smiling and energetic Mrs. Honoring our Retirees Chris Crow is retiring after 12 years of teaching music in Clever and 29 total years of teaching. She has fond memories of her own boys attending school at Clever and watching her students have so much fun singing in their programs. Honoring our Retirees Kris Carlson is retiring from her job as Elemiddle School librarian after 21 years at Clever and 26 total years of teaching.

One of her favorite memories from her time at Clever was in when the high school student body formed a human chain to move all the library books from the old building into the new building. Carlson will definitely miss her co-workers, sharing some of her favorite stories and authors with children, and watching them be captivated by the story. Clever Schools will also miss her, her love for books, and love for her students! Soft's Ice Cream Truck. The track at the high school will be closed to the public the morning of May 22nd until pm to allow the elementary field day to take place.

Sorry for any inconvenience this may cause. Interested in ordering a Summer School shirt? Return the form to the HS office with payment. Students attending summer school receive a free shirt. Please see the attachment for details and how you can let us know about projects we can help with! The last day to register for High School Summer school is tomorrow! Doors will open at 6 p. K-8 Summer School registration closes on Friday, May 4th. After this date, students wishing to enroll will be placed on a waiting list and will be eligible for registration on a first-come, first-serve basis if openings become available.

Click the link below to secure your child's spot before the deadline. Reminder that students will start MAP testing on Tuesday. Testing will continue on various days for the next two weeks. Congratulations to the following art show award winners! The deadline to register for K-8 Summer School is one week away.

Click the link to register your child before it is too late. Clever Middle School will host a Saturday School this weekend from am. All students are welcome to attend but must sign up in the main office prior to the end of the day on Friday. Saturday School will be held this weekend from am at CHS. All students are welcome to attend. Sign up in the main office. The last eligibility check will take place May 1st. Summer School registration for the High School closes in a little over a week! Please email Mrs. Tangora or Mr. Sullivan the pictures or send in with your student.

All 8th grade students were given order forms yesterday and need to be turned in tomorrow with payment. There has been some confusion regarding the start time for the Senior Awards Ceremony. To clarify, the event will begin at 6 p. Thank you and sorry for any inconveniences. Community Service Day has been rescheduled for May 23rd. Please see the attached flyer for details. Let us know how we can help! We will be dismissing the K-8 campus at noon and the high school campus at Breakfast and sack lunches will be served on this day. Thank you to all students, parents, and staff for their effort and patience this afternoon.

At this point, the gas company is currently working to resolve the issue. Enjoy the four day weekend and we will see everyone on Tuesday. The Elemiddle School has been evacuated as a precautionary measure due to a suspected natural gas leak. Students are safely on campus. As of now, there is no change to the end of day dismissal procedures. We are officially at students that are registered for the K-8 summer school. There is only a few weeks left to register. Our goal is K-8 students. Click the link below to secure your child's spot.

Summer School enrollment for the HS will remain open until May 4th. Use the following link to access the registration form. Hope to see you there! Travel safely! K-8 Summer School registration is open for a few more weeks. Click on the link to secure your child's spot. The Community Service Day has been postponed due to impending weather tomorrow morning, regular classes will be in session. College visits and the ACT will go on as scheduled.

All Prom guest forms will need to be submitted by on Friday afternoon. No exceptions will be made after that time. Forms are available in the main office. Come join the fun! Attention Middle School Parents! Pick-up for the dance tonight for all students will take place in the bus lane. Please enter the campus from the south where the middle school circle drive normally loads.

We will wrap you around the school and up the bus lane to begin loading cars at pm. Thank you for your patience in advance. Check out the flyer for more information! Summer school registration is now open! Follow the link to complete registration! Does your child need vaccines for the school year? If so, your child can receive the required vaccines on the Cox Care Mobile. Students who are uninsured, under-insured, or have Medicaid can receive vaccines at no charge.

Private stock vaccines will be available for those with insurance. Insurance will be billed for immunizations given. Call your school nurse today to schedule an appointment. K-8 Summer School Registration is now open! Be on the lookout for an email with the electronic link. To help with projects for the HS Community Service Day - students will be able to wear hats next week. Thanks for the support! Let the countdown to the MAP testing begin!

Middle school students enjoyed a day of fun football activities and got a head start on their 4th quarter reading. Only 57 days from the start of MAP Testing. This year the theme is Football. Check out the middle school kids putting all their pennies in at the last minute!

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Clever PTA is hosting a family superhero dance night. Come dance with your favorite superhero and enjoy an evening of family fun! Tomorrow is the big day! Door prize raffle and free food while it lasts. Please use the link for an important reminder regarding the High School policies on eligibility and how attending Prom may be impacted.

Congratulations to Dawson Osborne! Third annual Community Service Day is scheduled for April 3rd. See the attached flyer for more information and please share! Please note: As of March 1st, the Care Mobile will start charging for sports physicals to those that do not qualify for free or reduced lunches. Have you signed up for the middle school Remind group? If not, follow the link! Have you signed up for the high school Remind group?

CHS is excited to invite everyone to this event! Save the date, we hope to see you there. Attention MS Parents! Students needing extra help or just a quiet place to work is invited to attend Saturday School on the 24th Please sign up in the main office by Friday. Thank you for your hard work and dedication to the school and community. Way to go Boys! Great way to end the season!! Keep warm and stay safe! Saturday School at Clever Elemiddle has been cancelled February The order deadline has been extended to Monday, February 12th.

Clever schools are canceled today due to icy road conditions. The 8th-grade tournament will be at the high school gym and the 7th at the middle school gym. The boys and girls basketball games for tonight have been canceled. The makeup day for the boys will be this Thursday, February 8th. The Barnabas or Bust event will also move to Thursday. Here is the order of the games that evening. Strafford Designer Genes Game, Clever v. Sparta pm: Varsity Girls Clever v.

Sparta pm: Varsity Boys Clever v. Clever schools WILL be in session today. However, all district schools will follow their Friday schedule and release two hours early in preparation for the next round of winter weather. Due to hazardous road conditions Clever schools will be closed tomorrow. Elementary Opportunities Class ends their unit on animals and classification with a visit from some Dickerson Park Zoo animals! Cox Care Mobile will be on campus February 28th, Please contact your school nurse if interested.

If interested, please contact your school nurse for dates and eligibility. It has been rescheduled for Friday, January 26th at the am. Sorry for the late notice. Thank you so much to all who donated to Care to Learn this week! In the future,if there is an early dismissal or school closing,the YMCA will also be closed. Contact the YMCA with any questions Attention Parents of Little Cheer participants! Due to the early release on Thursday afternoon, the after-school practice will be canceled.

As of right now, the performance for Friday, January 12th will continue as planned. Please see the handout from last night for the performance times. Due to impending ice accumulation this afternoon, Clever Schools will release early. All buildings will follow their typical Friday schedule. What would you do for a Klondike bar?

A 4th grade student sings "Take me out to the ballgame" to earn her Klondike bar. Student pickup with take place in the bus lane. Thanks for your help in fighting heart disease! Attention Elemiddle Families! If your entry is drawn at lunch and you complete your task, you get a Klondike ice cream bar! Little Cheer Clinic begins next week, January 8th - January 11th. Pick up students in the bus lane. Performance will be on January 12th, High School boys basketball game.

Students needing extra help or just a quiet place to work is invited to attend our last Saturday School of the semester from Any High School student needing extra help or just a quiet place to work is invited to attend our last Saturday School of the semester. Sign up in the main office by Friday.

Permission slips for the High School movie trip are due no later than 2 pm on Thursday, December 13th to Hanna in the main office! Parents, Please check out the lost and found in the K-4 lobby. All items will be donated after the holidays. Due to the varsity game scheduled that evening, please plan to park in the east parking lots. The remaining family members should use the front entrance to enter the Performing Arts Center. Thank you for your help. Clever Parents as Teachers was honored to host Dr. David Schramm, Utah State University, for his presentation to area parent educators.

Fabulous presentation! Items can be placed under the tree in the Elementary lobby. If you plan to attend, please let the office know! In a continued effort to promote kindness and giving the MS Student Senate group has set up a Giving Tree in the office. The tree is decorated with paper ornaments identifying the items in need. Students, parents, and teachers are encouraged to take as many ornaments off the tree and purchase these items. All purchased items can be brought to the school and will be wrapped by student senate members to be delivered before the holiday.

Please consider helping out others in need this holiday season. More information regarding parties will be coming soon. School will be dismissed early on the last day of the semester which is Tuesday, December 19th. We will dismiss the same time as we do on Fridays! Don't forget about the Clever Turkey Trot!!

See you at 8am Thanksgiving morning! HS girl's basketball Fair Grove Tournament bracket. Thank you to all the local veterans who attended our program last week. We honor the dedication and sacrifice that you have given to our country. Check out several photos from the program. Clever Schools would like to thank Clever Technologies and the Clever Police for their generous donation of school supplies.

These will be put to good use! Are you receiving emails from school? If not, please contact the main office to update your contact information. Please use the link below to read an important message from the HS. The permission slips for the attendance incentive trip on Friday came home today.

Money and signed slips are due to the office on Wednesday, November 15th. Orders will be back in time for Christmas. Toddler, youth and adult sizes available in several items. The parent pick-up times will be pm. Please contact PTA cleverjayspta cleverbluejays. CHS is accepting donations of used, age-appropriate Board Games.

Chess, Checkers, Uno, Clue, Monopoly, etc. Look at these awesome elementary students! Their persistence and detemination to meet goals, is inspiring. Proud to be a bluejay! Please contact the school office to signup your child. Please contact the PPTA at cleverjayspta cleverbluejays. You may call the school nurse, to inquire about the services provided, to schedule an appointment, and to receive the necessary paperwork.

There are only 11 days left in the fall attendance incentive. Help us in congratulating the October Student of the Month winners at the middle school. Outdoor assembly this sfternoon - temps in 40s and windy. Students will need to be dressed appropriately if they would like to participate. They make us very proud! Kids and strollers welcome! One more chance to order Clever Wear! We have added some new items including the popular Sherpa pullover.

Toddler to extended sizes available in several styles. The online store will stay open until November 17th. Orders will be back before Christmas. It is very much appreciated! Don't forget about the canned food drive going on this week! Thank you so much for your support!! We are excited to offer a counseling referral option for K-8 grade students at Clever Schools.

Raquel Morrow will be in Clever on a weekly basic to offer counseling services to students who need more that what a school counselor can offer. She is currently accepting Medicaid patients with appointments available during the school day no transportation is required. If you are interested in learning more about this option please contact your student's school counselor or Dr. Morrow directly at Lost and Found!

Please send all money and fundraising packets to school tomorrow. Delivery of items will be on Nov. Time TBA. Calah and Jessica will go on to sectionals, which will be played in Jefferson City Oct 3. HS Girl's Varsity Tennis will be moving on to play in the semifinals round for team districts vs. Karen AM class at a. Tuesday, October 31st - Ms. Karen PM class at p. We have updated our school calendar. Please watch for additional information as we approach these dates. K-4 Halloween Parties-Friday, Oct. Josten's will be in the CPAC tomorrow morning at for cap and gown information. Congratulations Girls!

Movie starts at dark Around The phone system is working again. Thank you for your patience! Clever School's phone system is currently down, we will let you know once it is working again. Tonight's JH Volleyball game against Strafford is going to be moved to the high school gym. The game will still start at pm. So much love all in one room!!! Thanks to everyone that helped make Grandparent's Day special!! Grandparents Day Friday, Sept. School will not be in session on Monday, September 11th and Tuesday, September 12th due to staff professional development. Here is the link to the Greg Tang Parent Night information.

Attention all K-8 parents! You are invited to attend a Math Parent Night on September 12th from pm. High School Parents please follow the link below to see the steps to complete an Observer account for Canvas. District teachers are spending the afternoon learning various ways to improve student engagement and participation. The phone system is working now. Thank you for your patience. The phone system is currently down for the school district.

We will post again once it is working. We hope that you come out and support our students as they have worked very hard so far this year. Details are included in the document! Parent Reminder: Every Friday K-8 will dismiss at so that teachers may participate in professional development. Please plan accordingly. The district wide open house is tonight from An important letter to all HS families will be mailed home this week with information about our Empowered Initiative.

Be on the lookout! A copy will also be on the district website. Check out this flyer with details about the upcoming No Increase Bond Issue. Please be informed and vote August 8th! Summer School students have been working hard painting our outdoor classroom. Each student worked to earn two tickets by demonstrating self-control in the restroom and hallway after morning recess NOT an easy feat for 4 and 5 year olds!

The tickets entitled them to a trip to the popcorn shop, manned by our counselor, Mrs. Twigg, and a ticket into a classroom movie. The weather looks to clear in the afternoon, so we are still planning to attend the zoo today. Our departure time will be pushed back to and we will plan to be at the zoo between We will eat a snack before leaving and stay at the zoo from , have lunch afterwards at the parks and plan to return no later than High School students painting a mural at our elemiddle school.

The Clever School District's phone system is currently down. You may still contact the offices or teachers through email. We will notify everyone once they are working again. Thank you for your patience and understanding! For more information, see the attachment. The doors will open to families at pm. So thankful for this amazing group of early childhood supporters. The first five years set the foundation for everything that follows! The simulation challenged each participant to manage the limited resources they were provided to try to understand the struggles facing those in poverty.

Inspiring our students to do their best on the MAP test. Congratulations to the April Student of the Month winners! Art Night tomorrow! Tues April 18 pm in the Upper Elemiddle Hallway. The 6th and 7th grade choir students received 1s from both judges. Additionally, the 7th graders competed as a small ensemble and also received a 1 on their performance. The 7th and 8th grade band received a 1- rating. Congratulations to all of our awesome music students and their teachers! Use the following link to register your K-8th-grade child for Summer School Day in K!

So exciting to see the smiles on the faces of these incoming kindergarten students! Parents and community members toured the country on Thursday as the fourth graders taught them about each state. They were even able to do a little food sampling along the way. We are so proud of these fourth graders and their hard work! Please make plans to attend! HS enrollment for Summer School is in full swing. We have options for students who are working during the summer and we have hybrid options available this year.

Click on the link to enroll! Today, they worked in groups of four to construct a bridge with a basket of possible supplies and it had to be sturdy enough for the bears to cross. We are gearing up for our 12th Annual Art Night on April 18th and are in desperate need of volunteers. Without volunteers art activities will be cancelled.

If you can volunteer for even an hour please fill out the link below. Art Night can't happen without volunteers! Below you will find a link that will take you to an electronic registration form for all incoming K-8 grade students. You will need to complete multiple forms if you have more than one child wishing to attend summer school. Electronic registration will be open through Monday, May 1st. After this date, online registration will be closed and parents will have to contact the school offices to register their children.

Please understand that your child will NOT receive a free t-shirt if registered after the online deadline of May 1st. The District's phone system is currently down. Our tech team is working to get everything back up and running as soon as possible! Mikki's class shared their knowlwdge and books about growing things with Mrs. Robinson's Kindergarten class today. All profits will go to the Make-A-Wish Missouri organization we actually will be sponsoring a local child's wish!! We'll have food, vendor booths, games, and a lantern ceremony.

We may possibly have the wish kid there as well! Shirts are available by clicking the link below. Thanks for helping us Make A Wish come true!! Thomas Maerke shared great information. Fist pumps and high fives to all the dads, grandpas and buddies who came to our All Star night! Penny wars aren't just for raising money. Mikki's preschoolers are using this spontaneous learning opportunity to practice our counting skills, fine motor skills, and turn taking skills.

K-8 Summer School registration will begin on Sunday, March 19th. An electronic registration form will be emailed to all parents. Having fun celebrating Dr. Seuss this week! Its Wacky Wednesday in Mrs. Twigg's office! What's that you say? It's Green Eggs and Ham day! Mikki's preschool class is learning how to make scrambled eggs!

Will they eat them? Mrs Verch's 2nd grade class was the winner of the box top collection totaling box tops! Our March contest will run March 1st- March 31st.


  1. Cancións tradicionais para nenos (Galician Edition);
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Have a great start to your day with pancakes! Proceeds help one of our own in need. Get well soon Mr. Jessie builds a structurally resilient brain during the Brain Architecture Game at today's professional development. Thanks to Murfin's Market! We also raked in a shopping cart full of diaper donations! Money earned will purchase books and diapers!

The 3rd graders did a great job with presenting their famous Missourian on Thursday night! It was a fun night! We sold 1, Crush Grams! Still looking for her soulmate I found my soulmate!! Valentine's Day fun, thanks to Blue Crew!! Thank you Mr. Cobb for sharing Mabry's favorite book with her class. Mikki's preschool class practicing independent pre-reading skills.

I think they were really able to see how they can make a difference in their community. Thank you so much to all who participated! Great day to be a bluejay! More toothbrushes and toothpaste donated today than we have had time to count! Thanks for helping kids at Clever Schools. Friday - Team Spirit Day, Bring canned food with easy open lids. Opportunities students finished up their presentations on places they would like to visit on other continents.

They researched a place, created a Google slideshow about that place, and presented. Bring a new toothbrush or toothpaste and wear your pajamas to school! Thank you so much to all who have donated! Last week the Kindergartners had a special visit from Shelly and Candy from the Dickerson Park Zoo, and they brought several of their animal friends to show the students. Starting today, February 1st, we will no longer be printing menus. Don't forget tpday is Crazy Sock Day on the Elemiddle campus!

Bring a new pair of socks to donate to Care To Learn! High school production of All My Sons is under way. This show is entirely student directed and designed! Great job Clever Elemiddle! Tuesday - donate a new pair of socks for a child in need and wear your own crazy socks. Twenty 4th and 5th graders participated Saturday at SBU against other schools and academies. Way to go! SBU bound.

Great luck, Jays. All Elemiddle students are welcome to participate! New School Menus are Coming!!! You can pick up a form in the HS Office. Celebrating the th Day of School at Clever Elementary! Clever High School teachers working collaboratively on Friday afternoon! As you may know, little cheer pickup last evening was very congested. In an effort to help reduce this congestion, we are asking all parents to use the bus lane tonight and tomorrow night. In order to do this, you will need to go south on Public Ave.

Once in the bus lane, please form two lines that will wrap around the front of the K-4 building where students may be picked up. Thank you for your help in this matter. Cheer Clinic is happening at the Elemiddle campus! On Friday the older grades will perform during halftime of the JV game and the lower grades will perform during halftime of the varsity game. Due to hazardous road conditions from freezing rain, forecast by the National Weather Service, there will be no school tomorrow, Friday, January 13th.

There will be no school today due to road conditions. Thanks to our amazing community members for coming in and helping with Lighten Your Load day and wrapping gifts for teachers! Thanks to everyone who came! Middle and High School students auditioning together. Spring one acts will be student led and directed!

Clever students learning about rigging and lighting at Evangel's theater. Clever volleyball banquet was last night. Here are some pictures from the banquet. Thank you to everyone who came out and supported Clever Schools Thanksgiving morning at our Turkey Trot! We received lots of diapers to help our amazing Parents As Teachers Program!! Have a great Thanksgiving Break! See you on Monday! Join us for the Clever Turkey Trot on Thursday morning at am!

Just bring a package of diapers to help families in need. Last week Clever had a world record stack up day in PE. The students had a blast stacking cups! Thanks to Murfins for providing snacks! Thanks Paddy Wagon for treating the teachers today. Thanks to the teachers for all you do!

Without any legal changes, schools have become the start of a law-enforcement chain that lets ICE agents on transnational-crime task forces peer into hallways and backpacks without ever entering the property. Alex grew up in a tiny village in the highlands of Honduras, with no restaurants, banks or even consistent running water. His father, Victor, worked in the fields but was known in the village as a striver. She was one of the most educated women in the village, having been sent by her family to complete high school in a nearby town.

Victor left for the United States in , when Alex was 11, and managed to sneak across the border. He settled in Huntington because he had heard from a Honduran friend who was living there that it was a safe area with a good high school. To imagine where his father was living, Alex watched American sitcoms and a reality-TV show about a family running a pawnshop. His father sent back money for food, clothes and school supplies. But the money made the family a target for MS and its rival gang, Barrio They shot his uncle dead and broke all his teeth and smashed each of his fingers.

Using Humor in the Classroom

A group of gang members robbed Alex and then harassed him every time he went to the local three-room high school. In , after Alex turned 17, Victor decided it was time to get his son out of danger. On Dec. As an unaccompanied minor, he qualified to stay in the country while his case was processed, which could take years. He was allowed to travel to his father on Long Island. It was his first time on a plane, and he spent the flight glued to the window. When he landed, Victor took him to the basement apartment he was renting in Huntington. It was smaller and darker than the house he built in Honduras, but he had painted the walls a bright yellow to make it feel cheery.

The downtown has brick sidewalks, old-fashioned street lamps and an art-house movie theater. Retirees play music on the sidewalks. By the time Alex arrived, the high school was almost half Latino. The district runs a bilingual education program in which native English speakers learn alongside Spanish speakers, with instruction in both languages. The program has become so popular that English speakers are now put on a waiting list. A club pairs established immigrant students with recent arrivals to help ease the transition. Huntington High administrators say there has never been any MS presence at the school.

Alex was relieved to be away from the gangs in Honduras, and he soon stopped looking over his shoulder on the streets of Huntington. His parents had always told him that if he did well in school, he would have a good life. Now his teachers reinforced that message. He managed to finish his first semester with a B average. It was easy to imagine succeeding here. Once immigrant students learned enough English, they transferred into mainstream classes. There were asylum-seekers like him in the marching band, on the varsity soccer team and even in the student government.

His mother got a job cleaning office buildings, and when the new school year started in , she saw the boys off at each morning. After dinner, the whole family sat around the table and talked about their days. Some nights, Alex would connect his phone to the TV, and he and his brother would sit in folding chairs watching English tutorials on YouTube. During his sophomore year, Alex learned to navigate the hallways, and he was tardy only once through the spring.

They tagged themselves in group Facebook photos with the telephone calling codes for their home countries — for El Salvador, for Guatemala and for Honduras. Alex started wearing a bracelet with the blue and white of the Honduran flag. Alex knew that MS claimed Nike Cortez shoes and blue bandannas, so he made sure to avoid them. In the spring of , school security guards stopped him as he walked down the hall wearing bright blue sneakers that his mother picked out for him as a gift for accompanying her to an immigration appointment in Queens. They said the blue of the shoes was the color of MS Without explaining why, the security guards photographed the drawings before giving Alex his books back.

Shortly after, Alex was eating nachos with his friends in the lunchroom when the school police officer, Andrew Fiorillo, walked up to him. Fiorillo took Alex aside and asked in halting Spanish how he was doing in his classes. He said that if Alex heard anything in school, he could tell him. Then he walked Alex to class and left him at the door. Alex was confused about why Fiorillo talked to him, but he thought he seemed nice. Fiorillo, known as Officer Drew at Huntington High, is in his 40s, tall with thinning hair and a friendly face. He has worked at the school for more than a decade and is widely beloved.

Fiorillo, who wears his full police uniform each day, told me that he sees himself more as a mentor than as a law-enforcement officer, and that he invites students to talk to him in private if they ever have a problem. Some kids run up to greet him in the halls, but immigrant students tend to keep their distance.

A few weeks later, on May 4, , Alex was daydreaming as his algebra teacher introduced yet another indecipherable math operation. Without thinking, he began doodling in pencil on the school calculator he was using. When the bell rang, he handed it back in. That afternoon, security staff pulled Alex out of English class and took him to the office of Brenden Cusack, the principal. Through a translator, Cusack asked Alex if he had drawn the number on the case, and Alex said he had.

Alex told me he would never have written on a wall or desk in this American school, and he knew it was wrong to draw on the school-issued calculator, but he was surprised to be taken to the principal for something he saw as a form of fidgeting. He tried to defend himself; the devil was the school mascot, after all, and was the Honduras country code. Congress first provided funding to bring full-time police officers into schools after the Columbine shooting.

The number of these resource officers has doubled in the last decade, according to the National Association of School Resource Officers. Some 80 percent of high schools with more than 1, students have them. Schools with large populations of black and Latino students are more likely to have a resource officer than schools that are majority white. After the school shooting this year in Parkland, Fla. The position of school resource officer is a hybrid of conflicting roles: counselor, teacher and cop.

They greet kids each morning and comfort those having hard days, but they are also on constant alert for threats and illegal activity.

Expelled From Every Other School

The association recommends that members receive 40 hours of training, in part to counteract the stereotype of resource officers as more akin to crossing guards than real police officers. Even as their ranks have grown, these officers have been criticized for contributing to what civil rights advocates call the school-to-prison pipeline. School administrators are allowed to talk openly with resource officers and often call them in to interview students directly.

And the officers can — and do — notify their police superiors about what they learn. Studies by professors at the University of Tennessee and the University of Maryland show that when schools bring in resource officers, arrests for minor infractions tend to rise; federal school data shows that students of color bear the brunt of those school arrests.


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  • National school-administration groups have tried to balance these concerns against fears about school shootings by advising that resource officers concentrate on outside threats rather than student misbehavior. That recommendation has mostly gone unheeded. With the introduction of initiatives like Operation Matador, school resource officers have played an increasingly important role in the detention of immigrant teenagers. In the past, if officers wanted to surveil or search students suspected of committing a crime, they had to ask for a warrant.

    Across the country, ICE increasingly depends on information from resource officers to identify suspected gang members. But that intelligence is often unreliable. In March in Baltimore, ICE detained a year-old after the school resource officer reported that the student was part of a group that threatened a classmate. The detention lasted six months. The student went to the officer after the fight to explain that his classmate had been harassing him, but he was arrested and transferred to ICE custody; after a student walkout at the school, supported by some teachers, he was released in April.

    Chang stepped down the next day. The case is pending. Nevertheless, ICE recently detained several Boston students, citing school incident reports. In one case, a teenager was attacked by a known gang member, and ICE used the incident to classify the victim as a gang member as well. In California, school resource officers added hundreds of names to a statewide police gang database shared with federal agencies, including ICE. Michael A. Olivas, who teaches immigration and education law at the University of Houston, says schools are violating the intent of the Ferpa school-privacy law by reporting students to immigration authorities.

    In Suffolk County, although resource officers have been in the schools for two decades, their roles are expanding. In , the Police Department sent officers into Huntington High and other schools to train administrators and teachers to identify gang members. The presentations focused on items like plastic rosaries, blue bandannas, anything with horns and the numbers and , written in notebooks or on hands. One slide, which was used in community presentations, featured a group of young men holding up the Salvadoran flag at a Central American pride parade.

    Some police officers cautioned that these symbols could also mean a student was being pressured to join or just trying to look cool, and that symbols can have multiple meanings. The same way metalheads might draw a pentagram, or wannabe punks might draw the anarchy sign a letter A inside a circle , some students might draw MS symbols, unaware that adults could take those doodles as proof of membership.

    One law-enforcement officer told me about being called in by a Long Island school after a student drew the signs for both MS and a rival Mexican gang in his notebook. But not all officers were as clear about these nuances. In Bellport and Brentwood, the towns that lost several students to MS murders, the schools were particularly eager to help.

    Administrators held similar briefings for parents. The assistant principal spoke to the school resource officer, who agreed that the image was related to MS School administrators began texting officers photos of drawings from students as young as fourth and fifth graders, according to a law-enforcement official who requested anonymity. After attending a police presentation in , June Margolin, the president of Huntington Matters, a civic group, said she started seeing MS indicators — like photos of boys making hand signs of horns, or large groups wearing blue and white — in the profile pages of residents trying to join her Facebook group.

    The high school wrote a note home to parents saying that anything the police classified as gang-related was banned, but did not specify what those things were. ICE made half as many arrests there last year as in Suffolk County. She thought schools should display the colors of the flag, or maybe an animal mascot.

    But it was too late for them to ask their bosses for time off, and they figured it would be fine. Alex had only one month of his sophomore year left and had never gotten in trouble before. It is most likely that as Alex sat at home during his suspension, Officer Fiorillo received word of the doodling incident. Although Suffolk County school resource officers are allowed to use their judgment about reporting infractions like marijuana possession or writing on school walls their handbook requires them to write up gang activity, no matter how trivial.

    Their reports read like notes jotted down after a short conversation, not accounts of an investigation. He sees his job as bridging the worlds inside and outside the school. In the end, Alex got permission to go to school two of the three days he was suspended in order to take his exams. His classmates were surprised by his suspension. His classmate Rosa was also surprised. She knew him as the boy who always brought her snacks when she studied through lunch. After the suspension, Alex no longer felt safe at school. Security staff began randomly searching his backpack and carefully flipping through his notebooks.

    He stopped wearing his Honduran sports jerseys and his bracelet with the colors of the flag. He and his two best friends decided it was safest to wear all black to school to avoid being tagged as gang members. As the school year wound down in June, Alex and his friends began noticing that certain students were no longer coming to school. Girls started posting on Facebook about their boyfriends being detained, writing long essays with crying emojis. It was only when they were far from Huntington, passing through unfamiliar, rundown Long Island towns, that he was able to get out the words to ask why he was being arrested.

    One of the first people in the Huntington school district to fully realize what was going on with the wave of detentions during the spring and summer of was Xavier Palacios. He believed he was succeeding in helping to make the district a friendly place for immigrants, and then a Huntington High student who also happened to be his client was detained in Operation Matador.

    The memo revealed that the student, who Palacios said had not belonged to a gang and had been on track to go to college, had been arrested for social-media images and writing the country code in a school notebook. Palacios talked to Fiorillo about collecting information that was used to detain students. The school resource officer was cordial and heard Palacios out. We enter it on a computer, and then it goes to whoever wants to read it within the department. Shortly after Alex was detained, his immigration lawyer spoke to Cusack and recorded the conversation.

    In the recording, Cusack sounds surprised that Alex was arrested based on a suspension. The Department of Justice and the National Association of School Resource Officers recommend that police departments and school districts create formal agreements to make sure everyone understands how information will be shared. In Suffolk County, there are no such agreements in place. That summer, he asked for a series of private meetings with school administrators and demanded that they do more to support detained students, including allowing teachers to write letters.

    It is hard to prove that a student is not part of a gang. In August, the A. Many of the minors had been sent to a high-security detention center for children in Virginia, where some were strapped to chairs with their heads covered or held naked in dark rooms. A year-old Huntington student, George his middle name , tried to kill himself twice, once by hanging himself and once by slitting his wrist. After a few weeks, the Virginia staff decided that the facility was too restrictive for the well-behaved Long Island teenagers.

    In November , a federal judge ruled that ICE would have to hold individual hearings and present evidence that each minor was a danger to the community. Ultimately, 30 of the 32 teenagers in the A. But of the hundreds of people administratively detained in Operation Matador, most were not minors, and they were fighting losing battles to be allowed to challenge, or even see, the evidence against them. He had been taken to a jail in New Jersey that was being used as an immigration detention center and housed other Long Island students, including some from his high school.

    It was less than two hours from Huntington, but for his parents it might as well have been across the country: If they tried to visit, they could be detained. And he felt sure ICE would release him before the start of his junior year. If everyone always told him that doing well in school was so important, how could officials prevent him from going to class? When the first week of school came and went and he remained in jail, he fell into despair. Many of the Operation Matador detainees had been moved to the same maximum-security unit, which was about the size of the Huntington High cafeteria.

    The detainees spent most of their time staring out the windows at sooty buildings and industrial lots or watching soccer games and soap operas on TV. Alex was rarely able to take the classes that the jail offered, because criminal inmates were given priority. In another he told his mother about jumping out of the way when a fight broke out in the ward, and narrowly avoiding getting blood on his shoes.

    He was nervous about his current cellmate, who he thought was an MS member and a drug addict. He could hear the other boy muttering and pacing at night and was terrified to go to sleep locked up alone with him. To get out of detention, Alex would need a hearing. But it was held up by a jurisdictional issue: Should he be considered an unaccompanied minor, as he was when he first requested asylum, or an adult, which he was now?

    While this issue was disputed, ICE declined to provide any evidence to justify classifying him as an active member of MS At the same time, the government had expedited his asylum case in light of his new designation as a danger to the community. He and his lawyer scrambled to get his documents in order. Victor wondered if the administration might be working with ICE to set a trap for him, but nevertheless he walked the two miles to the school. He and Marina had been saving for a car, but now they had spent all that money on legal fees.

    The letter said Alex had progressed from beginner to advanced in two years and had always been well behaved. When Victor told Alex that other Huntington High students detained in Operation Matador had been released, Alex assumed that he would have his detention hearing soon and be released as well. In December , while he was waiting, Alex was called to his asylum hearing in a federal immigration court in New York City.

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    According to a transcript, the government lawyer asked him exclusively about his school suspension, his being labeled a gang member and the meaning of the number Judge Lauren F. Asylum hearings sometimes stretch for weeks or months, but after less than an hour with Alex, the judge ordered him deported.

    When he got back to his cell, he lay on his bed and cried. His immigration lawyer explained that Alex could appeal the asylum denial several times, which would give him time to fight his detention. He appealed once and was rejected again in June He knew that he would be released if he accepted deportation. Each time Alex called home, his father pleaded with him to keep fighting, saying it would tear the family apart if he left. But Alex had now been in detention for more than a year. Being locked away on a ward felt like being dead, with the world moving on without him.

    In his year there, six inmates and detainees had died, including three suicides. When the government sent Alex paperwork asking him to accept the deportation, he signed.