On Chicago's West Side, there is a school for the city's most troubling youth - the Moses Montefiore Academy. Most of the pupils there have been expelled from other schools for causing serious problems, and many have been diagnosed with various psychological disorders.
Last Chance High transports viewers inside Montefiore's classrooms and into the homes of these young pupils who are one error away from being sent to prison or committed to a mental institution. At first, we see two 14-year-old Montefiore students, Cortez and Crystal, who were sent to the school after furiously assaulting their former teachers. Cortez's mother condemns the boy's father, who is in jail for murder.
Crystal has injured her schoolmates and been caught stealing since showing up at Montefiore - which literally destroyed her mother and left her on the verge of psychological collapse. Though Montefiore teachers' job can be very difficult, they'll never abandon the city's most troublesome and unstable student population.
Montefiore is the only therapeutic school in the Chicago public school system. The main diagnosis among the students is the emotional behavioral disorder (EBD) and then a lot of it is just aggression. Most of the time the students are out of control because teacher don't have control over their home situation.
When the dean of the school describes the stuff that he has to do throughout the day, his friends are looking at him like he's crazy. The structure that they try to give to the students at Montefiore is only so much that they can do in a school. The restraint is used in special education but it's only supposed to be used when it's necessary. If they're becoming a threat to themselves or others that's the situation when a restraint is used. For everything else you have to talk them out. Patience is the main thing. The personnel already know that these teenagers have massive problems so they're not taking things personally.