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Showing posts with label schools. Show all posts
Showing posts with label schools. Show all posts

Monrovia School District's Plans for Reopening

Monrovia School District surveyed parents to see what they want school to look like, and here are the results ...

And here are the preliminary plans for opening Monrovia schools in the fall:

Elementary schools

Secondary schools

Full report here:

- Brad Haugaard

Superintendent Thorossian's May Update

The 2019-20 school year is quickly drawing to a close, and I find myself shocked that we have reached the end of May already. Since the beginning of our dismissal, I have missed our students, teachers, staff, and school community, but it has been wonderful to hear about our students’ many achievements even while on distance learning.

In the beginning of May, the District and our school community celebrated Teacher Appreciation Week. Our teachers chose this profession because of their belief in the value of education, their love of learning, and their connection to their students. I’d like to personally thank them for their passion and dedication to their students, to Monrovia Unified, and to our community.

Monrovia Unified honored the Class of 2020 with a celebration at 8:20 p.m. May 6 at Monrovia High School. Monrovia High lit up the Stadium and the Monrovia ‘M’ on the mountain, as another way to acknowledge seniors and their achievements. This has continued to occur every Wednesday since then and will continue through our June 3 graduation. Monrovia Unified is dedicated to celebrating its Class of 2020.

On May 10, Monrovia Unified took part in Virtual Monrovia Days 2020, and shared a video montage that celebrated our scholars and athletes. The video highlighted all of the things that make our District great: our students, teachers and staff, families, and strong academic programs and enrichment opportunities.

We’ve also been busy this month preparing for the celebrations ahead, including our promotions and graduation ceremonies. I’d like to extend a thank-you to our Board of Education, Monrovia High School Principal Kirk McGinnis and administrators, Supervisor Kathryn Barger, the City of Monrovia, and our entire community for advocating on behalf of our students and making sure their successes and achievements were celebrated. I look forward to our promotion and graduation ceremonies – our students deserve this.

Toward the end of the month, Monrovia High School announced Kate Tadeo as its valedictorian and Jessica Lee as salutatorian. Congratulations to both on their achievements. We wish them luck as they pursue their academic and personal goals in college.

Lastly, congratulations to you all for rising to the challenge that this dismissal presented all of us. I know I speak for everyone when I say I cannot wait until we are back in school again but, until then, please stay safe and take care of one another.

We will continue providing updated information on our website and social media platforms. Pre-recorded informational messages are regularly updated at (626) 471-2084.

Dr. Katherine Thorossian, Superintendent

- Brad Haugaard

School District to Honor Education Professionals

Where the next School Board Meeting won't be held. It'll be online.

At its next virtual meeting (agenda:, 7 p.m. on Wednesday, April 22, the Monrovia Board of Education,  will consider ...

~ Recognizing April 20-24 as Administrative Professionals (Secretaries) Day.

~  Declaring May 4-8, as School Health Services Appreciation Week and that May 6, as "National School Nurse Day.

~  Declaring May 5, as "National Day of the Teacher," and May 4-8, as National Teacher Appreciation Week

You can watch the meeting at

- Brad Haugaard

Clifton Middle School Recognized as a 2020 'School to Watch'

Clifton Middle School has been recognized as a 2020 School to Watch for its academic excellence, responsiveness to the needs of students, and commitment to helping every student achieve at a high level.

The honor, conferred by the National Forum to Accelerate Middle-Grades Reform network, is Clifton's second designation as a School to Watch. Clifton was previously recognized in 2017, the same year it was named a California Gold Ribbon School.

"Clifton Middle School exemplifies Monrovia's commitment to inspire and challenge our students to become lifelong learners and realize their dreams," Board of Education President Rob Hammond said. "We are thrilled to see the hard work and dedication of Clifton educators recognized again. They truly deserve it."

Clifton maintains a focus on providing a safe and nurturing environment, encouraging students to share their voices, and contribute to the decision-making process. Teachers collaborate and share data while placing an emphasis on high expectations to maximize student potential.

Socio-emotional learning is embedded into lessons, aligning with Clifton's Courteous, Polite, and Respectful campaign. Required and elective classes provide a rigorous path to high school that also caters to student interests.

"Clifton does such a great job of preparing its students, which is a testament to the exceptional preparation and collaboration between administrators, faculty, and staff," Superintendent Dr. Katherine Thorossian said. "Clifton students are friendly, passionate, and on their way to becoming future leaders."

Clifton provides Honors classes in all core subjects, including an accelerated track that enables eighth-grade students to take a high school level course, Integrated Math I. Students can transition to Honors and AP classes at Monrovia High, including its Math and Science Academy (MASA).

Clifton's Spanish dual immersion program, launched in 2017, matriculated its first cohort in 2019. The program's popularity has resulted in one new elective class, Spanish II, and an increase in Spanish language books in the Clifton library.

Clifton's science and technology lab is a hub of technological activity, with students building and coding personal websites, robots and video games, eventually graduating to more advanced concepts like Javascript and 3D games. Multi-Tiered Systems of Support provide positive reinforcement, with students receiving Cub Cash for performing acts of kindness during the school day.

Students with special needs are placed in co-collaborative classes with both general and special education teachers, allowing them the opportunity to study with grade-level peers. Students at risk of falling behind are identified before the school year and participate in Jump Start conferences throughout the year to monitor their progress.

Clifton student leaders work to connect every student to the school community through the Renaissance Leadership program. Through a partnership with the Pasadena Humane Society and the SPCA, therapy dogs and their handlers regularly visit classrooms to provide students with a sense of calm.

"We like to think of Clifton as one big family, with everybody working together to achieve the goal of equity in education," Clifton Principal Jennifer Jackson said. "Being recognized as a School to Watch only motivates us to work even harder to provide the Monrovia community with the support and resources they need to ensure their children receive the high quality education they deserve."

Source: Monrovia School District press release

- Brad Haugaard

Citrus College Students May Get Financial and Tech Help From Citrus College Foundation Program

Citrus College students negatively affected by the COVID-19 pandemic may be able to receive assistance with the help of a new initiative introduced at a recent meeting of the Citrus Community College District Board of Trustees.

Providing Assistance for Student Success (PASS) is designed to help Citrus College students who are unable to continue their education as a result of the public health crisis currently impacting the nation. Supported by an initial $100,000 grant from the Citrus College Foundation, this initiative will provide resources and support that will enable struggling students to reach their educational goals.

The debut of the Citrus College PASS initiative comes on the heels of a March 26 announcement that the physical closure of the college campus, which began March 18, was being extended through June 12, 2020. As a result, students will receive remote instruction and student support services for the duration of the spring 2020 semester.

"We understand that this sudden transition to a remote learning environment has created unexpected challenges for some students. For this reason, the college is eager to announce the launch of Citrus College PASS," said Dr. Geraldine M. Perri, superintendent/president of Citrus College. "The goal of this initiative is to remove obstacles or barriers that may prevent students from completing their education. This collaborative effort is made possible by partners, supporters and friends of the Citrus College Foundation."

The Citrus College Foundation, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that provides resources to further the Citrus Community College District's mission of advancing student success, is actively soliciting donors to help provide financial support for Citrus College PASS. In fact, the Foundation's board of directors meet regularly to organize and plan how to best address the needs of the college during the COVID-19 pandemic.

"The Foundation's initial response was to begin providing technology support to those students who rely heavily on the college's computer resources. However, we quickly realized that a lack of technology is only one challenge students are facing as a result of COVID-19," said Christina M. Garcia, director of the Citrus College Foundation. "Therefore, in partnership with the college's academic affairs and student services divisions, we have established Citrus College PASS as a means of financially supporting student success efforts during these difficult times."

One way in which Citrus College PASS will immediately help students is by enabling the Foundation to distribute COVID-19 Technology Support Grants. These one-time funds are intended to help students make technology purchases that will allow them to continue their coursework remotely.

"I am very proud of the patience and resilience demonstrated by the students, faculty and staff of Citrus College during these unprecedented times. I am also incredibly grateful to the Citrus College Foundation and its supporters for diligently working to find solutions to the very real problems our students are facing," said Dr. Patricia A. Rasmussen, president of the Citrus Community College District Board of Trustees. "Although the days and months ahead are uncertain, I know that Citrus College and its students will successfully navigate these challenges, and that the lessons learned will pave the way for a brighter future."

For more information and to contribute to the Citrus College PASS initiative, contact the Citrus College Foundation at

Source: Citrus College press release

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Schools to Use New Software to Communicate With Parents

ParentSquare allows us to use a single platform for all of our communication from the District, schools, classrooms, and school activity groups. The partnership will strengthen dialogue between school and home and empower everyone within the school community to stay connected and informed.

ParentSquare is designed to facilitate participation across our school communities. It provides principals, teachers, staff, and parents the opportunity to send and receive school and class information, share pictures and files, see calendar items, and sign up to volunteer.

ParentSquare features important communication tools:
  • Urgent alerts with two-way communication
  • Attendance notifications
  • Teacher and classroom communication
  • Direct messaging
  • Parent-teacher conference sign-ups
All school, grade level, and classroom information will be sent to your computer or phone via email and/or text. You can also download the free ParentSquare App right onto your phone for easier access. The app also allows you to specify how and when you receive notifications.

The use of this new tool will allow us to engage every parent and ensure the opportunity to actively participate in your child’s education.

For more information on ParentSquare, visit

We look forward to connecting with you all and opening the door to more access between our District and your family.


Dr. Katherine Thorossian

Monrovia Teachers Will be 'Cruisin' Thru Monrovia', Greeting Students

For your safety, please follow these instructions:
  • Do not leave your property. Simply come to doors, porches, windows, front lawns, etc. when you hear the horns to wave to your school.
  • If you encounter other people outside, practice social distancing and remain 6 feet away from one another.
  • Wear a mask while you are outdoors.
Feel free to make signs to show your support and use #CruisinThruMonrovia on social media to share your experience.

We look forward to celebrating our scholars and families as we come together as a community during this time.


Dr. Katherine Thorossian
- Brad Haugaard

Superintendent's Report on Monrovia Schools in Challenging Times

Dear Monrovia Unified Community,

I want to thank you all for your continued support as we work through these challenging times. I’m continually impressed with the strength of our school community, which has come together to support each other – showing what it means to be a part of the Monrovia Unified family.

The success of our students remains our priority, which is why our educators have been hard at work innovating and reinventing their lessons to better suit the online environment.

In March, in addition to a variety of videos our teachers have created, printed instructional packets were distributed for remote learning and online platforms were created to guide our families through the distance learning process.

Through our Distance Learning Platform, students and parents receive access to resources such as a sample daily schedule to stay on task, tips on how to create a productive learning space, and guides to using programs for online learning.

Monrovia Unified is made up of dedicated and passionate individuals who care about our students, families, and community, and even during these challenging times, continue to ensure they receive the tools they need to succeed.

Our Food Services Department has been busy since we announced the March 16 dismissal, preparing and distributing meals to the children of our community. Monrovia Unified has served more than 26,000 meals to students thanks to the dedication of our heroic staff.

Lastly, I want to celebrate our scholars. They have all experienced a drastic change in their routine and are isolated from their peers and school community. However, I continue to hear about their continued success even while participating in at-home learning.

Please continue practicing social distancing, stay at home as much as possible, and keep up with healthy habits. We are all in this together and it takes all of us to ensure we stay healthy.

We will continue providing updated information on our website and social media platforms. Pre-recorded informational messages are regularly updated at (626) 471-2084. Additionally, KGEM-TV is hosting a series, Conversations with Ralph Walker,” joined by Board President Rob Hammond and Mayor Tom Adams, who share the most up-to-date information regarding our District and City.


Dr. Katherine Thorossian

School District Food Staff Still Ensures Students Fed

Monrovia Unified School District is ensuring students receive daily nutrition through a Grab-and-Go meal distribution program, which provides free breakfast and lunch for children ages 18 and under.

Meal distribution began on March 16 and is prepared by the District’s Food Services Department staff. The curbside meals can be picked up at the school nearest students’ residences.

To date, Monrovia Unified has served over 26,000 meals to students. The District plans to continue with the Grab-and-Go meal program until the end of the extended dismissal period.

Source: Monrovia Schools press release

- Brad Haugaard

Student Dismissal Extended to End of School Year; Class of 2020 Promised 'Memorable' Graduation

At an emergency meeting on Wednesday, April 1, the Monrovia Board of Education "determined to extend our student dismissal until the end of the school year."

In a press release the district commended its teachers and said that, "During this time, we will put all efforts into strengthening our delivery of instruction through distance learning and ensuring continuity through remote tools, including online learning programs and printed materials."

And ...

" Finally, we are committed to celebrating the achievements of our Class of 2020 and are doing everything in our power to ensure they get the recognition they deserve as their high school journey comes to a close. The Class of 2020 will have a graduation. It may not be on the day we had originally scheduled or the manner in which we had originally envisioned it, but it will happen and it will be memorable."

Full announcement here:

- Brad Haugaard

April Census Month - Accurate Count Means Better Funding for Schools

Dear Monrovia Unified Community,

Ensuring our students have the tools they need to be successful is a priority at Monrovia Unified School District. Making sure they are counted in the 2020 Census will help our District ensure that success. On Feb. 26, Monrovia Unified’s Board of Education proclaimed April 1 as National Census Day. The proclamation recognizes the importance of the 2020 Census and pledges full support to achieving a complete and accurate Census count.

Filling out the Census is safe, secure, and confidential. This year, the Census will rely heavily on online responses.

The count plays an important role in ensuring California receives appropriate funding for programs such as before- and after-school programs and meal programs. An accurate count makes certain our students and families are represented and that our District receives fair funding to serve our students.

Census day is April 1. Individuals will have until July 30 to complete the Census questionnaire. For more information, visit

Please join Monrovia Unified in participating in this year’s Census count.

“I count; you count; let’s make sure Monrovia counts!”

Dr. Katherine Thorossian

Source: Monrovia Schools press release

- Brad Haugaard

School District Closes All School Fields

Schools Superintendent, Dr. Katherine Thorossian, has announced:

The health and safety of our students, teachers, staff, and community is our District’s priority. With the growing concerns regarding COVID-19, we made the decision to close all school fields and sites for play beginning today, March 30, until further notice.

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Schools Staff Member Has Coronavirus

Monrovia School Board President Rob Hammond has announced that a school staff member has the Coronavirus.

He writes:

"Late Thursday night, we were notified by a staff member that they tested positive for the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19). We have confirmed with health officials that there was no exposure to any of our staff, students, or families."

- Brad Haugaard

School District Warns of Coronavirus Scams

Dear Monrovia Unified Community,

As part of our commitment to providing information on matters related to COVID-19, we urge you to be mindful of pandemic-driven cyberthreats that seek to mislead consumers or steal sensitive information. The FBI is warning people to be wary of malicious websites and apps pretending to track COVID-19 cases worldwide. Criminals are using malicious websites and apps to infect and lock devices until payment is received.

Several fraudulent schemes have been reported:
  • A malicious Android app that pretends to be a “Coronavirus Tracking App” is actually ransomware that will infect the phone and lock it until payment is received. The malicious app is downloaded at (coronavirusapp[.]site).
  • Beware of hackers posing as CDC or WHO representatives in phishing attacks.
  • Be cautious of anyone selling products that claim to prevent, treat, diagnose, or cure COVID-19. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the Federal Trade Commission issued a warning regarding seven companies selling fraudulent COVID-19 products. Learn more at:
As our city manager advises, there are several coronavirus tracking and mapping sites that are actually malware websites. Instead of clicking on these links, hover over the link to verify the uniform resource locator (URL) before moving forward. Online hackers may also send emails from fraudulent accounts impersonating official websites and doctors, or offering medical supplies and services.

A recent advisory from Los Angeles County shared safety tips on how to combat these schemes:
  • Avoid online advertising offers related to COVID-19
  • Decline solicitors claiming fundraising efforts for COVID-19
  • Do not click on any email or attachment you do not recognize
  • Only visit trusted websites for information
  • A trusted source for up-to-date information regarding COVID-19 is the Johns Hopkins University Coronavirus information page at (However, beware of any emails seemingly from Johns Hopkins. A malicious website (corona-virus-map[dot]com) looks similar to a legitimate site from Johns Hopkins showing worldwide COVID-19 cases. The malicious website hosts a map of COVID-19 cases but launches a virus that will steal information, including sensitive data.)
Other safe, informational websites include the following:

- Brad Haugaard

School District to Distribute Two Days of Meals Thursday

Monrovia Unified will observe Cesar Chavez Day on Friday, March 27, and the District will be closed. Due to this, two days-worth of meals will be distributed tomorrow, Thursday, March 26, at the school nearest you! Meal service will continue daily during spring break.

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Schools: Changes to Test Dates

Dear Monrovia Unified Community,

As we take on our second week of student dismissal, I want to assure you that the well-being of our students, staff, families, and community remain at the forefront of every decision. We are all learning during this time. Whether learning how to navigate the Google Classroom platform or how to avoid cabin fever, we recognize the many and varied challenges surrounding us these days.

To assist with learning, we have added links to additional educational resources that might help at home. These resources may be found on the Distance Learning Platform parent page. We are also creating a weekly newsletter offering helpful tips and ideas for both parents and teachers.

Spring is the time we usually engage in testing. Below are some specific testing updates:
  • SAT: All exams, including make ups, have been cancelled through May 2.
  • ACT: The ACT has been rescheduled to June 13.
  • Advanced Placement: AP exams are still planned, but reformatted as online, 45-minute, free-response exams designed for students to take from home.
Beginning Wednesday, March 25, students have the option of attending free, live AP review courses, delivered by AP teachers across the country. Course-specific information may be found here. There will be two exam dates made available to accommodate students who want to take the test earlier while information learned in school is still fresh. Anyone who has already paid for an exam may cancel for a full refund if they choose to no longer take the exam. Additional information and resources may be found here.

We expect another update regarding AP Exams on April 3.

The California Department of Education also released information regarding statewide testing on March 20:

As a reminder, if you have any questions about assignments, please contact your child’s teachers. If you have any questions in general about the school your child attends, please contact the administrator via email or call the school’s main line. While we have altered our hours and locations, we are still “open” and will respond in a timely manner.

We are in this together. Please continue to practice healthy habits.

Sincerely,Dr. Katherine Thorossian

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Schools Employees to Telecommute

Monrovia Schools Superintendent Dr. Katherine Thorossian reports that employees began telecommuting Friday. She writes, "Some of our essential personnel, including food services and payroll, will need to continue completing their duties on site in order for our operations to continue."

- Brad Haugaard

Citrus College Adds Coronavirus Web Page

Citrus College students who want to know what's up with their classes and the school can check out Citrus's Coronavirus page, here:

- Brad Haugaard

School District to Hold Completely Virtual Board Meeting

Dear Monrovia Community,

Given the County and State orders designed to slow the spread of COVID-19 by enforcing stricter social distancing protocols, the Monrovia Unified School District Board of Education has modified the manner in which it will be conducting meetings for the duration of these orders.

The Board will follow safety protocols embedded within Governor Newsom’s executive order suspending a number of Brown Act requirements due to COVID-19. In the order, all requirements regarding the physical presence of board members or the public at regular Board of Education meetings are waived.

In compliance with these orders, Monrovia Unified Board of Education will be conducting its meetings virtually. Public access to the physical meeting will be eliminated; but remote public participation is allowed and encouraged.

The next meeting, scheduled for 7 p.m. Wednesday, March 25, may be viewed through livestream and on KGEM (Spectrum Channel 99 or Giggle Fiber Channel 87-2).

Community members may also submit public comments via email before the beginning of each meeting. Please send all comments to All comments will be read during the public comment portion of the meeting, or at the item’s place on the agenda.

Whether physically present or conducting business remotely, the Monrovia Unified School District remains steadfast in our commitment to the health and well-being of the community we serve.

Dr. Katherine Thorossian

School District to Buy 'Extreme Training Equipment' for High School; Repair Roofs at Mayflower School

At its next meeting (agenda the Monrovia Board of Education will consider ...

~ Buying $29,319 of "Extreme Training Equipment" for the weight room at Monrovia High School.

~ The repair of drains and roofs at Mayflower School, for $28,269.

- Brad Haugaard