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Monrovia School Link ~ Number 39 ~ March 27, 2002

Good news if your kids go to the middle or high schools. If your kids are going to Mayflower, Plymouth or Canyon Early Learning Center, well... not so good. Also, Monrovia High's German-language students are sehr gut!
~ Brad Haugaard (brad_h@iname.com)

GAINS AND LOSSES ~ Assistant Superintendent of Personnel Services Debby Collins reports that the district estimates it will gain one teacher for the 2002-03 school year. However, Canyon Early Learning Center, Mayflower Elementary and Plymouth Elementary will each lose a teacher. The offsetting hires will be one new teacher at Clifton, two at Santa Fe, and one at Monrovia High. Collins said the losses at the elementary schools shouldn't increase the number of students in the classrooms above 30. Ouch!

ENROLLMENT ~ In the same report, Collins reported that district enrollment has inched up 0.1 percent compared to last year. The gain basically came in the middle and high schools, which increased 3.7 percent and 4 percent, respectively. Enrollment in the elementary schools, however, was down 3.8 percent.

NUMBERS ~ Here are the enrollment numbers school-by-school, comparing October of this school year to October of last school year:

Oct. Oct.
2000 2001 PERCENT SCHOOL
----------------------------
700 683 -2.5 Bradoaks
211 215 1.9 Canyon Early Learning Center
630 604 -4.3 Mayflower
625 594 -5.2 Monroe
681 642 -6.1 Plymouth
566 550 -2.9 Wild Rose
723 739 2.2 Clifton
689 727 5.2 Santa Fe
1619 1665 2.8 Monrovia High
97 123 21.1 Canyon Oaks High (A continuation high school, but still, a curious jump.)

STARTERS ~ Did you notice that item on page three of the city newsletter, Monrovia Today, titled, "School Board Encouraging Input?" It says, ahem: "Seeking more public input on educational and district issues, the Monrovia Unified School District is encouraging local residents to address the Board at its twice-monthly meetings." Not bad for starters. A nice next step would be for the school board president to look that KGEM cable camera right smack in the eye and say the same thing.

GERMAN ~ Congratulations to Monrovia High's German students. Well, I think they're actually American students, but they're *studying* German. Superintendent Louise Taylor said 30 MHS students took some biggie German test and 20 of them scored in the 70th percentile. Three scored in the 90th. Ich gratuliere! Frau Campbell must be a good teacher.

VISION ~ The board adopted a technology plan, or "vision," as Tech Director Robert Geiger called it. The vision is be to provide computers to improve staff efficiency and learning. One line that caught my eye was this item under "Assumptions": "Information technology is changing rapidly." That line should have been in bold type with blinking lights.

SOMETIME ~ It's always going to be tough for a school district to add computers. Computers become outdated and cheaper so quickly. It's kind of tempting to wait a bit and get better technology for less. But then the technology will probably *always" be cheaper and better later, so how long do you wait? I guess you need to dive in sometime.

ALMOST ~ You know what's scary? As a programmer, I *almost* understand this techie-talk goal from Geiger's plan: "Continued implementation of a standards-based, client/server technology environment that supports integration among systems, promotes data sharing, and focuses on connectivity and interoperability."

OUTSTANDING ~ Congratulations to Diana Lee, accounting technician at the district office, and to Monrovia High teacher Marc Segal on being selected by the district and Chamber of Commerce as outstanding employees.

OPEN HOUSE ~ Why don't they call it "Open School?" Hmmm. Oh well, here's the schedule if you lost yours.
- Bradoaks, May 21, 6:30 p.m.
- Canyon Early Learning Center, April 9 (Pre-K, 6-7 p.m., Kindergarten 6:30-7:30 p.m.)
- Canyon Oaks High, April 11, 7 p.m.
- Clifton, April 3, 6:30 p.m.
- Mayflower, April 3-5, during the school day
- Monrovia High, April 11, 6:30 p.m.
- Plymouth, July 10, 6:30 p.m.
- Santa Fe, April 3, 6:30 p.m.
- Wild Rose, May 21, 6:30 p.m.

EAGER ~ Last meeting board member Frances Cash suggested a curriculum ("I'll even write it," she said) that would help parents know how to help in their kids' education. I was hoping for an update on how her writing is going. Oh, I know, I'm just too eager. I'll try to be patient.

BEHIND ~ Regarding that curriculum, I had written that even a sheet with tips for parents would be a great thing. It appears I'm way behind. A correspondent wrote to say that her son is at Monroe Elementary, and "at the beginning of the year his teacher gave each of us parents a 'Successful School Year' booklet full of tips and what the grade expectations are." But, she adds, "a full 3-4 week (once a week) parent education course would be EXCELLENT!"

UNCONFIRMED ~ I also got a couple letters regarding last issue's report about the "resignations" of some faculty members. I can't vouch for any of this, but one writer said that Dean of Students Randy Hare is not leaving, but is moving to a teaching role at Monrovia High. I flat don't know. Also, the same writer said MHS may eliminate the position of VP of Discipline. (And I didn't even know there was such a position.) Another writer wrote that it appears the Monrovia High teachers and students who have "the sports edge" are the ones who are favored.

NEXT BOARD MEETING ~ The next board meeting is on Wednesday, April 10 at 7:30 p.m. at the administration office at 325 E. Huntington Drive.

Copyright (c) 2002, Brad Haugaard. Also on the Web at: monroviaschools.tripod.com