By Susan Motander
“We are student centered in this district,” said Dr. Katherine Thorossian, superintendent of schools. “It is our reason for being, the staff, administration and board.”
In a wide-ranging discussion of the school district, the superintendent pointed to the multiple focuses of the school: academic rigor, character development, athletic process, as well as community involvement. She also pointed out the fact that the staff does everything it can encourage students in pursuing all their interests.
“To that end, we are encouraging our students to be proficient at coding,” she said. “We want our graduates to be the ones creating new programs and games rather than merely using them. It is the future. We want all our students to pursue and explore all their options.”
There is no lack of support for students in the district. A lot of that assistance comes not just from the district staff, but also from the community. For example, under a partnership with Monrovia Reads there is the pro-active tutoring program to assist students at all levels. Oak Crest Institute of Science has a summer program using older students to assist younger ones with hands on laboratory experience.
During the summer months the School District itself has two summer programs for students falling behind in two areas: reading and math. Camp Read-A-Lot stresses getting students to grade level in reading; Camp Infinity focuses on the same situation in math. Last year the students in each program made great strides.
There is even a tutoring program two afternoons a week at the Monrovia Library supported by the Library Foundation and the Library staff. There are even peer tutors at the high school with students in honors programs helping those struggling in the same subjects. Even the Police Department is involved with the community resource officer program, in essence a cop on campus.
One thing of which Dr. Thorossian is especially proud is the community service required for graduation. “This community helps our students in so many ways; this is one way we can give back to the community.”
This year to be in compliance with the state’s Local Control Accountability Plan (LCAP) to identify local goals and ways to measure and improve services. A group of 35 staff members, parents and community leaders met earlier this year to develop a three-pronged plan: improving student achievement especially among disadvantaged students, achieving third grade literacy, creating an atmosphere where students feel more connected to their schools in order to achieve greater success.
In the next few weeks this paper will run a series of articles detailing the special interests and activities of the various Monrovia schools.