The Messenger

Newsletter for the Monroe Community of Schools

March 19, 2021

Volume 1 | #12

Are You Ready to Return to Campus?

Welcome Back!

It is hard to believe that it was one year ago this week that our schools closed for safety reasons and our students began participating in distance learning. We are thrilled to be welcoming our students and teachers back to our school campuses as soon as next month. To help parents make the best decision for their children regarding a return to campus, please review the Return to Campus Family Guide (see below for downloadable version in English and Spanish). In addition to the guide, the District has prepared these Frequently Asked Questions (Spanish version) for many of your most pressing concerns. We hope to see you soon!

Complete the Program Selection Form

After reviewing the Return to Campus Family Guide, make sure to complete the Program Selection Form to indicate whether your child will be returning to campus for hybrid instruction or remaining in online only instruction. The form should be completed by today, March 19th. Please call your school or our Monroe Community of Schools office if you need any assistance.

Our Schools are Ready and Eager to Welcome You Back!

What will school be like when students return this Spring? Take a look at the following videos, prepared by the staff of Holmes Humanities Magnet Middle School and Dearborn Elementary Charter Academy, which illustrate all the safety procedures that have been put in place to keep our students and staff healthy and ready to learn in person.

Holmes Humanities Magnet MS - Tour of Campus - Ready to Return - Spring 2021
Welcome back Dearborn!

Is it Your Turn?

If you are eligible, please visit to schedule a COVID-19 vaccine. Los Angeles Unified employees should visit this site for support with making an appointment.

If you have questions about the vaccine, check out this FAQ from the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health. (Click here for Spanish.)

FAQ for Parents of Students with Disabilities

The District has created this Frequently Asked Questions for parents of students with disabilities. If you have questions regarding your child's return to hybrid of instruction, please review the document.

Community Resources


Students, families, and educators are invited to the district-wide college and career online event on April 17, 2021. Select from a menu of synchronous workshops and visit the virtual college fair. If interested, sign up for updates here.

  • Learning sessions for students and families in English & Spanish
  • PD sessions for educators (training rate available)
  • College fair with representatives from public and private colleges
  • Drop-in workshops for high school Seniors for Los Angeles Community Colleges and financial aid application support

We Can Support Your DACA Application

The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) has been reinstated. If you or someone you know would like to make a request for student records, please visit the District's DACA website or email

Summer Jobs for College Students

Santa Monica Mountains (SAMO) is hiring a full-time youth crew. The SAMO Youth Program provides paid work experience and mentoring for diverse college students. The goals of the program are to create a developmental work experience for underrepresented students that promotes an ethic for conservation and stewardship and introduces students to careers in public service.

How to Apply

Email your application to with “SY App 2021” in the subject line. Please make sure to name your files including your LAST and FIRST name. Application deadline is on Friday, April 9, 2021. For more information, see the flyer below or click here.

CA Credit Union Teacher Grant Program

The California Credit Union is once again sponsoring a Teacher Grant Program, which will award 20 teachers grants of $500 each. Each grant aims to help teachers fund special classroom and/or virtual learning opportunities for their students. Project proposals should have clearly defined learning objectives tied to students’ academic needs, display creativity, and benefit a significant number of students. Applications are due April 23rd.

L.A. Dodgers Celebrate Women's History Month

Careers in Technology & Finance

In celebration of Women's History Month, the Dodgers invite students to participate in a Zoom Career Panel featuring front office leaders from the team’s Information Technology and Finance departments. Panelists will share their personal stories and journeys in the world of sports, focusing on their professional roles within the Dodger organization.

Latinas in Baseball: Past and Present

In celebration of Women's History Month, the Dodgers and SOMOS LA invite you to a celebration of Latinas in Baseball! Hear from the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History and Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service as they pay tribute to Latinas who were instrumental in establishing baseball as America's pastime. Latina Dodger employees will also join to share their personal and professional journeys.

Los Angeles Public Library Resources

Music Mondays for Toddlers

Job Skills Workshop for Teens

Learn to Play the Guitar from Home

Homework Help (K-12)

Trained Homework Helpers will assist K-12 students with school assignments and help navigate the library's online student resources.

School Highlights

Keeping Parthenia Beautiful

The campus mural projects at Parthenia Academy of Arts & Technology continue to grow with a $3000 Neighborhood Purpose Grant from the Northridge South Neighborhood Council. Principal Hollis and student Julian Lassalle presented the mural plan to the Neighborhood Council on February 27 and were excited to learn that the grant was approved for funding. The new mural will enhance the entrance to the auditorium and will be designed by students with the theme "Express Yourself Through the Arts." Other recent murals painted at the school include messages on character and healthy living.

Global Collaboration at Parthenia

The 4th and 5th Grade Reading Lab students at Parthenia Academy of Arts and Technology shared their global collaboration projects with the community on March 18 via Zoom. The work was part of a world-wide collaboration with 3,040 classrooms and 118 countries to understand and find solutions to the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDG).

The students in Mrs. Schultz’s classrooms joined together to take action on SDG 10, Reduced Inequalities – Be Fair! Students began by looking at the poetry of Ms. Amanda Gorman, The Hill We Climb. Students learned to create Google slides, insert pictures, and connect links and videos. The research project led to increased understanding and sensitivity of equality, equity, and social justice.

In the words of 5th grade students, Aleksa F. and Allizon A., “We want the world to be fair!” Parthenia’s students want to spark passion to create kindness and respect for ALL human beings, including using your voice to vote at the ballot box. Parthenia’s Reading Lab students are reaching for the stars, achieving high standards, standing up for social justice, and planning to be our future leaders.

Monroe's Marvelous Music Program

James Monroe Music Recruitment Video

Parent and Community Engagement

Morena Camp

Parent and Community Education Coach

Monroe Community of Schools

My website

Transitioning Back-to-School Tips

We invite you to join one of our virtual parent workshops as we share tips to support you in transitioning your child back to school.

For Parents of Students Grades TK through 8

  • Date: Tuesday, March 23rd
  • Time: 10:00 AM
  • Zoom ID: 813 4560 0378
  • Passcode: 386725

For Parents of All Students, Grades K-12

  • Date: Thursday, March 25th
  • Time: 10:00 AM
  • Zoom ID: 813 4560 0378
  • Passcode: 386725

Pandemic EBT Benefits Have Been Extended

Children who received the P-EBT benefits over the summer of 2020 can get more P-EBT benefits if they are still a CA registered student, and can be assumed to be attending school via distance learning. For more information please go to

Spring Cleaning and Self-Care

Dr. Alana Burton

Systems of Support Advisor

Monroe Community of Schools

My website

March 20, 2021 will be the first day of spring or vernal equinox. Spring cleaning, a yearly tradition, became very popular in America in the 1800’s because winter left behind so much soot and dirt. Spring cleaning is also a tradition for Persian and Chinese New Year, as well in some religions. It is said that cleaning increases your body’s endorphins, which are the chemicals in our brain that “feel good,” causing people to feel healthier, restorative, and sleep better. Cleaning and removing unnecessary clutter can also have a calming effect. People who describe their home as cluttered were found to have higher cortisol levels, which are chemicals in our brain that “feel stressful,” causing people to have difficulty concentrating or feel tired, restless, and sad.

Spring is a great time to reset and continue building positive culture both at home and school. Spring calls for meditation, poetry, budding flowers, beautiful pastel colors, light rain showers, and sprouting nature. Following are some suggested activities for your self-care:

  • Listen to relaxing music
  • Go on a butterfly-guided meditation
  • Draw along in an art therapy activity
  • Engage in a 10-minute yoga
  • Start a spring cleaning checklist
5 Minute Butterfly Meditation for Kids (Mindfulness for Children)
ART THERAPY activity for anxiety, grounding, & mindfulness: Therapeutic art projects at home
Yoga PE - Body | Yoga With Adriene
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Supporting Children for a Successful Return to School

Maribel Ceja Zamora

Licensed Clinical Social Worker

Monroe Community of Schools | Local District Northwest

This week marked one year since the closure of our schools due to the pandemic. The experience has been perfectly captured by the unknown author of the following poem:

We are Not in the Same Boat: A poem about COVID-19

I heard that we are in the same boat.

But it’s not like that.

We are in the same storm, but not in the same boat.

Your ship can be shipwrecked and mine might not be. Or vice versa.

For some, quarantine is optimal: a moment of reflection, of re-connection.

For others, this is a desperate crisis.

For others it is facing loneliness.

For some, a peace, rest time, vacation.

Yet for others, Torture: How am I going to pay my bills?

Some were concerned about a brand of chocolate for Easter.

Others were concerned about the bread for the weekend, or if the noodles would last for a few more days.

Some were in their “home office.”

Others are looking through trash to survive.

Some have experienced the near death of the virus, some have already lost someone from it, some are not sure their loved ones are going to make it, and some don’t even believe this is a big deal.

Some of us who are well now may end up experiencing it, and some believe they are infallible and will be blown away if or when this hits someone they know.

So, friends, we are not in the same boat.

We are going through a time when our perceptions and needs are completely different.

And each one will emerge, in his own way, from that storm.

Some with a tan from their pool. Others with scars on the soul (for invisible reasons).

It is very important to see beyond what is seen at first glance. Not just looking. More than looking…


See beyond the political party, beyond religion, beyond the nose on your face.

Do not underestimate the pain of others if you do not feel it.

Do not judge the good life of the other, do not condemn the bad life of the other.

Don’t be a judge.

Let us not judge the one who lacks, as well as the one who exceeds.

We are different ships looking to survive.

Let everyone navigate their route with respect, empathy, and responsibility.

The poem eloquently puts our shared experiences into perspective. At the same time, it outlines how different the experience has been for each one of us, particularly the emotional aspects. It is normal to experience mixed emotions as return to school efforts are coming to fruition. Being away from school and returning to an environment that has changed can be anxiety-provoking. Here are some ways you can support your child using the Psychological First Aid framework.

Tips for Helping Your Child with a Safe Return to School

  • Listen with curiosity to your child. Ask open-ended questions & actively listen to understand more about your child’s thoughts & feelings. Convey interest & empathy. Pay attention to any behavioral changes in your child; often children demonstrate their emotions in nonverbal ways.
  • Protect your child by normalizing and validating their feelings. Let them know that what they are feeling is normal and that there is nothing wrong with their feelings. For example, “It's ok to be worried, what questions might you have?" Help them limit exposure to media. This might include reducing their exposure to the news, as well as helping them critically think about messages found in media. Maintain schedules and routines to help your child transition back to school easier.
  • Connect with your child by checking in regularly. Become familiar with supportive resources available in school and within the community to support your child. Keep communication open with others involved in your child's life, like teachers and counselors. If your child is struggling with mental health, for example feeling sad, angry, or anxious, get help as soon as possible.
  • Model healthy behaviors and responses by remaining calm, courteous, and helpful; stay in the middle to help them achieve balance. Express optimism for the future. Explore the positives –Help your child identify things to look forward to about the future or when returning to school. Remember to practice self-care. Engage in safe practices. Revisit social distancing rules and good hygiene habits, making sure your child has the appropriate tools (e.g., mask, hand sanitizer, and soap) and reviewing safe practices can help your child feel more at ease about their safety at home and in public spaces. For example, practicing increasing the amount of time wearing a mask and finding ways to safely connect with other, like a thumbs up sign rather than a high five or hug.
  • Teach your child by revisiting the coping skills practiced during the pandemic: identification of feelings using the feelings thermometer, and feelings chart, breathing exercises like the box breathing and the butterfly breathing. Remember, each child will have a unique reaction to the same situation. Talking through strategies together can help your child improve their problem-solving skills and feel more empowered. Explain as best as you can, that it will be a lot of changes on how we interact with one another but will be able to physically socialize with our peers while keeping distance. Teach your child that speaking up and asking for help is a source of strength.

Try to focus on what you can control. Sometimes the unknowns and ‘what-ifs?’ can create a sense of feeling overwhelmed. Consider teaching your child practical ways to focus on the present moment, such as setting goals, getting organized, and making plans for the weekend. And always provide assurances to your child/teen as they need to feel heard, validated, and loved.

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