The Messenger

Newsletter for the Monroe Community of Schools

April 23, 2021

Edition 1 | Number 14

Our Schools Are Open!

Reopening Our Schools

This week, the Monroe Community of Schools welcomed back elementary school students for a successful safe return to campus. Nothing could be better than to see the smiling eyes and excited steps as students joined their teachers and friends for in-person learning, recess fun, and chatty lunchtimes. Our secondary students return next week, starting with 6th and 9th Graders on Tuesday and Wednesday. Please check with your school for individual students' schedules.

Superintendent Beutner Visits Alta California

Principal Jose Benitez had a busy first day welcoming students back to school on April 20th. He was visited by Superintendent Austin Beutner, Local District Northwest Superintendent Joseph Nacorda, and members of the media, including Channel 7 News. Mr. Beutner met some volunteers in the school's busy Parent Center and observed instruction in Ms. Fleishman's Kindergarten and Mr. Acevedo's 1st Grade classes.

Pictures From the First Day Back

Frequently Asked Questions

As a reminder, the District has set up a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) page on the main website to answer most of your questions regarding the safe reopening of our schools.

Monroe's Kaleidoscope of Talents

Monroe HS Kaleidoscope Show

Under the direction of teacher Liberty Amos, Monroe High School held the Kaleidoscope of Talents show on April 15th, spotlighting the wide variety of talents among our students. Congratulations to all participants, and a special shout out to the winners:

  • Tiffany Flores – Most Creative
  • John Darios – Most Original
  • Jamilson Olivo – Best Showmanship
  • Kneil De La Cruz – Best Production
  • Moises Torres – Best Attire
  • Hannah Cabrera – Best Performance
People's Choice Award Winners:
  • Annette Tugonon – 3rd Place
  • Kneil De La Cruz – 2nd Place
  • Hannah Cabrera – 1st Place

Community Resources

FEMA Assistance Available for Funeral Expenses

Under the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act of 2021, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) will provide financial assistance for COVID-19 related funeral expenses incurred after January 20, 2020.

FEMA began accepting applications in April. If you have COVID-19 funeral expenses, we encourage you to keep and gather documentation. Types of information should include: An official death certificate, funeral expenses documents, and proof of funds received from other sources. For more information, please visit the FEMA website.

Rental Assistance Still Available

You still have time until April 30th to apply for rental assistance. The City of Los Angeles has created the 2021 COVID-19 Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP) to assist resident renters who have been unable to pay their rent as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. For more information, please visit:

Join Our Virtual Town Hall

  • Date: Tuesday, April 27th
  • Time: 4:00 PM
  • Register:
  • Topics include: Summer School, Testing Updates, Path to Graduation, and LCAP

Draw All You Can!

A Virtual Community STEAM Event for Local District Northwest

May 6, 13, and 22

Join us for 90 minutes of joyful conversation while creating priceless memories and a one-of-a-kind piece of art! More information is available on the flyers (English/Spanish). Local District Northwest students, families, teachers, administrators and staff are all invited. Click here to register.

Support Your Local Bookstores!

Saturday, April 24th is Independent Bookstore Day in Los Angeles. Many stores are planning fun events and giveaways. For more details, including a map of local independent bookstores in our area, visit

Parent and Community Engagement

Morena Camp

Parent and Community Engagement Coach

Monroe Community of Schools

My website

We have a wide variety of workshops and events to offer families and our Monroe Community of School staff members. Please read below for more information. We hope to see you soon!

College Signing Month

Throughout the month of May, Board President Kelly Gonez will be highlighting our graduating seniors from across Board District 6. Help us celebrate their accomplishments by sharing their pictures and stories. Submit your story at

Academic Testing During COVID-19

Join Board Member Scott Schmerelson in a discussion about testing. Learn about the format and delivery of testing this spring and changes to standardized testing such as SBAC and Advanced Placement exams.

Monday, April 26

Aviation Career Day

Los Angeles City Council President Nury Martinez, in collaboration with the Van Nuys Airport and the Valley Economic Alliance, present a special webinar: The Sky's the Limit - Aviation Career Day on Friday, April 30th at 10:00-11:30 AM. For more registration information, download the flyer.

L.A. Public Library Events

Virtual College Motivational Seminar

Tuesday, April 27 at 10:00 AM

Special invitation for students in Grades 7-9. For more information, contact Yesenia Villar, Bilingual Outreach Librarian, at

Going to College Workshops

April 27-29

These workshops are designed for middle school and high school students and parents to help families prepare for college. Workshops are in English and Spanish. For more information, download the flyer.

Title 1 Conference

Saturday, May 1st

9:00 AM - 12:30 PM

Please mark your calendars for the upcoming Title 1 Spring Conference. All parents are welcome! Our special guest speaker will be Dr. Alan L. Nager, MD, MHA, Children's Hospital Los Angeles. To register, click here. For more information, download the flyer (English/Spanish).

Resilient Families: A Workshop Series

May 4, 11, 18, and 25

3:00 – 4:30 PM

This series of workshops is brought to you by the Office of School Mental Health. The purpose of these special workshops is to support parents/caregivers in:

  • Identifying and managing emotions
  • Learning coping skills and ways to manage stress, improving emotional wellbeing
  • Learning about resilience
  • Learning about mood-lifting activities, plus much more!
For more information, download the flyer (English/Spanish).

Systems of Support

Dr. Alana Burton

Systems of Support Advisor

Monroe Community of Schools

My website

5 Languages of Appreciation

When trying to ensure a positive culture, it is important to be aware of the languages of love or appreciation. These times are difficult and trying, so finding ways to motivate and best communicate students will be key during this transition back to in-person instruction at school sites.

The 5 Languages are:

  1. Tangible Gifts
  2. Quality Time
  3. Acts of Service
  4. Words of Affirmation
  5. Physical

Ways You Can Communicate with and Motivate Students Based on Language

See the photos below or download a copy here.

Focus on Wellness

Maribel Ceja Zamora, LCSW

School Mental Health | Crisis Counseling & Intervention Services

Local District Northwest

April 7 marks the celebration of World Health Day, which the World Health Organization (WHO) celebrates by highlighting a priority health concern. Over the past 50 years, the annual celebration has brought forward important issues such as mental health, maternal and child care, and climate change. The celebrations are marked by activities which extend beyond the day itself and serves as an opportunity to focus worldwide attention on these important aspects of global health. The theme for World Health Day 2021 was Building a fairer, healthier world for everyone.

The COVID-19 pandemic has really shined a light on inequities that continue to exist in our world, especially as it relates to healthcare. Some people have access to healthcare which supports living a healthier life while others have limited or no access to medical services to best prevent and/or treat illnesses and diseases. This imbalance is influenced by the conditions in which we are born, grow, live, work, and age.

In all parts of the world there are groups who struggle to make ends meet with little daily income, poor housing conditions and education, fewer employment opportunities, gender inequality, and little or no access to healthy living conditions – such as clean water and air, food security and health care. The COVID-19 pandemic has taken a toll on all countries throughout the world, but its hardest impact has been on communities that were already vulnerable. Many of these communities have had more exposure to the illness and other diseases, are less likely to have access to quality health care services and are more likely to experience adverse consequences because of measures implemented to contain the pandemic.

Some important things we can do to support healthcare access and equity issues to learn more about it and advocate for ourselves and others. Although health and healthcare are commonly understood in the perspective of physical health, mental health is just as important and should be including in our educational and advocacy efforts while promoting World Health Day and yearlong health-related initiatives.

Listed below are resources to support mental health. Please use and share them:

  • School Mental Health Valley Clinic – 818-758-2300
  • Valley Coordinated Children’s Services – 818-708-4500
  • Child and Family Guidance – 818-739-5250
  • Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health ACCESS Line – 800-854-7771
  • Crisis Text Line (24/7) – Text LA to 741741
  • Los Angeles County Emotional Support Line – (800) 854-7771, press 2 for emotional support – daily from 9:00 AM to 9:00 PM
  • El Centro de Amistad – 818-347-8565

Early Childhood Education

Happy April from Early Childhood! We have much to celebrate in April, including welcoming students back to in-person learning, Earth Day, the Week of the Young Child, National Arab American History Month, and Poetry Month. We also observe Autism Awareness Month and Child Abuse Prevention Month.

Fun Activities for Toddlers

  • April Family Activity CalendarCheck out April’s Family Activity Calendar for fun, hands-on and virtual activities that the whole family will enjoy. There are even a few new in-person activities as well. Click the links to learn more.
  • Read from the Start Booklists: Caring for the EnvironmentApril 22nd is Earth Day, but we want our little ones to take care of the Earth every day! The new Read from the Start booklist features a diverse array of stories that will support young children to understand the importance of taking care of their environment. Don’t miss the fun, family activity, that teaches kids how to be creative by re-using everyday household items.
  • Earth Day Activity GuideIf you're looking for an interactive activity to do with your kiddos, check out this family friendly Seed Growing Experiment.
  • LACOE Prenatal to Five Early Learning Virtual ConferenceMay 4-8th, 9:00 AM-3:00 PM Registration is now OPEN for this free virtual interactive conference for parents, expectant moms, early childhood educators, special education staff, administrators, and service area staff. Opportunities are available for professional development and continuing education units (CEUs).
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