PLEASE TAKE NOTICE that the LCAP public hearing set for June 2, 2016, will consist of a presentation concerning the various elements of the Montebello Unified School District’s Local Control and Accountability Plan (LCAP) scheduled for publication before or on June 16, 2016.

The Board of Education intends to review the LCAP at its regularly scheduled meeting on June 23, 2016, for consideration and discussion. A second public hearing on the LCAP is currently scheduled for June 30, 2016, for final action.



Three excellent Montebello High School seniors share a camaraderie, playful competition and the drive to succeed.  With Joseph Chavez and Kimberly Davila going to Ivy League colleges on the East Coast and Mariam Germanyan headed up to the University of California, Berkeley, the trio represents both a commitment to education and to life beyond academia.


Joseph Chavez, Montebello High School valedictorian, violinist, swimmer and water polo player, decided to postpone his academic career at MIT for an undergraduate start at Dartmouth College in New Hampshire. Planning to study engineering at an institution that emphasizes undergraduate research, Joseph also sees himself studying entrepreneurism. The goal, he says, is to design and sell his own musical instruments. With a GPA of 4.41, Joseph says he is prepared for college and life after high school thanks to phenomenal teachers who have provided extensive support in all subjects. Joseph’s older sister, a sophomore studying biomedical engineering at Stanford, was the valedictorian at MHS in 2014.


Kimberly Davila is the first in her family to go to college and is setting the bar high for her younger siblings. Heading to Brown University, an Ivy League campus in Rhode Island, Kimberly aims to study political science and international relations with an emphasis in urban planning and environmental science. Kimberly is considering entering a career in politics or law after participating in Assemblywoman Cristina Garcia’s Young Legislator Program. As the current editor for the school paper, she is also a Dell Scholar and has received scholarships from Burger King and Rotary of Montebello. Kimberly has a GPA of 4.37.


Mariam Germanyan describes herself as shy, but has worked with classmates to organize an annual Armenian assembly that teaches her peers about the historical implications of the Armenian genocide that occurred more than a century ago. Mariam, who maintains a 4.11 GPA, is editor-in-chief of the yearbook and participates in the school’s Academic Mentor Program, where she serves as a tutor and mentor for core subjects. She plans to study computer science at UC Berkeley and hopes to enter a career in engineering.


“We are so proud of Joseph, Kimberly and Mariam for their accomplishments and for representing their peers, teachers and school so brilliantly,” MUSD Superintendent Susanna Contreras Smith said. “On behalf of Montebello Unified, I commend our Montebello High School students for their hard work and wish them the best of luck as they continue on toward their academic, personal and professional goals.”



Parents of high school students in the Montebello Unified School District learned tips on using computers, software and other digital tools to support their children’s academic pursuits on May 11 during the last event in this year’s popular Parent-Teacher Connection Workshop series.


The series, which expanded to five workshops this year after launching with three in 2014-15, drew nearly 150 parents that were also held for elementary and middle school parents. The high school workshop took place at Bell Gardens High School.


MUSD teachers Gabriela Orozco, David Keys and Janice Shah created the high school program. Elementary school parents received kits that included building blocks to teach mathematics. The intermediate kit featured measuring tapes and elastic bands for exercises to determine proportions and percentages.


Parent involvement has a measurable impact on student academic performance as children generally achieve better grades, test scores and attendance, with more children completing homework assignments.


“Teaching becomes more effective when parents feel empowered with knowledge and validated as their child’s first teacher,” MUSD Superintendent Susanna Contreras Smith said. “The strategies we use and the procedures we have in place can all be passed on to our parents so they feel completely connected to their child’s learning environment.”



Large numbers of empty milk cartons, plastic sandwich bags, and orange peels and apple cores filling trash bins to the brim are a thing of the past at Montebello Unified School District’s La Merced Intermediate School thanks to educators who were successful in teaching students about the benefits of recycling and living green.


La Merced was declared the winner of the sixth annual Trash Free Lunch Challenge run by Grades of Green, an environmental educational nonprofit that shows students how to recycle, reuse and reduce lunchtime waste. The school received a $1,000 grand prize Friday during Grades of Green’s Earth Day celebration at the school.


La Merced, which reduced trash by 75 percent, was the middle school winner out of 22 Los Angeles area elementary and middle schools during the year-long competition to reduce the most trash.


Through mentoring by Grades of Green staff, La Merced staff and students implemented a customized lunchtime waste reduction program that reduced trash to 10 bags daily, down from an average of 40 bags. The program includes recycling trays, composting of fruit and vegetable scraps, and reducing waste by bringing trash-free lunches when possible.


“La Merced is a shining example of what can be accomplished when students lead the way in creating environmental change in their school community, and we could not be prouder,” Grades of Green Programs Manager Allie Bussjaeger said.


Grades of Green provided La Merced with free educational assemblies, personalized eco-starter kits and waste reduction plans to guide students and staff through the competition. Schools then submit a final application at the end of the school year; the winning entry is based on actual trash reduction, sustainability, integration, and student leadership.


“It’s hard to believe what a small group of students accomplished,” said La Merced seventh grader and Green Trojans Club member Sophia Picon, noting that the trash-recycling group started with 15 to 20 students and grew to around 30. “I want to suggest that they use the money on the drought-tolerant garden we planted last fall.”


Picon writes for the school newspaper and plans to become a journalist someday.


Grades of Green hosted Friday’s celebration, which included congratulatory speeches by Cárdenas and school officials, entertainment and the grand prize presentation.


“It’s always exciting to see what’s happening in our schools, especially when it comes to seeing student leadership fixing a problem like reducing lunchtime waste,” MUSD Superintendent Susanna Contreras Smith said. “It’s important for us to show our students we support them in everything they’re doing – and what they’re doing now is going to make them future leaders in the community.”    



The Montebello Unified School District Board of Education is seeking applicants for an open appointed position on the district’s Personnel Commission.

Eligible applicants who live within the boundaries of the school district are encouraged to submit a letter of interest no later than 4 p.m. on Friday, June 3, to Montebello Unified School District Superintendent Susanna Contreras Smith, 123 S. Montebello Blvd., Montebello, CA 90640. Candidates will be interviewed by the Board of Education and classified employee union, and the recommendation will be made to the State Superintendent of Public Instruction.

The Personnel Commission is a non-partisan public body responsible for the administration of a merit system for the selection, retention, and promotion of classified employees of the Montebello Unified School District.  By law, the Commission is composed of three members appointed by the State Superintendent of Public Instruction. Commissioners are appointed for three-year terms, with the term of one member expiring each year.

To be eligible for appointment or reappointment to the Personnel Commission, an individual must be a registered voter and reside within the boundaries of the district, which include the cities of Bell Gardens, Commerce, Montebello, and portions of Downey, Los Angeles, Monterey Park, Pico Rivera, Rosemead and South San Gabriel. Applicants should also provide evidence of their support of merit system principles – the selection, retention, and promotion of individuals on the basis of merit and fitness – through prior public or private service. Appointees cannot be employees of the Montebello Unified School District or members of the district’s governing board.

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