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Welcome Mustangs!

Monticello Families and Students:

Summer greetings from Monticello!  We hope that you have had some time to relax and enjoy the beautiful weather. We have been busy here. We recently completed three very successful summer programs: Youth Leadership, Summer Reading, and Lego/Robotics. We had over 60 students participate this summer learning valuable life-long skills that will help them be successful at Monticello and beyond. We hope to continue that success with our entire student population as we embark on a new school year. Below, you will find information that will help you navigate the first few weeks of school.

This year, our goal is to build upon the success that we achieved last year. In 2018-19, we were identified as a School of Distinction by the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction and the State Board of Education. We achieved this by showing tremendous growth on state testing in ELA and Math. We are very proud of how hard our students and staff worked to receive this honor. We realize that sustaining this momentum requires a collaborative effort between the school, home and community. With your support, we promise to provide ALL students with the necessary resources to reach their full learning potential.

Monticello Mission Statement

We believe we make a difference in the lives of our students by providing a safe and supportive environment where ALL students receive a high-quality, comprehensive education that inspires them to become life-long learners and equips them with the skills and knowledge to succeed in high school and beyond.

We understand that middle school can create anxiety for some students. To alleviate the stress, we will have our 6th Grade Orientation on Tuesday, August 27th from 12:00 to 3:00pm. All 6th grade students will enter the gym from the back parking lot to meet other 6th grade students as well as our staff and a few of our 8th grade leaders. All 6th grade students will receive their schedules, tour the building, and attend classes for a short period of time. This event is for students only.  6th Grade parents are invited back at 3:00pm to tour the building and meet with the principals.

7th and 8th grade students and families can begin picking up their schedules at 2:00pm in the Lobby on August 27th.  All teachers will be available in their classrooms. Class schedule pick-up will end at 3:00pm. Teachers will only be available to meet until 3:00pm. The first fall sports practice is scheduled for Monday, August26th. Football players will meet in the gym from 2:30 to 5:00pm, while volleyball players will meet in the gym from 2:30-4:00pm. Please be sure all paperwork is turned in to the office before the first practice. You can find the paperwork on our website or stop by our office. Other important items that can be handled on the 27th include depositing money for lunch accounts, completing College Bound Scholarships for 7th and 8th grade students, signing up for PTO or volunteer opportunities,  and checking-in medication in the nurse’s office.

We encourage everyone to be actively involved in the educational process. Students have an opportunity to participate in several clubs and extra-curricular activities, while parents are encouraged to volunteer in the school or join the PTO. The first PTO meeting will be September 10th at 6:30pm in the lobby. We also have several committees that need parent and student input. They meet once a month on Tuesdays from 2:40-3:40pm. If you would like additional information, please check out our school website at https://monticello.longviewschools.com/ or follow us on facebook @monticellomiddleschool.

Scott Merzoian – Principal

2019-08-12T15:31:17-07:00August 12th, 2019|

Staff honored at 2019 Chamber of Commerce event

Local educators and businesses were recently honored at the annual Pillars of Strength/Crystal Apple Awards presented by the Kelso-Longview Chamber of Commerce. Longview Public Schools award winners were Dr. Elizabeth West (Director of Special Education), Administrator of the Year; JD Ott (R.A. Long), Teacher of the Year; and Gail Wells (Monticello Middle School), Lifetime Achievement Award.

The 2019 nominees included secretary Jeanne Kerns (Discovery); teacher Diondra Beck (Mark Morris); teachers Mike Fajardo, Gerri Schooling, and Jennifer Godinho-Hefley, and paraeducator Christy Alumbaugh (R.A. Long); principal Scott Merzoian (Monticello); teacher Patricia Donovan-Hopkins (Columbia Valley Gardens); principal Noma Hudson and liaison Alisa Shipley (Kessler); teacher Mary Sundberg and paraeducator Deb Bergman (Robert Gray).

2019 Crystal Apple Awards nominees. Not pictured – Robert Gray teacher Mary Sundberg and R.A. Long teacher – and softball coach – Jennifer Godinho-Hefley who arrived late due to coaching the team to victory!

2019-05-02T14:39:10-07:00May 2nd, 2019|

Public preview of secondary curriculum materials

Middle school Science and English Language Arts curriculum and high school AP Spanish and Earth & Space Science curriculum will be available for public preview May 6-10, 2019, 8am-5pm at the Longview School District administration building, 2715 Lilac St.

Core classroom instructional materials are reviewed regularly to ensure ongoing alignment with state law, teaching and learning standards, and research-based best practices. The Instructional Materials Committee – comprised of the executive director of Leadership and Learning, school administrators, classroom teachers, a special education representative, and three community members – evaluates and recommends curriculum to the Board of Directors for adoption.

2019-04-23T13:48:57-07:00April 23rd, 2019|

Capital facilities bond proposal approved

At the April 8, 2019 school board meeting, the board unanimously approved the capital facilities bond proposal totaling $115 million. Projects in this proposal will touch every school and include:

  • Mint Valley Elementary School replacement – $43 million
  • Northlake Elementary School replacement – $43 million
  • Safety and Security upgrades for all schools – $4.2 million
  • Career Technical/Vocational upgrades at R.A. Long and Mark Morris high schools – $8.4 million
  • Memorial Stadium upgrades – $7 million
  • Large facility repair projects – $9.4 million

Find out more here.

2019-04-16T16:10:16-07:00April 16th, 2019|

Application window open for Highly Capable student testing

Applications are now being accepted for the district’s annual Highly Capable Program identification process. To have a student evaluated for this program, parents/guardians give permission by completing the High Capable Permission Form and returning it to the student’s school. Permission forms are due Friday, March 15, 2019.

Cognitive Ability Testing (CogAT) will commence March-April 2019. The selection team will review student data April-May 2019. Testing results will be mailed in May 2019.

2019-03-04T17:15:11-07:00March 4th, 2019|

Winter break early release and January back-to-school

Longview students will be released early on Friday, December 21, 2018 to begin their winter vacation.  Release times are:

  • Elementary schools – two hours earlier than regular release time
  • Cascade – 11:45am release
  • Monticello – 11:50am release
  • Mt. Solo – 11:55am release
  • High schools – 11:50am release

Students return back to school on Wednesday, January 2, 2019. Students will be released one hour early on that day.

Broadway Learning Center has no school on Friday, Dec. 21. School resumes for Broadway students on Thursday, January 3, 2019.

 

2019-01-02T17:27:16-07:00December 20th, 2018|

LPS celebrates summer reading!

Longview Public Schools Superintendent Dan Zorn and School Board member Phil Jurmu set the pace at Longview’s Go Fourth parade.

While serving as grand marshal of the 2018 Go Fourth parade, Superintendent Dan Zorn and his crew of LPS staff, board members, family and friends passed out thousands of bookmarks encouraging everyone to read this summer.

The bookmarks include a link to “Superintendent Storytime,” where Dr. Zorn shares several of his favorite children’s books.

 

2018-07-09T08:05:26-07:00July 5th, 2018|

LPS graduates take diverse paths: Becky Grubbs, MMHS

Young people sample lots of activities in high school, and by the time they graduate each has a unique set of experiences to call their own. We asked three members of Longview’s class of 2018 to share something about their high school careers, a piece of advice and their post-graduation plans.

MMHS grad Becky Grubbs

Mark Morris grad Becky Grubbs

Mark Morris High School: Hardwired to help

Becky Grubbs seems hardwired for volunteering.

“I’ve been doing non-profit work since I was 18 months old,” said
the senior, describing those early times with her grandparents
at FISH of Cowlitz County, which distributes food and other services.

This year and last, Becky received Volunteer of the Year honors from the Cowlitz-Wahkiakum United Way.

Becky began volunteering at the United Way as a sophomore and soon was helping plan events, like the Day of Caring campaign. This year she worked with LPS to implement a literacy program that put 100 Mark Morris and R.A. Long students in third grade classrooms where they encouraged the younger students to read for fun.

“Becky took it on as her pet project … and set up student teams at the high schools,” said Brooke Fisher-Clark, United Way executive director. “It was really magical to see that partnership.”

Becky said volunteer work has taught her that there is always a way to help.

“United Way really helped me find out how to contribute,” she said.

Next steps: Finish an associate’s degree in business at Lower Columbia College and then pursue a four-year degree to become a financial planner or accountant.

Advice for younger students: “I would suggest they look for opportunities for things they can do in their own community. There’s always some way to help. You can always find something to do.”

Click here to read about Discovery graduate Natalie Rodriguez .

Click here to read about R.A. Long graduate Hamzah Amjad.

*

Story originally appeared in the Summer 2018 issue of the Longview Schools Review.

2018-06-21T14:54:36-07:00June 21st, 2018|

LPS grads take diverse paths: Hamzah Amjad, R.A. Long

Young people sample lots of activities in high school, and by the time they graduate each has a unique set of experiences to call their own. We asked three members of Longview’s class of 2018 to share something about their high school careers, a piece of advice and their post-graduation plans.

R.A. Long High School: Intent on STEM

R.A. Long grad Hamzah Amjad

R.A. Long grad Hamzah Amjad

From Hamzah Amjad’s perspective, having technology isn’t enough.

“It can be used to solve most of the world’s problems,” he said. “We just haven’t yet figured out how to help people who need it.”

Hamzah is preparing to do just that. In April, he was among 49 Washington high school seniors—one from each legislative district—who signed letters of intent to pursue careers in STEM—science, technology, engineering and mathematics. In September, he will begin engineering studies at the University of Washington.

“I like things that manifest into real-life scenarios,” he said, describing how his calculus and AP statistics classes helped him see real-world applications for theoretical material.

Hamzah points to medicines that are designed to cure cancer but perhaps aren’t used in the most efficient way. And he mused about artificial intelligence in cars—couldn’t it be used to prevent vehicle accidents?

His teachers anticipate he will make a difference.

“Hamzah is a phenomenal person who is always ‘on his game,’ and he carries himself with a humility that people are drawn to,” said math teacher Paul Jeffries. “He is committed to his future and will be successful, because he doesn’t know how else to be.”

Next steps: Study engineering at University of Washington.

Advice for younger students: “Everyone’s different, so you have to find your own way … but ask for help if you need it.”

Click here to read about Discovery graduate Natalie Rodriguez.

Click here to read about Mark Morris graduate Becky Grubbs.

*

Story originally appeared in the Summer 2018 issue of the Longview Schools Review.

2018-06-21T14:59:05-07:00June 21st, 2018|

LPS graduates take diverse paths: Natalie Rodriguez, Discovery

Young people sample lots of activities in high school, and by the time they graduate each has a unique set of experiences to call their own. We asked three members of Longview’s class of 2018 to share something about their high school careers, a piece of advice and their post-graduation plans.

Discovery High School: Finding her wings

DHS grad Natalie Rodriguez

Discovery grad Natalie Rodriguez

After moving back to Longview from Texas in her sophomore year, Natalie Rodriguez’s plan was to finish high school online so she could avoid people.

Then the self-described “really, really shy” student heard about Discovery, Longview’s alternative high school, and gave it a try.

When Natalie was required to make her first presentation, Discovery teacher Tamra Higgins nudged her through it.

“Ms. Higgins was like, ‘It’ll be OK. You’ll be fine,’” Natalie recalled—and found out she was.

She continued trying new things, including a library science class at R.A. Long and volunteer work at Monticello Middle School. Along the way, she found a passion for libraries.

“I realized if you work in a library, you’re helping people,” she said.
“Libraries are like hospitals for the mind.”

Higgins and English teacher Ron Moore agreed that Natalie has evolved into a whole new student.

“Natalie consistently asked some of the best questions and offered the deepest and most sophisticated insights,” Moore said. “She became a class leader and risk taker—miles away from that timid girl who was hesitant to put her toe in the water.”

Next steps: Start at Lower Columbia College, preparing for a career as a library technician.

Advice for younger students:
“If you’re on a cliff and you need to jump, but you’re too scared to jump, find some wings, staple them on—and just jump.”

Click here to read about Mark Morris graduate Becky Grubbs.

Click here to read about R.A. Long graduate Hamzah Amjad.

*

Story originally appeared in the Summer 2018 issue of the Longview Schools Review.

2018-06-21T14:53:15-07:00June 21st, 2018|