Superintendent's Update - September 27, 2021

As I have visited our schools, classrooms, and community events, I continue to be impressed with how well things have come together, despite some of the challenges that we face.

Below are some important updates I believe will be of interest to you.



Ryan D. Smith, Ed.D.
Superintendent of Schools

Modified Quarantine Option

The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health recently announced that it is allowing a “modified quarantine” option for TK-12 students who are identified as close contacts of a confirmed COVID-19 case in a school setting. This is welcome news as it will allow for most students to remain in class for in-person learning, and Monrovia Unified is currently offering this option. Below are some of the key details:

An unvaccinated close contact may remain in school under a modified quarantine if:

  • The exposure was in a school setting
  • The student is asymptomatic (i.e., showing no symptoms related to COVID-19)
  • The student and the infected person wore masks throughout the exposure

During the modified quarantine, the student must:

  • Wear a mask indoors and outdoors while at school
  • Stay at home except for in-person instruction
  • Be tested twice weekly for COVID-19


Support for Quarantined Students

We appreciate the feedback we have received from parents, students, and teachers about how we can improve our support for those who must quarantine at home due to COVID-19. Your feedback has led us to revamp our approach in a way that we feel will be much better for students. We recently shared information about this in a presentation for the Board of Education at its September 22 meeting. Some of the supports and services we will systematically provide to students who are on quarantine include, daily work and assignments provided through Google Classroom, live online tutoring through the Monrovia Public Library, contact with teachers and counselors, and more. Additional details are available on the district’s COVID-19 Information website.


Board Resolutions

At its September meetings, the Board of Education passed several important resolutions recognizing Suicide Prevention Month, Hispanic Heritage Month, and National School Lunch Week.


Superstars of Music Program Grows

Earlier in September, Monrovia Unified School District hosted its annual Superstars of Music registration and orientation evening for the parents and students of interested elementary school students. At this event, staff shared information about our after-school music program for band, strings and choir, introduced our fabulous music teachers, and began issuing instruments and music books as needed.

I am delighted to share that we had an extraordinary turnout of over 500 excited parents and students from all five (5) elementary schools for this event! This number is triple the usual number of parents and students who attend our registration and orientation evening. Not only does this program tremendously benefit students personally it also helps to strengthen our middle and high school music program in the future.

Thanks to our Board of Education for supporting this program, as well as Director of Performing Arts, Patrick Garcia, for his leadership.


Clifton PTA Raises Over $17,000

Congratulations to Clifton Middle School’s incredible PTA for raising more than $17,000 through its Step It Up! fundraising event.  Step It Up! is an experienced-based fundraiser that celebrates fitness, friendship, and fun. Funds raised will go towards the purchase of additional library books, after-school enrichment including arts programs, incentives to support the school’s Positive Behavior Intervention and Support (PBIS) program, and more.

Everyone at Clifton worked very hard to accomplish this, so please join me in giving them a round of applause for their collective efforts.  I would also like to express my gratitude to everyone in our community who contributed to this fundraiser and for supporting Clifton Middle School, its students, teachers, and staff. Well done!


Monrovia Unified Welcomes New Public Information Officer

Please join me in welcoming Gustavo Olguin to the Monrovia Unified School District family.  Mr. Olguin is our district’s first Public Information Officer (PIO), and brings tremendous experience in both public relations and journalism with him to the district. The PIO will play an important role in increasing communication to our parents and families, community, and local news outlets about all the great things happening in our schools through press releases, social media, enhancements to websites, and other formats like short video stories, podcasts, etc.


MUSD inSights

1The Board of Education welcomed our student Board members for the 2021-2022 school year. Monrovia High School senior Alexia Holt and Mountain Park School junior Brianna Campbell, (pictured front, center) have been officially sworn in by Board President Maritza Travanti and have participated in their first meetings, as well as a Board retreat with Dr. Smith.


Monrovia Unified School District “Teacher of the Year” Kristin Ford was recognized along with her counterparts from other Los Angeles County schools at LACOE’s 40th Annual “Teacher of the Year” banquet. Kristin is pictured here with her husband Troy, and Assistant Superintendent Darvin Jackson.


Bradoaks students working collaboratively on a challenging problem. It was great to listen in as they shared their ideas, reached a consensus on a plan, and began working together to solve it.


Big thanks to Plymouth Elementary School’s PTA for “sparking” us at the District Office last week! The district team greatly appreciated the recognition.


Monrovia High School’s Varsity football team after a 36-17 win against San Dimas. The team is now 5-0, with games coming up at La Canada on October 1, and the homecoming game against Pasadena Poly on October 8. Go Wildcats!