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first_img Community News Opinion & Columnists We Get (MORE) Letters Published on Thursday, March 5, 2020 | 8:19 pm HerbeautyNutritional Strategies To Ease AnxietyHerbeautyHerbeautyHerbeauty12 Female Fashion Trends That Guys Can’t StandHerbeautyHerbeautyHerbeauty10 Secrets That Eastern Women Swear By To Stay Young LongerHerbeautyHerbeautyHerbeauty6 Strong Female TV Characters Who Deserve To Have A SpinoffHerbeautyHerbeautyHerbeauty5 Things To Avoid If You Want To Have Whiter TeethHerbeautyHerbeautyHerbeautyThese Lipsticks Are Designed To Make Your Teeth Appear Whiter!HerbeautyHerbeauty First Heatwave Expected Next Week EVENTS & ENTERTAINMENT | FOOD & DRINK | THE ARTS | REAL ESTATE | HOME & GARDEN | WELLNESS | SOCIAL SCENE | GETAWAYS | PARENTS & KIDS Subscribe Name (required)  Mail (required) (not be published)  Website  Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked * Pasadena’s ‘626 Day’ Aims to Celebrate City, Boost Local Economy Get our daily Pasadena newspaper in your email box. Free.Get all the latest Pasadena news, more than 10 fresh stories daily, 7 days a week at 7 a.m. Got something to say, email Managing Editor André Coleman, at [email protected] More Cool Stuff faithfernandez More » ShareTweetShare on Google+Pin on PinterestSend with WhatsApp,Virtual Schools PasadenaHomes Solve Community/Gov/Pub SafetyCitizen Service CenterPASADENA EVENTS & ACTIVITIES CALENDARClick here for Movie Showtimes Pasadena Will Allow Vaccinated People to Go Without Masks in Most Settings Starting on Tuesday Make a comment Business News Community News Comments from the readersCharter School ChatterMarch 2, 2020Via E-mail to Dr. Brian McDonald, Superintendent Members of the Board of Education Pasadena Unified School District 351 S. Hudson Ave. Pasadena, CA 91109Re: Response to Concerns About Melkonian High SchoolDear Dr. McDonald, Board President Cahalan, and Members of the Board of Education:Thank you for the opportunity last Thursday evening for Melkonian High School (“MHS”) and its supporters to participate in the public hearing to share about our great passion and need for a dependent charter school in Pasadena Unified School District (“PUSD” or the “District”). As evident at the Board meeting, students, parents, and other community members are greatly interested in seeing MHS established as a dependent charter school under the guidance and partnership with PUSD to serve our community with MHS’s unique Armenian dual-language enrollment program.There were several comments and/or questions raised during the Board meeting regarding MHS. This letter seeks to address the concerns and clarify any misunderstandings surrounding our proposed charter petition, and to reiterate MHS’s strong commitment to work with PUSD staff to resolve any outstanding concerns or questions about our charter, so that we can prepare to open our doors to students this coming fall.1. Alternative Programs Would Not Meet the Needs of Families Interested in MHSThere were several comments, both by members of the public and members of the Board, which suggested that the District should consider alternate means to address MHS’s desire for an Armenian dual-language enrollment program, possibly by creating new programs within existing PUSD schools.However, these comments fail to take into consideration one of the most important aspects of opening MHS, which is to allow students who currently reside outside of PUSD and/ or attend private schools the opportunity to enroll at a public charter school within PUSD. Charter schools must admit all students who wish to attend, unless they receive more applications than there are spaces, in which case, the charter schools must hold a public random drawing to determine admission. Admission to charter schools are not determined according to the place of residence of the student or the student’s parent/guardian within the state. Thus, MHS would allow more flexibility for students who reside outside of PUSD to attend. However, creating new programs within existing PUSD schools would require these same students to seek inter-district transfers in order to attend an existing PUSD school.2. MHS Would Not Deprive Other PUSD Schools, But Would Benefit PUSD By Increasing Enrollment in PUSD and Rallying Community Support and EngagementThere were some concerns that the creation of a dependent charter school in PUSD would deprive or negatively impact existing PUSD schools, which have been affected by several school closures in the District.As fellow students, parents, and community members, the MHS community empathizes with PUSD students, families, staff, and Board members who are still coping with the sadness and difficulty of the recent school closures in the District. MHS also sees the great potential for change and growth in PUSD. MHS can play an important role through its unique and innovative charter school model which will be a positive contribution to the strength and stability of PUSD.Also, as shared during the public hearing, MHS would bring students who would otherwise attend private schools or public schools in other districts to attend a dependent charter school in PUSD. These new students would increase the District’s ADA, which would financially contribute to PUSD.As evidenced by the large turnout at the Board meeting, there is great excitement and support for MHS in the local Armenian-American community. Local families and business are interested in fundraising to support MHS and its programs. Thus, as supported by the budget documents submitted with our charter, MHS expects to be fiscally sound beginning in year 1 of operations, and would not be a burden to the District nor deprive existing District schools of its resources. MHS believes that our new charter school can help to rally greater community support and engagement in PUSD.3. MHS is Committed to Collaborating with PUSD Staff and Unions to Create a Mutually Agreeable Dependent Charter SchoolThere was some concern and questions raised regarding MHS’s desire to be authorized as a “dependent” charter school within PUSD. As shared at the Board meeting, MHS engaged in conversations with the District Superintendent, which is where MHS learned of the possibility of a dependent charter school model and began to recognize the mutual benefits of becoming a dependent charter school in PUSD.MHS recognizes that a dependent charter school requires a lot of collaboration and input from the various parties involved. Thus, MHS has engaged with District staff and reached out toBoard members in efforts to collaborate with PUSD to ensure that MHS can be established with the mutual support and agreement of all parties involved and impacted.During these planning stages, PUSD staff did not appear to be willing to commit yet to specific aspects of how MHS would be operated. Thus, MHS submitted a proposed charter petition with the intent that the formal submission of MHS’s petition could fuel more intentional conversations and decision-making between PUSD and MHS, to ultimately open MHS as a new dependent charter school in PUSD with the full support of all those involved.* * *Please do not hesitate to contact us at [email protected] with any questions regarding our charter petition. We thank you for your consideration of the MHS charter petition, and we look forward to continuing to work with PUSD staff to ensure that any outstanding questions or concerns are fully resolved.Sincerely,Arsine Shirvanian Maro Yacoubian President of MGO Co-Founder of MHS Visionary Founder of MHS 17 recommendedShareShareTweetSharePin it Home of the Week: Unique Pasadena Home Located on Madeline Drive, Pasadena Top of the News last_img

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