Skip to main content

August 2013

Montebello Unified Now Enrolling Students for New Pharmacy Technician Program

After launching its first Pharmacy Technician Class in April, Montebello Community Adult School is gearing up to offer the successful course once again this fall.

The Pharmacy Technician Class, held at the Montebello Unified School District’s Ford Park Adult School Campus, is a 740-hour module course preparing students for entry-level employment as a Licensed Pharmacy Technician.

The first class, which is still in progress, has a roster of 24 students.

“We are absolutely thrilled to have a dozen students in our first class, which is training and preparing students to take on a career in pharmacology,” said Dan Garcia, Adult School Principal. “They are also getting excellent experience at an affordable cost of $750, compared to the $3,000 other programs charge. It is a win-win situation for everyone involved.”

Students who are enrolled in the program gain knowledge in all aspects of pharmacy practice, while training in a simulated pharmacy setting. Upon completion of the theory modules – including federal law, medical terminology, pharmacology, routes and formulations, aseptic technique and community pharmacy practice – students participate in a 240-hour externship in an operating pharmacy.

Classes begin on Sept. 4 and are from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday through Thursday. Enrollment is first come, first served. The $750 cost for the program includes textbooks, workbooks, and student identification badge and student liability insurance.

The program is being offered at Ford Park Community Adult School, 7800 Scout Ave., Bell Gardens.

Following in its tradition of offering new programs and classes, MUSD’s Adult Education Department in 2009 launched the Protective Services/Security Officer Program, which offers an overview of the criminal justice system and provides students with the skills and knowledge they need to become a state-certified security officer.

Since its inception, more than 1,200 students have joined the program. The MUSD Ford Park Adult School is the only certified training program in the area that offers all Protective Services/Security Officer courses at a low and affordable cost ranging from $10 to $40 per class.

Students are provided a general understanding of the security and protective services profession and participate in hands-on activities, including use-of-force scenarios, baton training, firearm instruction and qualification, the use of chemical agents (pepper spray), and other related and applicable courses.

Upon successful completion of the courses, students can apply for state certification as an armed security officer through the State of California Department of Consumer Affairs.

The Security course runs year-round with continuous enrolment, with the exception of August.

“Our adult school program is such an important aspect of the services we provide for our community,” said Superintendent Cleve Pell. “For many of our adult students, these courses and programs represent a new beginning and we’re proud to see them succeed.”

For registration inquires, call Ford Park Adult School at (562) 927-7759.

Bella Vista Elementary Students win $10,000

Student Video Earns 1st Place Prize, School to Get New Computers

Montebello Unified School District’s Bella Vista Elementary School is upgrading its technology thanks to a $10,000 first-place cash prize it won from the Big Lots “Lots2Give” video contest.

Bella Vista was among 186 schools nationwide competing for a piece of the $120,000 in cash prizes awarded in the discount department store’s sixth annual contest, in which participating schools were asked to submit a short video and brief essay explaining why their school is in need of financial support.

In a one-and-a-half minute student-produced video titled “Bella Vista Needs New Technology!,” a group of Bella Vista students put on a skit to explain why their 706-student, K-5 school needs new computers on campus.

 This award complements the District’s efforts in 2013 to distribute 15,000 laptops to its fourth- through ninth-grade students through a competitive federal grant Montebello Unified was awarded.

“Bringing much-needed technology to our schools is among our District’s top priorities,” MUSD Superintendent Susanna Contreras Smith said. “We are so proud of our students and our Bella Vista staff for being proactive in their approach to replenish the technology they have on campus.”

MUSD and Bella Vista Elementary were presented with the first-place prize at the Alhambra Big Lots at 600 E. Valley Blvd., on Aug. 10 – dubbed Big Lots Teacher Appreciation Day.

“Thank you to everyone who voted for our video and supported us along the way,” Bella Vista Elementary School Principal Stephanie Hardaway said. “It is through our collective effort that we were able to achieve success.”

Videos were posted online from June 10 through July 7 for public voting. Winning schools are sharing $120,000 in cash prizes, which include one $20,000 grand prize, two $10,000 first-place prizes, four $5,000 second-place prizes and 30 $2,000 third-place prizes for a total of 37 winners.

Bella Vista students in their video emphasized the need to update their technology base, ending their project with: “Help save the future by voting for Bella Vista. Help us get new technology so we can be future leaders."

MUSD schools have collectively won nearly $20,000 since first joining in on the video contest in 2010. In 2010, Montebello High School won $2,000. In 2011, Suva Elementary School won $5,000. In 2012, Joseph Gascon and Washington elementary schools each won $2,000.

Bella Vista’s winning video can be viewed online at

College Survey: 94 Percent of MUSD Grads Continuing Their Education This Fall

Bolstered by the teachers, mentors and administrators of the Montebello Unified School District, graduating students from the class of 2013 are venturing off on new educational paths that include some of the most prestigious and renowned colleges and universities across the nation.

Nearly 90 percent of graduating seniors from MUSD’s three comprehensive high schools stated in a survey that they planned to continue their education this fall at a two-year or four-year college, and roughly 4 percent stated their intent to go on to technical, career or vocational academies.

According to a 2012-13 survey taken by graduating seniors at each of the District’s three comprehensive high schools – Schurr, Montebello and Bell Gardens – close to 1,600 out of nearly 1,800 respondents said they are headed for college this year. While some stated they were attending Ivy League schools such as Brown University and Columbia University, others chose to begin taking courses at local community colleges such as Cerritos and Rio Hondo, or to attain career training in culinary arts, cosmetology and other programs.

“No matter where they’re choosing to go to school, we’re proud that our recent graduates are continuing their education,” said MUSD Superintendent Susanna Contreras Smith. “Higher education and vocational programs open up the doors to so many additional opportunities for their success.”

At Schurr High School, nearly 31 percent of the students surveyed said they planned to go to four-year colleges, including Ivy League schools Brown University, Columbia University and the University of Pennsylvania. Another 56 percent planned to attend community colleges, while 4 percent stated they were enrolling in vocational programs that include Los Angeles Trade Tech, Le Cordon Bleu Culinary Arts and the Art Institute of California.

Students were also accepted to other prestigious universities such as Carnegie Mellon University, George Washington University, New York University, Stanford University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where a record three students were admitted.

Like Schurr High, Bell Gardens High School reported that a majority of its graduating students – an impressive 90 percent – planned to pursue higher education.

Student surveys showed that they set their sights on institutions such as USC, UCLA, UC Berkeley and several Cal States. About 48 percent are attending community colleges and another 3 percent are continuing their education at career technical schools.

At Montebello High, 87 percent of students surveyed said they plan on attending local and national colleges this fall, including Azusa Pacific University, Pepperdine University and the United States Military Academy at West Point in New York. Meanwhile, 60 percent are attending two-year colleges and an additional 6 percent are furthering their education at vocational schools.