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December 31, 2013
Dear Community Partners –
It is with a bit of sadness as well as heartfelt optimism that I write to tell you that Flintridge Center's Mustangs on the Move (MOTM) afterschool program will officially merge with Pasadena Unified School District’s LEARNs program effective January 1, 2014. This action is a collective effort to ensure continued quality afterschool programming for all of the students in the Pasadena Unified School District.
Over a decade ago, 25 students at John Muir High School met with me and expressed their disappointment with afterschool opportunities and community support for John Muir students. In response, Flintridge and over 35 other community partners worked with students to launch Mustangs on the Move (MOTM) – a collection of afterschool programs offered on the John Muir campus.
Since that time, Flintridge has provided leadership and coordination for the community collaborative, serving over 80% of the John Muir student body. We raised funds and brought on LaWayne Williams as the full-time Program Director. Under LaWayne's leadership, programming has developed and has been aligned with in-school learning. Today, there are 17 programs focused on:
After Flintridge Center and our partners launched MOTM, the PasadenaLEARNs Program began offering afterschool programming at Pasadena High School, Marshall Fundamental Secondary School and Blair International Baccalaureate School. The result is that today, all of our high schools offer continued learning and enrichment opportunities after the school bell. These programs have cultivated talent, lifted self-confidence, improved social skills, provided assistance with academic learning, increased engagement with school and decreased the likelihood of risky or self-destructive behavior. In the 2012-2013 school year, 90% of John Muir students who were accepted into four year universities participated in MOTM afterschool programs. In addition, MOTM and LEARNs have helped compensate for cutbacks that public education has faced.
MOTM and LEARNs have primarily been supported through State funding – 21st Century High School ASSETs. Recently, this funding has been reduced and limited to one program per district for the upcoming funding cycle. With the current cycle for both MOTM and LEARNs ending July 31, 2014, Denise Collier (Grant Manager, LEARNs) and I began meeting to discuss the most strategic approach to continued funding for all high schools. As a result, we have agreed, and our boards have concurred, on this merger of our respective programs.
Though Flintridge Center's direct focus has been on John Muir through MOTM, we care deeply for each of the students in our district; they all deserve quality afterschool programs. The decision to merge MOTM programming with LEARNs is the most strategic plan to ensure continued funding for all PUSD high schools. We will miss the coordinating role and our partnerships with community partners; however, we have great confidence in this decision. We respect, admire and fully support the leadership of Dr. Collier and will continue to be an advocate for MOTM and LEARNs.
Dr. Collier plans to maintain partnership with many of the MOTM programs, as well as bring in additional valuable opportunities to the LEARNs community of students. Flintridge will continue our current role in the MOTM-affiliated programs – SKILLZ (a summer credit recovery program for ninth and 10th graders) and Youth of Promise Mentoring (a collaboration with Washington STEAM Academy and Pasadena Police and Fire Departments).
We look forward to seeing the needs of students met across the district as the new coordinating team continues the work that Flintridge and community partners have begun. We thank John Muir Principal Timothy Sippel and the John Muir faculty and staff who were so important to MOTM and its growth. To community partners, thank you for your continued commitment to our youth. And, to LaWayne Williams, a special thank you for your dedication, respect and deep personal connection to the students of MOTM.
Let's all commit to continued support and advocacy for LEARNs so that our youth reach their full potential and are prepared for future success. I would be happy to discuss the Flintridge Center/PasadenaLEARNs merger should you have questions or comments. You can reach me at (626) 449-0839 Ext. 111.
Jaylene L. Moseley