Local Campuses Busy as Students Return to School

Noah and Noelle Olivares stand among the welcome sign at Mountain Avenue Elementary School. Photo by Lori BODNAR

Smiling faces overcame high temperatures as students made their way to school.


It was a Wednesday morning full of hugs, high fives and welcome backs at local schools where teachers and staff greeted new and returning students.

At Lincoln Elementary School, students ran up to each other, eager to share stories of the summer while parents looked on. Some students, especially those new to the school or incoming kindergarteners, were a little more reluctant to let go of their parents’ hands and enter their classrooms. Parents, too, were a little lost after letting go of their little ones with some heading to the school cafeteria where coffee and duty signup sheets waited.

At Mountain Avenue Elementary School most students were excited for the upcoming 2022-23 school year. Many enjoyed the summer by relaxing, traveling, reading or volunteering.

“I enjoyed relaxing over the summer and read a lot of thrilling books,” said Mountain Avenue sixth grader Alisha Singh. “I also started to volunteer to help kids at Kumon, a learning center for math and reading.”

Mountain Avenue fifth grader Vivek Arunachalam also had a fun summer.

“I enjoyed my trip to Hawaii,” Vivek said. “My favorite part about the trip was swimming at the beaches.”

Mountain Avenue Principal Jaclyn Scott was on hand to greet the incoming students.

“Our theme this year is ‘Be the change you want to see in the world,’” she said. “The amazing teachers, staff and I have worked hard to prepare a year full of exciting learning experiences for students. It is our hope that we’ll be able to have more in-person events this year. Our commitment to student learning and engagement to our school is of utmost importance. I’m confident that the 2022-23 school year will be the best yet! Go Bears!”

Mountain Avenue Elementary welcomed several new staff members to the school. Laura Abramian is teaching first grade and Sarah Atin is teaching third. As the staff prepares for its students, keeping them safe is of the utmost importance.

“As we plan experiences for students, we adhere to the health and safety guidelines set forth by the Los Angeles County Dept. of Public Health,” assured Principal Scott.

Mountain Avenue PTA president Amelia Lapeña said, “I’m excited to be starting my second year as PTA president of this amazing school! I look forward to strengthening our connections and getting to know our families better this year, through our PTA events and other volunteering efforts. We look forward to hosting in-person events such as the Halloween Carnival, book fair, holiday shop, variety show, Science Fun Fair, Culture Night, Field Day, and Art Night. PTA also continues our traditions of student support with the School Garden, Visual Arts Program, Reflections Art Program, Red Ribbon Week, yearbook, and Spirit Wear sales. We will provide updates on our PTA webpages on our school website. I hope to see our families soon.”

Students at Mountain Avenue are excited, too, about the many activities they will be involved in. Vivek said, “I am looking forward to seeing my friends again, learning new things and playing more sports.”

“I am really excited to see my friends and classmates again,” added Alisha. “It’s been so long! I also signed up for the Mountain Avenue robotics team, which seems super interesting.”

Mountain Avenue is having its in-person back to school night on Wednesday, Aug. 24 from 6-7 p.m. and a PTA association meeting on Aug. 25 from 5-6 p.m.

It was a late start at Rosemont Middle School. Several parents took advantage of the late start to drop off their students at the Fire House youth center. The Fire House, at 2563 Foothill Blvd., is a program of St. Luke’s of the Mountains Episcopal Church. The center opens its doors on Wednesdays at 7 a.m. to help parents who have to be at work earlier than Rosemont’s 9:30 a.m. late start. Students are fed a breakfast of pancakes, sausage, cereal and other items. They can then walk up Rosemont Avenue to school before the bell rings. The Fire House is free for students and is entirely community supported. For more information, email mary@cvweekly.com.

Crescenta Valley High School students walked a red carpet through a large inflatable falcon, the school’s mascot, to the front doors of the school.

There are some staff changes at CV High including a familiar face for former Rosemont Middle School students. Dr. Adriana Guerrero-Pestonji has transferred from assistant principal at Rosemont to assistant principal at CVHS. Deputy Vostanik (Nick) Grigoryan will be the temporary school resource officer at the high school while Deputy Scott Shinagawa is out injured though reports are that Dep. Shinagawa wants to return as the SRO when he recovers.

It is important to remember that, with the beginning of the school year, traffic will be more congested. Those dropping students off at schools or students driving to their school should always give themselves enough time to accommodate getting to school and finding parking, if necessary.

The first day of school means school buses, passenger vehicles, kids on bicycles, pedestrians and everyone converging on the same location. The Glendale Police Dept. offers some safety tips for safe commuting and school pickups and drop-offs:

Leave early. The first days/weeks of school are also the beginning of new routines. The routes and process for drop-offs and pickups may be familiar to you, but may be brand new to someone else. Leave early to avoid the rush.

Put down your phone. Talking/texting and driving is a safety hazard.

Avoid drop-off and pickup across the street. Use the drop-off/pickup lanes designated by the school.

Slow down/obey all traffic laws. Yield to pedestrians; no U-turns; don’t block driveways; don’t block crosswalks; no double parking.

Stop for crossing guards. They are a warning that children are nearby.

Photos by Lori BODNAR, Robin GOLDSWORTHY and Mary O’KEEFE