Mesrobian broke ground in 1964 and opened its doors nearly fifty years ago on Sept. 13, 1965, becoming the first Armenian elementary day-school in the United States. It would eventually grow by one grade level every year, yielding its first high school graduating class in 1975.
The school today includes Nursery School (2-year-olds) through High School (12th Grade) all on the same campus, making it a unique place for students, teachers, and parents to grow.
While this cozy school has plenty to reflect on as it enters its Golden Anniversary, Mesrobian’s orientation is toward the future with an approach to education and community building that is innovative and groundbreaking.
Involvement from its vast alumni network, “EdTech,” unique approach, and expanded community partnerships all provide a glimpse of what the future has in store for Armenian Mesrobian School.
Alumni Network and Mentorship Program
With five decades of alumni, Mesrobian’s Alumni Network and Mentorship Program is hard at work connecting students with Mesrobian graduates who have distinguished themselves in fields as diverse as education, science, business, art, marketing, medicine, music, law, dentistry, chiropractic, politics, engineering, veterinary medicine, and psychology.
This year the network launched Mesrobian High School’s inaugural team in Mock Trial, an academic competition involving over 2,000 Southern California High School students. Mesrobian High School also collaborated with El Rancho High School’s acclaimed Teen Court program (considered the top such program in the state if not the country), where students serve as real jurors in actual cases involving teens who have committed real crimes.
Mesrobian is adopting several specific concepts in the 2015-2016 year from the field of Educational Technology, or EdTech.
The first concept is blended learning, a blend of face-to-face teacher-driven instruction paired with self-directed online-based instruction. Mesrobian will be refining its use of “flipped classroom” techniques, meaning valuable class time will be spent attending to individual student needs and group activities, with lectures provided online for the students to view and discuss as much as needed.
The second concept is proficiency or mastery-based learning and grading, meaning students must be able to meet a certain level of proficiency in core skills before advancing further and will be given the option of being assessed continuously throughout the year so that they can always display proficiency and increase their mastery and corresponding grades. The grades will be defined internally based on actual competency scores, and only later will be translated into A-F grades for transcript purposes.
The third concept is brain-compatible instruction, meaning designing the course and content around learning strategies backed by research in cognitive neuroscience, including techniques such as spaced-repetition, continuous feedback, metacognitive skill maps, etc.
These concepts will be applied through a “1-to-1 Environment,” where Mesrobian students will have Chromebooks or Tablet computers. Every student will have a chromebook or tablet. Instead of textbooks students will use E-books plus a host complementary software applications and online services, such as Google Apps for Education. The school will also be using a state-of-the-art learning management system used by millions of people around the world, which has vital features such as mastery-based gradebooks, integration with a large network of software services, and is available on all platforms including iOS and Android apps.
The Mesrobian Way
At Mesrobian’s philosophical core lies a deep commitment to every student as an individual. The school’s progressive approach draws from fields such as education, cognitive neuroscience, neuroscience, behavioral economics, psychology, sociology, communication, and others.
It strives to foster an environment where students get the attention they need to succeed in school and in life, and one which helps improve academic, intellectual, social, and emotional growth through a variety of underlying principles and support systems that promote self regulation.
This approach is catching the attention of several educational institutions – public and private – and districts, which have shown interest in learning more about Mesrobian’s path to success.
Strengthened Community Relationships
Mesrobian is expanding its relationship with community entities such as the Pico Rivera Parks and Recreations Department, which shares its newly-built dance studio across the street with the school.
In order to bring the school’s mission of education beyond classroom walls and directly into the community, Mesrobian’s Parent and Community Education Series is beginning to partner with local Los Angeles County libraries to host workshops geared toward parents and general community members.
On Thursday, March 10 at 7 p.m., the Pasadena Public Library Hastings Branch will be hosting Mesrobian School Principal David Ghoogasian for a presentation titled ‘Secrets of the Teen Brain.’ The presentation, which is co-sponsored by Pasadena Public Library, will explore how adolescent and pre-adolescent minds develop. It will take place at the Hastings Branch Library located at 3325 E. Orange Grove Blvd, Pasdena, CA 91107.
Naturally, the school also enjoys a strong relationship with local community organizations such as the Holy Cross Armenian Apostolic Cathedral, the ARF Dro Gomideh, the Armenian Relief Society, the Armenian Youth Federation (AYF), the AYF Juniors, Homenetmen, and others. These organizations ground Mesrobian students in the Armenian community and provide a framework for service and dedication to something larger than oneself. This creates limitless opportunities for personal growth and the cultivation of students’ Armenian identity — which is a fundamental goal of the school.
Armenian Mesrobian School is fully accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges and its High School curriculum is certified to the University of California.
If you are interested in scheduling a campus visit or enrolling your child, please contact the school at (562) 699-2057 or (323) 723-3181, or email [email protected]