August 17, 2020

Dear Monterey Heights Families,

It is with great pleasure that I welcome you to the start of a new school year in the Eagles nest! The return of school this year is definitely starting out in an unorthodox manner, and we acknowledge that there are still a lot of questions. Through clear and open communication, our goal is to address some of those concerns, and connect and build relationships to assist with making every student and family welcomed and a part of the Eagles nest. 

The Lemon Grove School District and Monterey Heights Elementary School will begin instruction for students on Wednesday, August 26th, in a Distance Learning instructional model. This format of instruction was created in response to the CA State Public Health Order (on 7/17/2020) that all in-person instruction and operations cease for school districts that are on the State’s ‘Monitoring List’. The order mandates a Distance Learning model for the safety of all students and staff. As we continue moving forward with planning for the new school year, below are some important dates to calendar: 

August 24th - Virtual Parent and Student Orientation (Zoom link will be provided at later date) 
August 25th - Grade Level Orientation (Zoom link will be provided at later date)
August 25th & 26th- Student supply pick-up (This is a “drive or walk” through pick-up. Look for further communication providing specific date/time. All students and parents must wear face coverings and practice proper social distancing)
August 26th - First Day of School 
September 7th - No School - Labor Day

I am elated to work and collaborate alongside a creative, purpose-driven, relentless, and courageous team! We want to serve your children with the most rigorous and relevant curriculum and instruction through our refined online learning model. We will promote an educational environment which promotes social and emotional learning and support, 21st century learning experiences, and engage students in meaningful work to develop the skills necessary to thrive as leaders, independent workers, and responsible citizens.
We understand that this is not an ideal way to start the school year and that there are implied challenges with all of these changes. What we are confident in however, is our staff’s ability to engage and cultivate relationships with our students, and provide them with a positive 21st century learning experience during distance learning. 

Virtual Learning Academy (VLA)
The VLA is for students whose parents signed them up to participate in distance learning for the entire 2020-21 school year, even if we return to in-person instruction. The staff that will teach in the VLA are some amazing teachers selected from various schools across the district. These teachers will be a part of the Monterey Heights staff for the 2020-21 school year. We are delighted to welcome them into the Eagles nest!! 
Students with Disabilities
IEP services will be provided with a mixture of live services and independent assignments. The formats for services will include synchronous (Live) and asynchronous (independent).
School Breakfast and Lunch
We will continue to provide breakfast and lunch to all students. Breakfast meals are at no-cost. Lunch meals are either free, reduced, or full-priced. We ask that a meal application gets completed and submitted. Applications are on the district website, in the school office, or you may apply online at We ask that ALL families complete the meal application ASAP to determine if you qualify for free or reduced lunch. Dates, times, and location to pick up meals during distance learning is forthcoming.  

School Communication
On a regular basis, we are going to post updates on our school website, Class Dojo, and social media, pertaining to school and district happenings, COVID-19 updates, and various other related information. You may also receive automated calls, email, and text. Please ensure that the school office has your current email, address and phone number on file at all times throughout the school year. You will also have consistent communication from the classroom teacher.

The staff and I eagerly await to begin the 2020-21 school year with you and your children!

Ms. Donna Willson
Excellence for Everyone, Every Day!

Motto:  We must learn to fly before we can S.O.A.R! 
(Stand Out Above the Rest)