Award Year: 2019

Monte Vista Elementary School

2620 Orange Avenue
La Crescenta, CA, 91214-2199

(818) 248-2617

Ms. Suzanne Risse, Principal at time of Nomination

Glendale Unified School District

School Website


In a safe and supportive environment, with high academic expectations, we inspire students to meet the challenges of and be successful in a diverse society.

Student Demographics
  • White: 34%
  • Hispanic: 6%
  • Asian: 53%
  • Two or more races: 7%
Monte Vista Students and Staff in front of Kindness Wall

Monte Vista Students and Staff in front of Kindness Wall

PAWS-itively Awesome! This mantra, developed by the site PBIS (Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports) team, reflects Monte Vista Elementary, a neighborhood school nestled in the foothills of the San Gabriel Mountains. Strong instruction, a Korean dual immersion program, and strategies to address social and emotional needs form the basis of an effort which has resulted in high achievement and personal growth over the years.

Monte Vista uses a Needs Response Mindset to ensure all students are learning. This, coupled with Professional Learning Communities (PLC), enables grade level cohorts to meet regularly, identify critical learning targets, and create assessments to gage achievement. After analyzing assessment results, teachers share ideas on how to meet the needs of students who have not met the learning goal and how to provide quality enrichment for those who have already mastered the goal. Intervention to support students takes many forms including small group, targeted instruction by the teacher, a pull-out intervention teacher, and weekly rotations of homogenous student groups amongst grade level teachers. Staff has also used PLCs to share ideas on how to best support students' social-emotional needs. Practices which have emerged include community circles, "what I wish my teacher knew" exit slips, cross-grade level team building activities, and a heart-shaped "We Care" world poster on every classroom door.

State testing results, as well as district-adopted social-emotional surveys, reflect progress in both academics and student well-being. Our students thrive in an engaged community which values the needs of the whole child.