Award Year: 2019

Monterey Hills Elementary School

1624 Via Del Rey
South Pasadena, CA, 91030-4126

(626) 441-5860

Dr. Laurie Narro, Principal at time of Nomination

South Pasadena Unified School District

School Website


All students will realize their full academic and social development potential. Student needs are met in order to develop responsible, independent, and motivated learners.

Student Demographics
  • Black/African American: 3%
  • White: 20%
  • Hispanic: 27%
  • Asian: 30%
  • Two or more races: 16%
Monterey Hills community listening to student council election speeches

Monterey Hills community listening to student council election speeches

Since the adoption of Common Core State Standards, the faculty at Monterey Hills has worked tirelessly to prepare our students for career and college readiness. Newly aligned curriculum has been adopted and professional development on various instructional practices has been on-going. What instructional practices do we use at Monterey Hills Elementary School to continuously ensure student success? Inquiry-based instruction has become our answer.

When teachers were first introduced to the CCSS and understood the depth of knowledge necessary to achieve them, MHS sought out instructional approaches which would elevate student learning. Cognitively Guided Instruction opens the door to mathematical concepts and practices. STEM activities guide our young engineers need to figure things out. Next Generation Science lessons follow the 5 E’s capitalizing on our young scientists’ natural curiosity. Writer’s Workshop mini-lessons and conferences begin with addressing our authors’ ‘need to know’. Technology and English Language Arts standards guide our teachers’ development of lessons in research and inquiry. Students engage in discussions to develop “What do we Want to Learn?” charts for project-based learning units in social studies and science.

Ultimately, our goal is to develop a group of curious, inquisitive, and thoughtful students, who use their questioning skills to problem solve for the world in which they currently live and the world they will eventually lead.