EMCSD Launches New Expanded Learning Opportunity Program (ELOP)
From now until Halloween, students at Potrero School in El Monte City School District (EMCSD) will be trading out Number two pencils for three woods as they take golf lessons as part of the district’s Expanded Learning Opportunities Program (also known as ELOP), EMCSD’s free comprehensive program designed to provide enriching and engaging activities for TK through sixth grade.
Activities will feature academic tutoring and support, sports and recreation, STEAM, as well as visual and performing arts. Through ELOP, administrators hope to create quality partnerships with local businesses, universities, organizations, and the community overall in order to provide interactive programming aimed at empowering students and broadening their interests to fulfill their potential.
“ELOP gives us a chance to mold our students into well-rounded individuals,” shared the new Coordinator of Enrichment and Engagement, Dr. Jacob Muniz. “Part of our long-term goal is to leave behind a blueprint that is sustainable so these programs continue to be part of the fabric of EMCSD. We are always striving to be ambassadors of community-level programming, so our students want to return as professionals and be part of our District’s legacy.” EMCSD has an impressive number of former students returning to be educators throughout the district including some of their leaders like Superintendent Maribel Garcia and Deputy Superintendent Steve Sallenbach, who attended Columbia School and Potrero School, respectively.
Since the start of the year, students have been able to participate in a variety of different STEAM-based afterschool activities like studio and digital art as well as lessons about electricity. ELOP will also encourage students to participate in sports, which includes the aforementioned pilot golf program at Potrero and Soccer for Success, which will be available for every school.
How far can ELOP go? “Sky’s the limit,” according to Dr. Muniz. He shared that the district is set to add El Monte Parks and Recreation’s swim and volleyball programs as well as a partnership with the United States Tennis Association. They also want to provide more enrichment for their Dual Immersion Schools, Durfee and New Lexington. With the help of ELOP, EMCSD is planning to bring back some popular programs that were unfortunately halted during the COVID-19 pandemic like Mariachi Band and Musical Theater.
ELOP is just one of numerous programs EMCSD has scheduled for this year. In fact, the district is bringing back Outdoor Science Camp for their sixth graders, free of charge. Each and every sixth grader who participates in Outdoor Science Camp can do so at no cost to them or their families. “We have a really unique opportunity to take massive strides in our enrichment programming for all students this year, and providing free Outdoor Science Camp is a great example of that,” explained EMCSD Superintendent, Dr. Maribel Garcia. “We have a responsibility to be our students' gateway to opportunity and we will use programs like ELOP and science camp to provide experiences our students deserve.”