Guest opinion: School district's robust elective program allows kids to discover paths to passions | February 1, 2017 | Almanac | Almanac Online |


Viewpoint - February 1, 2017

Guest opinion: School district's robust elective program allows kids to discover paths to passions

by Ani Ghazarossian

In 2004, I was a fourth-grader at Oak Knoll Elementary School. The first time I had ever used video-editing software was during computer lab sessions where we were assigned a project to edit a video about sharks. At that time, video-editing software wasn't available to the extent it is today.

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Ani Ghazarossian's home away from school is on Hermosa Way in Menlo Park.


18 people like this
Posted by Parke Treadway
a resident of Menlo Park: The Willows
on Jan 31, 2017 at 4:20 pm

Thank you, Ani! I loved reading your story. I believe school should offer every kid a place to excel and find their interest, and I'm so glad MPCSD offered you the space and resources to set you on a path you are passionate about. I'm proud to support Measure X to continue funding a breadth of programs for future students.

17 people like this
Posted by Caryn Wasserstein
a resident of Menlo Park: South of Seminary/Vintage Oaks
on Jan 31, 2017 at 5:03 pm

What a great story Ani - enjoy your last year of college! It is wonderful to hear that your elementary and middle school years helped guide you to where you are today. The ability for our schools to be able to provide classes, and teachers for classes, in the arts, library, music, and computers is so important. I will be voting yes on Measure X to assure these classes are continued in our District.

14 people like this
Posted by Katie Ferrick
a resident of Menlo Park: Suburban Park/Lorelei Manor/Flood Park Triangle
on Jan 31, 2017 at 8:42 pm

Thank you, Ani, for connecting the dots for our community. Your story embodies the value of the education in MPCSD.

I truly hope our community continues to support public education and votes Yes on X so our schools can continue to offer courses like video production that inspired your higher education and career.

It's so important.

15 people like this
Posted by Katie Rottier
a resident of Menlo Park: Menlo Oaks
on Jan 31, 2017 at 8:46 pm

Inspiring story Ani and good for you! I had a similar experience with Art classes growing up and how they influenced my 20 years of Marketing success now.

12 people like this
Posted by Menlo Park Parent
a resident of Laurel School
on Jan 31, 2017 at 10:21 pm

Ani, I am proud to have had you in our district and applaud your ongoing support and community awareness at such a young age. I have to say, when I read at the MPCSD FAQ link, Web Link that without the passing of Measure X, the proposed budget cuts would include and immediately go to (among other important parts of curriculum) our MPCSD librarians, art, music and science teachers. This would be a backward move for our community, and school district as well as a great disservice to our future leaders. For those who are questioning this small investment of $360 per parcel, listen to the facts and what is at stake...Schools that provide arts programs to their students, have a higher proficiency in math, reading and a higher graduation rate. Here is one example of supporting evidence, US Department of Education and the President's Committee on the Arts and the Humanities; low performing schools were selected to receive arts education curriculum, resources and supplies with support from principals, teachers and parents. In comparison to a control group that did not have the arts present at school, those who participated in the study reported, 22.5% improvement in math proficiency, 12.6% improvement in reading - - overall the arts increased student engagement, created a positive culture and climate, and provided a richer overall experience. In other related studies by Edutopia, even disciplinary problems decreased 23% in schools with arts education! I'm supportive of our community, and our future...I will be voting YES on Measure X!

9 people like this
Posted by MPCSD Parent2
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Feb 1, 2017 at 3:05 am

Thank you for sharing how your experiences at MPCSD schools inspired and facilitated your choices in both higher education and your budding career. Thank you also for voicing your support of Measure X in the hopes that its passage will allow others to enjoy similarly positive educational experiences.

4 people like this
Posted by Suzanne Yonkers
a resident of Menlo Park: Menlo Oaks
on Feb 3, 2017 at 10:43 am

Thank you Ani for sharing your story! It makes me proud to be part of a district that has a history of leading the curve in technology and electives. Education for our young kids is why we chose to move to Menlo Park. As a community we need to support Measure X to keep it that way.

1 person likes this
Posted by Jack Hickey
a resident of Woodside: Emerald Hills
on Feb 3, 2017 at 1:47 pm

Jack Hickey is a registered user.

It is refreshing to see that at least 4 of the posters on this topic are contributors to the MPAEF which provides considerable support to MPCSD programs. Don't know whether the Parents are contributors. Check out MPAEF at Web Link

Why ask for OPM? Vote NO on Measure X. That still leaves parcel taxes, with no expiration, taking more than $675 of OPM above the thousands in ad-valorem taxes inflated by debt service on $131,000,000 in bonds.

After voting NO, write a check to MPAEF. You'll sleep better knowing that you kicked the OPM habit.

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