Mountain Views News, Sierra Madre Edition [Pasadena] Saturday, February 10, 2018

MVNews this week:  Page A:7

Mountain Views-News Saturday, February 10, 2018 EDUCATION & YOUTH 7 Mountain Views-News Saturday, February 10, 2018 EDUCATION & YOUTH 7 


Alverno Heights Academy200 N. Michillinda Sierra Madre, Ca. 91024(626) 355-3463 Head of School: Julia V. FanaraE-mail address: 
Arcadia High School180 Campus Drive Arcadia, CA 91007Phone: (626) 821-8370, Principal: Brent 
Arroyo Pacific Academy41 W. Santa Clara St. Arcadia, Ca,
(626) 294-0661 Principal: Phil ClarkeE-mail address: 
Barnhart School 
240 W. Colorado Blvd Arcadia, Ca. 91007(626) 446-5588Head of School: Ethan Williamson 
Kindergarten - 8th gradewebsite: 
Bethany Christian School93 N. Baldwin Ave. Sierra Madre, Ca. 91024 
(626) 355-3527Preschool-TK-8th Grade 
Principal: Dr. William Walnerwebsite: www. 
Clairbourn School 
8400 Huntington DriveSan Gabriel, CA 91775 
Phone: 626-286-3108 ext. 172 
FAX: 626-286-1528 
Foothill Oaks Academy822 Bradbourne Ave., Duarte, CA 91010(626) 301-9809Co-Principals Nancy Lopez and Diane 
Frostig School971 N. Altadena Drive Pasadena, CA 91107 
(626) 791-1255Head of School: Jenny Janetzke 
The Gooden School 
192 N. Baldwin Ave. Sierra Madre, Ca. 91024(626) 355-2410Head of School, Carl Parke 
High Point Academy1720 Kinneloa Canyon RoadPasadena, Ca. 91107 
Head of School: Gary Stern 626-798-8989 
La Salle High School3880 E. Sierra Madre Blvd. Pasadena, Ca. 
(626) 351-8951 website: 
Principal Mrs. Courtney Kassakhian 
Monrovia High School325 East Huntington Drive, Monrovia, CA 91016(626) 471-2800 Principal Darvin JacksonEmail: 
Odyssey Charter School725 W. Altadena Dr. Altadena, Ca. 91001(626) 229-0993 Head of School: Lauren O’Neillwebsite: 
Pasadena High School2925 E. Sierra Madre Blvd. Pasadena, Ca.
(626) 396-5880 Principal: Roberto Hernandezwebsite: 
St. Rita Catholic School 
322 N. Baldwin Ave. Sierra Madre, Ca. 91024Principal Joan Harabedian (626) 355-9028website: 
Sierra Madre Elementary School141 W. Highland Ave, Sierra Madre, Ca. 91024(626) 355-1428 Principal: Lindsay LewisE-mail address: 
Sierra Madre Middle School 
160 N. Canon Sierra Madre, Ca. 91024(626) 836-2947 Principal: Garrett NewsomE-mail address: 
Walden School 
74 S San Gabriel Blvd 
Pasadena, CA 91107 (626) 
Weizmann Day School1434 N. Altadena Dr. Pasadena, Ca. 91107(626) 797-0204Lisa Feldman: Head of School 
Wilson Middle School 
300 S. Madre St. Pasadena, Ca. 91107(626) 449-7390 Principal: Ruth EsselnE-mail address: 
Pasadena Unified School District 
351 S. Hudson Ave., Pasadena, Ca. 91109(626) 396-3600 Website: 
Arcadia Unified School District 
234 Campus Dr., Arcadia, Ca. 91007 
(626) 821-8300 Website: 
Monrovia Unified School District 
325 E. Huntington Dr., Monrovia, Ca. 91016 
(626) 471-2000Website: 
Duarte Unified School District 
1620 Huntington Dr., Duarte, Ca. 91010 
By Joan Schmidt

There are many wonderful opportunities 
happening in the City of Arcadia. The first one I’d 
like to write about is the “Altschool” pilot program. 
I had never heard of it before and only Arcadia and 
Menlo Park Districts have a school participating in 
it in California. This new type of learning experience 
is a teacher-built and student-driven learning 

What makes it different? To start with, its setting 
is very different. When you walk into the classroom, 
there are not your traditional students’ desks or tables 
and chairs. There are comfortable chairs hanging 
from the ceiling and odd shaped non-conventional 
desks. Here the students are encouraged to write, 
think, and create on these desks, and even on 
the walls! There is also an observation room and 
Google Jam Board. Thirty-two Arcadia students are 
participating in this unique program 

The goal of this program is to prepare students for 
a rapidly changing world. “The world we grew up in 
as adults is not the world our students are going to 
be living in,” said Dr. Vannasdall, Arcadia Unified 
School District Superintendant. He also explained, 
“They have voice and they have choice in their 
learning, and when you do that, students are excited 
to come to school, and when you tell them it’s time 
to leave, they don’t want to leave.” 

Devin Vodicka, Chief Impact and Academic 

Officer of Altschool, said “Our goal is to accelerate 
learning by developing a platform driven by 
educators to aid teachers who believe personalized 
education is critical for student success.” 

The AltSchool Platform supports: 

-Lesson planning or imputing existing 
curriculum.- Developing individual assignments 
for students.- Capturing evidence of learning 
(including hands-on experiences). 
-Understanding individual, classroom, and 
school-wide progress.
- Emphasizing social emotional learning in parallel 
with academic growth.
- Two-way communication with parents. 
What do students think of this program? 
Christina Feng is a seventh grader who used to 
attend Foothills Middle School. She feels there is 
a dramatic difference between traditional learning 
and that at AltSchool. The biggest difference is the 
interactive environment. 
She feels “it’s so collaborative…I really like it 
though I am a very individual person, because now 
I know you have to work together in order to make 
a difference. 

Arcadia and Menlo Park School District are 
very fortunate to be chosen to participate in this 
innovative program and I hope all the students to 
have a very rewarding learning experience. 



“I Said Doctor, Mr. MD...Can you Tell Me What’s Ailing Me?
” Young Rascals, 1966 

As a former college career director and a member of myschool’s Pre-Health Careers Committee, I thought I’d begina series of career-focused columns on the many paths outthere for students to consider in the medical fields. 

Fully 25% of college first-year students initially indicatethey want to become a physician, but we know the gruelingpath through science and math curricula forces most tochange their job aspirations. Organic Chemistry remainsthe unslayable Count Dracula of pre-med courses inmany colleges. It’s a class that demands top smartness anddiscipline, two attributes I, for one, want to find in myown doctors, for sure. I’ll come back to nursing paths,
nurse practitioner and physician assistant careers, as wellas opportunities in domestic and global public health infuture columns, but for today, let’s consider the path tobecoming a physician.

The MD degree sits atop a widening pyramid of 
career options in health care, and within the MD path 
one quickly learns where the specialties that carry the 
most prestige and financial reward are positioned. 
It’s a long apprenticeship path into lucrative practice, 
say, in Orthopedics or Interventional Radiology, for 
instance. And for all doctors, income patterns are more 
seriously impacted by national health care policy and the 
formidable lobbying of big pharma, the AMA and many 
other special interest groups. Listen to your own doctor’s 
stories about the challenges.

So, do you really want to be an MD? If so, here’s aconvenient formula I designed with input from MedicalSchool Admission colleagues that can make you the most“placeable candidate” for acceptance: 

7xA + >510 + RE + CE 

Decoded for you, this formula means getting 7 “A” gradesin the most frequently expected undergrad courses thatmedical schools demand. It’s not hard and fast, but youneed year-long Bio, Chem, Physics, Organic Chem (gasp),
one term of Calculus, Genetics or Microbiology and awriting-oriented English class beyond the freshman level.

Unless you’re seeking an MD/PhD dual degree, you arebetter served in any choice of additional math classes withStatistics than with Multivariable Calculus. 

You do NOT have to major in the sciences to the exclusionof your broader human growth and nurturing of anempathic sensibility. Take the 7 sacred pre-med coursesand you could major in anything else, according to theDeans I interviewed. But, get A grades in the 7.

>510 means you need above a 510 score on the newerMCAT examination, kind of like the SAT for med school. 
It’s been revamped in recent years into an 8 hour beast of atest, with large sections on Critical Analysis and Reasoning 

Skills and Psychology.
These expanded 
areas reflect how 
medical schools have 
increasingly worried 
about admittingcandidates who knew 
everything exceptthemselves and how to 
work with patients.

RE means ‘research 
experience,’ and youcan get it during the

school year by working for one of your college professors,
during summers on your home campus or, if you’re reallya major force, by winning one of the National ScienceFoundation’s “REU” fellowships. Research Experiences forUndergraduates programs would support you and aboutanother dozen undergrads in summer research teamworkwith leading figures in most Science-oriented disciplines.
It’s a prize worth chasing.

CE means ‘clinical experience,’ the evidence that youhave had direct contact with patient cohorts throughinterning or volunteering in storefront clinics, road showsthat tout Type II diabetes prevention (in English, Spanishand Sign Language) to at-risk populations, dramaticperformances to school kids that help them to avoidlife-threatening risky sexual behaviors--there are lotsof options, all the way down to the basic ‘candystriper’volunteering in your local hospital.

Ideally, testimony from both your Research and Clinicalsupervisors should find their way into “THE LETTER,” 
which is the composite institutional reference written bymembers of that Pre-Health Careers committee on yourcollege campus.

Med School Deans and admission staffers read the 
“Letter” with special attention as they try to build a classof first-year medical students who are ready to learn, toproblem-solve some of the most intricate diagnostic issues,
and who are courageous enough to hold the hands of thesick and the dying, and offer them the soulful compassionand sometimes a peaceful departure from life-- the handwe all would be grateful to hold in our darkest, mostfrightening and final health moments.

I will come back as I’ve promised with many more waysfor you to consider careers that help to heal others withoutthe MD degree. Meanwhile, cultivate a soulful virtuosityas you chase that white coat. 

Dr. Dan Golden was the founding director of LifePlanning at the Vistamar School in El Segundo. He was aprofessor, program director and Dean for Work & Service-
Learning at Wheaton College (MA), and now consults withindividuals, schools and educational districts on collegeaccess, post-graduate study and career planning issues. Hecan be reached at 

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