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Monarch School and City College Partner on Film Studies Course

Monarch School and City College Partner on Film Studies Course

Monarch School students have the opportunity to take a college-level film studies course this fall thanks to a partnership with San Diego City College. 

Approximately 13 students in grades 11 and 12 are enrolled in the course, which provides an introduction to the medium of cinema as a means of expression and communication. Topics include aesthetic and storytelling techniques, history of the industry, and current developments, among other items.

The course is being taught twice per week at Monarch by adjunct professor Rizzhel Javier. Credit received in the course is transferable to University of California and California State University campuses. 

“It is important for our students to have access to college-level courses while enrolled in high school so that they gain exposure to the demands of a college level while maintaining the support from the high school teachers and staff,” said Monarch School Principal Dyane Plumly. “In these courses, students understand the demand of higher education, and it motivates them to improve their skills in their high school courses to ensure they are college and career ready.”

This course is similar to many options students in the San Diego County Office of Education's Juvenile Court and Community Schools (JCCS) have as part of a college and career readiness program. Officials with the program have established relationships with several community colleges and collaborate with the colleges and students to identify potential classes in which students can participate. Monarch School is supported by both JCCS and the San Diego County Office of Education's (SDCOE) Innovation division.

Stephanie Johnston, manager in JCCS, shared that to determine which types of classes are taught, JCCS staff members consider which topics are of high interest to students, if it has an available professor, if credits are transferable, and if it speaks to elevating student voice and building empathy and compassion. 

And most importantly, staff ensures that before students enroll, they are prepared and have supports in place, such as a dedicated teacher or advisor, to help students be successful. Teacher Mark Starr is supporting students at Monarch with this class. 

“We are thrilled about this new course, and with all of the opportunities our students are embarking on with our local community colleges,” Plumly said. “We’re grateful to the leadership from JCCS and the County Office of Education for supporting these relationships and creating these opportunities for our students.” 

Next up on the schedule will be a screenwriting class in the spring. 

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