Monarch School will soon be able to serve its students in a whole new way. On
April 24, the new Monarch School Nat & Flora Bosa Campus for children
impacted by homelessness celebrated its grand opening with a ribbon cutting
ceremony. The new school, located just south of Petco Park, at 1625 Newton
Avenue, is five times the size of the school’s current facility and will allow
the school to double enrollment, maximizing educational opportunities for
children affected by homelessness in San Diego.
The Nat & Flora Bosa
Campus will allow for enrollment of up to 350 students. The remodeled two-story
51,000-square-foot facility is located on 2.2 acres and offers separate
classrooms for each grade level, a science lab, library, literacy and tutoring
centers, health clinic, career center, spaces for music instruction and
performing arts, and an auditorium that will serve as cafeteria, gymnasium and
event space. The site also boasts playgrounds, outdoor recreation areas, and a
student garden, giving Monarch students new opportunities to learn and grow.
At Monarch’s current facility, about 150 students and 50 staff members
are crowded into 10,000 square feet. Children have been turned away because the
school is operating at maximum capacity. Classrooms are doubled up with two
grade levels each, tutoring is held in the hallway and lobby, and a small
outdoor courtyard next to downtown transit lines serves as a cafeteria,
playground, study hall and auditorium.
Monarch is a K-12 public school
operating through a partnership between the nonprofit Monarch School Project and
the San Diego County Office of Education. Monarch began as a drop-in center for
homeless youth opened in 1987 and was staffed by a single teacher. The nonprofit
was later formed to provide support for the school.
“Monarch is a school
that the community has really embraced, and we see that clearly with the new
site,” said Dr. Randy Ward, San Diego County Superintendent of Schools. “The new
site allows the school’s focus to be on educating children to be successful in
the 21st century global workplace, not on juggling competing needs for space.”
The number of homeless children in the county has increased from 15,000
in 2011 to more than 17,000 this year, according to the San Diego County Office
of Education. The Nat & Flora Bosa Campus is in recognition of the need for
expansion in order to serve the region’s growing number of homeless students.
Through years of planning and fundraising, the nonprofit Monarch School
Project raised $15 million to build the new school and considered various
locations before selecting the Barrio Logan property. Groundbreaking took place
in February 2012, and two months later Monarch received its largest gift ever, a
$5 million donation from local philanthropists Nat and Flora Bosa, resulting in
the campus name.
“An investment in the children of our community is the
best investment I could make,” said Nat Bosa, local philanthropist and CEO of
Bosa Development. “Monarch’s students are just like any other children and yet
they face challenges most of us cannot even comprehend. They deserve a school
facility that can give them the tools they need to succeed. My wife and I are
thrilled to be a part of the Monarch School family and to help these children
and our community break the cycle of homelessness.”
nearly complete on the two-story Newton Avenue building that once housed the San
Diego Housing Commission and has served as the city’s temporary homeless
shelter. Monarch purchased the Newton Avenue building from Civic San Diego,
formerly Center City Development Corporation, and financed the renovation with
private donations and lending from Opus Bank, Clearinghouse CDFI, United Fund
Advisors, and City National Bank.
For more information or to arrange a
tour of the new campus, please visit www.monarchschools.org or
contact Stacy Marshall.