Students in the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District will return to class Wednesday, September 8th.

Several schools in the school district have updated educational curricula for the new school year.

At Grant Elementary School, all fourth- and fifth-grade students will participate in a preparatory program originally designed for older students.

Principal Alan Friedenberg said the elementary school program is based on the Advancement Via Individual Determination (AVID) program, which helps middle and high school students meet California college entrance requirements.

The elementary school AVID program “provides a better foundation for future success by teaching skills such as note-taking and organization earlier to students,” Friedenberg said.

John Adams Middle School has put in place a new administrative team.

Leading the school is principal Irene Ramos. The assistant principals are Amy Fowler and Luis Ramirez.

Ramos said school programs, such as Spanish immersion and a Science Magnet, “provide a challenging, student-centered education experience designed to prepare students to become leaders in a global society.”

The Santa Monica Alternative School House (SMASH) is for kindergarten through eighth-grade students.

Although SMASH provides alternative education, the school is not necessarily for at-risk students, said principal Carrie Ferguson. All types of students are encouraged to and do apply.

Ferguson said the school offers a progressive learning style where students can co-create their own curriculum and study real-world themes such as mythology, democracy and the upcoming elections.

Classes are divided into four cores.

Core One is kindergarten and first grade. Core Two is second and third grade. Core Three is fourth and fifth grade. Core Four is sixth, seventh and eighth grade.

SCHOOLS — Here is a list of Santa Monica schools in The Argonaut coverage area.


n Edison Language Academy Charter School, 2425 Kansas Ave., Santa Monica, (310) 828-0335; Ernesto Leon, principal.

n Grant Elementary School, 2368 Pearl St., Santa Monica, (310) 450-7651; Alan Friedenberg, principal. Enrollment: 680. The school has Iraida Johns as its new assistant principal.

n John Muir Elementary School, 2526 Sixth St., Santa Monica, (310) 399-7721; Martha Duran-Contreras, principal.

n McKinley Elementary School, 2401 Santa Monica Blvd., Santa Monica, (310) 828-5011; Francisco Garcia, principal.

n Roosevelt Elementary School, 801 Montana Ave., Santa Monica, (310) 395-0941; Jerry Harris, principal.

n Will Rogers Elementary School, 2401 14th St., Santa Monica, (310) 452-2364; Maureen Bradford, principal.


n John Adams Middle School, 2425 16th St., Santa Monica, (310) 452-2326; Irene Ramos, principal. Enrollment: 1,100. The school will have a campus beautification day, with barbecue and music, Saturday, September 18th.

n Lincoln Middle School, 1501 California Ave., Santa Monica, (310) 393-9227; Hank Harris, principal.


n Santa Monica Alternative School House (SMASH), 2525 Fifth St., Santa Monica, (310) 396-2640; Carrie Ferguson, principal. Enrollment: 200. Students apply to the school using a lottery system and kindergarten classes have a waiting list.


n Olympic High School, 721 Ocean Park Blvd., Santa Monica, (310) 392-2494; Janie Gates, principal. The continuation high school will form a parent teacher association, its first meeting is 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, September 28th. The school also has a new guitar class and new musical instruments, and is discussing the possibility of opening up some school programs to all district students.

n Santa Monica High School, 601 Pico Blvd., Santa Monica, (310) 395-3204; Ilene Straus, principal. Catherine Baxter, dean. Gregory Runyon, Wendy Wax Gellis, Tristan Komlas, Craig Lewis, Ruth Esseln and Eva Mayoral, house principals.

n Adult Education Center, 2510 Lincoln Blvd., Santa Monica, (310) 664-6222; Stephen Martinez, director.