Merwin Elementary School, located in the city of Irwindale, serves the communities of Irwindale and unincorporated Covina and has an enrollment of approximately 400 students, 93% of which are Hispanic, 3% Filipino, 3% white and 1% multiple ethnic groups. The school is part of the Covina-Valley Unified School District, which includes ten elementary schools serving grades K-5, three middle schools serving grades 6-8, three comprehensive high schools, and one alternative school. At Merwin Elementary School, 84% of the students qualify for free and reduced lunch, 23% are English Learners, almost 4% are GATE, and 15% are Students with Disabilities. Thirty percent of the students are categorized as English Language Learners with the majority of those speaking Spanish.
Merwin Elementary School is a School-wide Title 1 Program school. The campus is host to a Pre-School program and many of these students remain and attend Merwin as kindergartners. The Vincent Children’s Center provides before and after school care for the school-age clients that attend Merwin. A Kids' Korner opened in Fall ’06 and provides afterschool programs and activities for students requiring after-school care at the Covina Educational Center. Merwin Elementary School also has two mild to moderate Special Education classes. Two auditory/oral classes serve deaf and hard of hearing students from Covina-Valley USD and the East San Gabriel Valley and Puente Hills SELPAs.
Merwin School did make Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) through Safe Harbor in English Language Arts (ELA) and Math for the 2011-2012 and 2012-2013 school years school wide and in all of their subgroups which included Hispanic, Socioeconomically disadvantaged (SED) and English Language Learners (ELL). In 2013, Merwin School exited Program Improvement with an API of 835. As a result of this accomplishment, Merwin school was recognized as a California Distinguished School and received the Title 1 Academic Achievement award during the 2013-2014 school year. The staff at Merwin have developed a systematic approach to address the needs of all students which involve good teaching the first time and a Response to Intervention plan, which addresses universal support, strategic and intensive intervention. Students who are struggling have the opportunity to receive additional instruction in the classroom, attend special learning programs provided by intervention teachers and participate in computer-based learning programs in the computer lab before, during and after school. Several intervention programs are in place to meet the various academic needs of the students. These interventions include small group instruction with a Reading/Learning Specialist, Accelerated Reader, a motivational reading program; REFLEX Math, an individualized computer program emphasizing the learning of math facts; iReady, a diagnostic ELA program which delivers computer adaptive instruction based on the needs of students; and small group instruction within the classroom.
Merwin School is in its fifth year of promoting a college culture through the implementation of the No Excuses University philosophy. The school received the Gold Ribbon award during the 2015-2016 school year for their work with the No Excuses University network of schools.
The Merwin staff is highly qualified with 100% of the teaching staff are NCLB compliant, fully credentialed and CLAD certified (or it’s equivalent). All but four of the teachers have been teaching five years or more. This year, the staff has been studying the components of the Write from the Beginning program to promote the use of Thinking Maps to develop strong writing practices school wide. All teachers have been trained in the narrative and informational writing processes and have been developing a repertoire of strategies through collaborative meetings in Professional Learning Communities. We have also implemented the newly adopted Pearson EnVision Math Curriculum and are striving to increase rigor throughout all curricular areas of the day.
Merwin Elementary School was opened in 1963 and has been completely modernized. The campus includes a Library Media Center, expanded cafeteria and administrative offices, energy efficient lighting and A/C, updated plumbing, 3 playground areas, and expanded parking. The remodeled classrooms include carpeting, telephones, updated wiring, teaching walls, amplified sound, and updated technology which includes multi-media projectors, document cameras, Chromebooks, iPad and iPod devices.