Marisol Alvarado, Vice President of Programs
HundrED has not validated this innovation
Why did you create this innovation?
Student homelessness is a growing and far-reaching crisis impacting communities throughout the nation. 1.3 million children find themselves in this predicament. They sleep in shelters, on our streets, or doubled or tripled up with other families night after night. This significantly impacts academic success at all levels.
How does your innovation work in practice?
Our students are more likely to succeed when they feel safe, connected, and cared for. We integrate all of our learning with trauma-informed care, social-emotional learning, and restorative practices.
Monarch provides an accredited public school education coupled with mentoring, wrap-around mental health services, counseling, therapeutic arts, cooking and gardening, student advocacy, parent center programming, housing assistance, after school activities, career and technical education, art, dance, music, athletics, internships, and college and career preparation. Additionally, we make access to basic necessities a seamless part of what we do. Students have access to shower and laundry facilities, three meals a day, monthly bus passes, a boutique for clothes, shoes, and hygiene kits as well as regular medical, dental, and vision check-ups. We have high expectations for our students to be successful both in and out of the classroom. We match this with high support.
How has it been spreading?
Monarch has inspired other schools to do more for students experiencing homelessness including a startup charter school in Los Angeles and a private school that has transformed itself in Oklahoma City. Monarch’s path forward is to be a leader at the forefront of providing best practices both in and out of the classroom for students experiencing homelessness. The aim is to increase the breadth and depth of Monarch’s impact on students experiencing homelessness everywhere so that they can thrive in school and life.
If I want to try it, what should I do?
We are currently developing a method kit to serve as a resource and a guide for districts, schools, and classrooms throughout the nation. It outlines The Monarch Model which gives insight into how we implement our unique integration of research-based strategies for educating unhoused youth. Please sign up for our newsletter on our website to be notified of the method kit's completion.