El Monte– More than 270 freshmen set to launch their high school careers in El Monte Union this fall recently completed the District’s Summer Bridge program, during which they took field trips to local colleges, universities and museums, met high school faculty and staff, and learned about the requirements for high school graduation and how to prepare for college.

The Summer Bridge program provides incoming freshmen with instructional support and guidance to ensure a successful transition from middle to high school, focusing on time management, organization and study skills. Students also received backpacks and school supplies.

The program varied from school to school and ran throughout the summer school period. Those who completed the program had the opportunity to earn up to five credits toward their diploma.

“What I like about Summer Bridge is that we did a lot of activities and I’ve learned so much math that I am ready for my first day of school,” incoming Arroyo High freshman Neyla Rodriguez said. “The field trips were amazing. I really liked going to the Aquarium of the Pacific. Thank you for this amazing opportunity.”

The program also presented students with skills to navigate high school life, establishing goals and setting a bar of high expectations. Character-building and connecting with classmates were also emphasized.

“Summer Bridge helps our incoming freshmen take the big step up into high school with competence and confidence,” Arroyo High math teacher Bryon Hake said. “We solidify a foundation of reading, writing and math skills, infusing the students with excitement and enthusiasm for their education while giving them a glimpse of their future in higher education.”

Each student received a copy of the 1998 bestselling self-help book “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens,” as well as information on extra-curricular activities and clubs available on campus.

“Transitioning from middle school to high school can be challenging and intimidating for some students,” Superintendent Dr. Edward Zuniga said. “This program, however, provides our youngest students with the skills necessary to succeed academically and socially, setting the stage for them to achieve, not only on the first day of school, but the next four years of their high school careers.”


Incoming Arroyo High School freshmen visit USC as part of the District’s Summer Bridge program, which provides students with instructional support and guidance to ensure a smooth transition from middle to high school.