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John Muir High School Celebrates Early College Magnet & Renovations

John Muir High School Celebrates Transition to Early College Magnet, Opening of Remodeled Auditorium and Student Cafeteria  

Pasadena, CA – Pasadena Unified School District (PUSD) officials revealed exciting changes to programming and facilities at John Muir High School Early College Magnet during its Grand Reopening and Ribbon-cutting Ceremony on Wednesday, August 21, 2019, at 5 p.m.  The ceremony was followed by Back to School Night.

“The Early College Program and renovated facilities offer students unmatched opportunities to achieve their dreams,” said Interim Superintendent David Verdugo, Ed.D. “We’re excited about the opportunities that our students are receiving through the Early College Program in collaboration with Pasadena City College.”

In late 2017, PUSD was awarded a $14.5 million Magnet School Assistance Program (MSAP) grant from the U.S. Department of Education to establish four magnet schools, including John Muir as an Early College Magnet Program in collaboration with Pasadena City College (PCC). PCC Northwest is located on the high school campus. 

Early college is embedded in the curriculum for all John Muir students, who also participate in one of three themed academies. Students can enroll simultaneously at John Muir and Pasadena City College and earn both college and high school credits that are transferable to the University of California (UC) and California State University (CSU). Courses are offered during the high school day and offered completely free to students.  Students who continue through the entire four-year Early College program will exit high school with two years of college completed at graduation.

In its inaugural year, 143 John Muir Early College Magnet ninth grade students earned college credits during the first semester of high school.  All John Muir ninth graders take a PCC course in the first semester and can continue taking other college courses during the school day and after school during their high school years.

The Ribbon Cutting Ceremony celebrated renovations to the Rufus Mead Auditorium, the student cafeteria and kitchen, and construction of a new shaded outdoor amphitheater.  The auditorium modernization includes architectural upgrades, new theatrical and house lighting, sound system theater-quality video projection booth and screen, stage rigging and drapery, 1,400 new auditorium chairs, and a renovated foyer, floor, and awards display. The student cafeteria has new kitchen equipment and serving lines, seating, and windows, and a preserved mural.  The $23,777,123 million project was funded by voter-approved Measure TT funds. The project was designed by WLC Architects with the Nazerian Group as the general contractor.

Previous projects completed at John Muir include fire alarm upgrades throughout the campus, new bleachers in the gym, the new Black Box Theater, Building D Accessibility, artificial surface on the athletic field and track, window replacements, and construction of the Stadium 42, the baseball field named in honor of baseball legend and John Muir alumnus Jackie Robinson. 

“The renovations at John Muir are a symbol of our proud Mustang traditions and our promising future,” said principal Dr. Lawton Gray III. 

John Muir Early College Magnet serves more than 770 students in grades 9-12. 

The MSAP grant award also funded equipment and training to establish Altadena Arts Magnet, serving students in grades K-5, and to add the district’s popular Spanish Dual Language Immersion Program to Washington STEAM Multilingual Academy, serving students in grades 6-8.