The Norwalk-La Mirada Unified School District Board of Education on June 30, approved the District’s new funding prioritization plan that puts emphasis on counseling, college and career readiness, providing high-quality services, building relationships within the school community, intervention and providing a secure learning environment. The Local Control and Accountability Plan (LCAP) – the District’s blueprint for prioritizing spending under the Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF) – is designed to give districts the flexibility to spend money to improve schools and requires them to focus on eight key areas: student engagement, student achievement, school climate, basic services, Common Core State Standards, access to a broad curriculum, parental involvement and other student outcomes. The LCFF, which shifts spending decisions from the state to school districts, accounts for 82 percent of the District’s $177.8 million general fund budget. The 2014-15 budget was also approved. Media contact: Christina Esparza, 909-445-1001 (office) or 626-383-6367 (cell)
Students from Norwalk-La Mirada Unified School District are on their way to bright futures after being accepted to several prestigious colleges and universities, including Brown University and the California Institute of Technology (Caltech). Norwalk High School’s Valedictorian Jacob Hollman was one of 2,600 students to be offered a coveted spot in Brown University’s freshman class. An Ivy League school with an 8.6 percent acceptance rate and one of the oldest institutions of higher education in the United States, Brown had 30,000 applicants for the 2014-15 year. La Mirada High School’s Mason MacDougall, who turned down acceptance into Harvard University, is heading to Caltech, which emphasizes scientific, engineering and technological education. MacDougall was one of only 576 students to be accepted out of nearly 6,525 applicants. With an 8.8 percent acceptance rate, CalTech is one of the most competitive technical universities in the country. Media contact: Christina Esparza, 909-445-1001 (office) or 626-383-6367 (cell)
Follow-up Story: The top students from each of the Norwalk-La Mirada Unified School District’s high schools and adult school were recognized before the Board of Education meeting on Monday, June 9 at the District Office. The valedictorians for Norwalk, John Glenn and La Mirada high schools, Southeast Academy and Norwalk-La Mirada Unified Adult School were also announced. Photos are available. Media contact: Christina Esparza, 909-445-1001 (office) or 626-383-6367 (cell)
John Glenn High School French teacher Maria Borja was honored for her work with the Ecuadorian community by receiving the 2014 Community Service Award from Fundacion Ecua-USA of California, a non-profit organization dedicated to helping the poor in Ecuador. Borja and nine other Latino citizens in the greater Los Angeles area were honored at the 15th anniversary celebration of Fundacion Ecua-USA on May 15. Media contact: Christina Esparza, 909-445-1001 (office) or 626-383-6367 (cell)
Follow-up Story: State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson on Wednesday awarded the California Distinguished Schools designation to two Norwalk-La Mirada Unified School District elementary schools for making impressive strides in improving academic achievement. This is the first time Escalona and Dulles elementary schools, both located in the city of La Mirada, have received the award.
The California Department of Education announced that the Norwalk-La Mirada Unified School District graduation rate for the 2012-13 school year increased yet again to 93.9 percent. This is the fifth consecutive year that the District has seen a jump in its graduation numbers. Officials credit a variety of innovative programs that focus on peer mentoring, early intervention for at-risk youth and college- and career-oriented Career Pathways.
Cerritos College will launch its President’s Middle College Scholars Academy and will include eight students from the Norwalk-La Mirada Unified School District. The program was developed to reach out to college-bound high school students who are interested in becoming teachers. Students chosen for the program will be offered rich Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) courses, field trips and internship opportunities. The eight students chosen from NLMUSD will be announced soon. Media contact: Christina Esparza, 909-445-1001 (office) or 626-383-6367 (cell)
Follow-up story: California State Assemblyman Ian Calderon selected Norwalk-La Mirada Unified School District Visual and Performing Arts Director, Karen Calhoun, as one of the 57th Assembly District’s Women of the Year. Calhoun, who began her career at NLMUSD in 1998, was selected for her dedication to education and the arts. She and 10 other women from the assembly district were honored at a ceremony on March 29 at the La Mirada Theatre for the Performing Arts. Contact: Christina Esparza, 909-445-1001 (office) or 626-383-6367 (cell)
Officials at the Norwalk-La Mirada Unified School District are seeking community input as they prepare to implement new funding guidelines that are designed to improve schools, as well as prepare students to graduate and be college- and career-ready. Two meetings are scheduled to discuss the new Local Control and Accountability Plan (LCAP), which shifts spending decisions from the state to local school districts. The first meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, March 4 at La Mirada High School starting at 6 p.m. The next meeting will be held in the Norwalk community at John Glenn High School on Wednesday, March 12 at 6 p.m. LCAP, which is the new way in which schools are funded under Gov. Jerry Brown’s new formula, is designed to give districts the flexibility to spend money to improve schools and requires them to focus on eight key areas to help students succeed. Contact: Christina Esparza, 909-445-1001 (office) or 626-383-6367 (cell)
Follow-up Story: Concert bands music rolled through the halls of Excelsior High School during Norwalk-La Mirada Unified’s annual middle and high school District Honor Concert on Thursday, Feb. 27, The students played trumpets, oboes and brass instruments were chosen through an audition process. Two guest conductors will be on hand to lead the performances, including Tony Mazzaferro from Fullerton Community College and Phil Mortenson, the visual performing arts coordinator at Placentia-Yorba Linda Unified School District. Contact: Christina Esparza, 909-445-1001 (office) or 626-383-6367 (cell).