Three Norwalk-La Mirada Unified schools were named California Gold Ribbon Schools for providing outstanding educational programs and practices that prepare students to be competitive in colleges and careers.

Hutchinson Middle School was recognized for its science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) magnet program; Los Coyotes Middle School was recognized for its student leadership programs; and La Mirada High School was recognized for its career pathway programs.

“Congratulations to our Gold Ribbon schools for academically challenging our students and building a sense of community across all grade levels,” Norwalk-La Mirada Unified Superintendent Hasmik Danielian said. “The hard work of our teachers, administrators, staff and students all contribute to this state recognition.”

The Gold Ribbon is California’s highest academic honor for public schools, created in 2015 as a substitute to the Distinguished School Program as the state transitions to new assessment and accountability systems.

The program initially recognized outstanding educational programs and practices at middle and high schools and featured elementary schools in 2016. This year, 477 middle and high schools applied for the award; 275 were selected.

La Mirada High students can choose from multiple career pathway programs, from business and education to biomedical and welding. Students are immersed in their chosen pathway all four years of high school, building on their knowledge and experience to carry with them through college and beyond. Pathways keep students on track for completing university entry requirements and provide opportunities to compete at the state and national level.

Hutchinson Middle School’s STEM magnet program boosts student achievement through intensive technology use in the classroom. Student test scores exceed state and district averages in English and language arts, mathematics and science. Additionally, the attendance rate is higher and suspension rate lower than Norwalk-La Mirada Unified’s average.

Los Coyotes Middle School increased attendance, student engagement and academic performance, while reducing discipline referrals after launching student leadership programs Where Everybody Belongs (WEB) and Association Student Body (ASB). Students develop a deep sense of connectedness by planning activities that include all grade levels, including charity drives and summer programs for incoming fifth-grade students to meet with upperclassmen. WEB and ASB leaders create a safe and positive learning environment that lets students make connections with older students and staff.

“It is an honor to have three of our schools recognized by the state for their academically rigorous curriculum and programs that prepare students for their futures,” NLMUSD Board President Sean Reagan said. “This award is an example of the hard work our students, teachers and administrators display across all District schools.”

State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson will honor the awardees in May.


050917_NLMUSD_LAMIRADA: La Mirada High students are immersed in comprehensive curriculums according to their chosen career pathway, including biomedicine, engineering and welding. The school’s career preparedness programs earned a California Gold Ribbon.

050917_NLMUSD_WEBLEADERS: Los Coyotes Middle School was recognized with a California Gold Ribbon for student leadership programs Where Everybody Belongs and Associated Student Body.

050917_NLMUSD_STEM: Hutchinson Middle’s magnet program in science, technology, engineering and mathematics, received a California Gold Ribbon.