When school doors opened Wednesday, more than 18,000 Norwalk-La Mirada students were greeted by an array of new and expanded programs and educators ready to deliver high-quality teaching to ensure college and career readiness based on research-based best practices.

“Our school staff has been working tirelessly over the summer to prepare for a great beginning of the 2015-16 school year. We have a renewed focus on our goals, and I’m excited to meet our new and returning students and families,” Superintendent Dr. Hasmik Danielian said.

Danielian visited several schools on the first day to personally welcome students and staff, accompanied by Board members and district staff. She will visit each school over the next several weeks.

The District starts the school year with streamlined Board of Education and LCAP goals, priorities and long-standing strategies for success, all outlined in a single document that allows them to focus their efforts as effectively as possible.

Focus areas include California Standards-based curriculum; data-driven decision-making; integrating new technology into the classroom; meaningful parent engagement; and providing professional learning communities for teachers to sharpen instructional skills.

Peer support groups and college/career centers will be available at each high school and vocal music programs will be offered at every campus. Project Lead the Way – a science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) program offered in high schools – will be expanded to include to middle schools, and a pilot program will be launched for elementary schools.

In addition, the Advancement Via Individual Determination (AVID) college preparatory program – offered in high school and middle school – will be piloted in three elementary schools while adding a language-skills building component.

NLMUSD School Board President Jesse Urquidi, whose daughter is in first grade, said he expects great things from the District this year.

“We know exactly what we need to do to succeed and we are more focused than ever on the steps we need to take to prepare our students for the 21st century marketplace. We have an incredibly talented group of students and staff who are not afraid to take on new challenges and bring great pride to our District,” Urquidi said.


  • #1 District leadership welcomes families: Board Vice President Karen Morrison, Board President Jesse Urquidi, Superintendent Dr. Hasmik Danielian, Gardenhill Principal Eileen Burkholder, and Board Member Chris Pflanzer
  • #2 Fourth graders get familiar with iPad technology at Gardenhill Elementary
  • #3 New La Mirada High Principal Darryl Brown greets AP Calculus students
  • #4 Board Vice President Karen Morrison listens to Sanchez Elementary student working on AVID activity