BALDWIN PARK – More than 10,000 Baldwin Park Unified students returned for the first day of the 2023-24 school year on Aug. 17, welcomed by energetic staff, cheer teams, colorful posters and balloons, photo backdrops, Associated Student Body (ASB) and Where Everybody Belongs (WEB) student leaders across District campuses.

From Early Childhood Education to the Baldwin Park Adult and Community Education (BPACE), and from transitional kindergarten to high school, students were met with enhanced academic and enrichment opportunities, as well as bolstered mental health and wellness resources, that include onsite wellness rooms, therapists and guidance counselors.

“We’re ready and we’re excited,” said Patty Cubillo, Interim Vice Principal at Tracy Elementary. “We have a lot of new intervention services and personnel, and more opportunities for students who might not be meeting their grade level to achieve, and that’s amazing to see as an administrator here.”

At Olive Middle School, WEB leaders helped new students find their classrooms and teachers took their classes on tours of important Lancer landmarks, such as the library and locker rooms.

Walnut Elementary Eagles lined up outside their classrooms and waved goodbye to their families before heading inside to find the desk with their nametag.

“I like art and reading so I’m excited to learn more about those things,” Walnut Elementary third-grader Adrian Serrato said.

Multiple campuses started the new year under new leadership, including Bursch and Kenmore elementary schools, Jones, Olive and Sierra Vista middle schools, and Baldwin Park High School.
Ofelia Romero is the principal at Bursch Elementary, Pamela Cruz is leading Olive Middle School, Julio C. Nunez is the principal at Sierra Vista Middle School, Raquel Gonzalez is serving as assistant principal at Kenmore Elementary, Vanessa Rivas is the assistant principal at Jones Middle, and Alyflor B. Navalta is serving as an assistant principal at Baldwin Park High School.

In addition to the new leadership, Baldwin Park Unified has introduced new programs in the 2023-24 year – including Hazel Health, a mental health resource to help connect students with a licensed therapist for virtual therapy appointments. The mental health services are available at school and home, at no cost to families.

Second Step Digital is another program used to support student social-emotional development, which helps students learn skills in making decisions, collaborating with peers to problem-solve, managing strong emotions and getting along with others.

Teachers are using Second Step in the class by combining discussions with fun activities and coping strategies. Second Step provides a research-based curriculum that works to make schools safe and supportive learning environments.

“We are excited to welcome students back to school, and I cannot wait to see all the amazing accomplishments that are in store for the 2023-24 year,” Superintendent of Schools Dr. Froilan N. Mendoza said. “I want to thank all the BPUSD employees, from classified to certificated staff, for all the hard work to make today and this year a success.”


BPUSD_First Day_1: Baldwin Park Unified students from Tracy Elementary School line up on the playground before meeting their teachers for the first day of school on Aug. 17.

BPUSD_First Day_2: Sierra Vista High School student leaders help their peers find their way on campus for the first day back to school on Aug. 17.