SAN DIMAS/LA VERNE – Bonita Unified School District students descended upon cheerfully decorated campuses – bedecked with vibrant welcome signs and filled with cheers of encouragement – on Aug. 22, marking the start of a new school year that is focused on empowering students to live their purpose and ensuring new levels of achievement.
Roynon Elementary School welcomed new and returning students with cardboard cutouts of superheroes representing every grade level, including transitional kindergarten (TK), which is being offered to more students than ever, thanks to the rollout of a universal TK program that has welcomed nearly 430 young learners to classrooms this year.
“I’m so excited that we have transitional kindergarten here and that I get to start with her at Roynon,” said Kristin Perez, who works as a nurse at Roynon Elementary and enrolled her daughter Luna in TK. “Luna couldn’t wait for school to begin. She’s been talking about it all week. She is looking forward to playing with the toys and meeting new friends. This is a special day for our family.”
At Lone Hill Middle School, students were greeted by colorful banners created by Associated Student Body (ASB) members, reminding their peers that “you can’t stop the waves from coming, but you can learn to surf” as they began the new year. Teachers also engaged students in collaborative activities – including puzzles, artistic profiles and deep conversations – to encourage classroom bonding and prepare students for a year of rigorous learning.
Bonita High School held a welcome back rally, themed “Bearcats Worldwide Time of our Lives,” at Glenn Davis Stadium. Principal Kenny Ritchie, sporting mirror shades, appeared as singer Pit Bull, arriving amid clouds of green smoke and a spirited entourage of BHS teachers and students. The Bonita High chamber singers performed the national anthem, ASB leaders acted out skits, teachers and staff showed off their dance moves, the color guard twirled flags, and students and teachers alike participated in games of musical chairs.
“This is a good way to kick off the first day of school. We want our students to have the high school experience they deserve,” Ritchie said. “It’s good to see all of the students back and have some fun to start the year.”
In 2022-23, the District will continue its endemic strategy to support students’ academic and social-emotional success – a strategy that includes adding at least 15 additional intervention sections at the secondary schools and 10 additional intervention teachers at the elementary schools; increasing the staff of mental health counselors; addressing student behavioral needs through two behavioral interventionists; expanding CTE pathways at all high schools; expanding school age care services for unduplicated TK-6 students and more.
“We are thrilled for the start of another school year, full of new and expanded learning opportunities that will help our students achieve their full potential,” Acting Superintendent Matt Wien said. “Guided by our core values of equity, mastery and a focus on results – and with the continued support of our outstanding educators and staff – we will continue to ensure that every single Bonita Unified student receives an exceptional education that prepares them to live their purpose.”
BUSD_2022_FIRSTDAY1: Siblings share a brief hug before heading to class at Allen Avenue Elementary on Aug. 22.
BUSD_2022_FIRSTDAY2: In keeping with the theme of the “Bearcats Worldwide Time of our Lives” welcome back rally, Bonita High School students don mirrored sunglasses for the first day of school on Aug. 22.
BUSD_2022_FIRSTDAY3: A Roynon Elementary student celebrates her first day of transitional kindergarten on Aug. 22.