BUENA PARK – Buena Park School District’s campuses were humming with excited greetings from reunited classmates and tearful sendoffs from new parents as they dropped off their children on Aug. 13 for the first day of school.

The District welcomed more than 4,520 students across seven campuses, each adorned with colorful banners and chalk messages to encourage responsible behaviors in students.

The 2019-20 school year will also introduce new goals to boost academics, positive behavior and social-emotional growth.

Buena Park Junior High School, which welcomed 1,009 students on its first day, expanded its honors academy to accommodate more than 100 students; its science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) program expanded to more than 200 students.

Buena Park Junior High Principal Erik Bagger said the school is boosting positive behaviors by adding team recreational equipment, such as ping pong tables and bag toss games, for use during lunch. The school is also creating interest in Earth science through a new agriculture and horticulture class.

Bagger said all the new classes, equipment, programs and expansions are part of the school’s focus to encourage creativity in students.

Whitaker School Principal Mary Beckelheimer said her school, which welcomed 470 students on its first day, will teach students how to use new technology such as iPads, coding programs and video editing software to get them interested in different careers.

Beckelheimer said one way they are achieving this goal is by teaching students how to use tablets and software to identify the different plant and wildlife that resides in their new wellness garden.

“We are so excited to welcome everyone back for another amazing year at the Buena Park School District,” Superintendent Dr. Ramon Miramontes said. “Our individual school goals, coupled with new and expanded program offerings, illustrate how the District is providing the best education to ensure our students excel in high school, college and the workforce.”


081519_BUENAPARK_FIRSTDAY1: (Left to right) Anna L., kindergartener Andrew James L., first-grader Brayden L. and Anita L. pose in front of Emery School’s photo backdrop during the first day of school on Aug. 13.

081519_BUENAPARK_FIRSTDAY2: Emery School Principal Julie Linnecke welcomes a group of students and walks with them onto campus during the first day of school on Aug. 13.