BUENA PARK, CA – Buena Park School District welcomed more than 4,100 students onto its eight campuses for the first day of the 2021-22 school year on Aug. 17, where teachers, staff and students celebrated the return to regular in-person learning.

Following more than a year of remote and hybrid learning, many students and parents exuberantly returned to campuses for full-time, in-person instruction, while other students are continuing with online learning through the Buena Park Learning Center and Academy for Accelerated Learning.

Students must follow COVID-19 health and safety protocols on campus, including wearing face masks while inside during lessons.

At Gordon H. Beatty Middle School, students were welcomed onto campus with the theme “Back to Your Future,” greeted by teachers and staff dressed as mad scientists, 80’s pop music and the flying time-traveling DeLorean from “Back to the Future 2.”

Gordon H. Beatty Middle School Principal Erik Bagger said the “Back to the Future” DeLorean is a perfect blend of the school’s focuses of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) learning, aviation and digital media.

Dara V. said her son was so excited for the first day of school that he woke up, got dressed and was ready to learn by 6 a.m. Maxwell V.-P., a seventh-grader, said his goal this year is to start an official Dungeons and Dragons club at Gordon H. Beatty Middle School to host regular gaming sessions.

Maxwell V.-P. also said he was excited to be back on campus to see his favorite teachers again and to make new friends as he continues his academic journey within the District.

“It’s incredible and wonderful to be back,” Dara V. said. “We’re so happy he’s back in person at Gordon H. Beatty Middle School because it has great teachers and a great curriculum. Also, we want to thank the Buena Park School District for going above and beyond with its safety measures too.”

James A. Whitaker Elementary School rejoiced in reopening its doors, with cheering teachers and staff welcoming students as lively “welcome back” banners populated the campus.

“We are excited to be back on campus,” Whitaker School Principal Stephanie Williamson said. “It’s amazing to have students back on campus after more than a year of distance learning and it’s great to see that the parents trust the District with our safety guidelines.”

Williamson said she is excited to have students finally use the school’s communication and multimedia equipment, which has been largely unused due to the COVID-19 pandemic, to program and voice computer-animated movies.

“I want to welcome our entire Buena Park School District community back for the 2021-22 school year,” Superintendent Dr. Ramon Miramontes said. “I know this year will be exciting and full of achievement for our students as they reconnect with their friends and teachers.”


BUENAPARK_FIRSTDAY1: Gordon H. Beatty Middle School Principal Erik Bagger welcomes eighth-grader Sofia C. to school and shows off the flying time machine from “Back to the Future 2” during a first day of school celebration. The time machine is in reference to the school’s theme of “Back to Your Future” as it welcomes back students after more than a year of remote and hybrid learning.

BUENAPARK_FIRSTDAY2: James A. Whitaker School kindergarten teacher Jenny Feeney starts a tour of the school to her classroom to familiarize students with the campus on the first day of the 2021-22 school year.