CITY OF INDUSTRY – The energy was electric as Hacienda La Puente Unified students were ushered onto campus with friendly cheers from teachers and staff, motivational speeches, musical performances and lively welcome rallies to celebrate the first day of school on Aug. 9.

Across the District, each high school campus varied its celebrations to match their school spirit. William Workman High School rolled out the red carpet to give students a star-studded welcome to campus, bedecked with balloons and hand-painted welcome banners. Los Altos High School celebrated with a full day of activities, including an assembly about resilience led by inspirational speaker Dee Hankins, a dance party and team-building exercises.

Glen A. Wilson High School’s band and leadership students greeted their peers with a lively performance that led students to their designated class sections in the gym, where juniors and seniors taught incoming freshmen the traditional Wildcat song and chant and competed in various battle of the class games. Junior Reserve Officers’ Training Corps cadets and leadership students from La Puente High School greeted new and returning students with a tunnel walk while the school’s band led spirited musical numbers to energize students as they arrived.

“The collaboration, school-themed decorations and family-oriented welcome festivities were a great testament to who we are as a District community,” Board President Christine H. Salazar said. “On behalf of the entire Board of Education, thank you to everyone who had a part in our first day of school celebrations. We look forward to continuing to develop, sustain and promote programs of excellence and create strong partnerships with our parents and community to ensure student success.”

The District’s elementary and middle schools welcomed families onto campus to take photos with mascots and decorated backdrops, help students find their classes and meet their new principals and teachers.

“I am so excited to start this new school, see all my friends and meet my new teacher,” third-grader Etta Houston said. “I love school and math so much and I am ready to learn new things.”

Hacienda La Puente Unified is expanding its programs and Career Technical Education pathways (CTE) across the District this school year. All four comprehensive high schools will incorporate the speech and debate program into their curriculum and all fifth-grade classes will participate in the dance program, Conga Kids. The Youth Cinema Project program and Graphic Production Technologies CTE pathway will now be available to La Puente High School students. Glen A. Wilson High School is also introducing its highly successful medical program, Biotechnology, as a new CTE pathway.

Hacienda La Puente Unified will also provide additional support to the community’s youngest students by expanding its universal transitional kindergarten eligibility for students turning five years old between Sept. 2, 2023 and April 2, 2024.

Check out the District’s YouTube channel for a video recapping the first day of school festivities.

“Thank you to our Board of Education for supporting our new and returning programs and to our outstanding and hard-working staff for creating individualized and fun-filled welcome back festivities for our students,” Superintendent Dr. Alfonso Jiménez said. “In support of this year’s theme, ‘Engage, Experience, Connect: Deep Learning Every Day,’ we are expanding our supportive and global innovative learning environments rich in visual and performing arts, advanced technology and a challenging course of study to meet the unique needs of every student. We are ready for a great year!”


HLPUSD_FIRSTDAYOFSCHOOL1: Fairgrove Academy students walk down the red carpet to greet teachers, staff and the Falcon mascot before the start of the first day of school on Aug. 9.
HLPUSD_FIRSTDAYOFSCHOOL2: Sparks Middle School’s new principal Dr. David Nieto (center) and staff prepare to welcome students and families to the first day of school on Aug. 9.
HLPUSD_FIRSTDAYOFSCHOOL3: Cheerleaders at Glen A. Wilson High School get ready to pump up new and returning Wildcats during a welcome rally on the first day of school on Aug. 9.