New River Elementary School third-grade student Cathy Arzac stood in front of her class with a microphone hanging around her neck, confidently reading a story to her peers as her voice carried across the classroom at an even volume with the help of a surround-sound audio system.

“I like the microphone because people can really hear me and it makes your voice really loud,” Cathy, 8, said. “I want to be like my teacher and be calm and relaxed.”

The audio enhancement systems were installed in all of New River’s classrooms at the beginning of the 2016-17 school year. Each room is equipped with two wireless microphones – one for the teacher and one for the student speaking. Their voices are projected at an even volume throughout the room by a small speaker in front of the classroom to ensure that students can clearly hear each other and the teacher, regardless of where they are seated.

“Since I’ve been teaching for many years without this technology, I didn’t think I needed it,” third-grade teacher Linda Fox said. “But now that I’m using the microphones, I’ve noticed that I grab my students’ attention quicker and I’m not losing my voice by the end of the day.”

New River Elementary Principal David Hoffman installed the new technology to boost students’ confidence in the classroom and increase participation in lessons and discussions.

“The audio enhancement systems give our students a chance to become more involved in their classrooms,” Hoffman said. “Our teachers are also assured that the lesson can be heard clearly by each student.”

New River is the first school in Norwalk-La Mirada Unified to install the audio enhancement equipment.

“Norwalk-La Mirada Unified is focused on bringing new technologies into the classrooms that will boost student success,” Superintendent Hasmik Danielian said. “New River’s innovative audio equipment will enhance student learning in the classroom while strengthening their confidence.”


020117_NLMUSD_NEWRIVERAUDIO1: A New River Elementary third-grade student presents her project in front of her peers while using a microphone that will evenly distribute her voice throughout the classroom.

020117_NLMUSD_NEWRIVERAUDIO2: New River Elementary third-grade teacher Linda Fox uses a microphone as part of an audio enhancement system that projects her voice clearly to all of her students.