Enter the District’s annual Magnet Fair and students from each school are enthusiastic about sharing what makes their school great: in one corner, they are dusting for fingerprints – a skill they learned in their forensic science class; in another, young engineers are displaying their robotics projects; and on the other side of the room a small group of students in medieval attire are talking up high-quality performing arts programs.

This year’s Magnet Fair, held Jan. 21 at the District’s Excelsior Adult School campus, served to shine a
spotlight on the rigorous academics and engaging programs featured in each of Norwalk-La Mirada Unified’s middle school magnet programs, which provide specialized themes of curricula and hands-on, project-based activities.

“Each of our magnet schools offer specialized areas of study so that students and parents can choose their best fit,” said NLMUSD Board of Education President Jesse Urquidi. “We really want students to be excited about what they’re learning and by providing them with an early introduction to different fields of study, it gives them exposure to something they may want to pursue in the future.”

Open enrollment applications, Inter-District permits and Interest Cards were provided and magnet school staff were on hand to answer questions and set up school tours. The programs are open to students residing in and outside of the district at no cost to parents. The participating schools and their fields of interest are: Benton Middle School – Visual and Performing Arts; Corvallis Middle School – Arts and Technology; Hutchinson Middle School – Science, Math, Engineering and Technology (STEM); Los Alisos Middle School – Math, Science and Technology; Los Coyotes Middle School – Engineering and Centurion Honors, Medical/Forensics and Waite Middle School – Career Academy.

“I think magnet schools are very powerful,” said Ly Tiuran, whose daughter is a seventh-grader at Los Coyotes Middle School, which offers medical and forensics science that includes anatomy and life science. “My daughter really likes science and this is a great way to help her prepare to go on to a university.”

All of the students at the Magnet Fair were in tune with what the specialized curriculum at their schools has done for their academic and personal lives.

“We have so many things to offer,” said Jacob Sotelo, the ASB president at Benton Middle School, a Visual and Performing Arts Academy. “Performing arts is the best thing we could have. It has helped me with my confidence and has helped me express my creativity.”

Students, teachers and principals at all middle schools were just as enthusiastic about what their schools have to offer. For example, Corvallis Middle School offers enrichment classes such as ceramics, band, world percussion & steel pan drums, strings and computer applications and can pursue learning in theater arts/drama and digital photography & film making.

At Hutchinson, , students are offered a variety of learning experiences through robotics and multi-media presentations, field trips, guest speakers and academic competitions.

Waite Middle School provides curriculum in three pathways that cover public and community service; science, robotics, technology and music; and art, film and technology. Music

“I am so proud of our students and staff for the way they are representing our schools,” said NLMUSD Interim Superintendent Ginger Shattuck. “The Magnet Fair is a really great way for our families to become more familiar with the wide range of opportunities available in NLMUSD.”


MAGNETFAIR1: Students of Los Coyotes Middle School, a medical and forensic science magnet school, display fingerprinting techniques during the Norwalk-La Mirada Unified Magnet Fair Jan. 21.

MAGNETFAIR2: Dressed in medieval attire, Benton Middle School students promote their visual and performing arts programs during the Norwalk-La Mirada Unified Magnet Fair Jan. 21.