Families attending the Norwalk-La Mirada USD Middle School Magnet Fair walked into a world ablaze with examples of exciting careers: Remote-controlled robots, models simulating water erosion, virtual CO2-powered dragsters running computer-simulated races, and stagecraft skills dramatically transforming students.

Teachers, administrators and students talked enthusiastically during the annual Magnet Fair – held Jan. 20 at Excelsior Adult School – about the exciting and challenging career pathways featured at the District’s six middle schools.

“Every student has the opportunity to go into any pathway that interests them,” said NLMUSD Board of Education President Karen Morrison who attended the event. “It’s a huge opportunity for students to explore and discover their passion and purpose. Our policy of open enrollment gives students and parents the ability to choose the best fit for them.”

The programs are open to students residing in and outside of the district at no cost to parents. The schools and their fields of interest are:

  • Benton Middle School – Visual and Performing Arts (VAPA);
  • Corvallis Middle School – Science, Technology, Engineering, & Arts (STEAM);
  • Hutchinson Middle School – Science, Math, Engineering and Technology (STEM);
  • Los Alisos Middle School – Math, Science and Technology;
  • Los Coyotes Middle School – Centurion Honors and Medical/Forensics; and
  • Waite Middle School – highly certified AVID School with VAPA and STEM offerings.

The Tom family from La Mirada was checking out Los Coyotes Middle School.

“It’s great to have the chance to see all the things the different middle schools have to offer,” said Linda Tom, who is deciding which middle school is best for her son, an Eastwood Elementary fifth-grader who is interested in science. “This event gives us a chance to weigh each school’s specialties against his strengths and talents.”

Students representing the middle schools raved about their specialized curriculum.

“I love our drama program,” said Alyssa Zolman, an eighth-grader in full pirate make-up and costume for the upcoming fall play at Benton Middle School. “It has helped me come out of my shell and become a better performer. I was very nervous my sixth-grade year, but I am now more confident talking in front of people.”

“Middle school grades are a time when some students can begin to lose interest in school, and our District’s engaging magnet programs are the best antidote,” said NLMUSD Superintendent Dr. Hasmik Danielian. “I am so proud of the students and staff who make these programs such a success.”

Photo Captions:

  1. Los Alisos Middle School engineering class students at work on robotics technology at NLMUSD Middle School Magnet Fair on Jan. 20
  2. Hutchinson Middle School principal Sara Siemens, science teacher Mike Clay with NLMUSD Board of Education President Karen Morrison
  3. Benton Middle School performing arts students in full costume for upcoming spring musical “Lady Pirates of Captain Bree” with principal Michael Gotto