Contact: Valerie Martinez, Christina L. Esparza, (909) 917-3368

More than 90% of NLMUSD seniors graduate

The graduation rate at Norwalk-La Mirada Unified School District high schools has seen a steady increase over the last four years, topping off at 92 percent for the 2012-13 academic year.

This year, NLMUSD had 1,523 seniors graduate from its five high schools – John Glenn, La Mirada, Norwalk, El Camino and Southeast Academy. This compares with the 2009-10 academic year when NLMUSD graduated 87.2 percent of its seniors; 90 percent in 2010-11; and 92.2 percent in 2011-12.

Superintendent Dr. Ruth Perez attributes the ongoing success of the District to new intervention programs, positive policy changes and better tracking of the District’s students.

“We’re at 92 and we intend to see continued progress,” Perez said. Our students are working hard to receive their diplomas, and our teacher and staff are utilizing proven instructional programs and interventions to provide whatever academic support each individual student needs to achieve that goal.”

In the last five years, the District has implemented several programs to steer students toward success. Such programs include one-on-on and in-classroom intervention programs for students who struggle throughout middle school, a District leadership group that looks at achievement gaps and finds ways to close them, and peer-mentoring groups.

One of the most effective programs has been the Secondary Action Team, said Assistant Superintendent of Educational Support Services Lila Bronson. The team consists of District stakeholders, including teachers, parents and administrators, who meet regularly to identify problems, evaluate programs and find ideas to improve student retention and graduation.

Students also have the option to graduate in the summer if they had not attained enough credits before the spring graduation ceremony. Nearly 100 students participate in the summer graduation each year adding to the success rate, Bronson said.

“The programs have been very meaningful in terms of making students successful,” Bronson said.

NLMUSD Board President Ed Hengler said the graduation rate is direct reflection on the hard work by everyone in the district, from students to administrators.

“Ninety-two percent is a very impressive number and I wouldn’t be surprised if we just keep raising it,” Hengler said. “I’m very proud of what we’ve done at Norwalk-La Mirada, and especially of our students.”