Paramount, CA – More than 15,000 Paramount Unified School District students bid farewell to their summer break and hello to classmates and teachers, new and old, on Aug. 16, the first day of the 2017-18 school year for all 18 PUSD elementary, middle and high schools.

Paramount students received increased access to technology this year after the District purchased Google Chromebook laptops for all third-graders, sophomores and students of Leona Jackson Middle School. The laptops arrive as part of the District’s new tech implementation plan, which aims to provide a personal technology device to every student in grades three through 12 by 2020.

“Paramount is well-equipped to meet the challenges of preparing our students for 21st century technologies and jobs,” PUSD Superintendent Dr. Ruth Pérez said. “We are introducing new technology and academic programs this year to honor our commitment of creating lifelong achievers.”

Paramount middle schools will implement Amplify, a digital English language arts (ELA) reading comprehension program with interactive tools that allow an entire class to work together on the same text and enable teachers to track progress in real time.

Additionally, Project Lead The Way (PLTW) engineering courses will now be available as seventh-grade electives and college-prep elective Advancement Via Individual Determination (AVID) classes have been expanded to include three elementary schools and all sixth-grade students.

“Our first week of school is concentrated on welcoming back our students, establishing expectations, and introducing them to opportunities for academic excellence and extracurricular activities,” Paramount Park Middle School Principal Kevin Longworth said. “We encourage our students to seek out adults for any concerns they may have.”

At Tanner Elementary School, students learned the importance of safety through a series of Grade Level Safe and Civil Assemblies, while parents met the staff and discovered what’s on tap for the new school year during a “Coffee with the Principal.”

“We want to underscore to our families that we are committed to providing a safe, clean academic environment for the students to excel,” Tanner Elementary Principal Holly Hennessy said. “It’s important for our kids to know the power of a positive attitude, that you treat others the way that you would like to be treated.”

Freshmen at Paramount West High School took part in the school’s second annual Pirate Pride Day, attending a pep rally and expectation assembly, finishing with an ice cream social which included games and activities. The West campus is undergoing a modernization project beginning this year that will improve all classrooms and building structures.

“This will be a year of increased expectations and rigor for our freshmen,” Paramount West Principal Elizabeth Salcido said. “We like to start with something fun, where the students can socialize and bond ahead of what will be a demanding year of study and instruction.”


081817_PARAMOUNT_FIRSTDAY1: More than 15,000 Paramount Unified students returned to new programs like Amplify, a digital English language arts (ELA) reading comprehension system, when doors opened for the first day of school Aug 16.

081817_PARAMOUNT_FIRSTDAY2: Paramount Unified purchased new Google Chromebook laptops for all third-graders, sophomores and students of Leona Jackson Middle School as part of the District’s new tech plan.