WEST COVINA, CA – West Covina Unified launched the 2020-21 academic year on Aug. 17, welcoming students to virtual classrooms where they will receive engaging, high-quality instruction via state-mandated distance learning.

District leaders jumped into action upon learning the year would begin virtually, providing teachers, staff, parents and students with the trainings, tools and resources to ensure a successful start to the year.

“West Covina Unified teachers, staff and administrators have been hard at work ensuring our students will receive a rigorous and engaging education in 2020-21,” West Covina Unified Superintendent Dr. Charles D. Hinman said. “While the first day of the academic year looked different than those of years past, our commitment to providing a rewarding and equitable education is stronger than ever.”

Every West Covina Unified student, from transitional kindergarten to 12th grade, will be equipped with a device in 2020-21. The District is also offering technology support to parents and students, who can access resources through a dedicated distance learning website.

Many West Covina Unified schools jumpstarted the year with virtual activities aimed at fostering the strong sense of community that students experience when on campus.

Thirty eighth-graders from Walnut Grove Intermediate School who spent the summer training to become Where Everyone Belongs (WEB) leaders put their skills to the test during a virtual orientation on Aug. 13, bonding with incoming seventh-graders through video chat and supporting them in their transition to both their new school and to distance learning.

Walnut Grove has added a WEB class, providing each of the 30 student leaders with dedicated time to check in with their 12-14 mentees, build positive relationships and support their peers’ needs throughout the year.

“We are excited by the possibilities of the 2020-21 year, and are working hard to ensure everyone at Walnut Grove feels empowered in their learning,” Nambu said. “Our new WEB class will help our students feel connected with their peers and provide our students with yet another layer of academic and personal support.”

Edgewood IB Schools students spent their first day of school becoming familiar with distance learning expectations, reviewing etiquette for online communication, and learning the essential components of the International Baccalaureate programs. Throughout the first week of school, they will learn methods for coping with stress and supporting their social-emotional wellness, such as meditation.

Hollencrest Middle School, a Capturing Kids’ Hearts National Showcase School, began the year with activities aimed at building positive relationships and promoting collaboration. Teachers and students set the tone for the day by sharing good news with each other before reviewing expectations for the year. Hollencrest students also built a strong rapport with each other and their teachers with a highly engaging rally activity.

West Covina Unified’s signature academic offerings – including Mandarin and Spanish Dual Language Immersion programs, TK-12 IB continuum and its dual enrollment high school, Mt. SAC Early College Academy – have also shifted to distance learning, ensuring students can continue to customize their learning experiences in 2020-21. Students interested in Dual Language Immersion or Mt. SAC Early College Academy may still apply for 2020-21 enrollment.