WHITTIER – Nearly 11,000 Whittier Union High School District students made their way onto campuses bedecked in welcome posters and balloons on Aug. 12, where they were greeted by enthusiastic administrators and staff – all eager to kick off the school year.

Following a year of remote and hybrid learning, many Whittier Union students beamed with excitement as they made their way to classes for full-time, in-person instruction. Some Whittier Union students are continuing with online learning through the District’s Independent Study Program, i-Sierra.

Freshmen and sophomores across the District got a jumpstart on the school year through the District’s Frosh/Soph First Day, held at each school site on Aug. 11. Frosh/Soph First Day aims to ease the transition into high school and help students build connections with one another.

Traditionally known as Freshmen First Day, this school year Whittier Union included sophomores as they were unable to participate in their Freshmen First Day during the 2020-21 school year.

At Pioneer High School, students made the stadium roar with enthusiasm as they filled the bleachers for a morning pep rally. The day concluded with a spirited lighting of the Titan Torch, which signifies unity across the campus and community.

“Pioneer High School is unified together because we are a small school and we have immense Titan Pride,” Associated Student Body President Victoria Castellano said. “I am looking forward to building new connections this school year, which is easier in an in-person setting. As ASB president, my goal is to help make students happy. When students are happy, they show spirit and look forward to being in school.”

California High School, La Serna High School, Santa Fe High School and Whittier High School campuses were also bustling with activity during Frosh/Soph First Day, with ASB students and staff members helping students get acclimated to their school culture.

Events included meet-and-greets with teachers and administrators, a walkthrough of class schedules and campus, a series of games, activities and student performances, and photo opportunities for students and their parents.

Though the 2021-22 year will more closely resemble a traditional school year, many health protocols are still in place throughout the District to help ensure the safety of students, teachers, staff and families.

Such protocols include health screenings and the use of face masks, as well as continued efforts to provide COVID-19 testing and vaccines in partnership with our community partners.

“We are thrilled to see many of our students back on our campuses for the 2021-22 school year,” Superintendent Martin J. Plourde said. “At Whittier Union, our motto is to achieve and maintain excellence, and I have no doubt we will continue doing that this year, while ensuring the safety of our entire District community.”


WUHSD_FIRSTDAY1: Pioneer High School ASB students celebrate the lighting of the Titan Torch during Frosh/Soph First Day on Aug. 11.