Tag Archives: NLMUSD

Press Release: New JGHS/SEA Administrators

(Press Release courtesy Dr. Michael Gotto-NLMUSD)

Dear NLM Family,

At the Board of Education Meeting held this evening, the Board of Education appointed the following individuals to their respective roles:

Dr. Jennifer Padilla

Principal, John Glenn High School/Southeast Academy

Jennifer Padilla, Ed.D. began her educational career in 2001 serving as an English Teacher. Since that time, she has served in roles as Dean of Students, Secondary; Assistant Principal, High School; Assistant Principal, Curriculum & Instruction; Summer School Principal; Interim Principal, High School; and Principal, Middle School. She is well-experienced in designing and facilitating professional development for staff, supporting Professional Learning Communities (PLCs), incorporating rigorous instruction and assessments, implementing Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports (PBIS), and developing tiered systems of academic and social-emotional supports. In addition, she has vast experience in student discipline, master schedules, and certificated and classified evaluations.

Mr. Orlando Beltran

Assistant Principal, John Glenn High School/Southeast Academy

Orlando Beltran began his educational career in 2010 serving as an English teacher. Since that time, he has served in roles as Teacher on Special Assignment (TOSA), High School Guidance/School Counselor, and Assistant Principal, High School. He is well-experienced in professional development planning, pupil services, counseling, community and student engagement, response to interventions, student enrichment activities, athletics, and implementation of schoolwide initiatives.

Congratulations, Dr. Padilla and Mr. Beltran!

Return to School Opinion: What Choice Would You Make?

by Eliza Rodrigueza

School is a big part of a student’s life and it will prepare them for adulthood, but since 2020 students have been in distant learning and taking classes over Zoom. If given the option to go back on campus, I wanted to see what the students would choose, so I created a Google survey and asked students to participate. 

My question was simple, If high schools were to open again and you were given two options to choose from: (1) going back on campus, or, (2) staying home and continuing to do distance learning, which one would you choose?

Out of the fifty students who responded to the survey, the results were pretty close. 52% said they would opt to return to campus while 48% stated they would remain home.

When asked about her choice to continue distance learning, Cadet Paula Huerta stated,  

“I personally do not think it is safe enough to go back. My dad is very prone to getting sick and it could be very risky. The vaccine is out but it doesn’t mean it is a cure.”

Personally, I agree with what Huerta has said because it is not yet safe to go back to school even if the vaccine has been released.

Cadet second class Briana Guvara shared that, “Yes I would go back on campus because distance learning is very distracting.”

Staff Sergeant Mia Martinez states, “I would like to go back on campus because I need to get out of the house. And because I miss seeing my friends even if we are conversing from 6 feet apart.” It’s easy to understand that students miss seeing their friends. 

Those wanting to return to school have valid reasons. The distractions at home can really get in the way of learning, and all of us miss socializing with friends. 

What to Consider?

In January, Harvard Health Publishing released information on the Coronavirus Outbreak, and it stated that younger kids can get COVID-19 too. 

Still, Norwalk-La Mirada Unified School District just reopened elementary schools beginning Monday, March 29th. But unfortunately, there has been no vaccine released for younger children under the age of 16.

Therefore, I don’t believe that it is safe to send them back to school; younger kids are very naive, and they do not always listen to what adults tell them to do. They may not wear their masks. They may share them with friends.  If it is not safe for high school students, why would they send little kids to go back to school? 

Just because a vaccine was released there are still many possibilities where it can go wrong and turn out for the worst. 

UC Davis and WebMD both published articles that share why many people are still hesitant to take the vaccine.

The decision about whether or not it is safe and advisable to return to school remains quite controversial. 

If you were given the option, which would you choose? Sound off in our comments section.

Opinion: Elementary Schools are Reopening

By Evelyn Aquino

Starting this Monday, March 29, preschool through 2nd grade students in the Norwalk-La Mirada Unified School District returned back to campus for in-person learning on a hybrid learning schedule. 3rd to 5th grade students are expected to be back after spring break on Monday, April 12, 2021. Parents were given the option to either return their kids back to in-person school or continue digitally online.

In my opinion, schools should not reopen yet; instead, they should focus on how to improve for the following school year instead of possibly putting kids at risk of getting the virus right now. If one person–either a student, teacher, or staff member–got the virus, they would have to close again or send multiple people into quarantine, which could possibly lead to kids falling behind once again. It will also take time for students to adjust to the sudden change of going from online to in-person, and there are fewer than 40 days of school left.

Although young kids are less likely to transmit the virus, it is still important that the schools continue following safety precautions. They should still be 6 feet away from each other while wearing masks, and teachers and custodians should clean any surfaces that the students would most likely touch, such as the door handles, desks, books, and any electronic devices.

It was believed that many parents didn’t want their children to return to school when cases were at the peak. Now, around 50% of parents want their children to return to school since cases are decreasing and L.A. County is slowly reopening since it approached the red tier. Opening schools in general was something that wasn’t settled knowing the risks of getting the virus. Reopening elementary schools was the first approach because they only stay in one room all day.

Young kids will most likely have difficulties following the same precautions an adult has to follow. It is also a concern for kids with special needs. Most might be capable of following safety protocols, but others might not.

It might be better if schools didn’t reopen for the rest of the school year; but the opening has begun, and now we wait and see how things go.

District Waives C-Average Graduation Requirement

By Jimmy Gomez

During these tough times, we have all been challenged in one way or another. It has affected everyone, from the elderly to young children. Not only mentally, but physically and emotionally. One of these obstacles has been online school, which has been a challenge for students. When attending online classes, many students are expected to behave and act as if there were no problem and continue working, while they see those around them worry and stress. This has resulted in a drop of grades and quality of work that the students have done. 

On Tuesday, January 26, the Norwalk La-Mirada School Board members decided to take action in order to help students. After a 6-0 vote, board members decided to eliminate the 2.0 grade point average graduation requirement in hopes that it would reduce the stress of the students. This discussion was first brought up to the board members after seeing a noticeable change in the data and reports of the schools and district over the course of a year that COVID-19 has been going on. It was talked about with principals and administration, in which a majority spoke that it was agreeable.

This change will not be a permanent one, but it is only temporary in order to help the students in this challenging time; which means that the grade point average graduation requirement will resume to normal when everything else returns to normal.

From the movie The Perks of Being A Wallflower

Although this decision may not be a grand change, it will nonetheless help students. The Superintendent of the NLMUSD District, John Lopez, stated, “This year we anticipate that number [of students] being higher, given the restrictions on being able to bring students back for in-person instruction.” This will give aid to students who are struggling with reaching the graduation requirement and give them motivation to work harder even when faced with such a large obstacle.

School Board member Jose Rios adds, “This will help reinforce, motivate, and give a positive outlook to students.” 

However, there are still a number of people who do not support this change. Some may say that this decision is lowering the standards for students. Others say that students do not deserve this opportunity, because they did not put in the effort and dedication in their first 3 years of high school. But, one must understand the struggles and lack of motivation that students have during these times. “Challenging the kids, it’s a big positive plus for everyone; yet these are not normal circumstances,” says Rios. “Students are facing challenging times, not only dealing with grades but with death.”

As the school year is coming to an end, it is crucial that any support be given to the students. Mr. Lopez stated, “During the pandemic, some students have been impacted disproportionately as the support services become difficult to deliver remotely. It is for that reason that we felt it necessary to temporarily modify our 2.0 GPA graduation requirements.”

Although it is unclear when this pandemic will come to an end, it is important to continue staying safe and avoiding any contact. In order to prevent any more hardships through the pandemic, Mr. Jose Rios would like you all to remember to stay safe and follow the requirements and regulations set in order to return to normalcy sooner than later.