By Jim Tortolano
It’s back-to-school when campuses in the Garden Grove Unified School District reopen to students Thursday for the start of the 2016-17 academic year, but a lot of those campuses will be different in some way from a year ago.
The district will welcome an estimated 45,063 pupils, down just a bit from last year’s 45,577. Many of those students will be returning to places under some form of modernization construction, or benefitting from that work.
- new air conditioning and energy efficiency improvements at five elementary schools
- air conditioning to the offices, multi-purpose rooms and some classroom buildings at four intermediate schools
- completion of air conditioning at Rancho Alamitos High School in classroom and cafeteria as well as modernized locker rooms
- replaced air conditioning units at Los Amigos High School
- air conditioning at Garden Grove High School library, bookstore and music building, along with additional parking
- new access to Pacifica High School off Knott Avenue
- drought-tolerant landscaping at various sites in the district
- storm drain systems to prevent flooding at Garden Grove and Rancho Alamitos high schools.
There will be changes in key personnel at the schools. They include new principals at eight elementary schools and at two intermediate schools. New assistant principals at the high school level include Linda Giuliani at Bolsa Grande, Ivy Trac at Garden Grove, Adrian Lucero at La Quinta, Jean Koerner at Los Amigos and Stephanie Heflin at Rancho Alamitos.
In terms of curriculum, full-day kindergarten and full-day transitional kindergarten are being launched this year, with 3,500 pupils served.
The district’s first-ever Dual Language Immersion Academy will debut at Monroe Elementary School with 170 first and second grade students learning in English and Spanish.
The GGUSD serves most of Garden Grove as well as portions of Anaheim, Cypress, Fountain Valley, Santa Ana, Stanton and Westminster.