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New Year, No Limits


PHS freshman getting picture taken
On July 30th, incoming freshmen to Patriot High School attended their 2021-2022 registration day. For Principal Damien Hernandez, it was a wonderful feeling to see students walk the grounds again. “We had a good summer school, but this is a lot different because with our freshmen today and with our sophomores yesterday, they haven’t been on our campus,” he shared. “So it’s just wonderful to see students back.”

After checking in at the front gate, freshmen visited stations to purchase items for the school year such as PE clothes and ASB cards; receive information about various school clubs and activities; and pick up their schedules and take ID photos. Through it all, ASB students were on-hand as helpful guides. “We’re trying to get them prepared for the first day of school,” explained Priscilla, a Patriot senior. “We don’t want them to [feel lost], so we’re just trying to get them more comfortable so they don’t have that anxiety on the first day.” Alexis, an incoming freshman, admitted to being nervous. “But I’m really excited to go into high school finally,” she shared.

Star Wars characters greet parents and students
That same Friday, Jurupa Middle 7th and 8th graders also attended registration, known as Panther Day. “Our 7th and 8th graders are here on campus - most of them for the very first time - picking up their schedules, taking their ID pictures, and touring the campus,” explained Assistant Principal Lindsay Connell.

Middle schools in Jurupa Unified face a unique situation this year, as the majority of students are new to their campuses due to 8th graders attending virtually last year and 7th graders finishing elementary school. “It feels unbelievable to see kids on the campus and roaming our halls the way it was over a year ago,” expressed Principal Monika Montiel Turner.

With registration complete, the next step was the first day of school. On Friday, August 6th, Jurupa Unified welcomed students back to full-time, in-person instruction. At Stone Avenue Elementary, Star Wars characters greeted students and posed for celebratory photos. Back-to-school rallies were held at high schools, and Mira Loma Middle school boasted a tropical theme to welcome students to the 2021-2022 school year. 

Students pose in front of the Mira Loma Middle gate
“We wanted to have a friendly, mellow entrance because we already know that middle school is an anxious time,” said Principal Mary Boules. “We know [our students] need social interaction right now, and they need a little bit of guidance. And we’re here, opening our doors and our arms, to help them come in and transition back on campus.”

There is a lot to look forward to in JUSD. At the District’s new hire orientation, incoming teachers shared their excitement for a successful school year.

“I am very excited about introducing the students to a completely new pathway that is going to be able to feed them into many careers,” said Benjamen Smith, the CTE teacher for Manufacturing & Design at Patriot High School.

Angel Carrillo, the Agricultural Science​ teacher for Jurupa Valley High School, looks forward to revitalizing the greenhouse so students can participate in hands-on learning, a motivating factor in his decision to teach. “I think that’s the best way to learn for some students,” he shared. “I think it’s going to be very beneficial for students as they come back to the classroom.”