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NLMUSD Supt. Perez Reacts To Benton Middle School VAPA Program


Note: Dr. Ruth Perez, Superintendent of the Norwalk-La Mirada Unified School District presented the following report at a school board meeting in regards to the Visual and Performing Arts Program at Benton Middle School in La Mirada. 

“At the request of Board President Ed Hengler, I would like to provide you with an update on the Benton Middle School schedule for next year. As you are aware, staff and I met with teachers and parents recently. I shared with them why the schedule that was prepared by the teachers and staff was not a viable option. We then presented two schedules that would provide students with more opportunities for elective classes. Dr. Bronson explained both in detail.”

“A survey was provided to teachers and to parents at the meeting to give us feedback on both schedules.  Principal Green collected them and turned them in to my staff. After reading thought the surveys handed in, it was clear that the majority favored Option #1.  Schedule #1 provides students with electives on a rotation basis –to expose students to as many electives as possible. Principal Green submitted the following information to us today:

2013-14 Benton Electives  “Most of these classes are taught on an A/B schedule so twice as many students are being seen by each elective teacher. This would allow almost every student to have two electives and in some cases three. They include French, AVID, Creative writing, Choir, Leadership Training, Piano, Art, Advanced Art, World Percussion, Orchestra, Intermediate Band, Advanced Band, Media Arts, Study Skills, Drama, Photography, Guitar, Dance.

There are currently 20 English Language Learners at Benton MS enrolled in ELD classes which limits the electives they can take. This was a concern. The school had reclassified 7 this year, leaving 20 enrolled at this time. We will continue with our District focus to provide students with opportunities to reclassify so that they can take other electives besides PE.  As you are aware, district wide we have reclassified more than. 2500 students in the last four years and will continue with that focus to provide students with more opportunities.


As a next step, if teachers do not already know, will be informed what classes they will be teaching next year before they leave for summer break.  Additionally, we will be sending home a letter to parents by the end of the week to inform them of the schedule change as well as the electives that will be offered at Benton next year.

Dr. Ruth Perez


Norwalk-La Mirada Unified School District

  • It is outrageous that the Superintendent attacks a successful school. Why change what is working? Our children deserve to be part of what makes Benton so successful as a VAPA school including the high academic performance.

    Please keep our school as a viable VAPA program for our community.

    Please write the district and let them know you support Benton as it stands today, not the shell of a VAPA school they are trying to force upon us.