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Walnut valley Unified School District

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Our motto is KIDS FIRST... Every Student, Every Day!   Walnut Valley USD is proud to be a National Schools to Watch District with numerous National Blue Ribbon, California Gold Ribbon, and California Distinguished School awards. 

Back to Class!

August 18, 2023                            

By Kelli Gile, Office of Community Resources

WALNUT, CA—Quail Summit Elementary lived up to its reputation as the “school with a heart” ushering in the new school year with a parade on Monday morning.

Teachers assembled to welcome hundreds of students and families with cheers, hugs, and high fives as they filed through the August 14 procession.

The children beamed as they were greeted individually before the first bell at 8:20 a.m.

“This is a long-standing tradition that is loved by many!” shared Principal Nicole Hernandez.

“I can’t decide who was more excited, our students or their parents.  My favorite part is it reinforces that each student belongs at Quail Summit." 

This week, about 13,700 students began classes at the 15 campuses in Walnut Valley USD.

At C.J. Morris Elementary, families gathered to take commemorative snapshots and select a sweet treat at the popular donut wall.

Fifth grade teacher Rachel Harrington welcomed students to a Hogwarts Celebration in her Harry Potter-themed classroom.

“We have a party, take a sorting quiz, and spend time catching up with friends and getting to know each other,” she said.

“It brightens up their day and makes the first day of school that much more special!”

Westhoff Elementary families marked the 2023-2024 opening day with Oscar-worthy VIP photos posing with movie scene clapboards.

“It was nothing but bright smiles and positive energy,” shared Principal Dr. Rosa Northcott.

“Our amazing Community Club literally rolled out the red carpet for our students!”

Walnut Valley USD has Transitional Kindergarten (TK) classrooms at every elementary school to support the youngest students with academic, social, and whole-child development. 

“TK students learn and develop independence in a nurturing, engaging, interactive learning environment,” said Dr. Jeanette Koh, administrative director of Educational Services.

In Walnut Elementary School’s new TK classroom, teacher Jennifer Ghaneian read the silly “How Will I Get to School This Year?” to the children gathered on colorful carpet squares.

The four-year-olds giggled as pages turned with playful images of a child jumping with frogs and riding on the back of an elephant.

“This first week of school is such a special time in TK because for many students this is their first experience in school,” Ghaneian explained.

“My focus right now is building a foundation that school is fun and making learning joyful and playful!”

At Diamond Bar High, “The Epic Adventure Begins” USB first day rally featured spirit competitions, Thundering Herd band, pep, and dance performances.

“DBHS loves kicking of our school year with a pep rally,” said USB advisor Janna Van Horn. 

“We want our Brahmas to be excited about the school year and know that this is a great place to be from day one.  We are happy to be back and can’t wait for a fun year!”

“It was the best first day ever!” reported Chaparral Middle School Principal Dr. Robby Jung who was out helping students find their classes during passing periods.

 “There really is a special feeling in the air this time of year as all of our students and staff get ready for the learning journey ahead,” he said.

At Walnut High, ASB, Blue Thunder band, and the cheer squad welcomed students back to school.

“I'm looking forward to a lot of the senior events we have planned including the senior sunrise, senior sunset, grad night, and senior night for swim,” shared ASB member Julian Garcia.

“Now that I’m an upperclassman, I am especially excited for rallies and this will be my first year attending prom!” added junior Pitzil Avila-Castellanos.


Quail Summit Elementary staff welcomes families during annual parade on August 14. 

Welcome Back! Wonderful first day as classes begin in Walnut Valley USD on Aug. 14. 

Hurray for TK! Walnut Elementary Transitional Kindergarten program launches in brand new classroom. 

Walnut High ASB students ready to begin the new school year on August 14. 

We’ve Got Spirit! Diamond Bar High USB hosts first day pep rally on Aug. 14.