Garden Grove Unified begins year with high-fives, new opportunities for students

Assistant Principal gives a student a high-five
Sharing GGUSD Pride: Assistant Principal Marci Pena of Doig Intermediate School in Garden Grove high-fives students on the first day of school.

Last week, Garden Grove Unified School District administrators, teachers and staff rolled out the red carpet at several campuses, where students were greeted with smiles, cheers, posters, high-fives and photo booths to celebrate the first day of school.

Students and families greeted outside a school
Students are welcomed for the first day at Heritage Elementary School, which unveiled its new Computer Science Immersion Academy.

“We want our students to know that we are excited to see them and that we are ready to make the 2018-19 school year our best year yet,” said Board of Education President Bob Harden.

GGUSD’s school year began on Wednesday, Aug. 29, which also marked the opening of the new Computer Science Immersion Academy at Heritage Elementary School. Programming, robotics, coding and other skills have been embedded into daily instruction thanks to a partnership with Code to the Future.  

But that’s not the only change in the nearly-43,000-student district.

Garden Grove Unified also opened its second Spanish Dual Language Immersion Academy at Russell Elementary School and several schools have benefited from newly modernized classrooms and athletic facilities. Meanwhile, seven elementary schools received new air-conditioning systems over the summer, bringing the total number of campuses with school-wide A/C to 56.

GGUSD officials say they’ve added more STEAM programs — or science, technology, engineering, art and math — during and after school; increased AVID strategies taught after school at the elementary level; added dual credit opportunities to help high schoolers earn college credit; expanded social work and mental health services, as well as mentoring opportunities; and increased the number of parent education classes and opportunities for family involvement.

To learn more about Garden Grove Unified, call 714-663-6000 or visit

Teachers from Hazard Elementary School wearing matching shirts
Hazard Elementary School staff rock matching T-shirts on the first day to highlight the school’s commitment to STEAM, otherwise known as science, technology, engineering, arts and math.