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Extended Submission Date: HLPUSD Student Chef Cook-Off Contest
Andrea Torres

Dear Hacienda La Puente Unified Families,

Hacienda La Puente Unified invites all fourth- to 12th-grade students to compete in the District’s second annual Student Chef Cook-Off Contest hosted by Nutrition Services. The submission date, which includes the completed recipe and application, has been EXTENDED to Friday, April 26.

As part of this exciting event, students will have the unique opportunity to gather in groups of four, under the guidance of a cafeteria manager, to develop a nutritious, student-friendly, and original dish featuring local ingredients. This experience will foster teamwork and provide a valuable hands-on learning experience for all students.

Please visit the Chef Cook-Off Contest Mechanics PDF to learn more about the competition requirements and processes bulleted below.

  • Team Formation
  • Recipe Details
  • Recipe Requirements
  • Application Process
  • Voting Process
  • Cooking Requirements
  • Equipment
  • Timeline

Before submitting your application, please review the mechanics document to ensure your application and recipe meet all the contest requirements. When ready, submit your completed applications to the Nutrition Services Department at

The event last year was a huge hit not only because we got to try delicious dishes but also because we got to witness first-hand the teamwork, determination, and presentation of all our competitors. We look forward to seeing the groups with the top four lunch recipes prepare their recipes at the Cooking Competition, which will take place on Thursday, June 13, at The Willow Adult Ed Culinary Lab, 14101 Nelson Ave E, La Puente.

The finalists of this innovative competition will not only receive special prizes but also be awarded certificates to proudly display at their schools. Additionally, they will be recognized on the HLPUSD Nutrition Services website, further highlighting their culinary achievements.

Thank you!

Celebrating National School Library Week!
Andrea Torres

Dear Hacienda La Puente Unified Community,

Hacienda La Puente Unified is recognizing National School Library Week from April 7 to 13, a time to celebrate the essential role libraries play in schools. Libraries are not just spaces filled with books but gateways to knowledge, resources, and community. They support literacy and education, promote lifelong learning, and serve as a community gathering space. They are the heart of our schools, and this week, we honor them.

Throughout the week, students of all ages are engaging in booked-themed activities, literature lesson plans, and projects, and of course, showing their gratitude to our wonderful librarians who do so much for our students. At Hacienda La Puente Unified, our librarians ensure reading rooms are well-organized, help students and educators find resources for instruction, develop strategies to help struggling readers, and much more.

With your school librarian's permission, we encourage you to snap a photo showcasing your favorite thing about your library and share it on social media this week using the hashtags #HowILibrary and #ProudtobeHLPUSD to show your appreciation and be entered for a chance to win a cash prize from the American Library Association. We look forward to seeing your photos.

Happy National School Library Week!

A Message from the Superintendent Regarding Safety During the Solar Eclipse
Andrea Torres

Dear Hacienda La Puente Unified Families, 

We hope you all had a fantastic spring break! We look forward to welcoming our students back to school tomorrow, Monday, April 8. As many of you know, on Monday morning at approximately 10:06 a.m., Los Angeles County residents are expected to witness a partial eclipse. 

Rest assured, our school leadership teams and educators have been fully briefed on the potential safety concerns surrounding the eclipse. School sites will make announcements at the start of the day to remind students to avoid looking directly into the sun.

As the event will occur during classroom instruction time, many of our school sites have chosen to create unique learning experiences for students by providing fun and informational activities or livestreaming. A few schools that are choosing to view the eclipse outside will have on-hand the appropriate glasses and/or pinhole viewers recommended by the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health.

To ensure our community members are also enjoying the eclipse safely, please review the following guidelines:

·        Do not look directly into the sun

·        Wear eclipse glasses, or solar viewers, with certified solar filters and ensure lenses are in good condition. To learn more about proper eye protection and find suppliers of safe solar viewers and filters, visit the American Astronomical Society

·        Do not use sunglasses, binoculars, or telescopes

·        Always supervise children using solar viewers

·        Use a pinhole viewer to view the eclipse indirectly without looking at the sun. Instructions on how to do this are available here.

Monday is projected to be a sunny day in Los Angeles County. If students or community members are outside to view the eclipse, Public Health advises them to wear sunscreen, a hat, and protective clothing to protect their skin.

Residents can also view a livestream of the eclipse on NASA’s and Griffith Observatory’s websites.

Thank you all in advance for your support as we work to ensure that this spectacle is safe and fun for our District community.


Dr. Alfonso Jiménez

Superintendent of Schools

March Superintendent's Update
Andrea Torres


Dear Hacienda La Puente Unified Community,

March was a fantastic month for our District. Our students continued to thrive in academics, athletics, and extracurriculars while our teachers, staff, and administrators focused on wrapping up winter goals and welcoming Spring.

This month, our campuses celebrated National Arts in Education Month with vibrant displays and musical performances. We also hosted our annual Principal for a Day event, celebrated Women’s History Month, and recognized World Down Syndrome Awareness Day.

Our middle and high school Science Olympiad students started the month strong by participating in the 2024 Los Angeles Rio Hondo Regional Science Olympiad Tournament on March 2. I look forward to this event each year and continue to be impressed by our students’ performance and partnership and the dedication of our coaches and school administrators who support our students during the all-day event. Congratulations to our students from Glen A. Wilson High School, who won first place overall for the third year in a row, winning nearly half the events, and our Cedarlane Academy students, who took fifth place in their division. Both teams will advance to the State Championships in April. Best of luck!

I would also like to congratulate all our talented students who participated in the Middle School Speech and Debate District Championships, held at Willow Adult on March 16. Please visit our District website to read more about our winners and the program’s recent expansion.

Lastly, I would like to remind our community to visit our District Reconfiguration webpage to read our March Reconfiguration update for an overview of our 2024 efforts and information on what to expect in the next few months as we move towards the next steps in the District’s Reconfiguration Plan. 

This year has brought an abundance of joy and success to our District, which would not have been possible without the tremendous efforts of our Board of Education, students, teachers, staff, administrators, and, of course, our exceptional families, whose strong partnership helps us reach milestones and exceed goals. Thank you all for your continued commitment to our District's success. I wish you a wonderful Spring Break, full of things that help you relax and recharge as we gear up for the exciting months ahead.


As always, we are #proudtobehlpusd

Sincerely, Dr. Alfonso Jiménez


Hacienda La Puente Unified Students Receive Art Recognitions During Arts in Education Month
Andrea Torres

Los Altos High School (LAHS) junior Angela Shih and senior Amber Juarez are celebrating their recent accomplishments as winners of the Riverside Youth Art Month Competition. Both students were awarded for their distinctive drawings, now on display at the Riverside Art Museum, a hub for artistic inspiration cherished among local communities.

Shih and Juarez submitted their pieces through the school’s visual arts program, led by instructor Bertha Oseguera, who has taught at LAHS for nine years. The two students were among 10 others in their program and several in the region to compete. Shih was awarded a first place recognition for her piece, with Juarez receiving second place.

“When students like Angela and Amber create amazing masterpieces, it brings me immense joy, drives me as a teacher and inspires me as an artist,” Oseuguera said. “I love when students give it their all, they bring in their ideas and blossom in their specific style.”

Through the school’s art program, Oseguera joins the District in nurturing creativity among young learners and encouraging self-expression through art. Los Altos High School students have the opportunity to participate in a variety of art courses and clubs from freshman to senior year, beginning with introduction to art and taking a variety of Advanced Placement courses, including studio art, 2D, and design.

Shih, who’s drawing portrays a girl engrossed in her phone while enjoying snacks under the covers, was inspired by her comforting hobby for late-night gaming sessions. Shih’s said her art journey began in preschool and that her time at LAHS has provided her with an outlet for her stories.

“I love how art can turn your imagination into visual images for others to take in and enjoy,” Shih said. “I hope to create many more drawings I'm proud of this Spring and look forward to continue creating impactful pieces next year before graduating.”

Juarez’s poignant piece, titled "Comfort in Isolation," captures a man seated at a table while gazing through a window. The drawing was an inspiring interpretation of a photo of her brother, and explores the solace found in music during lonely times.

“I have been drawing ever since I can remember. Scribbling away in coloring books are some of my earliest childhood memories,” Juarez said. “My favorite thing about art is that I have the ability and freedom to create just about anything.”

Hacienda La Puente Unified is preparing to host its annual Arts Showcase at 5:30 p.m. on Thursday, April 18, at the Hacienda Heights Community Center. The showcase is designed to celebrate the growth and achievements of artists from across the District and will include pieces illustrated by Juarez and Shih.

“Congratulations to our LAHS art students for their beautiful works of art and this well-deserved recognition,” Superintendent D. Alfonso Jiménez said.  “At Hacienda La Puente Unified, we are honored to provide a wide range of enriching visual and performing arts programs for our students, as it strengthens their creativity and problem-solving skills, boosts their socio-emotional health and encourages our students to take risks and view the world from a different perspective.”

Photo Captions:

HLPUSD_LAHS: Los Altos High School junior Angela Shih celebrates her win and certificate of recognition at the Riverside Youth Art Month Competition in March.

HLPUSD_LAHS: Los Altos High School senior Amber Juarez shows off her award-winning piece titled “Comfort in Isolation” at the Riverside Youth Art Month Competition.