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Hart district, union agree to deal

Calendar finalized, graduation dates announced

Posted: October 3, 2013 12:05 p.m.
Updated: October 3, 2013 12:05 p.m.

SANTA CLARITA - Members of the Hart district board voted Wednesday to approve a one-year agreement with the Hart District Teachers Association that includes a full restoration of the school year, additional professional development days and a one-time payment for this academic year.

The recent agreement reflects a full 180 days of instruction within the William S. Hart Union High School District, a level the district returned to after years of furlough days as a result of budget cuts. The school year had been trimmed to 175 days to save money.

The agreement also includes two additional staff development days that will be used to help implement Common Core State Standards in the district.

Those standards, which are expected to be fully implemented in the next few years, emphasize critical thinking and real-world applications of classroom concepts.

“It was a positive experience working with the leadership of the Hart District Teachers Association,” said Michael Vierra, the district’s assistant superintendent of human resources. “Collaboratively, both the district and association were able to interpret the new state Local Control Funding Formula and agree upon terms that benefit students first but also support faculty and staff.

“Of particular emphasis was restoring the school year to 180 days for students while also providing paid staff development for teachers in the Common Core State Standards,” he said.

Those two days are scheduled for Nov. 1, 2013, and Feb. 14, 2014, according to the district.

The agreement also includes a one-time, unscheduled payment for every member of the teachers association. That payment will be 1.5 percent of the union member’s salary.

With the agreement finalized, the last day of the school year is now set for June 6. Graduation dates for high schools in the Hart district have also been finalized.

Those ceremonies begin May 30 with Valencia High School and conclude with the June 7 commencement at Academy of the Canyons.
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