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Hart may shuffle boundaries

Population growth leads school district to plan changes to manage over-crowding, under-use

Posted: June 8, 2009 10:22 p.m.
Updated: June 9, 2009 4:55 a.m.
The Hart district is proposing to shift school boundaries in three areas of the Santa Clarita Valley as a way to ease overcrowding in schools and increase enrollment at under-used schools, a Hart district spokeswoman said Monday.

"It just makes sense to distribute the kids where we have space," said Pat Willett, spokeswoman for the William S. Hart Union High School District.

Hart board members will most likely act on the boundary changes in September for them to take effect in August 2010 for the 2010-11 school year, Willett said.

The adjustments would not apply to currently enrolled students or siblings attending the same Hart district school, Willett said.

Students most likely to be affected by the proposed adjustments are upper-grade students at Mountainview and current seventh-graders at Rio Norte Junior High School who live north of Copperhill Drive and east of Seco Canyon Road, Willett said.

Students in the projected area currently attend Rio Norte Junior High and Valencia High School.

Valencia's enrollment for the 2009-10 school year is expected to be at 3,150 students.

Rio Norte is overcrowded, while the Saugus and Arroyo Seco Junior high schools are under-enrolled, Willett said.

The second area being considered for a boundary adjustment is the Calgrove/Hidden Valley area of Newhall. Those students currently attend Rancho Pico Junior and West Ranch high schools.

West Ranch's anticipated enrollment for the 2009-10 school year is 2,800 students.

By contrast, Hart High School is expected to open with 2,220 students. Placerita is one of the district's smaller junior high schools.

A third area facing potential boundary adjustment is the corridor along Sierra Highway north of Soledad Canyon for students currently attending Mint Canyon Elementary School and seventh-graders at La Mesa Junior High who live in the same area.

Those areas are being considered for adjustment to the Sierra Vista Junior High/Canyon High School area, which also is decreasing in enrollment, while Golden Valley High School and La Mesa Junior High are facing a potential for rapid growth in the next few years, Willett said.

The proposed changes are the result of growth and development in the Santa Clarita Valley.

"If you look at Rio Norte (Junior High School) and Valencia (High School), there's a lot of construction up in the Tesoro area," Willett said.

Another school experiencing growth is Golden Valley High School as the Fair Oaks Ranch neighborhood is built-out, she said.

Despite strong growth around some communities, neighborhoods near Arroyo Seco Junior, Canyon and Hart high schools are not seeing as much development, she said.

The last time the Hart district changed school boundaries was in 2003, when the district opened new schools, Willett said.


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