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Hart district considers new boundaries

Posted: September 1, 2009 11:04 p.m.
Updated: September 2, 2009 4:55 a.m.
In an effort to relieve overcrowding at local junior high and high schools, Hart district board members tonight will decide whether to shift attendance boundaries in three Santa Clarita Valley neighborhoods for the 2010-11 school year.

"We have some schools that are highly overcrowded and some schools that are under utilized," said Pat Willett, spokeswoman for the William S. Hart Union High School District.

The Hart district hosted a series of community meetings in June and August on the proposed boundary shifts. They were met with concerns from parents who want to maintain the status quo, Willett said.

"This is always an issue when we make boundary adjustments," Willett said.

If approved, the new boundaries would go into effect during the 2010-11 school year for incoming seventh-graders.

Boundary changes do not affect students currently enrolled at specific schools, nor do they affect those students' siblings who attend the same school at the same time, she said.

Despite the opposition, boundary changes are necessary, Willett said.

"There really isn't a whole lot we can do," Willett said. "We can continue to throw portables on the schools, but that doesn't make sense."

School resources like libraries become strained at overcrowded schools, Willett said.

Even schools with low enrollment face problems as they are unable to offer a range of programs and classes for students, Willett said.

Here are the proposed boundary changes:

n The first change involves Sierra Vista junior and Canyon high schools, which are under-enrolled and will experience declining enrollment through 2015.

At the same time, La Mesa junior and Golden Valley high schools are growing, with La Mesa at capacity and Golden Valley expected to increase in student enrollment with the surrounding planned development.

The district is considering shifting the boundary so that students who live in Mint Canyon would attend Sierra Vista and Canyon high schools, rather than La Mesa and Golden Valley.

n The second area being considered for re-drawn boundaries contains Rio Norte junior and Valencia high schools, which are at capacity. Since Arroyo Seco junior and Saugus high schools are under-enrolled, the district is considering a change in boundaries so that students living on the east side of Seco Canyon Road north of Copperhill Drive would attend Arroyo Seco and Saugus instead of Rio Norte and Valencia.

n A third boundary shift would mean students living on the east side of Interstate 5 and south of Lyons Avenue would attend Placerita junior and Hart high schools, instead of Rancho Pico junior and West Ranch high schools, which face issues with overcrowding.

The board will most likely hold off on voting on the boundary change for Rancho Pico junior and West Ranch high schools until Sept. 16, Willett said.

A community meeting is scheduled for residents affected by the proposed third boundary shift at 7 p.m. Sept. 9 at Placerita Junior High School.


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