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UPDATED: Hart boundaries changed

Families said move aimed at addressing overcrowding could have detrimental effects on kids

Posted: September 2, 2009 10:10 p.m.
Updated: September 3, 2009 11:16 p.m.
 

Thursday, Sept. 4, 12 noon update:
Despite objections from parents, Hart board members Wednesday night unanimously signed off on two boundary changes to reduce overcrowding and make better use of under-enrolled schools.

Students living in Mint Canyon will now attend Sierra Vista and Canyon high schools, rather than La Mesa junior and Golden Valley high schools.

Students living on the east side of Seco Canyon Road north of Copperhill Drive will attend Arroyo Seco junior and Saugus high schools instead of Rio Norte junior and Valencia high schools.

The changes go into effect for the 2010-11 school year with incoming seventh-graders.

A vote on a third boundary change which would impact students living on the east side of Interstate 5 and south of Lyons Avenue was put off until the William S. Hart Union High School District board's Sept. 16 meeting.

That adjustment would send Rancho Pico junior and West Ranch high school students to Placerita junior and Hart high schools.

For that area, the Hart district will host a community meeting at 7 p.m. on Sept. 9 at Placerita Junior High School.

The meeting brought a parade of upset parents who argued the proposals, saying that the changes would split friends up and hurt the Mountainview Elementary School community.

The Hart district believes the adjustments are necessary to relieve overcrowding and promote a balanced education for all Hart district students.

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First story, Wednesday, Sept 3, 9:30 p.m.:
More than a dozen parents Wednesday night challenged and debated Hart district board members over new attendance boundaries for the 2010-11 school year, saying the changes would split friends up.

"It's ripping us apart," Andrea Scott, a Mountainview Elementary School parent, told William S. Hart Union High School District board members. "It's detrimental to our school to really split us up."

Under the proposal, Scott's child would attend Arroyo Seco junior and Saugus high schools instead of Rio Norte junior and Valencia high schools.

Many parents, like Scott, questioned the proposal to split Mountainview students between the two sets of junior high and high schools, which would "yank poor children away from (their) friends," Scott said.

"We are taking the complete support system out from under them," said Kelly Martinelli, parent of two Mountainview students, who lives east of Seco Canyon Road and north of Copperhill Drive.

Board members and Hart district staff defended the proposal to adjust boundaries, saying that schools like Golden Valley and West Ranch high schools are overcrowded while other sites like Sierra Vista junior and Canyon high schools need an increase in student enrollment.

"The more kids that are on the campus, the more difficult it is to supervise them," said board member Patricia Hanrion.

Resources like libraries and the health office become strained with more students.

"All of these things need to be balanced from school to school," she said.

By 8:45 p.m., board members had not voted on whether to change the boundaries.

The first change involves Sierra Vista junior and Canyon high schools, which are under-enrolled while La Mesa junior and Golden Valley high schools are growing and hitting capacity.

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.

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.

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.

Board members decided to vote on this boundary change during the Sept. 16 board meeting.

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