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Local districts seeing increase in enrollment this year

Back to School 2008

Posted: August 10, 2008 9:16 p.m.
Updated: October 12, 2008 5:02 a.m.
 

A record 23,300 students will slip on their backpacks and march off to the 16 junior high and high schools in the Hart district Thursday.

Enrollment is expected to be up by 180 students compared with last year, according to information provided by the William S. Hart Union High School District.

The district showed 23,241 students enrolled as of Friday, but numbers are expected to rise through the first week of school and reach nearly 23,300 by the first day of school.

More accurate numbers will be released after the first week of instruction, and the official enrollment will be determined in October when the state records its student enrollment census.

La Mesa Junior High School and Valencia High School are expected to see the biggest jump in student numbers. The junior high already has 67 more students than it had on the last day of school in June.

Valencia High has seen a 47-student increase.

Rio Norte Junior High also saw a double-digit increase at 34 students. Sierra Vista Junior High has 31 more students, Saugus High School has 28, Rancho Pico Junior High has 24 and Arroyo Seco Junior High has 15.

Canyon High School shows a decrease of 17 students and West Ranch is down by 13.

Many students headed to campus for the district's check-in days last week to get their student ID photos taken and pick up their class schedules and textbooks.

Willett said most of the students looked excited about heading back to school, particularly to see their friends.

"I think they'll be ready to roll when Thursday comes around," she said.

Some students will return to school to find ongoing construction as part of the district's modernization efforts.

Hart High School and Placerita Junior High students will notice more portables on campus to house classes during upcoming construction. Some areas of the campus will be fenced off during construction.

Building A and the lower T classrooms at Hart High School were demolished over the summer to prepare for the new science building.

Ten portable classrooms were set up in the front parking lot to provide temporary housing for the displaced classes.

The active construction areas throughout the campus will be fenced off.

The district encourages parents to use the circular driveway in front of the school to drop off and pick up students instead of parking on Newhall Avenue.

At Placerita Junior High, the front lawn is fenced off to allow for hydroseeding. The main campus entrance at the flagpole will remain open, but the Newhall Avenue entrance to the campus will be closed. The gate at 16th Street will remain open. Five classroom buildings are closed for renovation, and those classes have been relocated to temporary housing.

Modernization at Sierra Vista Junior High School is still awaiting approval from the state and construction will likely begin in October.

The district hired about 40 new teachers this year, mostly to fill vacated positions.

Due to the state budget crunch, the district will increase class sizes, which means the district doesn't need any new teaching positions despite the 200-student increase district-wide.

New teachers began work Aug. 6 when they met with peer assistance administrators to learn about student culture and the district's support systems.

The teachers also spent a day of technical training. The district's teachers association also hosted a luncheon on Friday.

"It's great to see all the new teachers excited about getting started and looking forward to their new assignments," Willett said.

The nearly 900 returning teachers will head back to work Monday and each school will conduct a staff development day for the teachers on Tuesday.

Teachers will spend Wednesday preparing their rooms and lesson plans for the first day of instruction on Thursday.

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