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Quality schools in your neighborhood

Posted: February 24, 2014 2:00 a.m.
Updated: February 24, 2014 2:00 a.m.

The Golden Valley Grizzly Marching Band and Color Guard performs to the music of "300 - The Last Stand" at the 30th annual Hart Rampage Marching Band Field Show Tournament held at College of the Canyons in Valencia.

 

Hart School District aims to prepare students for a successful future.

The regional and national recognition the Hart School District has earned for strong academic programs, along with award-winning performing arts programs and winning athletic programs combines to make the 16 junior high and high schools in the Hart District the schools of choice in the Santa Clarita Valley.

Students receive a top-notch education along with the opportunity to learn about various career options through career pathways, internships, shadowing and Regional Occupation Program (ROP) classes, while pursuing their interests in performing arts, sports, electives and a variety of campus clubs.

Since the first school, Hart High School, was founded in 1945, the William S. Hart Union High School District has been the main draw of residents and businesses looking for a community that offers great schools, a safe environment, choices in residential neighborhoods and a great place to live, work and play. That holds true today and residents know that good schools equate to higher property values.

Currently, the Hart School District serves nearly 23,000 students in grades 7-12, as well as offering adult education through Golden Oak Adult School. The Hart District also offers a home school program, Hart @ Home, and in January 2014 opened Action Academy, a sober school. Career Visions offers special education students the opportunity for training and assistance finding work to help reach their highest level of independence.

With high-performing elementary school districts preparing our future students for the rigors of junior high school, we partner well with them to ensure students transition smoothly into the new and exciting environment of junior high schools. Students and parents in the Saugus, Sulphur Springs, Newhall and Castaic School Districts can rest assured that their students will be in a helpful and nurturing environment when they enter junior high school.

Teachers in all five local school districts are fully credentialed and “No Child Left Behind” compliant. They are enthusiastic and go above and beyond the call of duty each and every day to make sure all students are comfortable and enjoying a good experience that focuses on academics and the social and emotional aspects of all children as individuals.

Changes are underway in the area of curriculum with Common Core State Standards, which will be implemented in the 2014-15 school year. Currently, pilots are taking place at all school sites, and teachers are undergoing professional development training as the District gears up for this change that promises to grow thinkers and innovators, who explore and analyze real life problems, text, and situations for causes, patterns, and outcomes, to apply this knowledge in their everyday lives to become productive citizens. These new standards will focus on producing career and college-ready students in the 21st century.

Students and parents will find more rigor in the process and higher expectations during testing to better prepare students for their futures. Forty-five states have adopted the Common Core State Standards; however, we are following a version that has been developed for California in 2010. The federal government is not involved in this adoption. Education continues to be a state controlled and administered program.

The state has granted the Hart School District one-time funding of $4.6 million to assist in implementing this initiative. The funds will be used for professional development to better prepare teachers to use the technology and effectively teach the Common Core standards, and increase technology at school sites through the purchase of mobile devices toward the goal of 1:1 computing in our schools. Currently, the Hart District Junior High Schools have nearly a two-student to one device ratio.

Hart District students also have a full array of honors and AP classes available at each high school, as well as the opportunity to develop and strengthen interests in performing arts such as dance, drama, band, marching band and choir. Student athletes have a broad range of CIF sports to pursue with many teams known for championship performance and recognition. Recently, the Saugus Boys Varsity Cross Country team won first place in the state and the Hart Football team earned the CIF Southern Division crown, having faced Valencia in the playoffs. The Saugus Girls Cross Country team earned second place in the state this year, following seven years of first place honors.

Hart graduates earn more than $4 million in scholarships each year for academic, athletic and performing arts pursuits. This past year, three schools earned California Distinguished School awards, Hart High School, Sierra Vista Junior High School and Rancho Pico Junior High School. Hart High was also recognized as having an Exemplary Arts Program. Several schools were recognized in national polls of top schools in the country from U.S. News, Newsweek and Washington Post. Several Hart grads have gone on to play professional sports in the NFL, MLB and WNBA.

Opportunities abound for all students, whether pursuing a college track or direct career track and administrators, staff and teachers enthusiastically support and assist each student toward meeting their goals and reaching their dreams. Look no further for quality schools of choice than within your own neighborhood.

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