Hart schools ready to open for class of 2009.
Students won’t arrive on campuses in the Wm. S. Hart Union High School District until Thursday, Aug. 14, but the district is already gearing up for the opening of school, when enrollment is expected to top 23,000 for the second year in a row. The district is projecting an enrollment of 23,295 students this year, up 180 from the official student census recorded last October.
The district has hired some 40 new teachers this year, mostly to fill positions vacated by attrition. Although the district is expected to grow by just under 200 students over last year’s official enrollment, a increase in class size due to the state’s current budget crisis is expected to negate the need for any new teaching positions.
Teachers new to the Hart District have been on the job since Aug. 6, when they met with the district’s Peer Assistance and Review team to learn about the Hart District’s culture and the support systems in place to help new teachers in their first year.
New teachers also spent a day of technical training, becoming acquainted with the district’s student tracking system and other technical systems they will be using. The Hart District Teachers Association hosted a luncheon for all new teachers on Aug. 8 to introduce them to services and benefits offered by the union.
The district’s nearly 900 returning teachers will report for work Monday, Aug. 11, and each school will conduct a staff development day for its own teachers on Tuesday morning. Teachers will spend Wednesday working on their rooms and lesson plans in preparation for the arrival of students on Thursday, Aug. 14.
District records show 23,241 students actually enrolled as of Aug. 8, but new students are enrolling daily and the count does not yet reflect students who may have left during the summer without formally withdrawing from their schools. More accurate enrollment figures will be available by the end of the first week of school, and the official enrollment will be recorded the first week in October, when the state records its student census of enrollment.
Schools which are expected to see the greatest change in enrollment are La Mesa Junior High, which already has 67 more students enrolled than the last day of school in June, and Valencia High School, with an increase of 47. Other schools which are showing double-digit increases over last June include Rio Norte Junior High (34), Sierra Vista Junior High (31), Saugus High School (28), Rancho Pico Junior High (24) and Arroyo Seco Junior High (15).
Canyon High School currently shows a slight decrease of 17 students and West Ranch currently is down 13. None of those figures takes into account new move-ins which are continuing to enroll or unaccounted-for withdrawals.
Even though Aug. 14 is the official first day of school, most Hart District students have already gotten a taste to back-to-school as they participate in summer check-in procedures. The early check-in days allow students to get their ID photos taken, pick up their class schedules and check out textbooks so they’re ready to start on the first day of school.
Students returning to Hart High School and Placerita Junior High will find more portables on campus to house classes during upcoming modernization, and some areas of campus fenced off for construction activities.
At Placerita, the school’s front lawn is fenced off to allow the new hydroseeding to take over. The main campus entrance at the flagpole will remain open, but the Newhall Avenue entrance to the campus will be closed; the 16th St. gate onto the athletic fields will remain open. Five classroom buildings are closed for major renovation, and those classes have been relocated to interim housing.
Contractors spend summer vacation completing relocation of underground utilities and other trenching necessary for the upcoming construction project.
Students returning to Hart High will find that Building A and the lower T classrooms have been demolished over the summer in preparation for the school’s new science building. Ten portable classrooms in the front parking lot will provide interim housing for displaced classes. Asbestos abatement has been completed in buildings to be modernized, and active construction areas will be fenced off.
Parents are reminded to use the circular driveway at the front of the school to drop off and pick up students rather than trying to pull over on Newhall Avenue. The drop-off area has been available since last year, when portables were removed from the front of the school after 13 years.
Modernization at Sierra Vista Junior High School is still awaiting approval from the Division of State Architects and most likely will begin to see some construction activity in October.
Other School Districts are also planning to resume classes again. Look below to see when each school starts:
- COC--Aug. 25th
- Saugus Elementary School District --Aug. 13th
- Sulphur Springs School District --Aug.14th
- Castaic Union School District--Aug. 13th
- Newhall Elementary School District--Aug. 13th
Note: All pictures courtesy of the William S. Hart District.