The state’s Common Core Standards Initiative is bringing an influx of technology into classrooms statewide, and the Hart district hired a Santa Clarita Valley product to take on the new challenge locally, officials announced Wednesday. Jon Carrino, 38 of Palmdale, a Sierra Vista Junior High and Canyon High School grad, was named the district’s new director of technology at the William S. Hart Union High School District board meeting this week. His new post will take effect July 1. “It’s really going to be key that we’re there and involved in the discussion as a support function for teachers and students,” Carrino said, discussing his new promotion Thursday. The Hart district oversees about 22,000 students in the Santa Clarita Valley's public junior highs and high schools.
A Canyon High School senior is asking Hart district officials to speed up their process for including the contributions of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Americans into Santa Clarita Valley junior high and high school social studies classes. Andrew Taban, 17, is involved with several advocacy groups, and spoke at several Hart district board meetings after the topic was brought up among several student groups, he said. “When you see someone like you in history, you feel like there’s a chance for you,” Taban said. “It also gives a normality to who you are.” The William S. Hart Union High School District is in compliance with the FAIR Education Act, said Vicki Engbrecht, Hart district assistant superintendent for educational services. The Hart district oversees about 22,000 public junior high and high school students in the Santa Clarita Valley.
The Hart district could be opening Castaic High School in 2017-18, two years later than originally anticipated, according to district officials, who expressed concern over the permitting process. The discussion came during the regularly scheduled updates on Castaic High School at the regularly scheduled board meeting. “Right now, it’s appearing to us that 2016 is not going to happen, we’re working with the county right now on updating that date,” said Gail Pinsker, Hart district spokeswoman, noting the concerns were brought to light at Wednesday night’s board meeting. While commending the job of Ben Rodriguez, chief operating officer for the district, board member Gloria Mercado-Fortine mentioned bureaucratic obstacles, which have been frustrating school officials.