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From riding surfboards to reading whiteboards

Education: It’s back-to-school week throughout the Santa Clarita Valley

Posted: August 8, 2010 10:28 p.m.
Updated: August 9, 2010 4:55 a.m.

True, the calendar says it’s still single digits in August.

But throughout the Santa Clarita Valley, it’s time to put away the swim suits and surfboards and get out the notebooks and calculators.

Nearly 50,000 SCV youngsters will be heading back to school this week — most on Thursday — as students, educators and support staff gear up for another school year.

And many parents heave a sigh of relief.

“Each year brings a renewed enthusiasm and excitement as the new school year begins,” said the Hart district’s enthusiastic new superintendent, Robert Challinor.

“Students throughout the Santa Clarita Valley will be facing new challenges and adventures as they are introduced to new teachers and curriculum.”

The William S. Hart Union High School District, which takes in all public junior high and high schools in the valley, has 23,153 students enrolled for the 2010-11 school year, which for Hart district begins Thursday.

However, district leaders expect that number will dip a little once the school year is under way.

Hart district students have already gone through the registration process, picking up their class schedules and textbooks. Teachers have spent August attending training sessions and orientations.

Elementary school districts
Saugus Union School District, the community’s largest elementary school district, is expecting about 10,500 students to start the school year on Thursday.

The Newhall School District is planning for 7,015 elementary-school students, a drop from the 7,086 students who attended during the 2009-10 school year, said Superintendent Marc Winger.

The majority of the district’s schools begin class on Wednesday, while McGrath Elementary School starts on Tuesday.

Sulphur Springs School District is expecting to count 5,640 students, which includes a potential increase in the number of kindergarten students, said Superintendent Robert Nolet. Classes for the Sulphur Springs School District begin Thursday.

Thursday will bring an estimated 3,200 students to the Castaic Union School District, the community’s only K-8 district.

New classrooms, labs
At the Hart district, students at Sierra Vista Junior High and Hart High schools will start some of their classes in completely modernized buildings.

“That’s going to be very exciting for them,” said Hart district spokeswoman Pat Willett.

Hart High will open this fall with new band and choir rooms as well as completely renovated changing rooms and bathrooms.

Four classrooms in the E building are newly modernized, including a mini computer lab for the school’s journalism class.

The newly modernized K building will offer three biology classrooms with labs and two math classrooms.

Sierra Vista Junior High will open with five new science labs and a new foods classroom.

A dedicated video classroom will allow the school to offer a full-semester video-production class in addition to its former seventh-grade video exploratory program.

But Challinor, who took office in July as former district Superintendent Jaime Castellanos retired, said it’s not just about academics.

“I sincerely hope that the students of the Hart district take advantage of the many fine co-curricular and extra-curricular programs offered by our outstanding staff,” he said.


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