Board Approves Boundary Adjustments
The Board approved two boundary adjustments to take effect in 2010, shifting students from overcrowded schools to those which are experiencing declining enrollment. Students east of Seco Canyon and north of Copperhill will be shifted from Rio Norte/Valencia to the Arroyo Seco/Saugus attendance area. The Sierra Highway corridor north of Soledad Canyon Rd. will transition from La Mesa/Golden Valley to the Sierra Vista/Canyon attendance area. Responding to concerns expressed at public meetings held earlier this year, the Board voted to allow current junior high students in those areas to choose between their former high school and the newly assigned one. A third boundary adjustment in the Wiley Canyon area of Newhall will be brought back to the Board on Sept. 16 to allow for a final public information meeting in that area.
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Revised Budget Approved
As expected, the County has rejected the district’s 2009/10 budget, which anticipated a $14 million shortfall in 2010/11 and a $28.3 million deficit in 2011/12. Due to cost-cutting measures adopted by the district, a new budget was approved by the Board showing a $2.2 million deficit in 2010/11 and a shortfall of $14.3 million in 2011/12. However, Chief Financial Officer Sue Guthrie told the Governing Board that an anticipated agreement between the district and its certificated bargaining unit is expected to allow the district to adopt a balanced budget for the 2009/10 and 2010/11 school years, giving the district time to eliminate deficit spending for 2011/12.
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Two Castaic Sites Under Study
Two sites for a high school in the Castaic area are currently under study, Superintendent Jaime Castellanos reported to the Governing Board. In meetings with representatives of the Castaic Town Council, the district’s Growth Committee received support for three sites; however, the owner of one is not interested in selling, reducing the options to two. The Hasley/Sloan site, which the SCV Facilities Foundation already owns, and the Sterling Gatetway (Green Valley Ranch) residential development adjacent to the previously considered industrial site, are currently undergoing preliminary environmental studies. A civil engineering firm is looking at such issues as topography, grading and cost to develop each of the sites. A traffic study to determine potential mitigation and other studies also are underway so that the district will have answers to any concerns that may be expressed as community outreach meetings are scheduled in the future.
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Redesigned Web Site Introduced
The district’s redesigned Web site, which was launched at the end of July, was introduced to the Board and audience members. A screen projection showed how to navigate the new site’s drop-down menus and take advantage of such functions as the attendance boundary look-up program, an interactive search window, and blogs with up-to-date news releases and “What’s Good in Education.” The home page also has a survey asking viewers how they want to receive their news from the district, with more than half selecting e-mail as their preferred method of contact. The Board also viewed the eNotification page where visitors can sign up to receive information by e-mail on the topics they select. There are currently more than 4400 subscribers to the six information categories, representing more than 1200 unduplicated contacts. The Board recognized Information Technology Department members Susanne Ma and Theresa Morgan, who designed and implemented the redesigned site.
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Rancho Pico, Students Honored by Board
Rancho Pico Junior High School was honored by the Board for receiving the designation as a California Distinguished School. Principal Michele Krantz attended the meeting, along with the team which wrote the application for the state honor. The application required schools to highlight two exemplary programs, and Rancho Pico’s designation was based on intervention programs the school has adopted to assist struggling students. The Board also recognized two teams of students from West Ranch High School, who turned in top performances in the statewide and national Stock Market Game competitions last spring. Advisor Linda Cox introduced the students, who shared with the Board their winning investment strategies.
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Congratulations and welcome to the following staff members:
September 2, 2009 Regular Governing Board Meeting
Classified Position, Site
Crystal Bair - Inst. Asst I/Special Ed., Rio Norte
Eva Corralejo - Occup. Therapist, Admin Center
Dawn Diaz - Inst. Asst II/Special Ed., Canyon
Alicia Snowden - Campus Supv., Placerita
Janice Fiock (promotion) - Career Advisor I, West Ranch
Lucy Morris (change of status) - Inst. Asst I/Special Ed., Valencia
Lorez Patton (change of status) - Inst. Asst I/Special Ed., Sequoia