William S. Hart Union High School District

Santa Clarita, CA

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November 19, 2014 Vol. XV, No. 5

November 21st, 2014

Public Meetings Set to Discuss Trustee-Area Voting
The Hart School District has held two of five planned community meetings to allow for public input and comment on the California Voter Rights Act (CVRA) process and the district’s planned change to trustee-area voting, from the current at-large system. Parents and community members are invited to attend any meeting and no reservation is required. The two meetings held were on November 6, 2014, at Sierra Vista Junior High School and on November 17, 2014, at Placerita Junior High School. A Spanish translator was available at both these meetings. The three remaining meetings will all be from 6 – 7:30 pm as follows: November 20, 2014, at Arroyo Seco Junior High School multi-purpose room, 27171 N. Vista Delgado Dr. Valencia, 91354; December 2, 2014 at Rio Norte Junior High School library, 28770 Rio Norte Dr. Valencia 91354 and December 3, 2014 at Castaic Middle School multi-purpose room, 28900 Hillcrest Pkwy. Castaic, 91384. Two proposed trustee-area scenarios will be displayed and explained and parents and community members will have an opportunity to review and comment during each meeting. District staff will collect input and share with the Governing Board prior to the approval of the final map and voting areas are selected. The two maps are similar in that they would split the Hart School District service area into five voting areas, each with roughly the same population. This does not have any impact on current school boundaries. The Governing Board approved a resolution to initiate the process to transition from an at-large election system to a by trustee-area election system, as a result of concerns about potential exposure to litigation under the CVRA. District staff, the demographer who created the two scenarios and District legal counsel will be present at the meetings to answer questions regarding this new process and the maps. The new system of voting areas is due to be in place in time for the next district board election in November 2015.

Padres Unidos del Distrito Hosted Successful Parent Workshop
Nearly 50 parents from Hart High School, Placerita Junior High School, Rio Norte Junior High School and Valencia High School spent an evening in a parent workshop designed to share strategies on how to talk and motivate children in school and in the home. This very engaging and interactive evening was conducted entirely in Spanish. Hart Governing Board member Gloria Mercado-Fortine provided a warm welcome to the group and participated with the parents in all the activities. Hands-on engaging activities included inside/outside circle and pair-share. Parents also practiced positive communication skills and were given the “magic words” of when/then (en Espanol, cuando/entonces) for setting appropriate boundaries for teens. Eugenia “Gennie” Zualaga presented the workshop and facilitated the activities. Zualaga holds a Bachelor of Science in Behavioral Science and a master’s degree in special education. She has more than 12 years of experience collaborating with students, parents and school officials in the overall educational needs of children in the community at large. Zualaga is currently an elementary school teacher working with children with special needs for the Saugus Union School District. “Parents benefitted not only from the expertise of Gennie, but also from the opportunity to learn with parents who share the same concerns and hopes for their children,” Jill Shenberger, director of special programs, said. “The Hart District looks forward to the opportunity to continue to support our Spanish speaking parents through Padres Unidos del Distrito this spring.”


Canyon High Seniors Participated in Canyon Economic Summit
Canyon High School seniors enrolled in economics this semester participated in an economic summit in the Canyon High gym earlier this week. This program is a world trade simulation where the students debate world issues and experience the costs and benefits of trading. Students have been gearing up for this event all semester, which culminated with interactive activities, including trading and buying resources for their country, making bank loans and participating in other interactive business activities. The program is a 13-lesson program designed around core high school economic content that focuses on the complexities of trade and globalization. Under the direction of Maria Cooper, Canyon High economics and government teacher, approximately 160 students participated this semester. Economics is a required class for seniors with some taking it next semester. They will have the opportunity to participate in this program, as well. Cooper has coordinated this program at Canyon since 2007.


Student Leaders Participate in DFYIT Leadership Summit
The Drug Free Youth In Town (DFYIT) program held a leadership summit for 65 DFYIT Club officers from 13 local schools earlier in November. Students participated in teambuilding, learned marketing strategies for their campuses and developed facilitation skills, in addition to networking with fellow DFYIT leaders. The City of Santa Clarita, Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, Los Angeles County Fifth Supervisorial District, and the Hart School District have teamed up to bring this anti-drug program to Santa Clarita.  DFYIT is a free, school-based, voluntary, anti-drug club for junior high and high school teens. In DFYIT, teens thrive, drug free, in a club run by kids, for kids. More than 1,500 students throughout the Hart School District have taken the pledge and are dedicated to a healthy lifestyle and more are joining every day. Local speaker and life coach Dan Williams motivated the students with a very inspirational presentation.


Contact for more information: Gail Pinsker, Public Relations Officer,
gpinsker@hartdistrict.org, 661.259.0033 x 227
William S. Hart Union School District website:
Check out previous issues: http://www.hartdistrict.org/index.php/blogs/wgie