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Mike Kuhlman was named Superintendent of the William S. Hart Union High School District in March 2020 after serving for 23 years as a District teacher, assistant principal, principal, assistant superintendent, and deputy superintendent. Throughout that time, he worked to build strong, positive relationships with students, staff, families and community leaders throughout the Santa Clarita Valley and beyond.
As Deputy Superintendent, Mr. Kuhlman oversaw the Educational Services Department during a period of sustained increases in student achievement and during a time when Hart was recognized as a “California Distinguished District.” Under his leadership, the District launched multiple innovative programs that place the Hart District on the cutting edge of educational design and student support.  Hart District students continue to outperform their county peers on English and math assessments and are among the highest performing in the State of California. Most recently, the State recognized the District’s outstanding work to meet student needs during the pandemic with the “California Pivotal Practices Award.”
Mr. Kuhlman was the driving force behind the implementation of a new Strategic Plan for the Hart District.  The plan, adopted by the Governing Board in June of 2022 identifies five broad areas for focused improvement:  Student Learning and Instruction, Safety and Wellness, Access and Equity, Financial and Human Resources, and Communication and Collaboration.  At the heart of the plan is a commitment to equity, as exemplified by a newly adopted purpose statement which declares that it is our responsibility to prepare “every student” to be “opportunity ready.”

Mr. Kuhlman is passionate about the social and emotional wellness of students, staff, and families.  Under his guidance, the District has hired wellness coordinators and has opened wellness centers at most school sites throughout the Hart District.  The District employs academic counselors, therapeutic counselors and social workers to support the wellness of our school communities.
Mr. Kuhlman also became Superintendent in the immediate aftermath of the Saugus High School shooting tragedy.  Under his direction, the District continues to implement the best practices outlined in in the report titled: “Enhancing Plans and Procedures for the Prevention of Targeted Campus Violence.”  The District maintains a commitment to systematically identifying evolving security needs while working to implement policies and practices that enhance safety at all school sites.
Messages from the Superintendent
Good evening Hart District Families,
Last Friday I shared an invitation to the Hart District’s Safe Schools Discussion scheduled from 6-8 pm on August 31 at the Santa Clarita Activities Centre.  We hope you can join us for this important discussion.

Tonight, I would like to share that we will be adding an additional layer to our security protocols at the Hart District.  Beginning Monday, August 22, a firearm detection canine unit will be deployed each morning to one or more of our District’s school sites.  The canine unit will be composed of a uniformed handler and a dog that has been trained to detect firearms and gunpowder.  During the visit to campus, the canine unit will help monitor student arrival to school in the morning.  In addition, the canine unit will be used to search student parking lots and lockers for firearms.  Each school site will be visited 10-11 times throughout the school year on a random basis.

We have partnered with 3DK9 Detection Services to provide this added layer of protection to our campuses.  This agreement will employ canines trained to detect firearms and explosives (not narcotics.)  We believe the promise of randomized visits to campuses will help deter individuals from bringing firearms onto campus while also helping our students and staff feel more secure. 

While we are excited to provide this added layer to our safety protocols, it is important to remember that no one strategy is a guarantee when it comes to school safety.  The literature and the experts agree that a layered approach to school safety is the best course of action.  The Hart District multi-layered approach to school safety can be viewed here.   

Families should not be alarmed to see these friendly canine units and their handlers interacting with our students in the coming weeks and months.  The appearance of 3DK9 units on campus are not in response to any particular known threat.  Rather, they are a proactive measure to help deter weapons from being brought onto campus.

If you have any questions or concerns about this new layer of prevention, we invite you to contact our Assistant Superintendent of Student Services, Safety and Wellness – Ms. Kathy Hunter. Ms. Hunter can be reached at: [email protected].

Mike Kuhlman
Good evening Hart District community,
Welcome to the launch of the 2022-2023 school year.  I’m pleased to report that we are off to a GREAT start!
With the beginning of classes and activities, we recognize that the subject of school safety is on everyone’s mind.  I’m writing tonight to share an update on our continuing efforts to enhance and improve security in the Hart District.
Following the tragedy at Saugus High School, the Hart District worked with school violence prevention experts to identify best practices that can be used to keep our schools safe.  The resulting report is titled “Enhancing Plans and Procedures for the Prevention of Targeted Campus Violence” and is attached to the District’s website.
The Hart District has been working diligently to implement the best practices outlined in this document. Our progress toward implementing the best practices is updated regularly on the District’s website, and is reported to the Governing Board in a public meeting twice annually.  A summary of our progress through the end of the last school year can be found HERE
In June of this year, the Governing Board adopted a five-year strategic plan that included a commitment to “Systematically identify evolving security needs, evaluate current and potential protocols, and allocate
resources to enhance safety.” (element 2.4)
In our effort to systematically identify evolving security needs, we convened a summer webinar with our security consultant – Mr. Patrick Prince – to discuss the latest recommendations for keeping schools safe.  Santa Clarita school leaders, City officials and local law enforcement officers all participated in this refresher training on July 27.
We also recognize that feedback from the community is a necessary part of identifying evolving security needs.  To that end, I would like to invite Hart District students, staff and parents to join us for a Safe Schools Discussion on August 31, from 6:00-8:00 pm at the Santa Clarita Activities Centre (The Aquatics Complex).  At this meeting, District Staff will share an overview of our progress toward implementing best practices outlined in the report.  Captain Diez from the Sheriff’s Department will be on hand to share how local law enforcement partners with the District to protect our schools. Participants will also be invited to provide feedback and suggestions in four key areas:
Area #1: Mental Health and Wellness
Area #2: Site Security
Area #3: Communication
Area #4: Policy and Training
The feedback from this Safe Schools Discussion will inform our efforts to enhance and improve our planning and help us determine how to allocate resources.
We hope you can join us for the Hart District Safe Schools Discussion from 6-8 pm on August 31 at the Santa Clarita Activities Centre (20880 Centre Pointe Parkway).
Thank you and have a nice evening,
Mike Kuhlman
William S. Hart Union High School District