Students of the Newhall, Saugus Union, Sulphur Springs, Castaic Union and William S. Hart Union High school districts return to school this week and district officials offered some helpful tips for parents and students who are new to the Santa Clarita Valley or its public schools.
Students return to the Newhall and Saugus Union School Districts on Wednesday and to the Castaic Union, Sulphur Springs and William S. Hart Union High School
District on Thursday.
“We welcome all new families and students to the Hart district. We encourage families to get involved in a variety of opportunities at their school sites,” said Gail Pinsker, public relations officer for the William S. Hart Union High School District. “A variety of academic and extracurricular programs are offered from athletics to performance arts.”
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Each of the schools within the district have 40 or more clubs for students to choose from to enhance their educational experience, Pinsker said.
Officials also offered information about getting to school safely and on time.
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“One of the things we all deal with is traffic in Santa Clarita. My suggestion would be for parents to walk to school with their children if they can,” said Dr. Marc Winger, superintendent of the Newhall School District.
If that’s not possible, parents should leave early enough to get their child to school on time and have patience with congestion around school areas, Winger said.
The city of Santa Clarita’s infrastructure program, Safe Routes, is focused on making walking or biking to school easier for families, according to a city of Santa Clarita agenda report.
The project, funded by an annual grant, includes restriping crosswalks, creating more visible signage, constructing access ramps, improving sidewalks and creating bulbouts at school crossings.
Bulbouts are features that widen the sidewalk and narrow the street at crosswalks to reduce traffic speeds and shorten the crossing distance for pedestrians, according to the report.
A recent study showed that while approximately 80 percent of students in the nation would like to walk or bike to school, only 20 percent are allowed by their parents to do so, said Ian Pari, the city’s senior traffic engineer.
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“Safe Routes makes the streets around schools more encouraging and more friendly for kids,” Pari said.
The Safe Routes program also includes a non-infrastructure component in which students are taught about traffic safety through assemblies or in the classroom, he said.
The city also provides a list of suggested routes to school for parents and students on their website.
“Santa Clarita has great schools with high expectations,” Winger said. “If parents coming from a different district have any concerns about their children staying on track, they should talk to their teacher or principal.”
Source: Santa Clarita News