CORRECTION: Corrects the current attendance figure for Valencia High School. Provides further explanation of attendance projections.
Hart district officials released the projections for the possible attendance figures for the district and the as-yet-unopened Castaic High School at a recent board meeting.
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The Hart district data looks at the number of students eligible to attend schools with and without the district’s new planned site in Castaic, based on residential projections and communication with the district’s feeder schools, according to Hart district officials.
Even without a Castaic High School, Valencia High’s projections based on the respective school’s residential boundaries for possible enrollments in seven years, — the farthest point the projections went was the 2020-21 school year — would be approximately 210 students fewer than it is now.
However, the district is anticipating an overall increase in attendance, including gains from other schools in the district.
While district officials project the number of possible students eligible to attend Valencia High to decrease by 110 possible students for the next school year — the report cites 3,832 eligible students in 2013-14 and 3,722 possible students in 2014-15 — the district is anticipating 79 more students for Valencia High in 2014-15, or a total enrollment of 3,096 actual students, according to the report.
Valencia High School has 3,017 actual students in the 2013-14 enrollment report. The school is projected to have 2,296 students eligible for enrollment in 2020-21 with a Castaic High School (if it’s built in 2017-18), and there would be 3,622 students eligible for enrollment if no high school was built.
The projections for Castaic High’s first four years of existence include 316 students in 2017-18, which would have freshman-only attendance. The following year, the projection is 646 students eligible for attendance, a figure growing to a schoolwide projection of 1,326 possible attendees by 2020-21, the projected year for Castaic High’s first graduating class.
The Castaic Union School District officials noted an inexplicable decline in anticipated enrollments for its school year this year, and Hart officials said they are keeping an eye on enrollment trends that could affect district enrollments.
CUSD Superintendent Jim Gibson said the district has solicited help from a demographer to look at the causes for the reduced enrollments, noting the district lost 200 students before the start of the current school year.
The Hart district plans to hire a principal for Castaic High 15-18 months prior to Castaic High’s opening in order to work with incoming Castaic Middle School students, as well as other feeder schools in the area. The projected date for that hire is in 2016.
Due to concerns over permits and a lawsuit, the district was forced to re-adjust its timelines in respect to the school’s opening, Hart district Spokeswoman Gail Pinsker said in a previous interview.
The district held a groundbreaking ceremony May 8, 2013, which was attended by school officials and political leaders, most referencing the delays associated with the school, which is located near the intersections of Hasley Canyon and Romero Canyon roads.
Related article: Castaic High Groundbreaking Met With Cheers, Protest
“We went through nine sites, three superintendents, five board members, 12 senior cabinet members and more than 30,000 students trying to get this high school built,” said then-Hart district board President Joe Messina, at the ceremony last year.
A Castaic High School frequently asked questions page on the Hart district’s site notes district officials have been working since 2001 to find a site, with a 2013 projected opening date that has since been revised several times.
In the past, Hart district students from the Castaic area were cycled between Valencia and West Ranch high schools, a policy ended two years ago.
All of those students are now sent to Valencia High School, district officials said. Parents can request an intra-district transfer to open-enrollment schools, which are West Ranch, Golden Valley and Hart high schools, according to district officials.
Here are the number of eligible student enrollments for the other schools projected for the 2014-15 school year: Canyon High is projected to have 2,391 possible students — which means the district anticipates 2,391 students eligible to attend Canyon High by virtue of where the students live, it does not reflect the school’s actual enrollment numbers.
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Source: Santa Clarita News