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HART PLANS SCHOOLING CHANGES DISTRICT WILL GO YEAR-ROUND.

Byline: Amy Raisin Staff Writer

SANTA CLARITA - Though more than a year away, the Hart school district's transition to year-round schooling in junior highs is already being prepared with site planning teams and a year-round consultant.

District officials wasted little time after the school board's March vote for year-round education to ease overcrowding, hiring Rob Buoncristiani for his guidance and 29 years of experience with implementing the alternative schedule. The district is using state grant money for his $15,000 fee.

``He has already toured the four junior high schools and met with the principals in April,'' said Leslie Crunelle, director of curriculum for the William S. Hart Union High School District. ``And he will meet with the teams in June.''

Buoncristiani, director of curriculum and year-round education at the Fairfield-Suisun Unified School District in Northern California, will continue with the Hart district until the new schedule begins.

``We met with him and he just has a wealth of information about how to implement year-round education,'' said Rochelle Neal, principal at La Mesa Junior High.

``The pressure's not on yet, but we'll be getting more direction at the next meeting. I feel like we're moving along and I'm thrilled to have an expert with us so we don't have to reinvent the wheel,'' Neal said.

The La Mesa principal said she is still assembling the school's planning team - teachers, parents, classified staff and administrators who will represent each school site - and is looking forward to the changes.

Crunelle said Buoncristiani's April visit gave school administrators and district officials a look at how much goes into making the switch.

Specific attention was given to available space on each campus, Crunelle said. Rolling storage bins will used to stow the materials of teachers who are off-track.

``We'll use some of the state grant money for storage bins and to provide substitute teachers to (free up) teachers who are on planning teams,'' Crunelle said.

She also explained that the board's vote to convert high schools to an extended-day format has not been forgotten, but because it does not entail a change to the school calendar it is less difficult to implement.

``The high school issues are different,'' she said. ``Principals will identify some of these for the board at the June 15 meeting.''
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Publication:Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)
Date:May 25, 2001
Words:380
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