One of the many reasons families move to the Santa Clarita Valley is because of our schools.  The City of Santa Clarita consistently ranks among the top ten percent in California communities for families because of the high performing schools, with a majority of elementary schools being named California Distinguished Schools on numerous occasions from the California Department of Education or National or have been awarded National Blue Ribbon Schools of Excellence.  It is not only worth celebrating, but worth continuing.

Education is a priority in Santa Clarita, and is a pivotal part of the success of our future. Our community has a reputation for having some of the best academic institutions in the country, boasting multiple primary education facilities, a variety of charter schools and private schools, and three secondary education facilities including College of the Canyons, California Institute of the Arts and The Master’s College.  Students in grades K through 6 can attend schools in the Newhall, Saugus, Sulphur Springs and Castaic school districts and grades 7 through 12 are served by the William S. Hart Union High School District (except Castaic, which has its own middle school through eighth grade).
It’s no wonder why families flock to the Santa Clarita Valley.  With award winning schools and a community that cares about their students, it’s a recipe for educational success.

photos by Joie de Vivre Photographie

Vicki Engbrecht
Superintendent
William S. Hart Union High School District

The Hart District continues to be known for safe and successful schools. The next couple years will prove to be very exciting in the world of education. The state budget is looking more positive than it has for years, and that will allow us to increase the technology we have available for students in the classroom, expand our intervention programs for struggling students, and support our career technical education programs to help prepare every student for life past high school.
In addition to six comprehensive high schools and six comprehensive junior highs, the Hart District offers a variety of alternative programs to meet varying students’ needs. For example, we have Hart at Home, which is a home school support program as well as Academy of the Canyons, which is a middle college high school program.

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super5 Joan Lucid, Ed. D.
Superintendent
Saugus Union School District

I’m looking forward to the implementation of our District Bond Measure EE to improve our facilities for our children.    I believe our children deserve an excellent public education and in Saugus, we take great pride in delivering an outstanding educational experience that focuses on academic and personal success for every child.  We have amazing teachers, administrators and support staff who are outstanding professionals. They are a real indication of who we are and what we do because it’s truly a team effort. With a new school year, we are looking forward to the implementation of our new math program.  Professional development is planned for our teachers to expand their knowledge and expertise as well as additional professional development for our administrators as they can expand their roles as instructional leaders.  We launched a Facebook page about a year and a half ago that gives parents and our community a snapshot into what is happening day to day in our schools.  Our website has great information and we are continuously updating it. We are excited for students to return to school. We celebrate the small things because they grow into absolutely wonderful accomplishments. We are most fortunate to be in partnership with the home and community and are committed to excellence in elementary education on a day-to-day basis.

Janene Maxon
Interim Superintendent
Castaic Union School District

Castaic Union School District is emerging from significant budget setbacks from the 2014-2015 school year that required major adjustments in personnel, school site configurations, and class size.  As we approach the beginning of the new school year, I look forward to positively navigating this new landscape with a fresh outlook and to view our current scenarios through a reinvigorated and creative lens.  Together as a district, our families and our very supportive community, we have weathered the largest part of the storm…clearer skies and “happier trails” are in our future!
I look forward to continuing our implementation of the new state standards, including developing in our students what it means to be a 21st Century Learner; moving our sixth grade students to our TK-5 sites; our Middle School implementing a block schedule, which will allow students additional time in one setting to grasp standards in all content areas; working with smaller student populations at all four school sites with seasoned staff in new positions that may bring about a refreshed point-of-view; continuing to move forward in arts integration and bringing instrumental music programs to all students using the Arts for All grant; and moving forward in our efforts to instill GRIT!

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super1 Paul Cordeiro
Superintendent
Newhall School District

In 2015-16, the Newhall School District will continue its work in transitioning the instruction and assessment programs to align to the Common Core State Standards.  Teachers continue to work collaboratively to implement new curricula and methods that maximize student engagement in and ownership of their work.  Ensuring mastery of the new standards is the District’s top priority.  Another priority will be to purchase additional classroom technology, aspiring to have one laptop or tablet computer for every student.  Finally, the District will continue its Measure E-funded projects to construct new classrooms at Peachland and Old Orchard schools as well as complete a full renovation of the Newhall School auditorium.  The renovated auditorium will serve as a community-wide performing arts venue for years into the future.

Dr. Catherine Kawaguchi
Superintendent
Sulphur Springs Union School District

What’s really exciting in the Sulphur Springs Union School District is we have an amazing team of certificated and classified staff that are working together to bring excellence to the children and their families. We just passed our Local Control Accountability Plan (LCAP) that targets student learning, and has a large component that centers on parent engagement. We are focused on engaging our parents and our community to be partners with us, and the Board of Trustees and I want to continue to strengthen that.
The other really exciting project that we are working on is our roll-out of our technology that continues to increase academic excellence for our children. We have a 1:3 ratio of iPads- one iPad per three students, and two SMART Boards that are in over 93 percent of classrooms. With that, we are strengthening the engagement and collaboration of children working together on an iPad, and having our children participate in project-based learning to increase higher level thinking skills and creativity. The use of technology in the classrooms greatly supports the children learning the California State Standards.
All of our Principals and Teachers are also focusing on the implementation of STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math) in all classrooms. This coming year, we are looking at infusing robotics into our sixth grade curriculum. We want to continue our mission of offering learning opportunities to allow students to grow and shine.

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