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Santa Clarita / Antelope Valley : District Considers More Year-Round Schools

SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

With two elementary schools already switching to a year-round schedule in July, trustees of the Newhall School District are now looking at abandoning the traditional September-to-June schedule at other schools to relieve overcrowding in the fast-growing district.

Michael McCabe, board president of the Newhall district, said there is a strong possibility that additional schools will begin a year-round schedule in 1994. Six elementary schools make up the district.

Valencia Valley and Wiley Canyon elementary schools will begin year-round, multitrack programs in July. The plan calls for students to begin their classes and take vacations at different times.

Board members this week discussed whether they should add other schools to year-round schedules after they heard predictions on enrollment for the next five years. Even with a 4% annual increase in enrollment--which Supt. Michael McGrath believes is too low--the number of students is expected to exceed available classroom space by the 1994-95 school year. “I think it’s too conservative,” McGrath said. “We haven’t been at 4% in seven or eight years.”

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Proponents of multitrack, year-round education say it helps relieve overcrowding at a low cost and also helps students remember information without the traditional long summer break.

Opponents say it disrupts family schedules, especially affecting those with children attending different schools. And students forced into a track they do not want may be unable to participate in some extracurricular programs. The board will consider the issue at its May 11 meeting.


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