Sulphur Springs Board to review district’s future demographics

By Christina Cox

Last update: Tuesday, April 11th, 2017

Members of the Sulphur Springs Union School District Governing Board will hear and review an annual report on the district’s seven-year student population projections during its Wednesday meeting at Leona Cox Community School.

The demographics report, created by Davis Demographics and Planning Inc., includes projected growth on a school-by-school basis and district-wide basis, trends in the community, how trends may affect student population, facility adjustments and residential developments.

According to the report, enrollment is expected to decline for the next two years before residential developments cause enrollment to increase substantially by 2018 and reach peak enrollment by 2020.

“According to the projections, the Sulphur Springs Union School District could see a return to peak enrollment over the next seven years due to projected increasing development in the district,” the report read.

This peak enrollment level was last reached in 2009 when the district had 5,783 students in kindergarten to sixth grade enrolled.

The report indicates that the district enrollment within its boundaries is expected to increase from 5,087 students in fall 2016 to 6,091 students in fall 2023.

According to the report, the additional 1,000 students over the next seven years is due to the 4,188 proposed housing units that could be built within the district’s boundaries during the same time period.

These proposed projects include: Vista Canyon Ranch, Mancara Ranch and the Spring Canyon project; Pardee’s Aliento projects; and Synergy’s Park Place project and Sand Canyon Plaza project.

The new housing projects could cause the district to adjust boundaries lines for schools near the developments or open a new elementary school site the serve the impacted areas.  The last time Sulphur Springs opened a new school site was in 2008 with the addition of Golden Oak Community School.

However, the demographic reports that its findings are “a snapshot of current and potential student population based on data gathered in fall 2016” and that demographics, development plans, funding opportunities and district priorities could change before these potential demographic changes come to fruition.

English Language Arts (ELA)/English Language Development (ELA)

Board members are also expected to adopt a new ELA/ELD program called Benchmark Advance following a two-year process that included a teacher pilot program, stakeholder feedback and committee meetings.

At a March 29 special board meeting, the ELA/ELD Advisory Adoption Committee presented their findings to the board in identifying the best state-approved materials to meet the ELA/ELD framework and California State Standards.

The committee settled on two finalist programs, Benchmark and Wonders, and pilot tested both of them before conducting surveys, taking feedback and ultimately selecting Benchmark as the next ELA/ELD instructional program.

According to the committee findings, Benchmark covers all state standards, offers a variety of teaching strategies, focuses on informational text and literature, provides online teacher materials, provides a variety of ways to monitor student progress, integrates technology and provides implementation support.

If approved, the state-approved instructional series and ELA/ELD program will be implemented during the next eight years at all eight school sites beginning in the 2017-18 schoolyear.

Additional Agenda Items

ccox@signalscv.com
661-287-5575
On Twitter as @_ChristinaCox_

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Sulphur Springs Board to review district’s future demographics

Members of the Sulphur Springs Union School District Governing Board will hear and review an annual report on the district’s seven-year student population projections during its Wednesday meeting at Leona Cox Community School.

The demographics report, created by Davis Demographics and Planning Inc., includes projected growth on a school-by-school basis and district-wide basis, trends in the community, how trends may affect student population, facility adjustments and residential developments.

According to the report, enrollment is expected to decline for the next two years before residential developments cause enrollment to increase substantially by 2018 and reach peak enrollment by 2020.

“According to the projections, the Sulphur Springs Union School District could see a return to peak enrollment over the next seven years due to projected increasing development in the district,” the report read.

This peak enrollment level was last reached in 2009 when the district had 5,783 students in kindergarten to sixth grade enrolled.

The report indicates that the district enrollment within its boundaries is expected to increase from 5,087 students in fall 2016 to 6,091 students in fall 2023.

According to the report, the additional 1,000 students over the next seven years is due to the 4,188 proposed housing units that could be built within the district’s boundaries during the same time period.

These proposed projects include: Vista Canyon Ranch, Mancara Ranch and the Spring Canyon project; Pardee’s Aliento projects; and Synergy’s Park Place project and Sand Canyon Plaza project.

The new housing projects could cause the district to adjust boundaries lines for schools near the developments or open a new elementary school site the serve the impacted areas.  The last time Sulphur Springs opened a new school site was in 2008 with the addition of Golden Oak Community School.

However, the demographic reports that its findings are “a snapshot of current and potential student population based on data gathered in fall 2016” and that demographics, development plans, funding opportunities and district priorities could change before these potential demographic changes come to fruition.

English Language Arts (ELA)/English Language Development (ELA)

Board members are also expected to adopt a new ELA/ELD program called Benchmark Advance following a two-year process that included a teacher pilot program, stakeholder feedback and committee meetings.

At a March 29 special board meeting, the ELA/ELD Advisory Adoption Committee presented their findings to the board in identifying the best state-approved materials to meet the ELA/ELD framework and California State Standards.

The committee settled on two finalist programs, Benchmark and Wonders, and pilot tested both of them before conducting surveys, taking feedback and ultimately selecting Benchmark as the next ELA/ELD instructional program.

According to the committee findings, Benchmark covers all state standards, offers a variety of teaching strategies, focuses on informational text and literature, provides online teacher materials, provides a variety of ways to monitor student progress, integrates technology and provides implementation support.

If approved, the state-approved instructional series and ELA/ELD program will be implemented during the next eight years at all eight school sites beginning in the 2017-18 schoolyear.

Additional Agenda Items

  • Hear Initial Proposal from the Sulphur Springs District Teachers’ Association to the Sulphur Springs Union School District
  • Review and approve Sulphur Springs Union School District Calendar for 2017-18
  • Present Retirement Resolution for Bonnie Lee, a staff member first employed as an office specialist in October 1989 who has worked with the district for 28 years
  • Review the district’s Mid-Year Utilities Report, from July to December, showing the monthly use and cost on electric, gas and water utilities on a site-by-site basis and on gasoline, diesel and propane usage for district vehicles

ccox@signalscv.com
661-287-5575
On Twitter as @_ChristinaCox_

About the author

Christina Cox

Christina Cox

Christina Cox is a multimedia journalist covering education, community and breaking news in the Santa Clarita Valley. She joined The Signal as a staff writer in August 2016.