Newhall Board questions Chiquita Canyon Landfill expansion

The Newhall School District Office. Dan Watson/The Signal

The Newhall School District Governing Board has concerns about the proposed expansion of the Chiquita Canyon Landfill.

Board members are expected to review a letter, sent by Superintendent Paul Cordiero and Governing Board President Christy Smith to the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors, at their meeting Tuesday.

The letter, sent to the Board of Supervisors June 16, details worries from the district about the health of children in Santa Clarita Valley and at district schools.

According to the letter, the district identified 398 students who suffer from asthma at existing school sites, in addition to students who suffer from other respiratory diseases like chronic bronchitis and respiratory affective disorder (RAD).

The Newhall School District stated that the project will impact all of its existing school sites, in addition to the ones that will be constructed.

“We also have three more schools to be constructed close to the project as part of the Newhall Land/Five Point development, some as close as 1.65 miles from the existing entrance,” the letter read.

Citing the April 20 findings of the Regional Planning Commission and the project’s final Environmental Impact Report (EIR), the district claimed the expansion would result in negative impacts to air quality that could danger the bloodstream, respiratory tract and heart.

In its letter, the district requested that the landfill conduct additional on-site quality air modeling to “determine levels of PM2.5” at least once a month.

It also requested that, if the landfill exceeds emission standards, that the district and county be notified immediately to potentially stop landfill operations for the safety of students and request additional mitigation measures.


During Tuesday’s meeting, Governing Board members are also expected to adopt the district’s Local Control and Accountability Plan (LCAP).

The three-year draft plan addresses how the district will increase student proficiency for its 6,700 students in transitional kindergarten to sixth grade through eight state priorities.

Goals for the district’s LCAP aim to close the achievement gap for student subgroup.

The district hopes to implement its new ELA/ELD curriculum Benchmark Advance, hire a Teacher on Special Assignment (TOSA) to support English Learner students and select an EL Lead Teacher to participate in the District EL Committee.

It also hopes to expand the implementation of the Next Generation Science Standards, implement Positive Behavior Intervention and Support at 8 of 10 schools and create instructional leadership teams at all 10 schools.

Greatest areas of need for the district include addressing disparities in suspension data, English Learner progress and students with disabilities at both the district and school site level.

The Newhall School District is also expected to approve different contracts associated with the LCAP at their meeting that address educational services and parent engagement.

Governing Board members are expected to approve contracts with Learning A-Z, IVS Computer Technology, IO Education, The SPARK Programs, the Santa Clarita Performing Arts Center for Education Outreach and Blackboard.


Governing Board members are also expected to approve the district’s 2017-18 budget, which is expected to have an ending fund balance of $9,428,022.91 and a reserve balance of $4,441,851.11.

The district is expected to meet, and exceed, the minimum reserve requirement of 3 percent each year from 2017-18 to 2019-20.

In the 2017-18 school year, the district will see an increase in expenditures based on employee salaries and benefits, but will also have savings with less staff due to declining enrollment.

The district is projected to see a decline in enrollment of 136 students, based on average daily attendance (ADA) projections.

According to the proposed budget, the district will experience a declining enrollment for the next three years with an ADA of 6,369 in 2017-18, 6,205 in 2018-19 and 6,137 in 2019-20.

Additional Agenda Items:

  • Approve Memorandum of Understanding/funding agreement from Firehouse Sub Public Safety Foundation, Inc.  for Meadows Elementary emergency equipment grant totaling $8,078
  • Approve change orders for Newhall Elementary Auditorium Renovation to RDM Electric, Silver Creek and Triangle Enterprise
  • Approve agreement of services provided by Sandsar Inc. DBA Sandcastles for Newhall Elementary School’s After School Education and Safety Program (ASES) which provides academic support and mental wellness activities for 80 students in grades 2 to 5
  • Conduct first reading of revision to Board Policy: Student Wellness
  • Conduct second reading of revisions to Board Policies: Sexual Harassment; Environmental Safety; Hazardous Substances; Disruptions; Firearms on School Grounds; Transportation; Transportation Routes and Services; Transportation for School-Related Operations; Transportation for Students with Disabilities; School Bus Drivers; Transportation Safety and Emergencies; Dress & Grooming; Discipline; Suspension & Expulsion/Due Process; Comprehensive Safety Plan
  • Conduct second reading of Board Policies: Drug And Alcohol Free Workplace; Civility

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On Twitter as @_ChristinaCox_

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