Valencia Valley considering move to full-day kindergarten program

The Newhall School District Office. Dan Watson/The Signal

Valencia Valley Elementary is hoping to implement a full-day instructional program for its kindergarten students beginning in the 2018-19 school year.

The proposal to alter the school’s kindergarten schedule is expected to be reviewed by the Newhall School District Governing Board during its meeting Tuesday.

Currently, the school has four kindergarten classes that split students into an “early model” and “late model.”

Under this schedule, half of the students begin at 8:05 a.m. and half being at 10:20 a.m.  The students “overlap” until 11:35 a.m. when the early students go home and the late students stay until 2:10 p.m.

This schedule means that students attend school for 17.5 hours per week or for 37,800 instructional minutes per year.

“We feel strongly that the amount of time that they spend in school is insufficient for them to attain academic and social-emotional readiness for first grade,” the proposal read.

If the program changes to a full-day schedule, students will be in school for 23.5 hours per week or for 51,700 instructional minutes per year.

The full-day program will provide “additional instructional time to participate in meaningful content area discussion and structured writing to develop language and deep understanding of number sense,” according to the proposal.

It will also help students’ social and emotional adaptability.

If approved, the change in schedule will not impact the school’s one transitional kindergarten class and will not impact the district’s staffing or finances.

Newhall Elementary Music Program

The Governing Board is also expected to review a change in the music program at Newhall Elementary School.

In 2017-18, the school began implementing an instructional music program after school on Fridays.

The school hopes to offer more uninterrupted learning time for its English Learners (73 percent of students) and economically disadvantaged students (92 percent of students) who are challenged to master grade level standards.

During the meeting, the board is expected to review background information on the change to the afterschool program and its impact for both the district and its nine other schools, where music is part of the students’ school day.

District Marketing Campaign

The Governing Board is also expected to review the district’s third marketing campaign for the 2017-18 school year focused on increasing enrollment throughout the district.

This eight-month enrollment marketing and advertising campaign is expected to cost a total of $78,364.28 during its run from Oct. 3, 2017 to June 3, 2018.

Its goal is to increase the “positive community awareness of the district, highlight the district’s many strengths and promote the District to prospective students and their families.”

It will focus on the areas of technology, art, music, performance, science, academic support, fitness and enrichment, and highlight the renovated Newhall Family Theater for the Performing Arts.

The campaign is expected to include general marketing, web advertising, movie theater advertising and targeted mailings.

Web advertising elements include a campaign-specific landing page, general ads, a social media campaign, retargeting users, online and a realty marketing platforms and radio ads.

It also plans on creating three videos focused on the district, English Language Learners and the Newhall Family Theater for the Performing Arts.

From Dec. 15, 2017 to Jan. 11, 2018, the campaign is also expected to play ads on all of the movie Edwards theater screens in Valencia, Canyon Country, Cinemark 22 and IMAX in Lancaster, and Movies 12 Lancaster.

The district is also expected to promote the Newhall Family Theater for the Performing Arts by redesigning the website, designing a logo for the theater, designing and mailing invitations to its grand gala opening and more.


Additional Agenda Items

  • Approve Community Arts Partnership (CAP) agreement with California Institute of the Arts for a partnership at Newhall Elementary School
  • Approve contract with Peak Enrichment for two sessions of enrichment classes at Old Orchard that will teach GATE students, in fourth to sixth grade, how to develop their own video games and write code
  • Reject claim of damages in excess of $10,000 dated Aug. 7, 2017 from Kirk S. MacDonald, Esq. on behalf of Interior Demolition, Inc. for re-bid of earthwork and grading during the construction of Peachland Elementary School’s new classroom buildings
  • Declare one vacancy on the Measure E Citizens’ Oversight Committee following Sara Carlson’s resignation after her family moved out of the Santa Clarita Valley
  • Conduct a second reading of revised board policies: Board Representatives; Governing Board Elections; Deletion of Calendar Covering School District Board Elections; Limits of Board Member Authority; Conflict of Interest; Closed Session Purposes and Agendas; Meeting Conduct; and Actions By the Board
  • Approve change order No. 1 reflecting a $1,400 increase for Skyline Painting, Inc. for exterior painting at multiple sites

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