As the end of the summer closes in on the students, teachers and administrators of the Santa Clarita Valley, Hart District high schools and junior highs are ramping up for welcoming the newest additions to their school sites.
Classes for all Hart District students start Aug. 13 and, according to local school officials, there are a number of things parents and students can do to prepare themselves for the upcoming school year.
“For parents, it’s just a big transition to leave behind their elementary school with one teacher for most of the day to where the student moves around with six teachers,” said Rancho Pico Principal Erum Velek, in response to a question about parents of incoming seventh-graders preparing for the major change in academic structure between elementary and junior high schools.
Velek said a way for parents to get used to the change is to learn about the “teams” of English, math, science and history teachers their students will be assigned to.
“It creates a school within the school, so it’s not getting so big,” said Velek.
Students may also share the fear of the unknown, much like their parents, with the larger campus and number of teachers. But, Velek says, the best thing for them is to jump in early and emphatically.
“More than anything, come to school with an eagerness to learn and have a natural curiosity,” said Velek. “Take advantage of those first couple of weeks.”
For families transitioning from eighth grade to high school, West Ranch Principal Mark Crawford told students to find a way early on to tie yourself to the school, and for parents to foster those relationships.
“Get involved,” said Crawford. “Make sure your student is involved with something they enjoy, and we have so many options from athletics to performing arts to clubs to student government. And, as a parent, enjoy that journey with them.”
Crawford said there is a need for parents in many areas on a high school campus, and the more involved students are, the better they perform in high school, in college and in life, he said.
It’s not too late to enroll your student in school for the fall 2019-20 school year, according to district officials. For more information on the which school boundary your family resides in, or for general registration information, visit www.hartdistrict.org.
“We’d rather have them come in now so we can get them all signed up for classes rather than have them waiting for the first day,” said Crawford. “They can have it all done ahead of time.”