Hart district to host meeting on school culture, climate 

The William S. Hart Union High School District's governing board gets ready to deliberate on the vacancy for Trustree Area No. 4 during a special meeting in June. Perry Smith/ The Signal
The William S. Hart Union High School District's governing board gets ready to deliberate on the vacancy for Trustree Area No. 4 during Thursday's special meeting. Perry Smith/ The Signal
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The local junior high and high school district is hosting a communitywide special meeting at 9 a.m. Thursday to discuss the culture and climate of its campuses, a follow-up to a similar talk held during the previous school year, officials said Tuesday. 

The William S. Hart Union High School District, which has close to 22,000 students throughout the Santa Clarita Valley, has held a number of talks on the subject in recent years as it has addressed challenges such as high-profile lawsuits, racial sensitivities and cultural concerns. 

“Our special meeting of the governing board (Thursday) is a follow-up meeting on school culture and climate, based on our community conversation on school culture and climate meeting that we held (April 25),” governing board President Bob Jensen wrote Tuesday in an email to The Signal. 

He said the topics cover a number of areas and involve the students as well as the community that surrounds the campus. 

“School culture impacts the way a school operates. Behaviors, attitudes and values are all part of the culture of a school,” Jensen wrote. “School climate relates to the experiences of those participating in the schooling process. Participants are students, parents, teachers, staff, administration and other community members.” 

In March, the district found itself the subject of regional news coverage after a social media post from some students using racial slurs went viral. The district also was recently hit with a lawsuit over allegations about its campus climate at Golden Valley High School. 

The Hart district is also expecting to change its mascot for Hart High School, the Indians, through a school-site selection process by 2025.

Thursday’s meeting is expected to include a presentation from Michelle Bowers of Vital Educational Leadership Consulting, which is expected to “reinforce the district’s purpose, core values, and strategic plan focus areas,” “review the executive summary from the Community Conversation on School Culture and Climate held April 25, 2023,” and “identify and prioritize action steps to improve school culture and climate,” according to the agenda for the meeting.  

“Culture and climate are important aspects of the Hart school district,” Jensen said Tuesday. “I am excited to meet again this Thursday to hear more from Dr. Bowers and to continue with discussions on how we can improve the climate and culture of the Hart district.” 

The meeting is scheduled to be held in the district’s office at 21380 Centre Pointe Parkway in Santa Clarita. The meeting can also be viewed at: youtube.com/live/YT5LIw13vPA. 

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