[Sign Up Now] to Receive Our FREE Daily SCVTV-SCVNews Digest by E-Mail

Santa Clarita CA
Mostly clear
Mostly clear
Today in
S.C.V. History
September 15
1970 - SCV voters recall two Hart School Board members who won't let students circulate anti-Vietnam War petition [story]

Newhall School District officials are looking to bridge a $3 million loss in funding with a combination of measures that include outreach efforts, attendance incentive programs and a reduction in administrative allocations.

The district is projecting enrollment of 6,174 for the fiscal year that starts July 1, a decrease of 365 students from the 2018-19 school year enrollment of 6,539, according to the district’s recently adopted $68.3 million budget.

“Attendance is the single most important factor that impacts a district’s annual revenues, as well as student learning,” said Superintendent Jeff Pelzel. “Students need to be in school every day to maximize their learning.”

Pelzel said this equates to a roughly $3-million loss in revenue for the next school year. State funding, such as the Local Control Funding Formula, the main source of unrestricted dollars for a district, is based on what state officials refer to as “Average Daily Attendance” for a district’s number of students.

Additionally, district officials are addressing issues related to employee pay and benefits, costs that are expected to rise significantly in the coming years. A majority of school districts in the Santa Clarita Valley and throughout California are experiencing similar challenges.

“Keep in mind the majority of school districts in California are experiencing enrollment decline,” said Pelzel, “which directly affects the districts’ revenues.”

Newhall’s plan is to keep going with what programs are being successful, as well as expanding upon an appeal to Santa Clarita Valley families.

“NSD continues to be an open-enrollment district as a means to increase enrollment and provide families with options for their children’s education,” said Michelle Morse, assistant superintendent of human resources at the district. (Open enrollment allows the district to accept students who traditionally would not be in its geographic boundaries.) “And we’re partnering with our families to look at ways to increase attendance, which will ensure students continue to make education gains, as well as mitigate educational loss — and we’ll continue to provide our arts program, which we believe is a benefit to a wide range of students and families.”

The drop in enrollment Newhall School District officials discussed during their budget approval Wednesday night prompted district officials to look at a number of different ways to increase attendance to help bridge the gap.

To put the significance of attendance in context, Pelzel noted this past school year, students who were absent cost the district approximately $2 million in lost ADA funding.

One solution has been to create programs around getting kids to school every day, Pelzel said.

“We piloted an attendance incentive program last school year to incentivize and increase attendance,” said Pelzel. “We are currently evaluating the success of this program and may continue it for the upcoming school year.”

The program financially incentivizes school sites with higher attendance, Morse said. Schools whose attendance increases from one month to the next receive approximately $500. Site administrators use this money to purchase equipment and supplies for their students (i.e. playground equipment, assembly awards and incentives for the district’s Positive Behavior Intervention and Supports, or PBIS, program).

“We know there’s a direct correlation between students being in school and in their academic achievement,” said Morse. “We’re seeing a positive trend upward in our attendance, and it will continue to be a focus next year.”

“Our existing sixth-grade class that promoted is substantially larger than our incoming transitional kindergarten, and kindergarten is smaller in comparison,” said Morse. “You’re sending out more kids than are coming into the system.”

This is consistent with the demographer’s projections around birth rates in the Santa Clarita Valley, according to officials.

“The district approved a contract for advertising in August 2018, in the amount of $98,522 for the 2018-19 fiscal year,” said Deo Persaud, assistant superintendent of business services. “The contract included advertising in the following categories: web/print, movie theaters, and targeted mailers.”

Persaud added that it’s been difficult to precisely quantify the campaign’s efficacy, but, “It has been effective enough for the board to approve the continuation of the campaign from prior years.”

While outreach efforts have helped, ultimately, the district wasn’t able to completely avoid personnel changes at the school-site level.

“We are trying to gain enrollment through our marketing campaigns and adding to our reserves for the projected decline to avoid staff and program reductions,” said Pelzel. “One cut we have made going into next year is we reduced assistant principal allocations based on enrollment numbers.”

Districtwide, there were two administrative positions eliminated, said Morse.

“It does create an impact — there’s one less person to assist with the work that needs to be done,” she said. “But at the same time, we hire only the highest-quality principals who make the necessary adjustments to ensure that teachers, students and families continue to have access to a first-rate education.”

The district’s revenue picture projections in the 2019-20 and 2020-21 school years also expect to be greatly impacted by the California State Teachers’ Retirement System, or STRS, and the California Employees Retirement System, or PERS, according to the district’s budget.

“Per the SACS report CALSTRS costs 11% and CALPERS costs 3% of the district’s entire general fund budget,” said Persaud. “Unfortunately, the rates are determined at the state level and can only be lowered with help from the state level.”

While those rates, in relation to the school budget, continue to rise for the district in the coming years, the board remains optimistic that through the programs they have implemented and seen success in, they will find a solution.

“The Newhall School District will continue its conservative approach to budget planning and it will continue its public relations to attract students,” said Sue Solomon, president of the NSD governing board. “Eventually we will put together what we would commonly call ‘Plan B’ for the district so that we can continue to maintain instructional programs critical to student learning.”

Comment On This Story
COMMENT POLICY: We welcome comments from individuals and businesses. All comments are moderated. Comments are subject to rejection if they are vulgar, combative, or in poor taste.
REAL NAMES ONLY: All posters must use their real individual or business name. This applies equally to Twitter account holders who use a nickname.


You can be the first one to leave a comment.

Leave a Comment

Related Content
Thursday, Sep 12, 2019
On Wednesday, Santa Clarita Sheriff’s COBRA detectives, assisted by deputies, detained several local high school students after learning about social media threats regarding committing acts of school violence.
Monday, Sep 9, 2019
Under the Santa Clarita night sky, members of the community danced, drank and ate, all in the name of raising funds for local schools at WiSH’s Cocktails on the Roof event Friday.
Friday, Sep 6, 2019
Students are no longer allowed to use cellphones at La Mesa Junior High School, according to La Mesa Principal Michelle Krantz, who described the school’s new “no phone” policy at Wednesday night’s William S. Hart Union High School District board meeting.
Friday, Sep 6, 2019
During their Wednesday night meeting, the governing board members of the William S. Hart Union High School District approved the 2019-20 Title I allocations by school site.
Friday, Sep 6, 2019
The Santa Clarita Valley Education Foundation said this week that more than 2,000 local kindergarten students receive books from itsweekly “Bag of Books” program.

Latest Additions to SCVNews.com
1970 - SCV voters recall two Hart School Board members who won't let students circulate anti-Vietnam War petition [story]
1924 - SCV Deputy Ed Brown killed in shootout with Gus Le Brun [story]
Deputy Ed Brown
A bat left on a napkin on the doorstep of All Creatures Veterinary Center in Newhall on Tuesday has tested positive for rabies, the Department of Public Health reported Friday afternoon.
Rabid Bat Left at Veterinary Center in Newhall
Twenty-six years after Chris Beck left the diamond and etched his name in The Master's University baseball program's record books, his son, Jackson, will take the field for the Mustangs in 2020.
TMU Baseball Signs Jackson Beck, Son of Hall of Famer
Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff's Station deputies detained an "uncooperative person" in Valencia Friday afternoon, according to station officials.
SCV Deputies Detain ‘Uncooperative Person’ in Valencia
College of the Canyons will look to rebound from its week one loss when the Cougars host Grossmont College in Week 2 action Saturday night in a non-conference contest.
Cougars Football Ready to Rebound in Week 2 vs. Grossmont
Despite having some chances, the College of the Canyons men's soccer team suffered a 1-0 loss to Moorpark College as the visiting Raiders were able to spoil the Cougars' 2019 home opener.
Canyons Falls 1-0 to Moorpark in Home Opener
The Greater Los Angeles County Vector Control District has confirmed three additional mosquito samples positive for West Nile virus have been collected in two new areas: Boyle Heights and Whittier.
West Nile Virus Confirmed in Boyle Heights, Whittier
The city of Santa Clarita will host the 25th Annual River Rally Cleanup and Environmental Expo on Saturday, September 21, from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m., starting at the Newhall Community Center located at 22421 Market Street.
Sept. 21: 25th Annual River Rally Cleanup
To help keep kids safe, the California Highway Patrol is joining its traffic safety partners throughout the state for Child Passenger Safety Week, which begins September 15 and concludes September 21 with National Seat Check Saturday.
CHP Preps for Child Passenger Safety Week
Senate Bill 153 has cleared the California Legislature and the industrial hemp bill will now go to Governor Gavin Newsom for final action, the bill's author, Senator Scott Wilk, R-Santa Clarita, announced Friday.
Wilk Hemp Industry Bill Heads to Governor’s Desk
The California Senate passed a robust consumer protection law Friday that limits the amount of interest payday lenders can charge their customers.
California Lawmakers OK Cap on Payday Lending Rates
It was a regular day at work for employees at Jimmy Dean’s in Valencia on Thursday until several customers and employees were witnesses to a suspicious man near the restaurant who was removing his clothes.
Witnesses Share What They Saw Before Thursday’s Shooting
Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department Homicide Bureau detectives are continuing their investigation of Thursday afternoon's deputy-involved shooting in Santa Clarita, according to an LASD update Thursday night.
Detectives Continue Deputy-Involved Shooting Investigation
With her bills approved by the Legislature, Assemblywoman Christy Smith (D-Santa Clarita) announced the status of her 2019 legislative package Friday.
Smith Bills Update: Seven Passed, Four Already Signed
Moving to keep children off websites like Facebook and Instagram, California lawmakers on Thursday approved a bill barring social media companies from opening an account for anyone under the age of 13 without receiving parental consent.
California Moves to Keep Pre-Teens Off Social Media
Sebastian Barrales Raymundo of Santa Clarita was scheduled to be arraigned Thursday on charges of taking upskirt photos of four women, according to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office.
Santa Clarita Man Charged with Taking Upskirt Photos
The California Legislature on Wednesday approved Senate Bill 206, the "Fair Pay to Play Act," authored by state Sen. Nancy Skinner, D-Berkeley, and co-authored by Sen. Scott Wilk, R-Santa Clarita.
California Legislature OK’s SB 206, ‘Fair Pay to Play Act’
1964 - Fire fighters mop up after blaze in Bouquet Canyon that destroyed world's largest live oak tree [story]
Longtime Agua Dulce resident Doreetha S. Daniels, who became the oldest person ever to graduate from College of the Canyons in June 2015 at age 99, died Sunday. She was 103. Services are pending.
Doreetha Daniels, COC’s Oldest Graduate, Dies at 103
The Santa Clarita Valley Chamber of Commerce announced Thursday the Latino Business Alliance Businesses of the Year Awards to Northeast Valley Health Corporation and Premier America Credit Union.
Chamber to Honor Northeast Valley Health Corporation, Premier America
As part of annual roadway improvements, the city of Santa Clarita will reconfigure two area streets to include a bicycle lane in both directions.
Road Improvements Scheduled for Plum Canyon Road, Smyth Drive
On Wednesday, Santa Clarita Sheriff’s COBRA detectives, assisted by deputies, detained several local high school students after learning about social media threats regarding committing acts of school violence.
Several Students Detained After Alleged Threats of School Violence
A suspect was shot by a local sheriff’s deputy in the Valencia Industrial Center Thursday, prompting a shutdown of the intersection of Rye Canyon Road and Stanford Avenue.
Suspect Shot, Killed in Reported Deputy-Involved Shooting
%d bloggers like this: