Hart District School Board Discuss Further Reopening Updates at Board Meeting


Photo Courtesy of Hart District

Hart District provides new updates for reopening

Linsey Towles, The Scroll, Co-Editor in Chief

On Wednesday, March 17th, the Hart District Governing Board held its regular board meeting in which they discussed a variety of topics including information about returning to school this month. 

During its meeting, the board heard 16 public comments, most of which expressed support for the reopening of schools on March 29. As of Tuesday, Los Angeles County has reached a 4.1 out of 100,000 case rate, with officials estimating L.A. County will be officially within the red tier in the coming week.  

Hart District has announced that students are set to be back on campus for blended learning during the week of March 29, with one cohort returning on March 29 and the other returning on April 1. 

During the meeting, Superintendent Mike Kuhlman expressed that schools are working on finalizing COVID-19 safety protocols which include signs and sanitization stations around all school campuses.

Another aspect of COVID-19 safety announced by the county was a 10-day quarantine for those who plan to leave the state of California for any reason over the coming spring break. Students are expected to avoid travel when possible, but should quarantine themselves upon return before coming back to in-person instruction.  

This week, school sites hosted tours for incoming students to familiarize them with their campuses. This included tours for current 7th graders at junior high schools and current 9th graders at high school campuses. At Saugus, Common Cents mentors led tours on Wednesday for freshman students and programs had the opportunity to showcase to students.  

Orientation videos are also in the making, according to Kuhlman, that are expected to be sent out next week to parents relaying important information and introductions. These videos serve as a version of the school’s Open House event, which would have occurred around this time in the semester.  

All staff are set to return to school campuses next week in order to prepare for the coming students. The second round of the vaccination clinic and partnership with Henry Mayo for Hart District staff is expected to occur next week as well. 

Saugus High School teacher Jim Klipfel receives his vaccination (Image Courtesy of The Signal)

During Wednesday’s meeting, Assistant Superintendent, Kathy Hunter, shared that she had overseen Saugus teacher Jim Klipfel’s trials at hybrid teaching. According to Hunter, Klipfel brought in a number of students for in-class instruction in order to test out equipment and techniques for teaching a hybrid class. When speaking with students who attended the trial in-person, Hunter stated students expressed their satisfaction with the hybrid teaching.  

Additionally, the Wellness Centers at various school sites are set to be open and be accessible to students on campus at any time. 

Athletics have begun once again, with Foothill league sports kicking off shortened versions of their regular seasons. This includes soccer, football, baseball, softball and others. Multiple sport’s seasons have overlapped due to the reorganized schedules and seasons and all sports are required to follow COVID-19 safety protocols during games and practices when possible. 

Audiences for games has been limited but Saugus High School has recently partnered with NFHS Network that allows for audiences to watch both outside and indoors sports compete virtually. To watch a game or competition, go to NFHS Network, search for Saugus High School  and go to the page. Find the contest you wish to see and join the event.

Saugus girls soccer wins game against Canyon High School.

The Hart District remains on track for the reopening of schools, but expresses the need for patience from the public. “As we reopen, things will not be perfect. We’re going to make mistakes, it’s going to be rocky at times and that’s okay. I want to encourage both staff and families to take the pressure off. We have absolute confidence in our teachers and our students who are going to make this a success,” said Superintendent Mike Kuhlman.