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Frustration in Las Virgenes

December 20, 1986

After almost two months of diligent research, the Agoura Hills Parents for Neighborhood Schools have determined that the watchwords for the Las Virgenes School District for the next ten years are restricting, portables, year - round education and overcrowded classrooms.

We are still adamant about the school board's arbitrary decision to divide our community by using Kanan Road as "a natural boundary" as stated by one board member.

The Las Virgenes School District has quite a history of redistricting to temporarily alleviate overcrowding at various schools.

In the east end of the District, West Hills was involved in redistricting twice since 1978 between Round Meadow and Lupin Hill Elementary schools. Calabasas Park was also redistricted between Round Meadow and Chaparral in 1978 and 1983.

In the west end, redistricting has been almost an annual occurrence. In 1978, when Sumac was built, a large group of Sumac children (living in Hillrise and south of the freeway) were sent to Willow. In 1982, Old Agoura kindergartners were sent to Lupin Hill and back to Sumac for first grade. In 1983, South of the Freeway children attending Willow were sent to White Oak. In 1985, 130 students from Willow and Yerba Buena were sent to White Oak.

With each redistricting decision, our children are shifted around like pawns on a chessboard. We understand that every school district has to make boundary changes but they should be made as a last resort, not as a matter of policy. We feel that "redistricting" is a detriment to the emotional well-being and education of the children involved, not to mention the turmoil that is created within the family unit and within the community itself.

If this is all our "innovative" district can come up with as a way to handle the looming student population throughout the district during the next 10 years, then we had better all face the music, especially those parents in the eastern end. And if parents in L.A. Unified think they can escape "year-round education" by moving into Las Virgenes District, think again. We have a voluntary program beginning next year which will probably involve elementary schools in both ends of the district. I am making an educated guess that when L.A. Unified mandates a year-round program in a few years, our district will do the same.

DIANE VENABLE

Agoura Hills

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