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East Ventura County

THOUSAND OAKS : Parents Given More Choice in Schools

March 12, 1994|BRENDA DAY

Agreeing that parents should have more choice in education, Thousand Oaks school officials have agreed to let sixth-graders attend school with seventh- and eighth-graders at Colina Intermediate School next fall.

Under the plan approved by the school board Thursday night, parents who want their sixth-graders to attend Colina rather than elementary school must apply by May 2.

The voluntary middle-school program follows state recommendations for grouping sixth-graders with older students who they more closely resemble in emotional and psychological development, officials said.

"I think we've taken a big step, and I'm hoping it will be a big successful step," board member Richard Newman said after the unanimous vote.

At least 108 students are needed to make the program possible, said Colina Principal Michael Waters. No more than 144 can be accepted, he said. Colina was chosen because it has available space, officials said.

"I think you'll see results both in student achievement and in how they feel about school," Waters told the board after the vote.

If the pilot program is successful, it would become mandatory in the 1996-97 school year for sixth-graders from Conejo and Westlake Hills elementary schools, officials said. However, parents with children in those schools could choose to send their children to a different elementary school, officials said.

District officials plan to hold a series of informational meetings for parents interested in the program sometime this month and in April.

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