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Van Nuys | Valley Focus

School Council to Choose Calendar Plan

March 04, 1996|KATE FOLMAR

The 16-member Van Nuys High School leadership council Tuesday evening will choose between a much-contested plan to adopt a year-round calendar and an option to maintain a traditional calendar.

"I imagine it's going to be a pretty close vote," said Charles Wilken, co-chairman of the panel comprising parents, teachers, administrators and a student. "It should be pretty dramatic."

The panel recently voted to adopt a year-round system, in which student calendars are staggered to reduce overcrowding. Two weeks later, the panel--formally titled the Shared Decision-Making Council--rescinded its vote in order to reconsider the merits of a September-through-June timetable.

Tuesday's meeting marks a self-imposed deadline to make a final decision.

The panel will weigh the merits of a traditional schedule, with the knowledge that about 30% of the teachers will have to rotate among classrooms to accommodate an expected influx of 600 freshmen.

If the traditional schedule is not kept, the council will be charged with assigning tracks for all magnet program students. Either the panel will keep all of the estimated 1,200 magnet students on a September-through-June calendar or it will keep the performing arts and math and science magnet students on the traditional calendar while placing the medical magnet on a July-through-May timetable.

The process is part of a districtwide reconfiguration in which sixth-graders are bumped into middle school and ninth-graders, in turn, are sent to high school. Van Nuys, San Fernando, Monroe and Francis Polytechnic high schools in the San Fernando Valley are switching to the year-round schedule.

Tuesday's meeting will begin at 6 p.m. in the school auditorium, 6535 Cedros Ave.

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