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Valleywide | VALLEY FOCUS

2 More Area Schools to Go Year-Round

May 06, 1997|LUCILLE RENWICK

As the Los Angeles Unified School District faces its largest enrollment increase this fall, the board of education approved plans Monday to put 26 elementary schools on year-round schedules to deal with the expected surfeit of students.

Two Valley elementary schools were tapped for year-round schedules: Ligget in Panorama City and Hart in Canoga Park.

Erwin Street School in Van Nuys, which was originally on the list, was deleted at the last minute after parents protested against going year-round.

Ligget and Hart have bused students to neighboring campuses for at least two years, school district administrators said.

The year-round plan will allow the schools to discontinue their busing programs. Year-round scheduling enables campuses to double their enrollment, but parents often oppose the move, arguing that it places siblings attending different schools on differing vacation schedules.

In a district that is expected to swell from 667,000 to more than 680,000 students by fall, the measure is necessary, school district officials said. But it should not be the only solution, school board member Julie Korenstein said.

Korenstein urged the district to look at other solutions to overcrowding. The areas where year-round schools are being considered "are the very areas where we need to look at school construction," she said.

She added that the district needs to evaluate the possibility of reopening closed schools, especially those in the West Valley.

District officials, in fact, said they plan to reopen Garden Grove Elementary School in Reseda in September for kindergarten through fifth grade. The school was closed in the 1980s due to low enrollment and consolidation. Once reopened, Garden Grove will take students from neighboring schools that are now operating at full capacity.

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