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Sun, Sept. 22

Four-day week greets Chino's 2009-10 year

Starting at 6:50 a.m. Monday, Chino Valley Unified School District bus drivers will begin picking up students for the first day of the 2009-2010 school year.Jeff Lambert, CVUSD transportation director, said the buses will drop off all of the district's elementary school students at their school by 7:30 a.m. The bus drivers drop the high school students off by 8:20 a.m.This year, he said, the Heritage Middle School (HMS) students will ride in with the elementary students on the Del Rio Elementary School bus. "I don't anticipate too much trouble because of two age groups on the same bus in the morning," he said.Lambert is gearing up to transport 1,700 students to school, which is about the same amount as they bused to school last year. "A lot of parents take their children to school in the morning," he said.He reminds parents that those with children in kindergarten and pre-school, by law, must be at the bus stop with their children.Despite the district switching to a four-day school week, Lambert said the district was able to maintain the 19 bus routes it had last year.Lambert and school officials at each campus met with parents Friday to go over bus stops, buses students need to take, and the time buses are scheduled to arrive at the bus stops in the morning and afternoon.This year, all of last year's bus drivers are back, so confusion should be at a minimum, he said.Lambert asks parents to be patient with the bus drivers the first week. "There always seems to be some confusion with kids the first week," he said.Any parent experiencing a busing problem should call Lambert at 636-2305. "Please call me in a timely manner, don't let it drag on," he said.Lambert asks parents using Road 2 North to stay back from the intersection at Road 2 North and Road 1 East or Road 1 West to let the school buses navigate the corner successfully.As a safety reminder, Lambert reminds motorists to watch for the stop sign and red lights on the buses, plus kids at bus stops. "You never know what they are going to do," he said.Del Rio Elementary SchoolDel Rio Principal Susan Clark said this year Del Rio's school day begins at 7:30 a.m. - 10 minutes earlier than last year. The kindergarten through second-grade students get out of school at 2 p.m., versus 1:30 p.m. last year. The third through fifth graders get out at 3 p.m., vs. 2:30 p.m. last year.This year, for the first time, Del Rio provides all of its students with breakfast in their classrooms at the start of the first period. "This is just one thing less parents have to hurry to get done in the morning," she said.Clark said she expects enrollment to be down this year because their big fifth-grade class - 120 students - is now at HMS. "Our incoming kindergarten class is only an average size class," she said.She is excited about the Chino After-School Advantage for after school care, which the district is housing in three classrooms at Del Rio from 2-6 p.m. Monday through Thursday."This way parents know their kids are safe once they get to school until they pick them up at 6 p.m.," Clark said.In this licensed day care setting, she said, the students will get their homework assignments done first before participating in fun activities. She is considering having a gardening area for the students to help in.Clark said the school also has received more technology to help teachers assess how their students are doing in their various subjects.Territorial Elementary SchoolCarolyn Reeder, TES's new principal, said all of the students' classes will start at 7:45 a.m. and end at 2:45 p.m.Last year, she said the kindergarten to third-grade students' day ran from 7:40 a.m.-2:30 p.m. The school's fourth- and fifth-graders went from 7:40 a.m.-3:15 p.m. last year.Like in the past, students will be given breakfast in their first class.Reeder said the school has 90-minute blocks for reading and math classes, and 45-minute blocks for social studies and language arts."I look forward to the new year even if the school has a reduced staff," she said.Reeder said currently the school's enrollment figures are down from last year. "So many students come in the first week of school these figures really don't mean anything," she said.Heritage Middle SchoolPrincipal Scott Muir said HMS's school day runs from 7:45 a.m.-4 p.m. this year, vs. 8:15 a.m.-3:30 last year.As in prior years, the school will provide all its students with breakfast in their first class.This year, he said the school's periods will be 65 minutes long vs. 55 minutes last year. Also, the school has gone to an eight-period day vs. the nine-period day it had last year.Muir said all the programs are back at the school, and Rick Ward is back as its athletic director.New this year is Mike Fogel, who moved from the high school to HMS as the dean of students.Also, this year the district hired one band teacher for Chino Valley High School and HMS (Chris Tenney), and one choir teacher for both schools (Tom Wiegert). "We hope to build two strong programs," Muir said.He said the school is also incorporating the Galleo program so they can get benchmark assessments for their students. The school tests its students four times a year, he said."This year we are focusing more on the curriculum to see what the students do best in," he said.Muir added, "I'm excited about my staff and look to move forward."Chino Valley High SchoolAssistant Principal John Scholl said the high school's day runs from 8:35 a.m.- 3:30 p.m.Scholl and Principal Grant Turley are new this year.The school will have six 55-minute periods and one half-hour lunch period.Monday, at the start of school in the gym, each student will get a brand new schedule. That is their ticket to get into their classrooms, he said. Like the other schools in the district, he said the high school provides its students with a free breakfast in their first class.This year, he said, CVHS will offer Mesa Distance Online Learning opportunities to its students. "This fits in with the school's new graduation requirement of one online class," he said.Scholl said the high school's enrollment looks to be about the same as last year.
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