School starts Monday

The school bell will ring again beginning Monday when Chino Valley school district, Loving Savior Lutheran School in Chino Hills, and New Hope Christian School in Chino begin the 2014-15 school year.

The first day for St. Margaret Mary Catholic School in Chino is Wednesday, Aug. 27.

Cornerstone Christian School and Countrywood School, both in Chino, will start the new year Tuesday, Sept. 2.

Ontario Christian has orientation events Sept. 2.

Oxford Preparatory Academy charter school in Chino, Heights Christian Schools in Chino Hills, and Ontario Christian Schools will begin classes Wednesday, Sept. 3.

A new way of teaching, smaller class sizes in lower grades, a new website, extra computers and more teachers are on tap for the Chino Valley school district.

As of July, the district expected 28,244 students to begin school this fall, a decrease from the previous school year when 29,121 students officially enrolled. The official enrollment figure will be taken in October because some students begin school later.

Following is a breakdown of what’s new districtwide in 2014-15.

An on-campus police officer will serve Magnolia and Ramona junior high schools in Chino. This is the first time a school resource officer has been assigned to middle schools.

Common Core curriculum, a nationwide effort to focus on critical thinking skills and being able to apply what is learned, will be implemented this year in Chino Valley schools. Local teachers have been designing new Common Core curriculum for English language arts, math and science.

Students in kindergarten through third grade will return to smaller class

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sizes as the district reduces the class size ratio to 27 students to one teacher. Previously, the ratio for those grades was 31 students to one teacher.

30 computer labs have been added at local schools over the summer to accommodate students who will shift from paper and pencil to computers for new statewide tests that will be administered next spring. Last year, Chino Valley was among the schools piloting the interactive test in which a student’s solution of one problem leads him to the next problem.

Six new intervention teachers and one intervention counselor have been hired so far to assist limited English-speaking students and those who are performing below grade level standards. The district plans to increase the number of intervention teachers district wide to 33.

Thirty-eight instructional coaches are expected to be hired this school year to mentor teachers.

Bilingual clerks have been hired at schools with more than 15 percent of their student population speaking a language other than English.

Parent training programs that deal with assisting students to advance through the educational system have been expanded.

Transitional Kindergarten will be offered to students who turn 5 between Sept. 1 and Dec. 2. Under a new law last year, students were admitted to Transitional Kindergarten if they turned 5 between Oct. 1 and Dec. 2.

The district’s website is being updated to improve function and access, according to district spokeswoman Julie Gobin.

New career pathway academies are being offered this fall at local high schools, including Law, Justice and Public Service and Culinary Hospitality Occupations Management Professions (CHOMP) at Chino High, and Business and Software Engineering Academy at Ayala High.

The district will hold meetings this fall to get parent, teacher and student input for the annual Local Control Accountability Plan, a document to improve student achievement district wide and to better serve targeted students. The plan is required by the state’s new Local Control Funding Formula, enacted last year, which is designed to give school districts more control over the money they receive from the state.

Linked Learning, an educational approach that partners academics, technical education and real-world experience, will be incorporated at high schools through career academies such as engineering, public service, and biomedicine and health.

College and career readiness will be emphasized. Some elementary schools are naming classrooms after colleges and placing inspirational messages throughout campus. Ayala High is expected to have an Early Years College program to offer a Chaffey College course to incoming ninth graders at the Ayala campus.

An office of Access and Equity was created by the district to provide resources to school sites to improve student achievement and establish a safe climate. Resources available from that office include funding, data, information, advice and coordinated community and parent involvement.

The before school breakfast program has been expanded this fall to five schools: Briggs Fundamental, Magnolia and Townsend junior high schools, and Rhodes and Cattle elementary schools.

Other schools in the program are Ayala, Buena Vista Continuation, Chino, Chino Hills and Don Lugo high schools; Ramona and Woodcrest junior high schools; Chaparral, Cortez, Dickey, Dickson, Glenmeade, Liberty, Marshall, Newman, and Walnut Avenue elementary schools; and Chino Valley Learning Academy.