As is so often the case, the most interesting parts of the Morongo Unified School District Board of Education meetings lay in staff reports. Reporter Dan Stork summarizes what was said about enrollment numbers last night and helping students apply to college…
Assistant Superintendent Sharon Flores told the Morongo Unified School District Board of Education enrollment counts for the beginning of the school year at its Tuesday meeting. She said that while enrollment was projected to be 8,185 for the current school year, by the sixth day it had reached only 7,751, down over 400 from the projected number. Schools experiencing significant decreases in enrollment are Condor and Oasis Elementary in Twentynine Palms, and Yucca Valley High School. Sites with slight enrollment increases are Yucca Mesa Elementary and Twentynine Palms High School.
Kathleen DeRouen, a retired teacher on contract to the District, and Amy Woods, the District’s Director of Secondary Education, gave a presentation on a program, now in its fourth year, intended to help high school students with the application processes for college admission and financial aid. The program seeks to compensate for disadvantages of Morongo Basin students—relative to wealthier areas—in areas of computer access, home support, and information availability and awareness. It identifies students who are capable of going on to college, but may not know they can. They are guided in planning courses, prepping for SAT and ACT tests, identifying suitable colleges, and filling out financial aid forms. DeRouen said that over half of the 2014 graduates of Yucca Valley and Twentynine Palms High school had definite post-graduation plans, in the form of attendance at a 4-year college or Copper Mountain College, career or technical school, or a military career. She said that this is an improvement over pre-program figures.
In a workshop preceding the regular meeting, the Board considered its extracurricular activity eligibility policies. The probation option adopted last year expired with the old school year. The Board is moving toward having a permanent policy that would allow a student to go on probation once in his or her high school career in the District.