Incoming San Juan Hills Freshman Class Jumps by More Than 155 Students

The district will add 10 portable classrooms to accommodate the growth.

San Juan Hills High School in San Juan Capistrano is growing in popularity. Patch photo credit: Penny Arévalo
San Juan Hills High School in San Juan Capistrano is growing in popularity. Patch photo credit: Penny Arévalo

Capistrano Unified will add 10 portable classrooms to San Juan Hills High School to accommodate a large jump in enrollment for the incoming freshman class.

The class of 2018 is clocking in at slightly more than 800 students, said Alan Trudell, interim chief communications officer for the district.

For comparison, last year the San Juan Capistrano-based campus – the district’s newest comprehensive high school – enrolled 645 students, Trudell said. The current graduating class has 453 seniors.

Since San Juan Hills opened in 2007, it has been an “open enrollment” campus for students coming from all over the sprawling district. Annual events, called “The Stallion Showcase,” attempted to attract students from outside its boundary areas, which include San Juan Capistrano, Capistrano Beach and most of Ladera Ranch.

In addition, students from Talega in San Clemente may also choose to enroll in San Juan Hills because the property owners helped build the school with special taxes.

This year, more than 324 students from outside SJHHS attendance boundaries applied to become a Stallion, Trudell said.

Trudell said the district has not analyzed the breakdown of the new students’ hometowns. He says the influx comes from a “bubble” of aging students, even though overall, enrollment is declining in Capo.

“[It’s] an increase in secondary enrollment – [a] natural progression through the grades,” Trudell said.

The 10 portable classrooms is the maximum state law allows CUSD to add to the school, he added.

The Board of Trustees has indicated an interest in purchasing a 4-acre lot next to the campus after urging the City Council to deny the project – which it did earlier this year. Trudell called this possible expansion of the San Juan Hills campus a “work in progress” with no specifics yet.


shelly April 29, 2014 at 08:59 AM
bbq, After 5 years of devastating cuts to our local schools what are your solutions to finance the maintenance and buildings that our community schools need?
bbq April 29, 2014 at 01:00 PM
My reply is MIA. Did Penny delete because I said that California educational system sucks? Or that I said that "fact" checker made weird ramblings about comparing websites or that I could move to Texas (who ever said anything about wanting to move to Texas)? Or was it just that I used the new "Reply" to reply?
bbq April 29, 2014 at 01:06 PM
My solutions to finance building maintenance: 1. Sacramento. 2. Sacramento. 3. Sacramento.
shelly April 29, 2014 at 04:50 PM
bbq, We are responsible for our local schools. Check out what other districts are doing. Many communities around CA and around our country take care of their local schools. We are Sacramento by the way. Our schools don't "suck". CUSD has great schools and teachers.
shelly April 29, 2014 at 05:09 PM
bbq, There probably will be some grants and non general use education money from "Sacramento".


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