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Local Students May Be Pushed out of San Juan Hills High

Ladera Ranch and Talega residents have priority enrollment at SJHHS ahead of San Juan Capistrano students.

San Juan Hills High School may not have room for San Juan Capistrano residents in the future. Patch photo credit: Penny Arévalo
San Juan Hills High School may not have room for San Juan Capistrano residents in the future. Patch photo credit: Penny Arévalo

In 2007, the city of San Juan Capistrano finally saw a comprehensive public high school open within its boundaries, but students from Ladera Ranch and Talega could eventually force city residents back to Capistrano Valley, Dana Hills and San Clemente high schools.

On Wednesday, the Capistrano Unified school board will consider coming out publicly against a proposed 100-unit apartment complex planned for next to San Juan Hills High.

Buried within the recently revised resolution trustees will consider passing are statements questioning the future of San Juan Hills as a home for San Juan Capistrano resident-students.

“Students residing in Ladera Ranch and the San Clemente development of Talega are to have priority access because the community facilities districts in their areas [also known as Mello-Roos districts] contributed the acquisition and construction of San Juan Hills,” the resolution states.

After La Pata is punched through to San Clemente, students from Talega are likely going to be assigned to San Juan Hills, and as it stands now, the school’s enrollment is already over-capacity, the resolution states.

“With the San Clemente development of Talega possibly reassigned to San Juan Hills, provided the [apartment] project proceeds and the district is unable to expand San Juan Hills, then current San Juan Hills students who do not have priority access, specifically, students residing in the city, will be reassigned to other public high schools, including but not limited to Capistrano Valley High School and San Clemente High School,” the resolution states.

The resolution declares the apartment complex “detrimental” to San Juan Capistrano students, who could be forced to enroll in schools outside the city.

In August, the Planning Commission voted to recommend the council deny the project in part because traffic already is congested near the school. That was in spite of an offer the developer made to install a new traffic light above and beyond what environmental studies had recommended.

In December, the council considered taking action on the apartments, but decided staff needed more time to study yet further traffic changes, including restriping to allow two lanes of traffic to come and go at the intersection of La Pata Avenue and Vista Montana.

The City Council is now scheduled to hear the proposal at its Jan. 21 meeting.

The school board is scheduled to discuss the apartment proposal when it meets at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 8, at the district headquarters, 33122 Valle Road in San Juan Capistrano.

Capo Parent January 09, 2014 at 01:53 PM
Shelly Your confused and misinformed. As for taking the Talega money out of SJHHS and putting it into SCHS, you're out of your mind. Won't happen. Are you and Alpay drinking from the same Kool Aid? Even if this fantasy of yours come to be, the Telega Mello-Roos was already spent on SJHHS, and Talega has a vested, legal priority to attend SJHHS. As for kids attending "neighborhood" schools, that's a fiction that CUSD and you have spouted for years. As for students from SJC working out the kinks at SJHHS, what's your point. Students from North MV did the same for Tesoro.
shelly January 09, 2014 at 03:27 PM
Capo Parent, Aren't the pioneer families of North Mission Viejo allowed to go to Tesoro? Again with the overused archaic kool aid cliché. I don't really think people even know what that really means but go ahead and keep using it if you must. By the way if we drank the Kool aid we'd be dead. Right? The majority families of Talega do not currently choose SJHHS. A few do but the majority do not. Why not put the money into the school where their children actually attend? No, you say. Talega families sued to not attend SJHHS because it was inconvenient. It was actually inconvenient for a lot of us because SJHHS is not the school closest to many of us by far but we had no choice because we lived in SJC. As I stated before I am not opposed to the Talega families going to SJHHS. I am opposed to removing what makes SJHHS the most diverse high school in SJC. The students of SJC. I am sure that some people feel quite the opposite about diversity because they were very vocal about it before.
shelly January 09, 2014 at 03:30 PM
Capo Parent, So was the Talega SJHHS boundary racial gerrymandering or was it planning for the inevitable?
shelly January 09, 2014 at 03:34 PM
Capo Parent, Why not redirect the 17 million back to SCHS? Why is that crazy when the school needs it and Talega parents have been making a choice for years and the choice had been SCHS.
shelly January 09, 2014 at 03:42 PM
E-Mail the San Juan Capistrano City council and encourage them to vote no on the rezone. sallevato@sanjuancapistrano.org, lkramer@sanjuancapistrano.org, jtaylor@sanjuancapistrano.org, rbyrnes@sanjuancapistrano.org, dreeve@sanjuancapistrano.org

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