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School board pays $25,000 to hold site

No date when Lincoln Crossing property venue would be built
By: Stephanie Dumm News Messenger Reporter
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School board members voted Tuesday night to pay $25,000 to hold on to a elementary school site in Lincoln Crossing. Half of the $25,000 paid each year may go toward the purchase of the land, according to Western Placer Unified School District Superintendent Scott Leaman. The other half of the $25,000 is kept by the owner of the land, SunCal Lincoln Crossing LLC, Leaman said. The school site is located near the intersection of Brentford and Caledon Circles in Lincoln Crossing. In December 2010, the district entered into a memorandum of understanding with SunCal Lincoln Crossing LLC to reserve the property until 2016, according to assistant superintendent of business services Joyce Lopes. The district must submit a letter and $25,000 to retain the site each year, according to Lopes. “The economy would have to turn around and the state would need to put funding into building a school,” board member Paul Carras said. “Even though we are holding onto the property, we would have to have the economy turn around to build a school.” Board member Damian Armitage called reserving the school site “a no-brainer.” “We definitely need another school with half of the students from Lincoln Crossing going to another school,” Armitage said. The News Messenger asked Superintendent Scott Leaman when the district planned to build an elementary school at that site. “At this point, so many factors need to be in place. It’s so hard to predict,” Leaman said. The state funds 40 percent of the costs to build a school, Leaman said, and school districts put in 60 percent. “The state doesn’t have the funding,” Leaman said. “We don’t have the 60 percent.” It costs $20 million to $30 million to build a new school, according to Leaman. In other district news, the entry age for kindergarteners will change, starting next school year. Deputy Superintendent Mary Boyle said a senate bill was passed in 2010 that requires kindergartners will have to turn 5-years-old before Sept. 2 starting in 2014. “Rather than move the age back all at once, California decided to do it in stages for three years,” Boyle said. That means next year a student will have to be 5 by Nov. 1 for the 2012-2013 school year and by Oct. 1 for the 2013-2014 school year. The district will offer transitional kindergarten, starting next year for children who don’t meet the age deadline. Boyle said it will be “developmental in nature,” which will include language development, exploratory play, rhythm, rhyme and work on gross and fine motor skills. The transitional kindergarten will be offered at two to three school sites, according to Boyle, since there would “not be enough students” to have it at every site. Both transitional kindergarten and regular kindergarten are voluntary, not mandatory. The district will need to hire at least two teachers, according to Boyle. That will cost $80,000 per teacher in salary and benefits.