PSD Charter tumbleweeds

Kathya Arriaran-Buono, principal of Palmdale Academy Charter High School, stands next to a 32-acre lot that will be cleared of tumbleweeds and vegetation under a contract with the Palmdale School District.

PALMDALE — Palmdale School District will spend $29,000 to clear tumbleweeds and other vegetation from the Palmdale Academy Charter High School campus.

The school, at 3838 East Ave. R, is a dependent charter school of the Palmdale School District.

The District’s Board of Education approved a contract with Sun Valley-based Your Way Tree Service Inc. for the job. The work is scheduled to be completed by July 31.

The job will include clearing vegetation overgrowth and hauling away all of the tumbleweeds from the school’s back lot, including the track. There is a wash basin full of tumbleweeds in addition to the baseball field. The job also includes clearing the empty lot to the south of the school’s perimeter fence.

The $29,000 price tag was the lowest bid the District received. The first bid was $54,000,

“The first bid came in very, very high,” Palmdale School District Superintendent Raul Maldonado said. “I said we’re not going to pay that much.’ ”

The District has plans for the 32-acre back lot, Maldonado said. The land could be the future home of a staff development site.

The new school will open this August for the 2021-22 school year. The charter school will start with 300 ninth graders. The school still has seat openings for incoming freshmen who might want to apply.

“I think the unique opportunity that we are offering is very personalized education,” Principal Kathya Arriaran-Buono said.

She added they want to do their best to offer a typical comprehensive high school program within their means. Class offerings will include a mariachi and music program as part of visual and performing arts program. The school will also offer Advancement Via Individual Determination as a college elective. The school will offer a Spanish biliterate program for students coming in from the District’s dual immersion schools.

“We’re going to offer CIF sports and be very creative with our space,” Arriaran-Buono said.

Other programs include yearbook and Associated Student Body.

“We’re doing our best to really mirror a typical comprehensive program at a high school,” Arriaran-Buono said.

With 300 students, Arriaran-Buono estimated class sizes would be limited to about 27 students, with the exception of physical education.

“Even though we’re going to be small we also have to dig through what services our students are going to need,” she said. “They’re coming back from a pandemic; we have to re-socialize them and all of that, so we’re going to dig through what those services and supports are going to look like.”

The incoming Class of 2025, along with the school’s staff and community, will have the opportunity to choose the new school colors, name and mascot. Arriaran-Buono added.

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