When the 2019-20 school year begins in August, the student population at Chautauqua High School is expected to drop as much as 50 percent. It’s just one of several reasons the Bear Valley Unified School District is exploring relocation of the Chautauqua campus.

Chautauqua is an alternative high school for students seeking to finish requirements for a high school diploma. At the May 15 school board meeting, board members discussed options for Chautauqua’s temporary and permanent relocation from its current site at the corner of Maple and Baldwin lanes.

Bear Valley Unified superintendent Mary Suzuki told the board that the CT student population will fall from around 40 this year to about 20 next semester. In addition, CT principal Christina San Nicolas has been reassigned as principal for Fallsvale next year. Tina Fulmer, Big Bear High School principal, is taking over principal duties at Chautauqua in addition to her duties at Big Bear High School.

“Many of our CT students are taking courses at Big Bear High School,” Suzuki said. Add to that the declining enrollment and change in administrative oversight, it makes sense to move the CT campus closer to Big Bear High School, she said.

At the same time, the district does not want the students at Chautauqua to lose their identity as a separate campus. Unfortunately, timing is a problem for a permanent move before the next school year, Suzuki said.

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