Chino Hills Hidden Trails Elementary

Christian Iniguez (second from right), 5, and his family meet his new teacher Patricia Olgin (right) during a kindergarten orientation last week at Hidden Trails Elementary in Chino Hills. The Iniguez family includes (from left) sister Kayla, entering sixth grade at Hidden Trails, mother Angie and father Pablo. 

The Chino Valley school district anticipates about 27,000 students on Monday, Aug. 12, the first day of the 2019-20 school year. 

District enrollment in 2018 was 28,141 students, according to the California school dashboard,

A loss in enrollment to public charter schools in the area is projected through the 2022-23 school year, according to the school district, which operates 35 schools in Chino and Chino Hills.  

New leaders

Several new school administrators have been named for this school year.  

The new assistant principal of Country Springs Elementary in Chino Hills, Christine Wilson, comes from the Baldwin Park Unified School District where she most recently worked an intervention coach and before that as a teacher of 18 years at Elwin Elementary in Baldwin Park. Ms. Wilson replaces Barbara Beardon, now working as principal of Eagle Canyon Elementary in Chino Hills.

Lauren Altermatt, the new assistant principal of Newman Elementary in Chino, had worked as an instructional coach in the school district for the last year and previously as a teacher for four years at Wickman Elementary in Chino Hills.  Ms. Altermatt replaces Ibis Cordero in that position.  

Brian Martinez is assistant principal of Walnut Avenue Elementary in Chino. He comes from the Garvey School District where he had worked as an English language development intervention teacher since 2011. He replaces former Walnut Avenue assistant principal Michael Rodriguez who has accepted a position outside the Chino Valley school district. 

New assistant principal of Canyon Hills Junior High, Justin Lopez comes from Nogales High in the Rowland Unified School District where he had been an assistant principal since Feb. 2019 and, before that, an intervention counselor of three years. Mr. Lopez replaces former assistant principal Renee Edwards.   

Debra Fisher-Hinshaw, new assistant principal of Ramona Junior High in Chino, had worked since January 2017 as assistant principal of Hidden Trails in Chino Hills. The assistant principal position at Hidden Trails Elementary is currently vacant.

Gerson Renderos, long-time principal of Anna Borba Elementary, replaces Randal Buoncristiani as principal of Doris Dickson Elementary. Both schools are in Chino.

Mr. Buoncristiani is now principal of Chino Hills High.  

Emily Lao, a former assistant principal of two years at Butterfield Ranch Elementary in Chino Hills, is now principal of Borba.

American Sign Language teacher Marina Williams was approved by the school board last month to teach the course starting this school year at Ayala High.  

Parents had petitioned the school board in May to find a replacement for Joni Kerby, who had retired in June after teaching the course at Ayala for 15 years. 

More salad bars 

Colorful lunch options are growing this year as more Rainbow Salad Bars open at Chino Valley district elementary schools. 

The district’s nutrition services department is currently offering salad bars at Walnut Avenue and Alicia Cortez elementary schools in Chino and at Eagle Canyon Elementary in Chino Hills.

The school district is in the process of hiring staff needed to open salad bars at E.J. Marshall, Doris Dickson and Newman elementary schools, all in Chino, said Chino Valley school district public information officer Andrea Johnston. 

Students will pick up their protein and dessert in the cafeteria line. The salad bar will offer salad mix, carrot sticks, golden corn, cucumber coins, broccoli, diced tomatoes, beans and peas, shredded cheese and a seasonal fruit or vegetable, which are self-served by students under guidance of a staff member. 

In 2012, the USDA released new meal guidelines requiring up to 10 servings of fruits and vegetables weekly at lunch depending on grade level.

All school sites except for the following elementary schools are offering breakfast: Wickman, Oak Ridge. Hidden Trails and Country Springs elementary schools, all in Chino Hills.  

Daily lunch and breakfast menus are on the district website,

Meal prices the same 

Lunch and breakfast prices will remain the same this school year. Breakfast at  elementary schools is $1 and lunch is $2.75.  For grades 7 through 12, breakfast is $1.25 and lunch $3.  

Free or reduced lunch 

Close to half of the students in the Chino Valley school district qualify for free or reduced cost lunch according to the California school dashboard which lists 13,557 students as socioeconomically disadvantaged.  

Under the federal guidelines, a household of four reporting earnings of $33,475 per year or less qualify to receive free breakfast, lunch and milk, and the same household size earning $47,638 per year qualifies for reduced meal prices. 

Students of all grade levels in the district who qualify for reduced prices pay 25 cents for breakfast and 40 cents for lunch.  

Applications for free and reduced meals are on the school district website, or at school offices.  

Online meal accounts

Online accounts can be set up to pay for student meals at, a web-based program that is manageable from any computer, and cash payments are also accepted at schools. 

Borrowing limits

School district policy extends a $10 borrowing limit to each student meal account. When the limit is reached, the student will receive at no cost an alternate meal comprised of whole grain crackers, string cheese (two for lunch, one for breakfast), a selection of the daily fruit and vegetable and choice of milk. 

(See related stories on Pages B1 and B3)

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