Category Archives: San Marcos High School

San Marcos would you pay for school bus service to bus your children?

This poll was suggested by a local San Elijo Hills homeowner and longtime reader of San Elijo Life. The poll is designed to engage the community of San Marcos and generate some thought and discussion into one potential option for reducing school generated traffic and congestion. Who can share the history of school buses in San Marcos?

Option 1: Taxes assessed to all homeowners (consider that this could provide buses for all schools in SMUSD). Assuming that not all homeowners have kids nor will have kids, a tax may be looked down upon but the argument could also be made that the buses will reduce the traffic and congestion in general.

Option 2: A private charter solution could be controlled in terms of costs by only billing parents that opt-in but this would also restrict the passengers to only kids that pay. Parents could opt-in or out annually based upon their kids age and attendance.  It’s assumed it would be a higher cost option.

Thanks for participating.

Search Vaccine Opt-Out Rate; Look Up Your School Online

Vaccine Opt-Out Rate Doubled in 7 Years; Look Up Your School Online via Vaccine Opt-Out Rate Doubled in 7 Years; Look Up Your School Online | State of Health Blog from KQED

To opt out, parents must file a personal belief exemption, or PBE, a signed statement that vaccines are against their personal beliefs. In the 2007-2008 school year, the statewide California PBE rate was 1.56%. By 2013-2014, the most recent year California statistics are available, the rate had jumped to 3.15%.

San Marcos Schools that appear –

PBE =personal belief exemption

School Name City County PBE%
Saint Joseph Academy San Marcos San Diego 16%
Discovery Elementary San Marcos San Diego 5%
Knob Hill Elementary San Marcos San Diego 4%
San Elijo Elementary San Marcos San Diego 3%
Richland Elementary San Marcos San Diego 2%
Paloma Elementary San Marcos San Diego 1%
Twin Oaks Elementary San Marcos San Diego 1%
Alvin M. Dunn Elementary San Marcos San Diego 0
San Marcos Elementary San Marcos San Diego 0
High Tech Elementary North County San Marcos San Diego 0

*Search Term Used was: “San Marcos”



Part-timers also negotiating for benefits in Encinitas, San Marcos

School districts in Encinitas and San Marcos are locked in labor negotiations with an employees union that wants health benefits and more work hours for instructional aides, the front-line workers who help students with special needs. READ MORE VIA UT

National Technology Survey of Students, Educators and Parents Open Through December 19th

National Technology Survey of Students, Educators and Parents Open Through December 19th

Speak Up 2014 Asks about Technology Use in and Out of School, How Parents are Learning about Common Core State Standards and Bandwidth Capacity for Digital Content

Online Survey:

San Marcos, CA – Through December 19th, more than 400,000 K-12 students, educators and parents will complete the Speak Up 2014 online survey and share their ideas about education and technology with our national leaders. The annual survey is now open for input and is facilitated through public, private and charter schools all around the country; every school is eligible to participate. The results provide important insights about education, technology and student aspirations to individual schools, state departments of education and national leaders.

“Each year more schools sign up to be part of Speak Up because it offers them – their students, parents, staff and members of the community – a way to express their opinions about the future of learning, local and national policies, how teaching could be improved and more,” said Julie Evans, CEO of Project Tomorrow, the survey’s facilitator and a national leader in empowering students to have a voice in improving education in the 21st century.

“San Elijo Middle School has been a leader in technology since opening in 2004. Now in our 11th year, we continue to provide our staff and students with access to the best technology available and the results are irrefutable.”

The 2014 online survey – open now through December 19th for all K-12 students, parents, members of the community, teachers, and administrators at – offers the largest collection of authentic, unfiltered input on education and technology from those ‘on the ground’ in the schools. For the first time, Project Tomorrow, will also provide a special online survey for community members. Local employers, after school providers, school board members and homeowners without children in the local schools can now provide their views on the role of technology in preparing students for the jobs and careers of the 21st century. This new set of data will provide valuable insights for schools and districts as well as state and federal policymakers on the importance of digital tools and resources for college and career readiness. Additionally, both parents and community members will also be asked about their awareness of the new Common Core State Standards, and the sources, both digital and non-digital, of their information about the new standards.

Read more

San Marcos Unified School District Election Results


Incumbent Pam Lindamood and Stacy Carlson are elected to San Marcos Unified School Board.

The San Marcos Unified School District Board of Education consists of five members elected at-large to four-year terms. Two seats were up for election in 2014, and three seats will be up for election in 2016.

Full election results here:

Precincts: 92
Counted: 92
Percentage: 100.0%

Vote for: 2



The San Marcos Knights Football team remain unbeaten with first victory over Vista since 1975 last Friday night.

The Knights are currently ranked #6 in the UT Prep Football rankings  for San Diego County.












Letter to the Editor,

The other day I read an editorial by three individuals with 57 years of experience in serving the needs of the community in the past. While we appreciate the service that these individuals have done in the past, San Marcos has moved forward. A new type of leadership is required to help continue to move the district forward into the 21st century.

Stacy Carlson has a strong background in community service. She fought to help protect seniors from predatory lending practices that were encouraged by those in finance, has volunteered for MDA, helps to mentor foster youth and serves on the Proposition K Oversight Committee. Stacy has a strong background in the field of science and technology and runs a successful small business that reflects the future. She will bring these skills and abilities to serve the students of San Marcos Unified and the community of San Marcos.

Pam Lindamood has an exceptional record as a current school board member. She has been a member of the community and involved in San Marcos schools for over 20 years. Her selfless dedication to San Marcos Unified School District, her background in Fine Arts, and her desire to continue to lead SMUSD into a 21st century school district, shows her dedication to our students and schools. Pam Lindamood has shown the proven leadership to continue to improve our community.

Both of these candidates will place the needs of the children and community first in order to facilitate the continued the growth of SMUSD into a vibrant 21st century school district. The teachers of San Marcos Unified, as well as the faculties of CSUSM and Palomar College, strongly support both of these candidates for San Marcos School Board.

As teachers, members of the community, and parents of school age children, we are looking for individuals to represent us, who will show strong leadership in our community, as well as preparing our students for a successful transition into the 21st century. I hope you will join us in voting for Stacy Carlson and Pam Lindamood for San Marcos School Board.

For more information, go to and


Damon and Janet Gidner

Teachers, SEH Residents, and Parents



Get Informed About The New K-8 Double Peak School


Double Peak School K-8 Meeting 9/25/14

#1 Parent Informational Meeting

Steve Baum introduced himself as the new principal of Double Peak K-8 school.

Success is not a random act. It rises out of a predictable and powerful set of circumstances. Malcolm Gladwell

He felt it was important for us to know a little about himself in order to build this relationship together. He is homegrown from San Marcos near Woodland Park. He graduated from San Marcos High School and then from University of San Diego with the desire to be a physical therapist.  He then realized he wanted to be a coach and in order to coach at a school you have to be a teacher. Once he was in the classroom as a teacher in Science at San Marcos High School; he realized how much he loved teaching and engaging with the students. At that moment his desires shifted. Coaching sports was no longer a priority. Teaching in the classroom was something he got excited about. He has been pursuing his career in education within the San Marcos School District ever since. He was the Principal at Knob Hill Elementary and Twin Oaks Elementary. Now he is onto his next journey. He will be Principal of the only K-8 school in the district. He views his new position as an honor and is very engaged and excited to open a brand new school. He feels this is an opportunity of a life time.


The school is built for 1200 students and a max of 1500 students based on the community growth. He anticipates the enrollment numbers to reflect the following: Approximately 800 students K-5th Grade and 400 students 6th-8th Grade. He prefers to start the school year with closer to 1000 students. He wants the energy of the kids, parents and teachers.

He has been actively planning from day one. He has developed many focus groups with elementary and middle schools in the district. He wants to learn and acquire as much feedback as possible in order build a school that can be effective, and meets the needs of all individuals at the K-8 School.  During this process he will be trying to expect the unexpected. This will be an on going challenge for him. He has met with food services; recognizing the food offered to the students will be different depending on the age of the student. He met with the PE teachers discussing the design of the gym and locker room. He is meeting with other principals, teachers, students and parents. He truly believes collaboration is one of the keys to success.

He wants a community feel at the school. Therefore there will only be one central front entrance into the school. This creates an opportunity to bring the students together.

When designing the buildings and the use of space.. he tried to provide an ocean view to everyone where possible.

The Start and End times for the school has not yet been determined. He would like for all students to start at the same time. He thinks it’s an important way to connect with each other. However the end times may not be the same. Middle school is required to go to school less hours than Elementary School students. Kindergarten will be 1/2 day similar to the other schools in the district.

The campus will have the following:

2 story buildings with interior walls
Innovative Room (inside the Library)
Multipurpose Room (MPR)
Gym and Locker Room
Band Room
K-5 Music Room
Art Room
Science Lab
Flex Lab
Student Collaboration  Space (Shared room between 2 classrooms)

The buildings will be color coded so the students can find their classes easier. A color inside will reflect the same color scheme outside.

The Library will be designed to accommodate all ages. There will be a carved out separated area just for K-5th grade. Then a section designed to meet the needs of a middle school student.

The Innovation Room will be a room inside the Library. It will be behind sliding glass window doors. You open the doors and it is designed like a ” Google Think Tank” it will have bright colors on the walls, different types of furniture to sit on. One wall will be one big complete White Board. A projected screen will come down and the students will be able to communicate and connect with for example; San Marcos High school, Cal State San Marcos University. This is a room to create, design and be Innovative!!

The Multipurpose Room will not only hold meetings for parents or school assemblies. It will be designed to optimize the sound of beautiful music. There will be a floating ceiling to optimize the acoustics. The stage will be bigger with a projected screen and a big purple curtain to complete the experience.

The Gym will be designed for all types of sports to be played.

The Middle School students will change classes during the day.

The K-5th Grade will have KOC on campus and he is considering providing after school activities for Middle School students too.


Discovery Elementary
San Elijo Elementary
San Elijo Middle
Woodland Park Middle

(Please click here to see boundary map)

Many comments were made about the concern for where will the students go to High School? It’s recommended to look at the school boundary list to determine based on where you live how it will affect which high school.


Collaboration -It’s about the parents, teachers, students and school.
His philosophies begin with a few key books. This is where he gets his inspiration.

The Leadership in Me. Stephen Covey
7 Habits of Highly Effective People. Stephen Covey
The Outliers. Malcolm Gladwell
The Mindset. Carol Dweck

There are many valuable gems of information from these books to explore; however here is a sneak peak. The idea that success is linked to opportunity. Right place at the right time. Access to resources.  Success requires effort, hard work and the experience to celebrate the success. Success is a student being responsible for themselves.


There will be 3 areas of focus/unique opportunities:

Articulated K-8 Instrumental Music Program
Articulated K-8 Art Program
Articulated Innovation Program

All students will have access to these unique opportunities starting in Kindergarten. These skills will build upon each other creating a K-8 articulated experience.

Articulated Instrumental Program

Charlie McGee will be the Music Director and he came from San Elijo Middle School. They will hire a K-8 Music teacher. There will be music appreciation, band, and grade level music performances. At this point the music program is focused on instrumental. The school’s focus  will not be a performing arts school.

Articulated Art Program

They will have a visual and comprehensive art curriculum; a pathway from K-8th grade.

Articulated Innovation Program

They will have curriculum focusing on Engineering, Coding, and Robotics.


Sept. – Dec. 2014 * Parent Meeting and *Portrait of a Graduate

Nov. – Dec. 2014  * Decide on Colors and Mascot and *Get student input

Nov. 3rd and Dec. 1st * #2 Parent Informational Meeting

Jan. – March 2015 * Intra-District Transfer Forms submitted

He will also schedule: Principal Coffee Chats, and Student Meetings on Campuses


Jan. 5th-Mar. 27th 2015 * Create the PTO Board *Develop the By laws *Create a 501(c)(3)


Assistant Principal (not yet hired)
Counselor (Mar./Apr.)
Remaining Staff (Apr.)

Their was a teacher informational meeting and 107 teachers expressed interest in learning more about the school and the possibility of working as a teacher.


Will the younger and older children interact on campus? YES

The interactions will be in a structured organized manner. A Buddy Program and Leadership Program will be established. Unstructured ways would be passing each other on campus. They are planning for separate bathrooms for Elementary students and Middle School students. There is a designed division on campus to delineate the kindergarten, elementary, and middle school students.

What about the course offerings?

Middle Schoolers will receive the same electives as the other middle schools in the district. The variety of electives may be modified based on the school’s focus.  The level of the elective can shift due to the student’s knowledge base.


There is a detailed chart identifying if your child is in x grade now, then what school will your child go to next year.

If your child is in:                         Your child will go to x school next year:

1st – 3rd Grade                             Double Peak School

4th Grade                                     Discovery, SEES, Double Peak

5th Grade.                                    Double Peak school

6th Grade                                     Woodland Park Middle, SEMS, Double Peak

7th Grade                                     Woodland Park Middle, SEMS, Double Peak

If grandfathered into a school; you must complete the form even if your child wants to stay in their current school. Please be sure to confirm this information with the school district.  This chart will be in the powerpoint presentation from this meeting.

When should people who live in the new school boundary start to enroll?

This process is still not clearly defined and they are working out the details and timeline.

Will busing be an option at this school?

Busing is being considered, but funding is a limitation.

Will there be shade for the students on the play ground or on campus?

He is currently thinking and discussing the possibility of shade for the students.


There will be multiple lanes to pull into the school. It will have a drive up option and two parking lots. One for every day use and an overflow lot. A well defined design is laid out and the district is optimistic. However there is no perfect parking/traffic experience for drop off and pick up at any school. There will be a stretch of road on Twin Oaks where it will be widened so parents can turn into the school. The speed limits will decrease on Twin Oaks at certain areas due to the school.


A defined safety plan will be put in place. He will meet with fire and sheriff to ensure it is effective and supported by the first responders in the event of an emergency.  This is the same for any other school in the district.

Next Steps and Questions

The next Parent Informational Meeting is Monday, September 29th at 6pm at North County Regional Education Center (SMUSD’s District Office) at 255 Pico Ave.

The PowerPoint Presentation from the 9/25 meeting will be posted on Tuesday September 30th on the Double Peak School website for your review.

Further questions and/or if wanting to provide feedback to Mr. Baum; please email him at or call at 760-290-2344.

In addition, the Double Peak School website has a section for frequently asked questions and on that page you can submit any questions you have.

If you go to your child’s school website of the four schools that are affected; you will see an icon for “Double Peak School” on the front page.  It will have updated information about the new K-8 school.

Jazz at The Lake

Jazz Flyer_small

San Marcos High School Music Boosters invites you to join them for an evening of Jazz at the Lake on Friday, September 26th from 7:00 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. Enjoy an evening of food, friendship, and lively jazz performed by the SMHS music directors and their selected colleagues. Tickets are $30 and include heavy hors d’oeuvres, dessert, and a no-host bar. In addition to an evening filled with professional jazz music, the event will include a wine wall and silent auction. Proceeds benefit the SMHS music program. For more information or to purchase tickets go to

San Marcos goes back to school- Update from The City of San Marcos

San Marcos goes back to school
Traffic delays expected during daily commute

As the summer winds down, San Marcos students are headed back to school. With elementary, middle and high schools along with Cal State San Marcos and Palomar College back in session later this month, I-15 and SR-78 travelers can expect increased traffic delays during their daily commute. 

While the increase in traffic congestion is familiar to city residents, students and commuters alike, the City of San Marcos is pleased to report that continued relief is on the way. In the city’s ongoing efforts to get motorists moving and improve traffic flow, several roadway improvement projects are scheduled over the next five years. Planned projects include feasibility studies for the San Marcos High pedestrian bridge and an extension of the Inland Rail Trail. Interchange improvements slated at Woodland Parkway and SR 78 will help accommodate the City’s anticipated growth near Cal State San Marcos and the University District. 

During the school year and periods of roadway construction, drive with caution and provide ample time to reach your destination safely and on time.

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