Category Archives: San Marcos Unified School District

SMUSD Attendance Boundary Committee Update

SMUSD Attendance Boundary Committee Update

On October 19th, the District’s Attendance Boundary Committee held its first meeting.  The meeting is comprised over more than 100 individuals, with representation from each school in the District.

The Committee is tasked with providing two recommendations.
  • Recommendation #1:  Propose adjustments to current attendance boundaries to optimize student at capacity at each school.
  • Recommendation #2:  Propose an implementation plan / schedule for the Board-approved attendance boundary adjustments.
At the first meeting, the Committee heard presentations from District staff and its demographer (Davis Demographics) regarding the following topics:
  • Current District and School attendance boundaries;
  • Historical and projected enrollment growth;
  • Residential development and student generation rates;
  • Criteria for school boundary planning;
  • The role of the demographer; and
  • Next steps.

On November 9th, the District’s Attendance Boundary Committee held its second meeting. During the first part of the meeting, Davis Demographics provided information about factors that impact attendance boundaries and how adjusting boundary lines impacts available capacity at each school.

Davis Demographics also shared an elementary scenario, middle school scenario and high school scenario to consider regarding possible adjustments to the current attendance boundaries.  These scenarios are NOT official recommendations from the District Board, staff or Davis Demographics.  But, rather, they were something to consider in order to foster dialog and conversation.

Following the presentation by Davis Demographics, Committee members had an opportunity to work together to provide their own possible recommendations.

The recommendations submitted are being examined for common themes.  Draft maps will be generated and shared with Committee members at its next meeting on December 7th.

As a reminder, these meetings are closed to the public.  However, if you have any specific questions or concerns regarding the Attendance Boundary Committee, you may submit them HERE.

Important Boundary and Budgetary issues facing San Marcos Unified School District (SMUSD)

Important Boundary and Budgetary Issues Facing San Marcos Unified School District (SMUSD)
Attendance Boundaries potentially being redrawn and District Budget Deficit, the district website has the following topics with information links that are important and public information. Please participate and share in the discussion here and on social media as this important issue that may potentially impact San Elijo Hills and San Marcos.
District Budget Deficit

Among the most important responsibilities of the Governing Board and Superintendent is to ensure the financial health of our district, and to inform the community when changes in district finances might meaningfully impact the educational services San Marcos Unified School District (SMUSD) provides. That is the purpose of this letter.

Due to flattening state revenues, and dramatic increases in mandated costs, we are forecasting very difficult financial days ahead here at SMUSD, which we more fully explain below. As we enter these difficult financial times, we want you to be aware of our predicament, the circumstances that brought us here, and our path forward.

Attendance Boundary Committee

“San Marcos Unified’s new Attendance Boundary Committee will meet for the first time next week to begin their work on recommendations for the Governing Board’s consideration.  As meetings continue, you will find more information HERE regarding the progress of the committee. We anticipate the committee’s recommendations to go before the Governing Board in the early part of 2018, which they will then review and approve all or part of the recommendations.  Our community will have an opportunity to comment publicly prior to the Board taking action.”

 

Solar Project at San Elijo Elementary-Parking lot will be closed

Solar Project at SEES

Here are the details regarding our Solar Project:

The SMUSD Solar Project is ahead of schedule which means that our SEES construction for solar panel installation in our parking lot will begin this weekend, October 21.  The solar panels will be installed in our parking lot along with shade structure in front of the school at the student waiting area for drive up. There are several benefits coming both to SMUSD and SEES. If you haven’t had an opportunity to look over the resources provided by the District on our solar initiative, I encourage you to CLICK HERE to view the information on the website. You will find a short, overview video, along with more information on the process and FAQ’s.

Our parking lot will be closed for staff and visitors for 6-12 weeks.  We will need your support and patience during this time. The front of our school will have a construction fence as well for the installation of solar panel shade structure in the student waiting area.

We are working closely with Tesla, the installing solar company, to ensure that all safety precautions are

in place during construction. Our site will be staged with temporary fencing for the construction zone

prior to work commencing. All material and equipment deliveries will be coordinated to minimize impact during drop off and pick up times.

Parking:

All staff and visitors will need to park off site. There will be handicap parking available by KOC buildings.  You will need to enter from the drive up lane to access these spots.  We ask for your patience when visiting our campus during construction and parking off site. There will  be increased foot and construction traffic, and we want to make sure that everyone moves about the campus safely. Please park in designated parking spots and always use crosswalks.

Drive-up Drop off/Pick-up:

Drive up will be available for drop off and pick up for students in grades 2-5 as usual. Morning Drop-off for first grade will still be available.  There will be no drop off available for kindergarten during construction.

AM Kindergarten

  • Drop Off:  Students will enter through the KOC gate, hang their back pack up and line up by their classroom door. Students in room 601 will wait at their recess spot which is by room 103.
  • Pick-Up: Parents will enter through the KOC gate and meet their child’s class on the kindergarten playground.
  • There will be no curbside drop off for kindergarten families during construction.
  • Please leave strollers outside the kindergarten playground.

PM Kindergarten/Transitional Kindergarten

  • New Drop off time for PM only: 11:40. Please arrive prior to 11:47am for PM Kindergarten.
  • Drop Off:  Students will enter through the KOC gate, hang their backpack up and line up by their classroom door. Students in room 601 will wait at their recess spot which is by room 103.
  • Pick-Up: Parents will enter through the KOC gate and meet their child’s class on the kindergarten playground.
  • There will be no curbside drop off for kindergarten families during construction.
  • Transitional kindergarten will have regular drop-off with playground time at 11:40-11:50

1st Grade pick-up

  • First Grade families will still pick up near rolling gate. Please look for first grade pick up area which has been moved to just outside the rolling gate near the office.

Grades 2-5 pick-up

  • All students will exit to the rolling gate.
  • The back gate is still an option for those who would like to use the trails.
  • Drive-up will proceed as usual.  Drive up students will wait by the rolling gate.
  • Parents who meet their students outside the gates need to wait for students in waiting zone near kindergarten.

We anticipate taking a few days to get our new routines in place. Please allocate extra time for this transition as everyone learns our new routines.  We ask for all adults to think safety first by using crosswalks and driving cautiously.

We are excited to be part of a project that will provide savings, lesson plans, and educational materials

for all grade levels, as well as help our district go green. We will be sure to keep you updated on the

progress of our construction, but, if you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to email

solar@smusd.org.

SMUSD’s Upcoming Solar Project

San Marcos Unified is moving forward with an exciting district-wide project to install solar panels at many of our school sites. Tesla (formerly SolarCity) will install, maintain, and operate their solar panel system without any upfront costs to the District.  Savings from this initiative will amount to approximately $30 million dollars over our 20-year contract with Tesla.

For an overview on our solar project, please watch this short video.

Each phase of construction is completed in stages of prep work, fencing, drilling, completing the underground electrical, and installation.  Starting with Paloma Elementary on October 14, 2017, the prep team will begin working on site.  Once the prep work is completed at Paloma, they will move on to the next school in Phase 1, while the drilling team will begin work at Paloma – and so on and so forth.  This process will continue until all of the schools in Phase 1 are completed.  For visuals on this process, click here.

The phases are as follows:

 

  • PHASE 1:  Paloma Elementary, San Elijo Elementary, Woodland Park Middle, and Mission Hills High.
  • PHASE 2:  Twin Oaks Elementary, Joli Ann Elementary, San Marcos Elementary, and Knob Hill Elementary
  • PHASE 3:  Discovery Elementary, San Elijo Middle, Double Peak, San Marcos High, and Carrillo Elementary

 

In addition to working with the Division of State Architects (DSA) to ensure that all applicable rules/regulations are followed, our Facilities and Maintenance team have worked closely with each of our principals to determine the ideal location for the panels.  As many of our sites will have solar panels installed in their parking lot, parking will be affected during the 6-12 week construction period.  Families will receive a letter from their site prior to any work commencing.  You can also check your school’s website for more information on construction dates and parking/drop off adjustments.

For questions or concerns regarding this project, please email solar@smusd.org.

How San Marcos Unified Deals With a Rare and Welcome Problem: Booming Enrollment – Voice of San Diego

How San Marcos Unified Deals With a Rare and Welcome Problem: Booming EnrollmentMost school districts in San Diego County – and throughout the state – struggle with declining enrollment. But the city of San Marcos’ population has more than doubled since 1990, and that’s meant lots of new students for San Marcos Unified, which has to constantly find space for its growing student body.

READ MORE VIA Source: How San Marcos Unified Deals With a Rare and Welcome Problem: Booming Enrollment – Voice of San Diego

Public meeting announcement for new proposed project on Twin Oaks near South Lake.

NOTICE OF PUBLIC WORKSHOP

WHEN: WHERE: PROJECT:

Wednesday, April 19, 2017, 6:00 PM
City of San Marcos – Valley of Discovery Room, 1 Civic Center Drive, San Marcos, CA Brookfield Residential Properties “MU-4 Area” – P17-0015: Specific Plan 17-002, General Plan Amendment 17-002, Rezone 17-001, Tentative Subdivision Map 17-003, Multi-Family Site Development Plan 17-002, Grading Variance 17-003

This notice is to inform you of an upcoming public workshop for the proposed Brookfield Residential Properties MU-4 project. The proposed project includes a Specific Plan Amendment, General Plan Amendment, and Zone Change to modify the permitted land uses onsite from Heart of the City Specific Plan “Business Park” and Public Institutional (PI) to Heart of the City Specific Plan “Low Medium Density Residential” (8-12 dwelling units per acre); a Tentative Subdivision Map and Multi-Family Site Development Plan to construct 218 attached residential condominium units; and, a Grading Variance to allow for slopes in excess of 20 feet. The project site is located at the southwest corner of South Twin Oaks Valley Road and South Village Drive. The workshop is intended to provide to the public an overview of the proposed project by the developer and an opportunity to inquire and comment on the proposed project. For more information, please contact Art Piñon in the Planning Division at (760) 744-1050, extension 3234, or email at apinon@san-marcos.net, or visit the Development Services counter during the week between 7:30 am and 5:30 pm. Note: We are closed every other Friday.

San Marcos Unified School District Superintendent Selection Community Forums

Dear San Marcos Families,

The San Marcos Unified Governing Board has selected Dave Long & Associates Executive Search Services as the consultant to assist the Board in their search for a new superintendent.

The Board wishes to extend an invitation to all members of the community to meet with advisers, Dr. John A. Roach and Beverly M. Hempstead, on the following dates, time and location to discuss the specific traits, skills, abilities and experience desired in the new superintendent:

March 15, 2017 6:30 – 9:00pm – San Marcos High School – Room 205, 2nd Floor

March 22, 2017 6:30 – 9:00pm – Mission Hills High School – Library

Community members can also provide input regarding the Superintendent Selection criteria by completing a brief survey HERE.

Hard copies of the survey will also be available at District schools and the SMUSD District Office located at 255 Pico Avenue, Suite 250, San Marcos, CA 92069 and may be returned to the district office or mailed to:

John Roach or Beverly M. Hempstead, DLA Advisers
c/o Henry Voros
San Marcos Unified School District
255 Pico Avenue, Suite 250 San Marcos, CA 92069

All survey responses are due on or before APRIL 11, 2017.

A Message from the District Regarding Lead Testing

A message from SAN MARCOS UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT
Good afternoon San Marcos Families,

As you may have seen in the media, there was a drinking fountain that was recently removed from San Marcos Middle School after it was discovered to have a higher level of lead than is considered safe.

It is critical to San Marcos Unified to ensure that the water used by our students, staff, and community is safe.  In addition to having the water tested at all of our school locations, we also wanted to provide information to our community regarding the steps leading up to this action.

What resulted in San Marcos Unified School District conducting tests at three District schools?

Following the event in Flint (Michigan), The State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB) amended the permit for all public water system in California in order to mandate free lead testing in schools, if requested by the school district.

While not required, Vallecitos Water District notified the District of this new mandate from the SWRCB.  The mandate became effective in January 2017.

Why did the District choose to test Alvin Dunn Elementary, Richland Elementary, and San Marcos Middle School?

In 1986, the use of lead solder was banned from use in joining copper pipes.  These three schools were originally constructed prior to 1986.  All other schools in the District were constructed or renovated after 1986.

What are the measurement standards?

The current standards followed by the Vallecitos Water District were developed and implemented by the United States EPA in 1991.  The standards state that the Action Level (AL) for lead is 15 ug/L.  This is defined to mean “micrograms per liter” or “parts per billion”.

The Department of Drinking Water regulations state that any results at 15 ug/L or less are considered safe.

What were the results of the tests conducted?

At Alvin Dunn Elementary, five samples were collected.  All results were below the 15 ug/L Action Level.

At Richland Elementary, five samples were collected.  All results were below the 15 ug/L Action Level.

At San Marcos Middle School, five samples were collected.  Four results were below the 15 ug/L Action while one sample was above.

What does this mean and what did the District do?

It is important to note that the water received from Vallecitos Water District meets current standards and regulations.

In this instance, the sample from a fixture (drinking fountain) at San Marcos Middle School had a higher level greater than 15 ug/L.  When the District was notified of the results, the fixture was removed from service.

The District is also making arrangements to have additional tests conducted at other locations at San Marcos Middle School.

Have there been any illnesses reported due to this drinking fountain?

No.  There have not been any reports of illness that are due to or can be traced back to this drinking fountain.

What can I do if I’m worried about my child having lead poisoning?

You can contact the California Department of Public Health – Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Program at 619-692-8487. The best recommendation we can offer is to take your child to their general physician for blood tests.

Palomar Promise Program Guarantees Free Tuition to San Marcos Unified School District Graduates

Palomar-Promise-160621-018sq1000x1000

Officials from Palomar College and San Marcos Unified School District (SMUSD) are shown celebrating the establishment of The Palomar Promise, which will provide eligible SMSUSD graduates with free tuition while attending Palomar College. From left are (standing) Palomar College Foundation Executive Director Richard Talmo, Herbie Smith, Executive Director, San Marcos Promise, (sitting) Palomar College Interim Superintendent/President Adrian Gonzales and SMUSD Superintendent Dr. Kevin Holt. (photo by Kurt Lightfoot)

Palomar Promise Program Guarantees Free Tuition to San Marcos Unified School District Graduates

The Palomar Community College District Governing Board has approved a memorandum of understanding (MOU) between Palomar College, The Palomar College Foundation, San Marcos Unified School District and The San Marcos Promise to create The Palomar Promise, designed to provide all eligible SMUSD graduating high school students with free tuition for up to two years while pursuing an associate’s degree, transfer requirements, and/or a certificate program.

Starting in the fall of 2017, upon successful completion of Palomar Promise eligibility requirements, students will receive tuition assistance up to $600/semester or $1,200/year for up to two consecutive years from The San Marcos Promise and Palomar College Foundation. This unique opportunity will allow students to attend college, tuition-free, full-time.

“Palomar College has been serving this region for over 70 years and our partnering with San Marcos Unified to provide a free community college education to eligible students sends a strong message to local families that we are united in supporting our community,” said Adrian Gonzales, Palomar College Interim Superintendent/President. “We could not be happier to be in a position to offer the financial support that will make a difference for many students and their families.”

Dr. Kevin Holt, San Marcos Unified School District Superintendent said “San Marcos Unified, in partnership with The San Marcos Promise, is proud to announce its ‘promise’ with Palomar Community College.  This is a historic partnership, considering SMUSD will be the first district in North County to establish admission to Palomar College with a guaranteed scholarship provided by The San Marcos Promise and the Palomar College Foundation.  We are so grateful to Palomar College for providing this opportunity for SMUSD graduates.”

The program eligibility requirements include that students graduate from SMUSD with a minimum 2.5 cumulative GPA and place into transferable Math, English and Reading, as indicated by Palomar placement test results.  In addition, students will be required to complete the Federal Application for Free Student Aid (FAFSA) by the federal deadlines for each school year.  Students will be required to complete the Palomar College Foundation Scholarship Application prior to the deadline each year, to maintain eligibility.

“The Palomar Promise is the right thing to do.  It’s right for our kids, for business, and for our community.  Having affordable pathways to college and career in the comfort of your city makes San Marcos a special place to live,” said Herbie Smith, Executive Director of The San Marcos Promise Foundation.

Palomar College Foundation Executive Director Richard Talmo said, “We are excited to work with San Marcos Unified as our first Palomar Promise partner. It is fitting that we begin the first of many Promises for Palomar collaborating with a K-12 district here in San Marcos where our main campus is located.”

The Palomar College Foundation will continue to establish community partnerships and to solicit financial assistance from businesses and individuals to ensure that the Palomar Promise continues to grow throughout the District.  The Palomar College Foundation provides financial support to Palomar College matriculating students and the San Marcos Promise prepares students for an experience in higher education.  Both the Palomar College Foundation and The San Marcos Promise are ideal organizations to maintain responsibility for an agreement to provide financial support for SMUSD college-bound students.

Dance With A Knight, February 5, 2016

DWAK 2016 FlyerDance With A Knight, February 5, 2016

We are pleased to announce the 2016 San Marcos High School Dance With A Knight event, to be held on Friday February 5 at San Marcos High School!  Attached is a flyer with all of the details.  To guarantee a participant a spot, simply register on our website:

Dance With A Knight
Thanks for your support of the SMHS Dance Team!
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