Category Archives: San Marcos Unified School District

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

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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!

A message from SAN MARCOS UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT

smusd
A message from SAN MARCOS UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT

Dear San Marcos Families,

Given the situation in the Los Angeles Unified School District, I wanted to reassure all of our families that the San Marcos Unified School District is not aware of any threat to the schools in our district.

We are in constant communication with the San Diego County Sherriff’s Department – they have added additional patrols today as an added precaution. Additionally, all of our employees received a copy of the district’s protocol and procedures regarding bomb threats.

As always, safety is our highest priority, and we will do our upmost to ensure a safe environment for each of the students in our district.

Regards,

Kevin Holt, Ed.D
Superintendent
San Marcos Unified School District

San Elijo Middle School iCommute Carpool Program

San Elijo Middle Traffic

Attention San Elijo Middle School Parents and drivers:

SEMS has an opportunity for you to find a carpool to school.  SEMS has registered with iCommute, a program through SANDAG. iCommute gives you access to a database of commuters – neighbors who live near you – looking for a carpool match.

Go the SEMS website @ www.sanelijmiddle.org and look for iCommute headline for link and instructions. Register to join our private network today. Plan a trip with TripPlanner, potential matches displayed, if you find a match, send a message OR “Post Your Own Carpool.”

Save time, money and help alleviate traffic. iCommute is one small step to help our parents, community and most importantly our students get to school safely and on time.

City of San Marcos hosts a successful biennial Education Forum

EdForum_RB-2

City of San Marcos hosts a successful biennial Education Forum

San Marcos education leaders celebrate ten years of partnership

SAN MARCOS – The leaders of the three major educational institutions in San Marcos — the state university, community college and school district — described how expanded educational partnerships, strong enrollment growth and dramatic campus construction have marked the evolution of San Marcos as a regional education hub over the past 10 years at a biennial educational forum Wednesday hosted by the City of San Marcos.

Dr. Karen Haynes, president of California State University San Marcos; Adrian Gonzales, interim president of Palomar College, and Dr. Kevin Holt, superintendent of the San Marcos Unified School District reviewed accomplishments over the past ten years since the forum’s establishment and detailed how collaborative programs linked to the City or education partners have helped reach bold milestones.

Over that period, the number of students at California State University San Marcos has doubled to about 14,000, making it California’s fastest-growing state university said President Karen Haynes. In the San Marcos Unified School District, from elementary school through high school, about 21,000 students are being taught, up from about 16,000 in 2005, said Superintendent Kevin Holt. Interim President Adrian Gonzales noted that Palomar College offers educational opportunities to more than 23,000 students.

Mayor Jim Desmond described the city’s sponsorship as “a conscious effort to embrace our educational community” with a goal of “providing skills for the workplace of the future.”

With many school board members, trustees, city council members and the general public in attendance, the forum, “Making the Grade: In Just Ten Years,” for the first time was held at the campus of the University of St. Augustine for Health Sciences in San Marcos. The private university, which specializes in graduate training for occupational and physical therapy, expanded to San Marcos in 2009 and also has campuses in St. Augustine, Florida, and Austin, Texas. President Wanda Nitsch moderated the forum.

Partnership was a key theme in describing how the school district, community college and state university work together to encourage and insure that students graduating from San Marcos high schools have a supportive pathway to higher education.

Superintendent Holt pointed out that the Pace Promise program guarantees every graduating senior who meets entry level requirements a spot in the entering class at Cal State San Marcos. “We live in a community that prioritizes higher education for kids,” he said.

President Haynes noted that such a guarantee is increasingly important as the number of applications for the freshman class has continued to go up, making admission more difficult. The current entering class had 19,000 applications for 2,500 slots, she said.

Holt also detailed efforts to reach out to San Marcos high school students through the GEAR UP program with Palomar College to provide workshops on preparing for and getting into college, including help to pay for all SMUSD 10th and 11th grade PSAT tests, an important early round test in the admissions process.

Gonzales noted also that the college is working with the district to help students who take a senior year math course to transition into college algebra.

Gonzales then described the achievements of Palomar College as a “hidden secret in San Marcos,” from its planetarium, the fifth-largest in the state, to its 22 varsity athletic teams, its student radio station ranked as No. 1 in the country, its debate team ranked nationally, and its standing as one of the top three colleges in the nation in graduating Hispanic students.

Haynes, too, touted the accomplishments of Cal State San Marcos in serving minority students, noting that for the third year in a row, more than half of graduating students were the first in their families to achieve a four-year degree.

Over the past 10 years, the most visible accomplishments have been the construction of new buildings, helped with funding from major, voter-approved bond measures for the San Marcos Unified School District and Palomar College.

San Marcos High School, now a modern landmark on San Marcos Boulevard, opened in 2014 and Double Peaks School, the district’s first kindergarten through eighth grade school, is set to open next August. Palomar College is beginning work on a new library and learning center. And a 1,400-seat multipurpose arena now under construction is set to open next fall at Cal State San Marcos.

While school funding has stabilized across the state with the rebound of the economy, Haynes said Cal State San Marcos plans to reach out with its first comprehensive fund-raising campaign. She said that 85 percent of the alumni stay in the region and that the university generates hundreds of millions of dollars for the local economy.

“Cal State San Marcos is now an investment in our region,” she said.

Honing in on the link between economic development and education, Mayor Jim Desmond detailed major developments close to the university and college campuses that are bringing new housing and businesses and continue to interconnect road improvements and SPRINTER transit stations to make the community a place where people can thrive in both education and career.

“San Marcos is a place where you can go from kindergarten to graduate school to employee,” Desmond said. “By partnering together, we are fostering a friendly, collaborative city that embraces our role as the education hub of North County.”

Click Here to Watch a Video of The Event

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