Category Archives: San Elijo Middle School

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

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

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 California State San Marcos and Palomar College back in session this week, 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 lined up over the next five years.

Planned projects include Improvements to the intersection of Las Posas Road and Mission Road near Palomar College and the transit center; Construction of two new bridges to replace Bent Avenue and Via Vera Cruz between San Marcos Boulevard and Discovery Street; San Marcos Boulevard and Discovery Street intersection improvements; and construction of Twin Oaks Trail north of Borden Road.

During the school year and periods of roadway construction, motorists should drive with caution in and around work areas, and provide ample time to reach destinations safely and on time.

To learn more about capital improvement projects in San Marcos, visit www.san-marcos.net/cip.

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.

Dear San Marcos Candidates

Letter to the editor-

Dear San Marcos Candidates,

As a mother of three children, all attending the three most impacted schools in the San Marcos Unified School District, I would like to ask how you would help alleviate the impacted schools and align the city’s growth plan with the school districts size. I was a parent representative on the 2013 attendance boundary committee for San Elijo Elementary.  As a member of the committee, I saw the need of alleviating the impacted schools of Discovery, San Elijo Elementary, and San Elijo Middle was critical.  The boundaries were realigned in an attempt to best address the impacted schools and a recommendation was made in favor of creating a K-8 school. This recommendation did not address the even larger concern, where do all of the elementary and middle school students attend for high school if those multiple schools are at capacity? How do you feed twelve elementary schools with average student populations of 1,000 into four middle schools, and ultimately  into two high school? What happens when more development occurs? I posed the question then to the committee of what  was the capacity of both Mission Hills High School and San Marcos High school.  I was told 2800 and 3200 respectively after additional buildings and portables added.  Surely, creating one K-8 school does not fully address the underlying problem of rapid city development and growth resulting in a larger student population impacting all  school grades. My children attend San Elijo Elementary,  San Elijo Middle,  and San Marcos High each school has the largest student population of their respective grade level school populations. San Elijo Elementary has 1,100 students in attendance,  granted this has decreased significantly by the opening of Double Peak for the 2016-2017 school year. San Elijo Middle has a student population of over 1,900 and is the largest middle school  in the district, whose attendance area includes Carlsbad and San Marcos. San Marcos High school has a student population of 3,200 which is at capacity according to the 2012-2013 attendance boundary committee projection. What happens with the influx of future students that will come with the completed development of the former quarry area, the college, and creek side development.  Where will those students from elementary through high school attend? The San Marcos Unified School district does NOT own any land for future school development. This  was an  issue in the acquiring land and developing Double Peak K -8. San Marcos High school is at its projected capacity and Mission Hills has a student population of 2600 of the 2800 capacity. In addition to the development in San Elijo Hills/Discovery/CSUSM area there has been the addition of multi unit family homes along Norhdal, Mission Rd, and Twin Oaks north of the 78. Those areas are just in City of San Marcos. The San Marcos Unified School District is comprised of  portions of Carlsbad, Escondido, San Marcos, Vista, and Unicorporated County areas. That means five seperate areas within the district  have their own city growth design, development, and approval process. I understand all those cities and unicorporated  areas within the district boundary pay taxes to the school district. How do you align reasonable and responsible school growth size when another city or San Marcos itself approves 20, 100, 400 homes for development?

What will your role be in creating a responsible balance between city growth and development as well as maintain an excellent school district and not create overcrowed underfunded schools?

Sincerely,
Alexis Barbuto
Voter and Mother of 3 students in San Marcos Unified School District

*** Editors Note-We welcome letters to the editor and political statements from San Marcos Candidates -San Elijo Life

____________________________

Dear Candidates,

I am responding to your inquiry with regards to the  piece I wrote and was posted on San Elijo Life Facebook. As stated within my letter, I am interested in how you will be able to align the City Council and the School District to provide balanced development and adequate schools for the growing student population in San Marcos. This seems to be a difficult task when all of the North County School Districts are comprised of multiple cities and unincorporated areas that are not solely within the city itself as implied by the name of the school district. Another example beyond San Marcos Unified’s composition, residents in Carlsbad  could live in an area in that city where their children attend either Encinitas Union/San Dieguito Unified for middle and high school, Carlsbad Unified or Oceanside Unified. How will north county cities which are all under rapid development create smart growth to support their school districts, when the school districts themselves were drawn including multiple cities? How can one city tell another to stop developing homes because it will affect another’s school district? Can San Marcos City Council really demand Carlsbad or Escondido to not approve more housing developments because the San Marcos Unified School District does not have land to build another school or currently the schools are overcrowded? The problem is multifaceted the school district boundaries drawn years ago, included multiple municipalities under one educational district roof.

Cities, NOT school districts approve and design development plans.

In addition to the fact the district itself does not own real estate for future development. The city approves plans without looking into whether or not the school district can support more students in certain areas.  Where would a new middle school or high school be developed in the high population density and development areas that drastically need another campus to alleviate the problem? Those areas don’t have land to purchase and build another school or are slated for more homes and businesses. The district is then forced to find a parcel to purchase large enough to sustain a school and traffic needs, but must maintain that school.  Will the San Marcos City Council rezone areas or transfer city owned land to the school district to accommodate land acquisition? What happens when a campus needs to be built within another city in the district to meet the demands of a growing student population such as Escondido or Carlsbad? How will the San Marcos Unified School District be able to support not only purchasing land, developing a school, and maintaining another school both infrastructure costs and administration when the San Marcos City council or any other municipality in the district approves more home development? This isn’t just a build more schools to match the development problem. How can a district support these schools caused by the excessive development

approved solely by the cities that reside in the district? Where will the San Marcos Unified School District obtain revenue to support the educational demands due to the increased student population? Do we just pay more taxes to stop gap the imbalance and shortsighted rapid development without looking into sustainable growth and support for our district? This is obviously a big picture problem that affects the overall quality of life in San Marcos and needs to be addressed.

What will your role be to align two very separate structured government entities for smart growth and educational excellence? Where will the balance be sustained so that development approval supports the schools to enhance the city? What rules and regulations will you seek to reform to support this vision?

Sincerely,
Alexis Barbuto
Voter and Mother of 3 students in the San Marcos Unified School District

Girls Team from San Elijo Hills Advances to World Finals in ‘Odyssey of the Mind’ Competition at Iowa State University

San Elijo Middle School

A San Elijo Hills team, consisting of six sixth-grade girls from San Elijo Middle School, tied for first place in the California state “Odyssey of the Mind” competition at UC Riverside and is advancing to the World Finals at Iowa State University in Ames, May 25-28.  They will compete against sixth to eighth graders from around the world.

Earlier, they won first place in the regional competition held at San Dieguito Academy in Encinitas.

“What’s amazing is the team is going to the World Finals for the second year in a row,” said Ted Yun, who co-coaches the team along with Ella Negrou and Lisa Rodgers.  “The girls competed as a team at the World Finals last year and for the same team to advance two years in a row is extremely rare.”

Odyssey of the Mind is an international educational program that provides creative problem-solving opportunities for students from kindergarten through college. In this annual competition, team members apply their creativity to solve problems that range from building mechanical devices to presenting their own interpretation of literary classics.  Thousands of teams from throughout the U.S. and about 25 other countries participate in the program.  Approximately 800 teams compete at the World Finals.

The San Elijo Hills team chose a theatrical challenge, a skit focusing on a mammal, a fish and a bird, according to Yun.   “The animals must work together to solve challenges to help a stranger, help each other, and ultimately prevent the imminent demise of all animals in the world! All the while, the animals must display unique emotions. And on top of that, they must incorporate a song and dance!” he said.

In the team’s eight-minute original play the animal characters work together in order to help a middle schooler who is getting older and losing interest in her creative world as her real world responsibilities begin to become more important.

“The skit is entertaining, insightful and really fun to watch,” said Yun, adding that the team consists of Elisenne, Ella, Katja, Marissa, Maya and Morgan.

As part of the competition, the youngsters must brainstorm, research, write the script, build sets and props, create costumes, rehearse the play, and finally, compete against other teams. And, they have to do all of it on their own, without outside involvement.

The nonprofit San Elijo Hills Foundation provided the team with the nonprofit status they needed to compete.

The team has established a GoFundMe site to raise money for expenses: https://www.gofundme.com/bkxk64qc

“All donations, small or large, are gratefully encouraged,” said Yun.  “It will cost about $10,000 to send the team to the World Finals, where more than 10,000 kids, coaches and parents will congregate.”

“The girls had an amazing time last year at the World Finals,” said Yun.  “They all agreed it was the ‘best experience of their lives!’”

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

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