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
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.
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.
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 email@example.com.
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?
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
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?
Voter and Mother of 3 students in the San Marcos Unified School District
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.
As a community, we have observed, with great excitement as the walls of Double Peak have started to come together and resemble what will be an extraordinary K-8 school in San Marcos Unified School District.
There have been unforeseen circumstances in the negotiations to purchase a small parcel of the land necessary to complete the required road improvements, which forced the Governing Board to take official action to acquire the land by eminent domain. Our attempt at good faith bargaining with the property owner, in conjunction with the legal proceedings of condemning the property, has delayed the contractor’s ability to begin the road improvements, which are required by the City. It is estimated that these improvements will not be completed until the end of May 2016. I concur that these offsite road improvements are vital to ensuring the safety of our students and community and must be completed prior to the school opening. Therefore, Double Peak School will open in August of 2016. For the 2015-16 school year, students living within the Double Peak School boundaries will remain at Discovery and San Elijo Elementary and will become Double Peak School students in the 2016-17 school year.
All intra-district and inter-district transfers will remain approved and families will not have to complete transfer paperwork again for the 2016-17 school year. Families with either an intra or inter district transfer will have one of two options for the 2015-16 school year:
Their student can attend Discovery Elementary, San Elijo Elementary, or San Elijo Middle School for the whole 2015-16 school year – or –
They can return to their original home school and begin at Double Peak School in the 2016-17 school year
All families with an approved intra or inter district transfer must inform Laura Andrade in the Student Services Department, by Wednesday, August 5, 2015, if their student will remain at their current home school for the 2015-16 school year or transfer to either Discovery, San Elijo Elementary, or San Elijo Middle. Ms. Andrade can be contacted at 760-752-1220.
Throughout this past year, I have seen the wonderful and collaborative efforts of Double Peak School families and the administration form the core values that will guide the curriculum of this school. Principal Baum will continue to be the pillar for this community – strengthening connections by holding Double Peak School events and staying connected with students and families during the 2015-16 school year.
San Elijo Middle School was named as one of 193 middle schools in California to receive the Gold Ribbon School Award. The new program is temporarily taking the place of the California Distinguished Schools Program while California creates new assessment and accountability systems.
State Superintendent of Public Instruction, Tom Torlakson, said, “These schools are academically successful, vibrant, and innovative centers of learning and teaching,” Torlakson said. “They provide great examples of the things educators are doing right—embracing rigorous academic standards, providing excellence and creativity in teaching, and creating a positive school climate.”
Doug Hall, principal at San Elijo Middle, couldn’t agree more. “We had a great validation visit. The visitation team were very impressed with our programs, but, more importantly, they were impressed with the positive feeling, tone and the whole SEMS family.”
The Gold Ribbon awards recognize California schools that have made gains in implementing the academic content and performance standards adopted by the State Board of Education. To see the list of all recipients, click here.
Double Peak School – Parent Informational Meeting #2
“Vision and Core Values”
Monday, December 1, 2014
(The same activity was presented at the November 3 meeting)
SMUSD’s District Office – 6:00 to 7:30 pm
This will be an interactive meeting starting the process of developing our vision and core values.
Please join Steve Baum, principal of Double Peak School, for a cup of coffee and an informal meeting. He will provide a brief update on the new K8 school and then be available to answer question. This informal setting is a wonderful way to support our local businesses, get to know our new principal and meet the parents that will be attending Double Peak School.
December 12 – Cafe Stoked (9:15 – 10:30)
Student Participation Survey
Mr. Baum will be visiting Discovery Elementary, San Elijo Elementary, Woodland Park Middle, and San Elijo Middle during the upcoming months. These meetings will build excitement for the new school and allow students to assist in the decision making process.
If you would like your child to participate in these meetings, please use the link below to fill out the survey. Both students in the Double Peak boundary and possible intra-district transfer students are welcome to participate.
This is a wonderful way for the students to take part in the development of the school culture.
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
K-5 Music Room
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.
WHO IS GOING TO DOUBLE PEAK SCHOOL?
San Elijo Elementary
San Elijo Middle
Woodland Park Middle
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)
STAFFING THE SCHOOL
Assistant Principal (not yet hired)
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.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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.
San Elijo Elementary Attendance Area Informational Meeting this Thursday 5.9.13 in the MPR room.
This Thursday May 9th at 7:30pm San Elijo Elementary will hold an informational meeting regarding the proposed attendance area changes. This meeting will provide you an opportunity to see the current proposal that the committee is working on as well as allow you to provide specific feedback for the committee to take back to the San Marcos School District meeting. These attendance area changes will not be in effect until the 2015-2016 school year pending school board approval in June. This meeting will only be an informational meeting.
The new attendances area will impact elementary, middle and high school students living in the San Elijo Hills area.
San Marcos School District is rumored to be looking at new K-8 school site just east of the San Elijo Hills fire station, on the south side of San Elijo Road/Twin Oaks.