Tag Archives: San Marcos Middle School

A Message from the District Regarding Lead Testing

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.

San Marcos Middle School Students Preparing for International Model United Nations Conference

Nineteen San Marcos Middle School 8th graders have been working very hard in preparation for an international Model United Nations conference in New York City at the end of the month.

Nineteen San Marcos Middle School 8th graders have been working very hard in preparation for an international Model United Nations conference in New York City at the end of the month.

Last year you met our team who really appreciated your encouragement, support and beautiful certificates! They had an incredible time in New York with one of our delegate teams winning special recognition. So I’m asking you to again support our new student delegation one last time as they head off to New York where they will seek to solve a variety global challenges. To learn more check out our attached proposal and conference website.

A few weeks ago we started our fundraising campaign for the NYC International Model United Nations Conference and now it includes a Crowdfunding site. So please consider supporting this project by making a small donation and forwarding this message on to others who see value in this kind of learning experience. These students have been researching, writing, debating, public speaking and collaborating since last August. They have attended two high school conferences – a first for a San Diego County middle school – and won recognition at the second conference held at Mission Viejo high school where they held their own against 9-12th graders from Orange and LA county high schools.

You are invited to our “Meet the Delegates” evening March 18th at 6pm in our school’s MPR to hear them explain their country’s position on their assigned topic. Our delegation’s students – our future leaders and peacemakers – have an incredible diplomatic experience awaiting them. Consider investing in this endeavor!

Please write or call with any ideas or suggestions you may have regarding this project. I look forward to hearing from you!

Our Crowdfunding link:http://tilt.tc/ci9Z

Global Classrooms Conference Website: http://www.unausa.org/global-classrooms-model-un/model-un-conferences/international-middle-school-model-un-conference

Lawrence Osen
Teacher, US History and Geography
Adviser, Model United Nations
GATE Coordinator
San Marcos Middle School