Tag Archives: San Marcos Unified School District

Why school districts must focus on financial plans – The San Diego Union-Tribune

Why school districts must focus on financial plans – The San Diego Union-Tribune

Source: Commentary of “Financial Soundness Rankings for California’s Public School District” San Marcos Unified 3rd best in San Diego County.

The per capita UNPs for the 10 best districts, the best on top:

Spencer Valley Elementary $8,007

Julian Union Elementary -$147

San Marcos Unified -$150

Warner Unified -$201

South Bay Union -$247

San Dieguito Union High -$312

Solana Beach Elementary -$361

San Ysidro Elementary -$370

Lemon Grove SD -$385

Rancho Santa Fe Elementary -$401

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Three things causing bigger problems for San Diego County school district budgets than the Great Recession – The San Diego Union-Tribune

California is in no recession and has been spending billions more on K-12 education each year. But school districts across the state and across San Diego County are facing looming budget crises that have materialized already for some and will materialize as soon as next year for others.

READ MORE VIA Source: Three things causing bigger problems for San Diego County school district budgets than the Great Recession – The San Diego Union-Tribune

Building Industry Association sues San Marcos schools, alleges excessive fees – The San Diego Union-Tribune

The Building Industry Association of San Diego County sued the San Marcos Unified School District this month, arguing that increased developer fees amount to illegal taxes that will raise the cost of new homes in the area.“The disputed fees should be deemed to be a form of unlawful tax, rather than reasonable ‘fees,’ ” the lawsuit, filed Aug. 10 in San Diego Superior Court, argued.The suit challenges a 21 percent hike in the fee that the district charges home developers, to cover the costs of serving new students in the school system. In May, the district raised that rate from $4.61 to $5.61 per square foot of new construction, a hike that the association called an “unjustified and grossly excessive schedule of fees on new residential construction.”

READ MORE VIA Source: Building Industry Association sues San Marcos schools, alleges excessive fees – The San Diego Union-Tribune

San Marcos school board passes $227 million budget, avoids shortfalls – The San Diego Union-Tribune

San Marcos school board passes $227 million budget, avoids shortfalls

 

 

The San Marcos Unified School District board tentatively passed a $227 million budget Tuesday, narrowly avoiding anticipated deficits for the 2018-19 school year.The school district, which serves about 20,000 students in North County, originally expected to run a deficit of more than $17 million for the coming school year. However, increases in state education funding helped stave off that shortfall. The district made spending cuts in recent months, and drew on other funds to close the remaining gap between revenue and expenses.The budget approved Tuesday projects that San Marcos schools will spend about $227.3 million in the 2018-19 school year, and bring in revenues of $220.5 million. The balance of about $6.8 million comes from district reserves, and from one-time state funds, said Assistant Superintendent for Business Services Mark Schiel. That will leave the district with a balanced budget, but with little left over.“We will have our required 3 percent minimum reserve, but there will be nothing above and beyond that” at the end of next school year, Schiel said.California state law requires districts to maintain reserves of at least 3 percent, Schiel said, but the average reserve for Unified School Districts is about 17 percent. If a school district falls too far below the requirements for maintaining balanced budgets and adequate reserves, the County Office of Education may step in to offer support, and intervene directly in spending decisions and labor agreements, according to the state Legislative Analyst’s Office.

READ MORE VIA Source: San Marcos school board passes $227 million budget, avoids shortfalls – The San Diego Union-Tribune

SMUSD Superintendent, Melissa Hunt, has announced her plan to retire

Dear San Marcos Staff and Community,

SMUSD Superintendent, Melissa Hunt, has announced her plan to retire, and it is with appreciation for her many years of service that the Governing Board accepts her resignation.  Prior to being named Superintendent, Melissa has served as Principal of Woodland Park and San Marcos Middle Schools, as well as Director of Secondary Education. As a cherished employee of this district since 2001, Melissa has been admired by staff for her deep understanding of curriculum and instruction, and by students for her love and compassion. She has worked closely with students and teachers to improve achievement and inspire hope and confidence. During her tenure as Superintendent, Melissa started important and challenging conversations about the direction of San Marcos Unified, leaving the district better prepared for the future. The Board wishes Melissa the best, and hopes she succeeds in lowering her golf handicap alongside her husband, Burl.

In response to Melissa’s announcement, The Governing Board will be appointing Dr. John Roach as Interim Superintendent.  Dr. Roach is the former Superintendent of Carlsbad Unified School District and will work closely with the Board throughout the transition. A comprehensive search for a new Superintendent, conducted by Dave Long and Associates, will convene following approval at the June 19th Board meeting.  It is the Board’s intention to cast a wide net to find someone with the vision and leadership skills necessary to build on the successes that are the pride of San Marcos Unified School District.   Your Board members will be actively engaged throughout the summer working with the search firm and will keep the community informed as the process unfolds. It is our hope to name a new Superintendent in the Fall of 2018.

 

On Behalf of the SMUSD Governing Board,

Stacy Carlson, Board President

City of San Marcos-School District Joint Meeting on School Development

City-School District Joint Meeting on School Development

A comprehensive update on Task Force progress will be shared during a joint public meeting between the San Marcos City Council and the San Marcos School Board on Thursday, March 29 at 6 pm at the San Marcos Community Center, 3 Civic Center Drive.

Last July, the City of San Marcos and the San Marcos Unified School District established the Joint Task Force on School Development (Task Force) to formally partner in planning for the future of San Marcos schools.

With a decade’s long history of supporting one another, the city and district serve the community of San Marcos together and their destinies are intertwined.

While growth presents challenges, it also brings energy to the community and strengthens the local economy.  Growth has been instrumental in supporting a robust School District and is a key component in providing funds to build future schools.

The recently established Task Force is focused on sharing information with their respective elected bodies and the public, identifying possible locations for school sites, and planning for the future.

Already, the Task Force has taken numerous steps to understand school needs and growth trends, and to come up with solutions for the current challenges:

  • Data Sharing & Growth Projections: While the district regularly collects data regarding growth trends, the Task Force has further examined information on the City General Plan – a 20+ year long term planning document –and data regarding actual build out.By analyzing current and anticipated residential growth, the School District is better able to determine its needs to increase capacity at school sites and to locate and purchase land for new school sites.
  • Exploring Options for Schools: The Task Force continues to review options for addressing increasing student enrollment across the city.Options include ways to optimize existing schools to handle current and projected demand, and ways to increase resources for school infrastructure.
  • School Site Search: A focus of the Task Force has been to identify possible sites for new schools.The district is in the initial phases of exploring several potential sites.

For more information, please contact Communications Officer Sarah Macdonald at (760) 744-1050, ext. 3174 or smacdonald@san-marcos.net

To learn more about the City of San Marcos, visit www.san-marcos.net. For more information about the San Marcos Unified School District, visitwww.smusd.org.

City and school district partner in planning for the future (Press Release from City of San Marcos)

 Last July, the City of San Marcos and the San Marcos Unified School District established the Joint Task Force on School Development (Task Force) to formally partner in planning for the future of San Marcos schools.

With a decade’s long history of supporting one another, the city and district serve the community of San Marcos together and their destinies are intertwined.

While growth presents challenges, it also brings energy to the community and strengthens the local economy.  Growth has been instrumental in supporting a robust School District and is a key component in providing funds to build future schools.

The recently established Task Force is focused on sharing information with their respective elected bodies and the public, identifying possible locations for school sites, and planning for the future.

Already, the Task Force has taken numerous steps to understand school needs and growth trends, and to come up with solutions for the current challenges:

  • Data Sharing & Growth Projections: While the district regularly collects data regarding growth trends, the Task Force has further examined information on the City General Plan – a 20+ year long term planning document –and data regarding actual build out.By analyzing current and anticipated residential growth, the School District is better able to determine its needs to increase capacity at school sites and to locate and purchase land for new school sites.
  • Exploring Options for Schools: The Task Force continues to review options for addressing increasing student enrollment across the city.Options include ways to optimize existing schools to handle current and projected demand, and ways to increase resources for school infrastructure.
  • School Site Search: A focus of the Task Force has been to identify possible sites for new schools.The district is in the initial phases of exploring several potential sites.

A comprehensive update on Task Force progress will be shared during a joint public meeting between the San Marcos City Council and the San Marcos School Board on Thursday, March 29 at 6 pm at the San Marcos Community Center, 3 Civic Center Drive.

Registration is open for San Elijo Hills Double Peak Challenge 10K/2Mile- Sat, October 1, 2017

Registration is open for San Elijo Hills Double Peak Challenge 10K/2Mile- Sat, October 1, 2017

www.doublepeakchallenge.com/register for early bird pricing

  • 10K Challenge timed race, 5K untimed run/walk, 200 Meter kids “Trail” Trot

  • Race expo and beer garden featuring local San Diego beer, including some of the best from Stone Brewery.  Each runner gets 1 FREE BEER! (must bring valid picture ID).

  • Special race divisions: Heroes (Police, Fire, Military), Teams (gyms, workplace, families, etc)

  • Pre-race cardio stretch and warm-up

  • Bring your camera, plenty of killer views for that selfie on course!

  • Ample aid stations (3 on 10K, 3 on 5K course)

  • Awards: top 3 overall and 3-deep per age category (10K only), plus special award for fastest male and female overall

  • Medals for all race finishers

Double Peak Challenge is a celebration of outdoor recreation like no other.  Where trail runners will experience unparalleled beauty from atop North County’s highest point.

Off-road racers will set out from San Elijo Hills Neighborhood Park and begin their 1,176 foot gain up to Double Peak’s summit at 1,558 feet above sea level, winding along beautiful hillside trails with amazing views.

Not up for the full 10K? No worries! Double Peak Challenge also offers an awesome 5K course as well as a 200 Meter “Trail” Tot for kids.

Race proceeds will benefit the San Marcos community through two important non-profit organizations: Friends of San Marcos Parks & Recreation and The San Marcos Promise.

The Friends of San Marcos Park & Recreation invests in events, programs, parks and facilities to enhance the quality of life in the City of San Marcos.

The San Marcos Promise provides students in the San Marcos Unified School District with a path to prosperity by providing scholarships and career guidance to inspire academic achievement and post-secondary educational opportunities.

CONTACT

RACE INFO | Friends of San Marcos Parks and Recreation

info@friendsofsanmarcos.org

REGISTRATION HELP | Sandy Feet Events

info@sandyfeetevents.com
123-456-7890​

SPONSORSHIP | Friends of San Marcos Parks and Recreation

info@friendsofsanmarcos.org

VOLUNTEER | Sandy Feet Events

click here to volunteer

questions: sarah@sandyfeetevents.com

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.

San Elijo Life Interview with Matt Stack Candidate for San Marcos City Council

stack-headshot

Here is an interview with Matt Stack who is running for San Marcos City Council. San Elijo Life has invited all candidates for Council the answer the same set of email questions

Why should the residents in San Elijo Hills vote for you?

For starters, I lived in San Elijo in 2010 right before my wife and I were married so I know what a peaceful, beautiful community it is.  I believe the residents of San Elijo Hills want a Council Member who’s passionate about their home and their role as a servant to the public.  And that’s what they will get.

Please describe your stance on future development in San Marcos? 

This is one of, if not the most important issues I hear from voters.  Almost every home I’ve knocked on and talked with about our community, the #1 concern they have is the growth and development.  They’re worried about the traffic and the continued growth.  By no means am I anti-growth, but my stance on future development is that it has to be in line with what the residents of San Marcos want.  I believe there is healthy growth (which is paramount), but there is also growth that leads to challenges later down the road.  We shouldn’t have schools that are overcrowded along with our streets.  A couple weeks ago when a consulting firm recommended that we change the current Creekside District project I felt that was a step in the right direction.  Every person wants to live in a peaceful, thriving community.  But we want to make sure that our community can handle the growth that we’re projecting and planning.

How can you help solve school crowding issues in San Elijo Hills?

We’re already seeing it with our schools at capacity.  You know, a resident of San Marcos put it best the other day in her letter to the Editor and to summarize it, we have so much growth of housing and businesses but the schools can’t catch up (with funding and time).  We have a funnel of elementary schools moving into a lesser amount of middle schools and they are moving into an even lesser amount of high schools.  The real solution is to provide the matching amount of educational facilities to coincide with the growth of housing.  It’s not the prettiest answer, but it’s the truth.  If we’re seeing schools at capacity and more housing planned, then we need to re-address the projects to make certain that we can provide, but also provide with excellence.  We have a solid Planning Commission and School District and need to work with developers to certify that the needs are met.  In addition, we have to work with our outer lying cities that overlap within our district to plan in conjunction with them.

How can the council help address commuter traffic and school traffic in San Elijo Hills?

We also have a great City Manager and I know that he is currently in planning with our Sheriff’s Captain to come up with a solution to the commuter traffic.  A big concern is Double Peak with children crossing and I’m confident they’ll have a solution expedited for approval.

How can the city of San Marcos work with San Elijo Hills Development to complete the San Elijo Hills Town Center?

I believe in holding agreements accountable.  The way to completing the Town Center is ensuring both sides (the city and developers) are meeting deadlines, staying within budget and that the developers are paid when they’re supposed to be paid.  We have to hold everyone accountable.

What are your goals to improve the quality of life in San Marcos, such as events, parks, and trails?

I always want to improve the quality of life in San Marcos with events, parks and trails.  But I like to think of myself as an advocate for the residents in regards to what they want rather than my own agenda.  A healthy tree doesn’t struggle to produce fruit.  It just does.  I mean to keep our city’s growth healthy by having the residents know that they can trust their voice with me.  If they want a park, or an event or a trail (or don’t), then as their representative I will figure out a way to do what’s best for the community and make it happen.

If elected what are the top 3 issues you would focus on for San Marcos?

Safety is always the most important and ensuring our Police and Fire Department have the resources they need.  I have my wife Jen and our 9 month old son Callan and their safety along with the safety of every resident in San Marcos I take personally.  When I see break-ins and lawlessness, I guess the Marine in me comes out and I just want to do whatever’s necessary to have peace in our community.  The next issue would be managing our growth and development to ensure healthy growth and limit overcrowding and traffic.  It’s the #1 issue I hear people talk about.  The third would be fiscal responsibility and excellence with our budget.  San Marcos has an excellent budget and we want to advocate for long term health.  I don’t want to affect just what will happen in my term.  I want the next 20-30 years of our residents set up for success.

How will you clean up the campaign signs after election?

I’ll personally do it along with my team the 2 days following the election.  If for some reason we’ve missed any, they can send us a message on www.mattstack.org or send an email to stackforcitycouncil@gmail.com and we’ll get on it immediately.  It’s my home and I want it to stay beautiful too.  I’m passionate about this city so please let us know if we’ve missed any.
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Editors Note:

We have invited all 2016 City of San Marcos City Council Candidates to answer the same questions. 

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