Tag Archives: SMUSD

San Marcos goes back to school

As the summer winds down, San Marcos students are headed back to school. With elementary, middle and high schools back in school this week and Cal State San Marcos and Palomar College back in session later this month, 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.

Ongoing and Planned projects include traffic management system enhancements, upgrades to the city’s traffic signal communication network to high-speed Ethernet, traffic controller replacements, and citywide installation of LED safety lighting. Traffic signal improvements are also planned for Rancho Santa Fe Road and Grandon Avenue and intersection improvements at San Marcos Boulevard and Discovery Street.

Over the next five years, plans are also in place to reconstruct the State Route 78 overcrossing at Woodland Parkway, reconfiguration of on/off ramps, and the widening of Woodland Parkway, Barham Drive and Rancheros Drive. The City is working with Caltrans on completing the design of this project. Future funding and total project costs are still being determined based on ongoing discussions between the two agencies.

During the school year and periods of roadway construction, drive with caution and provide ample time to reach your destination safely and on time.

To learn more about planned traffic management improvements, visit www.san-marcos.net/trafficmanagement. Residents are encouraged to sign up to received city news, traffic alerts and information about programs and services by visiting, www.san-marcos.net/alerts and by following the City on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram at the handle, @sanmarcoscity.

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

SMUSD Governing Board approved Scenario 6 of the Attendance Boundary Changes

Click Here to See Elementary, Middle and High School Boundary Maps for Scenario 6

A message from SAN MARCOS UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT

Good Afternoon,

At Tuesday evening’s Board Meeting, the Governing Board voted to select the boundary adjustments recommended by the Attendance Boundary Committee in Scenario 6.

In addition, the Governing Board approved an implementation plan beginning with the 2018-19 school year.  This plan provides various grandfathering provisions to current students in effected study areas at the elementary, middle and high schools.

Over the next several weeks, staff will be working to take the direction received from the Governing Board and implement it for 2018-19.  The grandfathering provisions will be clearly explained. In addition, we are preparing attendance boundary maps that reflect the changes and can be more easily read by our community.  Information will be posted on the District website and individuals impacted will be personally notified via US mail and/or email.  We appreciate your patience as we work through the details of this change.

Sincerely,

Melissa Hunt, Superintendent

Attendance Boundary Committee December Update from SMUSD

Attendance Boundary Committee December Update from SMUSD

On December 7th, the District’s Attendance Boundary Committee (Committee) met for the third time.  The Committee is tasked with providing two recommendations to the Governing Board.

  • Recommendation #1:  Propose adjustments to current attendance boundaries to optimize student capacity at each school.
  • Recommendation #2:  Propose an implementation plan / schedule for the Board-approved attendance boundary adjustments.
Following the Committee’s meetings on November 9th, Committee members were invited to the District office on three separate days to spend more time with the current attendance boundaries and provide additional suggestions, beyond those provided at the meeting on November 9th.
All of the suggestions received were reviewed for common themes and suggestions.  This resulted in the creation of 4 new scenarios.
On December 7th, the four new scenarios, along with the scenario from the first meeting, and a summary of each scenario were shared with the Committee.  Each member of the Committee was then given the opportunity to study the maps, ask questions, and then vote for their top-two choices of each scenario.  There were two scenarios that received the highest votes of the five total scenarios.
A discussion occurred following the voting process which resulted in some minor changes to the two scenarios.  It was agreed that these two scenarios represented the consensus recommendations to be submitted to the Governing Board for Recommendation #1.
The Committee also reviewed two proposed draft implementation plans and had an opportunity to discuss the pros / cons of each.  Ultimately, the Committee made changes to one of the draft implementation plans and it will be submitted to the Governing Board for Recommendation #2.
NEXT STEPS:
  • On January 16th, 2018, the Governing Board will hear a presentation from the Attendance Boundary Committee Chair on the recommendations from the Committee.  There will be no vote or action by the Governing Board at this meeting.
  • The week prior to the January 16th meeting, the recommendations will be placed on the District’s website for community review.  Instructions will be uploaded in how to view the maps and a link will be made available where comments may be submitted.
  • The Governing Board has the option to hold special board meeting to further study the recommendations from the Attendance Boundary Committee prior the the meeting on February 20, 2018.
  • The soonest the Governing Board would vote on attendance boundary changes will be at the meeting on February 20, 2018.
If you have any specific questions or concerns regarding the Attendance Boundary Committee, you may submit them HERE.

SMUSD Attendance Boundary Committee Update

SMUSD Attendance Boundary Committee Update

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
  • Next steps.

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.

Important Boundary and Budgetary issues facing San Marcos Unified School District (SMUSD)

Important Boundary and Budgetary Issues Facing San Marcos Unified School District (SMUSD)
Attendance Boundaries potentially being redrawn and District Budget Deficit, the district website has the following topics with information links that are important and public information. Please participate and share in the discussion here and on social media as this important issue that may potentially impact San Elijo Hills and San Marcos.
District Budget Deficit

Among the most important responsibilities of the Governing Board and Superintendent is to ensure the financial health of our district, and to inform the community when changes in district finances might meaningfully impact the educational services San Marcos Unified School District (SMUSD) provides. That is the purpose of this letter.

Due to flattening state revenues, and dramatic increases in mandated costs, we are forecasting very difficult financial days ahead here at SMUSD, which we more fully explain below. As we enter these difficult financial times, we want you to be aware of our predicament, the circumstances that brought us here, and our path forward.

Attendance Boundary Committee

“San Marcos Unified’s new Attendance Boundary Committee will meet for the first time next week to begin their work on recommendations for the Governing Board’s consideration.  As meetings continue, you will find more information HERE regarding the progress of the committee. We anticipate the committee’s recommendations to go before the Governing Board in the early part of 2018, which they will then review and approve all or part of the recommendations.  Our community will have an opportunity to comment publicly prior to the Board taking action.”

 

Solar Project at San Elijo Elementary-Parking lot will be closed

Solar Project at SEES

Here are the details regarding our Solar Project:

The SMUSD Solar Project is ahead of schedule which means that our SEES construction for solar panel installation in our parking lot will begin this weekend, October 21.  The solar panels will be installed in our parking lot along with shade structure in front of the school at the student waiting area for drive up. There are several benefits coming both to SMUSD and SEES. If you haven’t had an opportunity to look over the resources provided by the District on our solar initiative, I encourage you to CLICK HERE to view the information on the website. You will find a short, overview video, along with more information on the process and FAQ’s.

Our parking lot will be closed for staff and visitors for 6-12 weeks.  We will need your support and patience during this time. The front of our school will have a construction fence as well for the installation of solar panel shade structure in the student waiting area.

We are working closely with Tesla, the installing solar company, to ensure that all safety precautions are

in place during construction. Our site will be staged with temporary fencing for the construction zone

prior to work commencing. All material and equipment deliveries will be coordinated to minimize impact during drop off and pick up times.

Parking:

All staff and visitors will need to park off site. There will be handicap parking available by KOC buildings.  You will need to enter from the drive up lane to access these spots.  We ask for your patience when visiting our campus during construction and parking off site. There will  be increased foot and construction traffic, and we want to make sure that everyone moves about the campus safely. Please park in designated parking spots and always use crosswalks.

Drive-up Drop off/Pick-up:

Drive up will be available for drop off and pick up for students in grades 2-5 as usual. Morning Drop-off for first grade will still be available.  There will be no drop off available for kindergarten during construction.

AM Kindergarten

  • Drop Off:  Students will enter through the KOC gate, hang their back pack up and line up by their classroom door. Students in room 601 will wait at their recess spot which is by room 103.
  • Pick-Up: Parents will enter through the KOC gate and meet their child’s class on the kindergarten playground.
  • There will be no curbside drop off for kindergarten families during construction.
  • Please leave strollers outside the kindergarten playground.

PM Kindergarten/Transitional Kindergarten

  • New Drop off time for PM only: 11:40. Please arrive prior to 11:47am for PM Kindergarten.
  • Drop Off:  Students will enter through the KOC gate, hang their backpack up and line up by their classroom door. Students in room 601 will wait at their recess spot which is by room 103.
  • Pick-Up: Parents will enter through the KOC gate and meet their child’s class on the kindergarten playground.
  • There will be no curbside drop off for kindergarten families during construction.
  • Transitional kindergarten will have regular drop-off with playground time at 11:40-11:50

1st Grade pick-up

  • First Grade families will still pick up near rolling gate. Please look for first grade pick up area which has been moved to just outside the rolling gate near the office.

Grades 2-5 pick-up

  • All students will exit to the rolling gate.
  • The back gate is still an option for those who would like to use the trails.
  • Drive-up will proceed as usual.  Drive up students will wait by the rolling gate.
  • Parents who meet their students outside the gates need to wait for students in waiting zone near kindergarten.

We anticipate taking a few days to get our new routines in place. Please allocate extra time for this transition as everyone learns our new routines.  We ask for all adults to think safety first by using crosswalks and driving cautiously.

We are excited to be part of a project that will provide savings, lesson plans, and educational materials

for all grade levels, as well as help our district go green. We will be sure to keep you updated on the

progress of our construction, but, if you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to email

solar@smusd.org.

Double Peak Challenge 10k & 5k returns to San Marcos

North County’s most challenging 10K race returns to San Marcos on Saturday, Sept. 30. The race will feature a 10K timed race, a 5K untimed event and a free kids trail trot starting from San Elijo Hills Park, 1105 Elfin Forest Road. All participants must register online at www.doublepeakchallenge.com or in-person on race day at 6:30 am.

“Double Peak Challenge is a trail run like no other,” said Friends of San Marcos Parks and Recreation Board Member Nick Buck. “The race is a celebration of outdoor recreation where trail runners will experience unparalleled beauty atop one of North County’s highest point.”

With festivities kicking off at 7 am, runners can participate in a pre-race cardio stretch and warm-up.

Runners participating in the 10K Double Peak Challenge will set out at 7:30 am to begin a nearly 2,000-foot elevation gain up to Double Peak’s summit while winding along rugged hillside trails with sweeping views of North County.

While the 10K race will be a tough, timed event that will challenge even the most experienced runners, Double Peak Challenge will also offer a shorter 5K untimed course at 8 am and a free  kids trail trot at 9:30 am. All registered 10K and 5K participants will receive a commemorative Double Peak Challenge completion medal and awards will be given to the top 10K race finishers in each age category.

The event concludes with an expo and beer garden that will be located in the lower softball fields at San Elijo Hills Park. 10K race participants over 21 years of age with proof of ID will receive a complimentary beer in the beer garden. Additional beverages can be purchased for $5 each.

All race proceeds will benefit the Friends of San Marcos Parks & Recreation and The San Marcos Promise.

“Your participation in the Double Peak Challenge supports two great causes integral to the city of San Marcos,” said The San Marcos Promise Executive Director Herbie Smith.  “Your commitment to #ReachthePeak promotes health and economic prosperity for our entire region through investment in local parks and higher education.”

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.

To register for a race or to volunteer during the event, visit www.doublepeakchallenge.com. Corporate sponsorship packages are also available.

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