Last evening at the Regular Meeting of the Governing Board, it was announced that an amicable separation has occurred between Dr. Carmen García and the San Marcos Unified School District. Dr. García’s full goodbye statement can be read here. We thank Dr. Garcia for her service to the District, its students, employees and community, and we wish her well in future endeavors.
In light of Dr. Garcia’s departure, I have been placed as Acting Superintendent while our district begins the process of transitioning to new leadership. I have had the privilege of being a member of the SMUSD community for fifteen years, serving as principal of San Marcos Middle School and San Marcos High School before moving to the district office to serve as Director of Secondary Education, Assistant Superintendent of Equity and Secondary Schools, and my current position as Assistant Superintendent of Instructional Services. My joy as an employee of this district has been eclipsed only by my joy of being a parent here as I have watched my daughter thrive in her elementary years at Joli Ann Leichtag and blossom into a self-confident seventh grader within the supportive environment of San Marcos Middle School. It is through this lens, as a grateful employee and thankful parent within the SMUSD community, that I will work to serve as a collaborative partner with all of you as we move into the next phase of our school year.
I am happy to report that our Governing Board approved Safe School Reopening plans for both Elementary and Secondary schools, paving the way for a return to in-person instruction for our students when viable. Details of the Elementary 2-Day Combo plan with possible phase-in timelines can be found here and the Secondary A/B Hybrid plan with its phases/timelines can be found here. Lastly, a discussion of questions and answers related to the safety protocols and instructional models that will be in place for the in-person return can be accessed here.
One additional note from our Board Meeting highlights. Last night was the final meeting for Mark Schiel, our current Assistant Superintendent of Business Services. Mr. Schiel has been an invaluable and trusted member of our SMUSD team for over five years; his knowledge, passion, and innovation has been an asset to our district. As he transitions to his new role as Chief Business Official of Santa Clara Unified School District, I offer him a collective thank you from our district and a personal one from me; you will be missed.
As we ramp up our preparations for In-Person learning, you will be receiving additional communications in the upcoming days.
The San Marcos Unified School District (SMUSD) announced at Tuesday’s board meeting that Superintendent Dr. Carmen García has resigned effective immediately. Assistant Superintendent Tiffany Campbell will step in as the acting superintendent of the district.García was not present at the board meeting, but the district posted a farewell message from the former superintendent on its website.In the letter, García thanks the board for the “amicable separation” and “for the opportunity to work together these past two years with phenomenal students, teachers, parents, staff, administrators, and the community at large.”García goes on to thank teachers, students, administrators, the district and the community as a whole for their service and dedication to the district. She concludes with a note to the SMUSD Community: “As our world continues to shift with the twists and turns brought forth by a global pandemic, our students rely upon the ongoing courageous conversations and support that will provide the best education for all SMUSD scholars. Thank you for your dedication in moving forward with this endeavor in order to create an equity-based system that supports all students, from all backgrounds with multidimensional needs, so that, one day, “all means all” rings true everywhere.”García was appointed by the board in Oct. of 2018. She came to San Marcos from San Diego Unified School District where she served as a lead principal at San Diego High School.
Informational Webinar on the 2020/21 School Options recording
Dear SMUSD Parents,
As a follow up to tonight’s webinar, please visit the website link below to access the presentation and video recording. Both will assist with your family’s Learning Pathway selection: Remote Instruction to Start/In Person When Viable or Leading Edge Virtual School.
SAN MARCOS, Calif. (KGTV) – Nearly 300 parents packed a San Marcos School Board meeting Tuesday, demanding action against Superintendent Carmen Garcia.
Parents say she’s made radical changes that have negatively impacted their students.
Several parents spoke out during the public comment section of the meeting, asking the board for a vote of no confidence in the superintendent. They also want an investigation into some of the people she’s hired.
The rift between parents and Garcia seemed to start with the hiring of the principal at San Elijo Elementary School, according to parents. Many at the meeting publicly said they thought the assistant principal should have gotten the position. They say Garcia hired someone else and forced the assistant principal out.
But that was just one reason parents were upset. Several parents took the podium to point out several long-time administrators in the district had left since Garcia took her position.
Garcia spoke at the meeting ahead of the public comment section. She seemed aware of why the boardroom was packed and addressed the concerns saying there was misinformation circulating.
“All districts go through attrition. Ours is no different,” Garcia said. “Throughout my career, every decision I’ve made has been in the best interest of students, your child, and mine.”
Her comments were met with jeers from the room.
The board said their complaints were heard but could not be discussed by board members because they weren’t on Tuesday’s agenda.
Parents vowed to be back at the next board meeting and said they would continue to come until the board takes action.
Due to weather conditions that are anticipated to increase throughout the rest of the night and into tomorrow, SDG&E has informed the District that they will be turning off the power to Double Peak School, San Elijo Elementary and San Elijo Middle School during the early morning hours of Wednesday, October 30th and it is not anticipated to come back on until later that day.
Therefore, school will be closed for Wednesday, October 30th at Double Peak School, San Elijo Elementary and San Elijo Middle School. This includes Kids on Campus, before-school programs and after-school programs.
We apologize for the inconvenience this may cause. The safety of our students and staff is always the number one priority.
STAFF: If you live in an area that is not impacted by the power outages and you would like to assist the District involuntarily covering staff shortages throughout the District, please contact Ashley Gagnon in Human Resources at (760) 290-2840.
SDG&E is continuing to monitor the forecasted weather conditions and the potential impacts for Thursday and Friday.
In addition to future email communications, updates will also be posted on District and school websites as well as social media accounts
San Marcos students are saying goodbye to summer and heading back to school this week and next week. The start of the school year spells increased traffic congestion. Please plan ahead for delays, and know that the City has been working to implement multiple projects to improve traffic flow and safety on our roadways.
In July, we completed the installation of LED safety lights to increase visibility for motorists and pedestrians, increase energy efficiency and reduce maintenance costs. Additional traffic management system enhancements are on the way, including an upgraded traffic signal communication network and traffic controller replacements. Traffic signal improvements are also planned for Rancho Santa Fe Road and Grandon Avenue, along with intersection improvements at San Marcos Boulevard and Discovery Street.
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.
AT SAN ELIJO ELEMENTARY SCHOOL’S ANNUAL COUNTRY FAIR
Round up your friends for two days of rides, games, and fun! San Elijo Elementary School (SEES) is excited to bring this family friendly event to the community on Friday, May 3rd from 5:00 PM – 8:00 PM and Saturday, May 4th from 11:00 AM – 5:00 PM.
Activities include: Carnival thrill rides, petting zoo, pony rides, carnival games, arts and crafts, live auction, entertainment, food carts, and more. Admission is free. Attraction tickets can be purchased online at www.seesfair.com.
Proceeds from the fair go to SEES PTO. SEES PTO is a 501(c)3 non-profit established to further enrich the education of students at San Elijo Elementary School. Donations support, art, science, & drama lessons, and other educational opportunities. San Elijo Elementary School is located at: 1615 Schoolhouse Way, San Marcos, CA 92078.
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.