Category Archives: San Marcos Unified School District
March 13, 2020
Dear San Marcos Unified School District Community,
Since the emergence of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), we have partnered with the San Diego County Office of Education and followed the guidance of the San Diego County Department of Health and Human Services in order to ensure the safety and security of our students, staff and community. Based on current information, there are no confirmed COVID-19 cases in our district.
After careful deliberation and with the support of local public health officials, we decided to close our District schools effective March 16th through April 10th. This includes the cancelation of all district events and activities on our campuses. We anticipate re-opening our schools on Monday, April 13th.
We know that schools provide many essential programs to our immediate community and understand that closing schools will cause challenges for many families. We thank our Child Nutrition Services Department who will be able to prepare and provide nutritious meals at all of our schools on a “grab & go” style on a daily basis. Meals may be picked up at each school from 11:00 am – 1:00 pm Monday through Friday.
Beginning Monday, families and students are encouraged to access our Student Learning Activities tab located on our website. There, you will find resources to engage your children during the school closures. You will also find a School Closure Q&A section about the impact on student grades, SAT testing, among others.
We plan to send separate communication to district employees addressing our immediate next steps.
We will continue to monitor this very fluid public health situation and plan to provide updates during the course of our school district’s closure. In addition to district-initiated communication, please refer to our website (www.smusd.org) and social media accounts for updated information.
Thank you for your support and cooperation during this time.
San Marcos Unified School District Community:
The San Marcos Unified School District (SMUSD) takes the safety of our students and staff very seriously. SMUSD continues to closely monitor the situation regarding the 2019 novel coronavirus (COVID-19). We remain in close contact with public health officials and will comply with all of their guidance. The situation is continuing to change rapidly and this represents the most recent updates received from public health officials.
We have been advised by public health officials that closing schools is unwarranted at this time and could create unintended consequences that would hurt efforts to protect our community. Based on current information, there are no confirmed positive cases of COVID-19 in San Marcos Unified School District. Because schools are considered an essential service providing valuable instruction, meals, security and support resources to children and families, schools in the District are currently remaining open.
On March 11th, officials from the California Department of Public Health released new guidance that includes the following.
- Large gatherings that include 250 people or more should be postponed or canceled. This guidance does not apply to activities such as attendance at regular school classes, work, or essential services.
- Smaller gatherings held in venues that do not allow social distancing of 6 feet per person should be postponed or canceled. This includes gatherings in crowded auditoriums, rooms, or other venues.
- A “gathering” is any event or convening that brings together people in a single room or single space at the same time, such as an auditorium, stadium, arena, large conference room, meeting hall, cafeteria, or any other indoor or outdoor space.
Based on this guidance, the San Marcos Unified School District is suspending all before and after school large gatherings, effective March 13, 2020 and through March 31, 2020. This includes, but is not limited to the following:
- VAPA rehearsals and productions (drama, music, choir, band);
- ASB events (dances, assemblies, large gatherings);
- Fundraising events;
- Community assemblies (flag salutes);
- Middle School sports and practices;
District officials are working with CIF Southern Section and San Diego County superintendents regarding the status of all CIF events. We anticipate providing further guidance on March 13th regarding the status of all athletic event competitions and practices.
Principals are also being directed to suspend all non-essential meetings or gatherings, such as PTA meetings, class performances, open houses, and field trips within and outside of the District. Please look for communication from your principal about the cancellation of these events.
In addition, effective Friday, March 13, 2020, the San Marcos Unified School District is implementing visitor and volunteer restrictions. While the District greatly appreciates our parent and community volunteers, at this time non-essential visitors should be restricted on our campuses. Out of an abundance of caution, this includes volunteers and parents entering campuses for non- essential business.
All of the above suspensions are in effect through March 31, 2020. These suspensions will be updated in the future to determine possible extension into April 2020.
The San Marcos Unified School District will continue to operate our Kids on Campus (KOC), After School Education and Safety (ASES), and After School Safety and Enrichment for Teens (ASSETS).
Parents/Guardians, continue to help us! If your child is sick, please keep them home from school. To help prevent the spread of all respiratory viruses, follow these important tips:
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds and use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer when soap is not available;
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands;
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick;
- Stay home when you are sick and call your school to report fever or respiratory symptoms;
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, throw the tissue in the trash, and wash your hands;
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces;
- Individuals with chronic health issues and/or individuals experiencing severe symptoms should be evaluated by a medical professional; and
- Get the flu shot, if you have not received it already.
We understand and share our community’s concern about student health and safety. Some families have asked about keeping their child home based on the concern or fear of contracting COVID-19 at school.
Although California Education Code attendance guidelines have not changed, it is a parent / guardian prerogative to keep their children home from school. The District will be suspending future SARB truancy letters. This suspension will continue through March 31, 2020. This guidance will be updated in the future to determine possible extension into April 2020.
The District plans to continue sending updated communication regarding this issue. The District also has a list of Frequently Asked Questions on its website which will be updated as needed.
Thank you for your continued cooperation and support.
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.
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.
Why school districts must focus on financial plans – The San Diego Union-Tribune
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
Self-injury is affecting 12—25% of students today. Do you know what it is, what to look for, and what to do if your child or their friend is self-injuring? Find out what you need to know if it does come up, it’s not too soon to learn. Please join SMUSD on Wednesday, November 7th at 6:00 p.m. in the multi-purpose room at Woodland Park Middle School for a free workshop by Dr. Laura Mueller who will talk to you on how to support your child and learning the signs of self-injury. This workshop is open to all of SMUSD district families and childcare will be provided for children ages 5 and up. We look forward to your participation.