Category Archives: San Marcos Unified School District

To The San Marcos Unified School District Community from Tiffany Campbell Ed.D

To Our SMUSD Community:

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.

Warm Regards,

Tiffany Campbell, Ed.D

San Marcos Unified Superintendent Carmen García resigns – The Coast News Group

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.

Source: San Marcos Unified Superintendent Carmen García resigns – The Coast News Group

SMUSD Informational Webinar on the 2020/21 School Options Recording

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 Unified School District UPDATE 3/13/20

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.

Sincerely,

Dr. García

Superintendent

COVID-19 SMUSD Community Update as of March 12, 2020

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.

Parents: Superintendent negatively impacting students

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 head back to school

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.

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