Category Archives: San Marcos Unified School District

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.

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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

Double Peak School-City takes active approach in managing traffic safety near new school

The city takes an active approach to managing traffic safety near new school

Since the opening of Double Peak School, the City of San Marcos has taken an active approach to managing traffic safety in the area surrounding the school.

Since the opening of Double Peak School, the City of San Marcos has taken an active approach to managing traffic safety in the area surrounding the school.

“Public safety and traffic management continues to be a top priority for the City of San Marcos—especially near our schools,” said City Manager Jack Griffin.

Traffic engineers are constantly evaluating conditions along S. Twin Oaks Valley Road and have proactively implemented various traffic warning and calming measures to reduce travel speeds and the possibility of speed-related collisions.

“Knowing Double Peak School is in a challenging location when it comes to traffic management, the city has made every effort to work with the San Marcos Unified School District and enhance overall safety by using several traffic calming strategies,” said the city’s Principal Traffic Engineer Nic Abboud.

Traffic calming strategies have included the reduction of the posted speed limit from 50 miles per hour to 45 miles per hour along the northbound approach to Double Peak School.

A new traffic signal control at the school’s driveway has been installed, together with the placement of a high-visibility crosswalk. Advanced warning signs and “prepare to stop” signage have also been placed at several locations in advance of the new traffic signal, school pedestrian crossing, and steep roadway grade.

The school zone limits for 25 miles-per hour speed have been extended.  The city has installed flashing school warning signs to alert motorists of the slower speed zones.

To further encourage motorists to slow down, speed reduction bars have been placed across the lanes at decreasing intervals along the downhill approach to the school.

Motorists were also introduced to radar speed feedback signs that display a driver’s speed to help improve speed limit compliance. Traffic signal timing has also been improved to discourage red light running.

As traffic safety is driven by driver education, traffic engineering, and traffic enforcement, the city has worked in partnership with the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department to boost its speed enforcement in the area, especially during peak times.

In addition to these efforts, the city has prepared a “safe routes to school” plan that identifies the safest routes for students to follow when heading to or from the school campus. This plan has been provided to the school for implementation and parents are encouraged to share the recommended travel paths with their children.

But the city has not stopped there.

Hearing increased community concern over traffic speeds around the school and during times when children are using sidewalks, the City will retain a specialized consulting firm to evaluate innovative opportunities to address pedestrian mobility and safety issues.

Additional measures may include enhanced adoption and promotion of a “safe route to school” plan, alternative location(s) for sidewalks, implementation of additional travel speed reduction measures, and the feasibility of installing barriers or other means of protection and/or separation of pedestrians from vehicles.

While San Marcos works to evaluate these innovative opportunities, plans are already underway to install additional signage that will benefit both motorists and pedestrians. The new signs will use chevron-style arrows and raised pavement markers to alert motorist that a curve is ahead.

By partnering with the community and school district to educate parents, students and drivers along with enhanced engineering and enforcement, the city will continue working to ensure feedback provided about traffic safety issues in the area will be considered in the adoption of any new recommended solutions.

To learn more about traffic management in the city, visit www.san-marcos.net/TrafficManagement or contact the city’s traffic engineering division at (760) 744-1050. Residents can also receive email notifications about upcoming traffic alerts, city news and other programs by signing up at www.san-marcos.net/alert.

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.

San Marcos residents fighting to block development by referendum – The San Diego Union-Tribune

San Marcos residents opposed to a 220-home development on Twin Oaks Valley Road have collected signatures for a referendum against the project.Residents gathered 5,000 signatures for a ballot measure to overturn City Council approval of the Brookfield development in San Marcos. Residents opposed say the development will worsen traffic and school overcrowding. Officials who support the project say it offers entry-level housing. Residents who fear a planned development will create problems for roads, schools and safety in San Marcos are trying to take the project to voters in November, in hopes of reversing the City Council’s approval.

READ MORE FROM Source: San Marcos residents fighting to block development by referendum – The San Diego Union-Tribune

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.
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