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.
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 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.
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 email@example.com
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.
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.
SEMS Rising Stars are pleased to present Seussical the Musical. Performances are March 1-3 and March 9-10 at 7:00PM and March 11th 2018 at 1:00PM. Tickets can be reserved online through Noon on February 26th or at the door.
A donation of $5 per general admission ticket is recommended. By donating in advance, you will be eligible to enter the performing arts center in advance of those that donate at the door. Please retain your receipt to show at the door as no “tickets” will be mailed. The on-line window for tickets will be open until Monday, February 26th at 12 pm.
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.
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.
Budget shortfalls at San Marcos Unified School District are forcing the district to look at larger class sizes, staff cuts and other belt-tightening measures to save $35 million over the next three years.The school board discussed the need to trim spending at a meeting Tuesday when it received its first interim budget report.The district has warned that its funding is not keeping pace with escalating costs for employee pensions, special education, transportation, energy and healthcare. That leaves it with projected deficits of $13 million this year, and up to $23 million by the 2019-20 school year.San Marcos Unified expects to spend nearly $219 million this year, but will receive just $205 million in revenue, the district reported. By 2019-20, its costs will rise above $242 million, but revenues will be $219 million, school officials project.To make up that shortfall, it will need to take cost-cutting measures starting this year, said Mark Schiel, assistant superintendent for business services for San Marcos schools.The district has 20,939 students, and employs 1,097 teachers, 90 managers and 598 other staff positions. It aims to trim $20 million over two years through labor concessions from its unions and from management employees.