Tag Archives: San Marcos Unified School District

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

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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.

San Marcos City employees donate $1,970 in shoe store gift cards to local students

On Wednesday, Dec. 18, Santa Claus visited City Hall to deliver a total of $1,970 in shoe-store gift cards to 58 local elementary school students and homeless teens thanks to a partnership between City employees and the San Marcos Unified School District (SMUSD).
City employees donated $1,680 toward the purchase of Famous Footwear gift cards, and an in-store promotion enabled staff to purchase an extra $290 in gift cards to spread holiday cheer to schoolchildren identified by SMUSD.
The children and their families attended a festive holiday reception at City Hall on Wednesday evening. “Jingle Bells” played as smiling kids danced, enjoyed cookies and posed for photos with Santa and City of San Marcos firefighters.
“We are proud of the steps that City staff took to help Santa make the holidays a little brighter for families in our community,” said City Manager Jack Griffin. “We appreciate the assistance of SMUSD to help us connect with deserving students and families.”

Why school districts must focus on financial plans – The San Diego Union-Tribune

Why school districts must focus on financial plans – The San Diego Union-Tribune

Source: Commentary of “Financial Soundness Rankings for California’s Public School District” San Marcos Unified 3rd best in San Diego County.

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

Three things causing bigger problems for San Diego County school district budgets than the Great Recession – The San Diego Union-Tribune

California is in no recession and has been spending billions more on K-12 education each year. But school districts across the state and across San Diego County are facing looming budget crises that have materialized already for some and will materialize as soon as next year for others.

READ MORE VIA Source: Three things causing bigger problems for San Diego County school district budgets than the Great Recession – The San Diego Union-Tribune

Building Industry Association sues San Marcos schools, alleges excessive fees – The San Diego Union-Tribune

The Building Industry Association of San Diego County sued the San Marcos Unified School District this month, arguing that increased developer fees amount to illegal taxes that will raise the cost of new homes in the area.“The disputed fees should be deemed to be a form of unlawful tax, rather than reasonable ‘fees,’ ” the lawsuit, filed Aug. 10 in San Diego Superior Court, argued.The suit challenges a 21 percent hike in the fee that the district charges home developers, to cover the costs of serving new students in the school system. In May, the district raised that rate from $4.61 to $5.61 per square foot of new construction, a hike that the association called an “unjustified and grossly excessive schedule of fees on new residential construction.”

READ MORE VIA Source: Building Industry Association sues San Marcos schools, alleges excessive fees – The San Diego Union-Tribune

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

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