Scripps Ranch Schools Committee (SRSC)
Kevin Beiser Attends Meeting
October’s meeting was primarily a question and answer session with our school board trustee, Kevin Beiser. There was discussion centered about the lack of air conditioning at Scripps Ranch High School and Dingeman Elementary School, currently not expected to get AC until 2017 and 2021, respectively. It was reported that Scripps Ranch High is overwhelmed with kids who are negatively impacted by the heat.
The Prop S construction schedule, which is expected to fund AC, has been hampered by the slowdown of home values, against which bonds are leveraged. Therefore, the district has been unable to borrow as fast or as much as expected, and earlier bond funds were spent on technology upgrades.
The board has directed the district to explore the option of portable AC units in the interim. Kevin feels that AC should take priority over technology upgrades and indicated that passage of Prop Z, the school bond measure, may help accelerate the process. [School bond measure Z passed.] The state Education Code makes it difficult to declare hot days and close schools, which is why this has not been done.
Another question was whether competitive bidding could be done with individual schools’ Prop S funds for site improvements to get better value than the in-house district charge. It was unclear whether the district has specific contractors and whether it was necessary to use them for some work. The principals were instructed to ask area superintendent David Lorden to investigate, as it is important to get the most value from the limited funds available.
The teacher allocation for E. B. Scripps Elementary was discussed. Due to its enrollment, the school believed it should keep all 28 teachers allocated at the start of the school year. The district had planned to remove one teacher because of its calculations, with which the school disagreed. That would have led to a reshuffling of many classrooms. [Since the meeting, the district decided EBS would keep all 28 teachers.]
Other News and Updates
Principals gave updates on their schools’ activities and Academic Performance Index (API) scores. The committee celebrated the API scores. As indicated in the November SRCA Newsletter, all Scripps Ranch non-charter public schools have API scores of 900 or higher–quite an accomplishment!
Gloria Tran updated the committee on which traffic safety assemblies at the elementary schools had occurred and which were pending. The presentations are designed to help provide a safer environment for kids before and after school.
Tamara Hurley distributed a handout of information on the education initiatives, Propositions 30 and 38, and SDUSD’s Prop Z bond measure, which were on the November ballot. She also reviewed the impact of negative campaigning between Prop 30 and Prop 38 on the likelihood of either passing. [Prop 30 passed, averting the trigger cuts to education that would have shortened the school year by an additional 14 days.]
The Schools Committee meets on the third Tuesday of months when school is in session at 4:30 pm in the Scripps Ranch Library’s seminar room. The next meeting is on Wednesday, Dec. 19. All meetings are open to the public and residents are encouraged to attend. For questions, please email co-chair Lorelle Mudd at [[email protected]].
Tamara Hurley, SRSC Legislative Analyst