On April 9, the Board of Education of the San Diego Unified School District voted unanimously to authorize the purchase of the Alliant International University (AIU) property (alternative site B) to build the new middle school for Scripps Ranch students. In February, District staff had recommended the project be constructed in the Scripps Ranch business park on lots 3 and 4 (alternative site D).
In the six weeks following that recommendation, the schools, organizations, and committees that make up the Scripps Ranch Schools Committee (SRSC) came together. In a unanimous voice, we recommended site B, the AUI site, as the preferred choice of the community.
District staff concurred that site B was easily interchangeable with site D in all aspects of the staff report. The SRSC applauds the leadership of the Miramar Ranch North Planning Committee (MRNPC) for crafting the motion that gave rise to the unified recommendation.
We look forward to continuing to work collaboratively and actively with District staff in the planning and design phase of the project. The projected completion date of the new middle school remains September 2006.
Board and staff members responded to the growing interest from community members who cited the benefits of small schools. There was a brief discussion among board members and staff directed to community members who were present at the board meeting on April 9. The District discussed the potential of incorporating the "schools within a school" concept in the design of the new middle school.
Rick Novak, Marshall Middle School principal, commented that the Spring Valley-Lemon Grove School District is reorganizing their middle schools using this concept. Each school will be organized into smaller "houses," each composed of 6th, 7th, and 8th graders to form smaller "learning communities." (See Union-Tribune, East County Edition, Mar. 14, 2002: "Sizing Up Smaller Schools"). Board members commented that this concept is being incorporated in the re-design of Lincoln High School.
The next SRSC meeting will be on Tuesday, May 7, from 4 to 6 pm in the Scripps Ranch Library seminar room. We will complete the review of the proposed by-laws and prepare for election of new officers in June.