Issues

If you have read the Newsletter in the past few months, you undoubtedly are aware that school issues are probably the leading crises on the Ranch these days. You may have gotten to the point where you don’t want to hear anymore (I can relate to that), or you may have gotten to the point where you understand some of the complex and related issues (it took me 2-3 years). So at the risk of being redundant with previous articles, here is the quick list of major school issues:

Immediate Issues to Resolve

  1. How to solve the crowding expected to occur at Jerabek next fall?
  2. How to solve the crowding expected to occur at Jerabek and Dingeman in fall 2001?
  3. Should a modular school be constructed at the Fairbrook site, to open in fall 2001?
  4. What configuration should we use for the new Ellen Browning Scripps Elementary school: 5-6 or K-6?
  5. Should a full-size middle school be constructed?
  6. What is the specific design of Ellen Browning Scripps Elementary School?
  7. What is the specific design of the expansion at Marshall Middle School?

More Questions to Answer

  1. What impact will the proposed apartments on the Kmart site have on elementary, middle, and high schools?
  2. What impact will proposed U.S. Marine Corps housing have on middle and high schools in Scripps Ranch?
  3. Is an additional school site needed as a contingency for the future?
  4. How will future crowding at Scripps Ranch High School be accommodated?
  5. What will happen if additional class-size reduction occurs in elementary schools?
  6. What will happen if additional class-size reduction occurs in high schools?
  7. How can our elementary schools get closer to the district standard of 700 students per site?

Related Park Issues

  1. How to compensate for the use of Spring Canyon Park by the school district?
  2. How to compensate for the possible extended use of the Scripps Ranch Rec Building by the school district?
  3. How to build the neighborhood park at the Fairbrook site?
  4. How to increase the total acreage of playing fields in Scripps Ranch?

Progress

The primary issues considered in detail over the past 3 months have been:

  • Design of Ellen Browning Scripps Elementary School (EBS);
  • Design of expansion at Marshall Middle School; and
  • How to solve the crowding next fall at Jerabek.

On-going committees are designing the two schools–EBS and Marshall. Please consider becoming involved with these important issues. Presently there are fewer than 5 active and concerned community members who are making these huge decisions. They would welcome your ideas and support in order to achieve the best schools possible. Times for the various meetings can be found by calling Claudia at 549-8386 (EBS) or Karen at 578-0787 (Marshall).

The Scripps Ranch Schools Committee held four meetings on the Jerabek crowding issue for next fall. The school district staff is recommending that the least adverse impact would be for the incoming kindergarten students without siblings at Jerabek to be enrolled at Miramar Ranch Elementary for a year. Additional portable classrooms would be added to Miramar Ranch to accommodate the additional 140 students. The school board will make a decision on this topic either on Tuesday, March 14, or on Tuesday, March 28. Call School Trustee Sue Braun’s office at 619-725-5506 for the exact date and time.

The next meeting of the schools committee will be on Thursday, March 9, at 7 pm at the Scripps Ranch Library. The meeting will focus on:

  • the fall 2001 crowding issue, including the possible construction of a modular school at Fairbrook;
  • the choice of 5-6 or K-6 grade configuration at EBS; and
  • the need for a larger middle school.

What You Can Do

Fill out the chart on the adjacent page for your neighborhood, and mail it back to SRCA. We don’t want to know about specific houses or children, we do need to know about the general trends for children who will be entering Scripps Ranch schools in the next few years.

One of the biggest problems in all of the school issues is that we have a huge, 5-year-wide blind spot. Until a child first arrives at the door of the school, ready to enter kindergarten, we and the school district demographer do not know that child exists. So we make educated guesses.

Many of the problems we now face are because the previous guesses were off by at as much as 50%. We now have much better techniques for making estimates, but we are still blind to the next 5-year wave of incoming children who have already been born in our community, but are not yet in the school system.

Several neighborhoods (Lakepoint, Crown Point, Prominence) already have provided a summary of their neighborhood directories. The school district demographer can then compare this “hard” data with his assumptions.

The attached form is for you to help us out by summarizing directories for your neighborhood or part of your neighborhood. This more than anything else will ensure that adequate capacity is available when your child needs it.