Program - Escondido Union School District
The joint presentation covered the disbursement of the millions of dollars under/through Bond Issue E, passed by the voters in November 2014. The Vision Statement of Proposition Bond E is: "Transforming our Schools to meet critical needs and promote equity in facilities, IT infrastructure and safety throughout our District". Mr. Michael Taylor is the Assistant Superintendent of Business Services, having joined the District in 2012, while Mr.Russ Decker is the Director of Planning and Design.
Mr. Taylor began with a quote stating " We believe all kids can learn". There is a major transformation going on now, and Bond Prop. E is making it possible. The overall monies equal $182 million dollars, with the first phase being $62 million beginning in 2015. There are 16,260 students in the District, in 23 schools, with the oldest, Central Elementary, built in 1938.
Central is one of several schools being modernized with the addition of 5 new classrooms and 7 new Kindergarten classrooms over the next 15 months. The school is located at 5th and Broadway and the construction will not interfere with the new school year already started. The Mission Middle School, built in 1954, received a brand new modular building, erected in one day, which will add 4 science labs and 6 classrooms over the next 7 months. Orange Glen (1949) needed significant underground work, to prevent ongoing flooding, by creating a stone basin and covering it with permeable brick shaped rocks, and a new playground.
The Quantum Academy, off East Valley Parkway, with 300 students, 4th-8th, now offers the STEM curriculum. STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics, whereas, the Del Dios Middle School offers the STEAM program, which includes the Arts as well. The Rose Elementary school is getting a significant technology upgrade so teaching and testing can happen without downtime. And, according to Mr. Decker, the school district worked with the Escondido Police Dept. in assessing the safety of the many school properties and have added safety features to LR Green and Hidden Valley Middle schools in the form of wrought iron fencing and filling in arches along a well used walkway. These are just 2 of the 8 schools receiving safety upgrades.
Phase 2 funding (series B) of the Prop. Bond E will be $50 million dollars, beginning in 2018.
Mr. Decker said there is no need for new schools as there is a declining enrollment, ongoing for the last 10 years. There are several reasons including fear, poverty, racial tension, reputation of some schools in the past, along with the growing number of Charter Schools available.