Solana Ranch community meetings to be held as school district monitors Pacific Highlands Ranch growth


The Solana Beach School District continues to carefully eye enrollment at Solana Ranch School as homes are built in Pacific Highlands Ranch. Solana Ranch’s enrollment was 572 in 2018-19 and is at 588 this year. There are 36 seats available for incoming students without making any staffing changes.

The school district plans to hold a special board meeting on its options in Pacific Highlands Ranch and Solana Ranch on Thursday, Sept. 26 at 2 p.m. at the district office as well as host a series of community engagement meetings. The small group meetings, each for a group of about 40 people, will be held on Sept. 26, Oct. 1 and Oct. 7: all of them will be held at 6 p.m. at Solana Ranch.

For the last few years, the district has been trying to get a handle on the housing solutions for the students generated from the 515 homes that will be built through 2023.

The district has assigned all of the incoming PHR neighborhoods to district schools and worked to make these assignments prior to homes being on the market. Some residents in Pacific Highlands Ranch have been assigned to Solana Ranch, others to Carmel Creek and Solana Pacific in Carmel Valley and some have been assigned to Solana Santa Fe in Rancho Santa Fe.

Last year the school board heard numerous concerns about the assignments from Pacific Highlands Ranch residents who wish to attend their home school. They also heard from Solana Ranch parents who requested the district not send any more students to the school citing an already overcrowded campus.

On the agenda at the special meetings will be transportation options for Pacific Highlands Ranch students assigned to schools outside of their neighborhood, the criteria for how and when housing developments in Pacific Highlands Ranch will be assigned to Solana Ranch in the future and revisiting the decision regarding building school #8 on Golden Cypress Place.

The board will also discuss proposed improvements for Solana Ranch and a new residency verification process. “Solana Ranch is a highly sought-after school and people are using creative ways to get in,” Superintendent Jodee Brentlinger said.

The board is expected to take action on some of these decisions at its Thursday, Oct. 10 regular board meeting.