District briefs

$900K raised toward ESC

On a night when everyone on the Del Mar Union School District board was wearing the Del Mar Schools Education Foundation’s “Got ESC?” T-shirts, foundation President Chris Stevenson presented a check to the board for $90,000, bringing the amount raised to $900,000. The money is equal to 10 Extended Studies Curriculum (ESC) teachers, specialized instructors who teach physical education, science, technology, art and music.

Stevenson said 55 percent of parents in the district have made contributions, and they are hoping to reach 100 percent participation by the April 30 deadline.

New calendar accepted

The board of trustees approved a three-year school calendar with one substantial change for the Del Mar district: an entire week off in February. Neighboring Solana Beach School District recently switched to a similar schedule this year and the Rancho Santa Fe School District has always had such a week, sometimes referred to as “family” or “ski” week. The change eliminates the number of three- and four-day weeks that come in February as a result of all the holidays. Danielle Roche, an Ocean Air third-grade teacher, said she liked the one-week-off approach as all the abbreviated weeks make it difficult to have meaningful instruction and she sees a lot of absenteeism as parents take students away for long weekends.

Portables at Heights tested

In response to a parent’s concern about the air quality of the 13 portables on the Del Mar Heights Academy campus, the Del Mar Union School District had them tested on March 6.

Drew Cornelison of Air America reported to the board of trustees that there were no airborne asbestos fibers in any of the portables. He said all of the portables were constructed after 1990, so they were not made at a time when materials containing asbestos were used. Cornelison said that a level of mold spores was detected in the portables, but that it was similar to the levels found outside. The levels did not raise red flags to Cornelison.

Del Mar Hills parent Amy Caterina said the board should consider getting rid of all the portables at Hills and Heights, allowing the schools to function more efficiently at full capacity.

— Karen Billing