San Dieguito Union High School District Superintendent Rick Schmitt’s Monthly Update

Superintendent Rick Schmitt plans to update the greater San Dieguito Union High School District community through our local media with a monthly update. Topics covered will include curriculum, facilities, budget, safety, and other specific and special interest topics. Today’s update focuses on our construction bond program and an update on our math curriculum and related instruction materials.

Prop AA Update

It is hard to believe that we are only one year into our construction bond program. In that short time, we have completed projects that have upgraded classrooms and other facilities at each of our schools.

I am also proud to report every project we have completed so far has been at or below budget. The competitive bidding process and management by our planning and construction staff has saved the district over $5 million. Right now, those savings are being used to accelerate our planned technology infrastructure projects to bring more bandwidth and wireless access to all classrooms.

As we head into the second summer of the bond program, bigger projects are starting to happen at every school. Improvements include media center and technology upgrades, new science and math buildings, and enhancements to stadiums and fields.

Our biggest project will break ground next month — construction of Middle School #5 in Pacific Highlands Ranch. The school will open Fall, 2015 with an initial class of 7th grade students and then expand to both 7th and 8th grades the following year. There is now a page on the district website for the new school ( where you can find more information about the school, proposed boundaries and planning efforts.

District staff present regular planning, construction, and budget updates to the Board of Trustees and the Independent Citizens’ Oversight Committee.

As always, you can find a wealth of information on the bond program, planned projects, construction schedules, audit reports, and much more on the Prop AA website at

Math Curriculum & Instructional Materials

The San Dieguito Union High School District is continuing its transition to the new Common Core State Standards for English-Language Arts and Mathematics. In the January Superintendent’s monthly update, I discussed our decision to adopt an integrated curricular approach to mathematics and also presented our newly-developed math course offerings and sequences. As we prepare for this transition, I want to ensure that our families have access to the information they need to make informed decisions regarding their students’ future math courses.

Our approach to the transition to the Common Core State Standards has been, and will continue to be, a gradual, multi-year transition focusing on in-depth and ongoing professional development for our teachers, keeping our community fully informed and engaged in our decision-making processes, and ensuring that we maintain the historic quality and rigor of our instructional programs. As part of this approach, we’ve ensured that our math program will continue to meet the needs of all learners by providing multiple flexible curricular pathways, including a full complement of honors and AP options open to all students as well as maintaining our long-standing opportunities for acceleration for those student wishing to advance more quickly in their math education. We’ve also ensured that we have appropriate support and remediation options for those students who may need additional help with math. Be sure to visit our website at to access information about our transition. If you have any questions, do not hesitate to contact your school counselor and site administration.

With the adoption of the new math standards and the integrated approach to our math curriculum, we’ve also undertaken the process of reviewing our instructional materials to ensure that our curricular materials fully and appropriately support student learning and classroom instruction. Our math teachers have spent a significant amount of time reviewing potential instructional materials for adoption in support of our new math courses. After a thorough review of available textbooks and instructional materials by SDUHSD staff, we are recommending the adoption of the Mathematics Vision Project (MVP) curriculum for our Integrated 1-3 courses (high school) and the Utah Middle School Mathematics Project curriculum for our Integrated A-B middle school courses. These curricula were created from scratch, not adapted, to be fully Common Core aligned, have been field tested extensively across many communities over the last two years, and are well-reviewed nationally. These materials, as with any instructional materials, will serve as the foundation for a more robust and fully supplemented curricula to be developed by our math teachers during the remainder of this school year and into the summer. Both curricula have been reviewed and approved by our math teachers, our Parent Curriculum Advisory Committee, and our District Coordinating Council and are available for public view (see links below). We will host a community information session regarding the proposed adoption of these materials on Tuesday, May 27, from 6:30-7:30 p.m. in our district office board room. We plan to present these materials to our school board in June for review and adoption.

Utah Middle School Math Project -

Mathematics Vision Project -