Solana Beach School District approves attendance boundaries for new Carmel Valley school

By Karen Billing

The Solana Beach School District board approved attendance boundaries for the new Solana Ranch School in Pacific Highlands Ranch (Carmel Valley) at its June 25 board meeting. The school is currently under construction and is set to welcome a projected 431 students in fall 2014.

Solana Ranch will serve the neighborhoods of Santa Barbara, Portico, Manzanita Trail, Santa Rosa, Arabella, Crossing, Watermark, Hampton Lane and Bridgewater. Currently 365 students residing in those PHR neighborhoods attend Solana Highlands, Carmel Creek and Solana Pacific schools.

According to Caroline Brown, the director of technology services and new facilities, families residing in the Santa Barbara neighborhood whose children already have a seat at Solana Highlands, Carmel Creek or Solana Pacific will have the option to remain at their school but only for a transitional period of two years. At the end of that time, all students in those neighborhoods must attend Solana Ranch.

At last week’s meeting, the board also tweaked attendance boundaries for residents in the Rancho Pacifica (Del Mar Highlands Estates), Polo Club and Morgan Run (Whispering Palms) developments. The changes will be implemented in the 2013-14 school year. The last time the boundary map was changed was in 2004 when Solana Pacific opened.

“We wanted to clean up our district map,” Brown said of the reason behind the change.

Currently nine students in the Rancho Pacifica neighborhood have a flexible option to attend Skyline and Solana Vista. Effective fall 2013-14, the attendance for this neighborhood will be assigned to Solana Santa Fe School in the Fairbanks Ranch area.

Residents in Polo Club and Morgan Run used to have an attendance option of Skyline, Solana Vista or Solana Santa Fe. Starting 2013-14, the assignment for the neighborhood will be Solana Santa Fe. About 27 students reside in these areas and 22 of them are already attending Solana Santa Fe.

Brown said most of the students with an option living in these communities already attend Solana Santa Fe and the travel path to the school just makes more sense for the residents.