The Solana Beach School District (SBSD) is making plans for where they will house Solana Vista School students during the one-year rebuild.
The district will break ground on the new Solana Vista School in June and students will be completely off-site during the campus construction. SBSD Superintendent Jodee Brentlinger said their interim housing plan is “student-focused” with the goal to maximize the educational program benefit while causing minimal transitions for students within programs and between locations. The board is currently reviewing two potential options and is leaning toward housing third grade students at Skyline and kindergarten through second grade at Solana Highlands in Carmel Valley.
Solana Vista Principal Katie Zimmer said they received input from teachers and parents at two community meetings held in January. The option to house K-2 at Solana Highlands and third grade at Skyline creates the least impact on the educational program with enough space for discovery labs for all students and enough room for specialty programs.
The drawbacks for the option include sending students outside the Solana Beach zip code and Zimmer said some parents voiced concerns about having their younger students transported by bus. Zimmer said they also heard feedback that there would be too many transitions for the second graders: In three years students would be attending Solana Highlands, then back to Solana Vista for a year and then go on to Skyline.
A second option would instead move second and third grades to Skyline and kindergarten and first grades to Solana Highlands. This option would provide less transitions for second graders and keep more kids in Solana Beach but discovery labs for all students would be impacted by space and time issues—Zimmer said students would have less time in STREAM programs such as science, technology, engineering, art and music.
The district is exploring having a 15-minute buffer between the school schedules for Solana Vista students to lessen the impact on traffic during pick-up and drop-off. They will also be offering transportation for Solana Vista students going to Carmel Valley with potential bus stop locations at Lomas Santa Fe Plaza, San Dieguito Park and Skyline.
The board will make a decision on the interim housing configuration at its Feb. 13 board meeting and SBSD Vice President Debra Schade wanted to ensure that the district is addressing parent concerns and that the board has received enough feedback to have confidence making its decision.
About 36 people attended the January workshops and Brentlinger said the district targeted parents through the school newsletter, yard signs and phone calls.
Upcoming community meetings for public input are scheduled for Feb. 3 in the morning and Feb. 7 in the afternoon at Solana Vista.