Tuesday, May 28, 2024

CUSD Update: District Launches Superintendent’s Student Advisory Council; Enrollment Not Quite Back to Pre-Pandemic Levels

The Coronado Unified School District trustees met on Thursday, September 14 at District Offices where they approved an important financial report and discussed current enrollment numbers within the district. The document, titled the 2022-23 Unaudited Actuals SACS Financial Report, represents a “snapshot in time,” reflecting the district’s financial position as of June 30, 2023, according to Deputy Superintendent Donnie Salamanca.

District-wide enrollment, which is crucial to the budget and state funding, has not quite rebounded back to pre-pandemic levels, according to Salamanca. He shared that the district projected an enrollment of 2800 for the 2023-2024 school year; the actual number is around 2715.

“We never bounced back to our pre-COVID numbers and so that is impacting our revenues,” said Salamanca.

While accepting more interdistrict transfers can offset this number and increase enrollment, Salamanca said that at least one of the grade levels is already at capacity, as in it is “fire marshal full.” More than 300 students applied for interdistrict transfers, while CUSD accepted around 180. Adherence to Ed Code, collective bargaining agreements and avoiding the overcrowding of classrooms limits how many applications can be accepted in each grade, according to Salamanca.

But the good news is the district is still on path for a strategic spend-down to Basic Aid, whereby the funding model is expected to change. Salamanca said the biggest uncertainties are district enrollment and changes to salaries that were not previously agreed to, as 81% of the budget is tied to salaries and benefits.

In other board business, Superintendent Karl Mueller shared that the newly-launched Superintendent’s Student Advisory Council was underway. The council, which will be made up of students from grades 7-12, represents “a creative way to solicit student voice,” according to Mueller.

He said that more than 60 students applied and expressed interest, and the first official meeting is slated for Wednesday, September 20. Mueller said the committee will serve as a safe space to learn how recent district initiatives have impacted students, allowing administrators to hear from the “boots on the ground.”

“This committee will explore individual student experiences and things that are happening locally across the state of California,” said Mueller. “We will look at the long range plan, budget, policy, student safety, campus climate, and culture … we are very excited about this committee and we will be providing monthly updates.”

In reports, Jennifer Landry, President of the Association of Coronado Teachers, highlighted several members who were pursuing additional education: Julia Braga and Lindsey Cummins are pursuing their educational services credentials; Sandy Davis is renewing her prestigious National Board Certification; Maylen Sullivan is studying for PhD in leadership studies; Cyndi Fuhrmann is pursuing a master’s degree in arts education; Ashley Harris is studying for her early childhood development permit.

Wyatt Riebe, Associated Student Body President, shared that CHS homecoming preparations are underway and that the Homecoming Court has been selected. The dance is Saturday, October 7 at the Fleet Science Center in Balboa Park.

In other board business:

  • The board voted to adopt the Final Accounting for 2022-23 of Education Protection Account Funds.
  • The board voted to adopt the GANN Limit Resolution 23-09-03.

The next meeting is scheduled for Thursday, October 19.


Christine Van Tuyl
Christine Van Tuylhttp://islandgirlblog.com/
Christine was born and raised in Texas, but moved to Coronado with her family as a teen in 1993. Although initially horrified by surfers, flannels and skateboards, she ultimately grew to love all things So-Cal. A graduate of UCSD, Christine got her first writing job on the KUSI ten o’clock news while simultaneously juggling a reporter position at the San Diego Community News Group. She worked as a public relations professional, a book editor, real estate professional, and a freelance writer before eventually succumbing to motherhood in 2008.A decade later, Christine resurfaced to start the Island Girl Blog, a Coronado lifestyle blog. In addition, she writes a monthly page for Crown City Magazine. Christine loves hanging out with her husband, Ian, and their two spirited daughters, Holland and Marley, who attend Village Elementary and Coronado Middle School. When she’s not working, you’ll find her practicing yoga, spilling coffee at school drop off, meeting friends for sushi, or sailing the Bay with her family and English Bulldog, Moshi. Have news to share? Send tips, story ideas or letters to the editor to: [email protected]

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