The Santa Maria-Bonita School District will look a little different when it opens in August for the 2015-16 school year. It will have a new school and new school boundaries, which the Board of Education discussed at Wednesday night's meeting.
The trustees started the process of reviewing the procedures for naming the new campus, located at 1970 Biscayne St. in the southwest section of town, got an update on where the district is in the process of drawing boundaries to accommodate the new campus.
Richard Ruiz has been chosen to be the principal at the new campus. He moves from Sanchez Elementary, where Kathleen Lester has taken over. Lester was formerly an assistant principal at Bruce Elementary and has 25 years in the district.
Superintendent Phil Alvarado said the district will form a committee to consider names for the new school and begin taking suggestions from the public beginning next week. Applications for the committee will be accepted from Jan. 26 through Feb. 12. Members will be selected on Feb. 13.
Suggestions for names will be accepted Jan. 26 through Feb. 17. Three committee meetings will be held in February and March. The board will discuss potential names at its March 11 and April 15 meetings.
The new campus will share boundaries with Liberty, Adam and Battles elementary schools and will pull 851 students from those schools. However, dropping the new elementary school into the district will affect nearly every school.
Adam is currently the district's largest elementary school with an enrollment topping 1,100 this year. Battles has approximately 960 students, and Liberty has an enrollment of roughly 850.
Matt Beecher, assistant superintendent of business services, and Mike Grogan, student housing supervisor, are working to balance enrollment at all of the district's 19 schools. Beecher said creating boundaries for the new school would have a ripple effect on the rest of the district.
"By creating that new school, we've impacted several schools," Beecher said, adding five other schools would benefit from lower enrollments with the addition of the new school.
The board also began preparing to handle Measure T income. The tax initiative, which will deliver $45 million to the school district for improvements to its campuses. It will also eventually pay for a new campus.
The trustee unanimously passed resolutions to establish a bond building fund along with a bond interest and redemption fund. The two accounts will be used to receive, store and invest Measure T money. The building fund will also be used to pay for the measure's construction projects.
The district will also begin building a citizens' oversight committee for Measure T. The volunteer committee must have seven members and no district employees, officials, vendors, consultants or contractors are allowed.
It will be comprised of: one business representative; one member active in a senior citizens organization; a member of a taxpayer's organization; a parent or guardian of a district student; another parent or guardian who is active in a parent-teacher organization; and two general members. They will serve two-year terms and may serve no more than two terms.
A link to an application form for the committee will soon be available on the district website.