RSF School board briefs: 2017 meeting times, parking lot paving and foundation update

Meeting times set for 2017

At the Rancho Santa Fe School District board’s organizational meeting on Dec. 13, the board set the meeting schedule for the upcoming year. While in the past year, the board rotated between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. start times for meetings, they will stick with 5 p.m. meetings for 2017.

To help inform the board’s decision, RSF School District Superintendent David Jaffe conducted a survey of parents to gauge their preference. He had 101 respondents and 55 percent said they preferred 5 p.m. Thirty-five percent preferred 9 a.m., 10 percent didn’t have a preference and 639 people opted not to return the survey.

Meetings will be held on the first Thursday of every month at 5 p.m., except for Jan. 12, 2017, which is the second Thursday of the month, and Feb. 2, 2017, which will begin at 5:45 p.m. after a celebration of outgoing Superintendent Lindy Delaney.

Teacher parking lot paving

The RSF School board directed Jaffe to move forward with exploring the simple option of paving the dirt teachers’ parking lot on the Dacus property on El Fuego.

The board had been considering options to possibly develop a parking lot on Dacus and install solar panels on the lot’s canopies; however, Jaffe said solar is not an option due to SDG&E’s franchise agreement with the state, which prevents the district from crossing a public road to connect to the school’s onsite meter.

The development of a complete parking lot would require a mitigated negative declaration certifying that no significant environmental impacts have been determined, which would cost roughly $500,000.

With the board’s direction to go forward instead with the simple paving project, an architectural and engineering plan will now be developed to determine if it will require a mitigated negative declaration (MND). If an MND is required, the projected cost is $130,000 to $150,000. If the district receives an exemption, the projected cost is estimated to be higher than the $43,200 quote the district received for the project last year.

Jaffe plans to bring the board an update with a recommendation at the board’s Jan. 12 board meeting.

Mimosa resident John Giovenco spoke out, reminding the board that development on the Dacus site was the subject of a lawsuit in 2009. The suit was settled in 2010, permitting the school to proceed with the current parking lot on the El Fuego site; however, the terms of the settlement included that the district may not develop other specific properties on El Fuego or Mimosa without obtaining an environmental impact report and that the district shall consult with the community and residents during the early stages of any future development process.

Giovenco said there has been “zero interface” between the school and Mimosa residents.

RSF Education Foundation update

RSF Education Foundation Development Director Barbara Edwards provided an update on the progress of the Rancho Santa Fe Education Foundation’s fundraising efforts so far this year. The foundation has raised $980,000 of its $1.5 million goal and is about 15 percent behind where they were at the same time last year.

“We are delayed but confident in our community’s ability to reach our goal this year,” Edwards said.

Participation is holding at 60 percent, including 76 percent participation from new school families. This year’s Red Envelope Day was very successful, Edwards said, bringing in $358,000.

Edwards said the foundation will continue its efforts with community partnerships and to encourage 100 percent participation from families toward keeping class sizes and to provide for “focused academics and robust enrichment.”