Dear Bonsall School Community,

Hoping that your summer is nice and rejuvenating, I wanted to update you on an event that could bring change to the Bonsall Union School District (BUSD). On July 19, 2012 the California State Board of Education approved the BUSD application to become a unified school district, which means BUSD might change from serving K-8 students to K-12. This approval sets in motion the process to place the issue of BUSD becoming a unified school district on the November ballot so the voters can decide. The voting area will be the boundaries of the Fallbrook High School District.

This has been six years in development and finally the voters will be able to determine if Bonsall gets its own high school! Many of those that signed the petition back in 2006 that led to this stage expected a traditional comprehensive high school. However, considering California’s economy there isn’t enough funding for that. The plan the State Board approved is for an academy style high school that would be phased in one year at a time at Sullivan Middle School. In 2014, instead of the eighth graders leaving, they would be able to stay at Sullivan Middle School as ninth graders and then the next year as tenth graders and so on. The sixth graders would be moved to the elementary schools, and possibly the seventh grade too.

The academy model would have a greater focus on students preparing for entrance to their desired college or university. The Bonsall District’s emphasis on blended online learning would continue to the high school level to support students’ learning the A-G requirements that lead to admission for the University of California system. The athletic program would be limited to less costly sports such as golf, tennis, cross country, and perhaps soccer. Many details of the proposed unified district still need to be worked out. For example, should the unification win a majority of voter support in the election, the San Diego County Superintendent of Schools would appoint an interim governing board of trustees until an election of the new unified district board takes place soon thereafter.

My experience in observing the unification campaign experience of other districts compels me to warn all interested parties that, like too many election campaigns, negativity and misinformation might be used to influence the outcome. As the Superintendent of the District, I serve the community and only want the facts represented so the people of the community can make the decision. Community forums and a blog will take place to improve communication, creativity, and collaboration needed for Bonsall to continue the “Academic Excellence and Support for All Students” through whatever grade level the community decides.


Justin Cunningham, Ed. D.