The proposition for unification of the Bonsall Union School District will be titled, “Proposition BB”.  According to the San Diego County Registrar of Voters, the voter information pamphlets are scheduled to be sent out on September 27, 2012.  Given that the voter information pamphlets are often limited in background knowledge, it seemed prudent to provide the community with more information required to make a decision concerning Proposition BB.

In 2007, the Bonsall Union School District (BUSD) petitioned the State Board of Education (SBE) to change the current government structure from separate elementary and high school districts to one unified district to serve grades K-12.  In July 2011, the SBE voted to allow the unification petition to proceed pending the completion of the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) process at BUSD’s expense (something no school district has ever been asked to do).   Upon successful completion of this process, in July 2012, the SBE decided to adopt a resolution approving the petition to form the Bonsall Unified School District.  This put into motion the San Diego County Office of Education (SDCOE) arranging for the unification to be brought before the voters on November 6, 2012.

To correct some misinformation reported, it should be noted that: PROPOSITION BB IS NOT FOR A BOND TO BUILD A NEW HIGH SCHOOL.It is up to the Bonsall community if such a bond is needed in the future.

The BUSD has studied its existing facilities and has determined that Sullivan Middle School can adequately house the small high school that is envisioned (500 to 600 students).  The BUSD plans are based on the demographics and character of the Bonsall community, and on projected growth.  Grade levels at Sullivan Middle School would be reconfigured over time (approximately four years, one grade at a time).  This phased approach will greatly reduce transition issues and effects on BUSD students and on the existing Fallbrook High School Campus.  Grade levels at the existing elementary schools (Bonsall West, Bonsall, and possibly Vivian Banks Charter School) will also be reconfigured.  Instead of providing for grades K-5/6, they will serve K-7 and maybe 8.  The elementary schools have the facilities and capacity to serve the additional students.

New facilities could include the creation of a continuation high school at an existing fire station site located next to the BUSD District Office.  This current fire station is moving to a new location. The continuation high school is expected to serve up to 25 students.   The site already includes structures, driveway entry and parking.  Modification of the existing structures, if needed, would be done within the existing facility.  The only other possible facility construction planned is approximately 100 additional parking spaces at Sullivan Middle School.

If the voters pass Proposition BB, the Bonsall Unified School District would negotiate with the Fallbrook High School District to gain the resources allotted to Bonsall students that used to go to Fallbrook.  Also, within two years an election would be held to form a Bonsall Unified School District Board of Trustees.

If voters approve the unification, the plan for a high school in Bonsall is for an academy rather than a comprehensive high school.  There would be limited athletics and extra curricular activities, depending on the size of the student enrollment.  Students preferring a comprehensive high school experience would be eligible to apply for an interdistrict transfer to attend a comprehensive high school in the area.

Much of the actual program is unknown without knowing which students might actually request an interdistrict transfer.  The number of students determines the funding for the high school.  If Proposition BB is approved by the voters, the first classes for the high school in Bonsall will begin in 2014.  A survey of current 7th grade students will be done to get an anticipated number of 2013-2014 8th grade students that plan to be in the first 9th grade class to begin the 2014-2015 school year.  These survey results will be reported at the next Bonsall Union School District Board Meeting on October 11, 2014.