Dear Bonsall School Community,

Hoping that everyone is enjoying the last couple days of summer vacation, I wanted to update you on the preparations made to prepare for the coming school year. This coming year will be full of transitions: not only the closing of the Bonsall Union School District and the opening of the Bonsall Unified School District; but also a new school-funding model: the Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF); new standards: the Common Core State Standards (CCSS); a new state test: the Smarter Balance Assessment (SBA); preparing the new high school model, and a few personnel changes.

Unification will cause Bonsall Union School District to morph into the Bonsall Unified School District during this coming school year.  The Unified District must be ready to open for all purposes on July 1, 2014.  How this will impact our funding isn’t known yet because this is also the year that the new LCFF will change how schools are funded; unifications are part of the trailer bill language still being worked out in our State Legislature.  LCFF provides schools with a small raise in funding for economically disadvantaged pupils and also English learners.  There is also some one-time funding for professional development and technology to implement the new CCSS and the SBA.

We have selected New Tech High as the model for the high school we are opening next year for ninth grade students.  For more information on this model go online to We are very excited to be the first new tech high in San Diego County and look forward to a very exciting future in Bonsall with a high school designed to better align with our economy and civic life.

In order to better address the many transitions ahead, there have been some administrative changes in the District. Lori Cummins is the new Director of Student Services at the District Office; Janet Whiddon is the Director of Curriculum and Instruction, and the Principal of Bonsall West Elementary; Diane Lillibridge is the new Principal of Bonsall Elementary, with Joseph Mendoza as the new Assistant to the Principal; and Timothy Heck has been named the new Secondary Principal of Sullivan Middle School.  Mr. Heck will also be starting the new high school.

I also wanted to update everyone on the results of the CST scores. CST scores have been released and Bonsall schools continue to improve; English language arts was flat, but there was a one point gain in math, a two point gain in history, and best of all, a nine point gain in science!  Even though it will be another great change, we are looking forward to the shift to the CCSS and the SBA, where knowledge application will be expected rather than just memorized.

Considering the incredible traffic problems that occur in the first week of school, please remember to plan on an early arrival, while modeling collaboration, patience, and civility for our students.  We are their models, and they are watching closely how we, as adults, cope with frustration, so they can learn how to succeed.


Justin Cunningham Ed.D