Update from the Superintendent

San Marcos Unified School District News


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Diamond Safety Training

At SMUSD we take the safety of our students and staff seriously, as I shared previously, we have refocused our efforts to hone in on our already strong safety protocols here at SMUSD to identify any areas of improvement.

A few of our safety protocols include a highly-collaborative partnership with our local law enforcement, Sheriff’s Office Deputies dedicated to our schools as School Resource Officers, comprehensive school safety plans, a culture of See Something, Say Something across our district, as well as mental health supports for our students. Additionally, facilities upgrades from the safety walkthroughs with law enforcement are currently in progress across our campuses.

Our District Safety Task Force has also been actively working on enhancing staff training. As a result, one important measure we have taken is to identify a team from every San Marcos school and the District Office to complete Diamond Safety Training, which is a program facilitated by the San Diego County Office of Education. Led by experts in the field, our entire district is undertaking this intense and realistic program to be ready for a variety of incidents, including an active shooter situation. I am proud to share that we are the first school district in San Diego County to have a team from every school and District Office engage in this rigorous training.

The safety of our students and staff is the top priority of myself, our Governing Board, our employee associations, and our district leadership. As we make improvements to our safety plans and protocols, I will continue to keep you informed.

COVID, Cold & Flu Season

In addition to keeping our schools safe, this also includes helping our students and staff stay healthy. We are aware that our region is experiencing increased cases of individuals with flu-like symptoms. Our local health officials have shared that they anticipate higher levels of influenza in our region this year.

While at SMUSD we believe that an in-person education is best for students, with cold, flu, COVID, and other respiratory illnesses, all present in our community, if your student is sick or exhibiting symptoms, please keep them home.

Our SMUSD COVID testing location will be open during Thanksgiving Break only on Nov. 21st-22nd from 12pm-4:30pm. For testing details, more information on flu or Covid vaccine locations or current guidance, you can visit our website for details.

Portrait of a Graduate

I am thrilled to share an update with you on our vision for the District, our Portrait of a Graduate. This vision encompasses our goal for all students—that upon graduation they will be ready to pursue whatever future they choose.

I am also happy to share that our Governing Board just approved a Strategic Plan which will be the roadmap to achieve this vision to ensure every student is Future Ready.

You can find out more about our journey to create our Portrait of a Graduate vision here, and you can see our complete Strategic Plan here. I look forward to keeping you updated on how we are achieving this vision for our students across the district.

Happy Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving Recess will take place from November 21st-November 25th, with school resuming again on Monday, November 28th.

It is my sincere hope that you enjoy a Happy Thanksgiving that is full of rest, time with loved ones, and gratitude.


Dr. Andy Johnsen