Top 10 Highlights of 2019

from Carlsbad Unified School District

2019 was an extraordinary year!

We could not be more proud of our students, staff, and community. While it is impossible to include everything, here are 10 of the highlights from the past calendar year.


Thank you to everyone for making our district an extraordinary one - from teachers and certificated staff, to classified staff, to site and district leaders, to parent volunteers, to business partners, to community supporters - there are far too many of you to list, but please know that your commitment to our schools and students makes all of these accomplishments possible.


We can't wait to see what happens in 2020!

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Buena Vista Elementary received the California Department of Education’s 2019 California Green Ribbon School Award. Green Ribbon Schools are recognized for excellence in resource efficiency, health and wellness, and environmental and sustainability education.
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Aviara Oaks Elementary received the US Department of Education’s 2019 National Blue Ribbon School Award. National Blue Ribbon Schools are recognized for academic excellence and exemplary teaching and learning.
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Carlsbad Unified students excelled on traditional measures of academic success, with 76% of students meeting or exceeding rigorous standards in English Language Arts and 68% of students meeting or exceeding rigorous standards in Mathematics on the annual SBAC state assessments. Carlsbad Unified has shown year-over-year growth on these metrics for each of the past four years, and greatly exceed county and state averages.
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831 students graduated in the Class of 2019, of which 78% went directly to college.
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Eight students from Sage Creek High School were announced as National Merit Scholarship Semifinalists. The National Merit Scholarship Program honors individual students who show exceptional academic ability and potential for success.
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The Board of Trustees approved Phase 1 facilities projects at Hope Elementary, Kelly Elementary, Magnolia Elementary, and Carlsbad High School. After Moody’s retained our Aa1 credit rating and Standard & Poor’s upgraded our credit rating to AA, we sold our Series A bonds at more favorable rates than planned, reducing the interest payments by taxpayers.
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School safety upgrades and enhancements were implemented, including the deployment of a comprehensive districtwide visitor management system; installation of new security fencing at Buena Vista Elementary, Hope Elementary, Kelly Elementary, Magnolia Elementary, and Valley Middle; and the addition of a School Resource Office (SRO) to serve our middle schools. Through our partnership with the Carlsbad Police Department, there are now five full time SROs serving schools in Carlsbad.
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School-based recycling programs have significantly improved the percentage of waste that is sent to recycling centers instead of landfills. In partnership with the City of Carlsbad and I Love a Clean San Diego, elementary students received recycling education and school sites received all new recycling receptacles. Our district diversion rate increased to 53% in 2019, putting us on track to meet the statewide diversion goal of 75%.
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School and District staff received a variety of awards, including the 2019 Association for California School Administrators Region 18 Co-Administrator of the Year Award (Julie Redfield, Carlsbad High); the 2019 Special Education Administrator of the Year Award from the North Coastal Consortium for Special Education (Brent Nielson, District Office); the 2019 San Diego CUE Innovative Educator of the Year Award (Marisa Thompson, Carlsbad High); the 2019 North County GSA Advisor of the Year Award (Sarah Hunter, Sage Creek High); the 2019 CIF-SDS Girls Volleyball Coach of the Year Award (Amanda Savage, Sage Creek High); the 2019 CIF-SDS Cross Country Coach of the Year Award (Jacob Feiring, Sage Creek High); the 2019 College and Career Pathways Educator of the Year Award (Megan Arias, District Office); and the 2019 Innovative Superintendent Award from the Classroom of the Future Foundation (Ben Churchill).
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The Carlsbad High School Varsity Dance Team won the 2019 National Championship for Hip Hop, and the Sage Creek High School Girls Cross Country won the 2019 State Championship. The following teams won California Interscholastic Federation (CIF) San Diego Section Championships: Carlsbad High Girls Soccer, Carlsbad High Boys Basketball, Carlsbad High Girls Basketball, Carlsbad High Girls Volleyball, Sage Creek Girls Cross Country, Sage Creek Boys Tennis, and Sage Creek Boys Baseball.
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Carlsbad Unified School District

We provide every student an extraordinary education in an inspiring environment. #cusdlearns