Carlsbad Unified doing more with less

Carlsbad Unified doing more with less
Sage Creek High School was named one of the best high schools by U.S. World News & Report. File photo

CARLSBAD — Engineering and student success were just two themes during the annual Carlsbad Unified School District’s State of the District.

On Oct. 16, Superintendent Dr. Ben Churchill presented the audience at The Westin a number of success stories and accomplishments from the past year. He praised the likes of Pacific Rim Elementary School for being honored as a Blue Ribbon winner, and noting Sage Creek High School was named one of the best high schools by U.S. World News & Report.

Once again, Carlsbad High School and Valley Middle School were recognized as the best student broadcast programs in the country.

Even more encouraging, though, is the district’s 94 percent high school graduation rate, with 76 percent of those students attending University of California or California State schools, Churchill said. In total, 81 percent of graduates move on to college and 92 percent return for their second year.

“We do all this as the second-lowest-funded district in the county,” Churchill said. “We spend $2,500 less per student than any other district.”

Also, he noted the partnerships the district has with various entities for elementary students. Second-graders partner with Legoland for robotics, third-graders learn about city government with the city of Carlsbad, some fourth-graders tour Leo Carrillo Ranch Historic Park and fifth-graders participate in Biztown.

Churchill also touched on Measure HH, the $265 million school bond up before voters on Nov. 6. He said the district and its Long-Range Facilities Master Plan features upgrades in school safety and security and energy sustainability, as solar panels and battery storage are planned.

The energy savings estimates are at about $1.5 million per year, once fully installed and operational. The district, Churchill said, spends about $2 million per year on energy. With the savings, he said the money can be repurposed back into the classrooms.

He also highlighted Maclom Warfield, a Carlsbad police officer, who was recently appointed the district’s safety coordinator in a part-time capacity along with his duties for the Carlsbad Police Department.

Innovation, meanwhile, has also been a constant for the district through the years. The coursework in high school is challenging and encouraging students to be creative will only benefit them once they get to college and into a career.

“We want to make sure our educational environment looks like the world of work,” Churchill said. “We also have guaranteed admission to Cal State University San Marcos.”

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