Bonsall, Fallbrook school districts agree on plan – Bonsall 9th graders remain in BUSD for 2014-2015

Fallbrook Union High School District (FUHSD) agreed to a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the Bonsall Union School District (BUSD) at a Jan. 13 board meeting relating to students who will remain under BUSD when entering ninth grade.

According to the memorandum, the reorganization of Bonsall Union will be effective July 1. At that time, Bonsall Union will be known as Bonsall Unified. Pursuant to the reorganization of Bonsall Union, the districts have negotiated on FUHSD’s property, assets and liabilities to Bonsall Union. Most importantly, the districts agreed upon a division of responsibility for serving students between FUHSD and BUSD, while Bonsall builds out its high school grades.

The districts came to the agreement that students living in Bonsall who are currently attending FUHSD schools would benefit from finishing their education within the Fallbrook district. In addition, the districts both identified that it would be difficult for BUSD to begin serving all high school-aged students within their boundaries.

According to the MOU, BUSD students in ninth grade will attend Bonsall High School for grade nine in the 2014-2015 academic year and continue in the high school until they graduate or cease being eligible for enrollment, unless the student is granted admission elsewhere. Students entering 10th grade will attend FUSHD schools until they graduate or are granted admission elsewhere.

If students entering ninth grade at the Bonsall high school elect not to attend school in the district, they must undergo the interdistrict transfer process put into place by Bonsall.

However, Justin Cunningham, Bonsall’s superintendent, does not feel that interdistrict transfers will be a concern.

“It’ll be easier to get an interdistrict transfer than it will be to get in,” he said. “We can easily transfer students who are a part of the Bonsall district out, but students will have to really work with the district to be transferred in.”

Approximately 110 ninth grade students will be accepted in the Bonsall school district in the 2014-2015 academic school year, said Cunningham.

“We had 65 students entering the district according to a survey we had taken earlier in the year,” said Cunningham. “We need to have some buffer in case students transfer out of the district, then hear that the school is great, and then want to transfer back in.”

Cunningham also anticipates more students showing interest in the school once the district begins marketing to parents regarding the modification.

“Next week, eighth grade students will receive brochures all about the school set up, and we will have information available on our website,” said Cunningham. “We have already offered a position to an English teacher, and are planning on integrating subject matter with core material. We are using project-based learning formatting, which has been successful in implementing Common Core Standards.”

Fallbrook Union High School District will also take strides to provide the best that it can to its students.

“In the Fallbrook school district, we will continue to do the best we can for the students’ careers,” said FUHSD superintendent Dale Mitchell.

In Bonsall, student grade levels will be added consecutively every school year until the 2017-2018 school year, when it will assume responsibility for all Bonsall high school students except for adult transition students already attending FUSHD schools.

FUHSD is set to receive a normal enrollment, according to projections performed by the district, said Mitchell.

“We anticipate a decline of 110 students,” he explained. “We will continue offering transportation and busing for Fallbrook students, just as we provided this year.”

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