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SDUSHD will create a new task force to look at open enrollment

REGION — The San Dieguito Union High School District board will create a task force to examine its open-enrollment policy to see if any changes need to be made to it or school boundaries.

That is great, parents have said, what about the 60 or so students that currently won’t be able to attend San Dieguito High School Academy, despite living within walking distance?

School District Superintendent Rick Schmitt said the district is exploring short-term solutions that could increase capacity at the Encinitas campus, thus paving the way for some of the students to attend the campus of their choice.

But he’s making no promises.

“I think the district has some intermediate ranged solutions in place, and there are some long-term solutions we feel will address the capacity issues,” Schmitt said Wednesday. “Now, we’re trying to look at some of those short-term issues.”

Schmitt said officials with the district’s facilities and educational services team met Friday on campus and came up with three options to examine:

• Adding additional classes during periods where a classroom might not currently be used.

• Use of common space or specialty classrooms that might not be used during certain periods of the day

•  Using portable units on the campus

Schmitt said portable units weren’t being discussed before at the campus because the campus didn’t have the long-term capacity to house additional students above the current 1,600 enrollment levels.

With construction of two new buildings imminent at San Dieguito, the district has the long-term solution in place to house the increased number of students by the time they are juniors or seniors, Schmitt said.

“We’re now close enough to knowing the buildings are on way, so by the time this group rises, the buildings will be ready for them to move into,” he said.

Schmitt said the district would send out a community-wide update by the end of next week.

In recent weeks, parents have protested the district’s lottery policy, which kept 65 neighborhood students out of San Dieguito High School Academy, instead sending them to La Costa Canyon.

Parents have contended the policy forces those families into a longer, traffic-filled commute and tear them away from lifelong peer groups.

Some have called on the district to consider changing both San Dieguito High School and Canyon Crest academies from open-enrollment schools to schools that would feed from neighborhood middle schools, the model currently used at Torrey Pines and La Costa Canyon.

The task force is going to explore the implications of changing boundaries, among other issues.