Cambrian School District Bond Issue, Measure I (June 2014)

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A Cambrian School District Bond Issue, Measure I ballot question was on the June 3, 2014 election ballot for voters in the Cambrian School District in Santa Clara County, California, where it was overwhelmingly approved.

Measure I authorized the district to increase its debt by $39 million through issuing general obligation bonds in that amount.[1]

A 55 percent supermajority vote was required for approval of Measure I.

Election results

Measure I
ResultVotesPercentage
Approveda Yes 3,840 72.47%
No1,45927.53%
Election results from Santa Clara County Elections Office

Text of measure

Ballot question

The question on the ballot:[1]

To reduce classroom overcrowding by providing additional classrooms, support high quality education, enhance school safety and security, update fire and earthquake safety systems, provide access to 21st century learning technology, maximize energy efficiency, repair or replace leaky windows, replace outdated heating/cooling equipment, and build/equip classrooms, facilities, and sites, shall Cambrian School District issue $39 million in bonds at legal rates with citizen oversight, annual audits, no funds for administrators’ salaries and all funds staying local?[2]

District 2014 Master Plan Information

The following information about the Cambrian School District was taken from the Cambrian School District Facilities Master Plan 2014:[3]

DISTRICT OVERVIEW

Centrally located in Silicon Valley, the Cambrian School District is ideally situated to train the next generation of innovative and collaborative thinkers, equipping them with the skills to excel in a global and dynamic 21st century environment. There are approximately 3,400 residents and charter students currently enrolled in grades Transitional Kindergarten through eighth at the District’s five operating school sites: four elementary schools serving Transitional Kindergarten through fifth grades, and a middle school which serves grades sixth through eighth. All five of Cambrian’s schools are high performing with Academic Performance Index (API) scores well above 800, with science scores among the top in the state. All have also been recognized as California Distinguished Schools. This award is conferred upon the top 4% of schools by the state Department of Education for providing top-quality educational experiences which promote learning for all students.

DISTRICT GOALS

In 2011, the Cambrian District Board approved a visionary strategic plan with the following stated mission: “Cambrian School District, a caring and collaborative community, develops creative and critical thinkers who communicate effectively, value diversity and are ready to excel in a global society.” The goals set forth in this five-point plan were to provide flexible 21st century learning environments which would engage and develop the whole child, optimize student achievement, and utilize existing and future resources for maximum effect. These objectives dovetail with the District goals for the current Cambrian Facilities Master Plan: • Create optimized learning environments which can easily accommodate future educational plans.

• Provide educational technology that will facilitate more interactive 21st century learning modalities.

• Reduce class and campus sizes to deter current and future overcrowding. Class Size Reduction (CSR) will be instrumental in providing the necessary flexibility for configuring 21st century classrooms.

• Ensure schools are safe, secure environments where children can concentrate on learning.

• Move toward a more energy efficient and sustainable model for existing campuses.


WAYS TO ACCOMMODATE GROWTH

All five schools are currently operating at full capacity and are utilizing all their available teaching stations. As a result, the schools have little to no capacity for flexibility and are unable to absorb excess enrollment without overextending their existing classrooms. Future enrollment projections for the Cambrian School District show steady growth in the K-8 student population, even with a projected decline in the number of charter students accepted. This means that District schools, which are already edging toward their ideal enrollment caps, will be facing overcrowding in their classrooms if nothing is done to alleviate the situation. In order to accommodate the projected increase in enrollment, new classrooms could be constructed at each of the existing school sites. This is the least costly option, but has some signifi cant drawbacks. As mentioned above, the District’s five schools are already operating at full capacity with the current student population, staff, and shared facilities. Adding more classrooms to a school means adding more students, which stretches a school’s administrative capacity and shared resources too thin. Another concern is that measurably increasing the school population creates a different environment. Site committee members were adamant that they did not want their respective institutions to grow too big, in order to preserve the “family” feel of their schools which many considered as their greatest asset. An exciting possible solution for accommodating projected growth is for the District to open up one of their currently leased sites as a sixth campus to serve grades Kindergarten through eighth. Among other possible sites studied, the Cambrian School Board looked at the option of renovating and reopening the existing leased Steindorf Elementary School site as a K-8 school with an emphasis on Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics (STEAM). A STEAM integrated curriculum utilizes flexible learning environments and hands-on, project-based learning to encourage students to be flexible, critical, and creative thinkers and designers. This multi-disciplinary approach guides students to apply what they learn to real-world problem solving and innovative solutions. If found to be operationally and financially feasible, a new K-8 STEAM school could both alleviate overcrowding at existing Cambrian campuses as well as help reduce class size. Furthermore, it provides the community with the choice of an alternative K-8 educational program or the current K-5 elementary and 6-8 middle school model. Both options emphasize the District’s dynamic Strategic Plan with a focus on 21st century skills to nurture innovation and prepare students for a future in Silicon Valley.[2]

See also

External links

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References