November 2009 home page


Del Mar Hills SOS
Beth Westburg | Oribia Road

Photo Piper Underwood

The impact of the Del Mar Union School District’s discussions to close Del Mar Hills Academy of Arts and Sciences (“Hills”) reaches beyond those families who would be forced to leave their neighborhood school and relocate to schools east of I-5. It is well known that having a neighborhood school is a big draw for parents looking to buy a home. Closing the Hills and filling the Heights beyond capacity may force new families to send their children to schools well outside their intended neighborhood. Instead, many may choose to purchase homes in neighborhoods east of I-5, thus further suppressing home values west of I-5, which impacts all the residents of Del Mar.

The Hills is targeted as the “school to close” because it is the smallest school in the District with 350 students and because the District is looking for another facility to house its offices. The rationale behind closing a vibrant, nationally acclaimed Blue Ribbon school such as the Hills is a mystery to many residents in Del Mar. The Hills students, teachers, parents and Del Mar residents should not be punished because the District needs a new facility to house its office. When the District sold the Shores property, the community was informed that a new District office would be built with the proceeds. Now, the District wants to close a perfectly good school and use the proceeds to remodel the Hills for their District office. Del Mar residents are already paying for the Shores property. Why are we penalized twice?

The District should investigate and implement other budget cuts first before deciding to close a facility and deny Del Mar residents a neighborhood school. The negative community impact of displacing students, prolonging a reduction in home values, and ruining community spirit is a steep price to pay for a District office that could be relocated easily in many of the unused classrooms in schools east of I-5.

Save Our Del Mar Schools (SOS) Committee was formed when a group of concerned parents learned that the District was seriously considering closing Del Mar Hills Academy of Arts and Sciences to resolve their facilities challenges. The SOS Committee believes that there is a better financial solution. For more information on the SOS Committee, please visit our website at www.saveourdelmarschools.org or email us at saveourdelmarschools@yahoo.com


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