Simi Valley Unified School District
|Simi Unified School District|
|Type and location|
|Location||Simi Valley, CA|
|Students and staff|
|Teachers' unions||Simi Educators Association, California Teachers Association|
Simi Valley Unified School District (SVUSD) is the largest school district in Ventura County, California. It enrolls students from the city of Simi Valley, the census-designated place of Santa Susana, and other adjacent unincorporated areas. The district contains 20 elementary schools, 3 middle schools, 4 high schools, 1 adult school, and an alternative school.
Declining enrollment: School closures
Beginning in 1995, the district flirted with closing schools due to what was then early on-set declining enrollment. Simi Elementary School, in the 1990s, was already considered first for school closure due to high maintenance costs and its small size. Other schools considered at the time were Sycamore, Mountain View, and Justin Elementary schools - all due to declining enrollment. Ultimately, the district voted to not close any school due to backlash from the community, as they had previously closed four schools prior in the 1980s.
Since the 2003-2004 school year, the school district has experienced a decline in enrollment (along with the rest of the state of California). Enrollment peaked at nearly 22,000 in 2003 and was down to about 18,000 in 2013. After reviewing the enrollment figures, a committee consisting of administrators, teachers, parents and community members recommended closing three schools. After hearing public testimony, the committee came to the decision January 14, 2014 to not close any schools and disbanded.
On January 31, 2014, Simi Elementary School was notified of possible relocation of the school due to the overall condition and safety of the campus. Simi Elementary was built in 1926 as the first school in the city. Ventura County has named it a Historical Landmark.[note 1] The issues at hand regarding the facility and infrastructure are:
- Broken water mains
- Possible broken sewer line under a classroom which has caused the floor to sink
- Gas lines underground which are old and brittle causing periodic gas leaks
- Deteriorating roofs
- A septic tank which is in danger of collapsing
- Potential asbestos
- Potential rust in water lines
- Potential mold
- Potential lead
The Inspection was contracted through LI & Associates, Inc. who has been monitoring the infrastructure and safety of the school since November 12, 2012. In the latest report dated January 7, 2014, the company, regarding the administrative building, stated, "During process of our seismic retrofit design on this building, we learnt that this building does not have a valid DSA permit.[note 2] Therefore, this building cannot be used by student per California State regulations."
On February 4, 2014, the board voted 4-1 to relocate Simi Elementary to Mountain View Elementary that was one of three schools considered to close. Due to the cost of needed repairs to the Simi Elementary campus, SVUSD has no estimated date as to when or if Simi Elementary will reopen. February 18, 2014 will be Simi Elementary students first day on the Mountain View campus. The school will move as a whole and function as Simi Elementary until the end of the 2013-2014 school year.
Simi Elementary School Accountability Report Card
The latest published School Accountability Report Card (SARC) for Simi Elementary School can be accessed from SVUSD's website.
The SARC report gave Simi Elementary its highest rating in all areas including the maintenance of buildings. The report also said there was no deferred maintenance funding for the 2012-2013 school year.'
Random Drug Testing
The board voted in 2014 to offer random drug testing of high school students whose parents or legal guardians voluntarily sign them up. In 2002, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of mandatory drug testing by public schools of students participating in extracurricular activities.
- Abraham Lincoln Elementary
- Arroyo Elementary
- Atherwood Elementary
- Berylwood Elementary
- Crestview Elementary
- Big Springs Elementary
- Garden Grove Elementary School
- Hollow Hills Fundamental School
- Justin Elementary School
- Katherine Elementary School
- Knolls Elementary School
- Madera Elementary School
- Mountain View Elementary School
- Parkview Center School
- Santa Susana Elementary
- Sycamore Elementary School
- Township Elementary School
- Vista Fundamental School
- White Oak Elementary School
- Wood Ranch Elementary
- Hillside Middle School
- Sinaloa Middle School
- Valley View Middle School
- Monte Vista School
- Simi Elementary School (1927 - 2014)
- Simi Elementary School & Bungalows was designed by architect Arthur G. Lindley and was designated County Landmark # 139 in August 1990. The school was built in 1926 by Lutz Construction Company as a part of Community Center and has been in continuous use. The bungalows were built from lumber from the original Simi School (1890).
- Application # 114530 for alterations to the administrative building was approved by the Division of the State Architect (DSA) on February 12, 2013.
- Moore, Jean Cowden "At Simi Valley meeting, speakers fight to keep schools open" Ventura County Star 10 December 2013
- LePAGE, ANDREW "Another Area Schools Chief to Quit Post : Education: Simi Valley's Robert W. Purvis joins four others who plan to leave." Los Angeles Times 26 January 1993
- Official Website of Simi Valley Unified School District
- Cultural Heritage Board. "Ventura County Landmark Map" County of Ventura Planning Division Accessed 5 February 2014
- LI & Associates, Inc. Structural and Consulting Engineers Official Website
- "Application # 114530 Summary" State of California, Department of General Services, Division of the State Architect. Accessed February 5, 2014
- Moore, Jean Cowden "Board decides to close Simi Elementary, at least for rest of school year" Ventura County Star 4 February 2014
- "Simi Elementary School Accountability Report Card" Simi Valley Unified School District 2012-13 school activity published in January 2014
- McGrath, Rachel (March 14, 2014) "Simi Valley plans to start school drug-testing in the fall" Ventura County Star
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