Welcome Back!

SMUSD Families: Welcome Back to the 2022-23 School Year!
Posted on 08/15/2022


SMUSD families, 

We are so excited to see you all next Tuesday, August 16, 2022 for our first day of school! 

You're invited to watch a brief video update from Superintendent Johnsen, sharing some exciting work happening here at San Marcos Unified: 

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For Dr. Johnsen's video message in Spanish, please click here.

8.1.22 Update:

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Welcome to the 2022-23 School Year!

As we look forward to the start of the 2022-23 school year on August 16, 2022 we are excited to engage our students in rich instructional experiences in a supportive and welcoming environment. Our goal of keeping our schools open, keeping our students in class, and keeping our students and staff safe, remain top priorities as we launch the new school year. Below are a few updates as we plan for the beginning of the school year:



While COVID-19 is still present in our community, we are looking forward to a fantastic year. As many of you are aware, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) has moved San Diego County into the high-risk level. As we have done throughout the pandemic, SMUSD will continue to follow California Department of Public Health (CDPH) guidance. At this time, masking for students and staff remains strongly recommended, but not required, for indoor spaces in the San Marcos Unified School District. 

While schools are some of the safest places for students, keeping our schools safe during this time through proven mitigation strategies is essential, which include:

*Maintaining clean hands  *Optimizing indoor air quality *Clean facilities *Getting tested for COVID-19 *Vaccinations and boosters

COVID-19 Testing

Free COVID testing remains available at the District Office for students, staff and their families. Testing is currently available Monday-Friday from 8:00am-4:30pm. Click here for details. 

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Vaccination Clinics

In partnership with the County of San Diego and Universidad Popular, we have several upcoming free vaccination clinics:

San Marcos Elementary

August 13th from 9am-3pm September 3rd from 9am-3pm September 24th from 9am-3pm October 15th from 9am-3pm

La Mirada Academy

August 20th from 9am-3pm September 10th from 9am-3pm October 1st from 9am-3pm October 22nd from 9am-3pm

For all of the details regarding these events, please click here.

Endemic Plan

On June 28, 2022 the Governing Board adopted a San Marcos Unified Endemic Plan. Although not required of school districts, we believed it was important to have a clear plan for the upcoming school year. The SMUSD Endemic Plan is in alignment with the state’s SMARTER plan, and outlines how SMUSD will continue to implement mitigation strategies to manage COVID-19 for the 2022-23 school year. To view the full plan, please click here.


While monkeypox is regularly making news, according to San Diego County Health and Human Services, the risk of monkeypox in our community is currently low. There is currently no guidance available for schools, however we will continue to monitor information from the health authorities and will provide updates as necessary.


School Safety


We are grateful that we enjoy a close working relationship with the Sheriff’s Office San Marcos Station and have their deputies assigned to our schools as School Resource Officers (SROs) to ensure the safety of our students and staff.

Safety walkthroughs

As you may recall, at the end of this last school year, I shared an update in collaboration with Captain Jones at the San Marcos Station. In follow up, since that communication to you our SROs, in coordination with San Diego Law Enforcement Coordination Center, have conducted safety assessments and walkthroughs of every campus in San Marcos Unified. This has allowed them to provide their expertise in the security of our campuses as we evaluate our systems and practices for ongoing improvements.


Additionally, this summer while students and staff were off campus, the San Marcos Station deputies also conducted two active shooter drills on the campus of Mission Hills High School. SMUSD students and staff were not part of these drills, but we were pleased to offer our facilities for these important law enforcement exercises. To see more about the drills and how our teams are prepared, please click this video produced by the Sheriff’s Office Media Team, below:

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Portrait of a Graduate


I am thrilled to share with you that our vision for all of our students, our Portrait of a Graduate, is taking shape and coming to life here at SMUSD. This vision will allow us to lead the way in making 21st century learning a reality for every student in the district.

As the future of work, and the world around us, continues to change, our goal is to ensure San Marcos Unified students are challenged, inspired, and posed to excel, by acquiring the skills, competencies, and mindsets they need to pursue any path they choose after graduation. 

After multiple working sessions gaining input and insights from key stakeholders including students, parents, alumni, staff, elected officials, local business owners, and community members, this collective vision has been created. The Portrait of a Graduate was approved by the Governing Board in June, 2022 and the visual representation that embodies the skills and competencies of all students was unveiled at that time:

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We will next be working on the district Strategic Plan, which will outline key initiatives that will bring the Portrait of a Graduate alive in our classrooms over the next several years. Please stay tuned for more information and updates on this important work. 

School communication


As the first day of the year approaches, our schools will begin sending you specific information regarding important upcoming dates and items that need your attention, like Chromebook insurance, other notifications, forms, and more. Please keep watch for these as our Principals and staff look to foster positive and proactive communication with you.

Once again, I can’t say enough what a wonderful school community we have here at San Marcos Unified. We are excited about the year ahead and look forward to seeing you on August 16th!


Dr. Andy Johnsen