Malibu’s school district is reassembling its school sites as it looks towards its future.
A school site shakeup dubbed the Malibu Schools Alignment Project was approved by the SMMUSD school board at a Nov. 1 meeting. The project will have the Malibu school district consolidate Juan Cabrillo and Point Dume Elementary Schools into one campus.
Additionally, the project will separate Malibu Middle School from Malibu High School, placing the middle school on the soon to be vacant Juan Cabrillo campus. This will give MMS more operating autonomy as well as free up space for the reimagined MHS.
In the alignment, middle school students (Grades 6-8) from MMS would be moved into Juan Cabrillo while elementary students (Grades K-5) from Juan Cabrillo would be moved to Point Dume.
District staff believes combining Juan Cabrillo and Point Dume into one campus and separating MMS would be beneficial for many reasons, such as better serving schools for inquiry and project-based learning. increasing engagement among teachers and students and reducing the expenditures of running two small schools (the elementary schools operate with around 200 students).
The alignment would work in two phases, one temporary and one permanent.
The temporary phase would install ten portable rooms (7 Classrooms [24′ x 40′], 1 Kindergarten [36’ x 40’], 1 Administration [36′ x 40′], and 1 Restroom [12′ x 40′]) to the existing Point Dume Elementary School grounds for operations with a Spring/Summer of 2019 target date for portables installation.
The permanent phase would replace the portables with two permanent buildings (depending on funding), a two-story Classroom Building and a single-story Administration Building.
Attendance boundaries for schools in Malibu would change due to the consolidation: Point Dume’s boundaries would need to be expanded to include all of Juan Cabrillo’s existing attendance boundaries. Additionally, Juan Cabrillo’s boundaries would be changed to the entirety of Malibu for middle school students.
The timeline of the permanent phase of the project will become more clear once additional local discussions take place.
Staff said in addition to state and local agencies, conversations will be held with parents, teachers and students to see what works on the campus and what decisions they’d prefer.
“There’s time to work with the community to build the structure we all want in Point Dume,” Superintendent Dr. Ben Drati said.
The consolidation will cause some disruption, staff relented.
Staff listed protection to bird nests, construction noise, trees, and cultural/tribal resources in their mitigation efforts, with traffic being the biggest question mark thus far.
Staff said vehicle queue increase is possible, saying they will plan to study the queueing and potentially work with the City to reduce queue times if they go up. Reconfiguring pick up and drop off locations, widening driveways and adding more school buses were all presented solutions to be considered.
The board unanimously passed the alignment project.