This week’s upcoming board meeting will cover aspects of the future, near-future and present of the Santa Monica Malibu Unified School District.

Items on the March 21 SMMUSD school board meeting agenda include recommendations for approving a sustainability plan, determining a new name for a school in Malibu and mid-year district advisory committee updates.

The future of the environment will receive attention with the district’s Sustainability Plan.

The plan has been appearing on agendas since late 2017, described by staff as a road map for SMMUSD to unite and integrate new and existing sustainability measures into education and actions that will have a direct impact on the future of the environment.

Aspects of the plan include integrating sustainability practices such as climate protection, resource efficiency and waste management into day-to-day operations in schools throughout the district.

The plan is built on eight focus areas: education & engagement, energy efficiency, food nutrition, green buildings, water, waste, transportation and material procurement. Metrics will be implemented for the Sustainability Plan with goal deadlines in 2020, 2025 and 2030.

District staff will be recommending that the Board of Education adopt the SMMUSD Sustainability Plan.

“Now is an urgent time,” sustainability coordinator of SMMUSD Caroline Coster said. “We no longer can wait to fight climate change. SMMUSD is in a position where we can make change and have control over the change we can make here in Santa Monica. We have staff, educators, and students that can work towards this goal.”

In regards to the near future, Malibu will soon be naming an elementary school post-Malibu Schools Alignment.

As part of the alignment, Juan Cabrillo Elementary and Point Dume Marine Science School are to be consolidated into one school. This leaves the new site nameless and without a mascot or school colors.

Students, staff, parents and community members gave staff over 200 suggestions through a survey.

Green and blue were picked as the school colors with a narwhal being chosen as the school mascot for the newly (upon Board of Education approval) named Malibu Ocean Elementary.

As for the present, this SMMUSD meeting will receive an update on the district advisory committee (DAC) responsible for Early Learning with a mid-year report.

The DAC for Early Learning is responsible for determining how the district can provide preschool educational opportunities to all Santa Monica residents. Throughout the year this DAC studies challenges that impede the program as well as identifying resources that help families and students.

The DAC’s goal is to ensure education is accessible to all families in the district.

Staff will be updated on accomplishments to date, highlights to note, and budgetary implications.

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