SCUSD expects change as a result of the 2018 midterm elections

Last Tuesday, the November midterm elections came to a close, sealing the fate of a number of high-stakes measures and positions that will impact Santa Clara High School and the surrounding community.

SCUSD board member Jodi Muirhead was reelected, and Measure W was passed, which issues $698 million in bonds to the West Valley-Mission Community College District for facility renovations. The position of Superintendent of Public Instruction is currently split between candidates Marshall Tuck and Tony Thurmond with Tuck leading 50.6% to 49.4% as of November 8, according to an EdSource article.

Regardless of whether Tuck or Thurmond wins, Principal Gregory Shelby said whoever assumes the role of Superintendent of Public Instruction will influence not just SCHS but schools throughout the state.

SCUSD Measure BB was passed, which will raise $720 million in bonds for the construction and renovations of facilities across the Santa Clara Unified School District. The measure was necessary to fund the future high school on the Agnews property on Zanker Road in San Jose. With those funds, Shelby pointed out, SCHS can expect a decrease in student congestion.

According to Shelby, SCHS’s current student population is just under 2,000. With the future high school, this number is expected to drop to the 1,700 to 1,800 range, which is the optimal student population for the current facilities.

“By this passing, we now have relief on that to get us back to where the size of the student population of the school was designed for, which will hopefully allow us to eventually remove some portables,” Shelby said.

In addition to fewer students, SCHS can also expect changes to its facilities. The football stadium—particularly the visitor’s side—and the backfield are likely to be renovated. Shade structures for students and improvements in security are in the works. Moreover, a new building will potentially be constructed where the P wing currently stands. Shelby emphasized that many of these changes, however, will take months if not years to achieve.

Shelby also highlighted how Measure BB passing should prevent long-distance commuting issues, a problem that has been prevalent in the district.

“This will also be a huge benefit for all of our students who live north of 101 who have to travel half an hour or more to get to school,” Shelby said. “The students will have a school in their own neighborhood that will be a lot more convenient for them and their families.”