News online for Encinitas, Calif.

North Coast Current

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News online for Encinitas, Calif.

North Coast Current

News online for Encinitas, Calif.

North Coast Current


CSU San Marcos announces Hilary storm closure; community colleges remain open for now

North County school districts monitoring weather, also staying open
Hurricane Hilary, which formed off the coast of Mexico (pictured in an Aug. 17 satellite image), is predicted to bring potentially heavy rains and high winds as a tropical storm to San Diego County and Southern California on Sunday through Monday. (NOAA National Hurricane Center photo)

California State University San Marcos has canceled in-person classes and activities for Monday, Aug. 21, to mitigate potential impacts from Hilary, a hurricane that is expected to hit the San Diego region as a tropical storm over the weekend into the start of the week.

CSUSM and North San Diego County’s two community college districts, MiraCosta based in Oceanside and Palomar based in San Marcos, were scheduled to start their semesters on Monday.

Forecasters expect the region to experience the heaviest rainfall and winds late Saturday into Monday. Hilary could produce 2 to 3 inches of rain in the coastal areas, and 2 to 4 inches across the inland valleys. The storm’s strength and rapid progress up the coast from southern Mexico led to California’s first-ever official tropical storm warning.

The community colleges and K-12 school districts are generally holding off cancellations for now as of Saturday afternoon.

“Out of an abundance of caution for roadway and other local conditions during and after the storm, CSUSM will be canceling, rescheduling and/or moving to virtual formats any in-person events currently scheduled for Sunday, Aug. 20 and Monday, Aug. 21,” CSUSM stated in a social media update.

San Diego State University, which is part of the California State University system along with San Marcos, is also canceling classes and activities on Monday, according to a notice circulated on Friday.

“For Monday, August 21, SDSU and SDSU Imperial Valley will transition to virtual instruction, and the university will also transition to full telework for those employees who are able to do so,” the announcement from SDSU leadership stated. “This temporary modification is planned for only for Monday at this time; the university plans to return to normal in-person instruction and on-campus work on Tuesday.”

According to a district email Friday, Palomar College will be assessing the storm’s progress as it weighs possible cancellations.

“We have every intention of being open for the first day of the fall semester on Monday, August 21, however we will certainly be monitoring the situation,” Palomar College’s public information officer, Julie Lanthier Bandy, said in the email. “If necessary, our emergency notification system will be activated to inform employees and students of any unsafe conditions at our locations. An additional all employee and all student email will be distributed and augment the emergency notification system.”

At MiraCosta, which has campuses in Oceanside and the Encinitas community of Cardiff, precautions were being taken to keep the campus open safely during the storm, according to a notice published Friday on the college’s website.

“Based on all current weather models available we anticipate maintaining normal campus operations, but the impact could change over the next day or two,” the notice stated. “At this time, all campus sites are to be open on Monday, August 21, to welcome everyone to the fall 2023 semester with classes proceeding as scheduled.”

North County K-12 districts, such as San Dieguito Union High School District, appeared to be taking a similar approach to the community colleges. District news updates as of Saturday afternoon either made no mention of the storm or had events and start dates unaffected by it.

“San Dieguito Union High School District will be monitoring the storm as it makes its way toward the region and will communicate with you through our regular channels if the storm has any impact on school facilities or operations,” San Dieguito Superintendent Anne Staffieri said in a note published Aug. 18 on the district’s website. “We care about our community and encourage you to sign up for Alert San Diego and visit the County of San Diego website to boost your personal preparedness for storms and flooding.”

Fallbrook Union Elementary School District Superintendent Monika Hazel shared a similar announcement.

“Our dedicated teams will be working tirelessly over the weekend and early Monday morning to ensure that our schools are well-prepared to face any potential impact from the storm,” Hazel wrote. “We will be closely monitoring the situation and will keep you informed through our regular communication channels if there are any changes to school facilities or operations.”

School districts such as Encinitas Union issued similar notices.