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 Getting to Know SDCOE: Mail Team Delivers

The San Diego County Office of Education's (SDCOE) four-person operation distribution team gives you thousands of reasons why on-the-ground delivery of letters, parcels, boxes, and more is still vital.

"I'd say we deliver a couple of thousand pieces of mail and hundreds of pounds of boxes in a day," truck mail driver Greg Bruno said. That requires about six hours on the road and up to 200 miles daily — each — for Bruno and fellow driver Ted Archuleta.

Their routes form a loop, with upward of 19 stops on a given day, including far-flung stops such as Julian and Borrego Springs.

Distribution workers Tom Dulaney and Jesus Ramirez deliver about 500 pieces a day at SDCOE's main campus.

Before moving to his current position from Migrant Education five years ago, Ramirez said he didn't realize the enormity of distribution services, which also finds Dulaney and Ramirez recycling electronics, helping with room setups, and completing other jobs around SDCOE.

But their No. 1 task is ensuring that materials get from Point A to Point B, and that means sorting, managing delivery routes and schedules, and processing U.S. Postal Service mail. FedEx, UPS, and OnTrac deliver to the main campus, but the Postal Service does not. Ramirez picks up and drops off bins of stamped U.S. mail at the nearby Comstock Street post office.

The SDCOE mail room is equipped with a U.S. Postal Service processing machine, and Ramirez handles on average 100 pieces of U.S. mail daily. But sometimes a big mailing requires processing more than 1,000 pieces, and monthly payroll is always a big day. Ramirez said the one-day record for U.S. mail processing was 20,000 pieces.

What makes up all of these materials in need of transport? Payroll, commercial warrants, electronics, reports for inter-district transfers, office supplies, and more. SDCOE's myriad services to the county's 42 school districts, charter schools, and community colleges include mail and media delivery. And every Friday morning, Bruno heads out on his route with a pallet of food from Feeding San Diego designated for Julian Union School District.

The service saves money all around, and provides an efficient delivery of mail, media materials, and student and financial information to districts from Borrego Springs to Imperial Beach. Think about it: If a small, rural district had to ship a heavy box to another district through the U.S. Postal Service, the cost would take a chunk out of what's already a small budget.

Timeliness is crucial for this team. All mail received on a given day is processed the same day in an effort to make deliveries the next day. SDCOE drivers stop at district offices a minimum of twice a week. Archuleta and Bruno sort mail and packages along the way, in some cases resulting in same-day delivery.