1500 Lizzie Street | San Luis Obispo, CA 93401

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Letter from Dr. Eric Prater

August 2018

We have been audacious in San Luis Coastal! Despite the announced closure of Diablo Canyon and the eventual loss of significant tax revenue, we continue to explore innovative ways to improve our schools and forge ahead without compromise. We remain committed to student success and determined to find ways to meet the diverse needs of all our students -- especially those who are most vulnerable. In the coming year, we will focus on ways to create more inclusive schools to ensure all students have a shot at success -- and to feel welcomed and engaged while at school.

We have taken difficult circumstances and turned them into positive opportunities. Last year’s creation of the Common Ground Advisory Task Force allowed us to incorporate the voices from a diverse group of religious leaders, employees, and community members who were willing to tackle difficult issues like first amendment rights, harassment, social media, and discrimination. The recommendations from this task force were rigorous, insightful, and in alignment with our  Board priorities for the coming year. The Superintendent’s Student Senate gave us the opportunity to better understand the voice of our students. Through the use of the Youth Truth survey instrument, middle and high school students were able to share their personal experiences in our district schools - especially as it relates to academic engagement, social interactions with peers and adults, drugs and alcohol, bullying, and harassment. The student senators were empowered to create recommendations based on these survey results from their particular school sites and share them directly with their teachers and administrators. These recommendations have become part of each school’s improvement plan beginning this year. We believe student voice matters!

The Board of Education visits two sites each month on what is known as a BoardWalk. This structure allows individual board members to engage with principals, staff, and students during the school day without district personnel present. The Board appreciates this opportunity to deepen their understanding of what occurs at the school site and classroom level throughout the year. The result is a highly informed school board.

Based on last year’s  Blue Ribbon Committee’s recommendations, we have created the San Luis Coastal Education Foundation. We are excited about the inaugural board and grateful for their commitment to raise resources and offer entrepreneurial wisdom on behalf of students in San Luis Coastal. In the coming months, a fully developed vision and mission will emerge and I look forward to sharing this with our community.

Senate Bill 1090 (co-authored by Senator Monning and Assemblyman Cunningham) has passed through the Senate and is waiting for final approval from the Assembly in the coming weeks. We expect this bill to land on the Governor’s desk in mid-August. Passage of SB1090 is significant for our school district. It will allow us to gradually transition over the next several years from the loss of tax revenue due from Diablo Canyon’s closure. We continue to push hard for this legislation and anxiously await its signing into law by the Governor. I will keep you posted.

We are proud of our school district. We have been designated a California District of Excellence and have state and nationally recognized elementary, middle and high schools. We will maintain our trajectory of excellence and look forward to another successful year in San Luis Coastal.

Sincerely,

Eric Prater, Ed.D.

Superintendent

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