Dr. Eric Prater, Superintendent
I hope this message finds you well as we all manage the October heatwave on the Central Coast. As we complete another week of learning and growth in our district, I wanted to take this opportunity to share a few highlights with all of you.
Golden Bell Award for Innovation
I am thrilled to announce that San Luis Coastal's innovative Summer Experience program has been selected by the California School Boards Association for its prestigious Golden Bell Award. This recognition is a testament to the commitment, dedication, and creativity of our educators, staff, and Board of Education to provide such an amazing summer program for our kids. Together, we are influencing the future of public education, and this award reflects the excellence and forward-thinking that defines our district.
"In Your Schools" Podcast
Don't miss the first episode of the SLCUSD "In Your Schools" Podcast, where we explore the stories and insights that make our district unique. It's a fantastic way to stay connected with our schools and the incredible work happening every day. Check it out! Our next episode, coming soon, will highlight the district’s award winning Food and Nutrition “Farm to Table” program, as told by our amazing Director Erin Primer.
Homecoming Football Game
This Friday evening, I invite you all to join us for a thrilling community-centered evening at Holt Stadium. Our San Luis Obispo High School Tigers will face off against our cross-district rivals, Morro Bay High School Pirates, in a Homecoming football game that promises to be memorable. Let's come together to support our students and revel in the spirit of friendly competition.
Words of Wisdom
In closing, I want to share an old Cherokee tale called "Two Wolves" that I believe holds profound wisdom for us all.
An old Cherokee is teaching his grandson about life:
"A fight is going on inside me," he said to the boy. "It's a terrible fight, and it is between two wolves. One is evil - he is anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego."
He continued, "The other is good - he is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith."
The same fight is going on inside you - and inside every other person, too. The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather, "Which wolf will win?"
The old Cherokee simply replied, "The one you feed."
As we navigate the complexities of life, remember that the choices we make, the thoughts we cultivate, and the actions we take have the power to shape our destinies. Let us always strive to feed the wolf of positivity, kindness, and empathy.
Thank you for your unwavering dedication and commitment to the San Luis Coastal Unified School District. Together, we are fostering a community of lifelong learners, kindness, and integrity.
Wishing you all a relaxing weekend,
Lisa Yamashita, Assistant Superintendent of Educational Services
Dual Language Immersion Program Framework
On October 3, The Board was presented with an overview of SLCUSD's Dual Language Immersion Program Framework. This document will serve as a roadmap for the district as we continue to expand into the upper grade levels at Baywood Elementary School, as well as guide the continued development of the middle and high school program options. Following the presentation, the Board approved the framework, which outlines plans through June 2028.
“Ellevation” Added to our English Learner Teacher Tool Boxes
Ellevation is a digital platform that supports analyzing and progress monitoring the academic progress of our Multilingual Learners. Staff who work with our English Learners use the platform to proactively measure students’ learning and determine next steps for instruction. If you have any questions about how your child is learning in school please reach out to their English learner teacher.
Upcoming Parent Education Night: Youth Substance Use Prevention Night
We invite you to join SLO Behavioral Health for an important night of learning on Tuesday, October 17 from 6:00-7:00 PM, at the San Luis Obispo Library (995 Palm Street). Come and learn from a panel of experts how to talk to your child about substance misuse, signs and symptoms of addiction, and the best way to support your loved ones. Presentations on cannabis and opioid/fentanyl awareness will complement the panel discussion. Light snacks and refreshments will be served. English information Spanish Information
Advanced Placement Results
Advanced Placement results from the 2022-23 school year for Morro Bay High School and San Luis Obispo High School have been released. This year, MBHS offers 14 AP courses for students to choose from, while SLOHS offers 19 AP courses. Both schools boast high AP Exam passage rates with MBHS at 73% and SLOHS at 89%. Please view the 2023 Advanced Placement Results Presentation for more information about the continued successes of the AP programs and students at our district’s comprehensive high schools.
Morro Bay High School received a letter from the College Board presenting the site with the AP Access Award, which honors schools who encourage more low-income and underrepresented minority students to take AP courses. This speaks to the incredible equity work that the administrative team and teachers at MBHS have been undertaking over the past few years. Furthermore, MBHS was also awarded with the College Board’s AP School Honor Roll for the 2022-23 school year. This designation recognizes schools that are welcoming more students into AP courses and are supporting them on the path to college success.
Elementary Athletics for Achievement
Athletics for Achievement kicked off with the first week of competitions! We had 10 boy soccer teams and 19 girls volleyball teams competing at four different school sites and over 100 athletes who competed in a one mile Cross Country meet, held at Laguna Middle School. The program also employs students from Morro Bay and San Luis Obispo High Schools to serve as referees. Additionally, Athletics for Achievement has 16 Cal Poly fellows and over 20 SLCUSD staff members serve as coaches - making this program a true community program. Please check out the schedule on the SLCUSD website to attend future competitions and support all of our student-athletes.
The Parent Participation Program welcomes and values our connection with Cal Poly. This week, twelve students in the Maternal and Child Nutrition course began earning their Service Learning credit hours by volunteering with our program. Their professor is a long-time parent and guest speaker with us, and believes in the value of getting her students out in the community to expand their classroom learning experiences. Her students will spend 10-12 hours helping to keep an eye on children, prep and monitor classroom activities, and get the chance to connect with new parents and children to give a practical context to what they are learning at Poly.
Alexis and Sonja (pictured here with teacher Mary Gibson) chose to lend a hand in our Preschool in the Garden class, where there is always work to be done!
We are grateful to be in partnership with our local amazing university--thank you Cal Poly!
YouthTruth surveys for students, families and staff are being administered between now and October 27. Each of these surveys provides our school sites, and the entire district, with an opportunity to collect anonymous feedback that allows us to reflect, inform future decisions, and drive improvement in our practices. SLCUSD students in grades 3-12 will participate in the YouthTruth Student Survey in the coming weeks. The YouthTruth Student Survey is a nationally recognized survey used in hundreds of schools and districts across the country, surveying hundreds of thousands of students. The survey asks students about their experiences in the school and with their teachers, including how engaged they are at school, the rigor of their coursework, and their preparedness for the future. For information about this survey, please visit http://youthtruthsurvey.org, or speak to a school administrator.
We’re a Learning Organization
Our teachers love to learn and bring learning to life in their classrooms every day. Some of our specialists have been learning about the importance of interim assessments, which have the potential to provide teachers and administrators with results they can use to support teaching and learning. Also, we’re learning to implement Restorative Practices and how to utilize them in academic content areas, such as alongside our new Teachers’ Curriculum Institute (TCI) social studies curriculum for grades K-5.
Ryan Pinkerton, Assistant Superintendent of Business Services
We have updated information about the progress for Measure C projects on the district website. The focus of the Phase 1 projects at the elementary schools is the Transitional Kindergarten/Kindergarten classrooms, due to the expansion of those programs. This includes modernization of current buildings, as well as the replacement of portable classrooms with new modular classrooms. We are also modernizing many of the larger restrooms on each campus.
At both middle schools, we are focused on the exterior of each school: new roofs, HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning), and the large restrooms on campus. We will be replacing the metal flashing around all of the roofs at Laguna and the wood shingles at Los Osos, which will give both campuses a needed face lift.
Pacific Beach Continuation High School is being completely rebuilt and will have a new campus.
Most, if not all, of these Phase 1 projects will begin in the summer of 2024. Two schools are behind in the planning, but will be addressed. Baywood Elementary School will begin the schematic design phase at the beginning of 2024. This is also a complete rebuild and we are defining our options based on the budget outcome of our other projects.
The other site that will have to wait for Phase 1 is Teach Elementary School. We will begin planning for that site next year, when SLOCA (San Luis Classical Academy), who shares the site currently, will vacate the property.
We have begun the final security fencing projects at several of our sites, including: Los Ranchos, Sinsheimer, C.L. Smith, Teach, Laguna and Los Osos Middle School.