Dr. Eric Prater, Superintendent
I hope this newsletter finds you in good health and high spirits. As we celebrate the rich tapestry of our diverse school community, I would like to take a moment to acknowledge and honor National Hispanic American Heritage Month.
From September 15th to October 15th, we have the privilege of recognizing and appreciating the significant achievements of Hispanic Americans in our district, our schools, and our nation. Their invaluable contributions in various fields, such as art, science, literature, politics, and more, have greatly influenced our society's fabric.
During this month, let us take the opportunity to learn more about the cultures, histories, traditions, and achievements of Hispanic Americans. By fostering a deeper understanding and appreciation of their contributions, we create an inclusive environment that celebrates diversity and promotes cultural competency.
As families and staff, you play a vital role in supporting and inspiring our students to embrace the diverse perspectives and experiences that Hispanic Americans bring to our classrooms. I encourage you to engage in conversations with your children and students about the importance of respect, empathy, and appreciation for all cultures. Last spring, I shared a video with you created by San Luis Obispo High School Student Senators who wanted to spotlight the Latino/Hispanic culture.
Some notable examples of influential Hispanic Americans are: Rita Moreno, Cesar Chavez, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Roberto Clemente, Julia Alvarez, Jennifer Lopez, Silvia Rivera, Ellen Ochoa, Sonia Sotomayor, Lin-Manuel Miranda, to name only a few. My personal challenge to you is to explore some of these incredible Americans and learn more about them.
Together, let's strive to create an educational community where every student feels seen, heard, and valued for who they are. By celebrating National Hispanic American Heritage Month, we reinforce our commitment to building a more inclusive and welcoming environment for all.
A recent KSBY story featured our very own Baywood Elementary Dual Language Immersion program. We have embraced the importance of cultural competency and, in particular, honoring bilingualism as a gift in the 21st century.
Thank you for your continued support in fostering an environment that embraces diversity and promotes cultural understanding. Your engagement and dedication are instrumental in ensuring the success of our students and our school community.
El más cálido saludo,
Lisa Yamashita, Assistant Superintendent of Educational Services
Athletics for Achievement
We are excited to announce that our Athletics for Achievement program has officially launched! Our first fall practice was held on Tuesday, September 19th and we have over 350 fifth and sixth graders that have committed to our fall season participating in an array of sports including co-ed cross country, girls volleyball, and boys soccer. We are fortunate to have five Athletic Liaisons and 25 Head Coaches supporting this season, as well as our volunteers including 30 Cal Poly College Corps Fellows and 20 high school students acting as referees and supporting coaches.
The program’s first Fall Competition will be held next Friday, September 29th with warm-ups starting at 3:30 p.m. and games held from 3:45 to 5 p.m. Game day sites will vary and can be found on your school’s website. The overall goal of the Athletics for Achievement program is to connect students to their school and the SLCUSD community focusing on developing leadership skills through teamwork and collaboration. This program could not have been made possible without the support of our principals, teachers, and parents - thank you all!
Morro Bay High School Presents!
Morro Bay High School’s drama program is excited to announce their fall production of Alice in Wonderland. For more information and to purchase tickets, click here.
In addition, they’re hosting a Mad Tea Party on Saturday, October 14 and Saturday, October 21 for young patrons with treats, photo opportunities, and time with the characters. For tickets, click here.
Summer Experience 2023 Celebrations
Our SLCUSD Summer Experience 2023 program was a hit again this year! Here are some quick facts about our program:
- 1924 students (1st-12th graders) enrolled which is 26% of our district
- 20 different academic and enrichment classes were offered our 1st-8th grade students
- 580 courses were completed for credit by our high schoolers
- 5 different school sites hosted our FREE 6 week (30 day) program (1st-8th grade)
- 232 staff members were hired to make a difference with kids
- 330 students were provided before and after school child care for FREE
- 550 students rode the bus to and from school
- 57,000 + school meals were served for FREE
Along with these statistics, there were countless smiles and moments of inspiration experienced by our students and staff. If you’d like to learn more, please click on the link HERE to access the presentation shared at our most recent school board meeting.
Consider becoming a part of our Summer Experience 2024 team. You can make a positive difference for kids, find inspiration in t
Student Behavioral Health Incentive Program (SBHIP)
San Luis Coastal applied for and received the SBHIP state grant. This funding will expand mental health services to our 9th through 12th grade students. This funding supported the hiring of a full time SEL Counselor at both Morro Bay High School and San Luis Obispo High School whose focus will be on supporting the social-emotional needs of our students. They will guide the development of Wellness Centers in each of our comprehensive high schools, the implementation of a universal SEL screener, and work collaboratively with community resources that support youth mental health.
In addition, the grant will fund mental health training for all staff, and includes the development of a sustainability plan for continued mental health funding support across all of our schools. SBHIP is a component of the Children and Youth Behavioral Health Initiative, which is a five-year, $4.7 billion state initiative aimed at meeting kids where they are at, literally - school - in order to provide greater access to mental health support.
The city memorial observing the events of 9/11 took place on Monday with contributions from the city, members of our community, and our own SLCUSD students and staff. Fire Chief Todd Tuggle, Police Chief Rick Scott and Dr. Eric Prater contributed to the ceremony with words of recognition. Fifth grade students from the city elementary schools collaborated to complete a commemorative 9/11 art project that was displayed during the event. 8th grade Laguna Middle School student, Kailey Reynolds, read her winning poem, and Senior Boys State Winner, Camilo Baltodano, read a commemorative speech. To conclude the event, a combination of Laguna and SLO High School choir members performed “America the Beautiful.” The event was well attended by members of the community honoring our first responders and the memory of 9/11.
Suicide Prevention Week Activities and Start with Hello Week
September 11-15th was Suicide Prevention Week nationwide and our two comprehensive high schools marked the week with several activities for students to elect to participate in. SLO High School had morning grounding activities each day where students chose a coping strategy or relationship that keeps them grounded and connected. Morro Bay High had daily tabling activities such as identifying grounding words to put on rocks, along with handing out words of affirmation bracelets to the student body. Both schools offered resource information from various community agencies. In addition both schools are offering mental wellness workshops each day this week hosted by our County Behavioral Health clinicians on topics such as Mindfulness, Strategies for Reducing Stress and Healthy Relationships.
This week, September 18-22nd is Start with Hello Week, a program through the Sandy Hook Promise organization, that promotes empathy through empowering students to end social isolation. Elementary schools throughout the district participated in “Say Hey!” days where students wore name tags and practiced saying hello to one another using their names, to “Sit with Someone New” lunches where students were encouraged to make a new friend, or connect with someone they don’t know. The Start with Hello program promotes three simple steps to end social isolation, “Look for Someone Alone” “Reach Out and Help” “Start with Hello!”.
Ryan Pinkerton, Assistant Superintendent of Business Services
We are nearing completion of our Measure D Bond Construction. At MBHS, the last two projects include the parking lot in front of the pool (October completion) and the C Building (which includes the ASB room, library, and classrooms (December completion).
At SLOHS, the new main 100 Building is now complete and the site is moving into the new library and career center. The last project is to finish the central quad area landscaping and new ADA pathways, along with repaving the road around the back of campus.
We will have a Measure D completion celebration at both sites in the coming months and provide the public an opportunity to see our two new incredible comprehensive high schools that they paid to modernize.
Architectural planning is well underway at our elementary schools, middle schools, and continuation high school. Phase 1 projects at the elementary sites focus on TK/Kindergarten classrooms, along with roofs, HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning), new campuswide fire alarms, and restroom modernization.
At the middle schools, we are starting with exteriors, roofs, and HVAC, as well as main restrooms throughout the campuses. Lastly, Pacific Beach High School will be a completely new campus. We are putting together updates for our Measure C webpage with the schematic designs and Phase 1 plans.