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SUPERINTENDENT’S MESSAGE
Dr. Eric Prater, Superintendent

“I cannot lead you into battle, I do not give you laws or administer justice but I can do something else, I can give you my heart and my devotion…” - Queen Elizabeth II

Our world lost a remarkable person this week. Queen Elizabeth II represented the United Kingdom’s monarchy for over seven decades. In the words of President Joe Biden, “In a world of constant change, she was a steadying presence and a source of comfort and pride for generations of Britons, including many who have never known their country without her. Queen Elizabeth II led always with grace, an unwavering commitment to duty, and the incomparable power of her example. She was a stateswoman of unmatched dignity and constancy who deepened the bedrock alliance between the United Kingdom and the United States.”

9/11 Day of Remembrance
Twenty-one years ago this month, tragedy struck America when terrorists hijacked commercial airliners and flew them into the World Trade Center buildings and the Pentagon. Another flight planned to attack the White House but failed due to the courage of those on board. This was a defining moment in our history and has shaped how we view foreign policy and act within the world to this day. Please join me at Fire Station #1 in San Luis Obispo this Sunday, September 11 at 8:00 a.m. to pay tribute to the 2,977 Americans who lost their lives and the 25,000 citizens who were injured on that fateful day. More information can be found here.

Measure D Project Tours: San Luis Obispo High School and Morro Bay High School
Please join us on Saturday, September 17 for student-led public tours of San Luis Obispo High School and Morro Bay High School to see the progress made on our newest facilities. A new tour will start every twenty minutes. 

San Luis Obispo High School: 10:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.

Morro Bay  High School: 2:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.

We are proud to have kept our promises to the community with Measure D! All of the projects are either completed or will be completed over the next two years – within budget. This is especially impressive given the cost of materials, supply chain issues, and limited work force over the past three years. Check out our website to see the before and after pictures. 

Heat Wave Mitigation Efforts
As we work our way through the latest heat wave that reflects our warming planet, please know that we are working hard to mitigate the impact on staff and students by purchasing fans, temporary shade structures, and providing lots of water. While these short term efforts might help, the long term vision is to install air conditioning at all of our elementary and secondary schools along with permanent shade structures that act as sanctuary from the sun as well as outdoor learning spaces too. We have placed a bond measure on the November 8, 2022 ballot to secure the necessary funding to accomplish these objectives.

In Conclusion…
I also want to acknowledge the extraordinary efforts of our teachers, support staff, and administrators to provide such a fantastic opening to the school year. I am impressed with the level of preparation, professionalism, and care taken to give our very best to the students. I’m proud to see us come out of a global pandemic with such focus, enthusiasm, and pride. Our community deserves nothing less from us.

To the amazing parents in our community, thank you. I’ve had the great pleasure to speak with many of you over the past several weeks and sincerely appreciate your support and endearing spirit that makes our schools truly wonderful places for kids. You’re an inspiration to us.

Eric


BUSINESS SERVICES
Ryan Pinkerton, Assistant Superintendent of Business Services

Measure D Update
Morro Bay High School
There are two main projects left at Morro Bay High School. The A Building is scheduled to open in January 2023 and will feature a new theater, drama classroom, kitchen, multipurpose room, and updated choir room. Building C is also currently under construction and we hope it will be completed by Fall 2023. This is a modernization of classrooms and restrooms and will look very similar to the other main classroom building on campus. It will also hold the new library space. We tried to ensure parity during Measure D construction for both MBHS and SLOHS. If anything, we have completed projects at MBHS prior to SLOHS (i.e.: J wing and wrestling room, pool, track). Fortunately, both sites are nearing completion. MBHS also has a scoreboard on order to match the one at SLOHS and should be put in this fall.

San Luis Obispo High School
At San Luis Obispo High School, we completed the agriculture building and classrooms. There is some equipment on order, but the CTE 300 Wing looks great. New outside work areas along with a large open work space will truly benefit the program. The last project at SLOHS is the 100 Building and quad area. The middle section of the 100 Building is scheduled to open in January 2023. This portion of the building will house the digital media labs and classrooms on the top floor and a kitchen and multipurpose room on the bottom. The northern section will be completed near Fall 2023 and will house the library and classrooms. The quad project has begun and they started at the 500 Wing stairs. They will then work their way over to the main area of the quad. When the 100 Building is complete, the portables will be removed from the campus.

I recently heard of some mythology in the community about the SLOHS track. The district is not in a major lawsuit over the final construction and we don’t have to tear the entire track out. Unfortunately, the plans had a portion of the drain in the wrong location to paint the lines correctly. Instead of painting them in a way that people would complain about for the next 50 years, we asked that the drain be moved, to where it should have been in the first place. The new drain is in and the work is being completed. The good news is that none of this is affecting the fall sports season and games are currently underway. I’m not sure how these rumors start, but hopefully this information helps clarify the truth.

Both schools look fantastic and our students and staff are the benefactors of the community’s support! We are going to hold the first of several tours on September 17, 2022. SLOHS tours will be from 10am to noon and MBHS tours will be from 2pm to 4pm. If you would like to walk the campus and get a sneak peek at some of the remaining projects, stop by the front office of the school site during those times.

TK-K Planning
Transitional kindergarten is a new mandatory grade level for school districts. SLCUSD has prioritized preschools several years ago and had some TK classes, but now the program is mandatory and will grow to all 4-year-olds in the next two years. TK and K classrooms need to be bigger than a normal room and should have their own restrooms. This year we have a TK class at every elementary school (except Teach) and will have two at each school over the next two years. Unfortunately, we do not have the necessary spaces currently to hold these classes. 

We surveyed each site and worked with the principal to determine the best locations and needs of each campus. While these plans are not set in stone, they give you an idea of the needs at our sites. I have asked the principals to share this information at upcoming staff meetings and get feedback. The Board of Education placed a bond measure on the November ballot to fund these potential renovations, new classrooms and restrooms and playground areas with shade.


EDUCATIONAL SERVICES
Diane M. Frost, Assistant Superintendent of Educational Services

Parent Education Opportunity
SLO SELPA (Special Education Localized Plan Area) is hosting free, online parent training to develop parents’ understanding of important topics related to educational support. Click on the links below for registration information. 

Parent Training: My Child is Struggling in School…What Can I Do? Oct. 5th 6:00-7:30

  • School based supports, home supports, how to best communicate with your school team about your concerns

Parent Training: Understanding Special Education Assessment and Eligibility Oct. 19th 6:00-7:30

  • When is it appropriate to request assessment? What does an assessment involve? What can I expect to learn about my child through the assessment? What is the criteria for eligibility?What happens after their assessment?

There are more great trainings to come from SELPA and we will continue to keep you informed!

COVID-19 Student/Employee Protocols
San Luis Coastal Unified School District has modified our Student Illness and Isolation Protocols to remain in alignment with the current California Department Public Health (CDPH) and the SLO County Public Health Department requirements.

Testing for COVID-19 for students will not be a requirement for a return to school when the student is no longer  sick.  In alignment with standard practice, CDPH recommends families keep their students home if they are sick, and not return students to school until Day 11, symptoms are improving and the student has been vomit, diarrhea, and fever free for 24 hours. SLCUSD will continue to offer an at-home COVID test to all families with symptomatic students while supplies last.

There are no changes for students and staff who test positive for COVID-19 due to the SLO Public Health Officer Isolation Order for SLO County. As such, positive individuals may return earliest on Day 6 from when symptoms started, with a negative COVID-19 test on Day 5 or later and with resolving symptoms (including fever, vomit, and diarrhea free for 24 hours without medication). All positive individuals may return on Day 11 from the date that symptoms started regardless of negative test when symptoms are resolving. Per CDPH masking guidance, infected individuals should use a mask around others for 10 days, especially in indoor settings.  If there are no symptoms, the time period for isolation starts on the date of the positive test. 

Updated student flowcharts can be found at this link: Student Illness and Isolation Protocols.

Elementary Assessment Tools
At Tuesday night’s Board of Education meeting, the board received a preview of what elementary achievement results they would receive this school year. The presentation explained three types of assessment tools, the specific assessments we use in each area, and the questions that can be answered from the results.

Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium (SBAC) Results
The preliminary results of the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium (SBAC) spring test are here. We have sent instructions on how to access your child's individual score reports via Parent Square. Attached here are the district and school scores for your review. These were presented to the board at the last board meeting. The results are generally good, with many schools making significant strides toward regaining learning. Next month we should have state and county results that we will share comparing how SLCUSD did in comparison to the rest of the county and the state. 

Counseling Update
On Tuesday evening Student Support Services presented our “Fall 2022 Counseling Update” to the Board of Trustees. The update included information on:

  • Addition of full-time Elementary Counselors at all sites (except for Teach which increased from 1 day to 2 days)
  • Continued support of a District Counselor - 2 days per week
  • Increase in Cuesta College Liaison to FULL TIME (20% Increase)
  • Addition of a full-time Career Technical Education Middle School Counselor
    • Assist in implementation of 6-year plans for students at the middle school level
    • Start students on their career exploration in middle school

The needs of our students continue to be high, especially at the upper grades, and our Secondary counselors are working hard to meet those needs with limited community resources but remain committed to consistent intervention and support. Elementary counselors are working hard to develop new programming that meet the standards of a comprehensive school counseling program that looks and feels similar at each site. This will include the addition of more classroom lessons, school wide activities and more consistent access to school counselors. Also addressed in the presentation was the focus on safety, climate, and culture across all levels and school sites, assuring that counselors are actively visible on campus to help assess student behavior, trends and safety needs. These positive changes in school counseling will make a significant difference in the lives of our students and we are thrilled to share this with the community.