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4/02/14 > New Website:
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4/01/14 > New District Website:
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3/31/14 > New Website:
Please visit our new website:
3/07/14 > We need your input!

We NEED your input! Please help plan your child's future by taking part in planning the future of our facilities. Are there changes you would like to see at your child's school? Are you a community member that would like to add your input?

We are creating a master plan for the entire district and we want to hear from you! We have two meetings coming up. The first meeting is on March 26th from 6-8pm at Arroyo Grande High School. The second meeting is on March 27th from 6-8pm at Nipomo High School. We will talk about all of the school sites. Tell your friends!
2/12/14 > Trivium Charter School Petition


NOTICE lS HEREBY GIVEN that the Governing Board of the Lucia Mar Unified School District, at its regularly scheduled meeting to be held on March 4, 2014, will conduct a public hearing on a CHARTER PETITION REQUEST BY TRIVIUM CHARTER, SAN LUIS OBISPO.

The Trivium Charter Application is available for public review at the Lucia Mar Unified School District Administrative Office located at602 Orchard Street, Arroyo Grande, California. lt is also available online at

All individuals wishing to comment on the Trivium Charter Application are invited to attend the meeting of the Governing Board at the following time and location:

DATE: Tuesday, March 4,2014
TIME: 7 o'clock p.m.
LOCATION: Lucia Mar Unified School District
Georgie O'Connor Board Room 602 Orchard Street
Arroyo Grande, California 93420

lf you are not able to attend the meeting and would like to submit comments about this charter petition, or have any questions, please contact:

Tom Butler Assistant Superintendent, Instruction/Curriculum

Mail: Lucia Mar Unified School District
Attn: Tom Butler, Instruction/Curriculum
602 Orchard Street, Arroyo Grande, CA 93420
Phone: 805.474.3000 ext 1090

For More Information:
2/11/14 > Ocean View Elementary students honor fellow classmate diagnosed with cancer
A local elementary school student fighting cancer is getting an outpouring of support from the community and his classmates. Phinneas McKenna has been diagnosed with spinal cord and brain cancer. On Tuesday, students at Ocean View Elementary School in Arroyo Grande were wishing him well. They dedicated the day to him and wore green in his honor.Phinneus is at the Stanford University Medical Center for treatment. "His nickname is "Madman" Phinneas, and he's... bright red hair, lots of energy, excellent, just an excellent all-around kid. When you ask him who his best friend is, he says everybody. That's the kind of kid he is. He's well known, well liked at the school and we miss him very much," Principal Sarah Butler says. Tuesday, Cool Cats in Pismo Beach is donating 20 percent of its proceeds to Phinn's fundraiser, and next month, Ocean View Elementary School is also having a barbecue fundraiser for him on March 8th.

1/30/14 > Health Notice for Parents- Flu

There has been a confirmed case of influenza H1N1 (flu) at Ocean View Elementary School.

The flu is a contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses. The flu usually starts suddenly and may include these symptoms: fever, headache, cough, sore throat, body aches, runny or stuffy nose, diarrhea, vomiting and fatigue.

The flu spreads in respiratory droplets from coughing and sneezing. It usually spreads from person to person, though occasionally a person may become infected by touching something with the virus on it and then touching their mouth or nose. The best method of control is to teach your children to wash their hands before eating or drinking and to cover their coughs and sneezes with tissues or using the elbow, arm or sleeve instead of the hand when tissue is unavailable.

It is recommended that you consult your physician if you develop flu like symptoms. If your child is experiencing the symptoms listed above, they should remain at home for at least 24 hours after the fever is gone, without the use of fever reducing drugs. Remember: Aspirin is not recommended for children who are experiencing flu-like symptoms due to the potential risk of Reyes Syndrome.

If you or your family have not been vaccinated against this season’s flu, we recommend you see your physician or visit a local pharmacy clinic for this year’s vaccine.

Visit the San Luis Obispo County Public Health Department at for more information about the flu.

If you have additional questions, contact Student Services at 474-3000, x1152 or Penny Borenstein, M.D., M.P.H., San Luis Obispo County Health Officer at 781-5519.


Ha habido un caso confirmado de influenza (gripe) H1N1 en la Escuela Primaria Ocean View.

La gripe es una enfermedad respiratoria contagiosa causada por virus de influenza. La gripe usualmente comienza de repente y puede incluir estos síntomas: fiebre, dolor de cabeza, tos, dolor de garganta, dolores en el cuerpo, flujo nasal, diarrea, vómito y fatiga.

La gripe se propaga a través de gotitas respiratorias de la tos y estornudo. Usualmente se propaga de persona a persona, aunque en ocasiones una persona se infecta al tocar algo que tenga el virus y luego se toca su boca o nariz. El mejor método de control es enseñar a sus hijos a lavarse las manos antes de comer o beber algo y cubrirse la boca al toser o estornudar usando un pañuelo, o con el codo, el brazo o la manga, cuando no tengan un pañuelo.

Se recomienza que consulte a su medico si desarrolla síntomas de gripe. Si su hijo está teniendo los síntomas antes indicados, debe permanecer en casa por lo menos 24 horas después de que desaparezca la fiebre, sin el uso de medicamento para reducir la fiebre. Recuerde: la Aspirina no es recomendable para niños que están teniendo síntomas de gripe debido al posible riesgo de Síndrome de Reye.

Si usted o su familia no ha sido vacunado contra la gripe de esta temporada, le recomendamos que vea a un medico o visite la farmacia o clínica local para la vacuna de este año.

Para más información acerca de la gripe visite la página del Departamento de Salud Pública del Condado de San Luis Obispo

Si tiene preguntas adicionales, puede llamar al 474-3000, extensión 1158.

Revised 1-30-2014 – Spanish EH

11/26/13 > SM Times: Project Based Learning
Lucia Mar process is looking up
District to implement student-based learning approach

Erika Timmer led her students outside the classroom onto a patch of lawn.

The group of seven laid on their backs and looked to the sky.

“Let me know which clouds you see,” said Timmer, a third-grade teacher at Ocean View Elementary School.

She reminded students that stratus clouds form a blanket of gray and cirrus clouds look like horse tails.

“I see cauliflower,” one student said.

The exercise, to help students apply content they had learned earlier, is part of a weather unit, in which students will learn how to predict the weather and conduct a taped weather cast.

Students split into groups Friday and worked their way through a set of seven weather- focused centers. Timmer used a touch-screen Smartboard and accompanying Smart Notebook to both instruct and gather feedback from students in one center. In other activities, students created cloud finders to help predict weather by examining cloud types and instruments to determine wind direction known as weather vanes.

The activities are part of a project-based learning approach that the Lucia Mar Unified School District is emphasizing this year to meet a new set of educational benchmarks known as Common Core State Standards, Timmer said.

There has been interest in the instruction technique for about six years, but focus on project-based learning has increased within the last three years, she added.
Project-based learning begins with a guiding question, and ultimately students drive their own learning.
“They come up with the information they want to learn about,” Timmer said.

She used an activity in the weather unit as an example. The class noticed it was particularly windy outside. Timmer asked how meteorologists know it’s windy. In response, one student shared knowledge about a tool that blows with the direction of the wind.

“So they found the tool, and today are making it,” Timmer said.

Educators from Central Coast New Tech High School, which uses project-based learning to ground its academic structure, held workshops at Lopez High School, Ocean View Elementary School and Paulding Middle School earlier this month to arm teachers with project-based learning lessons to bridge the technique to Common Core State Standards.

“We’re not so much teaching to a test anymore,” Timmer said.

Tom Butler, assistant superintendent of curriculum in the Lucia Mar district, said he plans to gradually spread the concept through workshops throughout the district’s school sites.

“It’s going to really improve achievement across the district,” he said.
11/20/13 > 'Dude, Be Nice': A.G. students combat bullying with education

San Luis Obispo Tribune
by Gayle Cuddy

Danny Ramirez, an eighth-grader at Paulding Middle School in Arroyo Grande, sported a bright orange T-shirt that said “Dude, Be Nice,” followed by several more words, such as happy, different, kind, cool, unique and honest. He was participating in the Dude, Be Nice anti-bullying project showcased in the school library last week.

Danny, 13, is one of the students nominated by teachers for the club.

“I felt like it was a big commitment, something I could help out with,” said Danny, who lives in Nipomo. “I’ve seen bullying, I’ve been bullied. I just wanted to see what I could do.”

During October, which is National Bullying Prevention Month, club members went around campus as “undercover” agents, looking for students doing positive behaviors. If they found a student helping with homework, giving a hug, making nice comments or sharing food, for example, they gave the student an orange bracelet that said, “Orange you glad you’re nice.”

Then the student would be mentioned by first name over the speaker system as having done the nice deed.

Danny explained that club members had a choice of three projects: write a newsletter, produce a video or create a website. He wrote a newsletter.

Principal Chuck Fiorentino said that last year teachers were looking for a Project Based Learning unit that works on a real-life problem. They formed a school club to try to promote positive things kids were doing. This year they expanded it.

A kickoff assembly in early October featured county Sheriff’s Deputy Glenn Holzer, a school resource officer, and the reading of personal essays about bullying and violence.

“We’re here to stimulate thinking regardless of the discipline,” said Cade Newman, a language arts teacher. “If we were ... to tell them exactly what to do, we would never know what they were capable of.”

Added teacher Jessie Fahey, “When we give them a topic they’re interested in, they take the writing to a whole new level.”

Students read novels that led into the themes of persecution, violence, gangs and prejudice, including "The Outsiders" by S. E. Hinton.

They read nonfiction, such as a New York Times editorial “Defining Bullying Down,” published in March.

Fahey said students typically don’t learn about conflict and how to handle it, so this project zeroed in on that important life skill.

Makenna Stever, 13, designed a website.

“People don’t know the real definition of bullying,” she said. “People are so quick to cry ‘bully’ — mean acts and names are not really bullying, and it’s much easier to stand up to them.”

Makenna had Google's definition of "bully" at the top of her website: use superior strength or influence to intimidate (someone), typically to force him or her to do what one wants.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ anti-bullying program has a broader definition to help children and parents understand the issue. The federal agency defines three types of bullying: verbal bullying, which is saying or writing mean things; social bullying, which involves hurting someone’s reputation or relationships; and physical bullying.

As the Dude, Be Nice! Undercover Squad mission statement says: How can we, as young adults, teach others the impact of our words and the power of positivity, so that we can learn to understand and accept each other’s differences?

At Paulding Middle School, students and teachers have explored many ways of resolving issues of bullying and the results show success. Suspensions have been cut in half and referrals for bullying and violence are down.

Read more here:

 The Tribune
 SM Times
11/20/13 > Whiz-kid , 13, teaches technology class to MIT graduates

In less than three years, 13-year-old Quin Etnyre learned to programme electronics, created his own company, and began teaching MIT graduates in his spare time.

Fuelled by a love of electronics and education, Quin developed starter kits to help children dive into the world of electroni

 BBC Story
11/04/13 > Still Time to Help Fund Your School, Win Prizes!!
You have until Friday to get your applications in!

FRMP (free and reduced meal program) eligibility determines the funding the school district receives from the State of California under the new Local Control Funding Formula. The difference in what a district may receive if they reach maximum eligibility can be up to an additional $4,319 per student!

This contest is to help us maximize our eligibility for these additional dollars. Each student that returns a completed FRMP application will be entered into a school-wide drawing for special prizes! Prizes may include: chrome books, bicycle, lunches, and other fabulous prizes!!

Also, did you know that if a family qualifies for FRMP, you are also eligible for a reduction in AP fees, up to $440 in college application waivers, and access to CHC medical, dental, and mental health services (i.e., sports physicals, prescriptions, counseling, etc.) at no cost.

Please click on your school's link to find out more information and more information on the prizes!

10/29/13 > Free Flu Vaccines/Vacuna Gratis Contra la Gripe
Offered in conjunction with the San Luis Obispo Health Department

For Students / Siblings / Parents/ Staff

The Flu is a contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses. It can cause mild to severe illness, and at times can lead to death. The flu is mainly spread from person to person through coughing and sneezing.

Vaccination against the Flu is the single best way to prevent influenza.

Free Flu Nasal Spray vaccine is now available. Two walk-in clinics have been established. Children under 18 must be accompanied by their parent or legal guardian. No appointment necessary.

DATE: Wednesday, November 06
TIME: 3:30 – 5:30 pm
LOCATION: Nipomo High School. Room 5
525 N. Thompson Ave., Nipomo

Thursday, November 07
3:30-5:30 pm
Student Services, Fireside Room
227 Bridge Street, Arroyo Grande

• Person’s who are ill or have an underlying medical condition should not participate in this flu clinic. Please contact your private physician to obtain an annual flu shot.

Ofrecidas junto con el Departamento de Salud del Condado de San Luis Obispo.

Para Estudiantes / Hermanos / Padres de Familia / Personal Escolar

La Gripe o Flu es una enfermedad respiratoria contagiosa causada por el virus de influenza. Puede causar enfermedad leve o grave, y en ocasiones puede ser mortal. La gripe se propaga principalmente de persona a persona a través de la tos y estornudos.

Vacunarse contra la Gripe o Flu es la mejor manera de prevenir la influenza.

Estaremos ofreciendo la Vacuna GRATIS de aerosol nasal. Hemos programado dos días de vacunación.
Los niños menores de 18 años deben venir acompañados por uno de sus padres o tutor legal. No necesita cita.

FECHA: Miércoles, 6 de noviembre
HORA: 3:30 – 5:30 pm
LUGAR: Nipomo High School, salón 5
525 N. Thompson Ave
Nipomo, CA

Jueves, 7 de noviembre
3:30-5:30 pm
Student Services, salón Fireside
227 Bridge Street
Arroyo Grande, CA

* Las personas que están enfermas o que tienen una condición médica existente no deben participar en esta clínica. Por favor consulte con su doctor para obtener la vacuna anual de la gripe.

10/10/13 > Coast News: Teacher of the Year

With 18 schools in the district and more than 500 hardworking teachers, standing out in the crowd isn’t easy at Lucia Mar, but Paulding Middle School teacher Rudy Calderon went the extra mile and was named the 2012-2013 Teacher of the Year.

“I am extremely humbled,” said Calderon, who has been a teacher for about 8 years. “Our district has top quality teachers at all the different sites. It is a grand honor to say the least.”

Calderon teaches English Language Learners, and an entry level Spanish I elective class—a high school level course where about 80 percent of his students test into Spanish II as they move to the high school.

Calderon also developed the seventh grade College and Career Readiness elective class where among other things students research three universities and present what they have learned to fellow students.

“I tell them from the beginning that this class is like a time machine,” Calderon said. “They go into the future and see all these different careers and universities that they might attend and they can see all the possibilities. Then we come right back, and they are there in the seventh grade with a level of clairvoyance.”

With a similar goal in mind, Calderon worked with a fellow teacher and the Arroyo Grande High School counseling department, to develop the middle school’s Introduction to Career Pathways program where eighth grade students receive about six hours of instruction covering the various pathways they can tailor their high school curriculum to accommodate immediately entering the workforce or going to college or attending a trade school upon graduation.

“Rudy is a leader on the Paulding staff,” said Principal Chuck Fiorentino. “He is highly respected by the students, parents and staff. The staff often seek him out for effective teaching strategies to reach all students, including the English Language Learners.”

District Superintendent Jim Hogeboom agrees. “Rudy is a dynamic and innovative teacher inspiring his students to learn and excel,” he said. “He is dedicated to his students both inside and outside the classroom.”

Calderon says that he is honored to receive the recognition, but the biggest
reward comes from his students.

“More than anything it is helping students see that anything is possible and that they can achieve whatever they want to achieve,” he said. “Seeing that level of motivation rise within them, having that ‘I can do it mentality’ and seeing them shape throughout the year, is why I got into teaching. The students are 100 percent of the future. To have the privilege to teach and be a part of that is the reward in itself.”

Lucia Mar also recognized Classified Employee of the Year Mike Thomas and ROP Teacher of the Year Tara Stumpf both of Arroyo Grande High School. ✤

 Coast News Link
10/08/13 > SM Times: Marty Mimmack
‘I think I can. I think I can.’
By Lauren Foreman

Marty Mimmack, a motivational speaker, has no arms — only what he refers to as a little hand protruding from his right shoulder.

He had lifts installed in his shoes to aid walking and a floor-level steering wheel in his car for driving.

But Mimmack said confidence is the most important demonstration he could model for children in assemblies to teach anti-bullying and disability awareness.

“The more confident you are the more able you are to deal with challenges and frustrations,” he said.

Mimmack, who spoke at Dorothea Lange and Nipomo elementary schools Monday, will visit schools throughout the Lucia Mar Unified School District this week in an effort to both promote anti-bullying and disability awareness during October, which is Disability Awareness Month.

He unified the themes with an overarching message to promote and accept difference.

Debbie Schimandle, principal at Dorothea Lange Elementary, said the concept of district-wide, anti-bullying programming started this year to improve school safety.

The Lucia Mar Unified school board obligated $2,000 per school, last spring, to support acceptance and anti-bullying initiatives.

“School safety means that every person on the campus feels safe,” Schimandle said. “And so if you are a third-grader who’s being bullied by peers then that child doesn’t feel safe.”

Mimmack said as a child with disabilities he was the target of bullying, behavior he replicated until age 40.

“As I gained confidence over the years and became a productive citizen, I found that I accept others more unconditionally,” he said, after the second assembly at Dorothea Lange.

During the presentation he showed first-, second- and third- graders the elements that aided him in performing everyday tasks — the Velcro that lined his pants, the split-toe tabi socks for his feet and mobile dressing stick to pull pants up and down — “big challenges just to go to the bathroom,” Mimmack said.

He recited lines of author Watty Piper’s “The Little Engine That Could.”

“But ‘I think I can. I think I can,’” he said.

In another presentation, Mimmack tapped the top of a jar of peanut butter against a table; twisted the top off between his right shoulder and cheek; and manipulated a knife with his mouth to cut and dress a slice of bread.

“I’m showing this to you so you know we all have special things,” Mimmack said.

The peanut butter sandwich demonstration was an audience-favorite — even for Aidan Atkison, the first-grader who Mimmack let hold his old artificial arms.

Joslyn Bilbee, a third-grader, said the demonstration was “really cool.”

But Mimmack said he hoped the take-home message would be one about the importance of confidence and control.

“Words do hurt, and just because we’re different just like the little engine, it doesn’t mean we hurt each other,” Mimmack said to students.

 SM Times Article
10/03/13 > Thank you Sunset Savor the Central Coast

A BIG thank you to everyone who made the garden donation to Harloe Elementary possible. The students now have a beautiful garden that will allow them to learn about growing food, the environment, healthy eating and more.

Special thanks to Sunset Savor the Central Coast, Visit San Luis Obispo County, The Arroyo Grande & Grover Beach Chamber of Commerce, Farm Supply, JR Farms and everyone involved!

10/02/13 > Dr. Michael Pritchard

Dr. Pritchard spoke in two separate assemblies at all three LMUSD Middle Schools (Mesa, Paulding, and Judkins) Sept. 30-October 2. Bullying is nothing to laugh about but Dr. Pritchard used humor, and his amazing skill with sound effects, to take on the tough subject. He used a mixture of laughter at straight talk to open things up, but the assembly took a somber turn when he asked members of the audience to share their experiences of bullying and the effects it has had on them.

Hannah Briley, eighth grader at Judkins Middle School, courageously stepped forward and told her classmates “I have cerebral palsy and I am made fun of every day.” Dr. Prichard challenged students to have a better heart. He told stories of empathy stating, “Your child could be born with cerebral palsy. How would you want them treated at school?” The gym became flooded with emotion as students were confronted with both the mean things they hear and or have said themselves. A long line of students emerged from the crowd as others began to tell their stories of the pain inflicted on them by their classmates.

Dr. Pritchard then empowered students with several chants that have the power of transforming tough situations into something positive. “Hurt people, hurt people.” said Dr. Pritchard challenging students to grasp that bullying is symptomatic of a person who is hurting. He encouraged students to love and support one another with “ The bad you do will make you sad, the good you do, comes back to you!” Many students left the assembly emotionally moved and committed to being different with their classmates. Eighth grader Jasmine Abendano who gave a testimonial of be called names by her classmates spoke at length of the number of classmates who approached her and apologized for their behavior.

LMUSD is thankful for the community support of their Board of Education, the Five Cities Diversity Coalition, the cities and Arroyo Grande and Pismo Beach, as well as the County of San Luis Obispo for sponsoring such a heartfelt event.
9/30/13 > SM Times: Oceano Green Apple Day

Oceano Elementary School marks Green Apple Day of Service


Oceano Elementary School students launched a year of health and energy efficiency initiatives Friday in celebration of an international movement to promote healthy eating, exercise and conservation in schools.

Students walked and biked to school; participated in a bicycle rodeo highlighting after-school biking activities; and sorted milk cartons, paper boats and produce in what educators called a zero-waste initiative.

“We’ve been doing this for years,” said Jim DeCecco, a sixth-grade teacher at Oceano.

Students heightened conservation and health efforts Friday in an early commemoration of a Green Apple Day of Service, an international effort observed Saturday.

The Center for Green Schools, the education arm of the US Green Building Council (USGBC) nonprofit, began the school health and conservation movement in September 2012.

Mallory Shelter, a spokeswoman, said the USGBC began the service push to inform educators that with little effort they could improve energy efficiency, recycling practices and conservation.

“A lot of times, people only think about the “who” and the “what” of education — teachers and curriculum,” she said.
Green Apple Day is about promoting the “where.”

Shelter said more than 160,000 volunteers participated in more than 1,200 service projects last year.
“It’s grown exponentially,” she said.

Students filed into two separate lines during lunch hours at Oceano on Friday.

In one section, volunteers recorded student votes in a tasting experiment that pitted the red bell pepper against the green.
In another, DeCecco supervised waste sorting.

“We’re doing something a little different today,” he announced to students in fourth, fifth and sixth grades.

DeCecco, who earned the California Resource Recovery Association’s zero-waste educator of the year award in August, said he has been leading class recycling initiatives for 30 years and overseeing schoolwide efforts for about 10 years.

Patti Toews, program director of the San Luis Obispo County Integrated Waste Management Authority, said she monitors waste and conservation efforts at schools throughout the county, and Oceano Elementary School is a clear leader.

“They lead the way in everything,” Toews said.

School conservation and health initiatives include a grant-sponsored project to install a solar stick that in part helps reduce electricity costs, an after-school biking club and a pilot energy auditing program Oceano students launched Friday.

“At a time when school budgets were tightening, every single penny saves makes a huge difference,” Toews said.

Principal Ron Walton said sixth-graders checked the school’s use of lighting, printing, cooling and other energy usage forms to test how to best conserve energy.

The program could be implemented in schools throughout the Lucia Mar Unified School District.

“Our goal is to see if it will work here first,” Walton said.

9/19/13 > The Proposed Solar Program

Come learn about the proposed solar and energy savings program in the Lucia Mar Unified School District. There are two sessions to choose from. The first is Wednesday, September 25th at 5pm in the Multi-Purpose Room at Arroyo Grande High School. The second session will be Thursday, September 26th at 5pm in Olympic Hall at Nipomo High School.
9/13/13 > SM Times: Oceano Elementary Library
Oceano school unveils library expansion

By Lauren Foreman

Two second-graders, grabbed books and raced to a small table in the older half of the Oceano Elementary School library.
Randy Huchim and Johann Santana chatted and interrupted each other between giggles, running down the aisles with other children — many of whom clustered around a table of cookies Thursday evening.

Administrators invited out the students, parents and other community members to unveil the second half of the Oceano school library, a 30-foot addition.

Principal Ron Walton said the expansion project, which almost doubled the usable library space is the result of three years of planning and $25,000 for additional furniture and shelving.

“We needed more space, because we keep adding books,” he said.

Shelves lined most walls of the rectangular space, and books — such as “The Night of Las Posadas” by Tomie dePaola, “Scaredy Squirrel” by Mélanie Watt and “Katie Meets the Impressionists” by James Mayhew — filled the shelves.
Randy and Johann flipped through books about soldiers and Marines by authors Lisa Bolt Simons and Jennifer Reed Thursday, but the boys listed favorites that included author Tedd Arnold’s “Fly Guy” series and Mo Willems’ “Elephant and Piggie” collection.

Yohaly Huchim, a 12-year-old Oceano student, said she preferred books in Author Dave Pelzer’s “A Child Called It" series.
“It’s about a little kid who goes through child abuse,” she said. “His mom treats him really badly.”

Yohaly said she read the series in sixth grade and is rereading it as a seventh-grader this year, because it has elements of mystery, excitement and sadness.

When Betty Clemens, president of a bread mix manufacturing company, was Yohaly’s age, she said she read about one book a day.

“The Santa Maria library was where I spent most of my time when I was young,” Clemens said.

She donated $6,200 to the library over a four-year period to help quench what she said seemed like an ever-increasing need for literature.

“I think owning a book is something that changes a person,” Clemens said. “It’s another world. You can go in all kinds of worlds in a book.”

9/11/13 > Coast News: Saving Lives

Saving Lives
By Theresa-Marie Wilson

Last week students at Nipomo High School got a lesson in leadership from a guest lecturer. Rep. Lois Capps visited the school where she spoke to students about her proposed bill, the Teaching Children to Save Lives Act, and observed students participating in a cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) demonstration.

The Teaching Children to Save Lives Act would provide critical resources to assist schools with teaching students across the country the life-saving skills of CPR and how to use automated external defibrillators (AEDs). Nipomo High is already home to three AEDs, and approximately one-half of the student population has already been trained in CPR as it has become a part of mandatory health instruction.

“During a cardiac emergency, every one minute that someone has to wait for someone to respond, they lose a 10 percent chance of survival,” said Josie Long, a health and physical education teacher, who was a driving force behind the CPR certification program at Nipomo High told students.

Tenth grader Conner Vernon was recently certified through the school’s program.

“You can save lives no matter where you are,” he said. “If you, yourself, were unconscious, you would want someone to help you.”

Speaking to about 100 students, Capps tied CPR knowledge and operating an AED into a lesson on leadership, a subject most of the students were studying.

“Is this a skill that exerts leadership?” she asked the students following the demonstration. “Do you want to be leaders? Do you want to learn this skill? They go together, don’t they? I think you saw a really good example of how leadership can be developed, and how skill building develops leadership as well.”

She went on to encourage students to get involved with the project and engage other members of the community to learn CPR

“We have a lot more work to do, but we now have a bunch of ambassadors, don’t we, to talk this up in support of passing this legislation,” Capps told the students. “I need your help to pass the legislation. You might have some ideas on how I can do that. We need to build awareness and support. This is affecting you. It would be your generation that would have these skills in your lifetime and be able to pass them along. Your leadership is important to me.”

Capps is working with the support of the American Heart Association.

“The American Heart Association recommends training, hands-on skills and practice of CPR be a recommendation for graduation from secondary schools,” said Emily Reneau, Business Development Director for the local chapter of the American Heart Association. She cited that graduates trained in CPR from one school in Long Island,
New York have saved 16 lives. “Imagine if every school in California were to have the same training.”Sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) is the leading cause of death in the United States, but studies show that victims of SCA have a 34 percent higher chance of survival if they are immediately treated with CPR and the use of an AED. ✤
9/10/13 > District Newsletter

Welcome back Staff, Parents, and Students!

The attachment is a copy of the District Newsletter. You will also receive a copy of it when you attend one of the Back to School events. Please take time to read it and let us know if you have any questions or comments.

9/04/13 > Oceano Elementary Library Open House

The Dolphins of Oceano Elementary invite YOU to the Grand Opening of their brand new library. It took three years of planning and work to create this beautiful new library for the students of Oceano Elementary. The staff, faculty, and students are so proud, they want to take this opportunity to show it off.

Open House
Oceano Elementary School Library
1551 17th Street, Oceano
September 12, 2013
5:00-6:00 pm

Did You Know?
Research shows the highest achieving students attend schools with well-staffed and well-funded libraries.

Students make 1.5 billion visits to school libraries during the school year—more than total attendances made to movie theaters in 2011.
8/21/13 > Free/Reduced Meal Information
The meal application process is federally mandated and the Food Services Division must follow all applicable regulations in order to continue to receive reimbursement funds. Each year the California Department of Education, Nutrition Services Division, must approve our meal application. Once approved, we begin the annual process of qualifying students for free and reduced meal benefits. We realize the process can often be quite confusing for parents and caregivers.

It is very important for the district to sign up everyone who qualifies for the program. If you are not sure if you qualify, please fill out the form anyway and we will let you know if you do qualify.

If your child is approved for Free or Reduced Meals, your child can eat both Breakfast and Lunch on campus...FREE! When mornings can be rushed, it is good to know that your children can still eat a healthy, nutritious meal that will help them learn better throughout the school day.

Applications are accepted at any time throughout the school year.

Questions? Please contact the Food Services office.

805-474-3000 ext 1020

Click the link below:
8/20/13 > Bus Schedules




Here is a link to the schedules:

8/19/13 > Parent Notification
Information provided in this booklet was developed for parents and/or guardians of students enrolled in our schools as a reference guide of rights and responsibilities.

Thank you for taking time to read this important information and for sharing it with your child.

If you have any questions regarding this information, please feel free to contact our District Office or your child’s school.

7/15/13 > Have You Moved? Find School Boundaries Here
Need to find the right school for your child?

This tool provides assistance in determining which schools a student will be attending based on geographical location and the predetermined boundaries. Click the link below and provide the needed information:

NOTE: The following link is a test link for the new 2013-14 school boundary software.

Note: Although Lucia Mar Unified makes every effort to ensure that the information provided by the School Locator is accurate, 100% accuracy cannot be guaranteed. Lucia Mar Unified takes no responsibility for decisions made by users on the basis of this information. Users should contact the school to confirm their student is eligible to attend before taking any action.

6/10/13 > Tribune: Some Lucia Mar programs return to students
Music instruction, technology, a full-time counselor, and Gifted and Talented Education are back for certain grades

By Cynthia Lambert —

Read more here:

Trustees of the South County’s school district have taken steps to restore some programs and positions that were curtailed during the past few years of budget cuts.

Starting this fall, fourth- and fifth-grade students in the Lucia Mar Unified School District will have 45 minutes of music instruction a week — likely the first regular music program these students have had in numerous years.

Students at the district’s three middle schools will have access to a full-time counselor. And the basic Gifted and Talented Education (GATE) program will be restored at elementary schools.

The Lucia Mar district board approved funding for these and other items at two separate board meetings in May. In a staff report, Superintendent Jim Hogeboom wrote that “we are hopeful that … the massive budget cuts Lucia Mar has faced over the past five years are now behind us.”

The board had directed staff to compile a list of important priorities for the upcoming school year and then approved about $800,000 toward specific programs, positions and other items.

The items include $267,000 toward technology upgrades, including adding computer technician assistants to each elementary school and revamping the district website; $36,000 — or $2,000 per school — for anti-bullying programs; $55,000 to restore the GATE program; and $75,000 toward teaching training.

In addition, a student safety and support coordinator job will be added at a cost of $115,000 a year.

The job description is still being finalized, but the position will likely oversee the district’s safety plans, direct student discipline policies, coordinate programs with local law enforcement and develop drug and alcohol awareness programs.

The district will advertise soon for that position, spokeswoman Amy Jacobs said. The job is somewhat similar to a previous at-risk coordinator position, which had been eliminated in spring 2012.

The district board will consider its 2013-14 fiscal year budget Tuesday.

6/07/13 > New Principal at Arroyo Grande High School

I am so pleased to announce that following a special Board of Trustees meeting tonight, the Board voted unanimously to appoint Conan Bowers as the new Principal at Arroyo Grande High School effective the 2013-2014 school year. Conan brings 10 years of experience at AGHS – first as an area administrator, then most recently as Assistant Principal. He has by all accounts been incredibly effective. Previously, Conan was also an amazing sixth grade teacher at Harloe Elementary. The Board was very impressed with Conan’s work ethic, his knowledge of AGHS and the community, his ability to relate well to all students, his support of high academic expectations, his knowledge of Career Pathways, and his integrity and honesty. Conan has a tough act to follow in the footsteps of Tom Butler and Ryan Pinkerton, but we all know he has the drive and determination to be just as successful so please join me in wishing him good luck in his new position.

Jim Hogeboom
6/06/13 > Adobe Press: Dana Elementary student achieves perfection

Mike Hodgson /

When sixth-grader Mason Santos leaves his last class today at Dana Elementary School, he will have achieved perfection.

Not many students can make it through a school year without missing a day in class.

But Mason has done just that — and then some. He has racked up a record of perfect attendance every year since starting kindergarten.

That means, not counting weekends, holidays, breaks and summer vacation, Mason has attended 1,225 consecutive days of school — and he has the awards to prove it.

In addition to perfect attendance certificates for every trimester, he also has medals for every year. He capped his collection Thursday in a sixth-grade awards ceremony.

Mason said perfect attendance wasn’t a goal he set his first year in school. But once he realized he was doing that, it became one.

“I didn’t really realize it until fifth grade,” Mason said this week. “At the end of the year, one of my friend’s parents said, ‘I can’t believe you’ve done that.’ And that’s when I realized, ‘Wow, I really have done that.’”

Not only has Mason never missed a day of school, but he also has never been late.

“Mason loves to sleep, which on some days creates a scramble to get out of the house on time,” said his mother, Tamara.

“Mason will leave the house shoes in hand and crazy hair, eating breakfast in the car, but he makes sure to make it out the door on time for school, meanwhile hoping for no traffic and a green light to school,” she continued.

“Heaven forbid if the gas light comes on in the car. He will say, ‘You have enough gas to get to school, right?’ Although we always make it in plenty of time, he gets stressed.

“Luckily, he is not a sickly child,” she added.

Mason credits his attendance record to his mom, who makes sure he eats good food, goes to bed on time and gets plenty of exercise outdoors.

Perfect attendance certificates and medals aren’t the only awards Mason has won. He’s also earned awards for mathematics — his favorite subject — and citizenship.

He was also chosen to be one of the Dana Diplomats, a new group of fourth- through sixth-graders who meet in the morning before classes.

“We’re like the leaders of the school,” Mason explained. “We take care of the school garden, pick up trash and keep the school neat and clean.”

Dana Principal Stacey Russell said Mason is an exceptional student who is intelligent, creative and treats fellow students and teachers with respect.

“When there is an issue that requires some problem solving, Mason is the one to step up to the plate,” Russell said. “He continually encourages others to live up to their potential and to do the right thing.”

Mason also literally steps up to the plate. A utility player who really prefers playing catcher, he’s been in Little League since he was 5 years old, makes the All-Stars team every year and loves hitting home runs — he’s smacked three of them.

“He likes to play soccer and likes to play goalkeeper,” Tamara said. “He likes the pressure.”

Although he’ll be entering Mesa Middle School next year, Mason already has goals for his future. He wants to play baseball for USC or Cal Poly, become a structural engineer and design buildings.

“He’s definitely goal-oriented,” his mother said. “He sets personal goals, and he’s pretty rough on himself sometimes. I have to keep reminding him, ‘You’re only 11.’”

Mason also has a goal of maintaining perfect attendance through high school. He’s probably got a good shot at that, because not missing school seems to run in the family.

His 20-year-old brother, Brandon, only missed one day of elementary school and four days of high school, Tamara said.
6/05/13 > The Tribune: AVID program helps AGHS students succeed

By Gayle Cuddy — Special to The Tribune

Kyla DeLeon, 17, wants to go to study business next year when she graduates high school, perhaps at San Diego State, Westmont College or Sonoma State. Triston Perez, 16, wants to go study computer engineering, perhaps at Chico State or Channel Islands.

Both are juniors in the AVID program at Arroyo Grande High School. AVID stands for Advancement Via Individual Determination. It provides classes, teachers and support, encouraging students whose parents didn’t go to college or graduate from high school, to prepare for college.

Triston started AVID in seventh grade, while Kyla started in eighth grade. Besides attending special AVID classes, students are taken by bus each year to visit colleges around California.

“Our classroom is very tight-knit, like a family,” said Triston.

“AVID helps you be connected — be involved in the school,” Kyla said.

AVID teachers Ms. Ackermann and Mr. Anderson told Kyla she needed more involvement. “If you’re connected more in school, you’ll enjoy being at school more,” they told her.

So Kyla joined LINK Crew: “We help do freshman orientation … make freshmen feel welcomed.”

Triston joined the Boys and Girls Club. “All my friends are there. … It’s helped me be more outgoing,” and provides a place to do homework and hang out.

Triston and Kyla both maintain a high GPA and take Advanced Placement classes such as physics, language, algebra 2 and history. The AVID class period provides help with homework and research papers, pushing students to prepare for college-level work.

AVID students also help with fundraising. Each fall there is an AVID barbecue; they run prom by selling tickets and corsages; and hold a spring Doc Burnstein’s ice cream fundraiser.

People from the community help tutor the students, including former superintendent and AGHS principal Mike Sears and former counselor chairperson Judy Leonard. Joe Lococo is AVID director and spoke enthusiastically about the program.

Lococo said it’s designed for low-income families. Many of the students come from single-parent and/or troubled families. They often have a lot to overcome.

“The kids are determined to be successful in spite of troubles,” he said. Staff encourages the kids to make responsible choices. Most of them are entitled to financial aid.

One of the best parts of the program is the graduates who come back as successors. They work with the students, talk with them and motivate them to do well. They are called “older brothers and sisters. … We call each other ‘family,’” Lococo said.

Read more here:
5/29/13 > Tribune: Kids Leave Their Mark on Dana Elementary

By Cynthia Lambert —

One by one, some of the sixth-grade students at Dana Elementary in Nipomo stepped forward to have their right hands covered in light green or yellow paint.

Then, cautiously, they climbed a ladder and carefully pressed their palms against a brightly colored mural.

When they finished, the dark green trees painted on the side of a classroom wall were covered with hand prints, each signed by their owners.

“I think it’s excellent and beautiful,” 12-year-old Ebony Anderson said after she’d washed her hand free of paint.

Nipomo artist Ethel “Tink” Landers stood nearby, directing and helping the students. She created the mural based on illustrations and stories produced by the sixth graders.

Besides two large trees — with “6th Grade Rocks” written on the trunk of one tree — the mural includes a boy reading, two girls playing with a blue kickball, a dolphin, a horse wearing a snorkel and a rainbow with a school slogan, “Respect the Blue,” painted under it.

Landers plans to paint murals for all the other grades as well, and recently started painting the fifth-graders’ wall using paint donated by the school’s PTA. The kindergartners already have a colorful mural that can be seen from West Tefft Street, painted by parent Jennifer Marsh.

The murals will incorporate student stories and drawings, and give them a chance to add final touches. Landers said they serve several purposes: they beautify Dana Elementary, give the students more pride and ownership and, perhaps most importantly, keep the students interested in art.

“Too many shut down at an early age, thinking ‘I’m not good,’ ” Landers said. “One of my main goals is to stimulate creativity.”

But don’t take her word for it — just ask 11-year-olds Carly Billinger or Ian Macaulay. “I think it’s cool that we got to play a part in this,” Billinger said.

Added Macaulay: “I think this is an enjoyable experience now that my name is on the wall for all to see.”

Landers also painted a mural inside the school’s cafeteria over the Christmas holiday, which Dana Principal Stacey Russell said has boosted student morale.

“The kid participation in this really is key,” she added.

Landers, who doesn’t have any relatives at Dana Elementary, also hopes to get other retirees involved in efforts to beautify their local schools.

“I’m retired and have a lot of energy, so why not give back this way?” she said. “You don’t have to have a child or grandchild (there) to help your local school.”

Cynthia Lambert and Gayle Cuddy write the South County Beat column on alternating Wednesdays. Reach Cynthia Lambert at 781-7929. Stay updated by following @SouthCountyBeat on Twitter.

Read more here:

5/25/13 > Kindergarten Registration Now!
Kindergarten Registration

Now is the time to register your child for kindergarten. Your child must be five years old on or before October 1, 2013 to register for kindergarten. If their birthdate falls between October 2 and December 2, 2013, you can register them for Transitional Kindergarten. Register at your local neighborhood school now. Be sure to bring your child’s birth certificate, immunization record and proof of residence.

5/20/13 > TAP Newsletter Spring/Summer 2013
Please click the link for a copy of the Spring/Summer Newsletter.

5/15/13 > Tribune: New Assistant Superintendent
By Cynthia Lambert —

Tom Butler, currently principal at Arroyo Grande High School, has been appointed the Lucia Mar school district’s new assistant superintendent of curriculum and instruction starting in the fall.

Butler, who has led the high school since fall 2011, will succeed Andy Stenson, who has worked nearly four years as the assistant superintendent of curriculum and will take over as Mesa Middle School’s principal in the upcoming school year.

In his new role, Butler will oversee the district’s state testing and summer school programs and serve as support for principals throughout the district.

The district posted the Arroyo Grande High School principal job on Wednesday with a salary range of $98,285 to $109,583. The deadline to apply is May 15.

In addition, the board appointed Derek Muetzel, a sixth-grade teacher at Fairgrove Elementary, to become assistant principal at Mesa Middle School. He will fill a vacancy left by the upcoming retirement of current assistant principal Marianne Foster.

Read more here:

5/10/13 > Bullied: Movie & Panel Discussion

May 13, 2013
5:30 pm- 7:00 pm
Clark Center
487 Fair Oaks Ave

Join us for a community dialogue and free screening of Bullied, a documentary film that chronicle one student's ordeal at the hands of bullies and offers an inspiring message of hope to those fighting harassment today. Following the film, a panel of students will share their experiences with bullying in middle school and high school. There will also be a community resource fair.
5/06/13 > AGHS Agriculture and Career Technical Education Ribbon Cutting
Please Join Us!


Agriculture & Career-Technical Education Facilities

Arroyo Grande High School
495 Valley Road, Arroyo Grande

Thursday, May 9, 2013 ~ 4 to 6 p.m.

Student-led tours ~ Demonstrations ~ Culinary Arts Sampling


5/02/13 > TPR: Nipomo student to lead statewide organization

Riley Nilsen, a Nipomo High School senior, was elected to the highest office of the California Association Future Farmers of America student organization Tuesday, April 23, at the 85th annual California State FFA Leadership Conference.

“When they called my name for president, I was in shock,” Nilsen said.

Nilsen will be the first female from the South Coast Region to fill the state presidency position, said Greg Beard, a regional FFA supervisor.

“It’s a significant individual accomplishment and school accomplishment. It’s indeed an honor.”

The Nipomo FFA chapter, a unit of more than 300 members, completes monthly community service projects, leadership development contests and individual agricultural projects such as horticulture, livestock, landscaping and floriculture projects.

Nilsen, the current chapter and South Coast Region president, has been a Nipomo FFA member since her freshman year.

In her state election effort, a nominating committee interviewed and selected her as a finalist to present a two-minute speech before her FFA peers at the four-day state leadership conference.

More than 5,000 FFA members attended.

“It was so incredible to just run through layers of people cheering for you,” Nilsen said.

Rosemary Cummings, the Nipomo FFA adviser, said a local student has not filled the state president position since Jimmy Pierce of Righetti High School in 2005-06.

“It was overwhelming,” Cummings said. “I always knew Riley had the ability and the talent to be a state officer, but to be put in the highest position ... I was very proud and very

honored to be her adviser.”

As state president, the 18-year-old Nilsen will defer acceptance for one year to Cal Poly where she plans to major in agriculture communications.

Cummings, also an agriculture instructor, said Nilsen’s year of service will include planning and conducting leadership conferences for 76,000 state members, visiting the 358 California FFA chapters and representing California on a national scope.

“It’s all about serving them,” Nilsen said.

The Nipomo student is one of six — including Valerie Canas of Santa Maria High School — selected to serve on the state FFA board.

Nilsen and Canas, who will serve as vice president, will join 49 FFA leaders and their supporting executive teams in a state presidents conference that the U.S. FFA president is scheduled to attend Monday through Friday, July 22 to 26, at the L’Enfant Plaza Hotel in Washington, D.C.
4/26/13 > Times Press Recorder: AGHS Students Bring Home Gold

AGHS students bring home gold
By TPR Staff

Arroyo Grande High School seniors Jacobs Otto and Abbie Sandquist won a gold medal for 3D animation during the recent California Leadership and Skills competition earlier this month.

After a great finish during the recent California Leadership and Skills competition, Arroyo Grande High School seniors Jacobs Otto and Abbie Sandquist are heading to the next level of the contest.

Both students won gold medals in the 3D animation category of the statewide event that was held earlier this month in San Diego.

Their first-place win earned the pair a spot at the upcoming National Skills USA Competition, which will be held June 25 to 28 in Kansas City.

The win by Otto and Sandquist also helped to lead the AGHS SkillsUSA team to its sixth state championship in 3D computer animation since 2006, a spokeswoman said.

Also winning medals in 3D animation for the high school team were Josh Bergeon and Jordan Coburn, who walked away from the contest with the silver, and Ryan Odom and Tim Weadon, who took bronze in the category.

In the culinary competition, team member Steve Rogers won the bronze medal. Silver place finished with a score of 765.500 and Rogers had 765.250, the spokeswoman said.

Other AGHS SkillsUSA team winners included: Tristan Bewlwy, who finished seventh in intro to drafting, Anthony Ricker, who ended the technical drafting competition in 10th place, Casey Mack, who finished 13th in architectural design and Nathan Fuhriman, who received a 14th-place finish in technical drafting.

Each contest at the competition is a representation of various occupations, with members competing in occupational tasks while showcasing their knowledge of a particular occupational study, the spokeswoman said.

SkillsUSA is a partnership of students, teachers and industry representative working together to ensure America has a skilled work force.

Posted Friday April 26, 2013
4/21/13 > Santa Maria Times: Big mural brightens Dana kindergarten wall

Big mural brightens Dana kindergarten wall


A new mural is brightening up the play area outside the Dana Elementary School kindergarten classroom — and drawing the attention of motorists with its bright colors and bold images.

Jennifer Marsh designed what she calls a “really kindergarten-friendly” mural — a red airplane towing a banner through a blue sky filled with puffy white clouds and a flowerlike sun above round green hills.

Then, in less than four days, she painted it on the south wall of the kindergarten wing facing West Tefft Street.

“My sister helped a little bit, and my dad held the ladder,” Marsh said as she showed the mural to school visitors last week.
“I was out here last night painting ‘kindergarten’ on the banner using the flashlight app on my cell phone for light,” she added. “I wanted to make sure it was done by today.”

But Marsh noted the mural still wasn’t really finished, even after the banner was done.

“My plan is to have the kindergartners come out, two or three at a time, and add to it,” she said. “They can paint whatever they want on it.

“That’s why I chose rolling hills, so they can add flowers or whatever they want,” she added. Marsh, 38, is an interior designer with a degree from Cal State, Fresno.

But she said she has always been involved in art and has painted a number of murals on walls and large canvases for friends.

When her son, Landon, attended the nearby Li’l Bits Preschool, she volunteered to help with art projects there once a week.
“I really enjoy kids doing art,” she said.

Now her son is in kindergarten at Dana, and when she saw a call for mural artists in the school newsletter, she was the only parent to respond.

“It boosts morale for the staff and everybody,” said Dana Principal Stacey Russell as a crowd of staff, students and visitors admired Marsh’s handiwork.

But her mural isn’t the first one to go up at Dana, nor will it be the last.

Marsh said the goal is to create a mural for every grade at the school, and she plans to paint another one on a wall overlooking a garden and outdoor teaching area near.

Even as she spoke, artist Ethel “Tink” Landers, who recently painted a mural inside the Dana cafeteria, was working on murals at the end of two other classroom wings.

“I want to encourage more seniors and volunteers to get out here and help,” Landers said. “You don’t have to be an artist to help. If you can use a (paint) roller or a blower or a shop vac, you can help. We need someone to clean up all the paint chips and stuff.

“You also don’t need to have one of these here,” she laughed, gesturing at a passing group of Dana students gazing at her mural art.

She noted volunteers are also needed to repaint the eaves of classrooms, adding, “We can get the paint if we can get someone to paint them.”

In addition to brightening up the campus, Landers and Marsh both hope to stimulate an interest in art among the students.
The murals seem to be doing just that.

“After I finished up most of the mural and was driving away, I looked back down at the mural,” Marsh said, pointing toward West Tefft Street.

“This little girl had put her hands up, like she was hugging it,” she said. “That’s all I needed, was one little kid.”

How to help
Volunteers are needed to help paint murals, clean up after the artists and scrape and paint eaves at Dana Elementary School.

No experience or special equipment is needed. Paint is supplied by Lucia Mar Unified School District and the Dana Elementary PTA.

To volunteer, call the school office at 474-3790.


4/20/13 > Santa Maria Times: AGHS students unveil new mascot

AGHS students unveil new mascot


Arroyo Grande High School students showcased a new mascot costume Friday as a token of appreciation to law enforcement and city officials for installing a new crosswalk.

Students, school and Lucia Mar Unified School District administrators met city and law enforcement officials at Station Way and Fair Oaks Avenue on Friday.

A life-sized eagle, which students named Chester, led the group across Station Way at the Fair Oaks intersection Friday in a celebratory strut.

“This is kind of a new thing for me,” said Garrett Ball, the student engulfed in feathers.

Garrett, a junior at Arroyo Grande High School researched costume options and ordered the $1,000 eagle costume after students searched for a replacement for about two years.

“The old one was kind of gross in the inside,” Garrett said Kathleen Schwind, a student government spokeswoman, said the new costume, covered from head to talon with feathers, is lined with an interior fan and features a custom-selected blue color.

“We haven’t gotten a new mascot in over a decade,” she said.

Associated Student Body (ASB) members said the replacement costume was long overdue.

“I love it,” Kelsey Hitchen, the ASB treasurer, said. “It’s completely different than the ones we’ve had in the past.”

She said the former costume was navy, covered with fabric petals and stopped at about her calf.

“It’s really exciting to have something new,” Kelsey said.

Tom Butler, principal at Arroyo Grande High, said the new mascot would provide students an extra jolt of school pride.
“It’s part of high school, being able to rally around your school,” he said.

Arroyo Grande students organized the Friday unveiling to thank school and city officials for a new crosswalk complete with a crossing guard.

Steve Adams, Arroyo Grande city manager, said the $18,000 crosswalk was installed during spring break.
“This was a partnership between the school district and the city,” he said.

Jim Hogeboom, Lucia Mar superintendent, said the school district funded the crossing guard — about $3,000 for the remainder of the school year.

John Waco, a substitute teacher, said he has been serving as the temporary crossing guard until the district fills the position in about a week.

“It’s been really great,” Waco said. “I really enjoy it.”

“I enjoy it because of the interaction with the students,” he added.

Adams holds Arroyo Grande students in high regard.

“We have such great kids in Arroyo Grande,” he said. “And for them to take the initiative and show appreciation, it speaks a lot to the quality of our youth.”
4/19/13 > PISA Report from AGHS

Date: April 23, 2013

To: Jim Hogeboom, Superintendent

From: Andy Stenson, Assistant Superintendent, Curriculum and Instruction

Subject: Report, Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) Pilot Results

A randomly selected sample of 99 fifteen year-old Arroyo Grande High School students participated in the PISA Pilot International Assessment (PISA) in 2012. Tom Butler, AGHS Principal, and I will provide a report outlining the results of the test. Mr. Butler will also detail how the results inform professional learning for the AGHS staff.

The full 160 page PISA report, entitled “How Your School Compares Internationally”, was prepared by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OELD), and is available online under the Curriculum Department at:

Report only

Fiscal Impact/Support of Board Goals:

Fiscal Impact: N/A

Board Goal Reference: Goal #1: Student Success and Goal #2: Staff Success

Contact Person(s):
Andy Stenson


4/18/13 > SM Times: Run’s goal: ‘250 miles for 250 lives’
Students back trumpet player’s effort to fund clean water in Ethiopia


Roy Wiegand, a trumpet player in Burbank, is crossing the midpoint in a 250-mile running campaign called “250 miles for 250 Lives,” to raise $10,000 for water sanitation in Ethiopia.

As of Wednesday, Wiegand had collected $8,204 - $400 of which came from Harloe Elementary School in the Lucia Mar Unified School District.

Another $1,116 donation came from Los Ranchos Elementary School in the San Luis Coastal Unified School District.

Harloe Elementary students supported Wiegand as part of a “hero theme” endorsed in several classrooms and incorporated into a performance in the school’s talent show.

The money raised in conjunction with nonprofit Lifewater International will provide clean water for 250 people in Ethiopia.
“Forty dollars can give one person a lifetime of clean water,” he said.

On Tuesday, a group of about 36 Harloe sixth-graders greeted Wiegand by performing what they called a hero dance.
“We would like to dedicate our performance to Roy, a true hero,” said Danielle Scudder, an 11-year-old Harloe student.
Students in first- through sixth-grade classrooms sprawled across a grass-covered field on the K-6th grade campus.
Levi Spriggs, 7, said he turned in pennies and raced ahead of other students as part of the first-grade classroom that raised the most money, and had the opportunity to run with Wiegand along the school’s outdoor track.
“It made me feel happy to give people new water,” Levi said.

Wiegand peddled a three-wheel buggy to both Harloe and Los Ranchos elementary schools Tuesday. He said a friend of his, Tim Borland, had pushed a similar stroller in 2007 to raise awareness for a rare childhood disease (ataxia-telangiectasia).

Borland ran 14,000 miles in more than two dozen states. He used the stroller to push children with ataxia-telangiectasia along the way. But Wiegand, 49, toted a 5-gallon jug of brown, contaminated water - drinking water in Ethiopia, he said.
Susannah Masur, a public relations manager with UNICEF, includes Ethiopia in a list of countries with little access to safe water.

“There are hundreds of countries where people don’t have access to clean drinking water,” Masur said in a phone interview.
She listed Somalia, Papua New Guinea, Ethiopia and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

“What a little bit of pocket change can do in a (developing) country can transform someone’s life with clean water,” Wiegand said.

Wiegand finished the first 20 miles of his 250-mile trek Sunday and is continuing to run daily in about 30 mile spans from Cambria to the Rose Bowl, where he plans to finish April 21.

He has participated in running and biking campaigns since 2011 and earned $12,669 for Lifewater International sanitation efforts. This year Wiegand chose to donate proceeds to Ethiopia in what he said would be his longest running endeavor.
In rural areas of Ethiopia, women and children walk miles to access water, usually carrying 40-pound containers back to their villages.

In 2010, the most recently available data year, 44 percent of the total population and 34 percent of the population in rural areas of Ethiopia had access to safe water, according to the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF).

Wiegand said Lifewater builds and teaches villagers how to operate water pumps. To donate to the 250 miles for 250 Lives campaign, visit
4/17/13 > The Tribune: Arroyo Grande and SLO students pump funds into clean-water effort for Lifewater International
Roy Wiegand, who is running 250 miles to raise money and awareness for clean water wells in third-world countries, is greeted by Harloe Elementary students before the start of his day of running.

By Cynthia Lambert —

For a few moments Tuesday morning, 9-year-old Tessa Lewis balanced a 40-pound jug of dirty water in her arms and then tried to imagine carrying it for two miles or more.

“That would be hard,” said Lewis, a third-grade student at Harloe Elementary School in Arroyo Grande.

She and dozens of her peers gathered to meet a Southern California man who is running from San Luis Obispo to Pasadena — about 250 miles — to raise money and awareness for a local nonprofit that helps people in developing countries access clean water.

Fourteen classes at Harloe Elementary raised $400 to donate to Roy Wiegand of Burbank, who will pass the proceeds along to San Luis Obispo-based Lifewater International.

Wiegand, 49, hopes to raise $10,000 for Lifewater’s work in Ethiopia. On Monday, he visited Los Ranchos Elementary School in San Luis Obispo, where students had raised $1,116.

Wiegand arrived at Harloe Elementary to cheers, pushing a specially made stroller containing a clear jug full of dirty water to symbolize “the fact that 780 million people globally still don’t have access to safe water,” according to Lifewater International.
Some women and children have to walk several miles to find water that is often not potable, according to the nonprofit.
Wiegand also showed students a smaller bottle filled with dirty water that was brought back from Ethiopia, adding “this is what ends up in ponds or streams.”

Third-grader Elijah Carlson, 9, also had a chance to heave the jug into his arms.

“It’s heavy,” he said. “I’m surprised that kids can even carry it. Their arms must ache a lot.”

The money raised by Harloe students, Wiegand said, will give 10 people access to clean water for the rest of their lives.
“Guess how many lives you saved with that money,” he told students. “Ten lives.”

Then, Wiegand ran a lap with a group of eager first-graders from Sandee Sistek’s class, which had raised the most in donations.

Several students said the experience showed them how important it is to have clean water and why they should work to conserve it.

“I realized how lucky we are to have so much water,” said sixth-grader Danielle Scudder, 11. “I find myself taking shorter showers. If I don’t finish a bottle (of water), I don’t throw it away. I fill it up and save it for tomorrow.”

For more information about Wiegand’s run, go to He has raised money for Lifewater for several years; last year, he ran 110 miles in 24 hours, raising $7,000.

To learn about Lifewater, visit

Cynthia Lambert and Gayle Cuddy write the South County Beat column on alternating Wednesdays. Reach Cynthia Lambert at 781-7929. Stay updated by following @SouthCountyBeat on Twitter.
4/15/13 > Skills USA Finds Great Success at State Competiton

April 12, 2013
After a great finish at the State SkillsUSA Competition, Jacobs Otto and Abbie Sandquist are heading to the National Leadership and Skills Conference.

Otto and Sandquist finished with a gold medal in the 3D Animation category at the California Leadership & Skills Conference. Gold medal winners at the state level advance to the National Leadership and Skills Conference held in Kansas City in June 25-28, 2013. The AGHS SkillsUSA team has now won six state championships in 3D computer animation since 2006.

SkillsUSA is a partnership of students, teachers and industry representatives, working together to ensure America has a skilled work force.
Each contest is a representation of various occupations, with members competing in occupational tasks and knowledge of their particular occupational study.
Also winning medals in 3D animation were, Josh Bergeon and Jordan Coburn, who finished the competition with a silver medal as well as the team of Ryan Odom and Tim Weadon, who finished with the bronze.

In the Culinary competition, Steve Rogers won the bronze medal. Silver place finished with a score of 765.500 and Rogers had 765.250. It was a close competition.

Other winners included Tristan Bewlwy who finished seventh in Intro to Drafting. Anthony Ricker ended the Technical Drafting competition in 10th place. Casey Mack finished Architectural Design in 13th place. And Nathan Fuhriman received a 14th place in Technical Drafting.
4/14/13 > Times Press Recorder: Theaola Lynn Honored

A longtime South County teacher will be honored for her years of service to the community — particularly its children — at the Grover Beach City Council meeting Monday night, April 15.

The public is invited to see Theaola Lynn receive a Mayor’s Commendation at the meeting scheduled to begin at 6:30 p.m. in the council chambers of City Hall, 154 S. Eighth St.

Mayor Debbie Peterson instituted the award to recognize residents and citizens who have substantially contributed time and resources to Grover Beach.

“Theaola Lynn more than fits the criteria, having taught school locally for 70 years,” Peterson said.

“Mrs. Lynn had an uncanny ability to keep a whole room of 6-year-olds quietly engaged with their schoolwork,” Peterson said. “Not only was she always ready with a warm hug, a smile and words of encouragement for my son and me, she always cheered me on in community service.”

Lynn’s late husband, Woody, was one of the city’s longest-sitting council members, serving for almost 16 years, from 1970 to 1985.

The Lynns traveled from Oklahoma to California in the 1950s, and Theaola was immediately hired as a teacher.

She and Woody both earned teaching degrees at Fresno State College — now California State University, Fresno — and Woody eventually earned a master’s degree in general education at Cal Poly.

After their two daughters were born, the family made weekend visits to what was then Grover City and soon relocated to the South County.

They first settled in Pismo Beach, then in the late ’50s moved to a Grover City home just a few doors from where Theaola now lives.

She began teaching kindergarten, first- and second-grade students in Oceano when there were three separate school districts for Arroyo Grande, Oceano and Pismo Beach, which included Grover City.

The three eventually became part of Lucia Mar Unified School District.

In the meantime, as a councilman, Woody worked to get curbs and gutters constructed along what is now West Grand Avenue and initiate mandatory garbage collection, Theaola said.

The couple were married for 55 years until Woody’s death.

After she retired, Theaola was a regular substitute teacher at Grover Heights Elementary School.

But when the economy worsened and nearly 100 teachers were threatened with layoffs, she quit teaching after 70 years.

Theaola said she quit because she was doing it “for fun,” whereas others really needed the job financially.
4/09/13 > SM Times: AGHS outperforms similar US schools in pilot test
AGHS outperforms similar US schools in pilot test

Scores aim to show schools how to compete internationally


Students at Arroyo Grande High School outperformed those across the nation in a pilot test used for international comparison.

Results released last week served as a first look at a benchmarking mechanism that will — starting this fall — allow schools in the U.S. to compare themselves to high-performing schools abroad.

National PTA President Betsy Landers said in an April 3 news release that the comparison aligns with Common Core State Standards, a shift in curriculum that is said to promote critical thinking and deeper understanding.

She said international comparison would provide valuable information for families and schools.

“Armed with this information, parents and educators can advocate for more rigorous classwork benchmarked to the new common core state standards that will ultimately position our students to succeed in a competitive, global job market,” Landers said.

The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), an intergovernmental organization of 34 countries, coordinates the Program for International Student Assessment and in 2012 joined forces with the education nonprofit America Achieves to conduct the pilot test that was participated in by 105 U.S. schools, including Arroyo Grande.
Each of the schools received a report from the OECD identifying strengths, weaknesses and strategies for improvement. Results were based on math and science data disaggregated by economic and social advantage from the 2009 Program for International Student Assessment (PISA).

Arroyo Grande High School is in the lowest quarter or most disadvantaged of the socioeconomic advantage categories. Thirty-nine percent of students receive free or reduced price lunch. The student population is represented as 32 percent Hispanic, 61 percent white and 7 percent other ethnicities.

Despite being significantly more disadvantaged than the U.S. average, Arroyo Grande student results are “much better than those of students from similar socioeconomic backgrounds in the U.S., especially in science,” according to OECD results.
Arroyo Grande High School Principal Tom Butler said a group of 100, 15-year-old students participated in the pilot test that measured their ability to apply reading, mathematics and science knowledge last spring.

“What was nice for us is this gives us a really big look at how we’re doing compared to other countries,” Butler said.
The OECD feedback highlights Arroyo Grande’s professional development model and a school-based Instructional Leadership Team comprised of teacher-leaders that teachers and administrators say promotes mutual observation, collaboration and reflective practice.

Butler said high-achieving schools in Shanghai, China, are focusing on teacher leadership. “And so are we at Arroyo Grande High School,” he said.

The OECD and America Achieves compiled local results into U.S. totals and compared schools internationally according to demographic breakdowns.

An analysis entitled Middle Class and Middle of the Pack concluded that in the U.S., while the need for educational improvement in low-income communities exists, the need also extends deeply into America’s middle class.

U.S. students in the second to top quarter of socio-economic advantage lag behind their international peers and were significantly outperformed by 24 countries and regions in math and 15 in science.

To view complete results, visit
4/09/13 > Congratulations Mike Thomas!!

April 9, 2013

Arroyo Grande, Calif.- Mike Thomas, lead custodian at Arroyo Grande High School, has been named the Classified Employee of the Year by the Lucia Mar Chapter of the California School Employees Association (CSEA). Mike Thomas also serves as the Chapter President of the CSEA.

Members of the CSEA Bargaining Unit nominate fellow employees for the honor. Then a committee made up of three past recipients, the Chapter President and the Chapter Secretary narrow down the nominations. The employee’s supervisor and the district personnel office also provide input. And this morning Mike Thomas was surprised by the announcement.

Thomas was nominated by Deanna Teixeira who says, ”He always has a cheerful attitude and is eager to help in any way he can. As soon as someone calls him, he is on it! No matter where he is, he says he’ll take care of it, and he does. He has made himself available 24/7, does not know the word “no,” and never acts like it is an inconvenience to help.”

Michelle Ellis, the Assistant Superintendent, Human Resources, adds, “I have had the pleasure of working with Mike Thomas over the past four years. I appreciate the genuine care and concern he has for his bargaining unit members, and the work he does on their behalf. I have an excellent working relationship with Mike and because of that we have worked to creatively solve a variety of issues before they became “problems”. He is a man of honor, is dedicated to his family, and serves as an excellent role model for other district employees.”

Congratulations Mike Thomas and thanks for everything you do!
4/02/13 > Agriculture and Career Technical Education Ribbon Cutting

Please Join Us!


Agriculture & Career-Technical Education Facilities

Arroyo Grande High School
495 Valley Road, Arroyo Grande

Thursday, May 9, 2013 ~ 4 to 6 p.m.

Student-led tours ~ Demonstrations ~ Culinary Arts Sampling
4/01/13 > SM Times: National Merit Finalist


Three Arroyo Grande High School students earned National Merit Finalist designations that could mean hundreds or thousands of dollars in scholarship funding.

Kyle Berlin, 17, Joanne Crandall, 17, and Joseph Simonian, 18, are the only local high school students honored as finalists in the National Merit Scholarship program this year.

Eileen Artemakis, director of public information with the National Merit program, said it had been more than 10 years since Arroyo Grande had three or more finalists, and National Merit finalists represent less than 1 percent of graduating seniors in the U.S.

But Thursday college acceptance notifications grabbed the attention of the three students, who were glued to cellphones.

"It's Ivy Day today," Joseph said.

He defined the occasion as the day when Ivy League colleges and universities extended acceptance notifications. Between the three honor students, good news from the premier schools trickled in, totaling more than 20 acceptances.

They celebrated and congratulated each other but agreed that the type of university a student attends is not indicative of character.

"It's all about the choices you make," Kyle said. "You are your choices."

Tom Butler, principal at Arroyo Grande High School attended an award ceremony for the National Merit finalists in the Georgie O'Connor Board Room on Thursday.

"We're just very proud of these students," he said the day before the event.

Laura Wade, an Advanced Placement coordinator at AGHS, said Kyle, Joanne and Joseph had taken 42 Advanced Placement (AP) exams between the three of them.

"I thought that was pretty impressive," she said.

Wade teaches a pre-AP English course, the first in a four-year vertically aligned program. She has instructed Kyle, Joanne and Joseph throughout their time at Arroyo Grande.

She said each of the students is special in his or her own right.

Joanne was a member of the Five Cities Diversity Coalition, formed after a cross was burned March 18 in a vacant lot adjacent to the home of a mixed-race family on South Elm Street.

Wade said Joanne circulated petitions to demonstrate community support for the family.

Kyle, involved in debate and speech activities, placed first in the 2013 California Destination Imagination improvisation competition. He and team member, Kelly Barrett, earned a trip to the international competition in Tennessee from May 22 to 26.

"Joseph, he is an incredible mathematician," Wade said. He earned a perfect 36 on the ACT and taught himself the content for a Physics C AP class, which is not a course offering at AGHS.

"They're all exceptional students," Wade said.

3/31/13 > SM Times: Lucia Mar students accept writing awards
Lucia Mar students accept writing awards

Ceremony celebrates works in several categories


Grace Lalanne, 9, read the first words of a personal narrative titled “My Grandma” to a crowd of writing award winners Thursday in the Clark Center for the Performing Arts in Arroyo Grande.

“I can remember the day my grandma fell. It was when I was in preschool,” she said.

“Falling and breaking bones wasn’t the problem. It was after this,” Grace added later.

She is one of 188 finalists in the Lucia Mar Unified School District who were honored in the Dr. Becca Wachtmann writing awards ceremony Thursday.

Andy Stenson, Lucia Mar assistant superintendent for curriculum, gave the opening at the event.

“If you’re sitting in this room tonight, then you certainly without a doubt represent the best of the best,” he said.
Students — such as Gavin Marin, 6; Noleka Sandlin, 10; and Taylor Jones, 8 — created works in the categories of expository writing, poetry, imaginative narratives or personal experience narratives.

Grace had written a personal experience narrative about her grandmother, Arvie Lalanne, who was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease about five years ago.

She described in the narrative the initial incident that led to her diagnosis and later unraveled a series of both comical and serious incidents about the process of finding the right nursing home and worsening effects of the disease.

“By now I had gotten used to my grandma not knowing who I am,” Grace read.

She ended the piece with the family’s latest visit to see her grandmother in December. Her memory had worsened.
Marc Lalanne, Grace’s father and a math teacher at Arroyo Grande High School, said the experience was especially difficult for his oldest son, Evan.

“It was the first time that she had never recognized him, and he just lost it,” Marc Lalanne said.

“I was in tears and so was my brother,” Grace wrote. “My grandma is still there. Now I guess I’m going to have to fight through this slow, hard death of someone I love.”
3/29/13 > KSBY: Central Coast New Tech Awards
Central Coast New Tech High School in Nipomo rolled out the red carpet Friday for its own students.

Students showed off the movies they made as part of a "CSI" project.

Their assignment was to track down the culprit who stole "Rosy" the snake from science teacher Kurt Payne's classroom.

The students narrowed the suspects down to three or four possible thieves, then used DNA to identify the final suspect.

Their videos demonstrate how they arrived at their conclusions.
3/28/13 > KSBY Video: AGHS National Merit Finalists
Some Arroyo Grande High School students are among the best in the nation.

Four were named National Merit Semi-Finalists and three are advancing to the finals.

The finalists are Kyle Berlin, Joanne Crandall and Joseph Simonian.

The semi-finalist is Janelle Dunn.

High school students enter the National Merit Program by taking the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test.

"Yes, I've been studying hard," said AGHS senior Kyle Berlin. "In the future, I want to do something that hopefully I enjoy doing and hopefully will give back to the planet."

About 1.5 million students enter every year.

The group of finalists represents less than 1% of U.S. high school graduating seniors.
3/21/13 > Video: Central Coast New Tech High on HLN
3/18/13 > KCOY Video: Moving Away From Algebra in 8th Grade
3/14/13 > Kindergarten Roundup Dates and Locations
It is time to get your children signed up for kindergarten. An exciting step in your child's life.

Please click pdf below to view Transitional Kindergarten & Kindergarten Roundup information for the 2013-2014 School Year.

3/05/13 > KCOY Video: Lucia Mar No Longer Qualified

KCOY Santa Maria, Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo - News

SAN LUIS OBISPO COUNTY, Calif- School districts are in trouble across the state when it comes to their budgets. Four local school districts could be in even worse shape. The State Superintendent said those districts may not meet their financial obligations for the fiscal year.

The four San Luis Obispo County School Districts on a list sent out by the State Superintendent are considered qualified. Atascadero Unified, Paso Robles Joint Unified, San Miguel Joint Union and Shandon Joint Unified. The Lucia Mar School District was on that list for five years. It was a difficult five years according to the district, and it said it had to act fast in order to avoid even deeper cuts in the future.

"As a response to that we made pretty huge personnel cuts in terms of lay offs, and we were one of the few districts that did it right after receiving that bad news," said Assistant Superintendent Raynee Daly. Over the last 5 years the Lucia Mar Unified School District has worked to become fiscally conservative, and like many schools, it had to do more with less. "We had fewer teachers so that would result in an increase in class sizes, it would also result in a decrease in some kinds of services like counselors," said Daly.

Funding for schools has continually been slashed and the district tried to find a way to live with it. "For the last 3 years, we at the end of the year had not deficit spent, so we have lived within our means in this terrible time of the states budget," said Daly. School districts around SLO County that are on the list have tried various ways to become stable.

At Paso Robles Unified School District, it's agreed to cut district staff salaries by almost 5 percent. At San Miguel Joint Unified School District, it cut the school year by 5 days, all in hopes of becoming stable, like Lucia Mar. "Now that we are stable we can relax a little bit and say ok if there are classroom supplies or paper that you need for your classroom we don't have to watch it quite as carefully because we can give the principal the opportunity to be the leaders that they are and better serve our kids," said Daly.
2/14/13 > KSBY Video: Central Coast New Tech High School Museum Night

KSBY: Central Coast New-Tech High School students took a step back in time.

Wednesday night they turned their campus into a World War One museum.

Students put what they're learning in class into action. It took them a few weeks to build.

They created different exhibits about the great war and they're acting as docents to visitors.

Freshman Abigail Pole worked on the project. She told KSBY News, "Now I am seeing all the people appreciating it, everyone is happy, we're all smiling. It makes me feel real good, just to know that all the work we put into this is really reaping rewards and I will remember this a lot better than I will memorizing facts for a test."

Their goal was to capture the causes and consequences of WWI. Projects ranged from digital components like photo essays, to literary ones like letters from soldier's perspectives.
1/07/13 > Emergency Preparedness Resources
8/13/12 > Welcome Back 2012-13
Presentations from the Welcome back event at the Clark Center on 8/13/2012.

8/06/12 > Central Coast New Tech High School Ribbon-Cutting & Open House

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Noon to 2 p.m.

525 North Thompson Road, Nipomo

Student-led Tours Hosted BBQ Demos Fun Events and Games


7/16/12 > NEW VIDEO: Central Coast New Tech High School


Jim Gentilucci Ph. D. talks about Central Coast New Tech High School located in Nipomo, CA.
The Central Coast New Tech High School model integrates high-tech teaching methods with project-based learning, similar to Cal Poly's "Learn by Doing" philosophy. Upon graduation, New Tech students will have completed college courses, given more than 200 multimedia presentations, completed internships, performed community service, worked on real-world projects, and have a digital resume portfolio.


5/09/12 > High-Tech Classroom Coming to Lucia Mar

Gen 7

Gen7 Classrooms Bring Technology of Tomorrow to Central Coast New Tech High Nipomo, CA, May 9, 2012 - Gen7 ultra-green classrooms will arrive at Central Coast New Tech High School on Thursday, bringing an innovative approach to sustainability and education to students in the Lucia Mar School District. Designed to pursue LEED Silver certification, the state-of-the-art classrooms will provide a new wing of permanent, high-performance learning space, plus an eco-friendly restroom building. Delivered 90% complete, the Gen7s will be installed onsite in just one day and ready for occupancy on August 16, 2012.

Gen7's adaptable modular design was a cost-effective solution for Central Coast New Tech High, one of 12 California schools in the New Tech Network. The oversized 40x40 classrooms are designed to support the school's project-based curriculum, as well as room for two classes to allow for interdisciplinary instruction with two classroom teachers.

"Gen7 classrooms give kids an innovative context for learning," said Jim Hogeboom, Superintendent, Lucia Mar Unified School District. "Students not only will learn in these high-tech classrooms, they will also learn from the building itself, helping them to apply sustainability practices to the real world and effectively use the resources around them to solve environmental challenges and succeed in the 21st century global economy."

Teaching Wall

Gen7 mirrors New Tech's model for educational innovation and excellence, combining recycled materials with the latest smart technology to create a healthy, comfortable and energy-efficient place to learn. Each classroom features high-efficiency systems, large low-E view windows, skylights and a

dedicated outdoor ventilation system that circulates 100% fresh, filtered air. The improved air quality, whisper-quiet acoustics and abundant natural light have been shown to boost student productivity and performance, while reducing illness and absenteeism among students and teachers.

It all adds up to ongoing savings that help Gen7 recoup its costs over time, while serving as a hands-on teaching tool that gives students a valuable lesson in the benefits of environmental stewardship.

" A 21st Century environment enhances 21st Century learning," said Erin Inglish, Sustainability Coordinator for LMUSD. "Gen7's sustainable materials, superior air quality and optimized energy performance will allow LMUSD to do more than create a new kind of classroom; it offers a better, more cost-effective, more progressive educational space for our students."

The Gen7 installation will take place on Thursday, May 10, at the south end of the Nipomo High School campus, located at 525 N. Thompson Road. Representatives from LMUSD and Gen7/AMS will be onsite to answer questions from 8 AM until 2 PM.

5/09/12 > Superintendent Message: Day of the Teacher

Day of the Teacher


Everyone remembers their favorite teachers, even though for many of us that time in school was so very long ago!  For me one of my most special teachers was Mrs. Neuman, my fifth grade teacher at Rancho Romero School.  She was one of those gruff on the exterior but so kind and caring on the inside teachers, and she pushed me to excel and to reach my full potential.  I remember my mom insisting that Mrs. Neuman come over for lunch one day, and even though my friends all called me a teacher's pet for weeks afterwards, I still was more than willing to withstand the teasing to be in the presence of such a supportive and loving teacher.  I always did my best work for her, and never wanted to disappoint her.  She was able to get us all excited about learning, and this passion led us to produce results that otherwise would not have been possible.  I also sat next to a little curly haired girl named Gwen in that class, who is now my wife, so that could have something to do with that being a magical time in my life as well!


So the "Day of the Teacher" is really the year of the teacher, and the contributions you make and the impact you all have on your students can last a lifetime.  Never underestimate the power you have to change the life of a student.  One word, one look, one hug can make all the difference in the world to a child, and you never know when a kindness or a supportive thing you did and never even realized it had a dramatic effect on one of your students.  You are all working so hard and very long hours, and have so many challenges and expectations to meet these days, but I hope you remember how important you are in the life of a child and that there is no other job that can have the same impact as yours does. 


On behalf of all of the children who never had the opportunity to tell you,  THANK YOU  for all you do and for the positive influence you have on your students.  You should be so proud to call yourself a teacher!!



5/08/12 > AGHS ranked among best high schools by U.S. News and World Report
5/08/12 > Lucia Mar 21st Century Skills Newsletter

21st Century Skills Newsletter

Page 2 of 3

Page 3 of 3

You can download and view complete 21st Century Spring Newsletter via pdf below! 

5/02/12 > Lucia Mar Bright Futures Awarded LEGO® Education Showcase Grant

Students and community invited to build a city of the future

at the first-ever LEGO Education Showcase Event!


Students from 10 Bright Futures Schools in the Lucia Mar Unified School DIstrict will be building a city in the future on Saturday May 12th from 9am - 11am using LEGO creativity! Harloe Elementary will be hosting the LEGO Education Showcase Event at 901 Fair Oaks Ave. Arroyo Grande.


The Showcase Event is a customizable building activity that sparks creativity in participants by allowing them to use their imaginations to create LEGO models around a theme. The theme for this event is for teams to build a city of the future out of Legos. Students will work in teams to create their futuristic city. The event will begin with the Arroyo Grande Robotics team doing a presentation about their Robotics Club and demonstrating their robots.


The LEGO Education Showcase Grant was made available through Education Blueprints Association, a non-profit organization dedicated to providing learning resources and programs that deliver education solutions to individuals, teachers, and students. Only 100 LEGO Education Showcase Grants were available nation-wide.

4/19/12 > Alan November Visits Lucia Mar
Alan November


The Lucia Mar Foundation for Innovation and Cal Poly sponsored an informative set of talks from Alan November, an international leader in educational technology on April 18, 2012 at the Lucia Mar Student Services building and the Clark Center. November engaged three different audiences with humor and practical insights into using technology to develop 21st century skills. The morning session consisted of an informal roundtable with teachers and principals from every school in the district. Alan demonstrated tools for professional development, discovering, evaluating, and organizing information. He also offered advice on participant's questions, a sample teacher lesson, and the district's 21st century skills effort. At Faculty Forum in the afternoon Alan gave simple, effective tips for web searching and showcased examples of students as contributors to their learning environment. Several educators from Cal Poly also attended the Forum. In the evening the Central Coast ED Tech 21 event provided parents, students, and community members with a Parent's Guide to 21st Century Learning and survival tips for using social media, search tips , internet research,  and critical thinking . Everyone walked away with insights to think about and techniques to try. And thanks to the Lucia Mar Foundation for Innovation several random participants also walked away with gift cards to local stores.

3/27/12 > Central Coast ED Tech 21: FREE Event!

Sponsored by Cal Poly Sponsored by the Lucia Mar Foundation for Innovation


Central Coast ED Tech 21  

Surviving and Getting Ahead in the Digital Age 

This FREE event is being brought to you by Cal Poly and the Lucia Mar Foundation for Innovation. Central Coast ED Tech 21: Surviving and Getting Ahead in the Digital Age is a great opportunity for parents, students, and educators to learn the latest and greatest in the field of education technology. November is a renowned leader in international education technology and innovation.

Topics that will be covered: Social media pros and cons, most effective internet research methods, critical thinking online, and where's technology going and how to prepare. Admission is free, but seating is limited and will be on a first come first serve basis. This event is open to the public, so please feel free to invite others and share the news!Thanks and we hope to see you there! You can email with questions.


When: Wednesday, April 18, 2012- 5:30-6:30 p.m.

Where: Clark Center, 487 Fair Oaks Avenue, Arroyo Grande, CA  (map/directions via this link 

View Larger Map



Alan November Bio: Courtesy of


Alan NovemberAlan November is an international leader in education technology. He began his career as an oceanography teacher and dorm counselor at an island reform school for boys in Boston Harbor. While Alan was a computer science teacher in Lexington, MA, he was probably the first teacher in the world to have a student project on line in 1984, a database for the handicapped. He has been director of an alternative high school, computer coordinator, technology consultant and university lecturer. He has helped schools, governments and industry leaders improve the quality of education through technology.

Audiences enjoy Alan's humor and wit as he pushes the boundaries of how to improve teaching and learning. His areas of expertise include planning across curriculum, staff development, new school design, community building and leadership development. He has delivered keynotes and workshops in all fifty states, across Canada and throughout the UK, Europe, Asia and Central America.

Alan was named one of the nation's fifteen most influential thinkers of the decade by Technology and Learning Magazine. In 2001, he was listed one of eight educators to provide leadership into the future by the Eisenhower National Clearinghouse. In 2007 he was selected to speak at the Cisco Public Services Summit during the Nobel Prize Festivities in Stockholm, Sweden. His writing includes numerous articles and two best-selling books, Empowering Students with Technology and Web Literacy for Educators. Alan was co-founder of the Stanford Institute for Educational Leadership Through Technology and is most proud of being selected as one of the original five national Christa McAuliffe Educators.

Each summer Alan leads the Building Learning Communities summer conference with world-class presenters and international participants. Visit for more details.

Facebook Invitation View and Share our Facebook Event Invitation!


 Alan November FlyerView, Print, and Share the Event Flyer!


Alan November Video

3/22/12 > District to Require Career Pathways for High School Students
3/22/12 > Coast News: Change in Graduation Requirements Considered
3/20/12 > Central Coast New Tech High Expands Registration


Central Coast New Tech High School is now accepting registration from students outside of the Lucia Mar Unified School District for the 2012-2013 school year. Central Coast New Tech High School, located in Nipomo, is centered around project-based learning which encourages engagement, teamwork, and creativity for its students who work on real-world projects and issues.


"Some people have described Central Coast New Tech High School as a private education that's completely free," said Lucia Mar Unified School District Superintendent Jim Hogeboom. "This new high school will give students who want to be more engaged and involved with their learning an opportunity to do that in a small school setting. Parents are very excited, and so are we."


Lucia Mar Unified School District gave priority registration status to its own students first, but with limited spots available the school is now accepting applications from students outside of the district who will be entering the ninth grade next year. The inaugural class for Central Coast New Tech High School is projected to have 150 students. Each subsequent year the school will add another class with approximately 125 students.


The Central Coast New Tech High School model integrates high-tech teaching methods with project-based learning, similar to Cal Poly's "Learn by Doing" philosophy. Upon graduation, New Tech students will have completed college courses, given more than 200 multimedia presentations, completed internships, performed community service, completed a senior project, worked on real-world projects, and have a digital resume portfolio. There are currently 87 New Tech High Schools in 16 states.


Registration forms can be filled out online at .

For more information you can call (805) 474-3000 or email

3/16/12 > Green Schools Committee Invite

Green Schools

I am writing you today to invite LMUSD staff, teachers, parents, PTA/PTO, students, and community to become a part of the landmark green schools movement taking place in our county. Please allow me to introduce myself - I am the Sustainability Coordinator for the Lucia Mar Unified School District. For the past 18 months, I have been working in the Facilities, Maintenance Operations Department within LMSUD to develop sustainability strategies for the district that span from energy conservation, waste management, and ITS measures that have saved our district hundreds of thousands of dollars, to interest-free financing for energy-efficiency related facilities upgrades, to obtaining sustainability-related grants that go directly to the classrooms, to environmental education in the classroom, to innovative curriculum opportunities, and more. "Green Schools" efforts are taking place or at least being talked about at every school in our county - and I believe that we all could greatly benefit by sharing our stories, resources, ideas, successes - especially with local folks! We need all possible stakeholders (including staff, PTA's, PTO's, parents and community members) to be involved.
Locally in San Luis Obispo County, there is an organization dedicated to the health, well-being, and sustainability of buildings and building occupants - the USGBC (United States Green Building Council) Central Coast of California Chapter (C4), and the USGBC C4 committee focused on schools - the Green Schools Committee - is currently seeking additional members. This is a very active committee that brings together leaders in the green schools movement around the county, and as one of many professionals who are part of this movement, I cannot emphasize enough how important it is to have representation and participation from all of our school districts. This committee fosters collaboration between school districts and other stakeholders, sleuths out opportunities for grants, partnerships, information sharing and more, and is a platform for truly making an impact in the schools of our county.
As an employee of LMSUD who is very active in sustainability initiatives, I really believe all stakeholders in our district would both benefit from being part of this committee as well as be able to provide essential input regarding our efforts as a group. The other members of this committee include professionals from other school districts, the County Office of Education, the Integrated Waste Management Authority, the Air Pollution Control District, Cal Poly, SLO Green Build, Cuesta College, and many renewable energy and architectural firms.
With this said, I would like to invite you to attend our 2012 launch meeting:
DATE: March 20 th , 2012
TIME: 4:00 PM
PLACE: RRM Design Group, 3765 S. Higuera St. Ste. 102
If you have any questions at all, please don't hesitate to contact me. I hope that you can make it, and please do feel free invite anyone else from your school district (teachers, facilities staff, administrators, etc.). If you are not able to make it, I will gladly keep you posted on future meetings. Thank you for your time.
Kind Regards,
Erin Inglish LEED® AP BD+C, BPI Certified Professional
Sustainability Coordinator, Lucia Mar Unified School District
3/15/12 > Kindergarten Roundup Dates & Locations

Click pdf below to view Transitional Kindergarten & Kindergarten Roundup information for the 2012-2013 School Year...

3/12/12 > Judkins Middle School Receives $5,000 TAP School of Promise Award


Terry Handy (TAP Mentor Teacher), Sarah Butler (Assistant Principal) ,Fran Ardizzone (TAP Mentor Teacher), Ed Alarcio (TAP Master Teacher), Alyssa Labrado (TAP Master Teacher), Ian Penton (Principal)


Lucia Mar school earns surprise honor, $5,000 for efforts

in early stages of TAP: The System for Teacher and Student Advancement




Los Angeles, CA-Leaders from Judkins Middle School in Pismo Beach, California, were surprised with the TAP School of Promise Award, which comes with a financial prize of $5,000.  The award honors a school for demonstrated efforts while in the early stages of implementing TAP: The System for Teacher and Student Advancement.  The award was one of four in the nation presented before more than 1,000 educators and policy leaders attending a Saturday luncheon at the 12 th National TAP Conference, Building a System of Teacher Leaders.  Judkins Middle School Principal Ian Penton accepted the award on the school's behalf.  


TAP: The System for Teacher and Student Advancement is a revolutionary education reform that offers teachers opportunities for career advancement, ongoing job-embedded professional growth, educator evaluation and performance-based compensation.  The implementation of TAP's comprehensive elements is proven to strengthen teacher effectiveness and student achievement. 


NIET Chairman and TAP Founder Lowell Milken (far left) and NIET President and CEO Gary Stark (far right) present the TAP School of Promise Award to Judkins Middle School in Lucia Mar Unified School District, California. Judkins Middle School Principal Ian Penton accepts the award on the school's behalf.


"Judkins Middle School's careful preparation for TAP and collaboration with stakeholders helped pave the way for rigorous implementation in the first full year," said Dr. Gary Stark, president and CEO of the National Institute for Excellence in Teaching (NIET), the non-profit public charity that manages and supports the TAP system and presents the TAP School of Promise Award.  "Principal Ian Penton, master teachers Ed Alarcio and Alyssa LaBrado and all members of the leadership team hit the ground running on their work to develop the strengths of all teachers, rooted in the TAP Teaching Standards and quality instructional feedback." 


Judkins Middle School is one of seven schools in the Lucia Mar Unified School District that began TAP implementation in the 2011-2012 school year.  TAP is supported by grants from the federal Teacher Incentive Fund and the Stuart Foundation awarded to the district in 2010. 


Judkins Middle prepared for TAP during the 2010-2011 year to lay the groundwork for TAP's comprehensive system of teacher leadership, professional development, support and accountability.  Attendance at the National TAP Conference and TAP's CORE training helped Judkins Middle leaders delve into TAP's core processes and shape their goals. 


The Judkins Middle TAP Leadership Team quickly embraced the tenets of the TAP system. The administrators, master and mentor teachers bring together their diverse skill sets to create a cohesive team to maximize the potential of the faculty and students.  Ed Alarcio and Alyssa LaBrado established a sense of trust and credibility vital to teachers' support of TAP, and along with Principal Penton, continually work to transform the school climate into a nurturing environment for all to thrive.


Lucia Mar TAP Team


Other School of Promise Award recipients include West Goshen Elementary School in Goshen (Goshen Community Schools), Indiana; Carter Middle School in Strawberry Plains (Knox County Schools), Tennessee; and Aikin Elementary School in New Caney (New Caney Independent School District), Texas. 


Photos of the TAP School of Promise Awards are available for download on the TAP photos page at .


Introduced in 1999, TAP impacts more than 20,000 teachers and 200,000 students. 

For more information on TAP or the 12 th National TAP Conference at the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza in Los Angeles, visit .  You can also follow the TAP system's live updates on Twitter at .



3/05/12 > TAP Newsletter Winter


Lucia Mar TAP Newsletter Winter 2012


Download/view a copy below...

2/15/12 > Superintendent's Message: Mid-Year Progress/Goals 2011-2012


A Report to the Board of Education

  February 14, 2012


Hi everyone! I hope everyone is doing well and the New Year is treating you well. We have so many great things going on at our schools right now which makes it very exciting. A BIG thanks to our teachers and staff who continue to work so hard for our students and community so we can achieve and advance our goals for the district. On that note, I wanted to share with you what I presented to the Lucia Mar Board of Education last night in respect to our progress toward our goals for this year. See below and have a great day!

Jim Hogeboom


  "Change isn't an event, it's a process," 

-- from SWITCH:   How to change things when change is hard

by Chip and Dan Heath


In January, we held a retreat for all of our principals to check in on our vision and goals and to reflect on how we were doing.  The theme of the retreat was "managing change," and we looked at principles from the book Switch for clues to help us navigate a rapidly changing world.  If there is one criticism of education that seems valid, it is that our education system is not flexible and adaptable enough to meet the changing demands of the 21st Century. Of course we are working on this, but change is definitely hard for all of us! As I reflect on our progress, both at the district and school levels, I believe we are making great strides toward our district vision of becoming the model school district for 21st Century learning in the nation, and I encourage you to take risks, make mistakes and try new things!  Below is a brief assessment of our priorities and goals to date:


District Priority #1:  21st Century Learning

  • 21st Century Skills Group:   Our team of teachers from every school, along with a few administrators, continues to meet to further explore the 7 skills of collaboration, critical thinking, creativity, communication, self-direction, technology and global awareness.  They have prioritized collaboration and critical thinking, and have drafted rubrics and definitions, and are working on a framework and sharing effective teaching practices.  They have also helped us to prepare a 21st Century Skills Road Map and action plan, which will be presented to the school board this evening. We are also looking at piloting new assessments, and AGHS was recently selected as one of 100 schools nationwide to pilot the PISA exam for 15 year olds so we can see how our students measure up against international students. 
  • Central Coast New Tech High:   We recently held a groundbreaking and building dedication for Central Coast New Tech High, which included the presentation of a $250,000 check from PG&E to our Lucia Mar Foundation for Innovation.  This was an amazing donation, and will really help us to pay for a large portion of costs such as New Tech Network fees, curriculum development, and technology.  We also recently hired three new teachers for Central Coast New Tech High:  Eric Dunham for math; Kurt Payne for science, and Jennifer Isbell for social studies. Raquel Lujano was recently selected as the school secretary. The remaining positions will be filled in the coming weeks.  Planning and training are under way, and our enrollment remains steady at 150 students.  Work has begun on the facilities, which includes a remodel, new Gen7 classrooms, and remodel of portables.
  • International Baccalaureate Program at Grover Beach Elementary School:   We were recently accepted as a Candidate School by the International Baccalaureate Organization, and so we will spend the next few years on staff development, training and curriculum development to ensure the inquiry-based learning is being done effectively. Later this spring, all staff will be trained on the first phase of IB, and work continues each Monday through a late start to align the curriculum to the IB focus.


District Priority #2:  Implement TAP Effectively

  • TIF: Release from Planning Year: We are one of a small handful of TIF 3 grantees to be officially released from the planning year and funded for three full years.  This is great news and points to how well our administrators, master and mentor teaches are doing to implement TAP well.
  • Evaluations:  We recently moved from having to complete 4 full evaluations to 3, which has been helpful for everyone!  Learning a new evaluation system, with the 19 point rubric and all the detailed scripting of lessons, has been a challenge.  Evaluators are working in teams to make sure we are scoring accurately and providing effective feedback and coaching.  While this is a complete change in how we do our evaluations, so far most of the input we have received is that the feedback and coaching are proving to be incredibly helpful.
  • TAP Budget:  Andy recently reported on the status of the TIF grant to the board, including a detailed look at the budget.  It shows that by using TIF to hire our master teachers, and using the general fund to pay for the cost of the less expensive temporary teachers, we will save the general fund over $1 million. 

District Priority #3:  Career Pathways

  • Graduation Requirement:   The board will soon consider a proposal for all students to select a focus area as a graduation requirement for next year's freshmen class.  We will ask them to choose a career, college, individual or special program focus, beginning in their sophomore year.  This will give us time to make sure we have a robust career pathway program at our comprehensive high schools. 
  • Review of Pathways:   We will also ask the board to approve the process for adopting new pathways, as well as to review our existing and proposed pathways at each school.
  • Middle School/Skills for Success:   An oversight committee is currently looking at our Skills for Success curriculum to more closely align it to our goals and priorities.  In addition, Paulding is piloting career exploration ideas this spring.


Student Success

  • District Benchmarks:  Middle and elementary schools have reviewed the first semester benchmark results to learn how our students are doing.  TAP cluster meetings as well as grade level PLC's are looking closely at our data so we can learn what is working and where students need to improve. 
  • Common Core:   District TOSAs are currently working to explain the changes coming in the new Common Core, and to make sure our own assessments and instructional strategies are aligned.  The new assessments will begin in 2013-14, and seem to be an improvement over the current standardized tests.


Staff Success

  • Staff Development:   Training continues throughout the district during the spring in the following areas;  21st Century Skills group rubrics and instructional strategies; Project Based Learning workshops; piloting authentic assessments; TAP rubric training and field testing of strategies; and Common Core curriculum and assessment changes (focused on math and language arts).


Stewardship of Resources

  • Budget Study Sessions:   Two budget study sessions have been held so far for the board and public. Our third and final budget study session with the board is being planned. The purpose of these meetings is to make sure we continue to work toward aligning our budget to our district mission, vision and goals.
  • Attendance:   We work with schools to find creative ways to increase attendance, and will continue to offer a few more Saturday schools to try and boost our numbers. As a result of our January 21 Saturday school offering, we made up 294 absences.
  • Energy Savings:   District Sustainability Coordinator Erin Inglish continues to work with schools to decrease our energy use, and we are now currently working with Chevron to determine if we can develop a solar energy plan that will help our district to save money in the future. 


2/05/12 > Coast News: New Tech High School Breaks Ground
1/27/12 > KCOY Video: Central Coast New Tech High School Breaks Ground



The Lucia Mar Unified School District will be the beneficiary of a $250,000 donation from Pacific Gas and Electric Company. The donation was presented to the Lucia Mar Foundation for Innovation today at a groundbreaking and building dedication ceremony. The $250,000 donation will be used to support Lucia Mar's newest school, Central Coast New Tech High School, and to further Lucia Mar's vision of 21st century education. To honor PG&E's generous donation, the Lucia Mar Board of Education Trustees approved the naming of the PG&E Center for Learning, a building on the Central Coast New Tech High School campus. Numerous local dignitaries were on hand for the check presentation and building dedication that took place at the future site of Central Coast New Tech High School, which will be located in Nipomo, CA.


Today's announcement represents another example of an already strong partnership between Lucia Mar and PG&E. Prior to today, PG&E's charitable contributions to Lucia Mar totaled more than $150,000. After today's donation, the amount is more than $400,000. PG&E has donated grants to schools in Lucia Mar to help support energy conservation and efficiency within the district, to develop its robotics teams, increase innovative educational programs and more.


Read more here

1/26/12 > PG&E Donates $250,000 to Central Coast New Tech High School

PG&E Donates $250,000 to Central Coast New Tech High School

-Ground Breaking & Building Dedication-


  Beth Curran, President, Lucia Mar Foundation for Innovation (left) Chris Johns, President, PG&E (right)


The Lucia Mar Unified School District will be the beneficiary of a $250,000 donation from Pacific Gas and Electric Company. The donation was presented to the Lucia Mar Foundation for Innovation today at a groundbreaking and building dedication ceremony. The $250,000 donation will be used to support Lucia Mar's newest school, Central Coast New Tech High School, and to further Lucia Mar's vision of 21st century education. To honor PG&E's generous donation, the Lucia Mar Board of Education Trustees approved the naming of the PG&E Center for Learning, a building on the Central Coast New Tech High School campus. Numerous local dignitaries were on hand for the check presentation and building dedication that took place at the future site of Central Coast New Tech High School, which will be located in Nipomo, CA.


Today's announcement represents another example of an already strong partnership between Lucia Mar and PG&E. Prior to today, PG&E's charitable contributions to Lucia Mar totaled more than $150,000. After today's donation, the amount is more than $400,000. PG&E has donated grants to schools in Lucia Mar to help support energy conservation and efficiency within the district, to develop its robotics teams, increase innovative educational programs and more.



"Through this unique program, the students of today will be prepared to be the technological leaders of tomorrow," said Chris Johns, President of PG&E.  "PG&E is proud to partner with the Lucia Mar Unified School District and the Lucia Mar Foundation for Innovation in support of Central Coast New Tech High School.  As the largest private employer in the county, we welcome the opportunity to contribute to the growth and vitality of the communities we serve and where our employees live. 


Chris Johns, President, PG&E

  Chris Johns, President, PG&E


"This donation from PG&E is a great gift to our school, our district, and entire community. We are truly grateful and very appreciative of the tremendous support PG&E has given us throughout the years. This gift will have a direct impact on the success and growth of our students now, and long into their futures," said Jim Hogeboom, Superintendent Lucia Mar Unified School District.


Jim Hogeboom, Superintendent, Lucia Mar Unified School District

  Jim Hogeboom, Superintendent, Lucia Mar Unified School District


PG&E, a subsidiary of PG&E Corporation (NYSE:PCG), strives to power strong communities throughout Northern and Central California. Over the last decade, PG&E has given nearly $40 million toward youth educational initiatives, supporting innovative programs that provide students and teachers opportunities to learn and prepare for their future, the future of California and the future of the energy industry. Community investments are funded entirely by shareholders. For more information, visit .



The Central Coast New Tech High School model integrates high-tech teaching methods with project based learning, similar to Cal Poly's "Learn by Doing" philosophy. Upon graduation, New Tech students will have completed college courses, given more than 200 multimedia presentations, completed internships, performed community service, worked on real-world projects, and developed a digital resume portfolio. Central Coast New Tech High School will open its doors to its first freshman class on August 16, 2012. More information at .




1/23/12 > Central Coast New Tech High School Groundbreaking & Building Dedication

Central Coast New Tech High School Groundbreaking & Building Dedication

-Anonymous Donor and Donation Amount to be Revealed-



Arroyo Grande, CA--  Central Coast New Tech High School will officially begin construction and honor a generous donor with a building dedication ceremony on Thursday, January 26, 2012. The event will take place at noon at the future site of Central Coast New Tech High School which will be located at 525 North Thompson Road in Nipomo, CA. A hosted barbeque and site tour will follow the ceremony.


The donation will be presented to the Lucia Mar Foundation for Innovation ( ) which helps fund and support innovative and engaging educational programs within the Lucia Mar Unified School District.  Local dignitaries (list below) and community leaders will be on hand to mark the historic occasion. Central Coast New Tech High School has been in development for more than two years and will open to its first freshman class on August 16, 2012.


"This donation is a great gift to our school, our district, and entire community. We are truly grateful and very appreciative. The support we have received from our community and business leaders in regards to Central Coast New Tech has been overwhelming, and really reassures us that there is a need and desire for further innovative and engaging education in our area," said Jim Hogeboom, Superintendent Lucia Mar Unified School District.


The Central Coast New Tech High School model integrates high-tech teaching methods with project based learning, similar to Cal Poly's "Learn by Doing" philosophy. Upon graduation, New Tech students will have completed college courses, given more than 200 multimedia presentations, completed internships, performed community service, worked on real-world projects, and developed a digital resume portfolio. More information at .


Local Dignitaries who have confirmed to date:

Representative for Kevin McCarthy, Congressman 22nd District

Representative for Lois Capps, Congresswoman 23rd District

Representative for Katcho Achadjian, Assemblyman 33rd District

Paul Teixeira, San Luis Obispo County Supervisor District 4

Adam Hill, San Luis Obispo County Supervisor District 3

Ian Parkinson, Sheriff, San Luis Obispo County

Dr. Gil Stork, President, Cuesta College

Dr. José Ortiz, President, Allan Hancock College

Dr. Philip Bailey, Dean, Cal Poly College of Science and Mathematics

Dr. Robert Detweiler, Dean, Cal Poly School of Education

Dr. James Gentilucci, Professor, Cal Poly School of Education

1/10/12 > Video: Tim Presiado on Central Coast New Tech High School


Tim Presiado, Senior Director of New School Development for the New Tech Network, discusses the progress and planning of Central Coast New Tech High School. Presiado also explains what the New Tech Network is, and the impact that Central Coast New Tech High School will have on the entire Lucia Mar Unified School District.

The Central Coast New Tech High School model integrates high-tech teaching methods with project based learning, similar to Cal Poly's "Learn by Doing" philosophy. Upon graduation, New Tech students will have completed college courses, given more than 200 multimedia presentations, completed internships, performed community service, worked on real-world projects, and have a digital resume portfolio.


1/06/12 > Video: Jim Hogeboom Discusses Central Coast New Tech High on Charter Local Edition HLN

Jim Hogeboom, Superintendent Lucia Mar Unified School District, is interviewed about Central Coast New Tech High School which will open in the fall of 2012 in Nipomo, CA.
The Central Coast New Tech High School model integrates high-tech teaching methods with project based learning, similar to Cal Poly's "Learn by Doing" philosophy. Upon graduation, New Tech students will have completed college courses, given more than 200 multimedia presentations, completed internships, performed community service, worked on real-world projects, and have a digital resume portfolio.

1/03/12 > Video: Brian Talley on Central Coast New Tech High School


Brian Talley, President of Talley Vineyards, shares his thoughts on the incoming Central Coast New Tech High School which will open in the fall of 2012 in Nipomo, CA.

The Central Coast New Tech High School model integrates high-tech teaching methods with project based learning, similar to Cal Poly's "Learn by Doing" philosophy. Upon graduation, New Tech students will have completed college courses, given more than 200 multimedia presentations, completed internships, performed community service, worked on real-world projects, and have a digital resume portfolio.


11/01/11 > Video: AGPD K9 Presentation

Thanks to Chief of Police Steven Annibali, Officer Shane Day, and of course "Gregor" from the Arroyo Grande Police Department for their very informative K9 Presentation at the LMUSD School Board Meeting!
More on the AGPD K9 Program:

More Photos of Gregor on our Facebook page!

10/31/11 > Latino Family Literacy Project


On October 26 th , Oceano Elementary School kicked off a new parent involvement program called The Latino Family Literacy Project .  This evening workshop is an addition to the well attended Community Coffee, both designed to increase school participation among the second language members of the community. Last spring, several teachers attended a workshop designed to increase reading among its second language families, The Latino Family Literacy Project. They brought back several ideas and put together a program of weekly evening sessions where families come to school to enjoy reading and working together.  Lead by teachers Diana Tappan and Carolyn Le-Fort, families receive a new book each week to take home and read as a family.  The stories are designed to get families talking with their children about their own cultural connections and use nightly reading as the platform for these discussions. The first book, A New Sun, described the travels of a person who migrated from Mexico to work and live in the United States.  The stories shared that evening are a prime example of just how well the use of literature to illicit conversation works.

Participants also spend part of the evening building a family album based on their talks and readings. The staff at Oceano sees this new program as a way to increase family literacy in the community as well as increase the parent involvement at the school.


10/10/11 > Central Coast New Tech Registration Opens Tuesday


Central Coast New Tech High School Registration Opens Tuesday   

Arroyo Grande, CA-Central Coast New Tech High School will open its registration for the 2012-2013 school year on Tuesday, October 11, 2011. The first 50 students who register are guaranteed priority admission, pending they are in good standing with their current school and district. The first freshman class at Central Coast New Tech High School, which will be located in Nipomo, is open to current eighth grade students. 


A maximum of 125 students will be accepted for the inaugural year, with priority registration given to current Lucia Mar students. The school will then add another grade level each successive year, ultimately growing to 500 students. If there are more than 125 students who apply, there will be a random lottery to fill spots 51-125.


"We are expecting registration to fill up quickly, as interest and inquiries have been very high at our community meetings," said Dan Neff, Principal of Central Coast New Tech High School.


The New Tech High School model integrates high-tech teaching methods with project based learning, similar to Cal Poly's "Learn by Doing" philosophy. Upon graduation, New Tech students will have completed college courses, given more than 200 multimedia presentations, completed internships, performed community service, worked on real-world projects, and have a digital resume portfolio. There are currently 87 New Tech High Schools in 16 states.


A parent information night will be held October 24, 2011 at Paulding Middle School. Dinner will start at 6:00 p.m. and the presentation will begin at 7:00 p.m. Tickets for the dinner are free, but need to be picked up prior to Friday at noon. Tickets can be picked up at Mesa, Judkins, and Paulding Middle Schools, or the district office.


Registration forms can be filled out online at or picked up at the school offices at Judkins, Mesa, and  Paulding Middle Schools, and at the Lucia Mar District office located at 602 Orchard Street, Arroyo Grande. More information is available at


For a printable PDF registration form see attachment below. Spanish version also available.


9/28/10 > Teacher Incentive Fund Grant - $7.2 million dollars
9/14/10 > Pertussis (Whooping Cough) Update - Sep14 2010

Please review the latest Pertussis update