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.
Reach Cynthia Lambert at 781-7929. Stay updated by following @SouthCounty
Beat on Twitter.