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County districts trim summer school programs

Summer school options for Lucia Mar students will be more limited this year, as the school board eliminated its regular program to save $350,000.

Instead, the district will offer four summer school options that will serve an estimated 1,000 students, including 887 elementary and middle school students.

Like the other county districts, Lucia Mar faces a budget deficit this year. District officials expect a $5 million shortfall to its general fund budget of $52 million.

Its summer school program will cost about $194,000, though federal money will cover most of it, including $107,000 that must be spent at program improvement schools, said Andy Stenson, assistant superintendent of curriculum.

None of the summer school programs will offer transportation, he said.

Lucia Mar is far from the only district in San Luis Obispo County to offer a scaled-down program.

Paso Robles schools will likely not offer summer school this year except for some individualized instruction for special education students, said Anne Quinn, spokeswoman for the district.

Last year, the district offered a reduced program that served 500 students and cost $180,000. The district received some funding from the state; this year, there is no such funding, Quinn said.

The change would affect students who don’t graduate eighth grade but still are sent to high school. Last year, 79 eighth graders out of 90 who didn’t graduate attended a summer program to get them ready for high school, she said. A total of 500 eighth graders attended Paso Robles’ two middle schools, Quinn said.

Those who don’t graduate eighth grade this year would take a course in high school — called P.A.V.E., or Personal, Academic, Vocational Enrichment — that is designed to help them succeed in school. The Paso Robles school board must still vote on the summer school proposal.

In February, the Atascadero Unified district board unanimously voted to reduce summer school to one independent study teacher who will meet and work with non-graduating seniors, at an anticipated cost of $2,500.

At Coast Union in Cambria, Superintendent Chris Adams said he is planning to cut the summer school classes from about four weeks to two, calling it a cost-savings but also “a philosophical shift.”

The focus of the shorter, more intense four-hours-a-day summer school will be literacy, including teaching the students how to read and write better, increasing their vocabulary and showing them how to take more effective notes.

Adams estimated the shorter course would save the district about $4,500, or about half the cost of a four-week course.

San Luis Coastal will hold English language development classes this summer only for its English learners and remedial classes in language arts and mathematics.

Staff writers Kathe Tanner, Sarah Linn and AnnMarie Cornejo contributed to this report. Reach Cynthia Lambert at 781-7929. Stay updated on Twitter @SouthCountyBeat.

Lucia Mar Summer School

High school students: The program will run from June 21 through July 27 at Arroyo Grande High School and will include six classes: English for 10th and 11th grade students, world history, U.S. history, algebra 1, and geometry.

An additional economic/government class will be offered and funded by Cuesta College.

Elementary/middle school students: The programs will run from July 12 through August 6. A full-day session for students from the district’s five program improvement schools will be offered at either Grover Beach Elementary or Nipomo Elementary. The summer academy will give about 500 students four weeks of intensive instruction in reading, writing and math. The program improvement schools include Nipomo Elementary, Grover Beach Elementary, Lange Elementary, Judkins Middle School and Mesa Middle School.

A half-day summer school will be offered for an additional 380 elementary and middle school students at Fairgrove Elementary or Grover Heights Elementary. Students from Dana Elementary would be able to attend school at Lange Elementary.

In addition, the district will provide four classes for Lucia Mar students whose parents are designated as “migrant,” meaning they travel from job to job. The classes will be centered on vocabulary and developing oral fluency, since the students are often second-language learners. They will be held at Nipomo Elementary and either Grover Beach Elementary or Oceano Elementary.

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