Lucia Mar tech high school registration opens Tuesday

Registration starts Tuesday for a new school slated to open next August with its first class of 125 freshmen on the Nipomo High School campus.

Central Coast New Tech High is a small-school program that focuses on preparing students with “21st century skills,” such as communication, innovation, critical thinking and self-direction.

Lucia Mar school district officials say the New Tech High model incorporates high-technology teaching methods — including ensuring each student has a computer — and “project-based learning” similar to Cal Poly’s “learn by doing” philosophy.

The district plans to open the school on the Nipomo High campus but it would be an autonomous school with a separate entrance. In its first phase, district officials plan to renovate three buildings into classrooms, including a digital media lab, and would buy a new modular building to accommodate three classrooms and restrooms.

A maximum of 125 students will be accepted for the first year, with priority given to current Lucia Mar students. The district plans to accept another grade each year, reaching about 500 students by 2015.

The first 50 students who register are guaranteed priority admission. If more than 125 students apply, the district will hold a random lottery to fill spots 51-125.

A parent information night will be held Oct. 24 at 6 p.m. at Paulding Middle School, 600 Crown Hill St. in Arroyo Grande.

Registration forms can be filled out online at www.CentralCoastNewTech.org or picked up at the school offices at Judkins, Mesa, and Paulding middle schools, and at the Lucia Mar District office at 602 Orchard Street in Arroyo Grande.